Disclaimer: Blick Blog discusses topics regarding general legal information for the purposes of educating readers only and should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Submitting a legal question or receipt of information on this forum does not create an attorney client relationship with attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer or Blick Law Firm. Attorney Michael C. Blickensderfer cannot guarantee a specific result in any legal matter. Also, this website and blog is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Florida.

DUI | Do’s And Don’ts | Criminal Law Tampa

By: Moneer Kheireddine

Gavel, Alcoholic Drink & Car Keys on a Gradated Background - Drinking and Driving Concept.Drinking and Driving. Using these two words in a sentence is an ultimate taboo for many Americans, as the long-term consequences and issues that occur from Drinking & Driving can have long lasting effects, both in your life and in others. Many people often drink and drive for a few central reasons; maybe they don’t think they are too drunk, maybe they don’t have another ride, or maybe they don’t want to leave their car behind. However, if people knew the real truth behind drunk driving, the thought of drinking and driving would weigh much more heavily on their heads.

Every 53 minutes in America, someone is killed in a drunk driving crash. That equals around 27 people every day whose lives are lost because someone didn’t want to leave their car behind. In 2011, 9,878 people were victims of drunk drivers. 9,878 families lost someone they loved because a drunk driver didn’t want to pay taxi fare. 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2010, 62% of which were riding in the car with the impaired driver. Two hundred and eleven children lost their lives because someone in their family did not believe they were “too drunk to drive”. The statistics don’t lie and the bottom line is this; You should never Drink & Drive.

However, we here at Blick Law Firm believe in the saying of which our nation was founded upon; innocent, until proven guilty. There are always exceptions to the rules and we are here to defend your rights as a citizen, and to ensure that you do not receive a DUI that you do not deserve, which may impact your ability to acquire jobs, drive, and ultimately impact your freedom as a citizen. Here are precautions to take in many situations where you may run the risk of receiving a DUI.

  1. Don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t drive if you’ve had even one drink.
  2. The statement of “not feeling drunk” will never work, because of the legal limit being .08% BAC, for a large amount of people you will not feel drink even though you are past the legal limit.
  3. If an Officer stops you for something other than traffic violations, he may still arrest you on a DUI. You could have been driving perfectly and he pulled you over for a taillight, and if he suspects you may have been drinking he has the right to question you.
  4. A field sobriety test is a collection of simple tests to try and see if your coordination, balance, and other factors of your brain are impaired by alcohol. This test comes before the breathalyzer, and you have the right to refuse the test. There is no penalty for doing so.
  5. You have the right to refuse the first breath analysis before you are actually arrested. If you have had even half a drink in the last hour, refuse the test. You may not, however, refuse the second test, which occurs after your arrest. This test either requires a blood test or a breath analysis, and is legally binding.
  6. Always be kind with the officer, no matter what your personal opinions or beliefs may be. Be careful with how you answer his questions and mindful of the consequences. You are under no obligation to get the officer more information than what is one your driver’s license.
  7. BAC and alcohol tolerance do NOT go hand in hand.If you can take five shots and feel fine, that does not change the fact that your BAC is way above the normal limit. Don’t assume because your tolerance is high, that your BAC is as well.

DUIIn the end, always remember the risks you take if you choose to drink & drive, and that it does not only affect you, but everyone around you as well. One paid cab ride, while seeming expensive and an inconvenience, equals out to much more than the years of fines, grief, and regret that come alongside a possible DUI charge. If you or someone you know ever find yourself in need of legal advice or counseling in regards to DUI’s or any other cases, remember that Blick Law is here to help you every step of the way at 813-931-0840.

Have you ever been the victim of a DUI? Do you have an opinion on DUI laws and how they impact our lives? Share your opinion or story in the comment section below!

