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.

Florida Has Strict DUI Penalties

iudDriving while under the influence is never a wise decision, and that is especially true in the state of Florida. A DUI is not only a major risk for the driver, it also puts the lives of fellow drivers at stake. A recent study shows that Florida is among the top twenty states when it comes to the strictest penalties involving DUI.

In 2015, nearly thirty percent of motor vehicle accidents were caused because of a drunk driver per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Thousands of lives are lost each year, and Americans are forced to shell out over $40 billion annually. However, these fatalities have seen a considerable drop of more than fifty percent if we take a look at the period between 1982 to 2014. This sharp drop could be attributed to drunk driving penalties that are significantly harsher.

Florida does not have a specified amount of jail time for drivers committing a first time DUI offense. A second offense does carry the possibility of spending at least ten days in jail, and a third offense will result in an automatic penalty. After a DUI, a Florida driver risks having their license suspended for 180 days and their vehicle may also be impounded, along with a fine of $500 for an initial conviction. A second conviction carries an even higher fine of $1,000. There is also a strong possibility of car insurance increasing by as much as forty percent.

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 are ready to answer your questions. Please call 305-665-1000 to speak with one of the Miami criminal traffic lawyers today.

Red Light Cameras Return in Two South Florida Cities

luzRojaRed light camera programs are slowly being phased out, but a pair of cities in South Florida are seeking to do otherwise. Pembroke Pines is launching its program back up and will begin to issue tickets again on the 25th of the month. Boynton Beach also voted recently to turn the cameras on its red lights back on.

The two aforementioned cities join other Broward County municipalities such as Sunrise, Davie, and Tamarac as well as sixteen cities in Miami-Dade that continue to operate red light camera systems. Drivers that are caught running a red light may be fined $158. If the violation goes unpaid after sixty days, the traffic ticket fine will increase to $250, a fine that can be disputed in court.

While public safety is the reason for their use, the results of a 2016 report by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles revealed that intersection accidents where red light cameras were present increased by ten percent compared to 2015. On the other hand, accidents involving pedestrians decreased by nearly twenty percent.

Nearly 800 cameras were in use in 2015. but that number came down significantly to 688 the following year. Despite the drop, citations increased to over a million.

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.

Florida Driver Licenses Receive Major Makeover

newLicenseToday may end up being one of the few remaining days before Florida’s driver’s licenses receive a major facelift. Beginning in August, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will begin issuing licenses and ID cards intended to provide better security.

While the primary goal may be security related, the license changes are also cosmetic. The front of the card will feature the state seal in a new pastel color and the state acronym over a plain white base. Flipping the card around, the back will have an image of Florida resting along the waves of the ocean and the year 1845, signifying when Florida entered the union as the 27th state. As for the driver’s portrait, the background will be transparent and it will appear in four different spots on the ID.

The new license design boasts close to double the protection against fraud compared to the existing design, including the use of ultraviolet (UV) ink.

Florida drivers with a current or recently renewed license won’t have to upgrade to the new design unless it is about to expire or they need to change their name and address. The rollout is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

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 speeding ticket lawyer.

What You Should Do If Charged with a DUI

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You definitely want to get in touch with a traffic attorney before proceeding any further. The following steps can also help with reducing the stress.

Make a note of the events. Your lawyer will need to know what happened from your perspective, and it’s easy to forget some of the details as the days go by. Having it written down will not only help to keep it fresh in your memory, it will also make it easier when the time comes to discuss your case with your lawyer.

Keep all documentation organized and readily available. From your traffic citation to any police reports or related receipts you may have, these can all prove to be vital tools for your lawyer in helping to build a solid defense.

Stay off social media. Remember that anything you post on social media could be used against you. With so many people willing to share details of their personal lives, any pictures or posts may end up as evidence to disprove your defense.

Drive safely. In other words, be responsible and don’t risk another DUI arrest while your current case is pending. Another arrest will not only result in a revocation of your pre-trial release on your pending case, it may also result in further penalties including time in jail.

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.