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Fort Myers Criminal Law Blog

What are some of the consequences of drunk driving?

It is a crime to drive while impaired in Florida and all other states because it endangers the lives of the intoxicated driver, his or her passengers and the public. Being convicted for drunk driving can ruin a person's future. However, a conviction can only occur if, and when, the prosecution can prove the driver's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Until then, he or she will remain innocent in the eyes of the law.

Here are some of the consequences of driving after consuming alcohol or drugs, and the reasons why it is always a good idea to have a designated driver or catch a ride. Being stopped for drunk driving may mean being handcuffed and dragged to jail, and staying behind bars until a bond is posted. Testing for blood alcohol content may be done, and the accused driver will face a jury or judge in court. There will be fines and court fees for those who are convicted, and if they are placed on probation, there will be monthly probation fees to pay.

DUI and other drinking crimes not to be seen as summer fun

Summer is the time for many students to escape from classes and studies and focus on fun and freedom. Unfortunately, peer pressure and other factors cause many teenagers in Fort Myers to show their ability to consume large amounts of alcohol. They spend fun-filled days at outdoor events, BBQs and on sunny Florida beaches. Some of them get carried away by the excitement and overlook the fact that drinking and driving on the road or the water can lead to DUI charges.

While it is a well-known fact that drunk driving is illegal, students might not realize that the same laws apply for boating while impaired. The same limit for blood alcohol content applies to boaters and vehicle drivers in most jurisdictions. Regardless of the mode of transport, allocating a designated driver to travel after drinking is never a bad idea.

Driving tips for the Fourth of July

Summertime is on the horizon, which means it is almost time to celebrate Independence Day. While your Fourth of July may be full of barbecues and fireworks, there is a high risk of it involving car accident injuries too. Did you know that the Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday in America?

Driving during Independence Day is dangerous because of an increase in traffic, tourists unfamiliar with roads, intoxication and motorcycles. Keep the following safety guidelines in mind to avoid an auto collision during this patriotic holiday. 

How can you improve your chances of getting a DUI expunged?

Having a criminal record can jeopardize the future of anyone in Florida. For example, a single DUI conviction that could have been avoided could prevent a young adult from gaining admission to a college or university, obtaining financing or securing employment, among other challenges. Fortunately, in some cases, it is possible to have a DUI expunged.

Expungement is a legal process of clearing a person's criminal record of convictions and arrests. However, no one is guaranteed a positive result in a petition for expungement. To improve one's chances, it typically helps to have a clean record for the years before the DUI conviction, and also afterward during the mandatory waiting time before an expungement application can be filed. Such a filing can typically only be pursued after complying with any penalties imposed by the court.

Florida lawnmower operator accused of drinking and driving

Operating a motorized lawnmower such as a John Deere, Massey Ferguson or a Craftsman can be dangerous, and when such a machine is taken onto a Florida roadway, the operator is subject to all the traffic laws of the state. A recent incident in Polk County led to a lawnmower operator's arrest after he allegedly rear-ended a police vehicle. Law enforcement accused the man of drinking and driving.

According to the arrest report, police were responding to an incident when they noticed a man riding on a motorized lawnmower, which had an attached trailer. Officers say the man might have escaped their attention had he not rear-ended the police cruiser. They say the man remained at the scene, and a blood-alcohol test resulted in a reading of .241, which is significantly higher than the allowed level of .08.

How much does a Florida DUI raise your auto insurance rates?

Drunk driving is a serious offense, and if authorities in Florida stop your car and believe that you have been drinking, you can count on them asking you to take a breath test. If that breath test results in a driving under the influence charge, and if that charge ultimately results in a conviction, you can count on it taking a serious and considerable toll on your bank account in the aftermath.

Even first-time DUI offenders in Florida face substantial penalties for their crimes, and you may, depending on the circumstances surrounding your charge, have to pay thousands of dollars in DUI-related fines. While the fines that directly relate to your DUI conviction can cost you a substantial amount of money, so, too, per Insure.com, can paying for automotive insurance once you get your driving privileges reinstated. Just how much can you expect your annual car insurance premium to rise in the wake of a Florida drunk driving conviction?

Drug possession: What constitutes a probation violation?

Judges in Florida have a degree of discretion when it comes to sentencing in a criminal court. Sentences can range from prison time, community service, fines and probation. Probation is a period of supervision by a probation officer, ordered by a court for crimes such as drug possession instead of prison time. Violation of probation could have severe consequences.

Anyone who is on probation has to comply with the terms of the court order. Circumstances that might constitute probation violation include the failure to appear in court on a scheduled time and date. Also, missing any scheduled meetings with the probation officer can mean trouble. Violation of probation can also include the failure to pay court-ordered restitution or fines as well as visiting places or people prohibited by the court. The permission of the probation officer might be required for out-of-state travels.

3 steps you should take after an accident

Getting into a car accident is never on anyone's agenda for the day, but unfortunately things happen. Regardless of the cause of the collision, certain steps should occur directly following the incident.

Once you determine that you did not suffer any major injuries, you should begin the process of documenting the scene. Follow these three steps to help get your accident claim off on the right foot.

Nearly 60 people face Florida drug charges, more arrests expected

A six-month investigation on federal, state and local levels into fentanyl and crystal meth trafficking along Florida's east coast culminated in almost 60 arrests. The drug charges include drug trafficking and racketeering. The county sheriff noted that the volume of fentanyl that was seized could kill everybody in the county.

Reportedly, along with fentanyl worth $100,000 and methamphetamine worth $81,000 authorities seized heroin, pills, 75 firearms and more than $100,000 in cash. The sheriff says the investigation is ongoing, and 40 more arrests Close to 60  pending. Reportedly, the organization was penetrated by agents, and according to court documents, multiple investigative techniques were used, including warrants to tap cellphones.

3 reasons to stay away from other people's prescriptions

You know taking illegal street drugs is wrong, so you stay away from them. However, you may wonder if you can get in trouble by taking a pill or two from someone else's prescription. Is it illegal?

In Florida, taking prescription drugs that do not belong to you can land you in jail or worse – the hospital. If you have taken a pill from a friend or loved one, review these three reasons you need to stop participating in this risky and illegal practice.

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