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Daytona Beach Criminal Defense Blog

Stiff penalties await CMV drivers convicted of DUI

If you drive a truck or other kind of commercial vehicle for a living, your career may be on the line if you receive a conviction of driving under the influence of alcohol. The state of Florida is serious about keeping drunk drivers off the road.

Commercial motor vehicle drivers must maintain an even higher standard than ordinary motorists when it comes to punishment for DUI. If you cause property damage or injury to another person, the penalties you face become increasingly severe.

Five Common Myths Associated with Domestic Violence Charges

Because many local agencies have a policy encouraging an arrest, regardless of injury or available evidence, domestic violence battery is one of the most common charges in criminal court. Of all misdemeanor charges, DV can have among the most devastating consequences - including MANDATORY jail time for anyone convicted, regardless of prior criminal history. Read on to learn some of the most common myths associated with this serious charge.

Facing prison and deportation on a Violent Felony Violation of Probation, our Client's plea was withdrawn, the charge reduced to a non-violent misdemeanor and the client was released with no probation or supervision! Read on to learn more.

There are no routine cases if you are an aggressive and determined criminal defense attorney. Recently, a jailed foreign citizen hired us to represent him for a Violation of Probation on the felony charge of "Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon." He had originally pled to a probationary sentence in front of an extremely strict judge and now, he was facing at the minimum a lengthy jail sentence, if not state prison, and then probable deportation to a country he no longer called home. These are exactly the kind of dire situations where our Firm's clients turn to us for help. When we were finished with the case, sixty days later, Mr. Berlin was released from jail, his original felony charge dropped down to a second degree misdemeanor charge of "Disorderly Conduct," with no probation or jail to follow and a strong defense against any possible deportation.

Is your job in jeopardy because of a DUI conviction?

Let us say that you drive a truck for a nationally known potato chip supplier, and you are a valued company employee of some 12 years’ standing. You are expecting a promotion later this year. A co-worker just received a similar promotion, and you are invited to his celebration party.

You are just getting off work when the fun begins, so you drive your truck to the party site, a local restaurant. You leave the celebration an hour later, having enjoyed a few beers, and are on your way back to the warehouse to drop off the truck when a law enforcement officer pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving. The first thought you have is for your job. Will you lose it as a result of this run-in with the police?

A Possible Change in the Law Would Allow Floridians to be Pulled Over for Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is currently considered a "secondary offense," which means that police may only issue a citation for texting while driving after initiating a traffic stop for a violation of a "primary offense" law, like speeding. Historically, texting while driving, by itself, could not be the basis for a traffic stop. However, many residents have been pressuring the legislature to make a change. As a result, a bill was recently introduced to the legislature to amend the texting while driving statute.

The Dangers of Counterfeit Narcotics

The sale and use of counterfeit prescription drugs in Florida is nearing epidemic proportions. Illicit drug use always presents certain dangers, but when counterfeit prescription drugs are involved, the dangers are heightened. Through the increasingly prevalent use of pill presses, people are putting all sorts of substances in homemade pills and labeling them as popular narcotics. Many fake pills sold as oxycodone or Xanax actually contain the synthetic opioid fentanyl. Unwittingly ingesting fentanyl is extremely dangerous, with fentanyl overdoses causing 704 deaths in the first half of 2016 alone in Florida. Additionally, due to the way the statutes are worded, if a pill contains multiple substances, the government can charge you for the entire weight of the pill for any one of the contained substances.

Professional License Holders: Protecting Your Practice

A criminal conviction can entail a variety of life-altering consequences. Many of these are directly imposed by the judge as a result of the conviction, such as incarceration, fines, or probation. There are, however, additional civil penalties which are not part of the direct consequences but flow naturally as a result of a conviction. These are referred to as collateral consequences. Depending on your profession, the governing administrative body may mandate certain collateral consequences following a criminal conviction. This is especially true of professional license holders, who have various reporting obligations to their licensing agencies. The penalty for failing to meet these reporting obligations can be worse than the penalty for the conviction itself. Furthermore, while many collateral consequences arise at the conclusion of the case, reporting obligations can often be triggered by a mere criminal accusation, long before a conviction or resolution. Professional license holders are presumed to know this information, and ignorance of the law is not a defense in the eyes of the governing administrative bodies.

Cell Phone Privacy: Is Location Data Protected by the Fourth Amendment?

In a time of rapid technological advancement, courts must interpret the Constitution to accommodate modern technology. When the Constitution was written over two-hundred years ago, there was no way the Drafters could have anticipated the constitutional questions posed by cell phones, computers, or the internet. One of the most important roles of modern courts is shaping the contours of the constitutional protection offered by a two-hundred-year-old prohibition against "unreasonable searches and seizures" to digital privacy rights. On June 5, 2017, the Supreme Court took another step towards defining these protections by agreeing to hear Carpenter v. United States, a cell-phone privacy case.

Collateral Consequences of a DUI

A DUI conviction entails many consequences beyond those that occur in the courtroom. Some of the penalties for a DUI conviction are fairly well known. Most people probably know that a DUI conviction can lead to significant fines and a suspended license. It is also somewhat common knowledge that you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car, paid for out-of-pocket, as a result of a DUI conviction. While these are probably the most well-known consequences of a DUI conviction, there are other less commonly known collateral consequences that naturally flow from a DUI conviction’s interaction with other Florida Statutes.

2017 Brings Important Changes to the "Stand Your Ground" Law

Florida's self-defense law has changed radically once again. Over the last few decades, Florida has expanded self-defense from an affirmative defense at trial to a statutorily based immunity from criminal and civil liability. Recently, Governor Rick Scott signed SB 128 into law which now requires prosecutors, in a pre-trial proceeding, to prove by "clear and convincing evidence" the accused did not act in self defense.

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