A DUI Charge May Not Involve Alcohol

james-yarema-5tyMgag0wRo-unsplashTypically, being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) means you were caught with alcohol in your system. However, it may surprise you to learn that a DUI arrest does not necessarily involve the consumption of alcohol.

The keywords to keep in mind here are “under the influence”. Hence, this may also include something being under the influence of medication. Think of common drugs prescribed for common health issues like high blood pressure, heart conditions, or depression. These drugs typically have warnings regarding their side effects like nausea, blurred vision, or drowsiness.

You may be charged with a DUI if you experienced tiredness as a result of your medication and decided it was wise to pull up to a parking lot or the side of the road to sleep the effects off. In this situation, the “actual physical control” may factor in, because even if your car is not running, the vehicle keys are on or near your person, thus making you in “actual physical control” of the vehicle.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we 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.

Drivers and Construction Zones

construction-worker-569126_1920Florida has strict laws in place for drivers that fail to practice proper safety measures when they are in a work or construction. Back in 2016, the Florida Department of Transportation reported high numbers of fatalities that occurred in construction zones.

In construction zone crashes, as a result of the costs involved, usually double fines are levied when drivers are caught violating the rules of such zones, especially if there are workers present. These violations can be caused by dangerous practices that frequently occur in construction areas, including driving beyond speed limits, merging the moment a lane ends, driving distracted, and failing to slow down when an emergency vehicle is on the side of the road.

Speeding fines in work zones can be heavy and the violations can also lead to driving record points being received. If you receive a citation for a violation in a construction zone, an experienced traffic ticket lawyer may be able to assist in lowering the charges or potentially completely dismissing your case.

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.

Brickell Avenue Bridge Construction Work Continues

felipe-simo-HaOKtA3olN0-unsplashIf you’ve done any traveling through Brickell Avenue this year, you may have become aware of the construction being done on the Brickell Avenue Bridge, which began back in February. The much-traveled bridge that serves as a connection between the Brickell area Miami’s downtown is being repaired and gates are being added to stop pedestrians, cutting down on the time required by the bridge to stay open so ships and boats can make it through.

The work on the Brickell Avenue Bridge includes the installation of pedestrian gates, the rehabilitation of mechanical and electrical bridge elements, giving the bridge a fresh paint job, and the restoration of lighting.

For those that frequently travel the bridge, it is prone to lane closures depending on the time of day. For example, southbound lanes may be shut down from 10 pm to 5:30 am while a single northbound lane may be closed from 7 pm to 5:30 am.

In regards to traffic, it was proposed back in 2016 that pedestrians may be a contributing factor to the gridlock caused during the raising of the bridge. When the bridge alarm goes off, pedestrians should stop and wait until the bridge is lowered again. However, many pedestrians choose to proceed anyway, which can contribute as much as ten additional minutes to the gridlock.

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

Changes in Store for Florida Driving Tests

elliot-kwan-KV57YBuoIe0-unsplashWith the closures of businesses due to COVID-19, some essential services may have also been closed. It’s only during the past week or so where re-openings have begun. For new drivers looking to receive their license, this raises some questions on how to proceed.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recently released a memo detailing the process for driving tests. Drivers are still required to get behind the wheel but examiners will remain outside of the vehicle, unlike in the past. To communicate with the driver, the examiner can use a walkie-talkie or mobile phone to communicate the necessary instructions to the driver. Interestingly, drivers must be accompanied by a licensed individual who is at least 21 years of age. However, these “co-pilots” cannot be driving school instructors and they are strictly prohibited from assisting the driver during the test.

The department has made it clear the changes are intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Because of the pandemic, state and local offices across Florida have been closed since March, leaving numerous prospective drivers and teenagers waiting to obtain a driver’s licenses.

To read more, visit https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article243050746.html.

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 a Miami speeding ticket lawyer 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.

Learn More About the Move Over Law

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At its simplest, the “Move Over” law requires drivers that are approaching stationary emergency vehicles to either move over a lane or slow down. Each state has some variation on the law, and we’ll be focusing on Florida.

Also known as Florida Statute 316.126, the Sunshine State’s Move Over Law was enacted in 2002 and obligates drivers to obey emergency vehicles that send audible or visible signs both on the way to emergencies and when stationary as they deal with emergencies along the roadside.

If an emergency vehicle that is en route to an accident approaches or is being approached, drivers are required to vacate the intersection, proceed to the nearest edge of the highway, and wait until the vehicle has passed. A driver must slow down speeds to under twenty miles below the posted speed limit when they need to pass a stationary emergency vehicle on a single-lane route or if they cannot change lanes while on a two-lane roadway.

Pedestrians must also understand the Move Over Law by yielding to emergency vehicles until the vehicles have passed and otherwise sticking to the right of way. This only changes if a law enforcement officer has instructed the pedestrian to do otherwise.

