| Read Time: 2 minutes | Criminal Defense

I Just Got My First DUI in Orlando and Need A Lawyer, What Now?

You’ve just been charged with a DUI, so now what do you do? What you do next is crucial to the outcome of your case. An experienced DUI defense lawyer at Moses & Rooth can assure the best results and guide you through the DUI nightmare. First Step – Driver’s License Suspension Hearing The first step after receiving a DUI charge is to contact a lawyer that can help you request an administrative review of your driver’s license suspension. A first time offender must act quickly. After being charged with a DUI the police officer takes the driver’s license, issues a 10-day temporary permit, and issues the driver a notice of suspension. According to Florida Statute 322.2615, first time offenders have only 10 days after the issuance of the notice of suspension to request a formal or informal administrative hearing through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to review the suspension. A driver with a suspended license may request a restricted permit to be used for business and employment purposes only. A qualified attorney can help you navigate the review process and insure the best possible outcome. Second Step – Facing Criminal Charges The second step after attending an administrative hearing to fight your driver’s license suspension is to face the criminal DUI charges against you. Your license can still be suspended depending on the outcome of your case, however, your conviction is not set in stone. A DUI defense lawyer may be able negotiate a lesser charge, dismiss evidence presented against you, present evidence on your behalf in order to prevent a conviction, or argue reduced fees, jail time, and driver’s license suspension period. First Time DUI Conviction Penalties According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a first offense DUI conviction can result in: Fines from $500 to $1,000 (If your Blood Alcohol Level (BAL) is .15% or higher or if a minor was in the vehicle the fine can be up to $2,000), 50 hours of community service or an additional fine of $10 per community service hour, Probation up to one year, Incarceration up to 6 months (If your BAL is .15% or higher, the sentence could be up to 9 months), Vehicle impounded for 10 days, Driver’s license suspension up to one year, and An ignition interlock can be issued for six months or more if your BAL is .15% or higher or if a minor was in the vehicle. Even if this is your first DUI you could also face felony or manslaughter charges if serious bodily injury or death was caused. A driver causing serious bodily injury while driving under the influence may be convicted of a third degree felony and face up to $5,000 in fines and/or 5 years in prison. A driver causing a death while driving under the influence may be convicted of a second degree felony and face up to $10,000 in fines and/or 15 years in prison. If the driver leaves the scene of the accident the driver may face a first degree felony and 30 years in prison. A DUI conviction can hold harsh penalties. If you have been charged with a DUI let the experienced DUI defense attorneys of Moses & Rooth in Central Florida fight on your behalf to insure the best possible outcome. Contact us today, so we can help you put your DUI charge behind you. See related blog posts: https://www.mosesandrooth.com/dui-traffic-offenses/dui-drivers-license-suspension-attorneys-in-orlando/ https://www.mosesandrooth.com/dui-traffic-offenses/dui-penalties/

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Drunk Driving

Should I blow or should I say no

As a DUI criminal defense attorney I can say hands down the most common question I get from clients, friends, and really anyone I meet is: “Should I take the breath test?” The best answer to that question is “Don’t drink and drive” but I guess most people are looking for the second best answer. In Florida if you are arrested for a DUI, you are taken to the breath center and the arresting officer is going to ask you to blow into the Intoxilyzer 8000. The “Intoxilyzer 8000” is the approved breath test machine that Florida requires those arrested for driving under the influence to blow into in order to determine their blood alcohol level. If you decide to refuse to take the test, the officer is suppose to tell you that your license will be suspended for one year for a first refusal, and 18 months if you have previously refused to take the test. So what should you do? Take the test and provide a result for the government or refuse the test and be subject to a longer period of license suspension. In Orange County, Florida there has been quite a bit of litigation regarding the “Intoxilyzer 8000”. A machine that supposedly provides results of your blood alcohol level should be subject to scrutiny. However, Florida has consistently argued the code and programming should not be subject to verification and independent testing and has refused to allow any type of transparency. Well the Judges in Orange County disagree with the prosecutors. The County Court Judges in Orange County have found that defendants who blew into the Intoxilyzer 8000 are entitled to the source code for all software versions of the Intoxilyzer 8000. The Judges also stated that if defendants are refused access to these materials then prosecutors will be prohibited from introducing any of their results at a trial. The rationale behind this decision is lengthy but well reasoned. Too many results were being generated that did not make any sense. Too little data was being provided by the State of Florida in order for experts to determine the accuracy of the results. This new Order must be considered when deciding “Should I blow or should I say no”.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Drunk Driving

Did federal drunk driving study trample motorists’ rights?

