When It Rains It Pours – DUI Charge

Tim Deegan is not the first celebrity booked on a DUI.  But his recent arrest is a reminder of our rights in wrongs. A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge means you probably got caught and there is evidence against you.  It is a conviction with fingerprinting and a criminal record.  However, there are things you can do—regardless of guilt—to take a sober step in a more positive direction.  One is to get legal representation. There is a range of penalties for DUI, depending on the circumstances, and the prosecutors of this area are very professional at doing their jobs.  You are likely to get the maximum penalty if your rights are not properly asserted.  A defense lawyer can help you work with the prosecution to find a resolution best suited for everyone. When it rains, it pours if your rights are not properly asserted, but you do not have to make a bad situation worse by shutting down options.  Seek competent legal representation if you are facing serious fines or jail time.   Read More

Intent to Steal

Shoplifting is a crime.  Perhaps you know this and have eliminated loss promotion from your retail regime.  All it takes is intent to steal to make an arrest for shoplifting—you do not necessarily have to leave the store without a receipt. Shoplifting charges come in different sizes and degrees depending on the value of the item stolen.  Petit Theft applies to items worth less than $300, and Grand Theft applies to items worth $300 or more.  Grand Theft falls in Felony territory. Watch what you are picking up, and remember, attention to hair and make-up could improve your appearance for security guards and mug shots alike.   Read More

Bar Tab – First Time DUI Conviction

Eight grand is a heck of a bar tab, especially if you are paying it as a DUI conviction.  The St. Augustine Record recently ran an article with a cost breakdown for a first-offense DUI conviction (http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2013-05-26/dui-arrest-will-prove-costly#.Ua44U0CTgYA).  Citing information from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, they totaled the sum at $8,000 for everything from insurance increases to court costs. A DUI is a serious charge.  Treat it seriously.  A DUI charge is an arrest, finger printing, and a criminal record…not to mention the financial inconvenience (and possible injury or loss of life).  Any time you are facing heavy fines or jail time, make sure the penalty fits the crime.  Do not accept the maximum penalty just because you do not know better.  Seek competent legal counsel to work with prosecutors for a correct resolution. There are a lot of things you can do with $8,000.  Paying for a DUI might not be the top of your list.  The best choice is prevention—do not drive while intoxicated and get stuck with a bar tab you cannot afford. Read More

Quit Smoking without Jail Time

Some people use the patch to quit smoking or chew nicotine gum, but one California woman took a criminal approach:  she slapped a cop.  No smoking gun in this crime…no smoking at all in the Sacramento County jail, which was why she assaulted a uniformed Deputy Sheriff:  so she could get locked up long enough to quit.  Hopefully 60 days will do it. There are ways to quit smoking that do not involve the justice system, finger printing, and a criminal record.  Generally if you are facing jail time or a fine, a defense attorney can help you work with prosecutors for the best possible resolution, but if you are trying to quit smoking, save the expense of legal fees.  There is free online help at http://www.smokefree.gov/, as well as other resources. Read More

Living Like the Stars – Criminal Defense

How many times has Lindsay Lohan been arrested?  How many times can a person be arrested?  The 26 year-old star seems to hold the record in her record, but not all stars turn out that way even with a criminal past. Nicole Richie, daughter of Lionel Richie, began down the clichéd path where Miss-Demeanor and Fellow-Nee trip hand in handcuff through gated communities.  After hanging out with Paris Hilton on reality show, “The Simple Life,” viewers might not expect much different…but things have changed. Nicole has changed, and she hopes to make a record of a different sort.  Richie is a fashion designer now, with a line of clothes on the home shopping channel, QVC.  She updated her line-up from the police station venue to the television studio, with her brand on parade.  From heroin to heroine, she has kicked some bad habits and begun some good ones. Impersonating Lindsay Lohan could be an arrestable offense (especially when driving).  Whether or not you are famous, if you make a mistake, seek to defend your rights with proper legal counsel. Note that the new Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center is setting up in Jacksonville to advocate for at-risk girls and girls […] Read More