Veterans Court – Tampa – Hillsborough County, Florida

Veterans Treatment Court, Dismissed, Pretrial Diversion, Pretrial Intervention, Misdemeanor Intervention
Benefit of the Veterans Court is 
that upon successful completion, 
there is a court order administratively 
dismissing the charges.

History of the Veterans Treatment Court

In 2013, the Chief Judge of the Hillsborough County Court system created a new criminal subdivision of the county court to focus on people who have misdemeanor offenses. The court division was created for veterans, who suffer from military or service related conditions. The court considers the unique nature of issues related to veterans and the need for treatment in an environment that will help with wellness and the continuing necessity to help protect the public.

UPDATE: 2015 – Court Now Allows Help with Felony Crimes – Click Here

Who is Eligible for Dismissal of Criminal Charges?

The county criminal division of the Veterans Court allows people who are veterans, honorably discharged, who suffer from service-related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse, and/or psychological problems to become eligible for the benefits of this program. There are certain offenses that are eligible for admission to the court they are listed in the court order.
DUI charges are not eligible for the program. To be eligible, the defendant must be evaluated by the Veterans Administration or other state or federal court approved facility. The program is completely voluntary. Some cases are referred directly by the State Attorney’s Office to the Veterans Court, if they appear eligible.

What Happens in the Veterans Treatment Court?

Once assigned to the Veterans Court Division, there are court hearings that are required and will be set by the judge in charge of the Veterans Court. It is required that all participants continue to participate in recommended treatment. If the court determines that the defendant has not complied, the case will be discharged from the Veterans Court. The case will proceed as if it had been originally filed in a criminal division.

How Are Criminal Charges Dismissed in the Veterans Court?

The benefit of the Veterans Court is that upon successful completion, there is a court order administratively dismissing the charges. The program in misdemeanor court is 12 months. Under the 2013 order, only misdemeanor charges were eligible. A felony charge, until recently, was not eligible for this unique approach to handling our nation’s veterans. You can review the changes that occurred in 2015 here.

Tampa Drug Lawyer on Marijuana Drones | Your Legal Defense Options | Video

Law Enforcement Drones - Tampa Drug Lawyer on Marijuana, Drones & Your Legal Defense Options

Marijuana Drones Drugs and Defenses – Tampa Drug Lawyer on Marijuana, Drones & Your Legal Defense Options

In 1989, a soon-to-be former drug crimes prosecutor and now a Tampa Drug Lawyer  published an article in prominent law review. Almost 25 years ago, Florida and the Feds were in the middle of the war on drugs and marijuana. That was before the rise of the machines – the drones. Recently, the Feds are issuing rules for use of drones ( unmanned aircraft systems or UAS ) by the public. Conspicuously absent from the new proposed are rules for the cops. The Supreme Court has not addressed the rise of the drones. As noted over 20 years ago before I was a prosecutor and now a Tampa Drug Lawyer:

“The United States Supreme Court must apprise itself of the emergent and contemporary technologies that have rendered its prior holdings lethal weapons to the provisions of a Constitution originally drafted to prevent invasions into the private lives of citizens.”

No Search Warrants Needed for Residential Property by Drones

 

Because of recent Federal regulations regarding the use of unmanned aerial drones, we can no longer assume  the right to privacy in our own yards, homes, property, or businesses is intact. Since the United States Supreme Court decided that a helicopter with a high-powered camera aimed at a Florida Marijuana grow house did not constitute a search. If anything is visible from any vantage point that a an aerial drone may take, this information can be used against us in a court of law without requiring a Search Warrant.

“With digital cameras, 2,000 mm digital lenses with magnification of over 40x, placement of a drone with highly capable optics outside of homes and businesses is frightening.” 

Police Use of Drones

Florida Statute 934.50 Limits Use of Drones by Police

Florida Limits Use of Drones by Law Enforcement

 

Florida Statute 934.50 limits Searches and seizure using a drone. The Florida law on drone searches is called the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.” The law may limit use of these aircraft in a way that the new federal proposed regulations has missed. Under this law, a law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information, unless “the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone.” One of the exceptions may be used by cops to avoid suppression of evidence. “If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence, or to achieve purposes including, but not limited to, facilitating the search for a missing person.” The penalties for failure to comply with the law are, “a civil action against a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent or remedy a violation of this act . . . [and evidence] obtained or collected in violation of this act is not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution in any court of law in this state.”

