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Driving with a suspended license in Florida is a criminal offense, and many individuals do not realize the seriousness of the consequences that these charges can include. Too often, individuals without the representation of Daytona Beach criminal lawyers plead guilty to these charges without being aware of the ramifications inflicted upon their driving privileges. Whether your license is currently suspended, or you’d like to know more about what happens to drivers that are charged with driving with a suspended license, we answer the question of whether or not you can drive with a suspended license in Florida.

Penalties for Driving with a Suspended License in Florida

Under Florida Statute 322.34, there are penalties for driving with a suspended license that increase in severity with each additional offense.

Criminal charges often put individuals in uncomfortable situations. They can be confusing, scary, and frustrating to take on alone. This is partly why it is so important to reach out to criminal lawyers in Daytona Beach, FL as soon as you are charged. Having the legal support of an experienced attorney can make all the difference in the process and outcome of your case. In order to achieve the best possible outcome in court, consider asking these 4 questions before hiring a criminal defense attorney in Daytona Beach.

Do You Offer a Free Initial Consultation?

The best way to help a lawyer understand the facts of your case is to arrange a proper face-to-face meeting. It is difficult to find adequate legal counsel or an accurate quote in a short phone conversation. Plus, the initial consultation is the best way to get a feel for the lawyer and understand how they will be working with you over the course of your case. We recommend finding a Volusia County criminal defense attorney who offers this service for free, such as Genine Mejia.

One of the most common criminal offenses that drivers are charged with is driving under the influence. Even individuals with a clean record can suddenly see their lives take a stressful turn after a DUI arrest. Being convicted of driving under the influence in Florida can have long-lasting ramifications – some of which can linger for years to come. Below, we go into greater detail about some of the long-term consequences that DUI offenders may face to help you understand the importance of hiring DUI attorneys in Daytona Beach for your defense.

Background Checks

Some employers conduct criminal background checks for offenses such as driving under the influence before hiring job applicants for work. DUI convictions will show up permanently on a background check, which could stop an individual’s efforts to be hired by certain companies. Furthermore, other organizations also rely on background checks before making important decisions, such as financial institutions, college admissions, and housing applications. Because of this, a DUI conviction may even hamper an individual’s chances of finding a place to live.

After being convicted for driving under the influence in Florida, the state will remove your driving privileges. Without access to this means of transportation, you are sure to find it much more inconvenient to go from place to place, whether for work or personal needs. As such, after a DUI conviction, you’ll want to get your license back as soon as possible. To learn what happens to your license after a DUI conviction, continue reading below.

Florida Hardship License

For first time offenders, the state will revoke your license for between 180 days to a full year. Furthermore, if the court determines that your offense included a charge of serious harm, then your suspension could last as long as three years. In order to qualify for a hardship license in Florida, applicants must complete DUI school or a substance treatment program within 90 days of reinstatement. Failure in completing these courses on time may result in a cancellation of your license.

A probationary violation occurs when a defendant willfully and substantially violates the terms of their probationary sentence. Unfortunately, the specific conditions laid out by a probationary sentence can be violated by one’s everyday lifestyle unless they take the careful steps to accommodate their probation. Below, we go into greater detail about 6 common ways that Florida defendants violate their probation, whether intentionally or accidentally.

Missing Appointments with a Probation Officer

Regular check-ins with a probation officer are a necessity. It is their job to monitor offenders and prevent further criminal activity. As such, everything that they take note of is reported to the court. If you miss an appointment with a probation officer – even if they change the meeting time – then this may be grounds to send you back to jail. Make sure that each meeting time is marked clearly on a calendar or other reminder system.

In some instances, people can be charged with violent crimes against other individuals even if they only intend to destroy property. The State must nonetheless prove each element of the charged offense, though; otherwise, a defendant should not be convicted, and any conviction based on insufficient evidence should not be upheld. Recently, a Florida court issued an opinion explaining the evidence needed to establish guilt for assault and criminal mischief in a case in which the defendant was charged with multiple crimes after attacking a postal vehicle. If you are accused of assault or any other violent crime, it is advisable to meet with a trusted Florida criminal defense attorney regarding your rights.

The Alleged Attack

It is reported that the victim was sitting in the driver’s seat of a postal truck when the defendant suddenly struck the truck with a two by four plank. The victim was sorting mail at the time of the initial impact and heard a loud crash. He then looked up and saw the defendant striking the truck a second time with the plank. The victim began to drive the truck away, at which point the defendant hit the truck with the plank again. When the victim reached a safe distance, he called 911. The defendant was ultimately detained and charged with first-degree misdemeanor criminal mischief, aggravated assault, and other offenses. He moved for acquittal on the charges of assault and criminal mischief, but his motion was denied, and he was convicted. He then appealed.

