When a child is unexpectedly arrested for an alleged crime in Lake Mary, Longwood, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Casselberry, Sanford or the surrounding areas in Seminole County it can be scary. Your son or daughter has their entire life in front of them and you do not want them to be dragged down by a criminal record. An experienced Seminole County juvenile defense attorney can help mitigate the damage of an arrest. Your child has valuable rights and potential defenses. Seminole County also has diversion programs available to avoid a criminal record. A skilled juvenile attorney has multiple options to attempt to avoid a criminal record. If all else fails negotiation can be used to make sure that the charge can be expunged or sealed in Seminole County. The prosecutor makes the charging decision but when mitigation is presented it is not uncommon for a prosecutor to amend a charge to avoid destroying a child’s future.
Attorney Kevin J. Pitts and Kelly Johnson both have experience prosecuting and defending juvenile cases. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts started his career as a juvenile prosecutor in Daytona Beach. He moved on to handling DUI, domestic violence and other misdemeanor cases before going into private practice. Kelly Johnson is a former Seminole County prosecutor that spent time in the juvenile division before handling DUI, domestic violence and misdemeanor cases. After working for the State Attorney’s Office she went out into private practice. Our attorneys have offices in Sanford, Mount Dora and Daytona Beach. Call 407-883-6853 to talk to an experienced juvenile and criminal defense attorney.
When someone is arrested, the State typically needs to decide what kind of crime to charge or if they want to file at all. Typically on arrest, the officer writes in a bond and the arrestee can bond out… But sometimes the financial circumstances don’t permit the person to bond out, or the charge is a ‘No Bond’ charge. In these cases, the State of Florida decided that the limit to sit in jail without being charged is 33 days. If the State doesn’t charge you, on the 30th day the Court will notice the State and Order you to be released on your own recognizance (ROR) on the 33rd day after arrest. The one exception is if the State can show good cause. Good cause is generally if the State is trying to obtain evidence and they have a valid excuse for not filing. This would be if something about the case was so complex that the State could not get it together in 30 days. That buys the State an additional 10 days. No matter what the State must file charges within 40 days or you must be released ROR even if you have a bond. If someone you know is in jail contact our Orlando violation of probation attorney’s today.
As of January 1, 2014 the rules for commercial drivers with a ticket have changed in Florida. Withholding adjudication is no longer allowed. If adjudication is withheld DHSMV will send the case back to the clerk for correction. They claim this is to comply with federal law. This makes defending commercial driver tickets more complicated. Many counties routinely withhold adjudication. This avoids points and insurance increase for Florida drivers. Now the citation has to be contested because the only way to avoid the consequences of the ticket is to either beat it or get it amended to something harmless. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts handles traffic tickets in Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, DeLand, Sanford, Altamonte Springs, Winter Springs, Seminole County, Volusia County, Flagler County. Daytona Beach DUI lawyer Kevin J. Pitts focuses his practice on DUI, traffic and criminal defense.
I occasionally here potential clients overlook the severity of a marijuana case. I here things like “they will probably legalize it soon”. That might be true but that does not mean they will legalize all marijuana possession. It also doesn’t change the federal government’s position on drug charges. Some of the collateral consequences of a marijuana charge come from Florida such as a 2 year driver’s license suspension if adjudicated guilty. Other collateral consequences come from the federal government such as blocking federal student loans. Possession of more than 30 grams (not 20) or two marijuana possession cases regardless of the amount can cause serious immigration issues that can result in deportation. If marijuana is legalized for medical purposes that will not be much help for those already convicted. People in Florida go to prison all the time for possessing drugs that have a legal medical purpose. Legalization of marijuana will provide security from future prosecution for those with a valid prescription but that might not be helpful for many recreational smokers. Marijuana attorney Kevin J. Pitts handles Daytona Beach marijuana cases, DeLand marijuana cases, Seminole County marijuana cases, Flagler County marijuana cases and Orlando marijuana cases. In Florida possession of marijuana under 20 grams is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 12 months of probation, 1 year of county jail or any combination of the two and a $1,000 fine. If adjudicated guilty DHSMV will suspend your driver’s license for 2 years. Federal aid including student aid can also be cut off if convicted of simple possession of marijuana. Florida’s laws on marijuana might change in the near future but currently Florida has some of the toughest marijuana laws in the country. Even if Florida legalizes it that would not change the federal government’s war on drugs. It will only make it less likely that those with a valid prescription would have it waged against them. We will also likely see an expansion of marijuana DUI laws if Florida legalizes it. A prior marijuana could increase the likelihood of a DUI investigation during traffic stops if legal limits for impairment are established. Without a legal limit for impairment marijuana DUI cases are currently difficult for prosecutors. If you are accused of possessing, selling, cultivating, distributing or trafficking in marijuana contact attorney Kevin J. Pitts for a free consultation.
