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FL’s Unenforceable Teen-Sexting Law

“Sexting” occurs when someone shares nude or sexually explicit images with others through the use of cell phones, the internet, or any other device capable of transmitting data. When consenting adults sext, they usually don’t break the law. But teens in many states who sext face significant potential legal consequences. Because most teens are children, many states consider teen sexting a child-pornography offense and require violators register as sex offenders.

In 2011, Florida legislators passed a sexting stature prohibiting minors from sending images of nudity (their own or someone else’s) to other minors. The first offense would qualify as a civil infraction. Minors who violated the statute would have to perform court-mandated community service or pay a $60 fine. The fourth sexting offense would qualify as a felony.

In theory, Florida prosecutors believed they had an easy case when they brought charges against minors for sexting. In practice, however, they quickly ran into jurisdictional problems. Unlike criminal offenses, Florida law doesn’t give any court jurisdiction of civil infractions by juveniles. Thus, the 2011 sexting statute doesn’t grant any court jurisdiction to prosecute a sexting first offense. This results because in Florida, The Circuit Court has Exclusive jurisdiction for all juvenile criminal matters except traffic offenses. The County Court also has jurisdiction for juveniles in traffic offenses only. A sexting charge is a civil, non-criminal offense for the first violation. Therefore it cannot be prosecuted as a crime in Circuit Court. However, because a sexting charge is also not a traffic offense, there is no jurisdiction in the County Court either.

As currently written, the sexting statute is a violation without a home. Since there is no jurisdiction in either County Court or Circuit Court, a sexting first offense must be dismissed. Attorney Michael D. Kenny, a board-certified criminal defense attorney at Tampa-area law firm Bauer, Crider, and Parry, recently had a sexting case dismissed on lack of jurisdiction.

A child charged with sexting or any type of crime is a serious situation. Consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if your child has have been arrested. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your child during this difficult and precarious time and will strive to protect their future. We will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your child’s criminal defense.

Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

Never believe you can’t win.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Guilty?

If you have been charged with a criminal offense and you believe that you are guilty, you might be wondering how a criminal defense lawyer can help you. You believe you are guilty, and you plan on pleading guilty, so why should you waste your time and money on a lawyer? Regardless of your beliefs concerning your guilt, you will likely benefit from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

The primary reason you should hire a lawyer is to make sure your legal rights and liberties are protected. The criminal justice system is complicated and trying to navigate it yourself may result in deleterious consequences. The judge will not sit down with you and discuss your options when you plead guilty. The prosecutor will not explain flaws in his or her case to you. The prosecutor will not tell you if his or her offer to your guilty plea is reasonable or not. An experienced attorney can read the report, speak with the witnesses, and consider all aspects of your case (good and bad) before you negotiate your case for a plea or go to trial.

Additionally, your lawyer will know what the best possible outcome in your case will be, under a plea or trial, and will construct a strategy to improve the odds of achieving that result. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to obtain a resolution that is less severe than if you had simply pleaded guilty. For example, Florida has pre-trial diversion (aka deferred adjudication) programs for both misdemeanor and felony charges that may apply to your case. If you qualify, and complete certain conditions, your case will be dismissed.

When your finances and liberties are in jeopardy, it should be obvious to you that you need someone with experience and knowledge to defend them. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your fundamental interests during this difficult and precarious time. We will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

Never believe you can’t win.

The Benefits of Board Certification

What do attorneys Robert O. Bauer, Jr., Ronnie G. Crider, David R. Parry, and Michael D. Kenny have in common? All are board certified criminal trial lawyers have been named by The Florida Bar. What is board certification? Board certification is the highest level of evaluation of the competency and experience of an attorney in his particular specialty of law. It evaluates attorneys’ special knowledge, skills and proficiency in the area of criminal defense and professionalism and ethics in practice. It is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification.

By hiring a board certified criminal trial lawyer you are guaranteed a certain standard of professionalism and knowledge that you will not find elsewhere. The requirements for board certification are rigorous. In order to be certified, an attorney must have a minimum of five years in law practice, show substantial involvement in the field of specialty, pass an examination, and satisfy a peer review assessment and continuing legal education requirements. Only six percent of eligible Florida Bar members are certified. Out of all attorneys in Florida there are only 384 total lawyers in the entire state of Florida are board certified in criminal trial law. They are the only Florida attorneys allowed to refer to themselves as “specialists” or to use the letters B.C.S. to indicate Board Certified Specialist when referring to their legal credentials.

