What Exactly Is an Expungement?

expungeOne of the things we specialize in is expungement, but have you wondered what that even is? Let’s say you’re arrested but end up having your charges dropped. In such a scenario, you may have the option of having your record expunged. This can be applied to the majority of crimes provided you’ve never been adjudicated guilty of a crime or have had your record expunged previously. A record expungement carries a lot of weight because even if your charges are dropped by the state, the arrest itself will still show up on your record. With an expungement, you’re legally allowed to deny that you were ever arrested.

Should you run into a scenario where you’re found guilty of a crime or enter a plea and the judge chooses to withhold adjudication of guilt, or if you’re acquitted after a jury trial, things change. In this situation, you’ll be eligible for a record seal as opposed to an expungement. This will allow you to legally deny that you were arrested, but only to the public at large. Certain parties such as law enforcement may still be able to access your criminal record. With a record seal, the majority of employers won’t be able to learn about your criminal record.

If you have questions about having your record expunged, give us a call!

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic 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.

Drive Safe During Prom Celebrations

promThis month, a number of high school students will be participating in the rite of passage known as prom. This means numerous teenagers will be out on the roads, and there are strong odds most of them will be using their smartphones to snap selfies and pictures of their experience. Since May is National Teen Safe Driving Month, it’s important that teenage drivers remember to focus their attention on the road, and not on their mobile device.

Research alarmingly shows many drivers are distracting themselves by taking selfies, sharing photos and videos on Instagram, and in some cases even video chatting while they’re driving. To avoid the odds of becoming a statistic, consider some of the following tips.

Sharing is caring, and one way to encourage friends not to drive distracted is to tag your pictures and videos with the hashtag #TagYourHalf. Research indicates that peer pressure may influence someone to stop using their phone while driving. The hashtag is a way of encouraging someone close to you such as a best friend from doing something they shouldn’t.

Consider using an app with a driving mode feature. AT&T has an app called DriveMode that is available to Android and iPhone users regardless of what carrier they’re on. The app will silence phone calls and alerts to lessen distractions. It is also intelligent enough to determine when a driver is stopped or the vehicle is in motion.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic 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.

 

Florida’s Distracted Driving Laws Fall Through the Cracks

yougonnaDieAre you fed up with drivers endangering the roads as they text? You’re going to have to put up with it for at least another year. Several bills aimed at distracted driving that were up for Florida Legislature review didn’t even make it to a hearing.

Some of the bills that failed to see any progress were HB 47 which would have given police the authority to ticket drivers caught texting while driving in a school zone. A law that would have allowed law enforcement to pull over drivers age 18 and under caught texting behind the wheel also failed to gain any traction.

And so, with little progress made towards stricter texting while driving laws, it will remain a secondary offense in the state of Florida. In case you don’t know what this means, it means a law enforcement officer must see the driver commit a primary offense such as running a stop sign or speeding before they are allowed to receive a texting citation.

The bills aside, distracted driving remains a major problem in the country. Fatalities due to distracted drivers increased by more than eight percent in 2015. In Florida alone, over 200 people were killed in 2015 crashes where distracted driving was involved.

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.

Miami’s Distracted Roads

livingDangerouslyDespite a greater number of states deeming it a primary offense, distracted driving continues to be a major problem. Per the National Safety Council, driving deaths have shot up by more than thirteen percent since 2015.

A company is looking to tackle distracted driving by using one of the primary reasons behind it: mobile apps. Calling itself DriveWell, the app will run in the background and is capable of measuring use by sensing when someone has the phone in their hand or when a vehicle is in motion.

Interestingly, DriveWell has also collected enough data to determine what roads have the most distracted drivers. Here in Miami, Brickell Avenue from Southeast 6th Street to 15th Street has the dubious distinction of being the most distracted stretch of road. Coming in second is a portion of 3rd Avenue in Coral Way from Southwest 12th Avenue to 24th Road while the north end of US1, from Brickell Avenue to Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables comes in third.

The DriveWell is available for download but registration requires a token, so it may not be available for use to the general public if you’re curious to try it. Remember to keep your eyes focused on the road at all times.

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.

Florida Seeks to Seriously Crack Down on DUI

downwithDUIThe Florida Legislature is hard at work evaluating a bill aimed at those who have been convicted of a DUI. The bill would require the installation of a device that would prevent the vehicle from starting if the driver has consumed alcohol. Those championing the law say the bill would save numerous lives, and no one seems to be disputing that.

Current Florida law requires repeat DUI offenders or drivers with a blood-alcohol content of .15 or more to use ignition interlock devices. These devices prevent the vehicle from starting up if it detects anything above .025 when a driver blows in it. That number is just less than one-third of the current .08 legal limit.

Crashes and fatalities related to drunk driving have reached an epidemic level in Florida. Driving fatalities caused by driving under the influence increased by nearly fifteen percent between 2014 to 2015 compared to just over three percent nationally.

Should the proposed legislation pass all of the hurdles in Tallahassee, first time offenders would be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicle for a minimum of six months. Florida would join more than twenty states around the country that have already taken similar steps to fight the DUI epidemic.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic 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.

