Articles Posted in Traffic Tickets

Florida Statute 316.2953 provides the law on window tinting and what is legal in the State of Florida.  It states that “a person shall not operate any motor vehicle on any road on which vehicle the side wings and side windows on either side forward of or adjacent to the operator’s seat are composed of, covered by, or treated with any sunscreening material or other product or covering which has the effect of making the window nontransparent or which would alter the window’s color, increase its reflectivity, or reduce its light transmittance.”  The statute provides that “a sunscreening material is authorized for such windows if, when applied to and tested on the glass of such windows on the specific motor vehicle, the material has a total solar reflectance of visible light of not more than 25 percent as measured on the nonfilm side and a light transmittance of at least 28 percent in the visible light range.”  What happens if a police officer sees your window tint and pulls you over, resulting in DUI arrest?

window tint duiIn State v. Coley, 157 So.3d 542 (Fla. 4thDCA 2015), Gary Coley was stopped by police for an illegal window tint.  He was charged with possession of cocaine and cannabis and he moved to suppress any and all contraband seized, and statements made, arguing that there was not probable cause for the stop.  The police officer testified that he had issued many citations for illegal tints of side windows during the hearing.  He stated that in his experience, the tint is illegal where the driver of the vehicle cannot be seen.  The officer correctly stated that per statutory regulation, a tint measurement of less than 28 % is illegal.  The officer indicated that he stopped Coley because he could not see the driver of the vehicle through the tint of its side windows, thereby giving him probable cause to conduct the traffic stop.  The defense argued that the traffic stop was illegal due to the officer’s mistake of law because the law does not state that if a driver cannot be seen through it, then the tint is illegal.  The trial court granted the motion to suppress.

The Fourth District Court of Appeals held that a traffic stop is permissible under the Fourth Amendment where an officer has probable cause to believe that a traffic infraction occurred.  The court provided: “As we have previously recognized, the probable cause standarddoes not demand any showing that such belief be correct or more likely true than false. A ‘practical, nontechnical’ probability … is all that is required…. Finally, the evidence thus collected must be seen and weighed not in terms of library analysis by scholars, but as understood by those versed in the field of law enforcement.  State v. Neumann, 567 So.2d 950, 952 (Fla. 4th DCA 1990) (citations omitted) (quoting Texas v. Brown, 460 U.S. 730, 742, 103 S.Ct. 1535, 75 L.Ed.2d 502 (1983)).”

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.

While entering a convenience store parking lot, you accidentally bump another car while pulling into a parking space.  There is no one in the car.  You go in side the store and ask around to find the car’s owner.  However, you strike out.  The owner is nowhere around.  What do you do?  Florida law, under Florida Statute 316.063,  requires a driver in this situation to leave a note with the driver’s name, address, and registration number in a place on the damaged car that can easily be seen.  Afterwards, the accident should be reported to the police without unnecessary delay.  After doing the things that you required to do by law, you are free to leave.

Leaving the scene of an accident

Leaving the scene

Leaving the scene of an accident in Florida is not necessarily a crime.  under Florida Statute 316.063, but leaving without providing the information above can land you in hot water.  Not contacting the police as soon as possible can get you into trouble also.  Leaving the scene of an accident or a” hit and run” that involves only property damage is a simple misdemeanor and NOT  likely to get you jail time or anything like that, but it is too simple to avoid for you to be in trouble with the law.  Leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries is another story.  Just as there is a duty to provide certain information after a crash, there is also a duty to render aid to people injured in a crash.  Leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries is a felony offense that can be punishable by a prison sentence.

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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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.

Many Florida residents, and visitors, have felt the sting of fines associated with speeding tickets after driving the stretch of highway 301 between Jacksonville and Gainesville. Waldo, Florida is one of the cities that this stretch of highway passes through. Of Waldo’s $1 million annual budget, approximately half came from funds generated through traffic citations, according to ABC News.

IMG_20141008_131952_528.jpgTravelers may now have relief when passing through the Waldo area. The Waldo Police Department, responsible for issuing a half million dollars in citations each year, has been dissolved. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s investigation into misconduct by the former chief of police (and the interim chief that replaced him briefly) may have led to the chief’s resignation (and, later, the interim chief’s resignation).

For assistance with civil traffic and criminal traffic offenses, experienced Jacksonville traffic ticket and criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC are available for free initial consultations.

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.

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