Since 1989, the law offices of Bauer Crider & Parry has been providing effective criminal defense services to clients throughout Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and the surrounding counties. The attorneys on our staff have more than 130 years of combined legal experience, and they use their extensive knowledge of the law to defend clients in complex cases, including assaults, gun charges, drug crimes and homicides.

Can I Lawfully Curse at the Police?

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects, among other rights, the right to speech free from government punishment. But can you be arrested for mouthing off at, or in, the presence of a police officer? While ostensibly rude and a poor decision, the answer is generally no. As long as you don’t get incite a breach of peace, violence, or disorderly conduct (all possible violations of state or municipal statutes), you can say what you want in public. This even includes four-letter expletives. The First Amendment protects you from arrest and prosecution simply for what you say in public.

In 2011, a Colorado resident was pulled over for speeding in a school zone. During the ticketing process, the man, according to the police report, repeatedly used profanity at a deputy sheriff. The deputy told the man that if he didn’t control his language he would be arrested. The man was arrested and charged with disobeying a police officer. The charge was dropped, and the man eventually received a $20,000 settlement from the county.

The line between unprotected and protect speech is thin. Even with an understanding of the First Amendment’s protections, you should rethink any decision to antagonize police officers. First, the speech might actually be in violation of the law. Second, the police officer might be tempted to utilize a technical or minor legal violation to justify an arrest.

Consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested after a dispute with a police officer. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your fundamental interests during this difficult and precarious time. We will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

Never believe you can’t win.

Noted Tampa Criminal Attorney on Defense Against Child Porn Possession

Sexual offenses involving children always infuriate many Americans, so lawmakers do not hesitate to impose heavy punishments on those caught with child pornography.  In Florida, possession of child pornography is classified as a class three felony. Viewing obscene computer images, videos and photographs involving minors is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment. One landmark case that spurred debate on the severity of the punishment involves a man who was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole after hundreds of pornographic images were found on his home computer. Read More →

You Need the Services of a Tampa DUI Attorney Immediately Upon Arrest

Driving under the influence increases the risks of car accidents. To prevent this, DUI laws in Tampa, Florida are indubitably strict. A proven charge may lead to imprisonment, fine, and license revocation. You may also be required to undergo alcohol teaching and prevention programs. These consequences, however, are just short-term. DUI’s long-term effects, such as losing employment opportunities and having a life-long bad driving record, couldn’t be more damaging. Read More →

The Illegal “Spice”

Spice (aka K2, Genie, Black Mamba, potpourri, incense), a manufactured synthetic marijuana, and once sold in convenience stores, is illegal under Florida and under Federal laws. In July 2012, President Barack Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 into federal law. It banned synthetic chemical compounds frequently found in synthetic marijuana, placing them under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Prior to that, some chemical compounds within synthetic marijuana were scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act. Others had been temporarily scheduled until final determination of their status was made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration considers it to be a “drug of concern”, citing a surge in emergency room visits and calls to poison-control centers. Adverse health effects associated with its use include seizures, hallucinations, paranoid behavior, agitation, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, racing heartbeat, and elevated blood pressure.

The punishments for possessing or distributing spice are severe, and several cases are being brought in Florida and federal courts. Also, cash made through the prohibited importation a distribution of those drugs may be subject to forfeiture under the Federal and/or State Money Laundering legislative acts.

If you, or someone you care about, is arrested for possession or distribution of Spice or any drug, your rights, freedom, and property are in jeopardy. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your fundamental interests during this difficult and precarious time. We will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

Never believe you can’t win.

Consequences of a DUI in Florida

April is alcohol responsibility month. Whether you’re a parent with kids in elementary school, a new teen driver, or an adult with plans for a happy hour tonight, we’re asking everyone to learn more about the importance of alcohol responsibility this month.

Fortunately, Florida is not among the states that rate high in drunk driving. But, tragically, 676 Floridians lost their lives due to drunk driving in 2013. Twenty eight percent of driving fatalities in Florida that year involved alcohol impaired drivers.

