We occasionally see DUI cases in Daytona Beach and the surrounding area with a breath test results under .08%. What is a greater surprise to the individual is that they are not released from jail and are charged with DUI. It is one thing when drugs are suspected and the individual tests positive for drugs or refuses the urine test. This does not mean that the individual is impaired but it does give the State something additional to pile on in an attempt to obtain a conviction. What I am focusing on in this article is the Daytona Beach DUI case under .08% with negative urine results or no urine requested. It is important that you do not underestimate the situation if you have a breath test under .08%. You still need to talk to an experienced Daytona Beach DUI attorney. The state might still try to get a DUI conviction or at least a wet reckless. Call attorney Kevin J. Pitts at 386-451-5112 to set up a free consultation.
Daytona Beach DUI Attorney Kevin J. Pitts
Florida has presumptions in place. When you read these presumptions it can actually be a little scary. If your breath or blood results are over .08% you are presumed impaired but result can be rebutted by other evidence. Most drivers are familiar with that rule. What most people do not know is that between .05% and .079% percent you are not presumed sober or impaired. It is good to be under .08% but under Florida law it really just means that the jury is supposed to look at the evidence and decide if you are guilty of DUI or not. What is even crazier is at .00% to .049% you are presumed to not be impaired. That is good but then comes the crazy part. The law in Florida actually says the presumption of sobriety can be rebutted. According to Florida statute if the prosecutor could convince a jury by other evidence that you are impaired by alcohol at .00% then you could theoretically be convicted of DUI. Now the reality is if you are under .08% without drugs in your system or urine refusal you have a strong case. If you have under a .05% without drugs in your system or urine refusal have an extremely strong case. If you read the statute it is theoretically possible for anybody to get a DUI but the reality is most of the state’s resources are focused on cases over .08%.
Unfortunately in Florida no breath test is low enough to force the state to automatically drop the charges. It is almost unheard of for cases under .05 to get very far. We do occasionally see overly ambitious prosecutors posturing for trial with breath tests under .08% but usually the case is resolved with a dramatic reduction or dropped before jury selection. This can be hard on clients that are visiting Daytona and get arrested on vacation. Pushing the case to trial usually requires an additional trip to Florida to get the best possible result.
(a) If there was at that time a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.05 or less, it is presumed that the person was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired.
(b) If there was at that time a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level in excess of 0.05 but less than 0.08, that fact does not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired but may be considered with other competent evidence in determining whether the person was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired.
(c) If there was at that time a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, that fact is prima facie evidence that the person was under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired. Moreover, such person who has a blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is guilty of driving, or being in actual physical control of, a motor vehicle, with an unlawful blood-alcohol level or breath-alcohol level.
In Florida Cocaine is considered a Schedule 2 controlled substance. Under Section 893.13(6)(a), Florida Statutes, a person found to be in “actual” or “constructive possession” of cocaine commits a third degree felony, punishable by up to five (5) years in prison or five years of probation, and up to a $5,000 fine. A conviction for cocaine possession will furthermore lead to a one-year Florida driver’s license suspension.
Daytona Beach Cocaine Trafficking Minimum Mandatory Penalties.
- 28 grams to 200 grams = 3 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 200 grams to 400 grams = 7 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 400 grams to 150 kilograms = 15 year minimum mandatory sentence.
- 150+ kilograms = life sentence.
If you are accused of Daytona Beach Cocaine possession or Daytona Beach Cocaine trafficking you have defenses. Common defenses include illegal stop, illegal search, knowledge, control and joint possession defenses. Call Daytona Beach Cocaine attorney Kevin J. Pitts at 386-451-5112 to set up a free consultation.
Florida has decided that it is necessary to protect minors by enacting laws against minors in possession of alcohol. This is a common charge during Spring Break in Daytona Beach. To reduce underage drinking Florida decided they would attempt to give anybody under the age of 21 that is caught by law enforcement with alcohol a criminal record. We do not make light of the fact that minors and alcohol can be dangerous but we do not understand how it helps a young adult to try to tag them with a criminal record. In some cases a MIP charge can also result in a driver’s license suspension.