When you are accused of driving as a habitual traffic offender you can be charged with a third degree felony in Florida. A third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years prison and/or 5 years of probation or any combination of the two not to exceed 5 years. The maximum fine for a third degree is $5,000. Often the designation as a habitual traffic offender occurs from prior criminal driving on a suspended license tickets. It can also occur by paying a suspended license without knowledge ticket or tickets. In many cases paying a civil infraction causes the HTO designation. Daytona Beach suspended license attorney Kevin J. Pitts can collaterally attack the prior suspended license cases. This can eliminate the prior convictions avoiding the designation as a habitual traffic offender and getting your license back. The state can still go forward based on State v. James, 928 So. 2d 1269, 1270 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2006) but will often times be willing to negotiate a favorable resolution if the accused comes to court with a valid license. Attempting to overturn prior convictions is not easy and should not be attempted without the assistance of an experienced driving on a suspended license lawyer. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts has years of experience as a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney handling suspended license cases. If you have a suspended license case in Flagler County, Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County or Osceola County contact suspended driver’s license attorney Kevin J. Pitts today. An experienced attorney can help get you out of the court system and back on the road with a valid license. Mr. Pitts can be reached at 407-883-6853 or 386-451-5112 to set up a free consultation.
As a Daytona Beach suspended license attorney I frequently see the problems a suspended license can cause. Driving is not a right in Florida but it is difficult to function without a driver’s license. With a tough economy and a constant increase in the cost of traffic tickets, insurance and other fees associated with maintaining a valid license it’s no surprise that thousands of people are charged with driving on a suspended license in Volusia County, Seminole County, Orange County and Flagler County. Driving on a suspended license is an offense that can get more serious after each conviction.
Driving While License Suspended is an enhanceable offense in Florida. This means that the maximum penalties increase if you have been previously convicted of this offense. When the driver does not have knowledge of the suspension a non-criminal traffic infraction will be issued. Even a suspended license without knowledge will count towards becoming a habitual traffic offender. If it is your first driving while license suspended case with knowledge you will be charged with a second degree misdemeanor. This means it is punishable by up to sixty 60 days in jail and/or six 6 months of probation. The second offense of Driving While License Suspended or Revoked will be charged as a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or one year of probation. The second offense will be charged as a first degree misdemeanor regardless of whether one received a withhold of adjudication on the previous offense. A third offense or more will be charged as a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or five years of probation with the Department of Correction.
In addition to the criminal ramifications described above, a collateral consequence of driving while license suspended is a qualifying offense for making one a habitual traffic offender or HTO. If you have three qualifying offenses, you may be designated a habitual traffic offender and lose your license for a period of five 5 years with no ability to get a hardship license for the first year. If you are arrested for driving on a habitual traffic offender suspension you can be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or five years of probation with the Department of Correction. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts also handles Seminole County suspended license cases and Orlando suspended license cases.
The number of DUI cases continues to fall in Seminole County for the third straight year and four of the last five years. Seminole County had 1,269 DUI arrests in 2008. That was the beginning of the almost continues slide in DUI arrests. In 2009 Seminole County had 1,056 arrests followed by a slight increase of 1,116 in 2010 then back down to 1,086 in 2011 and finally 833 in 2012. This coincides with a five year decline in DUI arrests in Volusia County and for all of Florida. 2008 was also the beginning of a 5 year slide in Florida DUI arrests. Florida had had 64,654 DUI arrests in 2008. In 2009 Florida had 63,019 arrests followed by 58,174 in 2010 then 55,772 in 2011 and finally 53,664 in 2012. DUI arrests are down locally and state wide but we don’t really know why. Is it the fear of increased enforcement, changes in public opinion, the result of anti-drinking and driving marketing campaigns, the result of changes in the economy or the result of the police just catching less drunk drivers. If you are accused of a DUI in Seminole County contact Sanford DUI attorney Kevin J. Pitts.