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Criminal Defense Blog

Can I get a DUI if I take an Ambien in Florida?

Ambien has become a popular prescription drug to help peolpe with anxiety and sleep. But like any other drug, it can have troubling effects on those who take it. One of the regular questions we get is ...
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What may happen if I do not go to court (or miss a court date) for my criminal case?

If a defendant does not show up for court for a mandatory court appearance in their case (such as an arraignment, pre-trial conference, case management, docket sounding, or trial date) the judge will ...
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What is the 20 minute observation period for a DUI breath test?

A police officer must observe a person for at least 20 minutes prior to administering a DUI breath test in order to ensure that the person has not taken anything by mouth or regurgitated. This is ...
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Can I get my DUI reduced to a Reckless Driving charge?

It is very difficult to tell from the beginning whether a DUI charge can or will be reduced to a criminal reckless driving charge. Generally, if the defense develops a strong enough case, and the ...
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I have an old criminal case in Florida and I am out of state, what can I do?

We quite frequently get calls and emails from people out of the area who have an old criminal case in Florida that, for a variety of reasons, they have decided to resolve. Our law firm utilizes the ...
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What is an arraignment for a criminal case in Florida?

An arraignment is a court date where the state (prosecutor) informs you of what they are charging you with. In some cases (particularly in misdemeanor cases) the state will make a plea offer. If you ...
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Has your friend or loved one been sitting in jail past 30 days with no criminal charges filed?

The state (prosecutor) has an obligation to file formal charges within 30 days if a defendant is in jail. If your friend or loved one is incarcerated and charges have not been filed, contact our law ...
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What can happen if a witness or victim does not show up for deposition in a battery case?

**Please DO NOT rely on this blog post to make a decision in your criminal case. Every situation is entirely unique. Please contact our attorneys to schedule a free consultation** Ultimately, the ...
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What are depositions? Can I attend the depositions in my criminal case?

A deposition is the taking of out-of-court testimony from a witness or witnesses. This is where your attorney will question witnesses involved in your criminal case under oath. In a criminal case, the ...
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The state is asking for jail at my arraignment, is there anything that can be done?

Often times, yes there is. At arraignment (which is very early in a criminal case) the state usually has done very little investigation. In other words, they might not have any idea what really ...
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What is a "welfare check" or the "community caretaking doctrine"

A law enforcement officer generally cannot search or seize you without reasonable suspicion or probable cause that a crime has taken place, or is about to take place. What this means is that a cop ...
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Have you been charged with DUI, do you suffer from any medical or mental health conditions?

If you have been charged with DUI, be sure to tell your criminal defense attorney if you currently suffer, or have suffered in the past, from any medical or mental health conditions. Certain ...
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What is discovery in a criminal case?

The "discovery process" in a criminal case is the process whereby the defendant demands, and the state turns over, all evidence that the state has in its possession that it plans on using ...
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Can I be convicted of DUI simply because I have an illegal drug or a controlled substance in my blood or urine?

In order to convict you of driving under the influence (DUI), the state of Florida must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or ...
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Will my juvenile conviction count against me for my new arrest?

There are a lot of misconceptions about how juvenile charges work and how they effect charges later on in life. Most people view juvenile charges and convictions as being not very serious. However, ...
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Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law (SB 52) 316.305

The Florida House has passed bill SB52 banning text messaging while driving, more specifically prohibiting operating a motor vehicle while using a "wireless communications device". A ...
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When referring to a criminal sentence, what does consecutive, concurrent, and coterminous mean?

Example of a Concurrent Sentence Concurrent means the sentences are running together at the same time. Let's say that a defendant is charged with two different crimes, for instance driving on a ...
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What is jury nullification?

The result of a jury trial is called a verdict. The main two verdicts are guilty or not guilty. These are what are commonly seen in tv, movies, and books dealing with the criminal justice system. ...
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What is the difference between drug offender probation and regular probation?

While the terms of probation can vary from area to area, there are some specialzed probation programs that will be given in some cases. One of the more popular types of probation in Sarasota and ...
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Arrested in Sarasota or Manatee for underage drinking as part of Operation Dry Spring?

Recently, a statewide initiative to curb underage drinking took place in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Known as Operation Dry Spring, the initiative focused on underage drinkers out for spring break ...
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Can I challenge a stop and search if I was the passenger in a car?

Florida law is tricky when it comes to challenging a search of a vehicle. This is especially true when the passenger of a vehicle wants to challenge a stop. Not only does a passenger have to show that ...
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When the police officer or detective spoke to you, did he or she promise you help or leniency if you cooperated and answered questions?

A confession or admission must be freely and voluntarily given. There should be no coercion through scaring a person or offering them hope or help. Admissions attained by police through direct or even ...
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What's the difference between PTI (pre-trial intervention) and Probation?

Many people become confused about the difference between probation and pre-trial intervention (PTI). Both are "resolutions" to a criminal case. While there are some similarities, there are ...
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The police officer is lying: I never gave consent to search

It is becoming increasingly common to read police reports where evidence of drugs was allegedly found after a "consensual" search only to speak to the defendant who is adamant that he or she ...
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I can't afford my probation fees and costs, what can I do?

When being sentenced by a judge in a criminal case, often fines and fees are the last things on a defendant's mind. However, these monetary matters can cause potential problems later on down the ...
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