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When You Need an Expungement Attorney in Florida

Hochman BlogExpungement is the process of destroying, erasing, or sealing arrest and conviction records. In most states, adults and even juveniles are allowed to partake in expungement for specific offenses. In Florida, the process to determine eligibility usually takes 12 weeks from the day a completed application is received.

 To qualify for record expungement, your charges must have been dropped or dismissed by a judge or jury, you must have never been convicted of a criminal offense in Florida, and you must have never sealed or expunged another arrest record in Florida (unless expunging an arrest that has been sealed for ten years). For Juveniles, the charges must also have been dropped, along with felonies and specified misdemeanors that ended up in adjudication of delinquency has been expunged under certain circumstances (see s. 943.0515, Fla. Stat for more information).

 In Florida, you can be found guilty but not convicted, which may allow for qualification of record sealing.

Any charges such as assault, battery, unlawful possession of a weapon or firearms, arson, neglect of a child, and animal cruelty are a few changes that can keep you from qualification. Visit the extensive list of statutes for more information.

 Typically, there are eight ways to seal and expunge records :

  • Administrative expungements

  • Court-ordered sealing or expungements

  • Juvenile diversion expungements

  • Automatic juvenile expungements

  • Early juvenile expungements

  • Lawful self-defense expungements

  • Human trafficking expungements

  • Automatic sealing

It is recommended that you first apply and see if you qualify before reaching out to a Miami traffic attorney. If you are eligible, give Hochman Goldin a call. We represent clients in expungements, red light camera violations, and traffic tickets. Our red light camera violation attorney can help.

What You Need to Know About Speeding Tickets and Points

Hochman BlogChances are if you have been driving any length of time, you have come face to face with the very real possibility of a speeding ticket (or have even gotten one!) It may seem like a huge mess, but if you keep a few things in mind, you should be prepared and far less stressed next time you get pulled over for speeding.

Did you know you accumulate points on your driver’s license? These depend on how fast you were driving and if you got into an accident. Going less than 15 miles over the speed limit will land you three points, but if you were going any faster, you will get four points. Got into an accident because of your speeding? That will earn you six points. Texting while driving will also automatically add 3 points to your primary offense.

Twelve points in any 12-month period will get you a 30-day license suspension in Florida.

Minor violations will allow you to attend online school for basic driver improvement – it will keep points off your license and lower any fines associated with the ticket.

High-speed speeding tickets are in a class all their own. Going 50 miles per hour or more over the speed limit could land you in jail, especially if it occurs with other offenses. You will likely be charged with reckless driving and could face third-degree felony charges. This will result in five years of prison time, ten years of license revocation, and up to $5,000 in fines.

Your best bet is not to speed at all. Take caution and pay attention to the road signs indicating the speed limits wherever you are driving.

Should you have any questions regarding a traffic-related matter such as a citation, please contact us to speak with a Miami traffic attorney or a red light camera violation 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.

Understanding How Red Light Cameras Work

Hochman BlogDriving through a red light is illegal in Florida, and will get you an expensive ticket. Knowing how red light camera violations work is important to prevent tickets and fines that will only increase over time.

Every flash at the red light does not always indicate a ticket. Sometimes the camera is triggered if someone makes a hard break, even without them actually passing the light. Essentially, these cameras flash when the front wheels of a car go past the trigger point. Each image captured is reviewed by a police officer who determines if there was a violation or not.

The camera will take two pictures, as well as record 12 seconds of video. If you have a red light camera violation, your notification of violation will include the date, time, and intersection of which it occurred, with camera proof.

Red light camera violations do not add points to your license. Your bill (formally known as a Notice of Violation) will come in the mail and you will have 30 days to pay it. If you fail to pay after the first notice, a second notification will be sent and the bill will be increased to $262. Red light camera violations are not considered tickets until a second notice for payment is sent. After that, points will be added to your license.

Should you have any questions regarding a traffic-related matter such as a citation, please contact us to speak with a Miami traffic attorney or a red light camera violation 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.

Should You Keep Expired Vehicle Documents?

andras-vas-EeCfOPSeRik-unsplash-1When driving on the Florida roadways, three essential pieces of documentation should be kept with you at all times: your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. Each of these will likely need to be renewed at some point, with some requiring renewal earlier than others. For example, vehicle registration must be renewed every one or two years.

Speaking of vehicle registration, what happens once you renew? Are you required to keep the old one around even though it may no longer be valid? It’s true that for things like taxes, it never hurts to keep the previous year’s around, but this is not the same for vehicle registration. In other words, you can safely ditch your expired vehicle registration and keep only the current one.

