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Category Archives: DUI
When stopped for a DUI, whether you believe you are guilty of driving above the legal limit or not, it is important to remain calm and cooperate with the law enforcement officer who stopped you. The following are 10 important things to keep in mind if you are pulled over for a DUI.
1. Pull over properly.
Slow down and pull your car over to the right side of the road, when it is safe to do so. Using your turn signal will help notify the officer of your intentions.
2. Remain in your vehicle.
Turn your vehicle off and remain inside the car with your hands on the steering wheel. If it is dark outside, you should turn the vehicle’s interior lights on. Do not get out of your vehicle unless the officer asks you to do so.
3. Don’t act suspicious.
Avoid any behaviors that might make it seem as if you are trying to hide or dispose of something. Fidgeting in your seat, leaning to one direction or another, or any other uncharacteristic body language may lead the officer to ask you to step out of your vehicle for a pat down, and possibly to search your vehicle.
4. Follow directions.
Listen to what the officer tells you and cooperate with him or her. You cannot drive away until the officer gives you permission to do so.
5. Be mindful of what you say.
Simply answer the officer’s questions, without offering extra information, arguing, or using an offensive tone of voice. Advise your passengers to do the same.
6. Act normal.
Remember that you are being observed by the officer, his or her partner if they have one, and potentially video equipment on their vehicle. Any strange behavior might signal the officer that further action should be taken.
7. Answer “How much did you drink?” carefully.
It is routine for officers to ask how much someone has had to drink when pulled over for a suspected DUI charge. It is best to either remain silent or assert that you cannot remember the exact amount you had to drink before getting behind the wheel. “Underestimations” about the amount you’ve had to drink can be used against you in court, so it is best to avoid giving an amount all together.
8. Think carefully about BAC testing.
Implied consent means that by acquiring a driver’s license, you consent to taking a BAC test. Refusing to take the test may result in worse consequences, but if you are seriously intoxicated, refusal might be in your best interest. In Florida, refusing to take a BAC test for your first DUI offense results in a one year license suspension; refusing to take the test for your second and third offenses results in an 18-month license suspension.
9. Don’t do any tests that aren’t mandatory.
Officers may ask you to “walk the line” or stand on one leg. Before complying with such requests, ask if the DUI test is mandatory.
10. When in doubt…
If you have any doubt that the person who pulled you over is a police officer, politely ask to speak with a supervisor for clarification, or tell the officer you’d like to follow them to the police station.
A DUI defense attorney, like the trusted professional traffic lawyers at Blick Law Firm, will ensure your rights are protected, guide you through the court proceedings, and help you obtain a favorable outcome for your case. If charged with a DUI, it is important to seek legal counsel immediately. Call Blick Law Firm today at 888-973-2776 to set up a free consultation! For more information, [click here]
By: Moneer Kheireddine
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.
- Don’t put yourself in that situation. Don’t drive if you’ve had even one drink.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
In 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!
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.
Imagine you and your family or friends are driving one evening, when all of a sudden, you notice a pair of headlights rapidly approaching your vehicle. Sadly, this has been a reality for at least 16 accidents in the Tampa Bay area during 2014; 5 of these crashes were fatal. The cause of these types of accidents was not road signs or even construction, it was impaired driving. Drivers under the influence of alcohol have been getting on the highway and fatally injuring innocent people. In all of the recent fatal wrong way crashes the driver of the vehicle was impaired.
So you have been hit by a drunk driver, now what? If you have been hit by a drunk driver you have a personal injury claim on your hands. Personal injury refers to someone being negligent or showing carelessness that results in the injury of another person. A person who decides to drive drunk and injure innocent people is certainly negligent and careless. Florida allows victims to sue for damages when negligence is involved. The first step in this process would be seeking immediate medical attention, and then, contacting an attorney to help you through the personal injury claims process.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you may find yourself in a car accident where you are charged with a DUI. Lawyers experienced in DUI cases know the different types of technology used to establish a person’s BAC and can help to refute evidence gained from them. Sometimes things are not properly calculated and sometimes these devices are not properly cared for. An attorney can determine if the evidence pertaining to your case was handled correctly.
