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When confronted by police, people often become nervous because they are unsure if they may be in violation of some ordinance or law. The difference between merely being detained by police and arrested creates different limitations to your rights. It is important to understand what you can do. Police may stop you, and it is not considered an arrest if you are just briefly detained.
In the event you are stopped for questioning, it is important to remain calm, be polite, keep your hands visible at all times, and do not attempt to flee. You do have the right to remain silent, however, it is best to identify yourself first and then notify the officer that you are exercising your right to silence.
If you are unsure of the situation, you can ask the officer why you have been detained and if you are under arrest. If at that time you are not under arrest, you have the right to leave. If the officer proceeds to arrest you, you have the right to speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney.
An arrest occurs only upon a determination of “probable cause”, this means the officer must have more than just a “suspicion”, the officer must have a “reasonable belief” that you committed a crime. Once the arrest is made, an officer can lawfully conduct a search incident to arrest of your person for weapons, evidence, and contraband. At this point, the officer can hold you in jail for up to 24 hours, or until a warrant is issued for the charges.
Anytime you are stopped and arrested it is important to quickly consult a Criminal Attorney regarding your rights and advice on what you should do. If you have been arrested for a criminal offense, or even issued a citation for a traffic violation, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 to schedule an appointment for a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is a mandatory coverage on Florida car insurance policies that covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages. The original purpose of PIP coverage was to make sure that anyone injured in an auto accident would quickly receive money to treat their injuries. In Florida, all drivers are obligated to obtain a minimum of $10,000 PIP coverage for medical bills and lost wages following an auto accident.
Due to rampant fraud and misappropriation of PIP coverage in Florida, insurance companies have lobbied to pass PIP insurance reform to limit the types of treatment available to crash victims covered by PIP, and limit the amount of coverage in order to avoid abuse and fraud.
The new PIP law, which took effect January 1, 2013, requires that persons injured in an accident must begin medical services and care within 14-days of the accident in order to be eligible for PIP benefits. The law also requires that injured persons obtain their initial medical treatment from specific medical entities. The initial treatment must be administered by the following:
- Emergency medical services personnel
- Facility that owns or is wholly owned by a hospital
- Medical doctor, dentist, chiropractor or osteopath.
Additionally, the new law bans the use of PIP dollars to pay for massage or acupuncture treatments and will limit the payout for non-emergency treatment of accident-related injuries to $2,500.00. A widespread concern is that accident victims with serious injuries won’t be able to get the care they need if they sustain an injury such as a whiplash or herniated disc because these injuries may not qualify as an emergency.
Nonetheless, supporters of the new law insist that the reform will contribute to overall lower insurance premiums and provide much needed relief to Florida drivers.
If you or a loved one have been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
A Will is a legal document that provides direction for how a decedent intends to distribute their assets upon their death. Many times, people avoid considering the different options available through the probate process out of a fear of thinking about their own death.
A person without a will at the time of death is said to have died intestate. When a person dies intestate, the State will then follow the intestacy guidelines governing how to distribute intestate assets to heirs based on relation and bloodline.
Realistically, executing a Will for the disposition of one’s assets is an important part of planning the future of your estate; as it is always better to have your intentions for the disposition of your assets to be memorialized in an executed Will, rather than have the State determine the disposition of your assets. Probate is the process of identifying and gathering the assets of the deceased person, paying their debts, and distributing the assets to his or her beneficiaries.
Many considerations must be made prior to setting forth the distribution of one’s assets following their death, and often times other legal documents are more suitable for particular situations. It is important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney, and determine what is best for you be it a Will or Trust instrument.
If you or a loved have concerns or questions about the future of your estate, call Blick Law Firm today. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!
Everyday Florida drivers get behind the wheel unaware that their driving privilege has been suspended, cancelled, or revoked. Law enforcement officers make daily arrests for driving with a suspended license which can lead to complications when trying to reinstate your driving privilege.
In Florida, it is a criminal traffic offense if a driver operates a motor vehicle with knowledge that their driver’s license is cancelled, suspended, or revoked. The following charges may result from Driving with a Suspended License with knowledge of the suspension:
(1) First conviction is a second degree misdemeanor;
(2) Second conviction is a first degree misdemeanor;
(3) Third, or subsequent conviction, is a third degree felony and possible jail time may have to be served.
It is important to know that multiple infractions of Driving with a Suspended License can lead to very serious consequences, and drivers with repeated violations can become listed as a Habitual Traffic Offender.
The penalty of driving with your license suspended, whether you have knowledge or not, can be serious and generally lead to complications with your future driving privilege.
If you or a loved one have been arrested or issued a citation for driving with a suspended license, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.
When considering Bankruptcy, a Chapter 7 filing is a useful way to discharge of most debt and can relieve the burden of creditor collection attempts. However, many times a debtor has equity in a home or property and would like to file for Bankruptcy but not surrender their home. In these cases, a debtor can reaffirm the debt for the particular property they would like to maintain and keep making the payments, or file for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy which allows the debtor to reorganize the debt into a consolidated and more manageable payment.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy gives the debtor an opportunity to manage their debt over a period of 3 to 5 years and still maintain the rights to both exempt and non-exempt property. This is particularly useful when the debtor has a large amount of equity in the home or property. Chapter 13 also helps by reducing payments on debts that cannot be discharged by Chapter 7, such as Student Loans; additionally, Chapter 13 helps avoid wage garnishment, delays the foreclosure process on the home, protects co-signers, and allows for an overall extension on the repayment term of most debts.
However, the decision to declare Bankruptcy also comes with consequences. The disadvantages of filing Chapter 13 include:
- Credit reports will show a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy filing for 7 years
- The debtor will receive high interest rates on future credit
- The debtor will have a strict budget in place in order to ensure the reorganized debt payments
- Legal representation fees tend to be higher, plus added court costs
Auto accidents can be devastating, and often times result in not only property damage, but also severe injuries that require extensive medical attention and treatment. Insurance coverage is vital in helping car accident victims afford the medical care they need and provides assistance in replacing the loss of property incurred when involved in a serious accident.
Florida requires that all automobile owners who register and operate a vehicle must have Florida insurance. In Florida, the mandatory minimum coverage is $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL) as long as you have a valid Florida license plate.
While these mandatory minimums are in place, many Florida drivers operate vehicles without any automobile insurance coverage. As a protection against Uninsured Motorists, insurance companies provide Uninsured Motorist Coverage. Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage provides for payment of certain benefits for damages caused by owners or operators of uninsured vehicles that cause injury resulting from an automobile accident. Such benefits include payment for medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.
It is important for all drivers to consider adding UM coverage to their existing policy to protect themselves and their families from injuries and loss caused in an auto accident by uninsured motorists.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of an auto accident and have questions concerning your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at 813-931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!