Travis Koon - The Law Offices of Travis Koon, PLLC

Criminal Defense Attorney-Arrested for Battery

Posted by | Attorney, Battery, Criminal Defense | One Comment

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Principle Office

291 NW Main Blvd.

Lake City, Florida 32055

 

Gainesville Office

105 SE 1st Avenue, Suite 2B-1

Gainesville, Florida 32601

 

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney to defend your criminal case?

 

When push comes to shove – it becomes battery.

 

Battery can be defined as;

Actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.

 

Battery can be a misdemeanor (simple battery) or a more severe case is aggravated battery and has more harsh consequences.   A simple battery charge may carry penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation, along with fines up to $1,000. Injury is not required for a battery charge to be levied against a person. In fact, touching is not necessary to be charged with battery in the state of Florida; a purse being snatched or an object thrown at another is enough to be considered battery. This is not a charge to be taken lightly! If you have a history of battery with prior criminal convictions, you could face felony charges.

 

A person’s past history of violence, run-ins with the law, and the relationship between the defendant and victim will all be assessed when the penalty is decided. Aggravated battery involves intentional infliction of great bodily harm, use of a deadly weapon, or battering of a pregnant person. Aggravated battery carries penalties of up to 15 years in jail or 15 years’ probation, and fines up to $10,000.

 

The levels of seriousness of the charges are Assault – Battery – Aggravated Assault – Aggregated Battery. As you can see, being charged with battery is a serious charge and one that definitely needs an attorney to help argue the defendants case.

 

The testimony of the alleged victim is not always needed to be charged with battery. If eye witnesses see a person be hit as they back away and cry, battery can be charged. If 911 is called and the caller tells who hit them, and when they police arrive and see a red mark left by the hit – battery can be charged. Even if the victim wants to drop the charges, the state can arrest the defendant and build a case around what they believe occurred.

 

But battery is a highly defendable case, there are many questions the criminal defense attorney will ask, and the state must answer these questions and prove these charges. Some question asked might be:

  • What is the history of the relationship between the two people?
  • Are there injuries?
  • Were photos taken, when and by whom?
  • Was 911 called?
  • Does the defendant have a history of violence?
  • Was there motive?
  • Are there any inconsistencies of the statements?

These questions show why a skilled criminal defense attorney is needed to help defend against charges. A criminal Defense Attorney such as Travis Koon can analyze the facts of your case to determine if you have a valid self defense claim.

 

Koonlegal is made up of skilled Florida criminal defense attorneys that have successfully defended battery cases in the past, and can speak with you about your case. We have offices throughout central Florida and can help you fight for your freedom.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

 

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney at Bond Hearings?

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DO YOU NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT BOND HEARINGS? 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Principle Office

291 NW Main Blvd.

Lake City, Florida 32055

 

Gainesville Office

105 SE 1st Avenue, Suite 2B-1

Gainesville, Florida 32601

 WHY USE A CRIMINAL ATTORNEY AT BOND HEARINGS? 

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney? Attorney Travis Koon provides legal services in Lake City, Live Oak, and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon can assist with Bail and Bond Hearings on behalf of people that have been arrested.

In Florida we have a saying about the turn of events for Spring Breakers… “Come on vacation, leave on probation”. While it is catchy to say, it really is a problem for some visitors and locals alike.

 

Once a person is arrested and detained in Florida, they have the right to go before a judge within 24 hours; this is called First Appearance. This is a critical time to have an attorney by your side, it is when the judge decides if there is enough evidence to establish probable cause and continue with the charges brought against you, it is also the time when bail will be set. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, such as those at Koonlegal and criminal defense Attorney Travis Koon, can address both issues on your behalf.

 

It is during the First Appearance that the attorney may ask to have bail reduced. If the judge denies this request, they can then file a Motion to Modify Conditions of Bond or request a Bond Hearing or Pre-Trial Release.   These are a couple situations in which one of our attorneys can help reduce your time in prison.

