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DUI and Public Intoxication

duiHere is a scenario a driver may run into: he or she is arrested for public intoxication. The officer knows the person drove to the location but may not have actually seen the driver in the car. In such a scenario, can the driver still receive a DUI charge?

Chances are that yes, there is a possibility as circumstantial evidence can be used to support the case. In most standard DUI cases, it is required that it be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was indeed under the influence or intoxicated while he or she was driving. If the defendant happened to be intoxicated prior to or afterward, it doesn’t necessarily prove he or she may have been intoxicated while they were driving. It’s important to emphasize that the word ‘while’ factors heavily in these cases, and they all differ based upon the circumstances. Your best bet would be to consult a traffic or DUI attorney who can provide better clarity and discuss what your options are.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic attorney Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with someone at the Miami ticket law firm to help you with your case.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

When Will Tolls Be Reinstated?

phantomTollboothIt’s been nearly two weeks since Florida Governor Rick Scott decided to halt tolls to expedite Hurricane Irma evacuation efforts. Now that the storm has come and gone, the question many drivers may be wondering is, when will the tolls kick in again? For the time being, state officials do not have a concrete answer to that question as the ultimate decision lies with the governor. Rick Scott suspended tolls “for the duration of the storm’s impacts to Florida.”

The Hurricane Irma evacuation made history as Florida’s largest ever. The toll lifting probably did residents a tremendous favor in giving them a break prior to, during, and even after the storm as many Floridians deal with the hurricane aftermath such as a lack of power.

On a typical day, Florida charges tolls on the turnpike. The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) also oversees toll charges on five of the expressways including the Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) and the Gratigny Parkway (SR 924). MDX is currently awaiting word from the governor before reinstating tolls on the roadways it oversees. These roads are among the most traveled in the county.

Drivers that may have seen the strobe lights that normally flash when passing through a toll should also rest assured that no tolls were/are being charged. The lights are simply for post-hurricane damage testing purposes.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a professional about fighting your Miami civil traffic tickets.

Florida Gives Drivers a Break on Fees

waiverHurricane Irma has come and gone, but numerous South Floridians are still dealing with the storm’s effects. Because of the impact of the hurricane, the state is giving drivers some room to breathe by waiving certain fees. These waived fees include:

  • Delinquent fees resulting from a late driver’s license or vehicle registration renewal due to the storm or closure of offices.
  • Fees to replace an ID card or license that may have been lost due to the severe weather.
  • Fees for a duplicate vehicle registration or title certificate that may have been lost due to the severe weather.
  • The $10 print-on-demand fee typically charged for an expedited title for a total loss vehicle related to storm damage. This waiver will remain permanent for the time being. Any liens must also be satisfied.

In order to qualify for these waivers, drivers must visit one of the service centers. If you need to find one near you, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website has a full list of which ones are currently open or closed.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a red light camera violation attorney today.

 

Do You Know the Laws Regarding Cannabis DUI?

cannabisFor drivers concerned about what the laws are in their state regarding cannabis, each one has its own distinct laws. However, many states may consider having any level of THC in a driver’s bloodstream to be driving under the influence.

Here in Florida, a person who chooses to drive in the state has implied consent to a blood or urine test. Should a driver refuse to submit to the test, it could be considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by having the license suspended for a year as well as spending a year in jail. A subsequent refusal could result in a driver’s license being revoked for up to eighteen months.

There are certain penalties that apply based on the offense. A first offense means the driver may spend up to six months in jail, among other penalties. A second conviction carries a possible maximum of nine months in jail plus additional penalties if it is within five years since the first offense. The person will also be required to spend ten days in prison. A third offense within ten years is considered a third degree felony and carries a mandatory imprisonment of at least thirty days or up to five years. In addition to fines, the driver may also have their license suspended for ten years. Fourth and subsequent offenses will result in fines of no less than $5,000, prison time, and the driver having their license permanently suspended.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

Major Changes Coming to the Miami-Dade Courts

deathRowWill you be heading to the courthouse to take care of business such as paying your traffic ticket in person? If so, you may want to be aware of some significant changes that might not agree with your schedule if time is limited.

Beginning on the 8th, the Miami-Dade Clerk of Courts office will be eschewing its staff front counters at several courthouse branches throughout the county, including Coral Gables, the northern Dade area, and more. In other words, should you need to take care of something, you’ll probably have to visit the main justice building located in the downtown area of Miami. Because of these new rules, it may be a good idea to take into account the likely possibility of long lines and wait times before visiting. Also keep in mind that the courthouse will remain open from 9:30 am to 3 pm.

On top of the closings, live phone clerks will not be available. Any business that you need to do through a phone will require the use of the automated phone system. You may also use online resources.

We may be able to assist with obtaining certain documents such as copies of your traffic ticket or clearance forms you may need. Give us a call, perhaps we can help!

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic ticket lawyer team of team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami speeding ticket lawyer today.