Summary of DOT and FAA Proposed New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems from a Tampa Drug Lawyer

 

The feds have said, “Generally speaking, the new rules would not apply to government aircraft operations, because we expect that these government operations will typically continue to actively operate under the Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) process unless the operator opts to comply with and fly under the new small UAS regulations.” In practice the police may not even have to abide by the new rules.

The FAA has previously announced, “Common public uses today include law enforcement, firefighting, border patrol, disaster relief, search and rescue, military training, and other government operational missions.” The FAA knows about these uses and they appear to be authorized.

See http://www.faa.gov/uas/public_operations/

 Video – Unmanned Aircraft Drone Usage Rules

 

 

Here are the key provisions. A small unmanned aircraft system or UAS  is under 55 pounds; flights limited to daylight and visual-line-of-sight operations; there are height restrictions; operator certification; use of another visual observer; registration and marking of the drone; and operational limits. Drone flights are limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph.

Seven More Things to Know about Drone Usage

 

The new rule also proposes operating limitations designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground: 1) A small UAS operator must always see and avoid manned aircraft. 2) If there is a risk of collision, the UAS operator must be the first to maneuver away. 3) The operator must discontinue the flight when continuing would pose a hazard to other aircraft, people or property. 4) A small UAS operator must assess weather conditions, airspace restrictions and the location of people to lessen risks if he or she loses control of the UAS. 5) A small UAS may not fly over people, except those directly involved with the flight. 6) Flights should be limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph. 7) Operators must stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).

Here is a link to the Proposed New Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Here is a link to the FAA Press Release on the Drone Rules

Here is link to the Tech Crunch Story on Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Excerpts From 1989 Law Review Article on Marijuana Grow House Surveillance

 

Before I was a drug lawyer in Tampa, while a member of the Stetson Law Review in 1989-90, I became concerned with the use of technology against citizens. At the time, helicopters and aircraft were equipped with film cameras and 500 mm lenses. This allowed a magnification of about 10x. With digital cameras, 2,000 mm digital lenses with magnification of over 40x, placement of a drone with highly capable optics outside of homes and businesses is frightening.

Fourth Amendment Aerial Privacy: Expect the Unexpected
By W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr. 19 Stetson Law Review 273 (1990)

Michael Riley was growing marijuana in a greenhouse behind his home in rural Pasco County, Florida. A fenced yard surrounded both the greenhouse and Riley’s home. The greenhouse was enclosed on two sides, and the view into one of the remaining sides was obscured by shrubbery within the fenced perimeter. The other open side was shielded from view by the home. The contents of the greenhouse were not visible from the ground.
. . .

The Riley case is significant because it is now questionable whether there are reasonable expectations to be free from the probing eye of the government above. Even those activities within the close confines of the home are now subject to aerial scrutiny. Therefore, activity which one wishes to remain private must now be confined to areas strictly within the walls of the home, with the curtains securely drawn. The Court’s rejection of Riley’s privacy claim signals the continued erosion of personal privacy rights under the fourth amendment.
. . .

Emergent technologies may sculpt the fourth amendment’s protections of privacy rights. Katz indirectly addressed the issue of technological advances and their impact upon fourth amendment privacy rights. Justice Harlan stated that the “legitimate needs of law enforcement may demand specific exceptions” to the warrant requirement; however, the Justice deferred consideration of these circumstances to such time as they were presented to the Court. Such circumstances arose in 1986 when the Court again visited both the curtilage and open field doctrines.
. . .

The Supreme Court has nearly eliminated any right which a citizen has to aerial privacy. Such privacy, if it ever existed, is all but gone as we have reached a point where further erosion of citizens’ fourth amendment rights to aerial privacy is not easy to envision. After the recent line of aerial privacy decisions in Ciraolo, Dow, and now Riley, the public can be reasonably certain that the government will be able to aerially observe ground activities, free from the restraint of the fourth amendment. Even with the curtains drawn, it is conceivable that from an aerial perch an officer could peer into the home through a crack in the curtains and be free to report his observations and use such information to the government’s advantage.
. . .

