January 7, 2015

Daytona Prostitution Sting Results in Eight Arrests

Undercover officers with the Daytona Beach Police Department initiated a "reverse prostitution sting" on New Year's Eve.heels.jpg

By morning, officers arrested eight men for misdemeanor crimes of solicitation of prostitution. Some were also charged with drug-related offenses.

A reverse prostitution sting is one in which authorities target the so-called "johns" looking to buy sex or sexual favors, as opposed to those who are selling or attempting to sell it.

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December 24, 2014

Report: Volusia Domestic Violence Cases Up, While Other Areas See Decline

There is a heightened risk of domestic violence incidents throughout the holidays, as many families are spending more time together at home, often with the added pressure of visitors, the financial burdens of gift-giving and a larger-than-normal consumption of alcohol.fighting.jpg

There are also a fair number of no-contact order violations, as previously embattled spouses seek to make amends. But such orders aren't lifted for holidays, and the penalties for even seemingly minor actions - like texting or sending a message via social media - can be severe.

A recent analysis by the Daytona News-Journal indicates there has been an increase in domestic violence cases in Volusia County over the last four years, even as reports of such crimes have declined in Flagler and across the state of Florida.

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December 20, 2014

Driving Arrests Increase With Higher Holiday Traffic Volume

AAA reports the year-end holiday travel season volume is going to be the highest on record, which goes back to 2001. In all, an estimated 99 million Americans are going to travel 50 miles or more for Christmas or New Year's Eve, which is about 4 percent more than who traveled the same distance last year.
The year-end holiday is defined as the period between Tuesday, December 23 through Sunday, January 4. Of those travelers, the vast majority - more than 90 percent - are going to be traveling by car.

Law enforcement agencies across the country - and particularly in Florida, where travel tends to be higher than in most other states - have launched a series of staggered crackdowns on various road-related violations, including drunk driving, uninsured driving and reckless driving.

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November 15, 2014

Daytona Domestic Violence Arrest Leads to Officer Resignation

Football players aren't the only ones losing their jobs following allegations of domestic violence - sometimes even before the accusation is proven in court.
A 30-year-old Daytona Beach Police officer has resigned after her spouse, a fellow officer, called police to say she'd been threatened. The accused also reportedly threatened a third fellow officer for unknown reasons.

According to allegations by the officer's same-sex partner, she tried to stop the tirade by taking her partner's gun away. However, the officer in question then took her partner's department-issued gun. For this, authorities say, she will face additional charges. She also faces charges in connection with allegedly threatening messages she sent to the third officer. In that message, the accused allegedly stated she wouldn't stop until "there is a bullet in (her) head," adding she put her on notice, "So it's premeditated."

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October 15, 2014

Daytona Murder Conviction Vacated for Prosecutor Misconduct

While the first goal in any criminal case is to avoid conviction, those who have already been convicted may seek to challenge it with an appeal.
Appellate courts in Florida generally won't overturn a conviction entirely, unless they find there was an abuse of discretion by the trial court that can't be held harmless. However, our Daytona criminal defense attorneys know there are often situations where sentences are reduced and other penalties lightened. Reasons can vary from a misinterpretation of the law to an improper denial of motion to suppress to just a general lack of evidence supporting the charges.

In the recent appeal of Crew v. Florida, the Fifth District Court of Appeals, which oversees Daytona, tossed a murder conviction and remanded the case back to trial court for numerous inappropriate character statements made by the prosecutor against the defendant during closing arguments. The trial court's declination to mitigate the effect of those statements unfairly prejudiced the defendant, according to the justices.

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October 6, 2014

Report: Central Florida DUI Arrests on the Rise

Police agencies are reporting an increase in the number of DUI arrests they have made this year.
According to a report by Click Orlando, WKMG Local 6, the number of arrests in Orange County so far this year hit 668 (and counting), which is a 4 percent increase over the 641 arrests for DUI made by the agency during the same time last year.

The increase was especially pronounced for officers in the evening unit, which reported a 20 percent jump in DUI arrests this year, with a heavy focus on the eastern quarter, near the University of Central Florida.

Officers with the UCF Police reported 70 DUI arrests total last year, but did not have similar figures yet for this year.

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October 1, 2014

Five DUI Manslaughter Charges Dropped In Florida Marijuana Impairment Case

Numerous charges against a defendant accused of causing a crash that killed five people while driving high on marijuana have been dropped after defense experts raised questions regarding the validity of the defendant's blood test results.
The move shows the kind of difference an experienced DUI defense attorney can make when a defendant is facing serious criminal charges.

According to news reports, the case unfolded in Riviera Beach in April 2013. That's when the 22-year-old defendant crashed into a car carrying five friends, one 14-year-old, two 17-year-olds and two 22-year-olds. The at-fault driver reportedly drove his vehicle down an exit ramp of I-95 and lost control, slamming into the other car.

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September 15, 2014

Florida Enhances Hit-and-Run Criminal Penalties

Recently, a woman was arrested in Daytona Beach for hit-and-run after allegedly running a stop sign and striking a city police officer's cruiser with her own vehicle on International Speedway Boulevard before fleeing.
The 35-year-old suspect was apprehended and arrested a short time later after she crashed in a vacant lot, following a brief chase by law enforcement. At the time of the incident, there were five people inside the suspect's vehicle.