If you are caught with alcohol in Daytona Beach and are under 21 we can help. Attorney Kevin J. Pitts is a former Daytona Beach prosecutor and defense attorney. Mr. Pitts has prosecuted and defended MIP cases in Daytona Beach and the surrounding areas. The State Attorney’s Office in Daytona generally does a good job of working with defense attorneys to avoid a criminal record for the kids and young adults who get caught with alcohol.
Many people are thrilled to find out they can just pay a fine or ticket in Daytona Beach but this is a common trick used by local law enforcement is to disguise the misdemeanor as a payable infraction. The problem is that when you pay that fine you have a criminal record. You are not adjudicated guilty but anybody can look you up on the Clerk’s website and see that you accepted responsibility for a misdemeanor alcohol offense. You can get your record sealed but it takes about 6-12 months and after 10 years you can get it expunged.
It will save you money and hassle in the long run if you hire a Daytona Beach MIP attorney to properly resolve your case. We will fight to keep you from having to plea to a misdemeanor. Many cases can be dismissed after completing some community service and paying the cost of prosecution and investigation. Sometimes a formal diversion is required but the charges can still be dropped. Not all cases will be dismissed but unless the accused already has a criminal record the State will almost always work out some type of agreement to avoid a criminal record. Do not pay a minor in possession of alcohol ticket in Daytona Beach without talking to Daytona Beach MIP Attorney Kevin J. Pitts.
The penalties for violating Florida’s MIP law are:
- First MIP Offense—You will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and ordered to pay a fine of $500 and sentenced up to 60 days in jail.
- Second MIP Offense—You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and sentenced up to one year in jail.
In addition, the court shall direct the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to withhold the issuance of, revoke or suspend your driver’s license or driving privileges as follows:
- First MIP Conviction—Not less than six months and not more than one year.
- Subsequent MIP Conviction—Up to a period of two years.
562.111 Possession of alcoholic beverages by persons under age 21 prohibited.—
(1) It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years, except a person employed under the provisions of s. 562.13 acting in the scope of her or his employment, to have in her or his possession alcoholic beverages, except that nothing contained in this subsection shall preclude the employment of any person 18 years of age or older in the sale, preparation, or service of alcoholic beverages in licensed premises in any establishment licensed by the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco or the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 562.45, any person under the age of 21 who is convicted of a violation of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; however, any person under the age of 21 who has been convicted of a violation of this subsection and who is thereafter convicted of a further violation of this subsection is, upon conviction of the further offense, guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.775.083.
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.
If you find yourself in an accident and no one is injured or present you are not always required to remain at the scene. 316.062(1) states that the driver of any vehicle involved in a crash resulting in injury to or death of any person or damage to any vehicle or other property which is driven or attended by any person shall give his or her name, address, and the registration number of the vehicle he or she is driving, and shall upon request and if available exhibit his or her license or permit to drive, to any person injured in such crash or to the driver or occupant of or person attending any vehicle or other property damaged in the crash and shall give such information and, upon request, exhibit such license or permit to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash and shall render to any person injured in the crash reasonable assistance, including the carrying, or the making of arrangements for the carrying, of such person to a physician, surgeon, or hospital for medical or surgical treatment if it is apparent that treatment is necessary, or if such carrying is requested by the injured person.
(2) In the event none of the persons specified are in condition to receive the information to which they otherwise would be entitled under subsection (1), and no police officer is present, the driver of any vehicle involved in such crash, after fulfilling all other requirements of s. 316.027 and subsection (1), insofar as possible on his or her part to be performed, shall forthwith report the crash to the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority and submit thereto the information specified in subsection (1).
If the driver leaves the scene of a crash without fulfilling the above listed duties they waive the accident report privilege. This can make it easier for the prosecutor to prove the case. As simple as these cases might appear they can actually get complicated. If you are involved in an accident and leave the scene never talk to the police about your case because the accident report privilege might have already been waived. If you are accused of a crime go to leaving the scene of a crash attorney
or call Kevin J. Pitts at 386-451-5112.