Articles Posted in Traffic

A Palm Beach County man accused of DUI manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal bicycle accident received a sentence of 12 years behind bars, following his conviction on the latter charge this summer. He’d been acquitted of DUI manslaughter, the Palm Beach Post reported. DUI defense attorney

This case was in the headlines for a number of reasons, most obviously because it involved the death of a 65-year-old bicyclist. However, there was more to it. Initially, the defendant’s girlfriend, who had been in the passenger seat, agreed to tell officers at the scene that she had been the one driving. The pair reportedly made the decision due to the fact her boyfriend had a prior conviction for driving with a suspended license, and they knew whatever sentence was to be received was harsh. She spent more than a year on house arrest before providing prosecutors with evidence – both emails and text messages shared between the pair – that indicated his alleged guilt.

The DUI manslaughter charge was a difficult one to prove from the outset because responding officers never tested defendant’s blood-alcohol concentration at the scene of the crash, given that they did not believe him to be the driver. However, a change in Florida law pursuant to hit-and-run crashes means drivers who flee the scene of a deadly crash, per F.S. 316.027, face the same minimum mandatory sentence – four years – as someone convicted of DUI manslaughter, per F.S. 316.193. The change in law was meant to serve as an incentive to possibly impaired drivers to remain at the scene of serious crashes and render aid, as required by law.  Continue reading

A new report co-published by the Florida Times Union and journalism non-profit ProPublica revealed strong evidence that the sheriff’s office in Jacksonville has been racially profiling people of color for pedestrian citations. While such tickets might seem a minor annoyance, the disproportionate way in which they are reportedly being doled out raises serious concerns that the department could be disparately deploying justice. If it’s happening with pedestrian tickets, it’s not an enormous leap of logic to suppose it may be happening when it comes to other offenses too.traffic ticket attorney

Our traffic ticket defense lawyers know that a simple allegation of racial discrimination won’t necessarily stand up as a defense in court. While it could be grounds to file a civil rights lawsuit, in criminal or traffic courts, the main issue will be the reasonable suspicion to stop the individual and the strength of evidence of a crime or violation.

As far as these citations, Florida has a wide range of 28 different statutes pedestrians are required to follow. There are prohibitions on everything from jaywalking to crossing the street against a red light. Local ordinance in Jacksonville also allows ticketing for crossing the street at anything other than a right angle, crossing at a yellow light or not walking on the left side of the road that lacks a sidewalk. The sheriff’s office insists it must vigorously enforce these provisions because Florida has the highest rate of pedestrian deaths in the country. That is true, of course, but the journalists discovered the laws aren’t being applied unilaterally. Continue reading

Citizens have certain constitutional rights when it comes to interactions with police and other law enforcement agencies. Those rights do not disappear the moment they get behind the wheel of a car. Still, it is true that motorists don’t necessarily have free reign in police interactions. For example, there is implied consent, which per F.S. 316.1932 allows police to compel drivers to submit to breath alcohol testing upon reasonable suspicion of intoxication. A refusal results in an automatic, year-long driver’s license suspension. Police have the right to temporarily stop drivers in sobriety checkpoints, so long as these operations follow certain legal protocols, such as ensuring vehicles are stopped purely at random. policecar

Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which covers Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, considered a case that raised the question of whether police can retaliate against a citizen for refusing to answer police questions. This is a civil case, as opposed to a criminal one, but it deals with important matters pertinent to those in a traffic stop.

According to court records, plaintiff was pulled over and declined to answer police questions. According to his complaint (and the court assumes these facts to be true at this stage, though they could later be proven incorrect), the sergeant at that point retaliated against this refusal to answer questions by ordering plaintiff out of the vehicle and then putting him face down on the ground.  Continue reading

Boynton Beach city officials have said they plan to continue taking their red light camera cases to court, at least for now, despite a long-simmering legal battle and questions over the constitutionality of the practice. traffic light

The Sun Sentinel reports the city has vowed to continue pursuing these red light camera cases, which cost about $195 in legal fees every time the city takes one to court. The cost of a red light camera ticket is $158. While the city racked up some $5,000 in legal costs related to these tickets just in February, those figures were down to about $3,400 by March. Meanwhile, the city’s income stream has remained steady as people continue to simply pay the tickets in full. The city’s attorney reported there were nearly 5,520 active read light camera cases as of this month, and more than 60 percent of those accused simply pay the tickets without contesting.

To contest one of these tickets, it can take anywhere from half a year to a full 12 months to process.  Continue reading

Technology has made our communications and interactions instantaneous. It’s become second-nature to document almost every waking moment – from what we’re eating for breakfast to conflicts at work to expressions of affection, amusing observations and plans.cell phone

But the platforms on which we share these insights and information aren’t as private as we might think. Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors have gotten very adept at scouring these sites for evidence that may help bolster a criminal case. That could include identification of a suspect or evidence that might be used against a known person or both. People need to be very mindful of this fact when they go to post anything on the internet – even in seemingly closed communications.