We write frequently about the delicate balance that the criminal justice system ultimately seeks to achieve. On the one hand, it is important to proportionately and fairly hold individuals accountable for criminal wrongdoing in order to advance the cause of public safety. On the other hand, it is vital that the system ensures that the rights of individuals accused or convicted of wrongdoing are respected at every step in the process. Recently, a governmental initiative aimed at promoting public safety arguably trampled on the rights of motorists. Essentially, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently conducted a National Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drugged Driving. According to the Associated Press, this particular survey has been conducted a handful of times since 1973. The survey helps federal regulators monitor drunk driving behaviors on American roadways. During the course of the survey, thousands of motorists were pulled over and both asked for a swab of their mouths and questioned about their driving habits. Though these motorists were not arrested or accused of any criminal wrongdoing, the invasive nature of the survey has many angered that the government is pursuing aims of public safety without respecting motorists’ right to privacy. Though submitting a mouth swab and answering questions were both voluntary actions on the part of motorists, many may have not understood that these actions were voluntary. Any time that the government asks for bodily material that could be tested for DNA, it is important for individuals to be cautious. As a result, if you ever have questions about what kinds of governmental and law enforcement actions are voluntary and which are not, ask to speak to an attorney before submitting to any testing or questioning. Source: The Huffington Post, “Roadside survey of impaired driving causes outcry,” Michael Rubinkam, Feb. 20, 2014

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Drunk Driving

Florida Biker Sentenced After DUI Accident

A motorcycle accident happened in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, in which a biker, who was later determined to be under the influence at the time, crashed into two pedestrians. The pair was from Ohio, visiting town and watching the Biketoberfest, which is a local motorcycle rally. The couple was seriously injured, though they survived, and the biker has just been given four years since he had multiple DUI convictions. The accident, which happened near nine in the evening, was out on S. Atlantic Avenue. It appears that the biker was riding south and people were standing on the side of the road, waiting for the signal to change so that they could cross. For some reason, the biker veered off of the road and slammed into the people near the crosswalk. Witnesses who saw the accident confirmed that that is how it took place. After the crash, the couple was quickly taken by emergency crews to Halifax Health Medical Center, which is located in Daytona Beach. There, they underwent numerous surgeries. Not only was the man deemed to be under the influence, but he also had a license that had been suspended, and he did not have the proper motorcycle endorsement on that license. He could have gotten up to five years, but he was given just four. Those with multiple DUI offenses who are arrested after an accident really need to know what legal options they have going forward. They should always keep in mind that everyone deserves a fair trial and that everyone has a right to a punishment that is just and in keeping with local laws. Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Biker gets four years in state prison for DUI crash that injured 2 tourists” Kevin P. Connolly, Sep. 16, 2014

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Drunk Driving

Common drunk driving defenses in Florida and other states

A lot of Florida residents who are arrested on DUI and/or DWI charges see it as the end of the world. Indeed, such charges can be exceedingly serious, and they can even result in jail time in certain situations. However, there are numerous defenses that accused individuals can use in court to try and get their charges dropped or dismissed. The following defense strategies might be applicable depending on the facts of a case and the state in which the arrest occurred. — “Necessity” is one defense in which the allegedly inebriated the driver proves that he or she was forced to drive while intoxicated in order to prevent a greater evil from occurring. — “Duress” is another defense, where a driver is forced by another person beyond his or her will to drive while drunk. — “Entrapment” is a situation in which an officer asks a drunken person to operate a motor vehicle. — “Involuntary Intoxication” is a defense that says a person became inebriated unknowingly — for example, if a bowl of punch was unknowingly spiked at a party. — “Mistake of Fact” is a defense in which a person honestly did not know he or she was inebriated at the time of driving. The following DUI defenses have to do with the manner in which the accused person was initially pulled over or they seek to invalidate factual evidence used to prove guilt. — “The Improper Stop” defense seeks to show that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to pull over the accused driver in the first place. — “The Accuracy of Field Sobriety Test,” “Accuracy of Breathalyzer Test” and “Accuracy of Blood Test” defenses try to invalidate test results that allegedly prove the accused individual was drunk. Finally, another interesting defense that could apply in certain states and circumstances is the “Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration” defense, which claims that the accused person’s blood alcohol content was lower at the time he or she was pulled over than at the time various sobriety tests were actually administered. For example, this defense might be used to allege that when the person was driving, the full amount of alcohol consumed had yet to hit his or her system. By reviewing the facts associated with a drunk driving arrest, a DUI defense attorney will be able to develop the defense strategy that is most suitable for a given situation. Source: FindLaw, “Defenses to Drunk Driving” Sep. 04, 2014

