Recently, pro-golfer Tiger Woods agreed to plead guilty to reckless driving and enter a diversion program, in exchange for prosecutors dropping DUI charges against him. criminal defense

ESPN reports the Florida DUI arrest occurred after Woods was found sleeping in his sports car, allegedly under the influence of sleeping medication and painkillers. No alcohol was found in his system. Following the diversion program, he will have the opportunity to ask the judge to expunge the reckless driving conviction.

As our DUI defense attorneys can explain, this is a somewhat typical outcome in a case like this in cases where:

  • Defendant has no prior criminal record;
  • Defendant did not harm anyone or cause property damage;
  • Prosecutors may not have the strongest case (i.e., intoxication via drugs is tougher to prove than alcohol impairment);
  • One is represented by an experienced attorney.

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A well-known South Florida sports caster was arrested for battery on an elderly person, identified as a 70-year-old man. It’s not clear whether the two are related, though defendant had been staying at the home where the elder man resides. criminal defense lawyer

The Palm Beach Post reports authorities were called to do a welfare check. Then an hour later, a woman called 911, identifying the NBA radio host and indicating he was beating an elderly man. Following his first court appearance, at which alleged victim stressed the judge he was not afraid of defendant, the court ordered a mental health evaluation before approving a pre-trial supervised release.

Although this case involves a high-profile defendant, it underscores the increasing incidence of cases filed under F.S. 784.08, assault and battery on an a person 65 or older. It also highlights the fact that not all domestic violence incidents occur between romantic partners or exes. Such crimes can result felony or misdemeanor consequences, depending on the details.  Continue reading

A South Florida man has been sentenced to nine years in prison on DUI manslaughter charges after accepting a plea deal to avoid harsher prison time after a fatal crash that claimed the life of an 85-year-old dentist.DUI defense lawyer

The Palm Beach Post reports defendant will have to serve at least six years in prison following his release from prison. The last-minute deal halted the impending trial, which could have resulted in defendant receiving up to 15 years in prison, per F.S. 316.193. DUI manslaughter in Florida carries a minimum mandatory penalty of four years in prison, with a maximum of 15 years. This maximum penalty could be increased if the individual also flees or tries to flee the scene. In that case, it’s considered a first-degree felony, carrying a maximum 30 years behind bars.

Having an experienced defense lawyer can help increase your odds of a favorable outcome – or at least minimize the chances of spending more than a decade behind bars.  Continue reading

A new Florida law signed by Governor Rick Scott takes aim at opioid trafficking and possession, imposing harsher penalties for those convicted of dealing and using pills, heroin, fentanyl and more. The measure, House Bill 477, enacts new mandatory minimum sentences for opioid users and dealers and establishes new bans on trafficking drugs that include synthetic marijuana and fentanyl.drug defense lawyer

The new law sets mandatory minimum sentences for convicted dealers, which will force judges to lock away drug offenders for extended periods of time with little opportunity for discretion.

All this is despite the growing realization that “tough-on-crime” drug laws simply do not work, and disproportionately affect poverty-stricken and minority communities. Meanwhile, the state will receive $27 million in federal grant money to help pay for its enforcement.  Continue reading

Fingerprint matching has long been considered a critical investigative tool. However, despite its longtime claims of being infallible, the practice started to fall out of favor over the last few years with emerging science indicating that finding a “match” on a fingerprint was more likely to indicate a concordant connection than one that is without a doubt identical. criminal defense lawyer

As noted in a 2014 study published in the journal Public Library of Science, examination of latent fingerprints is often a complex task, even with advanced image processing. In many cases, fingerprints gathered at crime scenes contain less information than those collected under controlled conditions. They can be distorted and might only contain part of the total fingerprint. So despite assertions that fingerprint analysis is “infallible” or has a “zero error rate,” there are many cases in which errors are found and we find that certain assertions of infallibility were implausible.

