The following email was received from the SAO this evening in response to JAABLOG PRR’s over the last few weeks.  We will update with dates and more information as time allows:

Q: My understanding is DTU is case filing regarding searches given the new hemp laws on “odor plus” and Case Filing is using “odor” alone. Is this correct?

This is incorrect. Our prosecutors are reviewing on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Is there any office wide guidance?

Our prosecutors are reviewing on a case-by-case basis.

Q: And is there finally any policy on retroactivity on pending cannabis under three grams cases?

Consistent with the change in state law and the memo issued on Aug. 19, the Broward State Attorney’s Office will be dropping active marijuana cases involving less than three grams in cases where that is the sole charge. (For context, these types of cases have generally been referred to diversion programs or drug court in the past and cannabis cases qualify for diversion three times.) If there are additional charges, our prosecutors will review on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the policies in the Aug. 19 memo. Though the change in the law is not retroactive, we believe that fundamental fairness requires us to treat people in the same way whether the incident occurred before or after July 1. People who are benefiting from pre-trial diversion programs will be permitted to complete their treatment if they want to do so.




Every registered candidate for SAO and PD has agreed to participate in non-partisan debates.

The location, date, and time are being finalized.  The invitations were sent out last night to lock in commitments at the earliest stage, since scheduling with twelve busy candidates will take some planning.  The SAO and PDO debates will be held back to back after a short intermission to ensure the largest possible turnout from the legal community.

The panel of three questioners will consist of Bill Gelin from JAABLOG, the Sun Sentinel’s Rafael Olmeda, and the Miami Herald’s David Ovalle, who will also serve as moderator.

Please submit questions or topic areas you would like considered via email or in the comments section.  Panelists can be reached by clicking the names above.

Here are the confirmed participants, starting with SAO:

And PDO:



The courthouse is abuzz with an unfortunate incident yesterday afternoon in Susan Alspector’s domestic violence division.

We’re told there was a sentencing to be held after ASA Andy Newman had secured a guilty verdict a few months ago against Albert Narvaez on multiple charges, including Attempted Murder (1st Degree/Firearm).  Before Alspector took the bench, the Defendant asked to use the restroom, and upon returning to the courtroom, broke free of the guards, ran up to the SAO table where Newman was seated, and allegedly doused him with urine from what appeared to be a bottle.  It was anything but pretty, and the sentencing was set off while BSO processed the scene for potential criminal charges.  It’s all captured on bodycam, and stills should hopefully become available soon.

When reached for comment, the well-respected and affable Newman had this to say:

“Things happen and I’m not looking to blame anybody,  but it was a very unfortunate situation.”

Developing …