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Tampa, Florida Criminal Defense & Family Law Blog

Tampering with or circumventing an ignition interlock device

Facing drunk driving charges in Florida can lead to a variety of penalties that could negatively impact a person's life in myriad ways. With fines, potential jail time and the loss of driving privileges, it is important to formulate a strong and effective defense to avoid the worst possible consequences. One penalty that a person convicted of operating under the influence might face is having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

This device is designed to ensure the driver is not under the influence with the requirement to blow into it to register their blood-alcohol level. Still, there are potential violations with this device and these too can result in penalties. If a person tampers with or circumvents the ignition interlock device and does not have a driver's license, there can an extension of the driver's license suspension as well as fines between $250 and $500 for every violation. If the person cannot pay that fine, there can be a lien against that vehicle.

How do police decide when to pull a driver over?

Perhaps you've been out with friends enjoying your weekend, or maybe you're on your way home from a romantic evening out with your partner when you see the flashing lights behind you. Nothing can ruin a pleasant evening like a stop for suspected drunk driving. At this point, you may be wondering what brought law enforcement's attention to you, and why he or she decided to pull you over.

Police have a significant amount of objective authority to make a traffic stop, but there are limits to what they can do. For example, police cannot stop a driver on the basis of his or her skin color, gender or even the type of vehicle the person is driving. To make a DUI traffic stop, there must be a specific reason to do so, called reasonable suspicion. 

One-time reality show cast member arrested for drug possession

When a drug arrest is made in Florida, some might believe that it was for the sale, distribution or trafficking of drugs. However, many people who are arrested simply face drug possession charges. In these cases, when a person faces drug charges, it is important to understand how to lodge a defense for an acquittal or seek an outcome that does not involve incarceration. Having legal help can be key to this goal.

A man who was once on a television reality show was arrested amidst drug possession allegations. The former cast member of "Deadliest Catch" had a warrant for his arrest when law enforcement found him and discovered a white powder in his possession, which was determined to be heroin.

Drunk driving arrest made after fatal Hillsborough county crash

There are several reasons behind why drunk driving laws exist and are upheld. The ultimate goal is to increase public safety, both for the drunk driver themselves and any other driver or passenger on the road. Penalties for drunk driving have gotten steeper in recent years if a person is convicted of such a crime. A fatal accident recently occurred in Hillsborough County and the driver has been arrested in connection with that crash.

The accident happened with traffic heading south on Tampa's I-75. The arrested, a 35 year old male, is accused of rear-ending a motorcyclist. The bike burst into flames and to make matters worse, the driver in the passenger vehicle left the scene of the crime. It wasn't noted as to why alcohol is thought to have been a factor in the crash.

All about BAC level and OUI in Florida

When a person is charged with an OUI, they likely have questions about the charges. They may be wondering what circumstances led up to the charges. They may not be aware that their blood alcohol concentration could have influenced the criminal charge. So, how is BAC measured and what does it mean?

The BAC limit is 0.08 percent for all drivers in Florida who are of legal drinking age. There is a zero-tolerance policy for underage drivers, which means that their BAC cannot exceed 0.02 percent. A person's BAC can be measured with a breathalyzer or a blood test. This can happen after the person is pulled over, or after they are apprehended and taken to the police station. It's possible that a person's BAC could be a key piece of evidence when they are charged with OUI.

Will you be drinking at this year's homecoming game?

Do you plan to attend the homecoming game at your child's university in Florida? Perhaps you are just a fan of college football or you simply enjoy the festive atmosphere during football season. Whatever your reason for celebrating, if alcohol is involved, you would be wise to think ahead before getting behind the wheel.

While Florida may be the place where people go to relax and have a great time, there is nothing relaxing about an arrest for drunk driving in this state. Police and lawmakers take public safety seriously, so you can expect to face harsh penalties if a court convicts you of the offense. It may help you to know what you may be facing if you decide to drive after drinking.

Intent to distribute is a serious drug charge

The daily grind of life is not easy. Between work, family responsibilities, self-care and everything else a person is expected to do, it can be overwhelming. Add legal trouble to the list and the pressure can be staggering. Being accused of a drug crime, like intent to distribute, should immediately be a concern for the accused and their family. The potential consequences of such a charge is enough to make anyone sit up and pay attention.

Being accused of any crime is not something to take lightly. However, if a person is charged with intent to distribute any type of drug, it means that the prosecution believes they have enough evidence to prosecute for charges related to drug distribution. The charges and potential consequences for dealing drugs are generally more severe than those involving using drugs or having drugs in one's possession.

49ers player accused of domestic violence in Hillsborough

Relationships aren't always easy. This is especially true of relationships with spouses, children or other loved ones. However, that is no reason to resort to violence. Domestic violence is a serious allegation and can have criminal repercussions.

A San Francisco 49ers player, Reuben Foster, was accused of domestic violence in Hillsborough County. This isn't the first time the NFL player has face criminal charges. He has also been accused of misdemeanor drug crimes and was on probation when the arrest for domestic violence occurred.

What you need to know about ignition interlock devices

For those accused of DUI or OWI, their first thought may be to wonder about the potential consequences if they are convicted. There has been a tightening of the laws surrounding DWI and OWI in recent decades and, if you or a loved one have been accused of such a crime, you should be aware of the laws and processes surrounding the accusation. It's possible that a person would need to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle if they are convicted.

Ignition interlock devices will not allow a car to start if the driver has been drinking. They require the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before the vehicle will start and are often installed as a precautionary measure for those who have been convicted of DUI or OWI. The installation of an IID may be only one consequence placed upon a person convicted of OWI or DUI.

The serious nature of drug possession and distribution charges

Are you facing criminal charges related to drug trafficking or drug distribution in Florida? Many aspects of your life, including your personal freedom, are on the line. You will want to present a strong defense, but where should you start? One of the first steps you may want to take is to learn more about the charges against you.

Drug trafficking and distribution is the transportation, illegal importation or selling of controlled substances. If convicted of these crimes, you could face extensive time behind bars and other penalties that could forever alter the direction of your life. These are serious charges, and they merit a serious defense strategy. It is in your interests to start this process as soon as possible after an arrest or as soon as you learn you are under investigation.

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