Preventing Drug Overdose Deaths in Florida- The 911 Good Samaritan Act

Preventing Drug Overdose Deaths in Florida- The 911 Good Samaritan Act

It is a terrible nightmare for any parent of a child who overdoses on drugs, but perhaps far worse if someone was there who could have called 9-1-1 to get help, but didn’t due to fear of being prosecuted for being in possession of drugs. The 911 Good Samaritan Act changes Florida law in the hope of preventing drug overdose deaths that could be prevented if bystanders would called for emergency assistance.

The bill creates s. 893.21, F.S., entitled the “911 Good Samaritan Act,” and provides that:

  • A person making a good faith effort to obtain or provide medical assistance for an individual experiencing a drug-related overdose may not be charged, prosecuted, or penalized for possession of a controlled substance if the evidence for possession was obtained as a result of the person’s seeking medical assistance.
  • A person who experiences a drug-related overdose and is in need of medical assistance may not be charged, prosecuted, or penalized for possession of a controlled substance if the evidence for possession was obtained as a result of the overdose and the need for medical assistance.
  • The bill states that the above-described protection from prosecution for possession offenses may not be grounds for suppression of evidence in other criminal prosecutions.

The bill also adds the following to the list of mitigating circumstances a judge may consider when departing from the lowest permissible sentence:


This act protects the person who overdosed from having drug charges pressed against themselves as well. The bill is effective as of October 1, 2012.

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

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Watch for Florida PIP auto insurance reform in 2012

Watch for Florida PIP auto insurance reform in 2012

Florida insurers have been struggling with Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance fraud and this type of fraud has been growing in recent years. In 2011, PIP reform measures failed to pass in Florida, but expect for this issue to come up again in 2012 in the Florida legislature.

Florida state law requires drivers to carry auto insurance and a minimum of $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance coverage in the event that they or any of the passengers in their car are injured in an automobile crash.  PIP auto insurance covers 80% of medical expenses and/or 60% of lost wages.

Auto insurance providers have cited the growing problems with insurance fraud as a primary cause of increasing PIP insurance costs in Florida, costs which are being passed on to the consumer who is required by Florida law to carry the insurance.

Healthcare providers, auto insurers and consumers all have strong beliefs about what a “reformed” PIP law might look like, so this is sure to be a debate to watch as 2012 unfolds.

(Photo credit: Graphic  from ABCNews.com)

Read more about accident fraud online at: http://i-issues.com/fraud-uncovered/news or at the Division of Insurance Fraud: http://www.myfloridacfo.com/fraud/Newsletters/PIPSource/PIPSourceDec11.pdf

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

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Florida immigration law fight to heat up again in 2012

Florida immigration law fight to heat up again in 2012

While there are no new immigration laws going into effect this January 1st, 2012, Florida Governor Rick Scott has announced that he will focus on immigration law in the upcoming year.

Earlier in his term, Governor Scott signed in the act that required state agencies and companies with contracts with state agencies to use the federal E-Verify program to check the employment eligibility of their workers during the hiring process.

The larger Federal debate regarding immigration policy in the United States is ongoing with three immigration bills being discussed this session: a movement for a mandatory federal E-Verify requirement, indefinite detention for those illegally in the United States and a measure called, HALT (“Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation”).

 

 

 

To visit the E-Verify site for more information, visit: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) offers an in depth article regarding fair detention practices and the proposed legislation for indefinite detention at: http://www.aclu.org/immigrants-rights/analysis-immigration-detention-policies

For more information about “Hinder the Administration’s Legalization Temptation” (HALT), read: http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/just-facts/dissecting-halt-act-impact-eliminating-discretion-our-immigration-system

 

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

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New laws go into effect January 2012 for tattoo and body piercing shops in Florida

New laws go into effect January 2012 for tattoo and body piercing shops in Florida

In order to protect consumers, new Florida laws require tattoo and body piercing shops to change the way they do business. Due to concerns about the handling of blood-born pathogens which can transmit diseases such as HIV, these shops must now register and maintain a license with the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). The FDOH will require tattoo artists to complete classes concerning blood-borne pathogens. These licensees must be renewed annually.