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Drunk Driving

26-year-old Florida man accused of DUI manslaughter

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a construction worker has suffered a tragic death after being struck by an alleged drunk driver. Police say that the driver hit two workers on U.S. Highway 41 in Port Charlotte. The men were completing road maintenance tasks at the time of the crash. Troopers report that the 26-year-old driver who allegedly caused the collision did not see a pickup truck ahead of him, even though its overhead warning lights were activated. The man’s car struck two men who were standing outside of the truck and pinned them between the two vehicles. The struck men were 22 and 39 years of age. The 39-year-old man died not long after being transported to the hospital for treatment. The 22-year-old man was last reported to be in critical condition. A 6-year-old child who was riding with the driver was also transported to the hospital after suffering minor injuries. The driver survived, but he was subsequently arrested on various charges, including DUI serious bodily injury, DUI property damage and DUI manslaughter. Multiple DUI offenses relating to a fatal and injury-causing Florida car accident could result in the accused person being sentenced to jail. However, during any kind of DUI proceedings, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused person is actually guilty of the crime. This is more difficult to do than may readily appear in many cases; therefore, defendants may have the opportunity to get certain charges thrown out, dropped or dismissed and increase the ultimate outcome of his or her legal proceedings considerably. Source: myfoxorlando.com, “Construction worker killed in drunk driving crash” Aug. 01, 2014

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Drunk Driving

Justin Bieber’s DUI trial delayed for plea negotions

In a lot of cases, celebrities accused of crimes like drunk driving will have the financial means to hire the best legal counsel available. As a result, these individuals may have a better chance of achieving favorable results during their DUI defense proceedings. In the highly publicized DUI case of Justin Bieber, though, the public and gossip columnists are still waiting with baited breath to see how the case concludes. According to the most recent reports about the Bieber DUI trial, which is being carried out in a south Florida courtroom, the litigation of the case has been subjected to yet another delay. During a hearing that was held on a recent Wednesday, prosecutors asked the presiding judge to give them three more weeks in order to negotiate a plea deal, which — if successful — could prevent the case from going to trial. As a result of the approved postponement, the next hearing has been set for Aug. 5. The DUI and resisting arrest allegations against Bieber stem from an arrest that occurred in Miami Beach on Jan. 23. Police claim that Bieber was involved in an illegal drag race with a friend. Police conducted a breathalyzer test on Bieber, which allegedly showed his blood alcohol level was below the legal limit for underage drinkers in Florida of 0.02 percent. However, police urine samples revealed that the pop star had anti-anxiety medication and marijuana in his system. In addition to the DUI and resisting arrest charges, Bieber was also charged with having an expired driver’s license. Following a Florida drunk driving arrest, accused individuals will have a variety of options available to them. They will be entitled to legal representation and a DUI defense. Even if they do not have the economic means to afford the services of an attorney, a public defender will be provided free of charge. During their criminal proceedings — if successfully navigated — accused individuals may be able to get their charges dropped or dismissed, reach a plea bargaining arrangement and/or achieve other favorable results. Source: My Fox Orlando, “Another delay in Justin Bieber’s Fla. DUI case” Curt Anderson, Jul. 16, 2014