 

Lake City & Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Bail is money that is paid by the defendant to the courts to ensure their appearance at subsequent proceedings. The severity of the crime, history of the defendant, and other factors determine how much bail the judge decides to set. Other considerations are:

  • The weight of evidence against the defendant
  • Personal information such as family ties, length of residency, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition
  • Past history of flight or failure to appear
  • Probability of danger posed if released into the community
  • If defendant is already on parole or probation
  • Probability of committing a new crime while released on bail
  • Any other factors the court views a being relevant

 

Being released on bail is not a right; it is a privilege that the court allows for the defendant to continue their lives through the pre-trial process. There are times that the judge will rule that the individual is to remain in custody until trial. If the court feels the defendant is a danger to society, or will not return to stand trial, then bail can be denied. Contacting a criminal defense Attorney at Koonlegal such as Attorney Travis Koon can assist in seeking a proper bond amount.

 

Lake City & Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney

 

The full amount of bail is paid to the jail depository, usually via a certified check. This amount will be returned in full after all court dates have been met. If the defendant cannot pay the full amount, they may hire a bail bonds company to pay the jail, and the individual will make payments to the bail bonds company (plus an additional fee). If the defendant fails to appear for their court dates, the bail bond company will seek to capture the individual and return them to the courts.

 

Allow one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys to assist you in having your bail set, reduced, or modified. Having legal representation can help ensure all options have been pursued and your legal rights and interests are protected. We handle criminal cases in Central Florida, including Miami, Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Lake City. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida and Georgia Bar.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Personal Injury Claim

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Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Personal Injury Attorney

Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

 

Principle Office

291 NW Main Blvd.

Lake City, Florida 32055

 

Do you need a Personal Injury Attorney?

 

You have been hurt in some way and are attempting to file a claim with your insurance company, but you feel like they are giving you the run around and not wanting to pay your claim. You wonder is it just you? Maybe they are right and you’re not entitled to any money or help. Maybe your plan doesn’t cover your injury.

 

Unfortunately, you may be dealing with a bad faith insurance claim – also called unfair insurance claim practices. This may happen when an insurance company will unreasonably withhold your policy benefits.

 Lake City and Gainesville, Florida Insurance Claims

If you feel this is happing to you, it is wise to speak with an attorney who can deal with the insurance company for you, and make sure you given everything your policy states is owed to you.

 

Insurance companies owe each policy holder a duty of “good faith and fair dealings”, when the company violates this good faith dealings, then the insured person may sue the company on both a breach of contract and a tort claim. The tort claim is what allows punitive damages that are usually unavailable in the breach of contract suit.

 

According to the Legal Dictionary, punitive damages are “Monetary compensation awarded to an injured party that goes beyond that which is necessary to compensate the individual for losses and that is intended to punish the wrongdoer”.

Do you have a claim for damages for a personal Injury Claim in Lake City or Gainesville, Florida? 

Some examples which may give reason for a lawsuit against an insurance company are:

 

  • Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount of what the insured is entitled to, or lead to believe is entitled to based on written material
  • Delaying payment or investigation by requiring the insured or the physician to submit a preliminary claim report then requiring the insured or the physician to submit a formal proof of loss form, both contain about the same information – this may be used as a stall tactic
  • Attempting to settle the claim on an application that was altered without the insured person’s notice, knowledge, or consent
  • Refusing to pay the claim without conducting a reasonable investigation
  • Misrepresenting facts or provisions relating to coverage
  • Failing to confirm or deny a claim within a reasonable amount of time after proof of loss statements has been filed

 

If you feel your insurance company is not abiding by the good faith and fair dealings duty, then contact Koonlegal and Personal Injury Attorney Travis Koon. We have worked with insurance companies many times in the past, and if necessary, we can deal with them in court.

 

You do not deserve to be mistreated by these companies; you have already been through enough drama and injury to have to deal with their misgivings as well.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

At www.koonlegal.com , Personal Injury Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue on your behalf.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Personal Injury and Criminal Defense Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

When is the time right to file for Bankruptcy?

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Is it Time to File for Bankruptcy?

 Sitting down with the checkbook and a stack of bills each month can be a daunting experience.  When the money going out of the bank account is more than the money coming in – it’s time to look for a way out of debt.

What is Bankruptcy?

Federal laws have been established to help individuals and companies find relief from debts and to be able to make a fresh start.  These laws were created to help honest but unfortunate debtors that have fallen into financial hardships with little to no reprieve.

There are 2 different types of bankruptcy that can be filed, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates all non-exempt assets to pay off the creditors.  This is preferred if a debtor has little income and large unsecured debts such as medical bills and credit cards.  Chapter 13 bankruptcy reorganizes debt and uses a payment plan to pay down the creditors.  This is preferred if a debtor has income but wants to avoid foreclosure or needs time to catch up on all financial obligations.