All tattooing must take place in a facility licensed for tattoo artistry by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH)- meaning tattoos are not allowed to be done at the tattoo artists home or a setting outside of the licensed facility.

The new Florida law stipulated that no individual under age 16 may be tattooed, except for medical reasons by a doctor or dentist. There are also stricter rules in place for minors between age 16 and 18 who are accompanied by their parent or guardian.

In these cases, the minor and their parent or legal guardian must each submit proof of identification; the parent or legal guardian must provide written and notarized consent; and the parent or legal guardian also must submit proof of being the parent or legal guardian to the minor.

For more information on the new law, visit the Florida Department of Health website at: http://www.doh.state.fl.us/environment/community/tattoo/index.html

Check out this additional article:

http://www.sharpsmd.net/fdoh/tattoo-artist-fdoh-regulations-needle-disposal.html

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

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New penalties set for teen “sexting” in Florida

 

New penalties set for teen “sexting” in Florida

In the recent past, a teen convicted of “sexting” (the sending and receiving of sexual images or content on a cell phone) would face felony charges and be required to register as a sex offender under Florida law.

In October 2011, Florida changed the law and the recommended punishment for teenage “sexting” to be less harsh for first offenders to come in line with the lesser punishments adopted by several other states with regard to teen “sexting”.

Under the new law, teens will be sentenced under a first, second and third strike approach with charges growing more serious with each successive offense. With this approach, the first offense of “sexting” by a teen is a non-criminal offense, the second is a misdemeanor and the third is a felony.

 

“Sexting” is a popular activity amongst some teens, according to CBS, approximately 20% of teens admit to “sexting” activities (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/15/national/main4723161.shtml).

For more information, see the recent survey, Sex and Tech:Results from a Survey of Teens and Young Adults at: http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/sextech/PDF/SexTech_Summary.pdf.

 

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

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Cell phones, texting and cars: a recipe for disaster?

Cell phones, texting and cars: a recipe for disaster?

In December 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released the results from a recent phone survey of over 6000 adult drivers (http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/traffic_tech/tt407.pdf). The National Distracted Driving Telephone Survey found that most drivers are still talking on the phone in the car (66% admitted to driving as they talked), regardless of whether or not there was a law against it. 25% of those drivers who admitted to talking on the phone in the car, also admitted to texting while driving. Of those age 21-24, almost half admitted that they had e-mailed or texted while driving.

It is interesting to note that most reported that they didn’t like it when other drivers were seen texting and driving, but they they felt safe when they were the ones texting and driving. 14% of the respondents who admitted to texting and driving also admitted to drifting out of their lane while doing it.

 

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

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Bus: Fruitville Rd @ Lime N Ave

Will Florida be the next to ban texting while driving?

Will Florida be the next to ban texting while driving?

As of January 2012, text messaging is banned for all drivers in 35 states and the District of Columbia. In 7 addidtional states there are laws against “novice” or “youth” drivers texting. These states include: Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers a map of states in the United States that have enacted laws concerning texting and cell phone use in vehicles (Graphic: http://www.iihs.org/laws/maptextingbans.aspx).

The Florida Legislature has recently announced plans to hold discussions in 2012 to enact a ban on texting in vehicles for the state of Florida. The National Safety Council feels that cell phone use or texting in a vehicle is a serious threat to public safety that must be taken seriously by lawmakers. They have launched a campaign against “distracted driving” which includes both cell phone use (including using hands-free devices) and texting while in a vehicle. For more information, checkout their “Texting While Driving” brochure online at: http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Employer%20Traffic%20Safety/Pages/TextingWhileDrivingBrochureNational.aspx.