Posted in Blick Buzz, Blog, Criminal Law, DUI | Leave a comment

Personal Injury Services | Tampa Law Firm

Written By: Moneer Kheireddine

road-accidenT Generally, most people in the world have a schedule. They have a set way that they do things; their own, personalized, rule of order. Each and every day they follow the same times, the same roads, and the same tasks. This is the reason why we find so much comfort within order. However, this is also the reason why auto accidents tend to affect us to such a large extent. Something entered our lives that broke our normality.

Try to imagine some of your own, personal accidents as a reference to how these people who are victims of a personal injury feel. Remember how you felt when these unexpected occurrences happened in your own life and the confusion and pain you felt as a result. Now, imagine the same accident, but take into consideration the fact that the accident was not caused by you, but by someone else’s recklessness, which directly caused you pain and suffering. The impact that these accidents have on your life can be life altering and detrimental, and in the confusion you may not know who to turn to or ask for help. This is where we come in.

Blick Law Firm is the firm you can turn to in your time of legal need! To us, every client is treated with the upmost care and respect, and we try to help you every step of the way on your road to recovery and return to normalcy. We offer services ranging anywhere from automobile accidents, to slip and falls, medical malpractice, and everywhere in between. If you are injured in any way, give us a call, because we want to help. Our consultation services are at no cost to you, which provides you with an opportunity to receive free legal advice! Call Blick Law Firm today to speak to a trusted personal injury attorney to guide you and your loved ones back on a road to recovery!

car-accident-

Were you the victim of life altering medical malpractice? Think Quick, and Call Blick. Was your friend caught in an automobile accident? Think Quick, and refer them to Call Blick. Did the neighbors Rottweiler get out again and manage to inflict a severe bite wound on you? Think Quick, Call Blick. No matter the situation, no matter the cause, we are here to help. If you, or someone you know, have been the victim of any form of personal injury, our doors are always open. Free consultation is available, and we are happy to assist anyone in their time of need.

Here at Blick, our motto is “Helping The Hurting”, a motto contrived and founded upon helping those who have suffered in this world. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated with decency and respect, and uphold the values of helping everyone who walks through our doors. If you know of anyone who needs help through personal injury, or you yourself are a victim and are in need of assistance, we highly encourage you to at least give us a call at 813-931-0840, or schedule a consultation online at www.BlickLawFirm.com.

Remember, Blick is here to help, no matter the circumstance. If you are ever in doubt, Think Quick, and Call Blick.

Have you ever been the victim of personal injury? Have you found help within the Blick Law family? Do you have an opinion on Personal Injury laws within America? Leave a comment in the comment section below!

Posted in Blog, Criminal Law, Media Releases, Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Social Media Privacy

By: Moneer Kheireddine

 

Social Media: A New Generation of Evidence?

social

As this generation of tech-savvy individuals grows up, we as a society find ourselves in more situations where our advancing usage of the internet and social media contributes to a very thin border of what violates the rights of citizens, and what doesn’t. This debate has been widespread and heavily discussed since modern media came into existence, and will continue to be discussed until definite guidelines are set in regards to what is private within social media and what isn’t. Take, for example, earlier this month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit stated that the usage of a rap video and images of tattoos from defendant Melvin Colon’s Facebook page did not violate his First Amendment rights by giving this information to the Jury.

 

Melvin Colon as well as Earl Pierce and Joshua Meregildo were convicted in 2013 of murder, conspiracy, racketeering, firearms offenses and narcotics trafficking due to their actions on behalf of the Courtlandt Avenue Crew, a notorious street gang. In recent years, the usage of rap lyrics, photos, and other information shared on gang members and criminals Facebook’s has caused concern among citizens. Americans are growing more and more distressed everyday about what exactly is private in this newly digitized world.

social-media

 

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many other social media outlets have been consuming more and more of our lives. We share our opinions, our ideals, our (not always so eloquent) photos, each and every day. People might share things they might not necessarily want to be shown in a courtroom, and yet most tend to share them anyways. The truth is, in this day and age, anything you share can and will be used against you in a court of law. If you want to take steps to minimize the chances of information that you post being used against you, whether in the courtroom, when pursuing employment, or anything in between, we here at Blick Law Firm are here to help. Here are some tips to consider:

