Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Signatures For Ballot Referendums At The Courthouse

I was recently walking out of the courthouse in Sanford and was asked to sign a petition to protect our water. Since I am generally against any type of regulation I didn't want to sign it. I also noticed that the individual asking me to sign had a "legalize it" shirt on. As a criminal defense attorney who handles Orlando marijuana cases, Seminole County marijuana cases, Daytona Beach marijuana cases and Flagler County marijuana cases I'm not a huge fan of the current drug laws in the United States and question the war on drugs. It did not offend me that the guy wanted me to sign a petition for legalizing marijuana what offended me is that he tried to trick me into signing a marijuana petition by either mixing multiple ballot referendums or just lying to me about what I would have been signing. I actually told him no as soon as he told me he was petitioning to protect my water so I did not get to see what the document said. This gives me some concern about the ballot referendum process if people will lie to individuals on the courthouse steps in an attempt to get enough signatures to get their issue on a ballot. I was talking to an investigator I work with and he said the same thing happened to him in as he was leaving the clerk of court in Orlando. The question that I have is if I looked like a defendant instead of an attorney would they have asked me to sign a petition for clean water or to legalize marijuana. Does everyone get the same sales pitch or is it catered to what they believe you will be willing to sign? The other question is does it matter what they say since the referendum only puts it on the ballot for a vote. I guess in the end it all comes down to making sure you carefully read anything you sign. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Orlando Possession Of Under 20 Grams Of Marijuana Attorney

Many people believe that we should legalize marijuana but at this point Florida has some of the harshest penalties for possession of under 20 grams of marijuana in the country. The maximum punishment for possession under 20 in Orlando is a year in jail, a year of probation or any combination of the two that does not exceed a year in duration. The maximum fine is up to $1,000. Some additional less known penalties are: a 2 year driver's license suspension if adjudicated guilty, loss of federal financial aid and potential loss of public assistance. The 2 year driver's license suspension does not require the accused to be operating a vehicle. The license suspension for a first DUI is only 6 months for a breath test over .08%. An experienced Orlando possession of marijuana attorney can argue for a dismissal, diversion, amended charge or at least a withhold of adjudication to avoid the 2 year driver's license suspension. An attorney can also waive your appearance from most of the court dates. This avoids missing work or school and avoids warrants for failure to appear. If you are charged with Orlando marijuana possession call attorney Kevin J. Pitts today at 407-883-6853 to set up a free consultation. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Daytona Beach Reckless Driving Defense

If you have been arrested for reckless driving or were issued a criminal citation you have defenses. Reckless driving can be a serious misdemeanor offense that can carry heavy sanctions and have a dramatic impact on insurance rates. A Daytona Beach reckless driving case can also have numerous defenses. One thing to remember in a reckless driving case is that speed alone is not sufficient to establish reckless driving. The state must show that the driving endangered the person or property of another. The state must also show that the driving that endangered the person or property was willful. The willful part of the statute can be difficult for a prosecutor to establish in many reckless driving cases. When defending a reckless driving case the goal s to always get the case dismissed but if that is not possible careless driving is a good negotiating tool. The statutes are nearly identical with the only difference being that careless driving only requires the state to show negligence. If the case is amended to careless driving we see a reduction in fines, prevent our clients from having a criminal record, avoid jail or probation and avoid the additional 4 hour BDI course that is now required for a reckless driving cases. If you have been accused of reckless driving in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Flagler County or Seminole County call the attorney Kevin J. Pitts today at 386-451-5112. Offices in Daytona Beach and Sanford.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Sanford And Seminole County Bail Bond Website With Useful Information

The part of the criminal justice process that I was the least familiar with was the bail bond process. I decided to do a little research to get more information about the process in Seminole County. I came across a Seminole County Bail Bondsman website with useful information about the bail bond process in Sanford and the surrounding area. Meeting with a bail bondsman is the often the first step in the long process when someone is accused of a crime. My understanding of the bail bonds process was that you pay 10% and you get out. This is basically true but I have learned that payment plans are also available with some bondsman. Collateral is not always required but if the individual is a flight risk collateral might be required to help protect the bondsman. These fine details are what makes the difference when selecting a bondsman. 