You need to understand that bankruptcy may not clear you of all financial responsibilities.  You may be required to pay secured loans such as the mortgage, student loans, alimony, and child support.

When to File

There are times we would all like to walk away and start new; it is time to seriously consider bankruptcy when:

  • You have been out of work for an extended period of time with little to no unemployment or other income.
  • You are very delinquent on taxes.
  • You are near foreclosure.
  • Your wages are being garnished to pay creditors.
  • There are pending law suits to pay creditors.

Advantages and Disadvantages

As with any decision, it is best to weigh the pros and cons against each other with filing bankruptcy.

 

Bankruptcy Attorney

Some advantages to filing for bankruptcy are:

  • Automatic Stay – creditors must stop calling and trying to collect on debts owed once an Automatic Stay is filed.
  • Some properties may be exempt from being sold – depending on the properties owned and how the debt is laid out, you may be able to keep ownership of some properties.
  • Begin to fix credit score – bankruptcy adversely affects your credit score, but it is probably already low due to being behind on payments.  You will be able to move ahead and start rebuilding your credit again.
  • Mental relief – The knowledge that you are able to stop the harassing calls and ready to move forward in life will allow you to sleep again at night.

Some disadvantages to filing bankruptcy are:

  • Negatively affects your credit score – albeit your score may already be affected, but this will remain on record for a number of years.  Chapter 7 remains on your credit history for 10 years and Chapter 13 for 7 years.
  • Other affects of credit score – Many employers and housing agencies check your credit score, and bankruptcy may negatively affect your chance at housing or employment.
  • Not all property is exempt and may need to be sold to fulfill some of the financial obligations.
  • Mental impact – although you may relieved to be out from underneath the mountain of debt, some people have trouble accepting the fact that they had to file for bankruptcy, and don’t like knowing that this is now public record for anyone to see.
  • Higher interest rates – if you are granted loans or lines of credit, your interest may be higher due to this past history.

The Next Step

Once you have checked all your options, understand the advantages and disadvantages, and have decided that filing for bankruptcy is in your best interest, the next step is to file.  You can either file for bankruptcy yourself, or hire a skilled bankruptcy attorney to ensure all creditors are notified and handled properly.

The Law Offices of Travis Koon have handled many bankruptcy claims and does so with the knowledge and sensitivity that you deserve.   When filing for bankruptcy in Florida, you deserve an attorney that  understands bankruptcy and will help you through this difficult time.  We represent individuals in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami, and Lake City; call us today to start down the road to recovery.

Travis Koon, Esquire

Eduardo Fons, Esquire

The Law Office of Travis Koon, PLLC

291 NW Main Blvd

Lake City, Florida 32055

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

Phone: 352-729-1211

Phone: 386-597-0000

Fax: 866-497-1103

What do you need to know about filing for Bankruptcy?

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Are you ready to file for Bankruptcy; Do You Have Everything in Order? What do you need? 

The Law Office of Travis Koon, PLLC

Bankruptcy Attorney

Once a person has looked at all other options and decided it is time to file for bankruptcy, the next step is important.  At The Law Offices of Travis Koon, we understand that this is a stressful and scary time for you and we are here to help you through this.

The first thing you want to do is to talk with a knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney, such as those at The Law Offices of Travis Koon.  You can file for bankruptcy alone, but there is no reason you should; the attorneys at our offices have experience in working with creditors and all other people that will become involved.

Gathering paperwork is a tedious yet extremely important task.  You will need:

  • To request a copy of your credit report – you will want to verify all information on the report is correct and fix any inconsistencies.
  • Taxes – make sure you have filed taxes for the last two years and have copies of those returns.
  • Collect paperwork on all debts – this includes account numbers and amount owed on all credit cards, loans, and even debts that have been recently paid in full.
  • Bank accounts – checking and saving account numbers with the balances for the last couple years.
  • Lawsuits or garnishments – gather all paperwork regarding any and all legal actions against you.
  • Income – gather all paystubs, interest earned, rental/property income, business income, disability, social security, and any other income information for the past 6 months.
  • Expenses – gather all monthly expenses such as rent/mortgage, utilities, car insurance, health care, taxes, commuting, and all other expenses you have.
  • Show your attorney all assets you have – anything you own such as your home, property, vehicles, stocks, bonds, boats and any other assets.
  • All other information your attorney may ask of you.

