How to Receive a Temporary Driving Permit after a DUI in Florida.

In Florida, a person arrested for a DUI must face two separate cases: an administrative case and a criminal court case. While most people are familiar with the criminal consequences a DUI brings, there is also an important administrative process dealing with the person’s driver license.

When someone is arrested on suspicion of DUI, the arresting officer will normally take the driver’s license, which results in an immediate suspension of driving privileges. If the driver takes a breath test, and fails, the driver’s license will be suspended for 6 months. If you refuse a chemical test (such as a blood, breath or urine test) for the first time, the driver’s license will be suspended for one year. If the driver has previously refused a chemical test the suspension lasts 18 months.

What happens after you are released from jail?

Once the driver is released, he or she should receive a traffic citation for DUI and any other charges related to the incident. If you have not received this citation, we urge you to contact the agency immediately to receive a copy, as without the citation the driver cannot request a formal review hearing. This is important because a formal review hearing allows the driver to make a defense against the DUI and a chance to have the license suspension dropped. The citation is also important because it serves as a temporary driver’s license for up to 10 days after the DUI arrest.

A driver only has 10 days after the arrest to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles Bureau of Administrative Reviews to request a Formal Hearing. An attorney can request this hearing on the driver’s behalf. This means a driver without an attorney must request this hearing on his or her own. To request this hearing, the driver must go to the DMV Bureau of Administrative Reviews in the county the arrest took place in. To obtain the hearing the driver must submit a copy of the DUI citation and pay a $25.00 fee.

During this time this driver will then receive a temporary driving permit. Once a person receives this permit he or she will be allowed to operate a motor vehicle for work related driving, driving for educational purposes, attendance at religious services, and for medical appointments. There may be other valid reasons that allow a person with a temporary driving permit to operate a vehicle, but a knowledgeable DUI attorney should be consulted first.

The temporary driving permit will only be valid for 42 days, during which this DMV will hold the driver’s Formal Review Hearing. If the driver wins this hearing, he or she will regain normal driving privileges.   If a driver fails to win the hearing, driving privileges will remain suspended upon the expiration of the driving permit. This remaining suspension can last up to 90 days, and the driver will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle for any reason during this time. Once this suspension is over the driver may qualify for a hardship license, which will act in the same manner as the temporary driver’s permit.

Regardless of the outcome of the formal review hearing, the DUI case will continue in the criminal court system. For information on how to receive a temporary driver’s permit or a hardship license after receiving a DUI, contact the Law Office of David Goldman PLLC today at (904) 685-1200.

By Thomas Morrison, Juris Doctorate Candidate.

New Law will ban Florida Truckers from Texting and Driving

The federal government in recent years has made stricter laws to prevent accidents involving commercial drivers. In 2013, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill that allows Florida truckers to be stopped and fined for texting while driving.  The highway safety bill HB 7125 now brings Florida law into compliance with federal regulations that ban truckers and other commercial vehicle operators from texting or talking on their cell phones without a wireless device such as a blue tooth.

truckThese new laws are significant because it makes texting while driving a primary offense for truckers and will also cause both truckers and their companies to face fines for violating of the law.

For initial violations, commercial drivers must pay a $500 fine and their companies must face a $2,750 fine.  Once a commercial driver has received a third violation or more, drivers would have to pay $2,750 and face a 120-day license suspension.  After a third violation by the same commercial driver, a company may be liable to pay up $11,000 in fines.

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fightingDepending on where and how you grew up, you may have been told as a child or heard someone else told, “If he hits you, hit him back!”  My neighborhood back home in southern Georgia  happened to be a place where such an attitude was common.  This type of advice is where many people are first introduced to the concept of self defense.  Florida law, under Chapter 776, contains a group of statutes that define the justifiable use of force, commonly known as self defense.  The law doesn’t mention anything about being able to “hit back” if someone hits you.  It’s a bit more refined than that.   Bouncers at a Florida bar could learn this lesson the hard way.