 

  1. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles are set to private! Ensure that no one except your friends has access to your accounts.
  2. If you post something and immediately regret it after, don’t be afraid to delete it! You never know what might come back to haunt you.
  3. Take time every couple of months to go through some of your older posts and photos and see if there is anything you should remove, or that might make you look bad. You don’t have to delete them, but you can always set it to only be viewed by you or select friends.
  4. Try googling your name and seeing what comes up! This allows you to see what’s public knowledge and what anyone can find by simply looking up your name.
  5. Always remain respectful and courteous, especially on social media. Nothing you say is anonymous, and people will know that you said it.
  6. If you know a big job interview (or something of that nature) is coming up, professionalize your social media! You wouldn’t want employers getting the wrong idea.

If you ever have any questions concerning what is appropriate to post, if you find yourself in need of legal advice, or know of anyone who is, we highly encourage you to contact us here at Blick Law Firm at 813-931-0840. We pride ourselves on always being here to help the hurting and those in need. Think quick, call Blick!

 

Do you have an opinion on how social media is impacting our lives? Do you believe that it is/is not constitutional to use social media in the courtroom? Do you constantly keep tabs on your social media profiles? Share your opinions and views in the comment section below!

 

Posted in Blog, Media, Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Medical Marijuana| Legal News

Medical-MarijuanaWritten By: Marissa Marshall

Drug reform and policies to keep our country drug free have been a constant trend in our country for over 100 years. During the 60s illicit drug use became a symbol of youthful rebellion and political resistance. In 1971 president Nixon started the famous “War on Drugs” declaring drug abuse as public enemy number one.

With a national culture of zero tolerance for illicit drugs, there’s no mystery as to why recreational marijuana has not been made legal by the federal government. 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized Marijuana in some form. Colorado has visitors come from all over the world who book “marijuana tours” that allow them to sample different varieties. In our nation’s capital it is legal to smoke marijuana recreationally and possess up to two ounces, however federal employees in DC are still subject to the federal laws. Many states where marijuana is not legal have also decreased the penalties associated with marijuana.

Aside from its recreational uses marijuana has been used for medical purposes as well. Many people vouch that along with chemo therapy and proper diet cannabis oil is proven to reduce tumors and in some cases cure cancer. There are numerous cases of parents risking their freedom to obtain the drug for their child who is sick with cancer. The common attitude in cases like this is that the quality of life brought back to their children through the cannabis oil is worth the associated risks.

Here in Florida this past November amendment 2, which was for the legalization of medical marijuana, did not pass. The amendment got a majority vote but not the 60% that it takes to pass in our state. In a state where medical marijuana is legal you go to your doctor who prescribes you a “marijuana card” which allows you to purchase marijuana from an authorized dispensary. Medical marijuana is used to treat muscle spasms, nausea and lack of appetite associated with chemo therapy. It’s also been correlated with reducing seizures, and the symptoms of Crohn’s disease among other things. Since it has been in use marijuana has had no documented instances of death from overdose.

Although the Blick Law Firm does not advocate the use of illicit drugs, we understand that the Florida prison system is overcrowded with non-violent prisoners who have been detained for the possession of marijuana. We represent clients in criminal cases to help reduce the sentence and charges that are associated with these felonies. If you know someone who is suffering a hardship as a result of possession, give us a call at 813.931.0840 or schedule a consultation online at…call

www.BlickLawFirm.com

Posted in Blick Buzz, Blog, Criminal Law, Health | Leave a comment

Neglect in Elderly Care Centers

Elderly Care photoWritten By: Louie Talacay

We owe our elderly loved ones everything in life. If it were not for them, who we are and where we are going would be impossible. These are the people that nurtured us, gave us food & shelter and above all, life itself. The mountain of gratitude and reverie can never be achieved to thank someone for the miracle that is life.