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

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 Traffic Court Resumes Next Week

andrew-karn-pn820SYbA2Q-unsplashBeginning next week, Miami-Dade County traffic courts will be resuming operations after close to two months of suspension as a result of COVID-19. The restart, however, is bringing significant changes as hearings will be allowed to be done through tools that have proliferated in popularity in the age of social distancing, such as the videoconferencing software program Zoom.

The re-launch is being rolled out slowly. Lawyers defending motorists will be attending the first few weeks of hearings. The majority of these motorists face potential fines and driver license points for tickets that were issued before the pandemic forced the closure of courthouses back in March. In a couple of weeks, court officials anticipate that motorists without legal representation will have the ability to defend themselves through video or participate in a trial via the aforementioned Zoom should they so choose.

In April, court officials also launched another online program allowing Miami-Dade residents to go electronic to settle citations issued for lack of insurance documentation, vehicle registration, or driving with an invalid license. Dubbed Online Dispute Resolution, the website gets rid of the need for drivers to physically visit the court to submit their records.

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.

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.

A Basic Introduction to Driving Record Points

stop-sign-1174658_1280 (1)Florida uses a points system to track the violations a driver may have committed. Should a driver receive too many of them, there is the possibility the driver may have their license suspended.

One thing to know about points is that they are not added to the driving record until the driver pays the ticket, which is otherwise an official admission that the driver was indeed guilty of the violation. Should a driver choose to fight the traffic ticket successfully, then no points will be added to the driving record and the ticket received will result in dismissal. However, if the dispute fails, a driver can likely expect to receive points following the completion of any sanctions.

The severity of a traffic violation is not universal when it comes to being added to a driving record. The point values of traffic tickets may vary from three to six points depending on how severe the offense was. Some minor infringements will only add three points, while more serious violations like those that cause injury to others may result in six points added to the license.

This update is brought to you by Miami traffic ticket lawyer Hochman & Goldin, P.A. We can assist you with criminal traffic violations and we 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.

COVID-19 and Florida Traffic Tickets

maxwell-ridgeway-D5FI8jv6ndU-unsplashAs COVID-19 continues to be a major concern in Florida, there may be drivers curious about traffic tickets or how the courts are operating.

Back in March, most court proceedings necessitating face-to-face interaction were temporarily suspended as a way to promote social distancing. Because of those conditions, if you have a court date in the state of Florida after March 16, you’re not supposed to appear until the state government requests otherwise.

As for traffic tickets, yes you can still receive a traffic ticket. Traffic violations are deemed discretionary, meaning the police officer observing the violation can decide whether to issue a ticket based on the severity or recklessness of the violation. Although Florida is in an emergency state, officers may decide to adopt greater leniency for less severe violations, such as expired registration, for example. These decisions remain solely with the officer, however. Nonetheless, officers will be taking extra care when they issue tickets and respond to violations to ensure the protection and the safety of the public.

If you have received a traffic ticket and intend to contest it in court, you’re required to obey the usual rules and inform the courts of your plans via writing within the 30-day timeframe or online. It is important to remember that failure to respond to a summons is still a criminal offense even during the court’s suspension of face-to-face transactions, which may result in heavier penalties and having your driver’s license suspended.

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.

A DUI May Significantly Affect Professional Licenses

stethoscope-1584223_1920A Florida DUI is a misdemeanor of the first degree, which has many severe repercussions. The first or second DUI a person is charged with is a misdemeanor; however, a third or any additional DUI or a DUI that results in injury or death to someone else is deemed a felony. A DUI conviction could result in up to one year’s imprisonment and, based on the conditions, a probation term of 12 months, a license suspension, a fine, community service hours, compulsory DUI school and possibly having a mandatory breathalyzer installed in the vehicle.

Along with the aforementioned penalties, the individual charged with the offenses may also have their professional license terminated and their career significantly affected. These people may include teachers, healthcare professionals, and more.

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 a Miami speeding ticket lawyer 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.

US1 Construction May Affect You

raul-najera-qcA9xgvKkB8-unsplash-1Will you be doing any traveling on South Dixie Highway (US1) sometime soon? If so, you may encounter issues due to the start of a lengthy roadway project that will see several lanes intermittently closed. One of the segments of the project will extend from Riviera Drive to Ponce de Leon Boulevard in Coral Gables while the other will comprise Southwest 27th Avenue to Southwest 37th Avenue.

Per the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), the project will involve the installation of pipes and drains below the ground as well as the replacement of certain sidewalks, gutters, and sections of the curb. The project will also involve installing new roadway lighting for traffic heading both north and south, tweaking traffic signal systems, and re-pavement of the South Dixie Highway roads.

Although there are currently fewer drivers on the road due to quarantining and social distancing, construction is expected to be completed in various to reduce the chances of the work affect traffic during peak periods or events to be held in the future.

Lanes of traffic will be regularly closed throughout the night as construction work remains ongoing. During those hours, police will guide traffic, and drivers should anticipate delays. Alternative routes may be a good idea.

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 someone at the Miami ticket law firm 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.