Despite this, police and prosecutors in South Florida are increasingly relying on fingerprint evidence and analysis in making their cases against criminal defendants in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas. Continue reading

A Boca Raton man was recently acquitted of a DUI manslaughter charge, though he is still facing up to 30 years in prison after jurors determined he fled the scene of that fatal crash. Initially, it was defendant’s girlfriend – not him – who was facing charges in connection for the death. However, police combed through hundreds of emails between the couple afterward, ascertaining that he had in fact been the one driving. criminal defense lawyer

This question of disputed fact involved compelling arguments made by both sides, according to The Sun Sentinel, and reveals why having a good defense lawyer at the outset is a smart move. Those emails were likely this defendant’s undoing – but they also helped clear the name of his now-ex girlfriend, who was initially charged. Understand that any communications about an alleged crime – whether via email, text, voicemail or social media – can and probably will be used against you in a court of law. It’s generally wise never to communicate anything you would not wish to be read aloud in a deposition. Your defense lawyer can counsel you on how to limit these communications and protect your chances at trial.  Continue reading

Although many parents worry about how they will help their teens avoid the pitfalls and perils of underage drinking, some parents view it as better to embrace it. “If I can oversee it, I can control it and protect them,” the thinking goes. criminal defense lawyer

This is erroneous on several fronts. There is of course the civil liability that can be imposed if you knowingly allow a teen to imbibe on your property – particularly if you supply the alcohol – and that teen later drives and is involved in a crash. Although there is technically no social host liability law, F.S. 768.125 holds that a person who sells or furnishes alcohol to someone who is not of lawful drinking age can be liable for injury or damage caused by or resulting from intoxication of that minor.

Beyond that, adults who allow minors to drink or furnish them with alcohol could face charges for child abuse and/ or neglect, as one Florida mother recently discovered.  Continue reading

Six teenagers, ages 14 to 16, are accused of breaking into a man’s Fort Pierce home, stealing a safe containing $200,000 in cash, as well as a Porsche and two handguns. When authorities questioned the boys about the alleged crimes, they reportedly admitted to the theft, and said they had spent the money on gold jewelry, gold teeth, and high and cars and cash gifts for themselves and their mothers.juvenile defense lawyer

Their arrests came at the close of an investigation that began after an April home break-in. Authorities say the homeowner returned to his residence to find his garage door open, and his $60,000 Porsche missing. When he went inside, he discovered his safe with $200,000 in cash – his life savings – and two firearms were missing. The teens reportedly left the vehicle at a local gas station, and while there, one of them pried open the safe and discovered the money, contained in plastic Ziploc bags, inside.

The teens reportedly blew threw the cash, buying gold, vehicles and other gifts. One teen said he had been robbed of the cash. One said he threw away the two guns in a garbage can outside a mall in Fort Lauderdale. When police found the stolen Porsche, they discovered the safe still inside – along with paperwork belonging to one of the teens. This led them to one of the suspects, which led to all of them. Fingerprints from the stolen vehicle were traced to each of the teens. Continue reading

A DUI manslaughter conviction can upend your life, have you facing extensive prison time as well as a damaging and permanent criminal record. Criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale recognize the severity of these allegations, and will work to help you fight back against these serious charges. There may be a mountain of evidence against you, but the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Your defense lawyer can be the deciding factor in the outcome of your case by challenging the veracity of that evidence. In some cases, it may make more sense to negotiate a plea deal, something that will result in a lesser charge or a lesser penalty. It will depend on the individual facts of your case. DUI defense lawyer

Recently in South Florida, a young man was convicted of vehicular homicide following a crash that claimed the life of another young person, a medical student. For this, The Miami Herald reported, he was sentenced to seven years in prison. A previous DUI manslaughter charge had to be dropped after critical errors by Florida state troopers.

F.S. 316.193 is Florida’s driving under the influence statute. Per this provision, any person who is drunk or impaired behind the wheel and causes the death of any human being – including an “unborn quick child” (i.e., the child could have survived outside the womb), you will be convicted of a felony of the second-degree, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. It is bumped up to a first-degree felony if you fled the scene of the crash (i.e., committed a hit-and-run).

Meanwhile, vehicular homicide is spelled out in F.S. 782.071. Continue reading

Earlier this year, prosecutors in Broward County filed charges against a man who allegedly caused a New Year’s Day crash in Fort Lauderdale that killed a teenager. However, despite there being no breath or blood evidence, prosecutors still chose to file a charge of DUI manslaughter. How can this be? DUI defense

For the answer, we look to F.S. 316.193, Florida’s DUI statute. In order to prove a defendant was driving under the influence, prosecutors need to show the individual was driving or in control of a motor vehicle and that they also met one of the following criteria:

  • Had a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood;
  • Had a breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 milliliters of breath;
  • Were under the influence of any alcohol or chemical substance to the extend the person’s normal faculties were impaired.

It is that last provision on which prosecutors are hanging their had in this case.  Continue reading