Will Florida get softer on crime under new Criminal Justice Reform Laws?

Attorney William R. Moore Criminal Justice Data Collection

The United States incarcerates more people than other countries throughout the world and Florida has one of the toughest criminal justice systems in the nation. Our state also has one of the strictest sentencing codes in addition to having more minimum mandatory offenses than other states. The result has been a 2.5 million dollar Department of Corrections budget that keeps about 100,000 inmates incarcerated. Considering that Florida is expected to experience a significant increase to its general population in 2021, lawmakers have implemented data collection requirements in order to make changes to Florida criminal justice based on information rather than emotion.

Rehabilitation vs. Incarceration

Since 2016, Florida has seen no reduction in the amount of inmates despite reducing the amount of defendants that were sent to prison. This is due the fact that mandatory minimum offenses and sentence enhancements have resulted in inmates being forced to spend significantly longer periods of incarceration than other states. All of those convicted losses have been required under law to serve at least 85% of their sentence. Longer prison sentences translate into greater punishment and less rehabilitation for a prison population in which 95% will eventually be released.

Analyzing Florida Criminal Justice Trends

Under the new law, Florida prosecutors, public defenders and various entities within the criminal justice system will have to collect information about the treatment of defendants including race, plea negotiations and case dispositions. It is the intention that this data will be used to make better-informed decisions with regard to changing Florida criminal law and potentially focusing on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. It is expected that the result will be lower crime rates at less cost to taxpayers.

Specifics pertaining to adults about the Justice Reform Law

Education and reform: counties may elect to contract with the district’s school board to provide educational services to inmates. State funding will be provided for workforce programs for the education of inmates who have no more than 24 months left on completion of their sentence.

Criminal justice data collection: every local and state agency within Florida must uniformly collect criminal justice data from state attorneys and public defenders. This information must be published on a single accessible database. This database must be freely accessible by the public. All data must be anonymous with respect to the defendant’s name. Florida counties must also encourage local communities, public and private educational institutions to provide pre-arrest immersion programs.

Report on Taser use by the Department of Justice

Criminal defense lawyer Fort Lauderdale

United States Department of Justice has recently reported on the use of Taser equipment by police officers in the United States. Most of the findings in this report were based on the reports of law enforcement agencies, which included both Broward County and Miami-Dade County departments.

The report indicated that injuries to citizens as opposed to police officers indicated a discrepancy of up to 300%. Analytical data compiled by police officers using Taser equipment seem to indicate that most injuries used in calculating the data involved cuts and bruises. The seriousness of injuries overall was based on a determination compiled primarily by police departments.

Attorney William Moore in Broward County Florida explains that the fourth amendment forbids unreasonable searches and seizures and use of Tasers clearly fall under the seizure category. Unfortunately, what we find is that the most egregious cases involving Taser misuse is investigated by a police department’s internal affairs unit.

Use of Tasers compared to pepper spray.

The Department of Justice seems to analogize in contrast the use of Taser equipment with the use of pepper spray as a means of subduing a criminal suspect. The department primarily analogizes early use of pepper spray. Human rights groups such as Amnesty International criticized law enforcement’s use of pepper spray in the 1990s which seems to be portrayed as having no merit according to the department. Specifically the Department of Justice notes that numerous reports establish that violence towards officers rapidly declined in jurisdictions that use pepper spray. In essence, criticism of the weapon that preempted Tasers by Amnesty International was undermined.

William Moore, a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale Florida notes that it is peculiar that the department failed to distinguish between the various types of spray irritants. There are several different forms of irritant spray that were utilized by law enforcement throughout the 90s. Some had a much more significant danger factor than others. The fact is, that suspects have died as a result of suffocation or adverse effects following being sprayed.

South Florida police departments such as Miami-Dade which employs over 3000 officers is one of the largest in the United States. Despite that jurisdictions having a high number of suspects reported to have resisted per capita, Miami-Dade has never issued pepper spray to their police officers. This raises some interesting questions as to the reasoning according to Attorney Moore. In other words, South Florida police departments may have considered the dangers associated with the use of such a weapon.

I don’t think that a proper analogy can be made between electric Tasers and pepper spray. I am disheartened that the comparison was included in the Department of Justices report for no other reason than to say “the same critics used to condemn the harmless use of pepper spray.”

More information about policing weapons in the age of technology can be obtained by contacting attorney William Moore in Broward County. The William Moore criminal defense law firm is located at One Financial Plaza, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394. William Moore can be emailed at WRdefense@gmail.com or by calling 954-523-5333.

Criminal Procedure

Broward County crime resolution attorney


Broward Law Firm of William Moore

Practicing criminal law either as a defense attorney or prosecutor is significantly different than any other area in this profession. A defense attorney specifically holds such a unique place in our society that many often argue when discussing just about any element pertaining to a profession that is unlike any other on earth. We protect people although we are neither physician nor civil practitioner whose main focus is to protect a person’s things.