CONCLUSION

The United States Supreme Court must apprise itself of the emergent and contemporary technologies that have rendered its prior holdings lethal weapons to the provisions of a Constitution originally drafted to prevent invasions into the private lives of citizens. The Court must reconsider its application of the Katz  standard in approaching aerial privacy claims. Otherwise, we will all be expected to expect the unexpected.

Complete Article is here:

http://www.stetson.edu/law/lawreview/media/19StetsonLRev1.pdf

Complete Text of Florida Drone Law:

934.50 Searches and seizure using a drone.—
(1) SHORT TITLE.—This act may be cited as the “Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act.”

(2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this act, the term:
(a) “Drone” means a powered, aerial vehicle that:
1. Does not carry a human operator;
2. Uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift;
3. Can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely;
4. Can be expendable or recoverable; and
5. Can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload.
(b) “Law enforcement agency” means a lawfully established state or local public agency that is responsible for the prevention and detection of crime, local government code enforcement, and the enforcement of penal, traffic, regulatory, game, or controlled substance laws.

(3) PROHIBITED USE OF DRONES.—A law enforcement agency may not use a drone to gather evidence or other information.

(4) EXCEPTIONS.—This act does not prohibit the use of a drone:
(a) To counter a high risk of a terrorist attack by a specific individual or organization if the United States Secretary of Homeland Security determines that credible intelligence indicates that there is such a risk.
(b) If the law enforcement agency first obtains a search warrant signed by a judge authorizing the use of a drone.
(c) If the law enforcement agency possesses reasonable suspicion that, under particular circumstances, swift action is needed to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or the destruction of evidence, or to achieve purposes including, but not limited to, facilitating the search for a missing person.

(5) REMEDIES FOR VIOLATION.—An aggrieved party may initiate a civil action against a law enforcement agency to obtain all appropriate relief in order to prevent or remedy a violation of this act.

(6) PROHIBITION ON USE OF EVIDENCE.—Evidence obtained or collected in violation of this act is not admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution in any court of law in this state.

History.—s. 1, ch. 2013-33.

Federal Executive Clemency – 10 Questions to Ask

Federal Executive Clemency - 10 Questions to Ask
Federal Executive Clemency
10 Questions to Ask

We spent considerable time last week assembling our team to begin expediting the clemency petitions to be filed under the new Executive Clemency Initiative. Our team includes two Board Certified Criminal trial Lawyers and a number of other attorneys and paralegals. Our sense is that while most inmates will eventually receive some attention, our goal will be to quickly gather needed information, and to expedite the completion of the case file for federal authorities to evaluate. We have collected and listed below the basic information needed to get started and the specific questions we believe will need answers.


Ten Facts Needed for Executive Clemency Review


To begin the process, our clemency attorneys will need the following information:
• Name – first, last, middle
• Date of Birth
• District Court Case Number
• Bureau of Prisons Facility Location and Address
• BOP Register Number
• District where sentenced
• Projected Release Date
• Attorney who represented you at sentencing — please provide name and address if you know it
• Attorney(s) who previously represented you in any appeal, habeas proceeding, sentence reduction proceeding, or application for sentence commutation — please provide name and address if you know it.
• If you currently have an attorney representing you in any aspect of your federal criminal case including an application for sentence commutation, please provide the attorney’s name, address, and any other contact information if you know it.

Ten Important Questions on Executive Clemency


1. For what offense(s) were you convicted for which you are serving your current federal sentence?
2. What sentence did the judge originally impose?
3. When were you originally sentenced?
4. Were you given a longer sentence for possessing or using a weapon?
5. Was your sentence later changed?
6. If you answered yes to Question 5, what is your current sentence?
7. How much time have you served on your current sentence?
8. Are you currently appealing or challenging any part of your conviction or sentence? If you answered yes, is that case pending?
9. Have you been convicted of any other crimes besides the one(s) for which you are serving your current federal sentence?
10. Have you received any incident reports while serving your current sentence?