A brawl at a Saint Augustine Bar recently has people questioning whether bouncers went too far in breaking up a fight.  After two women began to fight, things were elevated by security at the Conch House in Saint Augustine, Florida. Much of the chaos was caught on video.  News4jax.com reported that the bouncers may have even thrown an unconscious person into the water.  Florida law allows you to defend yourself, even defend others, but there must be a reasonable amount of force used.

Florida Statute 776.012 states:  “A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.”  What this means is that you are allowed to use force to stop an ongoing attack against you.  Florida law allows a certain amount of force to be used in protecting your property, as well.

A Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer asked to comment on the brawl during the interview was spot on when he suggested that individuals are allowed to use force to keep themselves and others safe, but can’t go too far.  So when has self defense gone too far?  Well when the threat is eliminated, the force is no longer needed.  If the force used outweighs the threat, self defense or defense of another has likely gone too far.  At the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, we have experienced self defense lawyers that can help the law work for you if you or a loved one are in danger of being prosecuted for a crime when self defense is an issue in your case.  Call (904) 685-1200 today for a free initial consultation or to learn more about self defense and the use of force or deadly force.

 

Lawyer DUI setup: The Florida Bar alleges Three Florida Attorneys set up opposing counsel with a DUI.  The Florida Bar has finished up its case today in an ethics trial against three Florida attorneys accused of using a Tampa police officer and an office paralegal to set up a rival attorney with a DUI in an attempt to derail the case.  The alleged setup stems from a defamation trial two years ago that pitted two morning radio shock jocks against each other. So far this case has engrossed the local legal community with the accusations of dirty scheming and flirtation to win the case.

844621_speed_1The Florida Bar supports the version of events as told by attorney Phil Campbell. Campbell was charged with a DUI two years ago. He alleges that attorneys Adam Filthaut, Robert Adams, and Stephen Diaco orchestrated his DUI charge by using an office paralegal and a local police officer to derail the trial.

The alleged event occurred in January 2013, when the three attorneys represented the well known radio host Bubba The Love Sponge Clem in a defamation lawsuit brought by a rival radio personality, Todd Schnitt. Schnitt claimed Bubba made derogatory remarks about him and his wife on his radio show and induced his fans to harass him.

Campbell represented Schnitt in the case. After the second day of trial, Campbell went to a local steak house for dinner. He claims that as he was about to leave, a woman named Melissa Personius sat next to him and preceded to flirt with him and buy him shots. Unbeknownst to Campbell, the woman was actually a paralegal for the opposing council’s firm. Personius told Campbell that she didn’t want to leave her car, and Campbell volunteered to drive the vehicle to a parking lot near his home. Moments after he started to drive, Campbell was stopped by a police officer and was charged with driving under the influence.

Investigators later discovered the police officer was a family friend of one of the three attorneys and records show all three attorneys and the paralegal had exchanged phone calls and texts that night.

After an internal investigation, the police officer was fired and Campbell’s DUI charge was dropped. Police officers are not infallible, but are required to adhere to certain principals and procedures. A police officer’s misconduct or other action’s that violate citizen’s rights can be used as a defense to a DUI charge. If you believe you are a victim of police misconduct or have been charged with a DUI in Florida, contact the Law Office of David Goldman, PLLC today at 904-685-1200.

A Florida teenager is wanted in connection with a shooting at a Jacksonville bus stop.  16 year Edgar Robles is still not in custody.  A $3,000 reward has been offered for information leading to Roble’s arrest.  The teenage is wanted for two counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting deadly missiles, according to news4jax.com.  Robles brought a handgun to the bus stop to confront other students on the bus; Robles, at 16, is not quite old enough to exercise gun rights.  Two teenage girls that were passengers on the school bus were hit by gunfire during the shooting.  One of the girls was struck in the back of the head, while the other was shot in the cheek.  Both girls are reportedly in stable condition.