Defending against a criminal charge can be expensive. Using a bondsman can reduce the amount of money that you have to tie up on the front end of the case. Posting a cash bond and diligently defending a series charge can be expensive. A bondsman reduces the cost of getting out of jail by 90%. On a Seminole County burglary of a dwelling case that saves you $4410 on the cost of getting out of jail. The above mentioned site also provides a bond schedule for Seminole County cases. If someone you know has been arrested contact a bondsman to get them out of jail as soon as possible. Once they are out of jail or if the bond is unreasonably high contact our Seminole County criminal defense attorney. We offer a free consultation on all criminal defense cases. Call 407-268-3688 to set up a consultation.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Should You Take A Central Florida DUI Breath Test

When a driver is accused of driving under the influence, a breath test is almost always requested. Consent to a breath test is implied but it is not mandatory in Florida. If a driver elects not to take a breath test they will face additional exposure to license suspension and in some cases additional criminal charges.

With all of the factors to consider is it better to blow or refuse? This is not a question that can be easily answered and the reality is that it depends on several factors. One factor is obviously the amount of alcohol the driver consumed but another consideration is what the driver is trying to avoid. For some drivers the actual DUI conviction is more damaging and for other drivers the inability to drive may be more damaging. It may be surprising to learn that the suspended license and DUI conviction do not necessarily go hand in hand. In Daytona Beacha DUI conviction does result in a driver’s license suspension but if the driver takes proper steps they will be able to drive to and from work, church, doctor visits and to maintain their livelihood just hours after a conviction. On the other hand, if the DUI case is dismissed, the driver could still lose their license as a result of an administrative driver’s license suspension on a first DUI for 6 months with no driving for 30 days for a breath test above .08% or a year with no driving for the first 90 days for a refusal. The reason for this is the fact that when a driver is accused of a DUI in Florida they actually face two separate cases. They face the criminal DUI case and they face an administrative case only dealing with the privilege to drive.

The advantages of submitting to a breath test include a shorter administrative driver’s license suspension exposure. The administrative suspension for a breath test is 6 months with no driving for the first 30 days. The legality of the stop, detention and arrest can still be challenged. If the defense is able to successfully challenge the elements of the case prior to the breath test the results may not be admissible. The accuracy of the machine can be challenged. The Intoxilyzer 8000 has a .02% tolerance which means a .08% sample could actually be .06% to .10%. In Florida often the breath test is an hour or two after the initial encounter. Retrograde extrapolation can be used to show that the breath alcohol (BrAC) content was actually much lower when the driver was driving. One of the disadvantages of submitting to a breath test is that if you have a high BrAC and proper procedures are followed it will be very difficult to get a reduction or acquittal. Another disadvantage is on a first DUI with a BrAC over .15% the driver faces an additional $500 fine and will be required to have a interlock device on their vehicle. Many prosecutors will stipulate to a BrAC below .15% in first DUI cases. The biggest advantage of the breath test is that a driver will be able to drive after 30 days regardless of how high the BrAC is.

An advantage of a Daytona Beach DUI refusal is the prosecutor cannot attach a numerical result to the alleged impairment. A refusal with poor performance on field sobriety exercises does not help the case. In Florida field sobriety exercises are not mandatory. If a driver decides they are going to refuse a breath test they should also refuse to perform field sobriety exercises. If the officer has a history of arresting drivers under the legal limit this can be used effectively on cross examination on DUI refusal cases. The disadvantage of a refusal is that a driver will face a 12 month administrative license suspension with no driving for the first 90 days. Refusals also generally do not get you sympathy with the prosecutor and can also be frowned upon by a jury. A second refusal is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida.

Drinking and driving is serious and the consequences are severe. It is always cheaper to call a cab than to fight a DUI. The decision to submit to a breath test or refuse is unique to the individual involved and the facts of the case. For more information on DUI cases contact Daytona Beach criminal defense attorney Kevin J. Pitts.