 

Florida Court Case Could Result in Blood Test Rule Changes

sangre-1The Florida Supreme Court will be hearing a case this week that could lead to significant changes in state rules regarding testing blood-alcohol levels in cases involving drunk driving. The case involves that of a man who was convicted and sentenced to just over fifteen years in prison for the 2010 traffic death of another man.

Among other things, the case will involve whether the Florida Department of Law Enforcement has adequate rules established to make sure that DUI cases involving blood-alcohol tests deliver accurate test results. The case arguments will focus in part on allegations that there are insufficient safeguards to prevent blood clots when blood is drawn, which may result in blood-alcohol levels that are artificially high.

Current blood-alcohol tests in today’s DUI cases go by a law generally known as “implied consent”. Under this law, people are essentially agreeing to a test of their breath or blood alcohol upon receiving their driver’s license.

If you have questions or concerns about your DUI case, please give us a call.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.

This information is provided for educational or informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship and is not intended to substitute for legal advice.

The Lack of Turn Signal Usage

turnturnturnAs far back as the late 1930s, turn signals (also known as blinkers) have remained a staple of vehicles. Yet if you’ve spent any time navigating the South Florida roadways you’ve likely noticed that not many drivers tend to use them.

Turn signals are intended to indicate to fellow drivers that a driver is planning on either changing lanes or will be making a left or right turn. It can go a long way in reducing road rage, preventing collisions, and perhaps many drivers forget, it is also the law. Take a look at Section 316.155 of the Florida Statute and you’ll notice that using turn signals is legally not an option, but a requirement.

According to research provided by the Society of Automotive Engineers, failure to use turn signals results in over a million collisions each year in the United States alone, and that’s more than twice the number of collisions attributed to distracted driving. A reason for the lack of its use may be the culture permeating throughout South Florida. In many cases, a driver will signal a lane change only to see the driver speed up in an effort to prevent him or her from making the lane change.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a professional about fighting your Miami civil traffic tickets.

I-95 Express Becomes a Little Safer

59iIn a previous blog, we discussed the major and extremely dangerous issue on I-95 where drivers suddenly—and illegally—dart into the express lanes from the main highway to avoid traffic bottlenecks. In an effort to try and address the issue while deterring drivers, the state was planning to install additional poles.

Fast forward to 2017 and it appears the effort may be working. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has installed over 30,000 additional orange poles. The number of crashes in the I-95 express lanes has since dropped by nearly a third within the last six months. On top of that, traffic tickets for lane diving have also plummeted by over eighty percent. Lane diving is when a driver runs over the poles to exit or enter the express lanes.

As drivers ran over the poles, the wear and tear on the poles meant FDOT also found itself having to replace thousands of them on a monthly basis. The new highway poles are significantly sturdier and FDOT has also made it a point to convey the message that drivers risk receiving a ticket if they are caught lane diving.

Despite the presence of stronger and additional poles, always be diligent when traveling on the I-95 express lanes.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami traffic lawyer today.

Career Risks of a DUI Conviction

dui (3)Being convicted of a DUI may lead to having a criminal record and possible suspension of driving privileges, but many drivers forget to take into consideration other factors. For example, how will a DUI affect your career? There are several ways your job may be compromised.

Being late. This is the most obvious. A DUI conviction may result in your license being suspended for several months. If you depend on your car to get to work as most South Floridians do, not being able to drive could make it significantly harder to get to work on time.

A blemish on your employer’s reputation. If you play a role in your job where you stand as a representation of your company, you’re essentially its face in many ways. A DUI conviction may not be looked upon favorably by your employer as it could cause harm to its image. As a result, there is a risk of being demoted or even being fired.

Your professional driving privileges. For those that drive commercial vehicles such as trucks for a living, a DUI conviction could result in job loss. Even individuals working as a real estate agent or a doctor are at risk, especially if a felony was committed.

This update is brought to you by the Miami traffic attorney team of Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a red light camera violation attorney today.

Florida Highway Patrol Launches TACT Campaign

need4speedSouth Florida drivers planning on speeding or possibly cutting off a fellow driver may want to think again about their decision. The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) recently kicked off a campaign aimed at making the streets of South Florida a little safer for everyone. This campaign also involves giving drivers a bit of education when driving aggressively near large commercial motor vehicles such as trucks.

Called TACT (Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks), FHP troopers will be ticketing drivers including truck drivers displaying aggressive driving behavior. This behavior may include driving or following too closely behind another driver, failing to make safe lane changes by not using signals or speeding. The campaign kicked off on the 11th of this month and will remain in effect until the 24th.

In other news, crashes due to distracted driving are up around the country by more than eight percent. Along with speeding and drunk driving, distracted driving remains one of the top causes of fatal traffic accidents. Per the National Safety Council, close to two million people suffered accident injuries during the first six months of 2017.

As always, stay safe and diligent when you’re on the South Florida roads and put aside your texting until you’ve reached your destination.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and are ready to answer your questions and help you fight your ticket. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with a Miami expungement attorney.