GunWhenever anyone shoots a gun at a bus stop, there is likely to be a lot of attention focused on the incident.  In this case, all of the people involved are children– everyone from the shooter to the victims and witnesses.  These types of unfortunate stories put Florida gun rights in jeopardy over time by showing guns in a negative light.  In this instance, Mr. Robles is a 16 year kid who can’t legally own a gun.  Requirements to purchase a firearm can be found by visiting the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s website.  To purchase a long gun or rifle, a person must be at least 18 years old.  A person must be 21 to purchase or own a handgun.  Even with age requirements on purchasing and owning guns, State Attorney Angela Corey stated that more and more children are attempting to solve their issues with guns.  Florida law has continued to aim laws at deterring gun violence.  Florida law creates minimum mandatory sentences for crimes that involve guns.  It is commonly referred to as “10-20-life” law.

Stories like this more are sad and outrageous.  They help spread the message that more regulation is needed.  More gun regulation creates more possibilities for law abiding gun owners to become ensnared by laws that were never drafted with them in mind in the first place.  Contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PPLC today at (904) 685-1200 for more information on Florida gun rights.  We also have experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers that can help if you or a loved one have been charged with a gun crime or other offense.  Initial consultations are free.

A Virginia man was arrested for robbing a bank, but he says that he politely asked for the bank’s money and the teller complied, which, in his opinion, means that he did not commit a robbery.  According to abcnews.go.com, twenty-three year old  Dominyk Antonio Alfonseca walked into a Virginia bank and handed a teller a note that said, “I need 150,000 Bands Right NOW!! Please Police take 3 to 4 minites to get here, I would appriceate if you Ring the alarm a minute after I am gone… Make sure the money doesn’t BLOW UP ON MY WAY OUT:-)”.

moneyIn my experience as a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I haven’t encountered very many robberies where the alleged robber actually used a note to ask for money.  What makes Alfonseca’s situation even more unusual is that he recorded the robbery, then posted the video and his robbery note on Instagram.  Alfonseca’s Instagram post allowed police to track him down and arrest him.  According to Alfonseca, there is no evidence of a robbery.  He says that he asked politely for money, and the teller gave him the money.  He doesn’t believe that he has done anything wrong, but the bank teller may have made a mistake.  Alfonseca pointed out that he didn’t want the teller to get into any trouble. Continue reading

Gun3Gun rights are near and dear to the hearts of many Americans. The second amendment to the United States Constitution protects our right to arm ourselves to the delight of many gun enthusiasts. The States routinely regulate the way people can exercise their gun rights, even though the U.S. Constitution protects against those rights being infringed. In the debate over guns laws throughout the years, anti-gun factions have been in support of more regulation concerning the way guns can be owned and possessed. I imagine that this is where legislation comes from that makes it a crime to carry concealed weapons, and makes it a more serious crime to carry a concealed gun than to carry some other concealed weapon.

Florida law, specifically Section 790.01 Florida Statutes, makes it a third degree felony to carry a concealed gun or firearm, while carrying other concealed weapons without a permit is only a misdemeanor. This shows the strong stance the State of Florida takes against gun crimes. Carrying a concealed firearm is punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison.  As a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, I have represented clients charged with Possession of a Concealed Firearm on many occasions. Most often, my client had come into contact with law enforcement after a traffic stop, which under some circumstance or another ends up with the car being searched.

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Gun PointExercising your Florida gun rights can turn into “gun wrongs”, if you don’t know what to do and what not to do.  Last week I received a call from South Florida.  On the other end was a panicked young concealed carry permit holder; we’ll call him “Eric”, which isn’t his real name for obvious confidentiality reasons.  Eric had been arrested for pulling his gun to stave off a would-be road rage incident.  As Eric drove, there was apparently something about his driving that ticked off another driver.  The other driver began to drive erratically, darting in and out of traffic to catch up with Eric.  Once the other driver caught up to Eric, the other driver rolled down his own window and began to yell at Eric.  Believing things were about to escalate into a bad situation, Eric pulled his gun to encourage the angry driver to back off.  Eric was subsequently arrested for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, pursuant to Section 784.021, Florida Statutes.

