Articles Posted in DUI / BUI – Drunk Driving

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 AttorneyFlorida State University criminologist Bill Bales knew Florida’s crime rate, like that of the nation, had been dropping for years but he had no idea just how much. Once he sat down to crunch the numbers he was shocked to discover how safe the state has become. Bales said, “I was astonished by the consistency of the decline and the magnitude of the decline.”

The decline was far from statistically insignificant. His results indicate that the level of safety of citizens and tourists in the state over the past 20 years has improved by a whopping 52%. What he labels a “remarkable” figure. His analysis indicated that crimes rates in Florida fell dramatically since the peak year of 1991 across all seven categories of crimes tracked by the FBI: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and auto theft.

What’s the reason for such a steep drop? Bales and other criminologist say there’s no one answer. A variety of factors such as state demographics, deployment of law enforcement resources, unemployment rates and poverty all likely played a part. The only significant correlation the study found was with increased imprisonment rates. He found that from 1980 to 2010, as crime rates went down, Florida’s prison population ballooned nearly 170 percent. However, he emphasizes that that alone does not explain the overall trend.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAAA and sponsor Budweiser has offered “Tow To Go” in the past for most holiday events. Well, let’s not let that trend die! So from the 4th of July to the 7th, AAA will be offering FREE rides for both you and your vehicle. The Number to call is 1-800-AAA-HELP (222-4357).

We all like to indulge in the festivities of the season, but sometimes the indulgences get the best of us and when they do we need to make sure we do not take to the motorways with the perception we can drive. However, this misconception can have dire consequences. As a Jacksonville Attorney, I have seen the consequences of such accidents. These consequences include criminal charges: DUI, leaving the scene of an accident, disorderly conduct, etc. and civil charges: property damage, victims injuries and resulting bills. All these and more could be awaiting you if you decide to drive in Jacksonville following some over indulgence.

Therefore, Jacksonville, be safe this week and remember a FREE ride home is only a call away.

Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAs a general rule, it’s a good idea to refuse a breath test if you ever find yourself pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving. The breath test results often form the crux of the state’s DUI case against you. A breath test that indicates a BAC greater than .08 makes a difficult case to defend that much harder. Some people think they can avoid this trap by purchasing pocket breathalyzers. These devices can cost up to $300 and are advertised as means of allowing you to test yourself before driving home.

Recently, one news organization put one such Breathalyzer, the BACTrack S80, to the test. The $150 device is advertised as providing “professional accuracy at an affordable price.” The organization conducted a controlled experiment to determine just how accurately the device measured a person’s BAC. The test also served as a training exercise for officers to help them recognize signs of an impaired driver.

Four women and one man where served measured amounts of alcohol designed to bring their BAC close to the .08 legal limit. The participants self-assessed the amounts of alcohol served, guessing that they were given the equivalent of two or three drinks apiece. After each round of drinks, the participants were asked to blow into both a police authorized breath test device and the BACTrack S80. Almost every time, the BACTrack S80 device had a lower number than the police authorized device. Moreover, the BACTrack S80 consistently registered lower blood alcohol levels than police Breathalyzer device.

Jacksonville DUI LawyerThis weekend marks the beginning of Summer for most Jacksonville residents. This three-day weekend will allow families and friends to leave home and head to that desired destination. However, with fun and the sun, some might decide to over indulge in alcoholic beverages. Some even decide Driving under the influence would be a good idea. As a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer, I can tell you a Jacksonville DUI is NOT a good idea. The penalties are harsh and could have a lasting impact upon your life and your future career path.

Florida’s DUI laws are governed by Statute. Florida Statute § 316.193, which defines DUI as driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle within this state and the person, is under the influence of alcoholic beverages…[with] a BAC of 0.08 or more. The penalties range depending upon number of convictions and other aggravating factors. Just as a note, the statute just requires a “motorized vehicle” and driving or physical control. So this means you could get a DUI for sitting in a parked car with the motor running listening to music, even if you never had the intention to “drive” anywhere. The law is tricky in this aspect and that is where the advice and counsel of a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer may prove to be invaluable.

But what does all this mean for Jacksonville Motorist? It means a DUI charge can come in many forms, not just driving down the road after having too much to drink. However, a charge of Jacksonville DUI does not necessarily mean a conviction. The State still has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer can evaluate your case and determine if there are any mitigating factors or justifications for the alleged DUI.

Jacksonville DUI LawyerYou may be waiting for the punch line for this joke, but there is not one. This is a true story about a man who received a OWI in Iowa after he and his girlfriend brought their pet Zebra and Parrot the a local bar. Officers pulled the man over shortly after leaving the establishment. The man failed the Field Sobriety Test with a BAC of .14. His excuse, “He was about to allow a passenger in the truck to take the wheel when he was arrested.”

The incident occurred on Sunday evening in Dubuque, Iowa outside the local Dog House Lounge. The man, 55 year old Jerald Reiter stated he frequented the bar and on most nights he is allowed to take his zebra inside, but that night they were serving food. He returned the animals back to his truck and allowed fellow patrons to take pictures of the zebra and parrot. He believes a fellow patron is the one who called the police on him.

