Articles Posted in Driver’s Licenses

“License and registration, please.”  If you have ever been pulled over by police, you have probably heard this phrase.  In recent years, Americans have grown more and more suspicious of police officers. With all that we see and hear on the news and in social media, arguably, there is cause for alarm in some cases.  In my practice as a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I get questions regarding encounters with police regularly. Criminal defense lawyers can’t always give the definite answers that people are looking for, however. Much of what we can and cannot do under Florida law is based on the particular details of a situation.   There are certain rights that all Jacksonville criminal attorneys will tell you that can or should expect to be a given.

license and registration checkWith the popularity of smartphones with video recording capabilities, many people are taking it upon themselves to record officers. I recently watched a video online that showed a man pulled over at a DUI checkpoint. The driver refused to give the police officer his license and registration. The driver asked the police officer to explain what probable cause there was to ask for the driver’s license and registration.   The officer even threatened to have the man arrested for interference, but the driver didn’t fold. Instead he asked that a supervisor be called out to the scene. Once the supervising officer arrived, he leaned forward a little into the driver’s window and stated that there was no smell of an alcoholic beverage and told the driver he was free to go. The original officer who had demanded the driver’s license and registration and repeatedly said the U.S. Supreme Court and upheld DUI checkpoints looked very confused.

The likely reason that the supervising officer let the driver go about his business is that the United States Supreme Court in the case of Delaware v. Prouse back in 1979 held that it is improper for police, without “articulable and reasonable suspicion” to detain drives simply to check their licenses and registration.  The U.S. Constitution’s provision against unreasonable search and seizure provides a shield against this type of police conduct. Florida’s Constitution also protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. For more information or help with a case, contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PPLC today. Initial consultations are free.

In most situations, bad driving gets you a traffic ticket. However, for some driving offenses, traffic tickets are not enough as far as the law is concerned. You can be arrested for being a bad driver. Recently, a woman was arrested in Virginia after being caught driving over 90 mph on three separate occasions within an hour. The third time she was stopped, Kai Kitchen was arrested for reckless driving.

Reckless drivingFlorida has its own version of reckless driving.  Florida Statute 316.192 states, “Any person who drives any vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.”  Reckless driving is a criminal offense that can lead to jail, even prison in some cases, depending on whether it’s the first conviction or whether there are injuries or property damage.  Reckless driving is deemed more serious than simple careless driving.  Careless driving leads to a civil citation and is defined in Florida Statute 316.1925, which states, “Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the [vehicle] in a careful and prudent manner, having regard for the width, grade, curves, corners, traffic, and all other attendant circumstances, so as not to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person.”

Reckless driving can be punished more severely, because it looks at situations where the driver is actively doing something that can be dangerous, while careless driving is more like being absent minded while driving.  Causing property damage, an injury, or even a death while driving carelessly isn’t a criminal offense, but doing either while driving recklessly can result in a stiff punishment.

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.

If you’ve ever been in a crowded parking lot where space is limited, you know that you should be more careful than normal when maneuvering through the tight spaces that often accompany these situations. Misjudging the amount of space available to make a turn into a parking space, for instance, could easily result in a minor collision. So what are you required to do after you lightly swipe the car next to you? As a Jacksonville traffic attorney and criminal defense attorney, I’ve seen what can happen when people are unfamiliar with what they are required to do, or simply make the mistake of leaving the scene because they’re scared and nervous. Leaving the scene without doing certain things that Florida law requires of a driver involved in an accident, is a criminal traffic offense that could lead to you being arrested. So how do you avoid being charged with the crime of Leaving the Scene of an Accident?

141003_destruction-demolition-derby-5-1302975-m.jpgDamage Caused to Attended Vehicle or Property
Florida statute 316.061 requires that the driver of a car that collides with another car or some other property, where damage occurs, to immediately stop and provide the driver’s information to driver of the other vehicle or property owner. Consider the crowded parking lot example above. If you are attempting to park in a crowded parking lot, and swipe a parked car next to you, if there is someone sitting in the car, you should (1) stop at the scene; (2) provide the other driver with your name, address, and registration number for your car; (3) if asked, allow the other driver of property owner to see your license; and (4) report the crash to police. Failing to do what you are required to do prior to leaving is a second degree misdemeanor.

Damage Caused to Unattended Vehicle or Property
Florida statute 316.063 mandates that when there is a crash that involves damage to an unattended car or other property, you must (1) stop at the scene; (2) locate the owner of the other car or property in order to provide the owner with your name, address, and registration number for your car [if the owner cannot be found, leave this information in writing in a place that the owner can easily find it]; and (3) report the crash to police without any unnecessary delay.
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Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAs a Jacksonville Traffic Attorney I cannot stress enough to my clients NOT to drive once their license has been suspended or revoked. Monday I reported about Ms. Bynes recent run in with the law and how her license would be suspended. I find it hard to believe she would be unaware of the status of her license and therefore, when she was pulled over recently she was cited for driving on a suspended license and her vehicle was impounded.

This incident with the law follows her two pending counts of hit-and-run. Although she has a some hurdles to cross before she can put all this behind her, the advise and assistance of her Attorney could prove to be invaluable in her case.

As a Jacksonville Traffic Attorney, I handle all sorts of traffic violations; speeding, careless driving, DWSL, etc. Therefore, if you find yourself with an unwanted traffic citation, contact a Jacksonville Attorney who can review your citation and make the proper determinations in moving forward.

