In Florida, a Fourth Conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Results in a Permanent Suspension

In Florida, the DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) laws come with minimum mandatory penalties for a conviction.  These penalties increase for each successive DUI a person gets.  One benefit of a criminal defense lawyer getting the state to amend a DUI charge to a reckless driving charge is the reckless driving charge does not count as a DUI conviction that increases the minimum penalties if the person gets one or more additional DUI convictions.

One of the minimum penalties that comes with a DUI conviction is a suspension of the person’s driver’s license.  The suspension can be as short as six months for a first DUI conviction or as long as ten years for a third DUI conviction that is within ten years of the prior conviction.  The DMV does allow people to get hardship licenses which permit people to drive to work, school and other necessities, but there may be a period of time before a person can apply for a hardship license depending on the case.

If a person gets a fourth DUI conviction in Florida, that person’s driving privileges will likely be revoked forever.  That is mandated by statute in Florida.  However, not all convictions count.  In a recent DUI case from Jacksonville, Florida, the DMV attempted to permanently revoke a person’s driving privileges based on four prior DUI convictions.  However, it was noted that one of prior DUI convictions was a violation of a city ordinance, rather than a Florida state statute.  The criminal defense attorney appealed the permanent suspension.  The court agreed and held that a DUI conviction that is a violation of a city or municipal ordinance does not count as one of the four prior DUI’s that can result in a permanent driver’s license suspension.  The prior convictions must be violations of state DUI laws.  The conviction at issue was an old DUI conviction that related to an old city ordinance.  However, the DMV can go back as far as they want to count prior DUI convictions.  If a conviction is 40 years old, it can count, as long as it is a state DUI violation.

Additionally, the DMV in Florida can permanently revoke a person’s driver’s license if one or all of the prior DUI convictions are from other states.  The state in which the prior DUI conviction(s) occurred is not relevant.  However, if the DMV is using a prior DUI conviction from another state, it is worth looking into to make sure it is not a city ordinance type of violation.  In fact, all of the prior DUI convictions should be reviewed to make sure they legally count as prior DUI convictions that can result in a lengthy driver’s license suspension, or, in the case of a fourth or more DUI conviction, a permanent license suspension.

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Source: In Florida, a Fourth Conviction for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Results in a Permanent Suspension But Not All Convictions Count — Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer Blog — May 14, 2017

Illinois License Hold for 4 DUIs

I have 1 DUI in Ca. in 197 3 in Il. 93 95 2007. In Il. I must do treatment and show proof being of being sober for 3 years.Can I get a permit or reinstatement in Colorado if I have a hold in Il. I am moving there soon. can you help what do I need to do. thanks

We can help you.

Three Men Walk Into a Bar… 

Three men walk into a bar. The barman tells them, “If you can sit in my basement for a day, I’ll give you free beer forever.”The first man walks out after five minutes and says, “It’s impossible, you got a swarm of flies in there.”So the second man tries his luck, but can’t take more than an hour.Finally, the third man goes down. When he returns a day later, the others ask him how he did it.He says, “Easy! I took a dump in one corner and sat in the other corner!”

Source: Funny Jokes | Walks Into a Bar… Basement Challenge Joke | Comedy Central

Jefferson County DUI patrols bust 12 impaired drivers in one night

“Drive impaired, expect to be caught, Jeffco agencies will be out in force,” the CSP warned Saturday.

The Heat Is On in Jefferson County tonight !! Multiple agencies are coming together to make your roads safe.

Less than two hours later, officials said they’d already caught two people suspected of driving under the influence.

“Two people already in custody for DUI/D. You start early, perfect, we will find you,” the CSP tweeted.

By the end of the night, officials said they’d stopped 13 impaired drivers — including one who had a child in the car.

Monday afternoon, the CSP said the final count was nine arrests for DUI, three arrests for DUID and six arrests for misdemeanors.

“We all worked hard to keep Jeffco safe,” the CSP said.

The saturation patrols involved the CSP, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, the Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakewood and Golden police departments, and the Foothills Fire Department.

