What happens upon receipt of a Criminal Summons in Florida? In some jurisdictions, the use of a Criminal Summons was part of criminal justice even prior to COVID. Some people are surprised to receive a summons, while others are made aware of a criminal investigation and may be expecting it.
Much has changed in the practice of Florida criminal defense during COVID. With varying orders being issued by the Florida Supreme Court, the Chief Judges of the Circuits, County and local municipalities, we are all dealing with the semi-shutdown as best we can. It seems that new orders, tweaking the last set, are made about every other week.
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.
Recently, the Gainesville Police Department announced that it will begin a "Click it or Ticket" campaign. Some will feel as if this is really to generate revenue or is really a fishing expedition. Several years ago, the law changed allowing police to stop cars when the driver or a passenger is not belted. Before that, an officer could not conduct a traffic stop merely for not wearing a seatbelt. Presently, an officer in Florida can pull you over just for not wearing a safety belt.
Auto accidents frequently give rise to criminal cases in addition to civil lawsuits and traffic tickets. For example law enforcement may charge a driver in a car crash with Reckless Driving with Property Damage, Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI Manslaughter, DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, DUI with Property Damage, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Render Aid, etc. Vehicular Manslaughter is essentially Reckless Driving with a Death. If law enforcement does not believe a crime was committed, then the driver will be charged with careless driving. (More on the difference between Careless Driving and Reckless Driving)
A criminal traffic case of fleeing became news recently as an alleged car chase that crossed Sumter and Marion Counties came to a stop in Alachua County. Sometimes a person accused of fleeing and eluding the police will also be charged with reckless driving, resisting arrest or obstruction of justice. Fleeing or eluding can also be charged as what is known as aggravated fleeing. Aggravated fleeing or eluding can also be charged with serious bodily injury or death.
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.