2017 was tough in Tallahassee criminal courts – while crime statistics were down (artificially so, it may be, as the rumor is that local law enforcement is purposely not making as many arrests in order to push the stat lower and raise Tallahassee’s poor reputation for being a crime-ridden city), big cases were up. Tallahassee courts processed several high-profile cases- some of which ended in acquittals, some of which never went to trial and have been continued (the Markel murder trial), one of which (Segura) ended in a mistrial, and one that was investigated and not charged (the FSU fraternity death case). We saw the establishment of a new veterans’ treatment court.
2017 saw laws change, and policy change – we saw the first year of a new Second Judicial Circuit prosecutor’s term, which always takes adjustment on both sides. Jack Campbell seems to be working very hard to make the system better, and also seems to have a good compass as to what needs to be done. We wish him well in 2018!
In 2018, expect to see the legislature continuing to be “tough on crime” and continue its quest to make EVERYTHING in Florida illegal. Segura will be retried, to the great expense of Leon County citizens. The FSU fraternity case will either end, or there will be charges. The Markel case may not get tried, because the out-of-town attorneys for the defense can’t seem to get it ready. DUI arrests will likely go up, and I sense that financial crime arrests and prosecutions will also increase (there has been a slight rise ongoing for some time).
As a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney, I plan to continue to provide the best service possible to my clients. My book, Florida Criminal Cases Notebook (James Publishing) should be out in early 2018. Another book that is being completed, Cross Examination in a Nutshell (West Academic) should be out in the late spring. James Publishing and I are looking at another book to come out in late 2018, on the topic of Florida Criminal Procedure. We tried several jury trials in 2017 – all of which were acquittals. That’s a rarity (even for me!), and while we hope it will continue in 2018, we are going to hope for the best and continue to prepare for anything.
We wish you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2018!