There comes a point in life when these elderly loved ones may need assistance to go about their daily lives. Unable to provide the care that is required, because of work and other pending responsibilities, we outsource this care to a facility that can provide for all their needs. Best part of all, they can be social with other patrons, keeping their mental game keen and sharp.

Amongst a mountain of accusations regarding neglect, these facilities no longer have that appeal of caretaking that they should have. Instead, we fear for our loved ones safety, unsure that they are getting the treatment and respect that they deserve. It is that moment of insecurity that makes us question, are our loved ones safe?

Because of these accusations, HIPPA is reconsidering wiretapping laws that allow cameras and audio recording devices to be placed in the nursing homes. These devices will be used to audit the behavior of caretakers and ensure that negligence will be handled properly.

Is this a violation of privacy law? The federal government has a clear view about the use of hidden cameras or recording devices in general. If they are there, they must be disclosed to the public. Of course, this pushes the envelope on an ethical debate that has been waged ever since technology revolutionized life as we know it.

Even though the use of cameras may seem extreme, they serve a purpose that creates a true end to problems. They will expose the workers who obviously need to be replaced and highlight the ones that provide true and general wellbeing for their patrons. Perhaps they will highlight the need for reform that is common with negligence such as the current trend towards VA reform.

The elderly should not have to be afraid of their caretakers. They deserve respect and compassion. We all go from cradle to grave and it is our own social security that should see to it that everyone is getting the treatment they deserve. If your elderly loved one has been hurt as a result of negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. The Blick Law Firm specializes in personal injury cases. We understand that although elderly care facilities may have the best intentions at heart, they must do more to ensure that they are screening their employees well. They must be held accountable for the workers they hire and must set a standard that is respectable and fair for the compensation that is provided. If your loved one was hurt as a result of negligence, don’t sit on your case; Call us today at 813.931.0840 or visit our website to schedule a consultation at….call

www.BlickLawFirm.com

Posted in Blog, Criminal Law, Personal Injury | Leave a comment

Red Light Cameras| Legal News

simple_img_6Written By: Marissa Marshall

Traffic citations are not fun for anyone. No one likes to go to their mailbox maybe weeks later to find they have a ticket for running the red light. Red light camera tickets are a little different than being pulled by an officer because the officer can use discretion while a camera cannot. It’s common to hear people issued red light camera tickets complain about the fairness, because of these complaints many states have had to look into the legality of these cameras.

American Traffic Solutions is the company that provides the red light cameras. The company helps municipalities to issue about 4 million citations annually. ATS has about 2,500 red light cameras through 275 communities in more than 20 states. The income generated from these cameras has made substantial revenue contributions for my municipalities.

According to Florida law the police have certain powers that cannot be delegated to private vendors; this is where things get a little sticky. Arizona based ATS has been able to use discretion and dismiss certain cases, but here in Florida that is not legal.

In South Florida 24,000 red-light tickets worth an estimated $6 million were dismissed earlier this week because of concerns that ATS is too involved in the outcome of cases. The number of red light cameras across the country has seen a steady decrease from their peak in 2012 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

On October 15, 2014 the case of City of Hollywood v. Eric Arem ruled that the City did not have the authorization to delegate its police power to any red light camera vendor. The police had allowed a vendor to screen data and determine if a traffic violation had occurred before issuing a citation. This violates Florida statues, and the citation issued was made void. In October 2014 Palm Beach County stopped the use of red light cameras to issue citations.

In a June 12, 2014, decision, the Florida Supreme Court issued an opinion to address the contradictory decisions of Masone v. City of Aventura and City of Orlando v. Michael Udowychenko. The third district court of appeal upheld the red light camera citation issued in Aventura, while the fifth district court issued the citation in Orlando unlawful and void. The supreme court of Florida agreed with the fifth district, holding the issuing of these citations void.

What do you think about Red Light Cameras? Are they ethical? Should they be legal? Go to http://www.blicklawfirm.com and give us your thoughts and opinion regarding Red Light Cameras. call

Posted in Blog, DUI, Personal Injury | Leave a comment