Attorney Christian A. Straile, LLC
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352.371.9141 Gainesville
352.694.4529 ocala
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Traffic Archives

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.

Clearing Traffic Suspensions

Part of the traffic ticket practice is clearing suspensions in the best possible way. Common reasons for suspensions are for failing to address the citation within thirty (30) days, failing to pay, failing to complete traffic school, failing to appear in Court in a criminal case, warrants, child support etc. Of course there are many other reasons a driver's license can be suspended and each case is unique.

Traffic Crash, DUI and the Accident Report Privilege

A car accident leads to a traffic crash investigation which often time leads to criminal charges such as drunk driving or DUI. Floridians should be aware that the law requires them to cooperate with a traffic crash investigation. The intent behind the reporting requirement is to encourage true and uninhibited reporting of accidents, with the ultimate goal of making highways safer.

Habitualized the hard way

Almost every week I hear from people who have just been informed that they have been habitualized in the worst way. Apparently, ordinary people (not defense lawyers) trust the government and just pay a fine on a traffic ticket, especially when that fine is overdue. A common complaint will go something like this: "I just paid a ticket to get my license back and now I am being told that I am a Habitual Traffic Offender and my license is gone for five (5) years." Almost always the ticket that was paid recently is for driving on a suspended license.

HTO No! (Florida Habitual Traffic Offender)

For some it is getting the letter or notice of Habitual Traffic Offender ("HTO") in the mail. For others it is getting arrested after being pulled over for no reason or even if there was a traffic citation, surprise! Your license is being or has been suspended for five (5) years. You earned this five (5) year driver's license suspension and you've been habitualized.

Roadblocks or Roadside Safety Checkpoints

Roadblocks or "Roadside Safety Checkpoints" as they are referred to by law enforcement are legal only if the police follow the rules. Yes, the Constitution does still apply as do the laws of the State of Florida, even though it certainly does not feel like it or a particular law enforcement officer's god complex has raised its ugly head. In order to be legal, they have to have followed several steps including publishing an operational plan, communicating the plan and then actually complying with the operational plan.

Traffic Crashes Involving a Death

It appears that Tony Stewart's crash which killed another driver will be investigated by law enforcement. A few minutes into the business day and I am already being asked "for what?" While some feel this is an incident for which Mr. Ward waived any civil actions by assuming the risk of death when he exited his vehicle and tried to confront a race car, there are others that want our police state to investigate all incidents of death with an eye towards prosecution.

Do officers and witnesses appear at traffic hearing?

A question that is regularly asked of me is whether officers and witnesses appear at traffic hearings. The communities of Gainesville, Waldo and Alachua (Alachua County) or Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon (Marion County) or Starke and Lawtey (Bradford County) or Lake City (Columbia County) are very different than the communities in South Florida.  My understanding is that no show rates are higher down south, regardless, here in North Florida, witnesses and officers do fail to appear.

Violation of driver's license restrictions - Employment or Business purposes

Driving in violation of a driver license restriction can be a criminal offense in Florida. A violation of a work purposes only license or a violation of any license restricted due to a DUI conviction will result in criminal charges. Not all violations of driver license restrictions are crimes but all cases do have to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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Attorney Christian A. Straile, LLC
352.371.9141 Gainesville
352.694.4529 ocala