Evidence Needed to Convict a Defendant for Aggravated Assault and Criminal Mischief

On appeal, the court affirmed the defendant’s conviction for aggravated assault. The court was not persuaded by the defendant’s argument that the State failed to prove that he committed an act that was significantly likely to place the victim in fear of imminent violence. Instead, the court found that when viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the State, it sufficiently demonstrated that the defendant knew that the victim was in the truck. Specifically, he hit the truck three times near the driver’s side door, and the third hit occurred after the truck had moved forward. Continue reading ›

After getting pulled over and arrested by law enforcement for driving under the influence, you may find yourself asking what comes next. The terrifying truth is that being convicted of driving under the influence can have consequences on your record and ability to drive. It’s easy to get lost in a haze of questions, but experienced defense attorneys are available to help clear the air. Help yourself and your Daytona DUI defense by taking these 4 steps if you are ever arrested for driving under the influence.

Your Driving Privileges Have a Time Limit

After a DUI arrest, your Florida driver’s license will likely be seized by law enforcement. However, the citation issued to you for your offense acts as a temporary driving permit for 10 days. When those 10 days conclude, so too will your ability to drive legally in Florida. It is possible within that window of time to preserve your driving privileges by applying for a hardship license. Taking on this process alone can add more stress to a difficult situation, but defense attorneys in Daytona Beach are able to help.

In many instances in which a person is convicted of a crime, the court will not only sentence the person to a prison term but will also order the person to pay restitution. What constitutes reasonable restitution is often disputed between the parties. This was demonstrated in a recent child pornography case in Florida in which the defendant appealed a restitution award of $10,000 to the victim. If you are accused of child pornography or any other crime, it is advisable to talk to an assertive Florida criminal defense attorney to assess your possible defenses.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was convicted of possession of child pornography. Following his conviction, he was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the victim of his crime. He appealed, arguing that the amount of restitution did not accurately reflect his role in the victim’s harm, and asked the court to grant him a new hearing on the restitution award. On appeal, the appellate court declined to grant the defendant’s request, affirming the lower court’s award.

Restitution in Child Pornography Cases

An appellate court will review the amount of restitution awarded in a child pornography case for an abuse of discretion. The appellate court explained that a district court would abuse its discretion by applying an improper legal standard, making clearly erroneous findings of fact, or following incorrect procedures. An appellate court will give deference to a lower court’s determination that the relevant factors, when taken as a whole, justify a restitution award, however, and will not vacate an award unless it is clear that the trial court committed an error in judgment.

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Generally, a person charged with a drug crime will realize the severity of the consequences of a potential conviction and will seek representation from a competent attorney. Additionally, criminal defendants have a right to representation by counsel under the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. In some instances, though, a person accused of committing a drug offense will waive that right and choose to proceed to trial without an attorney. A court must engage in certain inquiries to ensure a waiver of Sixth Amendment rights is knowing and willing; however, otherwise, it may be unconstitutional.

The standards for reviewing a criminal defendant’s request to proceed without an attorney were explained in a recent Florida opinion, in which the defendant was charged with drug conspiracy crimes. If you are faced with charges of drug offenses, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney to evaluate your options.

The Defendant’s Trial

It is reported that the defendant was charged with conspiracy to possess narcotics with the intent to distribute them, possessing narcotics with the intent to distribute, and other drug offenses. He stated he would proceed without the representation of counsel at trial and was subsequently convicted as charged. He then appealed on several grounds, including the argument that his waiver of the right to counsel was not voluntary or knowing. Upon review, the court rejected his argument and affirmed his conviction. Continue reading ›

When people are charged with possessing or distributing child pornography, it is because an investigation revealed pornography in their possession. In most instances, the State cannot introduce evidence of wrongful acts to support the assertion that a person committed a crime, but in some circumstances, such evidence is admissible. The grounds for admitting evidence of a wrongful act was the topic of a recent Florida opinion in a case in which a defendant charged with possession of child pornography objected to the introduction of evidence he possessed child erotica. If you are accused of possession of child pornography, it is prudent to speak to a knowledgeable Florida criminal defense attorney regarding your rights.

The Evidence and Charges

It is reported that in 2018 the police conducted an undercover investigation of a file-sharing network that was used to distribute child pornography and found a computer that linked to the network. An IP address linked the computer to the defendant’s home. The police obtained a search warrant and found the computer, after which they read the defendant his Miranda rights and conducted an interview.

Allegedly, the defendant admitted to using the computer and the file-sharing network to obtain child pornography from a site in Russia. The police found images of child erotica and child pornography on the computer, after which the defendant was charged with three child pornography crimes. During the trial, the prosecution admitted the child erotica images into evidence over the defendant’s objection. The defendant was convicted, after which he appealed.

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