Articles Tagged with Fort Lauderdale DUI defense attorney

The majority of criminal defense cases that aren’t dismissed or result in acquittal are resolved through plea deals. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports two-thirds of felony defendants in the U.S. are eventually convicted and 95 percent of those convictions occur through plea bargains.DUI defense attorney

Criminal defense lawyers in Fort Lauderdale know that doesn’t necessarily mean these defendants are getting a raw deal. In many cases, these plea deals are agreements to plead guilty to far lesser offenses, resulting in fewer penalties than defendant may have been facing initially. Still, where there is ever an opportunity to fight for dismissal or acquittal, our attorneys won’t hesitate to do so. Plea bargain agreements are only for cases where the weight of the evidence is clearly against the defendant and the attorney is confident that negotiation with the prosecutor can result in an advantageous outcome for defendant, considering the circumstances.

That said, defendants must be prepared to abide by the terms of the plea bargain, or else risk the possibility that the maximum penalty could still be imposed. Even during the plea bargain negotiation process, defendants need to be mindful of their conduct. The Miami Herald reports one case recently where a plea deal following a serious DUI crash fell apart after defendant’s drug test was returned positive – a violation of her conditions for release from jail pending trial. Continue reading

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently announced it would be prioritizing a reduction of drunk driving deaths this year. One of the ways agency officials will seek to do this is by exploring mandatory driver alcohol detection systems, better known as “breathalyzers” or “interlock ignition.” These devices have been around for a while, but are usually only required by a judge following a drunk driving conviction. beer

In Florida, F.S. 316.193 requires interlock ignition devices be installed on vehicles of certain persons convicted of DUI. The court has the option to require installation for a first-time conviction on a DUI charge, but it isn’t mandatory unless the driver had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 or higher, in which case it must be installed for at least six months. For a second conviction, it has to be installed for at least one year, or two years if the BAC was 0.15 or higher. For a third conviction, ignition interlocks are required for at least two years. For four or more convictions of DUI, where the individual is only given a hardship license, the ignition interlock has to stay on the car for at least five years.

The NHTSA recently reported that of 35,100 motor vehicle deaths in 2015, 10,300 of those (29 percent) involved a driver who was impaired by alcohol with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or greater. Some states had higher percentages than others. In Florida, 27 percent of fatal accidents involved a driver whose blood-alcohol concentration was 0.08 or higher. Thirty-two percent involved a driver whose blood-alcohol concentration was 0.01 or higher. Although the legal limit for alcohol concentration is 0.08, anything above 0.00 could potentially be grounds for the court to find a driver was “impaired.”  Continue reading

A South Florida woman was facing 20 years in prison for DUI manslaughter in case that stemmed from the deaths of two pedestrians. In fact, sentencing guidelines called for her to spend at least that long. Instead, as part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to challenger her defense attorney’s request to ask the judge to go below those guidelines. Still, prosecutors asked for 10 years, while defense attorney asked for four. Instead, the judge handed down a five-year prison term.sad

According to the Sun Sentinel, Alyza Russell, then just 23, was reportedly driving her mother’s brand new Porsche in downtown Fort Lauderdale when she lost control of the car and careened through a cluster of bushes and into a parking lot – killing two men who were standing in the parking lot, talking with a group of friends. At the scene, Russell reportedly began screaming, “What have I done?!” Authorities say her blood-alcohol level at the time was more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Russell has reportedly since her arrest gone on to graduate from Florida International University with a degree in international relations. Now 25, she made the dean’s list and landed a job as a research associate at a firm in Miami. She also completed several online courses offered by Harvard, Princeton, Yale and MIT and recently applied to graduate school. Although these facts to not automatically make her case go away, they are likely part of what the courts refer to as “mitigating circumstances.”  Continue reading

People get coughs and colds all the time, and most don’t think twice about taking some medicine and getting behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this can result in serious consequences if you are pulled over or involved in an accident and deemed to be “under the influence” of these substances. medicine

F.S. 316.193 prohibits motorists in Florida from “driving under the influence.” Most people define that by the second provision of the statute, which indicates that a person may be considered impaired if his/ her breath-alcohol level exceeds 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath (or 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood). However, the first part of that law says that one can be arrested on this charge if they are under the influence of any chemical substance that results in impairing a person’s normal faculties. This can, indeed, include cough and cold medicine. The penalties can be just as severe as if you chose to drink and drive.

As an example, take the recent case of Kranchick v. State, which was one such matter out of South Carolina. The facts giving rise to this case began in January 2002. It was about 3 p.m. and defendant lost control of her passenger vehicle while traveling eastbound on the interstate. According to court records, she swerved off the road, overcorrected and then slammed into the rear of a bobtail truck. That impact sent the truck spinning into the median, over the guardrail cables and into the path of a tractor trailer. The tractor trailer struck the smaller truck, causing the later to overturn onto its roof, killing the driver and severely and permanently injuring his passenger and the driver of the tractor-trailer. Continue reading