Young adults have access to Florida laws via smartphones

The Florida Bar reported to Historic City News that with the help of a new free mobile app, tech-savvy teens and college students can get better prepared for real-life experiences.

Young adults now have the power to explore Florida law and how it can affect their lives, anytime and anywhere.

“When you turn 18 it’s more than just another birthday; there are rights and responsibilities in your life that change as well,” says Florida Bar President William J. Schifino, Jr.  “This week we are releasing a mobile app version of our website designed to introduce students to the legal realities of turning 18.”

For spring break and beyond, The Florida Bar has released a #JustAdulting mobile app that is now available for download from the App Store (iPhone/iPad) and Google Play Store (Android). The app features information on texting, drinking and driving, fake IDs, obtaining and keeping good credit and 16 other topics. There is also a new section on police encounters.

The app helps young adults know that turning 18 adds another layer of legal responsibility and helps the 18 and older crowd better understand the law and the consequences for breaking the law.

Messages important to being responsible while having fun will include the following:

  • Fake ID: Anyone possessing a forged (altered) or counterfeit (falsely produced) ID, or possess a stolen ID, risk a third-degree felony. Penalties include up to: an arrest, a maximum of five years in prison and/or probation and a $5,000 fine.
  • Underage drinking: The legal drinking age in Florida is 21. Anyone younger than 21 in possession of alcohol can be cited for a second-degree misdemeanor, which can lead to costly court fees, fines and other lasting consequences.
  • Open container: Possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in a vehicle (in motion or stopped) by the driver and/or the passenger(s) is a violation of Florida law.
  • Driving under the influence: Driving, while under the influence (DUI), is subject to heavy penalties for the first offense. These include possible imprisonment of up to six months, a loss of your driver’s license for up to one year, a fine up to $2,000 in addition to court costs, completion of a substance abuse course and driving course, 50 hours of community service; an electronic alcohol monitor worn at all times and immediate impounding of the vehicle driven.
  • Sexual cyber-harassment: Florida law classifies sexual cyber-harassment as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for the first offense.

“The JustAdulting app makes it quick and easy for young adults and others to have access to important information,” says Sheri Hazeltine, chair of The Florida Bar Law Related Education Committee. “We will be running ads on social media throughout the spring to reach more students so that they can better understand the legal pitfalls of adulthood and how to avoid them.”

For instance, many Florida students, especially young adults, don’t know that it’s illegal to have an open alcoholic drink in a moving car, and further, that law also applies to the passenger.”

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