Jefferson County DUI patrols bust 12 impaired drivers in one night

Man accused of posing as lawyer charged – Red Deer Advocate

A Red Deer man accused of posing as a lawyer in a fraud scheme is facing a dozen charges.RCMP said in March they began investigating an allegation that a man representing himself as a lawyer was taking money from clients in exchange for preparing legal documents.As the investigation continued, more victims were identified. In all, police have identified nine victims, eight of whom paid for legal services from the accused between December 2016 and April 2017. One of the alleged victims was a process server allegedly hired by the suspect to serve a civil claim.Police said one of the people dealing with the suspect grew suspicious and did not turn over any money.The suspect was operating under the business name SS & Associates LLP.On June 7, police went to the accused’s residence with a warrant and seized electronics and documents relevant to the investigation.Chance Aaron Shaw, 26, has been charged with six counts of trafficking or uttering a forged document, four counts of fraud under $5,000, forgery and false pretenses.He is scheduled to appear in Red Deer provincial court on Friday.Anyone with information about this investigation should contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-343-5575. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report it online at www.tipsubmit.com. If your information leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000.The Law Society of Alberta says it maintains an online Lawyer Directory. If an individual’s cannot be found on the directory the law society should be contacted to confirm the person can practise law in Alberta.Anyone with concerns about the unauthorized practice of law should contact the law society at 1-800-661-9003 or go to the website at www.lawsociety.ab.ca.

Source: Man accused of posing as lawyer charged – Red Deer Advocate

Perverse incentives created by police overtime for court appearances

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals last month issued an opinion in Ex Parte Mark Bowman, with a dissent from Judge Elsa Alcala, that caught Grits’ eye – not because of the issues being decided in the case but thanks to the underlying fact pattern evinced in the discussion.At issue was a 2004 DWI in Houston and whether the defense counsel was alleged to be ineffective. The evidence of counsel’s ineffectiveness? Because of Houston PD overtime rules, the officer had an incentive to arrest people for DWI even if the cases were later dismissed because he received time-and-a-half for the hours he spent in court.The officer, William Lindsey, testified that members of the DWI task force were “paid overtime, time-and-a-half” for all hours spent in court, giving him a personal financial motive to go to court whether or not an arrest is legitimate. In the prior year, he said, he’d made 476 DWI arrests.In his habeas writ, the defendant was able to show that Officer Lindsey, from 1992 to 2004, made more money from combined overtime pay than he did from his regular salary. According to the majority opinion, “In the first eleven months of 2004 – the year of Appellant’s first DWI arrest – Lindsey earned a total of $145,957, of which only $63,924 was regular salary while $82,032 was paid overtime.”For a while, Lindsey was the highest paid officer in the city. He retired after reporters began to question the situation in 2006. (See contemporary Grits coverage.)Three criminal defense lawyers, including Doug Murphy, a DWI specialist, testified that failure to secure details about Lindsey’s economic incentives amounted to ineffective assistance.  From Murphy’s affidavit:It is common knowledge among lawyers in Harris County who regularly handle DWI cases during Lindsey’s tenure on the DWI Task Force that he arrested many people in affluent parts of southwest Houston – regardless of how well they performed the field sobriety tests or how sober they appeared to be on videotape – so he could obtain overtime pay for appearing in court pursuant to a subpoena to testify at their trials. Competent defense lawyers made Public Information Act requests to HPD to obtain Lindsey’s payroll records before they tried DWI cases in which he would testify.Further, wrote Mr. Murphy:Defense lawyers would present this evidence on cross-examination to demonstrate Lindsey’s motive for making the arrest. They typically would argue that Lindsey arrested sober drivers for DWI because he knew that they would go to trial and he would receive overtime pay for appearing in court to testify; that, for this reason, he gave no driver the benefit of the doubt at the scene; that, in effect, he received three days of pay for appearing at a two-day trial; that he received the money even if the defendant were acquitted; and that his overtime pay exceeded his regular pay during his tenure on the task force. Arguments of this nature frequently persuaded juries to reject Lindsey’s opinion regarding intoxication.The other two attorneys’ affidavits included essentially similar comments.A Houston Chronicle story from July 1, 2006* mentioned a “memo … from a traffic enforcement captain warning that officers were scheming to have themselves unnecessarily placed on court dockets to inflate their overtime totals.” So these allegations were coming from HPD brass, not just defense lawyers or the media.Let’s leave aside for a moment the question of whether defense counsel was ineffective, which is the focus of the two opinions. Grits instead wants to raise other questions: Is it good public policy for police officers to have an incentive to make dubious arrests so they can get overtime to show up in court? If testifying is part of a police officer’s job, why can’t they do it during regular work hours? Is there a way to pay for court time that doesn’t contribute counterproductive incentives?In Austin, the meet and confer agreement (Art. 8, Sec. 3) specifies particularly generous extra pay for time spent in court. For example, an officer who attends court for more than one hour prior to the start of the work day gets credit for a minimum four hours of overtime. Similarly, officers who go to court after work receive a minimum of four hours overtime no matter how long they stay there. So if an officer gets off at 5, goes to court at 5:15, and is out by 5:50, they’d be compensated for four hours at time-and-a-half.Such pay structures give incentives for police to arrest on trumped up charges so they can justify spending time in court and making time-and-a-half. Such incentives can result in false convictions, particularly when counsel is ineffective or nonexistent. That seems like a more important takeaway for me, anyway, than the ineffective assistance questions at the heart of the debate between the judges over Mr. Bowman’s habeas writ.