 

The end of drop side cribs and a new era of safety

The end of drop side cribs and a new era of safety

 drop_side_crib_image

After 32 confirmed infant deaths and dozens more suspected from broken parts on drop side cribs, tough new laws have been put into place by the federal government to protect parents, children and consumers.

 

In June 2011, the federal government issued new safety rules changing the requirements that crib manufacturers must adhere to when testing cribs. At the same time, it became illegal to sell, trade or buy any drop side crib though it has been noted that some websites like eBay and Craigslist have been slow to stop listings of drop side cribs from being advertised on their sites.

 

In December 2011, the federal government added additional requirements that daycare’s and hotels must replace drop side cribs and must purchase only cribs that adhere to the new, stricter safety standards.

 

For more information you can read additional articles about drop side crib dangers at:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10225.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/retail/2010-12-15-cpsc-drop-side-cribs-outlawed_N.htm

 

(Photo: http://consumerist.com/2010/05/drop-side-cribs-have-killed-at-least-32-kids.html)

 

 

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

John Pangallo on Facebook

Bus: Fruitville Rd @ Lime N Ave

Books for parents dealing with divorce

Books for parents dealing with divorce

John Pangallo, a family law attorney, understands that there are legal and emotional ramifications to divorce. Divorce can be a time of transition and change that is especially hard on families. It is important to care for yourself during the process of divorce and to discuss divorce with your children and answer their questions about what this change will mean for them. John Pangallo recommends books for parents who are divorcing or separating to help them navigate these sometimes difficult and awkward conversations.

 

what about the kids parents

by Judith S. Wallerstein (eBook, 2003)

 

 

 

parents the truth about divorce

 

 

 

helping kids cope with divorce parents

Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce the Sandcastles Way

by M. Gary Neuman and Patricia Romanowski (1999)

 

 

 

divorce poison parents

 

 

 

difficult questions kids ask about divorce

by Meg F. Schneider and Joan Zuckerberg (1996)

 

 

 

coparenting after divorce
by Elizabeth Thayer Ph.D. and Jeffrey Zimmerman Ph.D. (2001)

 

 

 

 

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

John Pangallo on Facebook

Bus: Fruitville Rd @ Lime N Ave

 

 

 

Books to help children and teens cope with divorce

Books to help children and teens cope with divorce

As a family law lawyer, John Pangallo understands that divorce is a time of change and transition that can be especially confusing and hard for children and teens to cope with. He encourages parents to talk with their children about their divorce plans and to answer their questions in an age appropriate way. In order to help parents have this difficult discussion with their children or teens, he recommends several books about divorce that answer the questions that they may be too afraid to voice themselves.

Books for children

was it the chocolate pudding

 

Was It the Chocolate Pudding?: A Story For Little Kids About Divorce

by Sandra Levins and Bryan Langdo (2005)

 

 

 

two homes

 

Two Homes

by Claire Masurel and Kady MacDonald Denton (2003)

 

 

 

standing on my own two feet

 

Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child’s Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce

by Tamara Schmitz (2008)

 

 

 

moms house dads house

 

Mom’s House, Dad’s House for Kids: Feeling at Home in One Home or Two

by Isolina Ricci (2006)

 

 

koko bear

 

KoKo Doll Divorce Book Package

by Vicki Lansky, Jane Prince and Vicki L. Lansky (1999)

 

 

 

dinosaurs divorce

 

Dinosaurs Divorce

by Marc Brown and Laurie Krasny Brown (1988)

 

 

 

Books for teens

the switching hour teens

 

The Switching Hour: Kids of Divorce Say Good-bye Again

by Evon O. Flesberg (eBook, 2008)

 

 

 

divorce is not the end of the world

Divorce Is Not the End of the World: Zoe’s and Evan’s Coping Guide for Kids

by Zoe Stern and Evan Stern (2008)

John Pangallo Law Office

2201 Ringling Blvd # 205

Sarasota, FL 34237

Phone: (941) 954-3611

John Pangallo on Facebook

Bus: Fruitville Rd @ Lime N Ave