| Read Time: < 1 minute | Leaving The Scene of an Accident

Governor signs new law for Leaving the scene of an accident

Governor Scott signed tougher penalties into law for leaving the scene of an accident criminal charges in the State of Florida. The Bill is called the Aaron Cohen Life Protection Act, named after a 35 year old South Florida Man killed in 2012 while bicycling. The bill is focused on increases the penalty for charges related to causing serious injury to another person. Governor Scott clearly is looking to protect families who are victims of these traffic offenses. The changes in the law include: Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death to a person – The penalty was increased to include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment for four years imprisonment. For the charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in the death of a person while driving under the influence, the penalty has increased to a mandatory term of imprisonment from two years to four years. The new law also requires a minimum drivers license revocation period of at least three years. The criminal traffic offense of leaving the scene of an accident was pushed for increased penalties from several politicians and Mothers against drunk driving. Leaving the scene of an accident often referred to as Hit and Run are many times correlated with impaired driving. Rather than face the consequences of a driving under the influence charge, an impaired driver will often times leave the scene of an accident to avoid the DUI investigation. While this is not always the case for these types of charges, its clear that the impaired driver was the focus of the increased penalties. Those in opposition of the Bill believe that the penalties take the discretion out of the hands of the prosecutor and the judge for these types of charges.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Traffic Offenses

Florida requires car seats through age 5

Instituting new restrictions on the public is usually a bad idea. However, the Florida legislature and Gov. Scott certainly go this right. Until today, Florida only required children through age three to be in car seats. The new law requires kids to be in either a 5-point harness or use a booster seat until their 6th birthday. Prior to the enactment of this statute, Florida ranked last in child safety seat laws. Can’t really blame the legislature as they passed a law in 2001 but it was vetoed by then Gov. Jeb Bush. Anyway kudos to Florida law makers for finally getting it right. See we don’t have to be the nation’s laughing stock all the time. For anyone interested this was HB 225.

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| Read Time: < 1 minute | Traffic Offenses

Florida Starts Ban on Texting While Driving

The traffic offenses of Texting while driving will now be against the law starting on October 1, 2013. Florida Statutes 316.305 is the law used to regulate and enforce Florida’s Ban on Texting while Driving law. The Statute states: “A person may not operate a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of nonvoice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.” The statutes allows for some relief to those addicted to texting to check and send messages while the vehicle is stationary. The dangers associated with texting while driving is substantial, however enforcing this statute will be a challenge for law enforcement. Law enforcement can only enforce this statute as a secondary action. This means law enforcement must have already stopped your vehicle for a separate violation such as careless driving before they can site you for the texting statute violation. Furthermore, law enforcement will face significant evidentiary issues. Law enforcement may not be able to use the billing records statements or statements from wireless providers as evidence unless a crash resulting in death or personal injury occurs. These traffic offenses still have minimal penalties. While I commend the legislature for outlawing texting while driving the penalties need some adjusting. A first offense is considered a non moving violation. The only way for the citation to carry points on your driving record as a moving violation is for a second or subsequent violation within 5 years of the prior conviction.

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