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Florida Laws Taking Effect on October 1

There are 27 new laws that take effect in Florida on October 1, 2019.

The following are some of the new laws that impact state residents:

  • Texting while driving – HB 107 strengthened Florida’s texting-while-driving ban by making it a “primary” offense, which means law enforcement can pull a motorist over for texting behind the wheel. In addition, the law requires drivers to go hands-free when driving near school or work zones. On January 1, 2020, tickets will be issued, and three points will be added against the driver’s license. Until then, police officers will give offenders a verbal or written warning.
  • Law enforcement animals (i.e. dogs and horses) – SB 96 makes seriously injuring or killing a police, fire, or search-and-rescue dog or a police horse a second-degree felony, rather than a third-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by a maximum 15-year prison sentence and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
  • Hazing – SB 1080 makes hazing or soliciting others to engage in hazing a third-degree felony, only if the act leads to permanent injury. A third-degree felony carries a prison term of up to five years and a maximum $5,000 fine. Furthermore, the law provides immunity for individuals who contact law enforcement or campus security to report a medical emergency as a result of hazing.
  • Child-like sex dolls – SB 160 makes showing, selling, or giving away a child-like sex doll a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum $1,000 fine. A subsequent offense is considered a third-degree felony.
  • Veterans’ courts – SB 910 no longer makes being honorably discharged a requirement to be eligible for a veterans’ court program. ┬áVeterans’ court enables former service members who have been charged with a crime and suffer from a military-related injury to seek rehabilitation rather than serving jail time.

For more information about the new laws in Florida, contact Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A. today at (305) 670-9919.

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