 

A DUI Conviction Will Follow You Around

duiConvictionThere is absolutely no reason why you should be receiving multiple DUI convictions. None. However, if for whatever reason you do have several, you may be curious about some things. For instance, what happens if you decide to move to another state?

To prevent any surprises, you should be aware that there is a risk of being denied a driver’s license in your new home state. You may be wondering why. Let’s say that because of your convictions, your license is currently being suspended for a certain amount of time. Despite moving to another state, the DMV will be aware of your conviction. How? It’s all because of a national registry where each state’s DMV shares information regarding its drivers. In other words, you’ll still need to resolve your Florida license suspension before you’ll receive your Georgia license, for example.

For those that have committed multiple offenses but have the option of a hardship permit, these people will need to enroll in Florida’s supervisory program. This program mandates that an ignition interlock device is installed in the vehicle. The driver will also be required to attend a monthly DMV interview based on the same length of the suspension. Put differently, you’re free to move to Georgia, but you’ll still be required to head back down to Florida every month.

Should you have any questions, consult an experienced Florida DUI attorney.

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 expungement attorney.

 

Out of State Drivers and DUI

foreignerWith the spring having arrived and the summer soon to follow, Miami continues to be a popular destination for tourists looking to enjoy its beaches and sultry temperatures. However, unlike cities such as New York where public transportation is highly efficient, most tourists choose to drive in Miami.

Sometimes a stay in Miami can result in more than just memories of a fantastic vacation. A driver could end up with a DUI probation. Because the individual is from out of town, such a scenario can potentially make things a little more complicated in terms of what proper legal steps the person should take. Should they return to Florida? Will they risk losing their license? Could a warrant be issued for their arrest if they fail to do anything?

Should an out of town driver receive a DUI, the first step they should take is to consult an experienced DUI attorney. The attorney will review the case and provide options. Anything could happen in court, and the last thing a driver should do is admit guilt as this could result in major consequences that will likely follow the driver back to his or her home state. The driver may return to their home state only to find out that their license has been suspended or even revoked.

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 criminal traffic lawyers today.

Professor Seeks to Raise Distracted Driving Awareness

distractedDriverJay Winsten is a Harvard University professor well-known for being the man responsible for introducing the idea of having a designated driver. Fast forward several years, and Winsten now finds himself attempting to tackle the rampant problem of distracted drivers.

Winsten is currently in talks with federal and local Massachusetts officials to try and develop an effective campaign and message aimed at raising public awareness. The campaign would have one major goal in mind: to convince drivers their sole responsibility is to focus exclusively on driving the car. Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,400 people were killed because of distracted driving in 2015, and the problem has only continued to grow since then.

Americans are certainly aware of the risks, but surveys show that they perhaps foolishly believe they can multitask while on the road. Interestingly enough, these same people say they do fear becoming a victim of someone who happens to be texting, taking selfies, or checking their social media account while on the road. The situation is very similar to drivers who have had too much drink but still believe they can safely get behind the wheel.

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.

Being a Responsible Passenger

millennialPassengerApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. If you know anything about distracted driving, you know Florida has a major problem with drivers doing things other than focusing on the road. While we can’t stop drivers from keeping their eyes on traffic, we can at least provide some tips on being a good passenger and helping these drivers refrain from distracting activities.

Be a responsible co-pilot. In other words, help the driver. Keep your eyes and ears focused on the road to spot for anything the driver might miss. Remind the driver that sending that oh so important text can wait. Better yet, if it’s that important then send the message for them so they can concentrate on driving.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. While you want to encourage the driver to improve his or her driving skills, don’t become one of those people constantly nitpicking every tiny mistake they make. This behavior will only serve to stress the person out, and the last thing you want is an agitated driver.

Keep your emotions in check. If you have a feeling danger might be imminent, control your urge to react impulsively. Assuming time allows, calmly inform the driver without shouting and refrain from grabbing the steering wheel or handbrake as this will only worsen the situation.

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.

Be Aware of Florida’s Laws with #JustAdulting

justadultingJust time for the arrival of spring break, a new app by The Florida Bar aimed at today’s tech-savvy teenagers and young adults has launched to better assist them with tackling real-life experiences. Called #JustAdulting, the app includes vital information on things like fake IDs, the importance of maintaining good credit, drinking and driving, texting, and plenty of additional topics. There is also a useful section on what to do when encountering police.

The #JustAdulting app is aimed at people who are turning eighteen, informing them of all the legal ramifications and responsibilities they must understand and adhere to as they embark upon adulthood. The app also includes information on the consequences should they break the law. For example, driving under the influence (DUI) carries hefty first offense penalties, including the possibility of up to six months in jail, a $2,000 fine plus court costs, over forty hours of community service, losing your license, and more.

Anyone interested in checking out the #JustAdulting app can download it for free on the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store. While it may be geared toward young adults, it’s worth checking out in case you need a refresher on Florida’s laws.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic 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.