Musca Law serves clients throughout the State of Florida. We represent military service members in both state and military criminal matters. If you have been charged with a civilian criminal charge in the State of Florida, it is essential that you retain a private Florida criminal defense attorney to defend you. Many military members do not realize that even a withhold of adjudication or an admittance into a pre-trial diversion program could be deemed an admission of guilt by your commander. So if your or a loved one is serving in the military and they have been charged with a civilian crime, call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free no obligation consultation to see how we can best represent you.
Drug Offenses On Or Off Base in Florida
In Florida, drug offense convictions, including convictions for possessing, distributing or selling, or trafficking drugs, have serious consequences, including jail time, fines, probation, and license suspensions. A criminal drug conviction can also adversely affect your everyday activities, including your ability to obtain a job, student loan, and even affect your relationships with friends and family. If you are a military service member, a drug charge as the result of an incident either on or off the installation should be taken seriously as you can face additional consequences that can seriously affect or end your military career.
The military has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drug use. Despite this policy, military service members are still caught and charged with possession of illegal drugs or selling illegal drugs, as well as other drug offenses. Personal use of illegal drugs is probably the most common drug offense that the military prosecutes. In these cases, people are usually caught after random or ordered urine tests, or even blood tests that are performed on the installation and that have positive results for cocaine, marijuana, or meth. A drug offense that occurs either on the installation or off the installation can potentially be grounds for court martial or administrative discharge, particularly because in most cases the military will have jurisdiction over a service member’s case.
However, in some cases, if you are a military service member who commits a drug offense off of the installation, the state civilian court can retain jurisdiction over your case. If this happens and you are convicted under state law, you can be subject to hefty fines, lengthy imprisonment, and license suspensions. For example, under Florida law, if you are convicted of possessing more than ten grams of heroin, you can face up to thirty years in jail, a fine of $10,000, and your driver’s license can be suspended for a year. In other cases, if you are found to be in possession of smaller amounts of heroin, or of cocaine, meth, or another illegal drug, you can be charged with a third degree felony, which can be punishable by five years in jail and a $5,000 fine. Moreover, even possession of prescription drugs that are not your own can result in fines and jail time. But while these penalties alone can have adverse effects on your military career, you can still be subject to additional punishment by the military, including administrative discharge and even court-martial.
Regardless of where your drug offense occurs, whether on or off the military installation, you can expect serious consequences. Accordingly, drug charges that occur both on and off the installation should not be taken lightly, particularly if you are a military service member. A drug offense conviction in Florida state civilian court can result in jail time, hefty fines, license suspensions, and can seriously affect or even end your military career. Not to mention, you can also expect to face additional penalties from the military justice system.
Child Pornography Criminal Charges in Florida
Possessing and distributing child pornography is considered a very serious sex offense in Florida and you can face severe criminal penalties, including hefty fines and significant jail time. However, if you are a military service member and you are found to possess or even view images of child pornography on your computer, you can be subject to even harsher punishment, which may include being prosecuted in the federal court system, being court-martialed for the same crime, and a bad-conduct discharge from the military.
Under Florida law, child pornography is defined as any image that depicts a minor, or person younger than eighteen years, who is engaged in sexual conduct. Sexual conduct typically includes acts such as sexual intercourse, whether actual or simulated, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious exhibition of genitals, or masturbation, among other sexual acts. According to the law, you cannot possess, transmit, distribute, or manufacture anything involving child pornography. In other words, it is illegal to even have a child porn image on your computer. An offense under the law is considered a felony where penalties include significant fines, and lengthy jail sentences.
Federal law also prohibits the possession, distribution, production, or reception of child pornography whenever child pornography is occurring in interstate commerce, such as sending images across state borders, carrying your computer across state lines if there is child pornography on your computer, or using the internet for child pornography purposes. Charges for a violation of the federal child pornography law can be brought in addition to any state charges you receive for the same offense. Under federal law, if you are convicted of possessing child pornography, you can face a minimum of five years in jail, as well as large fines. Under both state and federal law, subsequent convictions for child pornography, or if the pornography offense occurred in an aggravated situation, the penalties are even harsher.
In addition, if you are a military service member, the Uniform Code of Military Justice also has its own law for prosecuting you for possessing, distributing, receiving, viewing, or producing child pornography. Under Paragraph 68b, Article 134 of the UCMJ, the maximum punishment for possessing, receiving, or viewing child pornography includes dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and imprisonment or confinement for ten years. Penalties for distribution or production of child pornography can be even more severe, including imprisonment for thirty years.
In any event, crimes involving child pornography are very serious offenses as you can be prosecuted for the same offense in a number of different venues, particularly if you are a military service member. Given the advances in technology, it is usually very easy for law enforcement to trace any downloads, emails, or other electronic transmission of child pornography back to the offender’s computer or smart phone. However, if you believe you were wrongly targeted in a child pornography investigation, or you unknowingly had child pornography on your device, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Child pornography charges should not be taken lightly as a conviction has serious and long-lasting consequences. If you are a service member, it is possible to be prosecuted and penalized in a number of different venues, and chances are that upon conviction, you will be discharged from the military for engaging in bad conduct.
Let an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Help Fight Your Criminal Charge
If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, contact Musca Law as soon as possible at (888) 484-5057 to schedule a free no obligation consultation and to see how we can best represent you.