As a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer this story just goes to show you a DUI can happen at anytime and at anyplace. That is why the guidance and assistance of a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer can prove to be invaluable. I can protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. If you are facing a Duval, St. Johns, Clay, or Nassau County DUI, Call a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer today, 904-685-1200.

 Criminal Shh.jpgThe most important thing to remember after you have been arrested in Duval, St. Johns, Clay, or Nassau County is to NOT talk to law enforcement officers until you have spoken with a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer. You must protect your Rights and if you go after the Florida Criminal Justice System alone, adverse consequences could result. That is why I notify all my clients to as for an attorney before telling a Florida Law Enforcement Officer anything. This one tip could prove to be invaluable in your Florida Criminal Case.

Law Enforcement Officers are trained interrogators and can manipulate a situation that will prove their case and incriminate yourself. Even seemingly innocent statements can be construed negatively if you are not assisted by a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer. I can control the questioning, make sure the answers are not manipulated, and protect your rights. If you are in custody and the police want to “question” you, you have a right to an attorney. USE THAT RIGHT! Do not answer any questions without an attorney present.

However, if you are not “in custody” the officers do not have to offer the assistance of counsel. With that being said, if you are not “in custody” you are also FREE to leave. USE THAT RIGHT and leave without speaking to the police. Do not give them a reason to place you into custody. If you have been questioned by the police or have been “in custody” and were allowed to leave, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer today. I will discuss your case with you, make the proper determinations in moving forward, and make sure your Rights are being protected along the way. So do not delay, call me today!

JBUI.jpgAs the warm weather comes upon Jacksonville and the surrounding areas, so does the amount of boat traffic in our local waterways. In Jacksonville we have a multitude of boaters transverse our rivers and oceans. With Jacksonville’s boaters easy access to the St. Johns River, the Intercoastal Waterway and are close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean boating accidents happen and more often than not alcohol is involved. In Florida, like most states, operating a motorized vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal and can result in severe penalties. As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I have seen several cases where a group goes out for a day on the water to have it abruptly ended when Florida Fish and Wildlife arrive to arrest the driver for BUI. Then the question always arises, “I was caught BUI (boating under the influence), do I need a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer?”

In Jacksonville, BUI is treated very similar to DUI (driving under the influence); which is regulated by Florida Statute § 316.192. For the purposes of BUI, the offense is regulated by Florida Statute § 327.35, which states it is unlawful for a person operating a vessel to be under the influence of alcohol or a chemical substance to the extent that the person’s normal faculties are impaired OR the person has a blood or breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.

As for the penalties of Jacksonville Boating Under the Influence are similar to Jacksonville DUI penalties (A Defendant convicted with DUI could face up to 6 months in jail, a fine ranging from $500-2000, suspended license from 180 days to 1 year) with some minor differences. The most significant difference is that a Jacksonville Boating Under the Influence conviction will not result in a Florida driver’s license suspension. However, it will suspend your boating privileges.

Golf-BallsAs The Players comes to a pinnacle this weekend, some Jacksonville residents and tourists alike may be in a position that was not anticipated as they went out for a day of golf and celebration. I mean, some Jacksonville residents indulged in the festivities a little too much and are now facing a Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge. Now what? What do I do? You should consult a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to discuss your case and make the proper determinations in moving forward.

When you are pulled over for DUI, the officer is likely to ask you to take one or both of these tests: field sobriety or a breathalyzer. While you have the right to refuse to take either test, be mindful that Florida follows an “implied Consent Law.” Florida Statute § 316.1932. This means although you have the right to refuse the test it will result in an immediate suspension of your license for one year. This could however limit the evidence the state has gained against your DUI charge because there will not be a record of your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL).

However, if you have chosen to take the tests, the results are not definite. There are several mitigating factors a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer can consider when defending your DUI charge. For instance, is the breathalyzer functioning properly, is the result so close to .08 accurate, etc. As for the field sobriety test, what were the weather conditions, did the defendant have proper footwear on, what condition was the road in, etc. All these factors and more can be determinative when facing a Jacksonville DUI.

Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense LawyerAs a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer, when I read the recent article of DUI manslaughter, I was shocked. I was personally in the area when this incident occurred. Although I did not witness the incident, I was delayed in traffic as a result of the Police Investigation. According to the report, Francisco Mendez has been arrested for DUI Manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

This incident occurred on Saturday night on 3rd street in the Jacksonville Beach area. At or about 3 AM, 29 year old Justin Reif was crossing third street when he was struck by on-coming traffic, Francisco. A witness stated the vehicle did not stop immediately, but returned a short time later. However, after the driver saw the victim, he left the scene again. A short time later, the Jacksonville Police pulled over a vehicle matching the description and arrested the driver, Francisco.

As a Jacksonville Beach Criminal Attorney, this incident bring several questions to mind. First, eye-witness statements are notoriously incorrect and inaccurate. This fact is increased by the traumatic event they witnessed. This could be a simple case of misidentification. Second, police stated he had “an ordor of alcohol on his breath and his eyes were red.” Well, did the police conduct a proper field sobriety or a breathalyzer? What evidence do they have regarding his intoxication?

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