Tag Archives: driving while drunk

Motor Vehicle Searches and Arrest

Traffic violations in Florida contribute to a large amount of police encounters; and many times these encounters lead to arrests for more serious violations after the driver’s car is searched. It is important to know about your rights and protections while driving, and to be aware of what actions police are legally allowed to employ.

Constitutional Rights protect drivers from illegal searches and seizures. However, police are allowed to conduct a search of a vehicle without a warrant under certain circumstances. These circumstances include:

  • Consent to Search: A driver’s consent for an officer to search the vehicle operates as a waiver of constitutional rights under the 4th amendment protection against illegal searches and seizures. Additionally, any incriminating evidence obtained from the search can be used against the driver.
  • Plain View Rule: A police officer is authorized to search a vehicle if within the officer’s plain view there is any illegal substance or contraband visible.
  • Exigent Circumstances: A police officer is allowed to search a vehicle if in their discretion they reasonably believe that an immediate search is necessary to prevent harm or serious damage, or they believe that evidence of a crime is in danger of being destroyed.
  • Probable Cause: A police officer is authorized to search a vehicle without a warrant if they have a sufficient reason justifying probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed.

If you have been arrested following a traffic stop and have questions regarding your rights, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840 to schedule a free 15 minute appointment with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.

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Increase in Personal Injury Claims

Over the past couple of years there has been an increasing trend in the number of personal injury claims. A personal injury claim arises when a party suffers an injury with lasting consequences as a result of the actions of another party. The recent rising trend of injury claims is attributable to various reasons.

One reason is that injury victims are finding it easier to file claims in a market that offers no fee for cases that result in no recovery. Legal fees associated with personal injury claims are paid on a contingency basis; as a result, the standard is that attorneys offer to represent injury victims with payment for services contingent upon a recovery settlement. While this type of arrangement may encourage injured claimants to file suit more readily, it is important to recognize that the recovery is tapered by the legitimacy and extent of the injury.

The rise in personal injury claims is also attributable to various products that were negligently released to the public, and have caused serious and even life threatening effects.

Media coverage and an overall heightened awareness of the availability of insurance compensation for injuries have also encouraged injury victims to pursue recovery for injuries sustained through the actions or negligence of another person or company. Furthermore, while auto accidents haven’t increased in frequency over the past couple of years, the number of claims arising out of auto accidents has risen likely due to the publicity of auto accident injury recovery; and the recent trend may also suggest that motorists are more likely to seek compensation for insurance coverage that they are mandated to pay, even for marginal injuries.

Personal injury claims all vary in severity, and often times they involve lifelong consequences that require extensive future medical expenses and years of pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions or negligence of another, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick!

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Personal Injury Protection: Reform and Important Info

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.

In 2012, the Florida legislature passed into law PIP reform that 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 bill 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!

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Arrested by Police

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!

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Holiday Legal Aid

With the Holidays winding down quickly and the New Year approaching, everyone is now returning to their daily routine. Spending time with family and celebrating the gift-giving Holiday provided a pleasant break from the rigors of daily life. While everyone looks forward to starting the New Year off right, it is important to consider that the burden of legal trouble can happen to anyone at any time; and knowing where to turn in the event you encounter legal problems is critical.

Blick Law Firm offers a wide array of legal services to help serve the public including Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Real Estate, and Bankruptcy; we also provide help in Family and Probate Law matters. As a result, our blog topics range from auto accidents to short sales.

Grounded in Christian values, Blick Law Firm strives to not only meet the legal needs of its clients and their families, but also to provide physical and emotional support. We treat each client equally and with the utmost respect; offering high-quality legal representation and counsel to those who need us most. We pride ourselves on our motto of Helping the Hurting, and reach out to the community in a variety of ways.

Our website Blicklawfirm.com provides useful information on our blog that may be helpful in addressing your legal concerns; additionally, we offer details about our services aimed at providing reassurance that your legal needs will be handled effectively. With over 25 years of knowledge and practice, including a broad range of trial and courtroom experience, we will work hard for you.

If you or a loved one have legal concerns and are seeking quality legal representation, call Blick Law Firm today at (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer. Think quick, call Blick.

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Holiday Safety Tips

It is important to remember that injuries can occur anywhere; and during the holidays many people fail to take adequate safety measures to prevent injury. With the Christmas holiday approaching and a growing influx of travelers, a steady trend of increased traffic on Tampa roads continues to create safety concerns. In an effort to encourage safety, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges that people help ensure their own safety while traveling. Remember to always keep in mind the following:

  • Don’t drink and drive; and don’t allow other to drink and drive.
  • Wear a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.
  • Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age.

Furthermore, note that most residential fires occur during the winter months, so keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended; and don’t use generators, grills, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage.

If you or a loved are injured over the holidays and need legal advice, call Blick Law Firm today @ (813) 931-0840. Schedule a free 15-minute consultation with attorney Michael Blickensderfer.

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