Florida Crime Lab Getting Slower

A recent quarterly report revealed that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is taking longer to process forensic evidence than last quarter. The report showed a downward trend for the overall progress of the labs throughout the past year. Florida Crime Lab Getting Slower

The state labs were shown to be slower in almost every measurable category. This is causing serious delays in court dates and trials to drag on.


  • Extracting latent fingerprints was taking 87 days to process from January to March. By the end of June it was taking 91 days.
  • DNA and biology samples that took 85 days to process earlier in the year are now taking 88 days.
  • Computer evidence processing was taking 113 days early in the year. Now, it is 119 days. Last year during the same period, it was taking 84 days to process computer evidence. The agency’s stated goal is 70 days.

State officials cite extremely high turnover of lab employees caused by low pay for the poor performance. Over the past five years the lab has lost 107 of 297 employees, 40 percent of which claim to have left for better pay.

A typical Florida state lab employee makes around $41,000 a year, which is about $20,000 lower than other labs. State officials claim it takes roughly two years before a new lab employee is fully trained, making the outlook for the already massive backlog to look even more hopeless.

To remedy the problem a proposal asking for $4 million to be added to lab employees’ salaries has been submitted to the Florida House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.

If you have been charged or convicted of a crime in the Tampa or Clearwater area and are in need of a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer, call the law office of Bauer, Crider & Parry. No matter how bleak your situation may seem, with Bauer, Crider & Parry you’ll never believe you can’t win.  


Trespassing Laws in Florida Part II

Last week we started to discuss the different classifications of trespassing in Florida and the penalties associated with each classification. Trespassing on a property and on a structure were both covered last week. This week we’ll take a look at trespassing on school grounds and trespassing on a conveyance.Trespassing Laws in Florida

School Grounds

Definition: Entering or remaining upon a school campus or school owned facility when you do not have legitimate business on the campus or any authorization, license, or invitation to be on the school property. This also applies if you are a student currently under suspension or expulsion.


The state of Florida considers trespassing on school grounds to be a second degree misdemeanor. If convicted you could face 60 days in jail, six months of probation, a $500 fine or a combination of the three.

If you are armed while trespassing on school grounds in Florida the charge can be enhanced to a third degree felony. This charge can earn you five years in jail, five years of probation, a $5,000 fine or any combination of the three.

A conveyance could be a motor vehicle, railroad car, plain, sleeper car, ship, or boat.

Definition: Willfully entering or remaining in a conveyance without being authorized, licensed, or invited. Refusing to exit a conveyance after being asked by an owner or authorized agent, even though you were originally authorized, licensed, or invited to enter.

If the conveyance is occupied, trespassing is a first degree misdemeanor. However, if the conveyance is unoccupied the charge will be for a second degree misdemeanor. An armed trespasser can be charged with a third degree felony. Each scenario carries different penalties.

If convicted of trespassing on an unoccupied conveyance, you could face 60 days in jail, six months of probation, a $500 fine or a combination of the three.

Judges can give a sentence of one year in prison, one year on probation, $1,000 fine or any combination of the three if you are charged with trespassing on an occupied conveyance.


For armed trespassing on a conveyance the sentence can be five years in jail, five years of probation, $5,000 fine or any combination of the three.


If you have been accused or charged with any kind of trespassing in Florida call the lawyers at Bauer, Crider & Parry. With more than 130 years of combined experience they are experts in all trespassing laws in Florida. Call today for a free consultation 727-446-4800.

Tampa Murder Defense Attorney

Brad Post: All right. Welcome to the podcast. We are speaking to Bauer, Crider, and Parry, Mike Kenny. He’s a Tampa murder defense attorney, same with all the attorneys there at Bauer, Crider, and Parry. Mike, how are you doing today?

Michael D. Kenny, Attorney: I’m doing well. How are you doing?

B: Good. Good. Well, we’re in the series. Basically we talked about violent crimes. We’ve talked about assault and battery. You mentioned a little bit on homicide in the last one, and we’re going to be talking more about homicide and murder in this one. Correct?

M: That’s right.

B: All right. So I’ll turn it over to you.