Recently, The Sun Sentinel reported Hollywood police officers were able to track down a man who evaded police with active lights-and-sirens on an all-terrain vehicle while riding down the highway during a, “Bikes Up, Guns Down” event in January. This was an impressive feat considering the officers didn’t know the man’s name, the ATV didn’t have a plate number on it and the man lived 1,150 miles away and returned home shortly after the incident. How did they do it? A cell phone selfie-style video. Continue reading

The boy was just 15-years-old in November 2015, allegedly driving a stolen Mustang convertible at reported speeds of up to 120 mph as he tried to evade the police officers chasing him, lights flashing. speeding car

At the same time, a woman was on her way to pick up her own teenager, a 16-year-old girl who was in dance class. She never saw the convertible that crossed through that intersection. The 46-year-old woman, a mother of two, was ejected from the vehicle and died instantly, according to The Sun-Sentinel. The crash occurred at the intersection of Palmetto Park Road and Northwest Second Avenue, after the teen reportedly ran a red light.

Prosecutors have direct-filed the teen as an adult on charges of vehicular homicide, fleeing the scene of a fatal crash and driving without a license. If convicted on all charges, he faces up to 25 years in prison. His first trial took place in January and ended in a mistrial. Jurors reportedly deliberated for more than nine hours and still were unable to reach a unanimous verdict.  Continue reading

He’d just turned 18 and, according to police, was celebrating this milestone with a joyride in a stolen BMW late last month. But in those predawn hours, the teen is accused of using his cell phone and not paying attention to the road, causing him to slam into a sport utility vehicle, killing the other driver, age 39. key

Now, that teenager is facing criminal charges that could lock him up for longer than he’s been alive.

Prosecutors have charged Gregory Holt with a series of charges, including failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, failure to render aid, vehicular homicide and driving without a license involving death. The collision occurred Sept. 25th, and a Broward judge recently set bond for the teen in the amount of $175,000. Prosecutors had been asking that he be held for at least $250,000. A passenger with Holt, who was not injured in the crash, was the one who told investigators Holt was using his phone and being inattentive to the road, and may also have been smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol. The vehicle had allegedly been stolen from a home in Coconut Creek that had been rented through Airbnb for a party that had a turnout of 150 people (unbeknownst to the owner).  Continue reading

A Florida hit-and-run arrest has shocked a local community where the defendant, 37-year-old Jarvis Kendrick, is a well-known leader in the area. He’s regarded as a philanthropic businessman who serves on numerous boards and committees.drivein

Now, Kendrick stands accused of a first-degree felony after authorities say he struck and killed a 74-year-old woman with his pickup truck and left her for dead before concocting an elaborate story to cover his tracks.

Authorities say that had Kendrick simply stopped and rendered aid, as required under F.S. 316.027, he likely would not have faced any charges. Now, he’s looking at a maximum 30 years in prison.  Continue reading

Failure to remain at the scene of a crash in Florida is not merely a minor traffic offense. It can result in high-level felony charges accompanied by severe penalties. It’s an offense for which defendants would do well to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer – the sooner the better. Making any statement to a law enforcement officer, insurance agent or other third party before talking to your lawyer could put your freedom and your future in jeopardy.Police Lights

A Florida hit-and-run arrest was recently made in Hillsborough County (near Tampa) after an insurance agent contacted the Florida Highway Patrol after a customer reported damage to his vehicle.

According to Fox 13, a 56-year-old man from Clearwater was arrested at his home the day after a crash that killed 17-year-old Ashley Perdomo. Investigators say she had just left her shift that night at the El Unico Supermarket. As she crossed the street, investigators say a vehicle driven by Nikolaos Konstantinou struck her around 8 p.m. Konstantinou reportedly failed to stop.  Continue reading

When it comes to red light cameras, states have come to different conclusions about them. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), 21 states plus the District of Columbia have laws that permit some form of red light camera use, while 10 states prohibit use of them. Another 19 states haven’t decided one way or the other.

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So it makes sense, then, that jurisdictions in Florida haven’t come to a clear consensus either. The state allows the cameras and cities can make up their own minds about how to implement them. The traditional penalty for red light running is $125 and three points on your license. Paying a red light camera ticket will result in a $158 fine, but no points on your license. But now, even the courts have taken sharply different stances on the issue.

In Florida v. Jimenez, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal has held that the red light camera program in Aventura does not violate a state law that prohibits farming out law enforcement responsibilities to private companies. The issue was whether the review of red light camera footage by the private companies that provide, install and maintain the cameras crosses the line. Personnel for these firms first review the footage and then forward perceived violations to local law enforcement, which also reviews and then decides whether to issue a ticket via mail.  Continue reading