There are a couple more ways you can prepare, but again, consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney before taking any steps towards bankruptcy.

You will need to take a credit counseling course; your attorney will advise you on where to take this course and how to obtain the needed certificate.

One important thing to remember is not to hide, borrow or sell your money or assets; in fact don’t make any large changes at all.

Besides hiring experienced bankruptcy attorneys, such as The Law Office of Travis Koon, the most important piece of information to know is to be completely open and honest with your attorney.  Do not try to withhold any information, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.

The Law Offices of Travis Koon are represent clients in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami and Lake City; making it easy to contact us for any of your bankruptcy questions.

Travis Koon, Esquire

Eduardo Fons, Esquire

The Law Office of Travis Koon, PLLC

291 NW Main Blvd

Lake City, Florida 32055

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

Phone: 352-729-1211

Phone: 386-597-0000

Fax: 866-497-1103

 

Traffic Ticket Defense

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When You Should Fight a Traffic Ticket

 

DUI Attorney Travis Koon

Traffic Ticket Defense

While driving through Florida, you may incur a traffic ticket; this happens to many people, and if handled properly, doesn’t have to be detrimental to your driver’s license.  The majority of traffic violations is speeding tickets, but can also include situations such as improper lane change, running a red light or stop sign and careless driving.  In most Florida counties you have 30 days to address your ticket by choosing to pay the fine, attend traffic school or fight the ticket.

The trouble starts when several violations are committed within a certain period of time, you may incur fines and even have your license suspended.  Florida’s traffic infractions are tallied on a point system.  The severity of the violation determines the points applied to your license; for instance: speeding but under 15 MPH over the limit equals 3 points, and passing a stopped school bus equals 4 points.

The following chart shows how long your license may be suspended for the given number of points:

12 points within 12 months causes your license to be suspended for 30 days

18 points within 18 months causes your license to be suspended for 3 months

24 points within 36 months causes your license to be suspended for 1 year

 Certain violations can lead to the driver’s license to be suspended, revoked or cancelled.  When a license is suspended it means that it can be taken away for a predetermined amount of time, a revoked license is more severe and fines can be imposed.   Driver’s licenses are not normally cancelled unless false information is given to obtain it.

There are several penalties for Florida commercial drivers, including all CDL holders must notify their employer after receiving a traffic ticket and may result in the commercial license being suspended or revoked.

A person doesn’t have to be facing criminal charges in order to hire a criminal defense attorney; at the Law Offices of Travis Koon we have helped individuals decrease or completely wipe away traffic citation from the client’s record.  Having the right criminal defense attorney on your side can make all the difference.

 

With offices in Miami, Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Lake City, the Law Offices of Travis Koon has the knowledge and experience to make sure you don’t enter the courtroom alone.  But you need to decide quickly because if your allot time expires you license may be automatically suspended.  Call us and we will fight on your behalf.

DUI Arrest? What do I do if I am arrested for a DUI Offense?

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Traffic Ticket Attorney Florida

Traffic Ticket Attorney Florida

What to do if You Receive a DUI

While driving the roads, highways and byways of Florida you may have noticed an increase of police stopping motorist; the officers are out in full force to stop drivers suspected of driving under the influence.  At The Law Offices of Travis Koon, we understand that sometimes good people make mistakes.  If you are arrested for a DUI it is in your best interest to call us as soon as possible.

A blood alcohol level of .08% or higher is considered to be driving while impaired, and can result in harsh penalties such as: fines of $500 – $1,000, community service, your vehicle being impounded, your license being revoked, an ignition interlock device, and even jail time – and that is just for the first offense.  Subsequent DUI charges can result in jail time of up to 1 year, fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, and a driver’s license suspension from 1 year and even as high as 10 years.

One of the most important choices a person in this situation can make is hiring the right criminal defense attorney.  A DUI criminal charge can affect a person’s life now and in the future.

Being convicted of a DUI may have long term effects; any subsequent DUI charges will be a felony charge.  Since a DUI conviction will remain on your record for several years, it may cause problems when you apply for a job, housing or even financial aid.  And of course your insurance rates will increase with a DUI conviction.