Tampa Murder Defense Attorney

M: Sure. So, in the state of Florida murder has a couple of different categories. There’s the murder that probably a lot of us are kind of accustomed to. We’ve heard about premeditated murder. That’s first-degree murder. So, in the state of Florida when a human being is killed from a premeditated design to affect the death of that person. What that simply means is the thought and the intent, to bring about somebody else’s death, and the forethought, the thinking about it ahead of time. That’s a first-degree murder. The reason why that’s so significant is because the penalties that that charge is punishable by. In the state of Florida, only first-degree murders are punishable by death, by capital punishment. There’s a certain process that has to be gone through in order to in order to get that penalty, because of some cases that have come out in the past several years the juries have to make certain findings. And the juries actually have to make certain recommendations that the courts are, although the final decision makers, and what the penalty is. The jury has to make certain findings on whether certain actions would warrant the death penalty. Read More →

St. Petersburg Drive By Shootings Attorneys

Brad Post: Welcome to the podcast. We are speaking to St. Petersburg drive-by shootings attorneys Bauer, Crider, and Parry. It’s also Pinellas County correct? St. Petersburg, Mike?

Michael D. Kenny, Attorney: That’s right.

B: We’re speaking to attorney Mike Kenny, and Mike let’s talk a little bit about that drive-by shootings today.

St. Petersburg Drive By Shootings Attorneys

M: Sure. Drive-by shootings is the way most people understand, it’s a crime where a person fires a gun while they’re in a vehicle, and potentially driving by a location. So, Florida has designed a couple of statutes that specifically try to address that scenario. There isn’t a drive-by shooting crime per se. Shooting at somebody is a crime. Killing somebody is a crime. Those kind of take care of themselves. But they do have some shootings, some crimes that involve shooting from a car, or into a car. So, one of that one of the crimes that Florida has is discharging, or shooting from a vehicle, discharging a firearm from a vehicle. So, if you’re inside a car and you shoot, you shoot from a car, there is a specific statute that addresses that. And, that’s a felony. That’s actually because there’s a discharge of a firearm. Carries with it a pretty significant minimum mandatory prison sentence.

And then there’s shooting into an occupied vehicle which can happen whether you’re standing on the street and a car drives by and you shoot into it, or you’re in a car and you shoot into another car you can imagine that scenario. So, that’s designed to address people who are being victimized while they’re inside of a car. And there’s a scenario where you can be in one car, and shoot into another car, and you get charged with two counts – shooting from and shooting into. A lot of times you see people, I’ve had cases where a person is charged with discharging a firearm while shooting from a vehicle and into a house. Because shooting into an occupied dwelling is another category of crime. So, the way the legislature has done it, they’ve kind of gotten specific scenarios all seem to address that issue that apparently was a concern about people basically exploiting opportunities to shoot people by surprise without them without being aware.  Read More →

Clearwater Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer

Brad Post: Alright. Welcome to the Florida Defense podcast, podcast. We are speaking to Clearwater assault and battery defense lawyer with Bauer, Crider and Parry, Mike Kenny. And Mike we talked a little bit about assault and battery in the podcast before this one, but we’re also going to be talking a little bit more about violent crimes in this one. Correct?

Michael D. Kenny, Attorney: Sure, yes.

B: So, I’m just going to turn it over to you.

Clearwater Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer

M: All right, so we talked before the previous podcast about assault and battery charges, and how these things get enhanced. You know, violent crimes in general, the way they get treated Florida – they’re very specific, every type of action probably has a specific criminal act outline. For instance, people have mentioned the term “drive-by shooting”, and there is actually a specific charge called shooting from an occupied vehicle. And there is actually another charge shooting into an occupied vehicle. And those could be two separate counts. So, you can imagine a situation we have a person driving his car, shooting out of his car, into another car. While that’s one act, they could be two separate charges there. There is obviously also shooting into house. There’s shooting into an occupied dwelling. And, those are pretty serious charges.