 Defending Crimes Charged by Government

We protect individuals from thier own government claims criminal defense attorney William Moore. While most will disagree as to how we are to be viewed in society, there is one group that consistently shares the same perception and that is the client. Success can make you feel like a hero in ways that no other line of work ever could. When it comes to the actual practice of criminal defense there are very complex issues pertaining to the law itself or the tactical manner in which that law is practiced on behalf of the person you are defending.

Simplicity in Routine Criminal Procedure

At the same time, there are many aspects that are quite routine and for lack of a better word simple. The typical process of a criminal case from arrest to resolution has got to be one of the simplest to understand when it comes to arguing before a judiciary. Explaining the criminal trial process along with the events leading up to resolution is one of the easiest ways to get a client in a mindset that is conducive to assisting their counsel in preparing an overall defense strategy.

Hearings that take place prior to resolution of a criminal case can basically be broken down into those involving motions to exclude or allow evidence, requests of the court to allow more time for preparation, the manner and presentation of proceedings, requests for information or making a record of issues that have been narrowed by way of negotiation between prosecution and defense.

Stipulating to Evidence Before Trial by Lawyers

An experienced kernel defense attorney and prosecutor can anticipate what evidence will or will not be allowed should a case proceed to trial. More often than not the two adversaries can agree on whether or not that evidence will be presented and how.

Issues pertaining to jury selection considered more of a trial issue as the voir dire process takes place on the date of the actual criminal trial. Rarely are issues pertaining to jury selection argued in the months following this final hearing as they are not learned until the presumptive panel is questioned. This excludes high profile media cases or issues pertaining to American sentiment. For more information about this article contact attorney William more directly at his office in Broward County by calling 954-523-5333 or visit him at one Financial Plaza Suite 2500, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33394.


What Ever Happened with Shooting Allegations Against Reality Star Andrea Penoyer Tianga?

What Ever Happened with Shooting Allegations Against Reality Star Andrea Penoyer Tianga?

Question to William Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys:

What ever happened with the police officer from Police Women of Broward County following her shooting of the guy who was asleep in his car?

Broward County Arrests for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer
Penoyer was accused of shooting a man who was sleeping in his car, however, the allegations were determined to be unfounded.

Answer by Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer William R. Moore:

The Huffington Post reported back in April of 2012 that Brandon Johnson, had accused Broward County Sherriff’s Deputy Andrea Penoyer Tianga of shooting him several times while he was sleeping in his automobile.

Officer Penoyer claims that Johnson was not sleeping at all, but instead driving straight toward her and other Broward Sheriff’s Deputies when they decided to open fire.

Apparently Penoyer and the other officers involved caught significant heat for the shooting as Johnson was shot several times according to Criminal Defense Attorneys from our firm. In response, the gun slinging police officers claim that ‘they feared for their lives because Brandon Johnson, 21, of Pompano Beach, Fla., drove his borrowed Toyota Echo straight at them’

Many people mistakenly believed that this was a case of police brutality rather that an attempted battery on a law enforcement officer.

This was primarily due to a report to a local Broward County newspaper. Johnson, who said he was sleeping in his car because of a conflict with a housemate, lost three teeth when a deputy’s bullet entered his mouth and exited through the bottom of his chin. His Uncle reported the the officers were trying to kill his nephew and that he wouldn’t have broken the law according to the Sun-Sentinel.

You may remember the name Andrea Penoyer from the reality show Police Women of Broward County. Penoyer was the most notable officer on the program according to one viewer poll.

What Became of Accusations?

Speak to a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
Call Criminal Lawyer William R. Moore with any question about criminal investigations involving police officers in Broward County FL

This report stirred up some local controversy. A report was filed and some criticism was endured by the officers, however, the report did not amount to criminal charges being filed or even disciplinary action for that matter. Ultimately,criminal charges were filed against Brandon Johnson in Broward County, Fl.

by Attorney William Moore

William Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys:
1 Financial Plaza #2500 Fort Lauderdale FL 33394  
(954) 523-5333

Avoid Being Harassed by Police Officers

Broward county lawyers

One of the things commonly heard by criminal defense attorneys in Broward County is that police officers harass motorists when they’re pulled over. Many times, an unwanted attitude by Broward Sheriff’s deputies may be avoided by following a few simple rules.

Police officers vary in skill

First of all, all law enforcement officers are different. Some are better than others when it comes to citizen contact. Try to keep in mind that regardless of the skill of any police officer, they are people just like everybody else subject to moods that can fluctuate depending on nothing more than the type of day they are having. Sometimes, this in conjunction with the dangerous nature of the job may cause the average person to feel that they are being treated with disrespect.

Continue reading “Avoid Being Harassed by Police Officers”