New Report: Florida’s Broken Misdemeanor Court System – and How to Fix It
Washington, DC (July 21, 2011) – Nearly a half million people, or approximately three percent of Florida’s adults, pass through the state’s misdemeanor courts each year. Most are found guilty. The average court appearance lasts as little as three minutes.
Charges are viewed as minor, BUT the consequences of conviction are significant. Not only are there direct, immediate costs of such a conviction (fines and/or imprisonment), but often there are also long-term, collateral consequences (employment barriers, loss or suspension of licenses, restrictions on parental rights, possible deportation or refusal of reentry for legal aliens, to name a few).
The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) studied misdemeanor courts and procedures in 21 Florida countiesi and is releasing its results and recommendations to the public today at noon. The report is entitled Three Minute Justice: Haste and Waste in Florida’s Misdemeanor Courts.
To read the report, please click here.
iBrevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, DeSoto, Gadsden, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Indian River, Leon, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter, and Volusia.
- "Can't Serve Justice in 3 Minutes, Alternative Programs Can Help," by Gerald Kogan. Orlando Sentinel, October 23, 2011.
- "Misdemeanor Court: Wasteful or Necessary?" by Jacqueline Fell. Bay News 9, August 1, 2011.
- Video on Three Minute Justice, Bay News 9.
- "Gideon Alert: NACDL Report Exposes Florida''s ''No Counsels'' Courts", by David Carroll. National Legal Aid & Defender Association, August 3, 2011.