The Blick Law Firm is a well-established firm that services the Greater Tampa Bay area. We provide counsel for our clients, as well as individualized services for each unique case. If you have a case and would like to speak to a lawyer, please to Call schedule a free consultation at 1-888-973-2776!
Written By: Louie Talacay
It’s the big day! You’ve been anxiously waiting and finally the day arrives; you are going to be going to court. Oh no, I’ve never been to court you think aloud. No problem because The Blick Law Firm is here to help you out and tell you how you should prepare yourself for your big day in court.
First and foremost, dress to impress. Yes, this is court, and yes, people expect you to look decent, unless you are pleading insanity. First impressions are important and a bad one could mean you struggling through an uphill battle with a negative preconceived notion of you and your character, all because you decided to wear flip flops.
Second, be punctual! As always, this one is big and not being on time could mean you are misrepresented in court or not even represented at all! Don’t take a chance on missing your court date; there could be some big repercussions for doing so. As always, if it is an emergency, you must notify the court and you must have a good reason. Sorry folks, but my dog ate my homework and is throwing up will probably not be acceptable.
Lastly, address the judge and jury, if there is one, politely. These are the people that will be deciding your fate, it is important that you start off on a good note. You wouldn’t bash an employer right before they hire you, would you? The concept is similar.
Of course, what you hear do and say will depend on the nature of your case. In order to be fully prepared for court, you should have a lawyer assist you. A lawyer can be your coach. They can role-play with you and tell you what you should say and what you shouldn’t say. They can prepare you for that moment you step into court until the instant you walk out with favorable results.
The Blick Law Firm is a well-established firm that services the Greater Tampa Bay area. We provide counsel and coaching our clients for their case. We provide unique individualized services for each client because we understand that each case is different and requires personal attention. If you have a case and would like to speak to a lawyer, please CALL US AT 888-973-2776
It is a common notion that lawyers are unaffordable; Despite the fact that many lawyers offer special financing for certain customers or commission based payment for winning their cases, many people still believe that hiring a lawyer is just too expensive. As a result, many people have decided to fight their cases, on their own, leaving them to navigate the minutiae of legal terms, motions and laws by themselves. In fact, according to an article featured on the Tampa Bay Times, 90% of low income Floridians have decided to fight their own cases; These cases involve divorce, familial law, foreclosure and other civil cases.
The idea of fighting your own case in court is daunting. A person who has no idea of how the justice system works will find complications and hardships at every corner of their case, even if it is full proof. Remember, a lawyer isn’t just your representation in court, but they also serve as your coach guiding you through the myriad of forms, motions, counters and claims.
To aid in the provision of legal services to people who cannot afford it, the chief supreme justice of Florida, Jorge Labarga has commissioned 27 members to look for a solution for affordable legal aid. Of particular interest is the demographic of people’s whose income is too high to receive pro bono and special financing but not enough to pay, upfront, the large legal fees that attorney’s charge for their services.
Don’t go rush out to your local attorney just yet! Jorge has set a time table of 2 years to create a program solution to aid people, within a certain income demographic, with getting the legal assistance they need to fight their case.
If you are desperate for legal assistance now, however, The Blick Law Firm is here to help the Greater Tampa Bay community. Our motto is “helping the hurting”. We understand that every case is different and that a hardship can cause incredible strain on people who are already struggling to meet ends. As a result, we treat each client differently and create a personalized, tailored service that will fit their needs. We offer special financing to certain clients that need the extra assistance as well as offering pro bono services for clients who we feel are truly in need of help. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorney’s to see what kinds of services we can provide you! To schedule a consultation CALL US AT 888-973-2776!
If you want to learn more about the program that is being commissioned by the Jorge Labarga please reference the following article featured on the Tampa Bay times at…