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Gainesville Criminal Defense Law Blog

GET OUT! Asked to exit vehicle after a traffic stop

In criminal cases a common concern is that the officer requested the driver or other person to exit the vehicle. There is a line of thought that being removed from the vehicle requires a safety concern or other good reason. Some may question what issue(s) exist getting out of the car, others do not like the feeling of being seized, however in the context of criminal cases, exiting from a vehicle often discloses damaging evidence.

Seal or Expunge - Florida Criminal History or Records

In Florida, a person can seal or expunge criminal records but only once in a lifetime and only if the charge(s) qualifies. Not all charges can be sealed or expunged. The Petition to Expunge or Seal must be filed in the county where the case originated. In Florida, expunging a case or sealing an arrest or case are different things.

Florida Criminal Marijuana after Constitutional Amendment

Recently, Floridians voted over 71 percent in favor of medical marijuana for patients with certain conditions. However, legalizing medical marijuana in Florida does not change the penalties for the illegal use. Sale, cultivation and distribution are still crimes if not done pursuant to the new medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Very few companies are authorized to grow and dispense medical marijuana.

Served Injunction Paperwork in Florida?

What if injunction paperwork has been served in Florida? The Respondent or Defendant has been sued for an injunction. What many people fail to realize is that the hearing date the Respondent/Defendant just received is the TRIAL. The defense team must be prepared on that day to present all evidence to defend the case. Furthermore, an injunction can be a life sentence because; an order of protection can be valid until further order of the Court.

Florida Traffic Ticket Hearing Requirements

In Florida speeding tickets for less than thirty (30) over the speed limit do not require a hearing. There are three (3) choices:

1. Pay it

2. School it

3. Court it

If you pay it, then that is an admission of guilt and points will be assessed on your license. (3 or 4). Points on a license can affect insurance rates and employ-ability well into the future. 

Criminal & Traffic - Mistakes on Citations or Reports

In criminal and traffic defense a common complaint from an accused individual or their family is that the arrest affidavit, arrest report, accident report or citation contains one or more errors. For example, if there is a DUI accusation with a child in the car but the officer marks on the DUI citation that there were no passengers under the age of 18 or marking "no injury" on a traffic ticket in a case involving a fatality. (actual examples). The ugly truth is that the police, deputies and troopers filling out these documents are people too and they make mistakes.  Unfotunately, typographical or similar errors will usually not lead to a case being dismissed.

Racing, a Criminal Traffic offense in Florida

The criminal traffic offense of "Racing on Highways" is not limited to just what most people think of as a highway, street or road. Parking lots are specifically mentioned in Florida Statutes section 316.191, the racing statute and a violation of chapter 316 can be enforced on any road and even parking lots. Racing can be in any motor vehicle not just passenger cars and trucks.

Restoration of the Right to Possess Firearms

There are several reasons why a person may have their gun rights taken away. In some circumstances, the right to possess firearms can be restored. For example, if the prohibition from possessing weapons or firearms is due to an involuntary commitment, placement or hospitalization such as an adjudication of incompetence to consent to treatment then, there is a process in Florida to have gun rights restored. When somebody has their right to possess guns taken away, the law describes that as having a disability from possessing firearms or weapons.

Criminal Statute of Limitations - How long do they have?

The term 'Statute of Limitations' (SOL) refers to the time period under which a case can be brought.  If the time passes, then the SOL operates to bar the case and the plaintiff is out of luck.  There is a SOL for almost every type of case. In criminal cases, the time limit is expressed in a term of years depending on the offense. Sometimes people feel that if it took several months to receive a criminal citation, then that should be enough to have the case dismissed. Unfortunately, so long as prosecution is started within the time frame allowed then, a delay of several months will not win the matter.

Give me a break: Traffic Tickets that are reduced, changed or lowered roadside

Some traffic ticket clients mention that the officer "gave me a discount" or reduced the fine" at the stop. Otherwise we will hear "the ticket was supposed to be $$ and he cited me $$". This can cause confusion and the trooper, deputy or officer will not likely clear it up.

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