Source: Grits for Breakfast: Perverse incentives created by police overtime for court appearances

Man Challenges State Standard for DUI Marijuana

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A Billings man charged with vehicular homicide while under the influence of marijuana is challenging the state standard at which a person is considered to be under the influence.

Public defender Gregory Paskell says the THC blood level set by the state is arbitrary, and he’s asking that the charge against Kent Roderick Jensen be dismissed.

Jensen, 20, is charged in the March 2016 death of motorcyclist Jashua Fry, The Billings Gazette (http://bit.ly/2uihlM3 ) reports. Court records say Jensen pulled out onto a road without seeing the motorcycle, causing the fatal crash.

Jensen’s blood contained 19 nanograms per milliliter of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, court records said. State law says a person is under the influence with a blood level of 5 ng/mL of THC.

Paskell cited studies that have concluded it’s difficult to standardize the amount of THC that creates impairment because it varies from person to person.

“There is no science to back up the 5 ng/mL level as a level that indicates impairment in a sizable enough portion of users to make it a standard for everyone,” Paskell wrote.

Deputy Yellowstone County Attorney Victoria Callender said the Legislature, which makes policy decisions, set the legal limit based on research and that the case should move forward.

Montana is one of 18 states with marijuana-specific impaired driving laws, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. A dozen states have zero tolerance for marijuana or its metabolites.

Colorado, Montana and Washington’s driving limits of 5 ng/mL are the highest among the six states that list legal limits. Colorado allows defendants to argue they were not impaired at that level, but Montana and Washington laws are similar to blood-alcohol limits, which drivers cannot challenge.

District Judge Gregory Todd heard arguments on June 2 and then received written briefs. He has not ruled in the case. Jensen’s trial is scheduled for late August.

 

Source: Billings Man Challenges State Standard for DUI Marijuana | Montana News | US News

What to Do, and What Not to Do, at a Checkpoint

OUI checkpoints pop up on heavily traveled roads throughout MA every weekend. You have rights if you are stopped at one of these checkpoints, but it’s important to keep the following in mind – the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that OUI checkpoints are legal. So, while you do have rights, you must stop at a checkpoint if directed to do so. Read on for more information about what to do, and what not to do, if you are stopped.

OUI Checkpoint Dos

  • If you are directed to stop, do so as soon as it is safe to pull over. The requested stops are usually done at random, so don’t panic if you are directed to pull over.
  • Stay calm, and politely follow the officer’s instructions.
  • Provide law enforcement with requested information, such as your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Failing to do so may cause suspicion and result in further complications, even your arrest.

OUI Checkpoint Don’ts

  • Avoid violating traffic laws when you are driving through a checkpoint. This may sound obvious, but it’s easy to make mistakes when you are panicking. Don’t make illegal U-turns, use excessive speed, or ignore an officer’s signals to pull over. These actions could give police reason to suspect you of OUI.
  • Don’t unnecessarily incriminate yourself. If police ask if you’ve had anything to drink, politely decline to answer the question. Although you may think it will help your case to say you’ve only had one or two beers, this statement can be used against you. In fact, other than providing police with identifying information, such as your license and registration, you should – politely – decline to answer any questions that police ask you.
  • Decline field sobriety tests. You are absolutely able to refuse field sobriety tests; politely decline and inform police that you know it is your right to refuse.
  • Do not volunteer to take a breath test. If you haven’ been arrested, you are not required to submit to a breath test. Once you have been arrested, there are penalties for refusing. However, in some cases these penalties are less severe than the potential penalties of an OUI conviction. It is impossible to give a blanket statement as to whether you should or should not refuse a breath test if arrested for OUI. This can only be determined on a case by case basis, incorporating factors such as prior criminal history and OUI convictions. A Boston defense attorney can help you understand how refusing a breath test might impact you, based on your personal circumstances.

Massachusetts is tough on OUI. Even first-time offenders may see jail time, have their license suspended, and be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed. These devices require a driver to provide an alcohol-free breath sample before his or her engine will start, and periodically throughout the drive. Second and subsequent offenders will have even stiffer penalties. If you made the mistake of driving while intoxicated, don’t make another one by hiring the wrong attorney. A skilled MA OUI attorney can make all the difference in the world.

Source: What to Do, and What Not to Do, at a OUI Checkpoint in Massachusetts — Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog — March 22, 2017