If you drink alcohol and drive you dramatically increase your chance of being in a crash. In addition, if you are pulled over and the officer asks you to take a blood, urine or breath test you are required to comply. Florida has the “Implied Consent Law”. When you sign your driver’s license you have agreed to take these tests upon request. Refusal to take any of the tests will result in an immediate suspension for one year. A second refusal will result in an 18 month suspension.

Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida driver’s license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and drive. And that’s the idea.

For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is considered a serious offense. Below we have summarized the penalties in the state of Florida for a first offense DUI, but the average cost including legal defense, fines, and auto insurance increases is $8000.
Florida penalties for first DUI convictions are the following:

1. Fine – up to $500
2. Community Service – 50 hours
3. Probation not to exceed 1 year
4. Imprisonment no to exceed 6 months
5. License revocation of no less than 6 months
6. DUI school – 12 hours

A DUI in Florida and the potential loss of freedom and other essential rights is an emotional and serious event for anyone. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, Parry, are here for you during this difficult process and will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your DUI defense. We have provided the Tampa area with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.
Never believe you can’t win.

Criminal Defense for Hernando County

At Bauer, Crider, and Parry, we believe an aggressive, reputable lawyer is essential if you have been charged with any type of misdemeanor or felony offense in Hernando County, Florida. Conviction of a criminal offense in Herando County can result in significant consequences including the loss of freedom, family, career, or reputable status within the community. Incarceration and fines meted out by the court can affect you and your family for many years. In order to preserve what you value the most, it is imperative that you obtain a criminal defense lawyer that will use their professional skill in protecting your freedom and property during all phases of your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry are strongly committed to defending your rights, freedom, and property. From the moment you hire Bauer, Crider, and Parry to represent your case, we will commence an aggressive defense strategy to win your case your case with professionalism, compassion, and confidentiality.
The defense team at Bauer, Crider, and Parry will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your charge. As we proceed together, we will provide you with guidance on what the best options are in your case. Each criminal case is different, and in some, a plea deal agreement might be the best possible solution to avoid a tougher sentence at trial. We resolutely believe that accepting a plea should never be done without the professional representation of a competent criminal defense team. Additionally, we will inform you of any potential legal alternatives including, deferred adjudication or probation, if applicable.
A professional from Bauer, Crider, and Parry can determine, from the facts researched in your case, the likelihood of winning at trial. If there is the opportunity to receive a not guilty verdict by taking the case through the court process, we will provide you with a forceful defense, even if you believe that your case can’t be won.
A criminal charge in Herando County and the potential loss of freedom and other essential rights is an emotional and serious event for anyone. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, Parry, are here for you during this difficult process and will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. We have provided Hernando County with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.
Never believe you can’t win.

Criminal Defense for Pinellas County

At Bauer, Crider, and Parry, we believe an aggressive, reputable lawyer is essential if you have been charged with any type of misdemeanor or felony offense in Pinellas County, Florida. Conviction of a criminal offense in Pinellas County can result in significant consequences including the loss of freedom, family, career, or reputable status within the community. Incarceration and fines meted out by the court can affect you and your family for many years. In order to preserve what you value the most, it is imperative that you obtain a criminal defense lawyer that will use their professional skill in protecting your freedom and property during all phases of your case.
The criminal defense attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry are strongly committed to defending your rights, freedom, and property. From the moment you hire Bauer, Crider, and Parry to represent your case, we will commence an aggressive defense strategy to win your case your case with professionalism, compassion, and confidentiality.
The defense team at Bauer, Crider, and Parry will thoroughly investigate every aspect of your charge. As we proceed together, we will provide you with guidance on what the best options are in your case. Each criminal case is different, and in some, a plea deal agreement might be the best possible solution to avoid a tougher sentence at trial. We resolutely believe that accepting a plea should never be done without the professional representation of a competent criminal defense team. Additionally, we will inform you of any potential legal alternatives including, deferred adjudication or probation, if applicable.
A professional from Bauer, Crider, and Parry can determine, from the facts researched in your case, the likelihood of winning at trial. If there is the opportunity to receive a not guilty verdict by taking the case through the court process, we will provide you with a forceful defense, even if you believe that your case can’t be won.
A criminal charge in Pinellas County and the potential loss of freedom and other essential rights is an emotional and serious event for anyone. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, Parry, are here for you during this difficult process and will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. We have provided Pinellas County with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.
Never believe you can’t win.

Bauer Crider & Parry - Criminal Defense

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