Any kind of shooting charge carries with it a very significant penalty. Because in the state of Florida there has been a very strong act to swiftly and significantly punish firearms-type charges. In Florida we have a 10/20/life statute. And kind of what the 10/20/life statue stands for – there are these three aspects: 10 years is supposed to be if you possess a gun during the commission of a felony you get 10 year minimum mandatory prison sentence, 20 years is the part where that 10 years goes up to 20 if you discharge a firearm, and then life, life means if you kill a person or cause serious bodily injury in the state of Florida (if you use a firearm to do that) you get 25 years to life. So, any time there is a discharge of a firearm case, there is a 20, potential 20 year minimum mandatory sentence you’re looking at. Now, obviously depending upon if anyone was hit, and will it gets a lot more significant than that.  Read More →

Pasco Violent Crime Lawyer



Brad Post: Alright. Welcome to the podcast. We are speaking to Pasco County (Florida) violent crimes lawyer Mike Kenny. Mike, how are you doing today?

Michael D. Kenny, Attorney: I’m doing well. How are you doing?

B: Doing well. Doing well. Well, we’re going to be talking basically about violent crimes today. And, so, I’m going to turn it over to you.

Pasco Violent Crime Lawyer

M: Okay. Alright. Well violent crimes is kind of a big category. It covers a lot of things. We could start talking a little bit about assault charges and battery charges. In the state of Florida, they are separate charges actually. Assault is one act, and battery is another act. In Florida, an assault is essentially a threat. It’s a threat where a person makes a threat to make contact or do some type of physical harm to another individual, and has the apparent ability to carry out that threat. Usually that comes up where a person maybe raises a fist in an argument with somebody else, and looks like he’s about to take a swing or punch somebody. That’s your classic assault. In the state of Florida, a misdemeanor assault like this is a second-degree misdemeanor. That means it is punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail, or six months of probation. Now, what bumps that assault up is depending upon who the person that’s threatened is. So, if you do that same act, and you raise your fist like you’re about the strike somebody, but the other person happens to be a law enforcement officer, that’s assault on law-enforcement officer. So it takes it from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor. Still a misdemeanor – punishable by up to a year in jail as opposed to 60 days initially for your probation.

Battery is a first-degree misdemeanor. And battery is what most people may understand what that is already. That’s just the physical touching or the contact another person that’s unwarranted, done without that person’s consent. So it’s either offensive touching, or causing an injury to another person. And those are first-degree misdemeanor punishable up to a year in jail. That’s your basic section of misdemeanor crimes, violent crimes of assault and battery.  Read More →

Trespassing in Florida Part I

Trespassing in Florida can carry some serious penalties. The state of Florida outlines four types of trespassing. Each type is defined by different circumstances and carry different penalties. In this blog we will discuss the definitions and penalties for trespassing on property and trespassing on a structure. Our following blog will cover trespassing on school grounds and trespassing on a conveyance. Trespassing in Florida

Trespassing on property

Definition: Willfully entering or remaining on any property other than a structure or conveyance without being authorized, licensed, or invited when notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication or by posting, fencing, or cultivation. Or: Willfully entering or remaining on the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime thereon, without authorization, license, or invitation.

If there is signage posted, such as a “keep out” sign, it must adhere to certain criteria for it to hold up in court.


If you’re convicted of trespassing on property you can be fined up to $500 as well as spend up to 60 days in jails and be on probation for six months.

Trespassing on a structure

Definition: Willfully entering or remaining in a structure without being authorized, licensed, or invited; or Refusing to exit a structure after being asked by an owner or authorized agent, even though you were originally authorized, licensed, or invited to enter.


Similar to trespassing on property, if convicted of trespassing on a structure you can spend 60 days in jail, be on probation of six months and be fined up to $500.


Penalties for both offenses can be enhanced to a felony if the offender is armed. If the offender is trespassing in an occupied structure, the penalty may also be enhanced.

If you have been accused or charged with any kind of trespassing in Florida call the lawyers at Bauer, Crider & Parry. With more than 130 years of combined experience they can defend you with expertise and tenacity. Call today for a free consultation 727-446-4800.  


Can You Get a Wheelchair DUI?

According to FBI statistics 1,166,824 people were arrested for driving under the influence in 2013. That’s just the drivers that got caught; Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) estimates that each day, people drive drunk almost 300,000 times.

Everyone knows that driving a car while intoxicated is not a good idea, but what about driving something other than a car? Some states have laws against riding a bike while intoxicated. California has recently been cracking down on drunk cyclists.

