New Florida Criminal Laws Take Effect

The first of July brought with it a host of new laws for the Sunshine State. Among the 159 laws were measures on the state budget, tax crimes, and amendments to the criminal code. As criminal defense attorneys serving clients across Miami and the state of Florida, we always remain up to date with the latest legal changes, as they directly affect those we represent and the way we craft our defense strategies.

New changes that affect criminal cases in Florida include:

  • Aggravated assault penalties – State Bill 228 removes the crime of aggravated assault from the list of qualifying crimes that can be prosecuted under the 10-20-life law, which dictates mandatory minimums in cases involving firearm use during forcible felonies.
  • Seized property and court fees – A new Florida law sets a new minimum of 70 percent of revenue earned from arrested individuals’ seized property to be used for court costs, fines, and fees.
  • Domestic violence imprisonment – Individuals convicted of domestic violence crimes involving intentional bodily harm against another face increased minimum terms of imprisonment – from 5 days to 30 days.
  • Child witness testimony – In criminal cases involving child witnesses, Florida now extends the age children can testify through closed circuit television – rather than in person – from under 16 to under 18.
  • Sexual assault evidence – A new Florida law now requires police and local authorities to submit sexual assault evidence kits within 30 days of the start of an investigation or within 30 days after a victim requests testing for evidence.

These new laws can impact a number of criminal cases, especially those involving violent crimes, domestic violence, financial or drug offenses, and sex crimes. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A., our Miami criminal defense lawyers stay current with these laws and draw from decades of combined experience to provide effective defense solutions that produce favorable results for our clients.

If you have questions about the new laws and how they may affect your case, or if you are seeking representation following an arrest, contact our team for a FREE consultation. We’re available days, nights, and weekends.

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