While our Daytona criminal defense lawyers concede she likely would have faced some criminal charges even if she had stopped, the consequences now will likely be far more severe. She faces felony charges that include leaving the scene of a crash with damages, fleeing law enforcement officials with active lights and sirens and habitually driving with a suspended or revoked license.

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September 1, 2014

Commercial DUI in Florida Met With Harsh Penalties

The consequences for a DUI arrest in Florida are severe. The consequences for someone whose livelihood depends on their ability to drive can be even harsher. For an individual who drives for a living and was arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired on the job - a conviction can be devastating.
Our Daytona Beach DUI defense attorneys understand this is exactly the situation a Greyhound bus driver is facing, following 911 calls made by passengers aboard the vehicle.

According to WKMG Local 6 Orlando, dispatchers began receiving calls from aboard the bus by passengers who reported the bus driver was serving into other lanes on Interstate 95 for a stretch of some 30 miles.

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August 31, 2014

Modification of Domestic Violence Injunction

While domestic violence injunctions are not technically criminal sanctions, they can result in charges if there is a violation. Additionally, these legal orders, which can be handed down as part of a civil or criminal case, often have a detrimental impact on a person's livelihood and relationships.
Recently, a prominent former television news anchor from New York was arrested on charges of violating a protection order involving his wife, also a former television personality, from whom he is estranged. Authorities alleged the man made more than 100 phone calls to his ex-wife over the Memorial Day weekend. He was freed after posting $50,000 bond, but now faces the possibility of jail time. He contends he was simply trying to speak with his son, alleging his wife, now a Florida resident, was not cooperative in keeping his daily evening FaceTime visits with the boy.

Daytona domestic violence defense attorneys recognize that familial disputes like this have the potential to spiral out of control. Although the anchor now seeks a modification of the injunction, it would have been better had the modification been sought prior to the defendant acting in a way that breached the injunction.

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July 25, 2014

Florida Lawmaker's DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Republican State Rep. Dan Eagle has announced he is eager to put the ordeal of his DUI arrest behind him, following a plea deal that ended with prosecutors agreeing to reduce the DUI charge to reckless driving.
Daytona DUI defense attorneys understand the Cape Coral lawmaker pleaded no contest to the lesser charge, and received six months of probation, 100 hours of community service, a requirement to attend a driver counseling program and an agreement to submit to random alcohol testing. He also lost his license for one year (though he was granted privileges to drive for work), due to the fact that he refused an alcohol breathalyzer test when he was pulled over.

The penalties for reckless driving are decidedly less than those incurred for a DUI conviction. Reckless driving that doesn't result in injury or property damage is a traffic infraction - and who among us has never gotten a ticket?

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July 20, 2014

New Florida Law Expands "Stand Your Ground"

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a law that expands the contentious "Stand Your Ground" self-defense law by granting people the right to flash their firearm or even fire warning shots to force attackers to back off.
Daytona criminal defense attorneys recognize this change in the law will more than likely lead to application of the Stand Your Ground statute in more cases.

However, the revision of the law may also narrow the scope in some instances. Originally, the language indicated a person had to reasonably believe that use of deadly force was necessary to prevent bodily harm. Now, however, the law reads that in order to use force, the individual has to believe he or she is in imminent danger. That could mean Stand Your Ground will be tougher to invoke in some instances.

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July 10, 2014

Police Skirt Missouri v. McNeely Ruling With "No-Refusal" DUI Checkpoints

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a clear mandate in April 2013 with its decision in Missouri v. McNeely, wherein it was decided police were required to obtain a warrant before initiating a blood draw for evidence in a DUI arrest.
However, our Daytona Beach DUI defense lawyers understand police are finding their way around this requirement with so-called "no refusal" checkpoints, which have been employed with greater frequency beginning on Memorial Day and continuing throughout the summer.

Florida historically has had one of the highest rates of breathalyzer refusal. That is, many motorists stopped for suspicion of DUI decline to engage a breathalyzer test. Unless a driver is 100 percent sober, this is often wise.

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June 30, 2014

Daytona Prostitution Arrest Should be Met with Silence, Swift Defense

A man was arrested for prostitution in Daytona after police say he offered an undercover officer a restaurant salad in exchange for oral sex.
Daytona prostitution defense lawyers understand the action was part of a sting operation that resulted in nine other arrests, including one former Florida State basketball player.

The men were charged with misdemeanors, as most are for first-time offenses per Florida Statute 796.07.

This case highlights the wide variety of people who can be ensnared in these types of hyped prostitution stings. Police like to conduct them because they generate headlines that make them look tough on crime. News outlets like these stories because they garner a lot of attention.

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June 21, 2014

Daytona Domestic Violence Charges More Than Spousal Disputes

Father's Day might never again be the same for a father and son in New Smyrna Beach, following an incident that may forever change their relationship.
Authorities say the father shot and critically injured his 18-year-old son, following a dispute the elder man had with his wife. She revealed she wanted a divorce, and police say her husband responded by choking her. When the son intervened, investigators say his 46-year-old father shot him four times - in the chest, hip, thigh and elbow.

Daytona domestic violence arrest attorneys know such charges may involve siblings, children, or even former spouses or distant relatives living in the home. The term "domestic violence" in the legal sense encompasses not just violence occurring between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, but also parents and children, roommates or amongst any individuals related by blood or marriage.

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