If you do decide to ditch the vehicle registration, there is one thing you should make sure of and that’s making sure you dispose of it properly. Consider using a paper shredder to ensure the information in the document cannot be read by someone else. Vehicle registrations have a lot of information on them that you may not want a stranger to have access to and shredding is one way to potentially deter someone from getting the information.

Should have any questions regarding a traffic-related matter such as a citation, please contact us to speak with a Miami traffic 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.

Texting While Driving Law Sees Possible Enforcement Difficulties

people-2599458_1280Back in 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law upgrading texting while driving from a secondary into a primary offense, carrying with it a fine of $30 for first-time offenders and incrementally getting larger on subsequent offenses. Before the change, a law enforcement officer had to stop a driver for a different reason before the driver could be charged with texting while driving.

Even with these changes, however, Florida numbers suggest that the law is potentially not being enforced as effectively as possible, an Orlando Sentinel article reports. Florida has also struggled to monitor how many drivers are ticketed around the state – and whether police may be singling out minorities. The rule, according to those in charge of writing tickets, may also have too many ambiguities.

Over 20 of Florida’s nearly 70 sheriff’s offices and at least 56 of the state’s 150+ local police departments are without citations from the state’s texting infringement census, which was released earlier in 2021. The report also featured at least one significant mistake, which was found by a news photographer after the fact and resulted in hundreds of texting tickets being overcounted.

Among Florida’s most populous counties, Broward County did not send any statistics to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles until an inquiry regarding whether they were absent was submitted. Under 20 drivers were ticketed for texting in Broward County, which has a population of close to 2 million inhabitants.

Authorities throughout Florida gave more citations for violations of the carpool lane or failure to use turn signals in a typical year. According to the most recent data available, impaired driving, which involves tweeting, resulted in over 55,000 accidents and almost 300 deaths in Florida in 2019.

With an estimated 2 million vehicles in Miami-Dade County, police issued almost 300 texting tickets, or around six each week. Deputies in Palm Beach County issued 38 citations.

Any questions about a citation, please contact our Miami traffic ticket lawyer firm.

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.

Florida Bills Seek Cameras for School Zones

road-192747_1920Earlier this month, South Florida lawmakers sought to gather more aid in backing House and Senate proposals (HB 357 and SB 1474). These bills are aimed at permitting local governments to implement traffic cameras in school zones.

The bills would penalize drivers that are snapped driving more than ten miles per hour over the school zone speed limit. Violators will be fined $132 by the House bill, with around half of the money designated for Florida’s general revenue fund. The city government will collect the brunt of the remaining money, with lesser percentages being given to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the school system, and some children’s hospitals.

If cars are photographed speeding into school zones, they will get traffic tickets, and the money received will be distributed in the same manner as the House bill.

While the bills may seem like a good cause, they aren’t being embraced without a bit of concern. Automated compliance, according to some civil rights organizations, may not be the best approach. Lawsuits against them are still pending in the courts. Red light, as well as speed cameras, are prohibited in ten different states. The use of these instruments is not addressed in any manner by Florida statute.

The aim is to protect children, not to give tickets or raise fines. Before any violations are given, counties and cities with these protection programs must notify their residents about the cameras and give alerts. Florida has long allowed cameras to catch pictures of drivers speeding through red lights, and politicians have evaluated repealing the law.

Should you have any questions about a citation, as your Miami traffic ticket lawyer we’re here to help you fight your ticket. Contact us today to discuss your case or if you need the services of a Miami expungement attorney.

Airborne Couch Situation Leads to a Traffic Ticket

wolfgang-hasselmann-G2wUJH-9KK0-unsplashThere is a myriad of reasons why you may receive a traffic citation when driving on the roads, and the example we’ll be sharing may qualify as one of the more unusual scenarios. A couple visiting family in South Florida are making the news for a somewhat unique reason that ended up resulting in a traffic ticket.

Last month, the couple were on the Florida roadways heading back to their home in Washington D.C., on Interstate 95 to be precise. While on the roadway, they had a scare and avoided what may have been an even more serious accident when the driver suddenly swerved out of the way after a couch being transported on a truck fell off of the truck. The couple’s vehicle ended up striking the median, it flipped over and ended up being totaled. The truck continued driving.

After being transported via ambulance to the hospital, a law enforcement officer showed up and issued a traffic ticket citation due to failing to drive in a single lane. According to the source FOX 13 article, despite what seems like a tough break for the couple given the circumstances, troopers should use discretion and a minimum two-vehicle should be maintained between vehicles so that drivers can have sufficient time to react. For example, if a vehicle decides to brake suddenly.

