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Daytona Beach Criminal Defense Blog

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.

One injury can lead to multiple remedies.

Many injury claims result in a multitude of potential remedies for the injured person. Most people are fairly familiar with personal injury claims. Many times these claims are covered by insurance or relatively well to do entities/business which self insure.

How can a DUI charge affect my life?

You have the right to party, drink and have fun in Florida. But you do not have the right to drink and drive. Once you are charged with a DUI, you need to be careful with how you handle your situation. You need to take it seriously and start thinking about how to resolve it. 

Although you have yet to go to trial, it helps if you have a clear understanding of how a DUI charge can affect your life. 

The "Prescription Defense" in the State of Florida

Many clients come to us after they are arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance under Florida Statute § 893.13 - i.e. drug possession. Frequently, our clients are charged with a felony, and, with it, the possibility of up to five years in prison, for possession of a prescription drug for which they actually have a prescription! In the State of Florida, if you are arrested for possession of a prescription drug that you or a family member obtained through the use of a lawful prescription, you may have an affirmative defense that bars prosecution.

A DUI conviction may come with an ignition interlock device

If you are convicted of driving under the influence in the state of Florida, the judge may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle registered in your name. Commonly known as a BAIID, this device is now used throughout the country, but you may not have even heard of it. An example of modern technology, this small but mighty machine is gaining a reputation for keeping first-offense drunk drivers from repeating their crimes.

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