Kentucky actually has laws against riding a horse while inebriated. A Kentucky man, Danny Reynolds, found this out the hard way when he was charged with a DUI while riding a horse in 2012.

Wheelchair DUI

Recently in Florida Ronny Hicks was arrested for driving a motorized wheelchair while intoxicated. The Palm Bay Police Department responded to a call about a man obstructing traffic on a bridge. When they arrived they found Mr. Hicks, who reportedly reeked of alcohol and was slurring his words. Hicks then refused to take a breathalyzer test and would not accept treatment for an open wound. This is Hick’s third DUI arrest.

This arrest has raised several questions in the community regarding treatment of disabled people. If a non-disabled person can walk or stumble home when they are intoxicated, should the law allow people who are unable to walk to use a motorized wheel chair to get home?

Critics claim this arrest and the laws that support it are discriminatory and should be revised.

If you’ve been charged with driving a car, bike, horse, wheel chair or any form of transportation while intoxicated call Bauer, Crider & Parry Criminal Defense. These lawyers have more than 130 years of combined experience and they will skillfully represent you, no matter how difficult or strange your case may be.

Florida BB Gun Laws

Lots of kids have BB guns or some sort of pellet gun to use for target practice. Each state has different laws stating when a minor can possess a BB gun and when and where they can use it. Florida BB gun laws were recently in the spotlight due to a young Florida man making a very bad decision.

On September 25, two Polk County school buses were shot at with a BB gun by a passing car. The two buses were carrying a combined 39 children. A window by one of the drivers was shattered. Thankfully no one was injured.

One of the buses had a surveillance camera that was able to catch a silver Lexus shooting at the bus. The police were able to track the down the car and arrest the owner.

Phillip Smith II was arrested on September 30, 2015, and charged with a total of 42 counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A BB gun and pellets were found inside Smith’s car.

Smith is an 18-year-old student at Warner University. He was attending the University on a partial basketball scholarship. The President of Warren University stated that Smith has been dismissed from the University.

A BB gun and a firearm are two different things. A BB gun may be considered a deadly weapon just as a firearm is. But a firearm has a specific definition. A firearm carries with it certain enhanced penalties under the Florida 10-20- life statue. A BB gun does not qualify as a firearm for those purposes. BB guns maybe fired within city limits unless there are specific city ordinances to the contrary. If a person is on his or her property and fires on his or her property that is not generally a violation of the law .

If you need help with a interpreting Florida BB gun or firearm laws, call the law office of Bauer Crider & Parry. With more than 130 years of combined experience, Bauer Crider & Parry is one of the most skilled and experienced Clearwater, Florida, law firms.


Florida Stand Your Ground

Florida Stand Your Ground

In 2005 Florida became the first state to pass a bill commonly known as “stand your ground.” Today more than 20 states have similar stand your ground laws. The goal of the stand your ground law is to provide protection for people who used lethal force instead of retreating from a dangerous situation.

Castle doctrine

The backbone of stand your ground is something called castle doctrine. This doctrine promotes the idea that a person has the right to use lethal force as a primary action in situations where they are under attack while occupying an area they own or, in some cases, are lawfully permitted to be.

Duty to retreat

In direct opposition to castle doctrine, there is “duty to retreat.” Under duty to retreat, people are suppose to first retreat from any situation they feel is life threatening and may only use lethal force as a last resort.

The current procedure

Currently if someone wants to invoke stand your ground after they use lethal force to protect themselves or their home they will go to a pre-trial evidentiary hearing. During this hearing the defendant will be responsible for proving their actions are protected under the stand your ground law.

New bill

Representative Dennis Baxley recently introduced a new bill that will shift the burden of proof to the state prosecutor. This is a key change in how the law is exercised.

Baxley said he introduced this bill to “correct misinterpretations of legislative intent made by the courts.”

The bill will be considered during the 2016 legislative session. If the bill passes it is intended to apply to any pending cases.

If you are involved in a situation where you think stand your ground laws apply, call your local Florida criminal defense team. The Law Office of Bauer, Crider & Parry have more than 130 years of combined criminal defense experience. They are skilled and up to date on all Florida criminal defense laws.