New year, new you, new laws. Once midnight struck, a whole host of new laws went into effect. As a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney, I want to raise awareness on the new laws which may impact your day-to-day life in 2018.
White Collar Crime
The state of Florida passed HB-435 in June of 2017. The Sunshine State is the proud home of many international banking and finance companies. As a matter of fact, some people have already dubbed Brickell “Wall Street South”, a moniker that shows how invested South Florida is in the finance industry.
This new law is aimed directly at a lot of these institutions. Among other acts, the bill redefines the term ‘financial institution’ to include trust entities and qualified limited service affiliates, specifies the conditions in which companies must disclose private information, and requires other accounts be kept confidential by financial institutions and their directors.
The intent of this law is twofold: on one hand, the law is meant to curb some of the excesses of the financial industry, while at the same time helping promote growth for Florida’s economy.
Potential New Laws
For the most part, new laws come into effect on July 1st, and not January 1st. This is due to the fact that the fiscal year starts on that date. A whole host of new laws are currently going through the House and the Senate, which could have an impact on you.
Florida has a great issue with opioid abuse. In response to this, Governor Rick Scott has proposed new legislation to combat this problem. There may be a three day limit on prescriptions unless strict requirements are met. In these cases, patients may get a prescription for seven days. All healthcare professionals may be required to enter prescriptions into a database before they can let people access painkillers. There is some opposition to this, however, and the final form of the bill may not resemble the bill in its current state.
Florida is also considering an amendment to the Constitution. The Florida Recreational Marijuana Amendment may legalize marijuana use by people who are 21 or older. This amendment would allow the state to regulate the purchase and sale of cannabis. However, the bill needs to get 753,603 valid signatures before February 1st, 2018, to go on the ballot.
Another serious matter Florida must consider is the juvenile justice system. There are many significant issues with Florida’s system of detaining youth offenders, some of which were described as similar to the Fight Club movie. The new laws currently in debate would allow judges to sentence people who committed low-level drug crimes to less severe sentences.
Another big consideration heading into 2018 is Florida’s stance on home rule. Various cities throughout the state have attempted to regulate everything from trees in the backyard to the use of firearms. Our state may change how that operates, and regulate those matters from the state level.
Michael Gottlieb, PA, is an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney. He is knowledgeable, keen, and keyed in on winning your case. If you have a problem with the law, give Michael Gottlieb a call.