Distracted Driving–What?

If you are reading this blog while driving STOP READING.  Safely pull over and park, and then continue reading. Distracted driving can mean driving while doing everyday things such as reading, eating, adjusting your radio or playlist, and texting or talking on your mobile phone.  Of course driving with a Blood Alcohol Level of 0.02 or higher can also be distracting (though it may not an ‘everyday thing’). Some say we never really grow up, we only learn to act in public.  If that breaks down, you may want a lawyer. Alcohol can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle correctly with safety considerations to yourself and others.  Currently we deal with this problem through penalty, but there are flaws in our system. A DUI defense often deals with proper testing procedure and appropriate punishment.  Was the evidence obtained correctly and is it scientific?  Does the penalty fit the crime?  If you do not question these issues, then you sentence yourself to whatever the State has to say. There are a lot of situations where having an attorney can be very helpful to get the best resolution possible from unfortunate circumstances.  A DUI charge is not the least of […] Read More

Hey Guys (And Gals)…

Hey guys (and gals), if you have a problem, you deal with it, right?  The same is true for a DUI arrest. A DUI is a serious problem.  Treat it seriously. A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge means you probably got caught and there is evidence against you.  It is an arrest 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. Make sure the penalty fits the crime.   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 for everyone. You do not have to make a bad situation worse by shutting down options.  Seek competent legal representation to help you deal with a serious problem.   Read More

Bar Tab & DUI Fines

A DUI is an expensive bar tab.  Fines for DUI convictions start at $500 and run into thousands of dollars, depending on how many times you have been convicted, your blood alcohol level, and if you had a minor in the car with you.  Those are just the penalty expenses, which do not include court costs, legal fees, insurance increases, and possible labor hours lost due to incarceration and/or community service, and/or DUI education. 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 $500 plus.  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. Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend. […] Read More

Lights! Camera! Arrest! – DUI Stop Footage

If the cops catch it on camera, you could catch it in fines and jail time with a DUI charge.  Cop cams add at least ten pounds of stupidity to your field sobriety test, especially when viewed in a courtroom. In Florida, you do not have to take a field sobriety test.  You will get arrested, but you do not have to give police all the funny footage of you doing stupid pet tricks on the side of the road.  Or you can do the field sobriety test and get arrested anyway. If you are arrested for DUI, they can ask you to do a breathalyzer test.  If you refuse the breathalyzer, you lose your license for four to six months period if it is your first time.  The second time, it is a misdemeanor. However, if there is an accident with injury, that gives law enforcement probable cause to take a blood sample from you. A DUI charge means you probably got caught and there is evidence against you.  It is a conviction with fingerprinting and a criminal record…and the prosecutors of this area are very professional at doing their jobs. The way to avoid a DUI charge is […] Read More

Afraid of Bad Breathalyzer

A breath mint may help you with halitosis, but it is not going to get you a date with the arresting officer for a DUI.  If you refuse the breathalyzer, you lose your license for four to six months period if it is your first time…and reinstatement is no piece of cake. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has procedures and fines to go through to reinstate your license after the refusal of a breathalyzer, including DUI school, possible treatment, and examination, plus an administrative fee, reinstatement fee, and any license fee. Information is available for reinstating your license after a suspension for refusal to submit to a breath or urine test at http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/dlfaqson2a.html#dui.  Seek a defense attorney to discuss the specifics of your case and your possible defenses. 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

Blood & Alcohol

Cop cams add at least ten pounds of stupidity to your field sobriety test, especially when viewed in a courtroom.  If you are pulled over for DUI, you seem to have two choices:  get arrested with evidence, or without. In Florida, you do not have to take a field sobriety test.  You will get arrested, but you do not have to give police all the funny footage of you doing stupid pet tricks on the side of the road.  Or you can do the field sobriety test and get arrested anyway. If you are arrested for DUI, they can ask you to do a breathalyzer test.  If you refuse the breathalyzer, you lose your license for four to six months period if it is your first time.  The second time, it is a misdemeanor. However, if there is an accident with injury, that gives law enforcement probable cause to take a blood sample from you. A DUI charge means you probably got caught and there is evidence against you.  It is a conviction with fingerprinting and a criminal record…and the prosecutors of this area are very professional at doing their jobs. The way to avoid a DUI charge is do […] Read More

Under the Influence of Legal Counsel

If you thought “Gather Go Get” was a difficult process for a Florida Driver’s License, try reinstatement after a DUI.  You might need more than just your documents in order; with a Driving Under the Influence arrest, you might want to also bring along a legal defense. Here is a brief rundown of consequences after a DUI conviction, as provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: 1st DUI – 180 days to 1-year revocation effective on conviction date. 2nd DUI – Second offense not within 5 years from prior conviction will result in a 180-day to 1-year revocation.  The second offense within 5 years from prior conviction will result in at least a 5-year revocation. 3rd DUI – Third offense not within 10 years of second conviction will result in a 180-day to 1-year revocation, unless the last 2 of the convictions fall within 5 years in which case a 5-year revocation will apply, and you are not eligible for a hardship license.  A third offense within 10 years of second conviction will result in a 10-year revocation. 4th DUI or Subsequent DUI Conviction – You must serve 5 years of this revocation period before being […] Read More

DUI v. DOA

You cannot recover from death too quickly.  When a client says something bad has happened to him, it cannot be too bad…because he is still talking.  It is a lot easier to have a meeting with a live DUI defendant than with a DOA client.   Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious charge and it comes with a wide variety of penalties.  Prosecutors of this area are here to do a job, and they do a very good job. If the defendant does not properly assert his rights, he is likely to get the maximum penalty.   A DUI defense often deals with proper testing procedure and appropriate punishment.  Was the evidence obtained correctly and is it scientific?  Does the penalty fit the crime?  If you do not question these issues, then you sentence yourself to whatever the State has to say.   There are a lot of situations where having an attorney can be very helpful to get the best resolution possible from unfortunate circumstances.  A DUI charge is not the least of these.   Do not call an attorney if you are DOA! Read More

DUI & Legal Limits

Some say we never really grow up, we only learn to act in public.  If that breaks down, you may want to get a lawyer. DUI is an unpopular topic, often for good reason; however, if you are charged with Driving Under the Influence, it becomes a necessary discussion. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Department booklet has this to say about DUI: “It is illegal to operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  DUI can be proved by a Blood Alcohol limit of 0.08 and higher or if your normal driving faculties are impaired.  Impairment can be caused by alcohol, alcohol in combination with other medications, legal and illegal drugs.  Penalties for DUI include:  arrests, court costs and fines (a court case can cost up to $6,000), impoundment, license revocation of six months to a year, DUI School and Evaluation, ignition interlock device, probation of up to a year, 50 hours of community service and increased insurance costs.  A DUI stays on your record for 75 years.” Alcohol can impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle correctly with safety considerations to yourself and others.  Currently we deal with this problem through penalty, but there are flaws […] Read More