DUI Due Diligence

Driving Under the Influence and Due Diligence are not logical companions.  If you did your due diligence, you would have gotten a designated driver or made other transportation arrangements ahead of time.  However, if you are charged with DUI, there is some due diligence you can take to help the penalty fit the crime. A DUI is a serious charge which should be treated seriously.  Besides possible injury or loss of life, 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. While 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?  […] Read More

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

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

Old Enough to Know Better

Are you old enough to know better? Did you do it anyway? The phrase, “old enough to know better,” applies to a lot of DUI defendants.  Just because you are old enough to know better does not mean you lack rights, however.  People can make mistakes at any age, but one bad decision does not have to necessarily lead to another. A DUI charge means you probably got caught and there is evidence against you.  It is a conviction with fingerprinting and a criminal record.  However, you do not have to put yourself in a worse position by shutting down choices.  Seek legal counsel for the best possible outcome of a bad situation.  A defense attorney can properly assert your rights and work with prosecutors to find an appropriate resolution. Old Enough-2-Know Better is the name of the band I am in with my brother, Stephen.  We are Old Enough-2-Know Better, but we enjoy playing and singing anyway!  If you would like to hear us live, we will be in Palatka tonight at the Island Restaurant at 7:30 pm. Read More

Traffic Stop

No one wants to have themselves or someone they care about hurt by an impaired driver.  The best answer to “How many drinks have you had?” when confronted in a traffic stop is a truthful “None.”  It is not okay to say “None” if that is not true.  You have no obligation to answer that question, and you can tell the law enforcement officer “I am not going to answer that question.” If the law enforcement officer asks you to perform field sobriety tests you can decline; however, you will most likely (if not absolutely), be arrested for suspicion of driving while impaired.  By the time the officer makes the decision to ask you to perform those tests, he or she has already made many other valid observations and the field sobriety tests are just additional evidence to be used against you. Use good judgment in driving and in asserting your rights.   Read More

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

Bond

Almost all arrestees are entitled to a bond.  There are two purposes for a bond, the first one is to guarantee your attendance to Court Appearances and the second is to protect the public.  A Normal Person charged with DUI gets $500 or ROR (Released on Recognizance), and Crazy Ax Murderer either has no bond or $10 million. Within 24 hours of getting arrested you are to be brought before a judge for “First Appearance.” The judge looks at the probable cause affidavits (arrest affidavits) and determines a proper bond. Typically, the court has a schedule of general charges and bonds; however, you can request a “bond hearing” in an attempt to reduce the bond.  A Bond Hearing is a mechanism to make arguments that the defendant WILL appear and is NOT a danger to the public. You may want consult legal counsel.  A defense attorney represents you and works to get an appropriate penalty to fit your action, as opposed to simply accepting the maximum penalty.   Read More

Arrest V. Notice to Appear

What is the difference between Arrest and Notice to Appear?  Not much . . . except the handcuffs, free ride to jail, nice used jumpsuit, and bond. When you are arrested, the Court takes jurisdiction over you because you are officially served by handcuffs. Within 24 hours of getting arrested you are to be brought before a judge for “First Appearance.” The judge looks at the probable cause affidavits (arrest affidavits) and determines a proper bond. Typically, the court has a schedule of general charges and bonds. You can request a “bond hearing” in an attempt to reduce the bond. Almost all arrestees are entitled to a bond. There are two purposes for a bond the first one is to guarantee your attendance to Court Appearances and the second is to protect the public. Normal Person charged with DUI = $500 or ROR (Released on Recognizance), and Crazy Ax Murderer either no bond or $10 million. A Bond Hearing is a mechanism to make arguments that the defendant WILL appear and is NOT a danger to the public. A notice to appear can be served by a Deputy or given instead of arrest. A notice to appear is sometimes given with a criminal traffic […] 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