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highway_driving_FL.jpgAt our Broward County traffic ticket law firm, clients often ask if it matters when they get a ticket outside of Florida. The short answer is yes. That unpaid traffic ticket from your trip to the Grand Canyon could complicate the process of renewing your Florida driver’s license. However, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

There are three major databases that track information on your driver’s license. There’s the National Driver Register (NDR, also called the Problem Driver Pointer System), which monitors drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended. It also lists drivers who’ve been convicted of serious traffic violations like driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol. There’s no guarantee that your license application will get denied simply because you’re on this list, but it’s the not the kind of company you want to keep.

That traffic ticket would actually follow you across state lines through the Driver License Compact (DLC) and the Non-Resident Violator Compact (NRVC). Basically, the DLC makes a traffic violation in another state the equivalent of a violation here in Florida. With a few exceptions, if you fail to pay a traffic ticket from another state, your home state can suspend your license until you resolve the issue.

Source: Do Speeding Tickets Follow You From State To State?, AOL Autos, February 16, 2010 Continue reading

Our criminal defense attorneys recently read an article on South Florida’s fugitive unit. The region apparently attracts fugitives for several reasons. One is that South Florida is a relatively easy place for foreign criminals to enter without permission. Another is that South Florida’s multiracial, multilingual environment makes it easier for fugitives to blend in.

According to a supervisory deputy, marshals captured roughly 36,000 federal fugitives in 2008 and assisted in the capture of 73,000 state and local fugitives. Many of these arrests occurred in South Florida. During a 10-week period in 2008, marshals collaborated with officers from the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force and arrested over 2,000 people on outstanding warrants for crimes such as murder, rape, and gang violent. The campaign was called Operation Orange Crush.

Marshals says they are able to track fugitives based on friend or family connections or if they try to use a credit card or buy property. Getting stopped for a traffic violation can also result in a fugitive arrest.

Source: Rogue roundup: Marshals lasso many in South Florida outlaw haven, Palm Beach Post, January 21, 2010 Continue reading

boxing_gloves.jpgOur Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys have learned that Oliver McCall, the former world heavyweight champion was arrested earlier this month on a drug offense. According to Fort Lauderdale police, McCall was arrested on cocaine possession charges and is also charged with violating probation for a previous offense.

The 44-year-old fighter has had previous drug-related issues and served jail time for charges including crack cocaine possession.

Some boxing experts predict the arrest could mark the beginning of the end for McCall, who has since been removed from headlining an eight-fight card that was scheduled for last Tuesday. However, McCall’s son Elijah will still be part of the fight.

Sources: Former world heavyweight champion Oliver McCall arrested in Fort Lauderdale, South Florida Sun Sentinel, February 15, 2010
Former Heavyweight Champs in Trouble, About.com, February 16, 2010 Continue reading

FL_facebook.jpgOur Miami defense attorneys have been following a case involving a South Florida school principle and a teen who was suspended for setting up a Facebook page criticizing one of her teachers. The student took down the page and later sued the principle for violating her First Amendment rights.

The principal had attempted to have the suit thrown out, but a magistrate judge ruled that the teen will have her day in court. The Florida lawsuit is moving forward, and it could create a precedent for punishing students for speed outside the classroom as well as students’ free speech on social networking sites.

A lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said the law needs to adapt to the changing internet landscape.

Source: Facebooking Teen Wins Day in Court, NBCMiami.com, February 16, 2010 Continue reading

 

 

By now, most of us have seen video clips of the University of Florida student who was tasered and arrested at a John Kerry forum in 2008. But while the verb “tase” has become part of our pop culture lexicon, Tasers can inflict serious harm. That’s why a recent editorial decries the use of Tasers by police, particularly in cases where the suspect has not resisted arrest.

According to the editorial, over 350 people have died in Taser-related incidents. In some case, a 17-year-old died when officers tasered the teen without talking to or identifying him. Tasers by definition give a sudden shock to the central nervous system which not everyone can withstand.

Our South Florida criminal defense law firm is very concerned about this issue and urged police officers to treat Tasers as they would any other potentially lethal weapon.

