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Florida candidate has drug possession charge in past

There is good news for many people in Florida in the current election campaign for an office in the Orlando area. In that race, a woman is running for City Council. At issue in the election is, among other things, the arrest record for crimes including drug possession and DUI of the candidate.

According to a report, the candidate for office has been arrested for various crimes, including drug possession, at least 21 times. The last of her contacts with Florida law enforcement was in 2009 when she was accused of contempt of court. Now, she works with a non-profit agency in an embattled section of Orlando, she asserts.

At issue is the fact that Florida law mandates that those who are convicted of a felony are unable to seek office. However, in this case, the parole commission granted clemency in 2008 after an application was submitted by the now-candidate. This opened the door for the political candidacy that she is now involved in for her district. If successful in her political effort, she will unseat a four-term city council member for her district.

Being accused of crimes such as drug possession or DUI is not a barrier to future aspirations, this recent candidate has shown. In fact, as happened here, there are situations where even laws restricting rights after a conviction can be modified in some cases. To determine if that is a benefit available to someone facing a similar situation in our state, a careful review of the applicable laws is warranted.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, Orlando City Council candidate Regina Hill has been arrested 21 times, Mark Schlueb, Jan. 11, 2014

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