According to U.S. District Judge Robert Scola Jr.—no, they can’t.
Former State Senator Mandy Dawson was recently convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to six months in prison. She represented Broward and Palm Beach counties in the Florida House and Senate for 16 years. During these years, Dawson concealed income she received from lobbyists including Alan Mendelsohn, a Hollywood ophthalmologist (eye doctor) who is currently serving a four-year sentence for his own crimes. Though Dawson plead guilty to the tax evasion, this hasn’t stopped her from trying to delay her jail time.
Two days before her prison sentence was to begin, Dawson’s public defender requested a sixty day delay in sentencing due to Dawson’s many medical issues. According to the lawyer, Dawson has begun taking nebulizer treatments, injecting arthritis medication, using a wheelchair, and “also needs treatment for what is believed to be a kidney stone.”
Judge Scola denied the request, writing “these are chronic issues that will most likely not abate within sixty days.”
So unfortunately, although they offer proven health benefits, can open your airways and effectively administer medication, nebulizers cannot keep you out of prison. Our advice is to simply not evade your taxes.
Dawson’s request to be sent to a federal prison hospital was also denied. Instead, she’ll be serving her time in a low security prison for women. In addition to the six months’ jail time, Dawson has been ordered to pay $29,272 in taxes to the federal government.