Pasco Oxycodone Defense Attorney – 813-222-2220 – Video on YouTube

Pasco Oxycodone Defense Attorney

Pasco Oxycodone Defense Attorney


Pasco Oxycodone Defense Attorney has a FREE fully searchable Pasco Drug Crimes Oxycodone defense database on Oxycontin and drug charges in Florida. Drug Crimes Data Base Click Here. This video discusses and Compares How to use probable cause in criminal cases and the possibility of drug charges being dropped or dismissed when police improperly search for and then seize contraband. Casey reviews the Minimum Mandatory sentences that may apply to some Drug Trafficking cases. W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr. is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, a specialist who defends drug crimes in Pasco County, Florida.


Transcript: [Pasco Oxycodone Defense Attorney Narrates] Hundreds of people are arrested every day. You may be one of them. I spend most of my time defending cases in State and Federal Courts. Many times drug crimes arise from searches of motor vehicles. Sometimes police will stop a car and then search it. Sometimes we are able to attack these searches when police do not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the motor vehicle. In the event we can suppress the evidence, we may be able to have the drug charges dismissed, since there is no longer any evidence to be admitted against you in a criminal prosecution and evidence becomes unavailable for admission in a trial. I have arrived at my destination – one of the many courthouses in Tampa Bay where I help people. Let me help you. Criminal charges in State or federal Court? Let me help. Call me at 813-222-2220. Let me drive to court to help you.[End of Pasco Oxycontin Defense Lawyer Narration]

Polk Marijuana Defense Attorney 813-222-2220 – Drug Crimes – Cannabis

Polk County Marijuana Law

Polk County Marijuana Law


Drug2Go.com and Polk Marijuana Defense Attorney now have a FREE fully searchable Polk Drug Crimes Cannabis Marijuana defense database on marijuana and drug charges in Florida. This video discusses and Compares How to use probable cause in criminal cases and the possibility of drug charges being dropped or dismissed when police illegally improperly search for and then seize contraband without a Search Warrant. Casey reviews the Minimum Mandatory sentences that may apply to some Marijuana and Cannabis Drug Trafficking cases. W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr. is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, a specialist who defends drug crimes in Polk County, Florida.

 


Transcript: [Polk Marijuana Defense Attorney Narrates] Hundreds of people are arrested every day. You may be one of them. I spend most of my time defending cases in State and Federal Courts. Many times drug crimes arise from searches of motor vehicles. Sometimes police will stop a car and then search it. Sometimes we are able to attack these searches when police do not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the motor vehicle. In the event we can suppress the evidence, we may be able to have the drug charges dismissed, since there is no longer any evidence to be admitted against you in a criminal prosecution and evidence becomes unavailable for admission in a trial. I have arrived at my destination – one of the many courthouses in Tampa Bay where I help people. Let me help you. Criminal charges in State or federal Court? Let me help. Call me at 813-222-2220. Let me drive to court to help you.[End of Polk Cannabis Defense Lawyer Narration]

Pasco Marijuana Defense Attorney 813-222-2220 – Drug Crimes – Cannabis

Drug2Go and Pasco Marijuana Defense Attorney have a fully searchable Pasco Drug Crimes Cannabis Marijuana defense database on marijuana and drug charges in Florida. This video discusses and Compares How to use probable cause in criminal cases and the possibility of drug charges being dropped or dismissed when police improperly search for and then seize contraband. Casey reviews the Minimum Mandatory sentences that may apply to some Drug Trafficking cases. W.F. “Casey” Ebsary, Jr. is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, a specialist who defends drug crimes in Pasco County, Florida.