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Drunk Driving

Justin Bieber goes to trial for Florida DUI

Justin Bieber, who has risen to fame as a pop star out of Canada, was pulled over and arrested in Miami Beach earlier this year. Police said that he was driving under the influence, and he is now set to go to trail for those charges. The arrest happened on January 23, and the young singer was just 20 years old at the time. Bieber was not the only performer who was named by police in the case. Allegedly, there was an R&B singer in another vehicle near him, and the police stated that they thought that the two cars were illegally racing. The other singer was also given DUI charges. Both he and Bieber decided that they would plead that they were not guilty of those accusations. Police did take a blood alcohol reading for Beiber, and he was not over the legal limit in the state of Florida. This would mean that he could not face more than a misdemeanor charge. However, the authorities also stated that they found evidence that he had taken drugs. On top of that, Bieber was given charges for resisting arrest, though he was not violent, and he faces charges for driving with a license that had already expired. Some sources have indicated that it is not likely that he will have to face penalties for these charges, though, as they expect him to move forward with a plea deal that would allow the charges outside of the DUI charge to drop. Bieber’s appearance in court could have come sooner, according to some reports, but a judge for the case was trying to get him to do a public service announcement aimed at telling others, including his fans, not to drive under the influence. His lawyers were against this, and arguing through the details allegedly delayed the case. Individuals who have been charged with a DUI, whether they are famous or not, should know what rights they have under state laws and what options they have for how they can enter a plea. Source: Source: WJLA, “Justin Bieber’s DUI trial to start Monday,” No author given, July 7, 2014

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Drunk Driving

Police officer arrested for possible prescription DUI offense

A police officer has been taken into custody on charges of drunk driving in Florida. The officer, who is employed by the Daytona Police Department, was arrested in the very same city after she lost control of her personal vehicle and crashed it into a ditch. Fortunately, neither she nor anyone else suffered injury in the incident, but the Mustang she was driving was damaged on its left side. The crash and arrest occurred on a recent Thursday evening at approximately 11 p.m. According to the arrest report, the woman failed to negotiate a turn. When officers arrived on scene, the allegedly woman smelled of alcohol and was walking unsteadily. Two witnesses also concurred according to police reports, saying that they saw the woman in a gas station not far from where the accident occurred. They said that she appeared to be affected by an intoxicating substance. Police say that when they asked woman what happened, she said that she missed her exit. Reportedly, she also admitted to drinking two alcoholic beverages and taking a pharmaceutical drug for shoulder pain. This Florida police officer has now been placed on administrated leave while police continue their investigations. Indeed, a DUI arrest can be extremely detrimental for a public servant of the law. Regardless of one’s professional occupation, the consequences of a DUI arrest (even prior to conviction) can be life-altering. Fortunately, there may be many explanations for why an individual appeared to be inebriated at the time of an accident. In cases of prescription DUI, for example, the accused individual may have suffered an adverse, unplanned reaction to a prescription drug. In certain cases, individuals may be able to defend themselves successfully against the DUI charges in court. Source: Click Orlando, “Daytona Beach police officer arrested on DUI charge” Daniel Dahm, Jun. 20, 2014

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Drunk Driving

$11 million awarded to man hit by drunk driver in Florida

A jury has recently ruled on a case in Florida involving a man who suffered from permanent disabilities, and the man has been awarded an amount of $11 million. The lawsuit was not against the driver himself, however, but against the club that he was a part of, which is known as the Okeechobee Eagles Aerie #4137. The lawsuit claimed negligence on the part of the club, indicating that they should not have let the 73-year-old man leave in his vehicle since he had been drinking alcohol. The driver who was injured was riding a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and he was passing the club when the man pulled out into the road. The elderly man blocked the bike’s path with his Ford F-350, a heavy duty pickup truck, causing the accident. The biker attempted to stop and even managed to lock his brakes, but there was no way that he could keep from slamming into the truck. The driver of the truck was arrested on a number of different counts, including leaving the scene of the crash. The biker’s injuries after the wreck have limited him in three different ways. He has trouble remembering things, he has difficulty walking, and he has some issues with his eyes, though exactly what they are was not specified. He and his wife claim that the injuries in total have changed their lives forever. While this man was convicted, it is important for those who are setting up a DUI defense to know what their rights are. Those charged with a crime have a right to an impartial and fair trial. Those convicted of a crime have a right to appeal the verdict. A criminal defense attorney works to protect those rights and provide a strong defense against the charges. Source: Okeechobee News, “Okeechobee jury awards $11 million in DUI lawsuit; motorcyclist hit by drunk driver left permanently disabled” Eric Kopp, May. 20, 2014

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