Being charged with a DUI is very serious, but it is exponentially worse when property damage or bodily injury occurs.  A felony DUI occurs when a person is charged with 3 DUIs within 10 years, or a 4th DUI.  It also occurs if serious bodily injury or death occurs due to driving under the influence.  Being charged with a violent felony crime puts a person at risk of being caught in the ‘3 Strikes and You’re Out’ cycle, as well as the possibility of losing some personal freedoms such as the right to vote and obtaining a passport.

But not every arrest necessarily leads to a conviction.  Having a top rated criminal defense attorney, such as The Law Offices of Travis Koon, can affect the outcome of whether the charge is DUI felony, DUI misdemeanor, or even less.  Let us help you navigate the legal system and be by your side during this time of uncertainty.

Travis Koon

Criminal Cases and Felony Crimes: 3 Strikes and You’re Out Law

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3 Strikes and You’re Out Law

In July 1995 Florida introduced the three-time violent felony offender law, or better known as the ‘3 Strikes’ law.  This law was established to set minimum and consistent punishments for convicted repeat felony offenders.  28 states have adopted similar sentences for repeat crimes.

The public incorrectly assumes that the ‘3 Strikes’ law applies to any person who commits any type of crime 3 times in a given period.  For a person to be convicted under this law, certain criteria must be met for it to be enforced.  The criteria include:

  • Violent felony crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, arson or felony DUI.
  • All three felonies must occur separately.
  • The person must be convicted of a felony, not just arrested and charged, and not pardoned.
  • The third offense must be committed within 5 years of the last conviction.

The minimum sentences to be given are as follows:

If the 3rd offense is a:

  • 1st degree felony, the minimum sentence is 30 years
  • 2nd degree felony, the minimum sentence is 15 years
  • 3rd degree felony, the minimum sentence is 5 years

Remember, this is the minimum sentence and the ruling judge can hand down a life time sentence as a maximum penalty.  Because the judge is only mandated to rule on a minimum sentence and has leeway on the maximum punishment, some individuals’ feel this law can be wielded as cruel and unusual punishment; in California it was challenged because of this reason.  The Supreme Court upheld the law but this has not stopped the concern of leniency towards some individuals and harsher penalties towards others based on gender, race, or prior appearances in front of the same judge.

It is extremely important to hire a top criminal defense attorney not only when the ‘3rd strike’ occurs, but before it gets to this point;  each client needs someone that can review their case and fight on their behalf.   The Law Offices of Travis Koon has offices in Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami and Lake City, offering our clients several location options.

Hiring a top criminal defense law firm, such as The Law Offices of Travis Koon, can help ensure each person receives a fair trial and is not given a sentence beyond what the charge calls for.   Any person that cannot afford to hire an attorney should always ask for a public defender, no one should enter the courtroom without the guidance of someone who has knowledge of the Florida law.

 

 

Maximum and Minimum Sentence for a First Time DUI Offense

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If someone is arrested for a DUI and this is their first conviction, the person faces a penalty of not less than a $500 fine or more than $1,000 plus all mandatory fees and court costs. If the driver has a blood or breath alcohol level of .15 or higher or if accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years, the person would then face a fine of not less than $1,000 or more than $2,000 plus all mandatory fees and court costs.

In a first time DUI conviction, the driver faces a mandatory 50 hour community service. All persons convicted of a DUI are placed on monthly reporting probation not to exceed 12 months.

If a person is arrested and convicted of a first time DUI conviction, they would face imprisonment of not more than 6 months in the county jail.

If the person has a blood or breath alcohol level of .15 or higher or if accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years or if the driver caused damage to the personal property, then the individual would face imprisonment of not more than 12 months in the county jail. Also, if the driver causes damage to some person or property, they would face up to a year in the county jail as well.

On a first time DUI conviction, the driver’s license revocation period consists of a minimum of 180 days revocation up to a maximum of one year.

A person who is convicted of a DUI for the first time must attend a level 1 DUI school and complete substance abuse evaluation.
On a first time DUI conviction, the person also faces a mandatory 10 day vehicle impoundment or immobilization.

If a person is convicted of a first time DUI, in some circumstances, the Court will require an ignition interlock device. The person may be required to keep that device in an automobile up to 6 months at the discretion of the Court. If the blood and breath alcohol level is .15 or above or if there’s a minor in the car, the Court must impose a 6 month ignition interlock device.

