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Florida Court Rules to Forgo the Felony

feloniousThe Boston Globe recently published an interesting article discussing a Tallahassee, Florida case involving driver’s licenses. Under normal circumstances, repeatedly driving with a license that’s been revoked will result in potential felony charges here in the state of Florida. However, it seems that may not be the case if the person behind the wheel never bothered to obtain a driver’s license in the first place.

Recently, the Florida Supreme Court ruled a driver cannot be penalized for repeatedly violating traffic laws if the driver never obtained his or her license. State lawyers believe this argument makes little sense.

The case involves a man who faced up to five years in prison after allegedly and repeatedly violating a law that makes it a third-degree felony should the driver be caught at least three times or more driving a motor vehicle with a license that’s been suspended or revoked. It turns out that the man never obtained a license. Hence, the unusual scenario is not covered in the law. Instead, the man will likely be charged a second-degree misdemeanor for each infraction.

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

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.

Miami’s Deadly Roads

muerteOn top of having some of the country’s worst drivers, Miami has earned yet another dubious distinction. Per a recent study, the city is also home to Florida’s deadliest road. That road is the nearly four-mile stretch encompassing the I-95 Express Toll beginning at Little River to the Golden Glades Interchange. Over 25 fatalities have occurred on this relatively small patch.

The reasons for the alarming number of fatalities on the road may have something to do with a major I-95 Express Lane problem: lane divers. Especially during traffic gridlock, drivers will illegally attempt to cross the delineators into the express lanes, creating a dangerous situation. The Florida Department of Transportation has taken steps to try and address the situation by making the gaps between the cones narrower, but there are still drivers willing to knock them down. The situation is severe enough there are bills being proposed to get rid of express lanes entirely.

Miami also has another pair of deadly roads and one of them is, once again, I-95. In this case, it’s a 7.88-mile stretch along the area of North Miami.

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.

 

DUI Injuries on the Decline

uberThere is some good news to report for once regarding DUI-related deaths and injuries. Thanks to the ever-increasing prevalence of ridesharing, these deaths and injuries are seeing welcoming declines here in the state of Florida.

While it’s hard to pinpoint one particular reason for the decline, the downward trend does seem to correlate with the rise of services like Uber and Lyft which are now commonplace and highly relied upon by numerous Floridians. Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to educate young drivers on the dangers of driving under the influence. Florida has also made it a priority to concentrate on DUI enforcement. Collectively, these factors go a tremendously long way in making Florida’s treacherous roads a little safer for everyone.

While Uber and Lyft remain the kings of ridesharing, there are additional ways to potentially navigate the roads a little safer or at least save some money. The popular GPS navigation app Waze recently launched a new carpool service appropriately called Waze Carpool. Intended for commuting to and from work, users enter their destination which then shows if there are any other people headed in the same direction. If you find a driver that works near you, you can carpool for a reasonable fare. Do keep in mind that unlike Lyft and Uber, these drivers are not background checked.

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.

 

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.