Florida law defines an assault as “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”  Aggravated Assault with a Firearm carries a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in Florida State Prison under chapter 775, specifically Section 775.087.  I imagine that you are starting to see the importance of knowing what not to do as a gun owner.  This is not a very pleasant position to be in.  Making a claim of self defense may not be a viable option here.  Key to a self defense claim is that a person uses the same amount of force that is used against the claimant.  It also has to be a reasonable amount of force under the circumstances.  As a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I’ve represented people that have been in Eric’s position.  The majority of them were law abiding citizens and good people that made a poor choice in a stressful situation. Continue reading

Recently, there have been a series of shootings in Jacksonville.  In some instances, there were people that were struck by gunfire.  These violent stories regarding crime circulate quickly because of the shock value associated with them.  Florida’s 10-20-life sentencing scheme also make these stories stand out.  However, in my experience as a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, the average criminal case is not the one that makes the news.  The defendant is not a scary person behind the trigger of a gun, but a normal, average Joe type that has made a bad decision in a single moment.  Other times, it’s someone who hasn’t done a single thing wrong, but is instead the unfortunate victim of circumstance.  Whether the crime is  Racing/Reckless Driving; Assault/Battery;  Possession of Marijuana; or Theft, anyone could find themselves in need of a criminal defense lawyer.

A criminal defense lawyer is important for someone that doesn’t have a history of being in trouble just as much as it is for the repeat offender.  In some instances, a criminal defense attorney is able to point out circumstances that show clearly that a client is innocent and convince the State that no charges should be filed.  Having charges thrown out without ever being filed is the best outcome, but is more likely to happen  when your criminal defense lawyer has been brought in very soon after arrest.  Other times, when the facts are against you, a good criminal defense attorney, with enough experience to properly evaluate your case, can help present mitigation and negotiate the best possible outcome for your situation.

At the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC, we have criminal defense lawyers with years of experience that can help you or a loved one in your time of need.  Initial consultations are always free.  Whether you have traffic tickets, or something more serious, call us today at (904) 685-1200 to find out how we can help.

baseball-bat-toy-990124-mWhen Jimmy Morris discovered that his daughter’s boyfriend had beaten her bloody in front of her children, Mr, Morris took matters into his own hands before police arrived.  Witnesses who were present at the scene reported that Morris took a baseball bat from his truck and hit his daughter’s abusive boyfriend with enough force to crack the bat.  Top Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers immediately begin to think of ways to defend against potential aggravated battery charges after hearing the facts in this case.  Morris’ best hope of a legal defense lies in the principle of self defense, which includes defense of others, being applied to Morris’ case.  So what is the likelihood that Morris could be saved by the principles of self defense?

Under Florida law, a battery is simply a harmful or offensive touching of another; this offense is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail.  Section 784.045 elevates a simple battery offense up to aggravated battery  when great harm is done to the victim, when the victim is permanently disfigured or disabled, or when the defendant uses a deadly weapon; aggravated battery is a second degree that can land a defendant in prison for up to fifteen (15) years.  Whether an object is a deadly weapon depends on the way that it is used.  Taking a bat to an individual’s head is absolutely enough to qualify the bat as a deadly weapon.

Applying a self defense theory to Morris’ defense may prove difficult in this situation.  Self defense does not mean what I’ve found that the average person thinks it means.  You hit me– I hit you back.  Or in Morris’ case… You hit my daughter– I crack your skull.  Self defense (or defense of others) applies when a certain amount of reasonable force is used to stop unlawful force from being used against you (or the person you’re defending).  Simplified, it boils down to what needs to be done to get the attacker off you or someone else while the attack is happening.  Hitting his daughter’s boyfriend after the boyfriend beat her, rather than while he was attacking her, creates a problem.   Continue reading

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