The Court is mandated by the legislature if the individual blows over a .15 or if there’s a minor in the vehicle. The Court does not have discretion to waive this under these circumstances. However, under a regular DUI scenario where the individual blows between a .08 and a .14, the Court has the discretion to impose the ignition interlock device up to 6 months.

In a DUI case, if the individual pleas, adjudication is required. The Court is prohibited from suspending, deferring, or withholding adjudication of guilt or any other mandatory sentence. However, some courts will allow a deferred prosecution program, or if some sort of issue that may be suppressed is available, or if there is a good case, then the individual may have the ability to plea to a reckless driving. However, this is completely at the discretion of the prosecuting attorney.

Before an individual accepts a plea to a DUI, make sure to fully discuss all aspects of your case with your attorney. Make sure your attorney has thoroughly explained the charges against you, your constitutional rights, and answers all of your questions. Make sure that your attorney has read the plea to you together in private and explained all parts of that DUI so that you completely understand it. Make sure that you’re satisfied with the services of your attorney, and make sure your attorney has done everything that’s been requested of him.

If you elect to enter a plea, the judge of the Court, he’ll make sure that you understand what you’re pleading to. The judge will assist in helping you answer all of your questions that you may have concerning the conditions of your plea offer.

You are required by law to have time to consider and reflect upon the charges that you face. Make sure that you have sufficient time to consider the natures of those charges, the possible defenses, and the waiver of any constitutional rights by entering a plea of guilty or no contest and to reflect upon the consequences of that plea. Make sure that you’re provided enough time to consider all the aspects of the plea. And if you have not, ask the Court for additional time or ask your attorney. In many cases, the Court and the attorney will provide you with adequate time to be able to review everything. And, in fact, the Court is required to make sure that you understand this, so make sure to answer any questions that you may have to the Court.

Understand that if you do enter a plea that you give up your right to an appeal, other than illegal sentence or collateral attack. You only have 30 days from the day in which you entered the plea to appeal.

Also, if you do not have the money to hire a private attorney, a public defender will be appointed for you. Please make sure that if you are idigent and you cannot afford counsel that you do request a public defender to represent you so that you understand fully the nature of the charges against you and all possible defenses that you may have.

Administrative Hearing Versus a Criminal Case

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When a person is arrested for DUI, there are two aspects to the case. The person has the right to fight their driver’s license revocation with the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles. On the other side, the person who has been arrested and faces criminal charges, the client has the right to contest those criminal charges.

An Administrative Hearing only takes place if the person arrested or the driver requests a hearing within 10 days of the date of the arrest. The hearing officer, who provides over the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicle’s Hearing, is not a lawyer. Witnesses do not appear at the hearing, unless subpoenaed by the driver.

The paperwork submitted by the police officer may be sufficient to sustain the suspension. There’s no prosecutor or lawyer for the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles involved in the hearing. The Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles only needs to prove the test result of .08 percent or above alcohol level or that the driver refused to submit to the test to sustain the suspension. Ultimate guilt is irrelevant. The ultimate guilt will be contested in the criminal case.

The driver’s presence is not required at the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicle Hearing or even if desirable in most cases. Forms of evidence are relaxed and hearsay is admissable. Hearings must take place within 30 days of the date of the request. So basically within 40 days of the driver’s arrest.

Proof to sustain suspension is by a preponderance of the evidence. Resolution of the matter occurs anywhere from 45 to 180 days from the date of the arrest, meaning the driver will know whether his driver’s license will be suspended or revoked by the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles within 45 to 180 days. At this hearing, the driver is basically asking the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles to overturn the suspension. The decision rendered stands regardless of the result of the criminal case, unless it involves a breath test and an acquittal at trial.

In the criminal Case, a judge presides over all hearings. Witnesses must appear to testify at trial. The case is prosecuted by the State of Florida. The prosecution must prove that the defendant was either under the influence or had a breath alcohol level of .08 percent or higher. The defendant’s presence is required at trial, but not at soundings or calendar calls.

The rules of evidence are strictly enforced. While a speedy trial must take place within 90 days, it is rarely applicable. The prosecution must prove guilt beyond and to the exclusion of all reasonable doubt. Case resolution time’s vary widely, from 90 days bare minimum to several months or even years. The average time to resolve a criminal case is usually several months.

Please remember that the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicle’s Administrative Hearing is completely separate from the criminal case in which the defendant has a right to confront all witnesses against him.