As your Miami traffic attorney, we are here to help with fighting your traffic ticket. Speeding, civil traffic tickets, and criminal traffic violations are a few examples of tickets our team may be able to assist with.

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.

Florida Sees Fewer Fatal Crashes

drinking-3740477_1920(1)Some good news is emerging regarding Florida when it comes to driving. The number of fatalities that happened due to drug or alcohol-related crashes plunged by more than thirty percent last year, per the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). According to the department, there were just under 750 fatalities, a drop that may have been largely due to the fewer people on the roads as a result of the pandemic.

According to FLHSMV, the overall number of impaired-driving accidents dropped by over 16%, impaired-driving deaths also plunged by more than 30%, and impaired-driving injuries dropped by over 25%.

FLHSMV and its branch of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are spearheading the Never Drive Impaired initiative in collaboration with state agencies and safety groups throughout the state to warn travelers that there is no excuse to drive impaired this month, as Florida usually sees an uptick in traffic and tourists as the spring break period arrives.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will also be doing its part to drive the program with impaired-driving safety and prevention campaigns nationwide, including PSAs on social media and radio, signage, and more. For real-time traffic updates this spring and during the year, FDOT invites commuters to download the free Florida 511 app.

For more information and tools about the Never Drive Impaired campaign, go to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website. Throughout March, FHP will be stepping up monitoring of intoxicated driving, and the public is urged to track unsafe or impaired drivers and call *FHP (*347) if they spot something.

As your Miami traffic attorney, we encourage you to practice safe driving and we are here to help in the event of a traffic ticket. If you need assistance from something like traffic lights, our red light camera violation attorney services may save you tons of money.

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.

Prescription Drugs Are Also a DUI Risk

joshua-coleman-eqhVilWdBJo-unsplashWhenever we see the acronym DUI, our thoughts may immediately drift toward a drunk driving charge. However, Florida’s laws when it comes to Driving Under the Influence encompasses alcoholic beverages as well as chemical substances, and controlled substances. In other words, if a person is caught driving under the influence of illegal drugs or even prescription drugs, they may receive a DUI charge. These types of charges may prove to be a little trickier to navigate and overcome as they often rely on the decisions made by the law enforcement officer.

Should a person be suspected of driving drunk, they will be administered a test to measure the blood alcohol content (BAC). If the BAC is beyond the legal limit, the driver will be charged with DUI. Nevertheless, should a driver operate a vehicle while under the influence of prescription drugs, a legal standard has not been established regarding the amount of medication that may be allowed in a person’s system that could result in a DUI charge. A driver risks being charged with DUI if they are noticed driving erratically by a law enforcement officer and the officer finds out the driver is taking a prescription that may affect their driving. Because of the legalities and minutiae involved with such charges, a Miami traffic attorney is a vital resource.

There are numerous over-the-counter and prescription medications capable of causing side effects such as drowsiness, impairing a driver’s vision, or reducing concentration. In turn, a driver cannot operate a vehicle as safely as they should be able to. Per the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), anxiety and cold medications, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants are a few examples of drugs that may affect driving ability.

Regardless of what led to the DUI, the charge will appear on a driver’s record as a DUI charge whether it was alcohol or prescription drug-related. A second DUI charge will result in much harsher penalties and the ramifications of the first DUI can be severe. For example, a driver may find that their vehicle insurance rates will skyrocket once the insurance company finds out about the charge. A DUI charge may even go as far as affecting the driver’s ability to secure a job.

Whether you need a DUI attorney or another resource such as a red light camera violation attorney, legal representation when it comes to driving-related charges is practically a must.

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.

Learner’s License Permits and Out of State Drivers

fabian-albert-KqpoiWI4-00-unsplashSpring and summer are around the corner, which means there may be more people visiting Florida. These people may decide to forego flying in favor of driving and being around strangers for an extended period. This brings up an important question to consider for any out-of-state drivers that may only have their learner’s license permit: can they legally drive in Florida?

Learner’s permit vacationers can breathe a sigh of relief as they can indeed drive legally in Florida with the permit. However, they should remember that they are bound by and must abide by the same learner’s license permit rules as that of a Florida resident. This means, for example, that a licensed driver must accompany the driver with the learner’s permit while they are operating the vehicle.

If you’re planning on navigating the South Florida roads this spring and summer, please exercise caution and remain at all times. South Florida is well-known for having drivers that may often be distracted or fail to follow the rules of the road and proper driving etiquette.

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 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.