Jacksonville Criminal LawyerChildren and Adults, alike, look up to and aspire to famous Actors and Actresses. But, when their good name is pulled through the mud, we all begin to question how innocent are these movie stars anyway. One recent example is Amanda Bynes who made her fame and fortune on the Nickelodeon channel programming. She just recently had her driver’s license revoked by the State of California following three (3) alleged driving related incidents.

Her first incident stemmed from a collision with a police cruiser in April of this year. She was subsequently charged with DUI, but has rebutted all allegations that she was “under the influence.” Bynes went as far as to tweet President Obama, “..I don’t drink…” Her other two incidents are cases of hit-and-runs but she also denies any wrongdoing.

Although a California case, her same issues are relevant here in Jacksonville as well. As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, clients come to me with all sort of driving issues and I work diligently to correct any wrongs and get the best possible outcome, given the circumstances. In Florida, if you incur too many points or three or more citations for driving on a suspended or revoked license within 5 years you could be labeled HTO. As a HTO your license is suspended for 4 years! However, as a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney I can review your driving history and determine where I can provide assistance and fight to get your license reinstated.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyDo you have a not so perfect driving record? Have you been cited or arrested for driving without a license or when your license is revoked? Have you accrued too many points on your license for it to be valid? Have you received notice that you are labeled as a Habitual Traffic Offender and therefore will have your license revoked for four (4) years? If you answered “yes” to any of the prior questions, the assistance and guidance of a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney may be right for you. I can review you driving record, determine how to proceed forward, and fight to get your license back!

There are a few different events that can lead to HTO status, all of which must occur within a five-year period. The most common is to have three offenses of driving while license is suspended or revoked. It is important to remember that this includes convictions as well as cases where withheld adjudication. Some people make the mistake of believing that because adjudication was withheld and no conviction occurred that these cases are not counted when it comes to determining whether someone is should is a HTO. The HTO sentencing guidelines do examine how many points your license has, they count your convictions and withholds instead. Further, no distinction is made as to whether or not you “knowingly” drove while your license was suspended or not.

HTO status lasts for five years and requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) to revoke your license, but there are things that may be done to get you back on the road. After sufficient time and class work, a hardship license may be issued to allow you some right to drive, but with restrictions. After the five year revocation is over, you must petition the DMV to have your license reinstated. A hearing may be required to determine whether or not your reinstatement can be granted or if you should have an alternative, restricted license.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyLast week Clay County Sheriff’s Office conducted a DUI Check point that resulted in 22 being arrested and jailed. The arrests were not just for DUI, but for numerous other offenses. Don’t become a statistic; do NOT drink and drive.

As Jacksonville heads out into this weekend, beware of JSO activity and roadblocks that may be in place. However, the best policy is not to drink or drive. Unfortunately, some Jacksonville motorist decide they are “good” and when they are caught by police, you should call a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney to represent your best interests in Court. The sooner I get involved the more time I have to mitigate the offense and speak with the State.

The DUI standard in Florida is .08 BAC. That is a very low standard and most people do not “feel” the effects of alcohol at that level. However, you could still be arrested. As a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I advise everyone if you are going to drink do not drive. Get a Designated Driver, Stay at that Location, Take a Cab, or Get a Hotel Room.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAccording to a report by WFTV, four out of every 10 Florida drivers stopped by police for suspected drunk driving refuse to submit to breathalyzer tests. Something that many people may not be aware of is how severe the penalty can be just for refusing to take the breath test.

Florida’s current law regarding breath tests, known as Florida’s Implied Consent Law, states that any motorist who simply accepts the “privilege… of operating a motor vehicle within this state is… deemed to have given his or her consent to submit to… [a] test of his or her breath for the purpose of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood or breath.”

The condensed version of the law means that if you choose to drive in the state of Florida, you have already consented to a breathalyzer test and if you refuse to take one then you can and will be punished. The punishments can be quite severe as well; with a first refusal punishable by a suspension of a driver’s license and a second refusal being considered a first-degree misdemeanor and a criminal offense.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyNo one is perfect, however when our imperfections lead us to too many traffic offenses, we can lose our Florida Driver’s license for five years. This is most often known as being a “Habitual Traffic Offender” or “HTO”. The State of Florida feels that people who make it a habit to violate traffic laws should be strongly discouraged from driving on our roads and should be faced with a firm punishment.

There are a few different events that can lead to HTO status, all of which must occur within a five-year period. The most common is to have three offenses of driving while license is suspended or revoked. It is important to remember that this includes convictions as well as cases where withheld adjudication. Some people make the mistake of believing that because adjudication was withheld and no conviction occurred that these cases are not counted when it comes to determining whether someone is should is a HTO. The HTO sentencing guidelines do examine how many points your license has, they count your convictions and withholds instead. Further, no distinction is made as to whether or not you “knowingly” drove while your license was suspended or not.

HTO status lasts for five years and requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) to revoke your license, but there are things that may be done to get you back on the road. After sufficient time and class work, a hardship license may be issued to allow you some right to drive, but with restrictions. After the five year revocation is over, you must petition the DMV to have your license reinstated. A hearing may be required to determine whether or not your reinstatement can be granted or if you should have an alternative, restricted license.

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