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Tampa, Florida Criminal Defense & Family Law Blog

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.

Drug charges can impact your life

Maybe this is your first time on the receiving end of a criminal charge. Maybe it's not the first time you've been charged with a crime. Wherever you are in life, it's important to understand that drug charges can have a huge impact on your life. When thinking about drug charges, do you understand the full range of potential consequences you're facing if you are convicted?

Drug charges can vary greatly and can have different levels, therefore, there are different levels of potential consequences. The particular charge impacts the outcome greatly, as does the determination of whether the accused has faced drug charges before. Depending on the amount of drugs in question, a person's charge could be raised a degree.

Man charged with DUI, other crimes after fatal car accident

A local Florida man was involved in a car accident last fall in which fatalities of the other vehicle driver and passenger were the result. In fatal car accidents, a level of investigation is done into all involved to determine what the cause may have been. According to authorities, the man was accused of drunk driving after his BAC level was found to be above the legal limit. According to authorities, the man's blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.

The car accident occurred on State Road 54 and the reports indicate that the man's car crashed into the Oldsmobile transporting the two women. The reports allege that the man was traveling at a high rate of speed at approximately 2 a.m. when the impact took place. The impact of the vehicles colliding caused them both to overturn. Neither woman was wearing a seatbelt.

What does it mean to suppress evidence in a criminal case?

Many of our readers in Florida may have heard of a motion to suppress in a criminal case. However, this type of legal jargon can sometimes cause confusion for criminal defendants facing charges in Florida. So, what does it mean to suppress evidence in a criminal case?

Well, in plain terms, to suppress evidence means to keep the evidence in question from being used against the defendant in the case. The genesis of such an effort is for the defendant and defense attorney to carefully review the evidence that has been gathered by law enforcement officials and determine what evidence the prosecutor intends to use to prove each element of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Just because a law enforcement officer gathers evidence does not mean that the prosecutor will actually use it in court. But, the prosecution is compelled by the law to turn over all evidence in the case.

A basic understanding of a DUI traffic stop

You're driving home after a fun night out with friends, and all of a sudden, you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. Next thing you know, you're outside of your vehicle, submitting to breath tests for a suspected DUI. This is scary, and you are probably unsure of what happens next or what you should do. 

Every Florida driver has rights, even when suspected of drunk driving. It's smart for you to know what these rights are and what you should expect from a DUI traffic stop. This can help you recognize problems and fight back against potentially unfair treatment. No matter the circumstances of your traffic stop and arrest, you have the right to fight the charges against you with a strong and thoughtfully prepared defense strategy.

What are the consequences of refusing a breath test?

Generally, Florida drivers know that they have to obey traffic safety rules such as driving below the speed limit and stopping at red lights. What they may not know is that they have consented to a breath test in exchange for their driving privileges.

These tests, frequently known as Breathalyzer tests (for a brand name of one device police sometimes use) allow the police to document a driver's blood alcohol content, or BAC. When Florida drivers get their licenses, they agree to submit to a breath test if they are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving.

Dealing with aggressive prosecution of drug charges in Florida

Our readers probably know that Florida is a hotspot in America when it comes to law enforcement and prosecution crackdowns on illegal drugs, whether it is drug smuggling, dealing, manufacturing or just plain possession. There is no doubt that the plague of illegal drug use has ravaged millions of families in our country, but that doesn't mean that law enforcement officials can trounce a person's constitutional rights in pursuit of attempting to win the "War on Drugs."

If you are arrested on drug charges in Florida, you will face an aggressive prosecution effort. Law enforcement officials and prosecutors do not see drug crimes as "victimless" crimes. They will put forth their best effort to get a severe sentence in almost any drug crime case they are involved in. They may believe that deterring others from being involved with illegal drugs is the goal, or they may believe that individuals with drug problems can chose another option, even if there is significant scientific evidence that drug and alcohol addiction are diseases.

Firefighter from nearby county faces human trafficking charges

"Human trafficking" is a term that can include a wide variety of alleged criminal activity, including conduct involving sexual offenses and even forced labor. The term comes with a certain amount of "shock value," which is probably why law enforcement officials and prosecutors are prone to using it - anyone accused of being involved in human trafficking likely becomes instantly tainted with an image of guilt in the public.

According to recent reports, a firefighter from nearby Hernando County is facing several charges that law enforcement officials say are tied to human trafficking activities. The reports indicate that the suspect, a 38-year-old male, is a lieutenant with the fire rescue department and had been so employed for 14 years. He was arrested on earlier this month. He faces charges of kidnapping, as well as a charge involving "lewd and lascivious behavior" with an individual who is between the ages of 12 and 16.

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