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Drones, Revenge Porn, and Playing Fireman Dress-Up: 2015 FL Law Update

viewpoint-99200_640Florida Legislature got around to passing 227 bills during the session that ended two weeks ago. And Governor Rick Scott signed a few of those into Laws yesterday. Here are a few New Laws to look out for:

  1. Alcoholic Beverages (SB 186) –Get your GROWLERS ON! The Legislature FINALLY got on track with Florida’s growing small breweries and made the sale of 64oz. beer growlers legal in Florida. Bring it on, Cigar City, Cask & Larder, & friends. Click here for an official Press Release.
  2. Public Records/E-mail Addresses/Tax Notices (SB 200) – Seems like we’re getting a little less Sunshine with this bill in Florida. The bill signed provides an exemption from public records requirements for e-mail addresses used in official business between tax collectors and taxpayers.[1]
  3. Electronic Commerce (SB 222) – Hackers Beware! Not only will they be held criminally liable, but now they can expect to be sued civilly on a broader platform for any and all damages that they create.[2]
  4. No Contact Orders (SB 342) –Effective October 1, 2015, any person arrested for Domestic Violence will be issued paperwork regarding a NO CONTACT ORDER immediately upon being released from jail. This means that in order to restore contact between a Defendant and named Victim in a case, the Trial Court will have to modify that Order at a later hearing. In counties like Orange and Osceola County, this won’t impact the general process since Domestic Violence related arrests require a hearing before a Judge regarding Contact at Initial Appearances. Violation of the No Contact Order is sill a crime, 1st Degree Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. [3]
  5. Animal Control (SB 420) – This bill provides alternatives to auction provisions for stray livestock, including adoptions, and allows cruelty violations to be pursued through code enforcement boards in lieu of the court system.[4]
  6. Disclosure of Sexually Explicit Images(SB 538) – REVENGE PORN ALERT!!! This bill provides criminared-42286_640l penalties for publishing sexually explicit images of a person with personal identification information on the internet without the person’s consent with the intent to cause emotional distress. This offense is ENHANCEABLE with the First Strike being charged as a 1st Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine, and the Second Strike (with one prior conviction) being charged as a 3rd Degree Felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000 fine. It goes into effect on October 1, 2015. [5]
  7. Surveillance by a Drone (SB 766) -This bill prohibits the use of drones to record an image of private property or conduct surveillance without consent. It generally prohibits[6] a person, state agency, or political subdivision from using a drone to record an image of privately owned real property of the owner, tenant, occupant, invitee, or licensee of such property with the intent to conduct surveillance on the individual or prodrone-674238_640perty, if reasonable expectations of privacy exist without that individual’s written consent. The bill provides a definition of the term surveillance. However, the bill also allows limited exceptions to the prohibition. A person or entity engaged in a business or profession licensed by the state, may use a drone to perform reasonable tasks within the scope of his or her license. Additionally, tax collectors may use drones for assessing property for ad valorem taxes. Lastly, a drone may be used to capture images by or for an electric, water, or natural gas utility. The bill authorizes an aggrieved party to initiate a civil action and obtain compensatory damages or injunctive relief against a person, state agency, or political subdivision that violates the bill’s prohibitions on using drones. This remedy may result in monetary damages, which may have an indeterminate negative fiscal impact on state and local governments. Currently, there are no criminal penalties. Grow Houses beware. [7]
  8. Controlled Substances(HB 897) - This bill adds five dangerous synthetic cannabinoids to Florida’s drug crime laws. The bill adds five new synthetic cannabinoids to Schedule I of Florida’s controlled substance schedules. As a result, the criminal penalties relating to the possession, sale, manufacture, and delivery of controlled substances will apply to these synthetic substances. [8]
  9. fireman-213453_640False Personation (SB 1010) - This bill makes it illegal to impersonate firefighters and fire or arson investigators. It also makes it illegal to give or loan a badge or ID to another person. This offense is classified as a 1st Degree Misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, and goes into effect October 1, 2015. If you see the boots and gear, resist the urge to dress up. [9]
  10. Public Records/E-mail Addresses/Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (SB 7040) –Another bit of shade for the Sunshine State. This bill provides an exemption from public records requirements for certain e-mail addresses collected by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.[10]
If you have any questions about these new laws, which mostly go into effect on October 1, 2015, call Colbert Law at (407) 705-3220. If you have questions about how bills become a law, watch this:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0[/embed]

__________________________________________________ [1] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0200/BillText/er/PDF [2] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0222/BillText/er/PDF [3] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0342/BillText/er/PDF [4] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0420/BillText/er/PDF [5] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0538/BillText/er/PDF [6] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0766/Analyses/2015s0766.ap.PDF [7] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0766/BillText/er/PDF [8] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/0897/BillText/er/PDF [9] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1010/BillText/er/PDF [10] https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/7040/BillText/er/PDF