Florida Increases Penalties for Offenses Against Adults with Disabilities | October 2016

Tripp Law Firm - Florida Increases Penalties for Offenses Against Disabled Adults

FLORIDA—House Bill (“HB”) 387 renames a section of Florida law as “Carl’s Law” in honor of Carl Starke. Starke, a 36-year-old autistic man from St. Augustine, was shot and killed in 2015 after being targeted by teenagers looking to steal a car from a Wal-Mart parking lot. St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar said Starke, because of his disability, presented a “soft target” for the suspects.

The piece of legislation, which was drafted by Florida Senator Travis Hutson and Representative Cyndi Stevenson, took effect on October 1, 2016. “This bill seeks to increase awareness of this type of crime against vulnerable individuals in order to help prevent similar tragedies in the future,” Representative Stevenson said.

While HB 387 doesn’t significantly change Florida law,  it does increase the civil and criminal penalties for hate crimes committed against adults with mental and physical disabilities. Specifically, “Carl’s Law” refers to “providing for reclassification of offenses committed while evidencing prejudice based on a mental or physical disability of the victim.”

For more information regarding “Carl’s Law,” as well as other bills filed for the 2016 legislative session, please visit www.myfloridahouse.gov or contact the office of Representative Stevenson.


If you or a loved one are disabled and have been injured by the negligence and improper conduct of another, call TRIPP LAW FIRM – Personal Injury Law at (727)398-2900 in Pinellas/Pasco County, (863)666-0380 in Polk County, and (407)850-8680 in Orange/Osceola/Seminole County, for an immediate, confidential case evaluation. There is NO Fee and NO Costs if we do not obtain a Recovery for YOU!

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Source(s):

HB 387: Offenses Evidencing Prejudice (“Carl’s Law”), The Florida Senate (2016), Bill Text & Bill History available at https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2016/387.

HistoricCity News, Law honoring local resident headed to house floor tomorrow (Feb. 22, 2016), available at https://historiccity.com/2016/staugustine/news/florida/law-honoring-local-resident-headed-to-house-floor-tomorrow-57694.

 

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