 

Transcript: [Pasco Marijuana Defense Attorney Narrates] Hundreds of people are arrested every day. You may be one of them. I spend most of my time defending cases in State and Federal Courts. Many times drug crimes arise from searches of motor vehicles. Sometimes police will stop a car and then search it. Sometimes we are able to attack these searches when police do not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the motor vehicle. In the event we can suppress the evidence, we may be able to have the drug charges dismissed, since there is no longer any evidence to be admitted against you in a criminal prosecution and evidence becomes unavailable for admission in a trial. I have arrived at my destination – one of the many courthouses in Tampa Bay where I help people. Let me help you. Criminal charges in State or federal Court? Let me help. Call me at 813-222-2220. Let me drive to court to help you.[End of Pasco Marijuana Defense Attorney Narration]

Hillsborough Cannabis Defense Lawyer 813-222-2220 – Video on Vimeo

Our drug crimes website has a fully searchable Cannabis Marijuana defense database on marijuana and drug charges in Hillsborough County,  Florida. This video discusses and Compares How to use probable cause and the possibility of drug charges being dismissed when police improperly search for and then seize contraband. Casey reviews Minimum Mandatory sentences may apply to some Drug Trafficking cases.

Here is a Direct Link to the Cannabis Defense Lawyer Video.

http://vimeo.com/centrallaw/hillsboroughcannabislawyer

Hillsborough Cannabis Defense Lawyer 813-222-2220 from W.F. Casey Ebsary Jr. on Vimeo.

Transcript:  Hundreds of people are arrested every day. You may be one of them. I spend most of my time defending cases in State and Federal Courts. Many times drug crimes arise from searches of motor vehicles. Sometimes police will stop a car and then search it. Sometimes we are able to attack these searches when police do not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to search the motor vehicle. In the event we can suppress the evidence, we may be able to have the drug charges dismissed, since there is no longer any evidence to be admitted against you in a criminal prosecution and evidence becomes unavailable for admission in a trial. I have arrived at my destination – one of the many courthouses in Tampa Bay where I help people. Let me help you. Criminal charges in State or federal Court? Let me help. Call me at 813-222-2220. Let me drive to court to help you.

Other Topics covered at: http://vimeo.com/centrallaw/hillsboroughcannabislawyer

Marijuana, Cannabis, Drug Crimes, Hillsborough Marijuana Charges, Trafficking

Roger Clemens Not Guilty

 

False Statement to Congress, Performance Enhancing Drugs
Roger Clemens Not Guilty

Feds Need Performance Enhancement Roger Clemens walks. Can’t get Lance Armstrong in February, even though his bike club is going after him and his several Tour de France victories for use of performance enhancing substances. Let’s see if the cyclists can do what the feds could not.


Criminal Defense – Florida Employee Drug Testing Unconstitutional

Employee Drug Testing, Drug Testing, Criminal Defense, Criminal Defense Attorney, Criminal Defense Lawyer

Employee Drug Testing, Drug Testing

Drug Charge Defense 813-222-2220

Employee Drug Testing Unconstitutional


Criminal Defense Attorney has just obtained the full text of a Florida Federal District Court ruling on employee drug testing. The court found where there is no legitimate safety concern, drug testing without probable cause violated the Fourth Amendment.

Case Excerpt:

Great news for Employees subjected to Florida Employee Drug Testing  – Unconstitutional Court says, “The [employee’s] Union here asks for a permanent injunction, which requires three elements: 1) there was a legal violation; (2) there is a serious risk of continuing irreparable injury if an injunction is not granted; and (3) there are no adequate remedies at law. (citation omitted). Here, the Court finds that the EO [Executive Order 11-58], as applied to current employees at the covered agencies, is violative of the Fourth Amendment, and that these employees will suffer irreparable harm if subjected to it.” Defense Attorney Courtesy Copy of Complete Employee Drug Testing Opinion is here.


Drug Testing Problem? Call Casey at 813-222-2220 .


 

Pinellas County Sheriff Evidence Unit

Courthouse, crime scene, evidence, jail, Pinellas County Sheriff Evidence Unit, prosecution Pinellas State Attorney's,
Pinellas County Evidence Unit in Florida

 


Crime scene evidence goes  here for prosecution of cases by the Pinellas State Attorney’s Office. Located across the street from the Courthouse and the jail.


Evidence Used Against You? Call Casey at 813-222-2220 .

 

Ratings and Reviews

Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer
Google +
yelp