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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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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May 25, 2014

Florida "Revenge Porn" Law Fails, Offenses May Fall Under Federal Statutes

A measure that would have made it a second-degree misdemeanor to distributed so-called "revenge porn" in Florida has died in the state senate.
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Still, our Daytona defense lawyers urge caution in these matters, as such offenses could still be punishable, possibly even at the federal level depending on the severity.

The recent case of U.S. v. Sayer is illustrative.

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May 15, 2014

Florida Drugged DUI Tougher To Prove Than Alcohol Intoxication

A Port Orange woman is accused of fatally striking a 22-year-old skateboarder in South Daytona in February while high and drunk, according to her arrest report.
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Officials say the 31-year-old driver's toxicology tests revealed she had been "under the influence" of several substances at the time of the crash. In addition to a blood-alcohol level of 0.092 percent (slightly above the legal limit of 0.08 percent), she was found to have cocaine, methamphetamine, nordiazepam and diazepam in her system.

Daytona DUI defense lawyers recognize that cases like these can be quite complex because while we have straightforward guidelines for determining alcohol intoxication, the standards for drug impairment aren't so clear.

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April 10, 2014

Help for Arrested Tourists in Daytona Beach

Florida is one of the world's greatest tourist draws, attracting some 89.3 million visitors in 2012. Roughly 600,000 flock to Daytona Beach just for Bike Week.
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Sometimes though, vacations wind up being less than idyllic. Many Florida tourists are arrested. This can be an especially frightening prospect for those who are non-citizens.

As Daytona Beach criminal defense lawyers, we know it is important for these individuals to seek experienced legal counsel. Not having the benefit of living nearby or even familiarity with the legal system can put defendants at a disadvantage. Florida has some of the country's strictest penal laws, and an arrest can quickly turn a trip into a nightmare, especially if the case is handled poorly from the outset. A good attorney can help guide you through the process - whether you're facing a misdemeanor or felony charge.

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April 4, 2014

Criminal Expungement in Florida an Option for Former Defendants

A criminal arrest can reverberate through so many areas of a person's life. A lapse of judgement in one's late teens or early 20s can hinder educational and occupational opportunities for many years thereafter.
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One way that our Daytona Beach criminal defense lawyers work to mitigate the impact is by seeking expungement of a client's criminal record. It's not an option for every case, but it's one that is worth exploring, particularly if several years have passed since the arrest.

It may seem unfair that records still exist, even in cases where charges were dropped or dismissed. However, the Florida legislature has determined that criminal history records must be public unless the record is sealed or expunged. That criminal history will exist regardless of whether you were convicted, acquitted, or have had the charges dismissed.

In today's world, where online court records, arrest records and even mug shots are available to anyone, far too many continue to experience discrimination or other negative consequences of a past brush with the law.

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March 22, 2014

Daytona Beach Criminal Defense Attorneys Rarely Advise Talking to Police

Anyone who has ever watched a crime show on television is probably familiar with "Miranda Rights." That is, a criminal defendant must be made aware that he or she has the right to remain silent, the right to speak to an attorney and the right to end a police interrogation at any time.
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You may have even heard that some cases have been tossed because confessions were gained without a subject first being given a Miranda warning.

But here's what you may not realize: If you aren't formally under arrest, the officer is under no obligation to read you these rights. You may not realize that you aren't under arrest. It could feel very much like you are "in custody," even when you are technically free to go. If you don't ask to leave, the officer is under no obligation to tell you that you may. Or, you may not even realize you are being interrogated. It may seem more like a friendly conversation. Although the officer won't necessarily tell you this, the statements you make are absolutely admissible in court, and may be used against you.

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March 12, 2014

Florida Guilty Plea Limits Appeals Options

A former information technology specialist is facing up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to six counts of possession of child pornography in Daytona Beach.
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According to WNDB News1150, the 34-year-old faces five years in prison for each count. He had originally been charged with 20 counts. Authorities agreed to drop 14 of the other charges in exchange for his guilty plea on six.

Our Daytona Beach criminal defense attorneys know that sometimes when defendants are facing extremely serious felony charges, accepting the prosecution's offer for lesser time in exchange for some kind of guilty plea could make sense. But that all depends on the amount of evidence in the case. As well as a host of other factors. A defendant should never feel bullied or pressured into agreeing to a plea bargain. It's not a decision that should be made under duress.

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February 26, 2014

Lesser-Included Offenses & Daytona Beach Criminal Defense

A California man may have lost the chance to avoid a child molestation conviction because his trial lawyer failed to ask for the jury to consider a lesser crime.

The case points out the necessity of having an experienced defense lawyer by your side at trial. Our Daytona Beach criminal defense lawyers know these lesser-included offenses often make a critical difference when it comes to sentencing.
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