In an Order issued on August 17, 2011, Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge Milton Hirsch found that the Shelton order I discussed in my previous post is binding. Judge Hirsch’s Order has the effect of dismissing drug charges against more than 30 people. However, the dismissal is not automatic. Judge Hirsch stayed the order for one week, granting the State of Florida time to file a notice of appeal. (As would be expected, an article published by the Miami Herald indicates that the State will appeal the order.)
Not all Judges are ruling as Judge Hirsch. Many are finding that the Shelton order is not binding, or is otherwise not decided correctly. As noted in an article published in the Sun Sentinel, two other Miami Dade Judges refused to dismiss drug charges, unlike Judge Hirsch, as did another Judge in Pensacola. No doubt, litigation over the Shelton ruling is just beginning. Until this matter is decided by the Florida Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court, Florida criminal defense attorneys and their clients should expect a bumpy and unpredictable ride!