Source: Don’t Tase us, bro, ConnectSavannah.com, February 16, 2010 Continue reading

Florida_cars.jpgOur South Florida traffic attorneys read a recent article in the New York Times about unlicensed driver who have had their cars seized by police at sobriety checkpoints. This is fast becoming a trend, particularly in some areas that need the extra revenue from the impounded vehicles. In fact, police are often more likely to seize a car than to catch a drunk driver.

According to a study by the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California, Berkley, impoundments at checkpoints in California brought in an estimated $40 million in police fines and towing fees statewide. Most cities split the revenue with towing companies. The checkpoints do catch some drunk drivers, but in some cases police are pulling over sober motorists and seizing vehicles from unlicensed drivers, often illegal immigrants. Some of these impounded vehicles are then sold at lien sales if they go unclaimed.

While officials say that demographics are not a factor in determining where police set up checkpoints, records indicate that cities with a large Hispanic population are impounding cars at three times the rate of other cities with a smaller minority presence.

Source: Sobriety Checkpoints Catch Unlicensed Drivers, New York Times, February 13, 2010 Continue reading

FL_parking_lot.jpgOur Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyers recently read an article about how police in Fort Lauderdale will begin using license plate readers to scan cars. Rather than typing in a suspicious car’s license plate number into a computer, the software would conduct searches automatically, looking for stolen vehicles, and suspects on terrorist watch lists, among other things.

Several other communities in South Florida are already using similar technology. The Broward Sheriff’s Office, the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, and police departments in West Palm Beach and North Miami Beach reportedly already have tag readers.

A police spokesperson would not divulge how many patrols will get tag readers, but he said it could be a small number to start. The technology will be paid for with grant funds.

Source: Lauderdale police move toward car-tag scanners, South Florida Sun Sentinel, February 1, 2010 Continue reading

A Florida defense attorney requested that a judge suppress Vero Beach’s use of search warrants to take blood samples in drunk driving cases, and according to a court order, the county judge refused his request. The issue came about late last year, when city police officers began using search warrants for drivers who refused to take a Breathalyzer test.

After two people were arrested, the DUI defense lawyer filed a court challenge, arguing that blood could not be deemed property that is subject to search warrants. The first time a driver refuses a Breathalyzer test, the state of Florida can take away the person’s license for a year. A second refusal is a criminal offense and subjects the driver to a jail sentence of up to a year.

However, a US Department of Transportation report from 2008 shows that an estimated 40% of people refuse a Breathalyzer test, making Florida the third highest state in the nation for people allegedly driving drunk and refusing a Breathalyzer test. The national average is around 22%.

Source: Ruling means Vero Beach can still use warrants to get blood samples in DUI cases, South Florida Sen Sentinel, February 1, 2010 Continue reading

cell_phone_FL.jpgCell phone use while driving has been in the news a lot lately, thanks in part to a recently announced Department of Transportation ban on text messaging while driving for interstate truckers and bus drivers. Here in Florida, Palm Beach County commissioners are considering a ban on cell phone use while driving and on roadside panhandlers.

However, they’d have to overcome serious legal hurdles in the process.

For starters, the county does not have the authority to ban handling on city and state roads that crisscross the county, so the ban would only apply to county roads. And to be legal, the ban would also have to apply to roadside fundraisers like sports teams and community groups. In addition to that, the county attorney’s office claims that state law prevents local communities from banning cell phone use while driving, even though other South Florida counties have considered text messaging bans.

Source: Palm Beach County considers ban on roadside panhandlers and drivers using cell phones, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, February 2, 2010 Continue reading

bogus_tickets.jpgThe attorneys at our South Florida traffic ticket law firm recently read about a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who has been arrested for writing fake traffic citations. Prosecutors estimate that hundreds of drivers received these bogus citations during 2009 and the citations were missing driver signatures.

One of the drivers the trooper cited actually lives in Peru, while others claim they were not on the road on the day that there traffic ticket was allegedly issued.

The trooper was arrested on 22 counts of official misconduct, which is a third-degree felony. Hundreds of his traffic citations have been dismissed. Authorities say that he wrote the tickets to boost his output, despite the fact that the FHP does not have a quota for its troopers.

The incident is being investigated by the State Attorney’s Office.

Sources: Miami-Dade trooper accused of writing hundreds of fake tickets, South Florida Sun Sentinel, February 3, 2010 Trooper arrested for issuing bogus tickets, WSVN.com, February 3, 2010 Continue reading

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