The New Year is full of hope and optimism for the future. Additionally, there are several new laws that take effect starting on January 1, 2020, that every Florida resident should be aware of.
The following are some of the new laws in Florida taking effect on New Year’s Day:
- Texting while driving (HB 107) – Police officers will now start issuing tickets to individuals caught texting and driving. While this law went into effect this past July, there was a six-month grace period for residents to adapt to the new law before tickets could be issued by law enforcement officials. A first offense is punishable by a $30 fine but could cost more than $108 when court costs are added, while a second offense within five years carries a $60 fine but could cost more than $158 when court costs are added. In addition to making texting while driving a primary offense, active work zones and school zones are now considered hands-free areas.
- Prescribed medications (HB 831) – This law requires health care providers to create and transmit all prescriptions through electronic means to pharmacies. The only exception is when such means are unavailable because of a temporary technological or electrical issue.
- Honoring and remembering the flag (HB 427) – In honor of U.S. soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, this law authorizes the display of the American flag that bears the phrase “Honor and Remember” at certain locations on specific days.
- Tax relief (HB 7123) – As part of an $87 million tax relief package, the new law removes a limit on homestead property deed transfers between spouses, includes tax rate reductions on rental fees, provides sales tax exemptions for disaster preparedness supplies and building materials to repair hurricane damage, and decreases civil penalties for individuals cited for lower-level traffic violations.
- Minimum wage increase – Florida’s minimum wage will increase from $8.46 to $8.56 an hour at the start of 2020. However, state residents have a chance to vote for an increase of up to $15 an hour in November.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Daytona Beach, contact Hager & Schwartz today at (386) 693-1637 for a free consultation to discuss your case.