Articles Posted in DUI

Following a DUI arrest, the primary goal of our DUI defense attorneys is to find ways to challenge the charge outright, in hopes of a dismissal or not guilty verdict. However, when the chances of that are slim, we may adjust our strategy to negotiate with prosecutors to amend the charge from DUI to the less serious offense of reckless driving. DUI Defense Attorney

This is precisely what golf pro Tiger Woods did after his Florida DUI arrest in Palm Beach County earlier this year. Authorities arrested him after he was found passed out at the wheel of his vehicle. He was accused of intoxication with prescription drugs and marijuana. There was no alcohol in his system. He would later release a statement saying he was attempting to self-medical to relieve pain from a previous back surgery and insomnia.

By pleading down to reckless driving, F.S. 316.192, as opposed to DUI, F.S. 316.193, defendants can first of all avoid many of the consequences that accompany the more serious charge. Continue reading

In cases that result in drunk driving convictions, a judge may assign varying penalties, depending on things like defendant’s prior criminal record and whether anyone was injured.  In some cases that result in direct injury to another person, the court may order restitution. This is money paid by defendant to the victim in order to compensate for certain losses.criminal defense lawyer

It is separate and apart from any civil liability action that may be taken by victim(s). Victims can sue a drunk driver in civil court to obtain compensation for things like medical bills, lost wages, loss of life enjoyment, pain and suffering, etc. The circumstances under which restitution may be compelled are spelled out in F.S. 775.089.

If a judge in a criminal case orders you to pay restitution, it would be unwise to seek the public’s help in paying it. The reason is that while the intention is to compensate the victim, criminal courts are concerned with penalizing poor choices. That means the person who commits the crime is responsible to pay the penalties for that violation. Recently, a man convicted of two counts of DUI manslaughter in Texas raised ire and generated headlines when he created a GoFundMe account to help pay his court-ordered restitution following a conviction for a crash that killed to highway workers. At the time, defendant’s blood-alcohol concentration was 0.118, more than double the legal limit.  Continue reading

A tow truck driver in Ocala was arrested recently in connection with a January crash that claimed the lives of three people – a 61-year-old former congressional candidate, his wife and adult son. Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol have alleged the truck was under the influence of drugs. He has been charged with three counts each of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. DUI defense lawyer

As most commercial drivers know, the standards they must abide are even more stringent than those faced by other drivers.

For instance, while F.S. 316.193 states a driver may be in violation of the per se bodily-alcohol concentration anytime it meets or exceeds 0.08, commercial drivers can face a number of administrative (and employment) consequences for driving with a BAC of 0.04 or higher.  Continue reading

One of the benefits of having an experienced criminal defense lawyer who is knowledgeable not only about statute, but also about local procedures, policies and players is you have an inside track on what you can generally expect from certain judges, prosecutors and courthouse rules. Some judges may have a reputation for strict adherence to certain dress codes, while others may be a bit more relaxed. Courts are often foreign to many criminal defendants, so knowing exactly what to wear, when to arrive, how to act and how/ when to address the court is important. DUI defense

One thing you will find most judges lack patience for is tardiness. Being on time is essential, and if you don’t have a very good reason for being late or missing a court appearance, you could face serious consequences. It could even result in an additional arrest.

Recently in South Dade, a defendant in a DUI with serious bodily injury case was slated to take a plea bargain, but all that fell apart and she is now facing many more years behind bars – because she was late to court, and the judge was frustrated with her behavior afterward.  Continue reading

In an explosive video that went viral recently, a Utah nurse is manhandled and arrested by a sheriff’s deputy, irate that the charge nurse refused to take a blood sample from an unconscious patient absent a warrant. He threatened her with charges like obstruction of justice. However, such charges won’t prevail when the officer’s initial directive was unlawful.

As our criminal DUI defense lawyers in Fort Lauderdale well know, the nurse was absolutely in the right. As the nurse states correctly in the video, from a constitutional standpoint, a person’s blood is his or her property. Any non-consensual search or seizure of it is subject to approval from a judge in the form of a warrant, barring exigent circumstances. DUI defense attorney

In this case, no such circumstances existed because, first of all, the badly-burned, unconscious patient in question, a truck driver, was not suspected of any wrong-doing. In fact, he is believed to be the victim of a drunk driver who swerved into the trucker’s lane of traffic, causing the rig to burst into flames, resulting in serious injury to the trucker. (The suspected impaired driver died at the scene of the crash.) Continue reading

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.

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 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

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 hat in this case.  Continue reading