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Fort Myers Florida Criminal Defense Law Blog

Will a grand jury play a role in your criminal case?

When many Florida residents think of having criminal charges brought against them, they think of standing trial in front of a judge and jury. While this scenario is certainly often the case, many steps take place first, including the decision to formally indict someone on charges. If police have arrested you for a crime, a grand jury may need to make the decision whether to move forward with an indictment.

A grand jury differs from a trial jury in many ways, and a grand jury may not necessarily play a role in your criminal case. In fact, the use of a grand jury typically occurs if authorities have charged a person for a serious felony.

Aggressive options in a DUI defense strategy

Drunk driving charges are some of the most common criminal charges that people in Florida and throughout the country face. Despite decades of public and private awareness campaigns intended to help educate people about the dangers of drunk driving, some people still take the chance. However, not everyone who is arrested on DUI charges is guilty. Florida residents need to remember that there is a presumption of innocence for every criminal defendant in America.

Unfortunately, law enforcement officials and prosecutors may not be as concerned with presumptions or giving a criminal defendant the benefit of the doubt. These government representatives carry a high burden into any criminal case, including cases that involve DUI charges: proving the case "beyond a reasonable doubt." Raising that doubt can be a crucial part of any aggressive defense strategy when it comes to DUI charges.

Surveillance video crucial in determining cause of Florida wreck

In many car accidents that occur in Florida and throughout the country, it can sometimes take quite awhile for a subsequent investigation to determine exactly who was at fault for the collision. Police investigators may be able to glean many of the facts from the parties involved in the car accident, but they will also likely need to attempt to find other witnesses who may have observed the collision from a third-party standpoint. If investigators are lucky, there will be surveillance video, which can be extremely useful.

That appears to be the case from a collision in Florida that occurred back in October of last year. The collision in question involved two vehicles: an Infiniti SUV and a Tesla. When the two vehicles collided in the early morning hours of October 21 of last year, three people in the SUV suffered serious injuries. On January 25, the driver of the Tesla turned himself in to law enforcement officials after a surveillance video helped the police determine that the Tesla driver had run a red light while traveling at well over 120 miles per hour, slamming into the SUV and nearly cleaving that vehicle in two.

Did a Florida vacation land you with assault or battery charges?

Florida acts as a desirable destination for many people. Older individuals often retire to the state to relax in the sunshine for as many years as possible, and younger people commonly head here to party during spring break or to have vacations with their families. Though you may have only planned to be in the state for a short amount of time, your situation may have changed if police charged you with a crime.

You may have been seemingly minding your own business while having a night out with friends only to wind up in an altercation with another person. The situation may have escalated, and authorities came to the scene. As a result, police officers took you, and possibly others, into custody on criminal charges. Are you facing assault charges, battery charges or both?

Drug crimes include manufacturing and cultivating illegal drugs

Most of our readers in Florida know that if people are caught with illegal drugs in their possession they will likely face criminal charges. However, there are other ways that illegal drugs can lead to criminal problems for Florida residents. Manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs, for example, can also lead to criminal charges.

In fact, taking part in either manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs is likely to lead to much more significant criminal charges than mere possession of these types of drugs. While a court may view a person who merely possesses illegal drugs as a potential drug abuser who needs substance abuse treatment rather than a prison sentence, a person who is charged with crimes related to manufacturing or cultivating illegal drugs is not likely to get such treatment. Instead, such a person is more likely to be viewed as a "dealer" instead of a "user," and will probably face a fierce prosecution effort.

Could going out to a club result in criminal charges?

Many people in Florida like going out on the town. You may consider yourself someone who enjoys getting a group of friends together and heading to a bar for some drinks or even for an evening at a club. While these outings can certainly be all about having fun, too much fun could potentially land you in serious trouble.

Clubbing can involve a mixture of many activities. You may get drinks, dance, meet new people and generally socialize. However, clubs can become crowded, and sometimes, questionable activity could go on at these establishments. As a result, you would likely benefit from staying on your guard while trying to have a good time.

Legal options when facing criminal charges in Florida

The aftermath of an arrest on criminal charges can be a confusing time for a Florida resident. Determining whether the charges are misdemeanors or felonies is important, as is determining what evidence law enforcement officials and prosecutors will attempt to use to prove the case. For arrestees in Florida, knowing the available legal options is crucial.

For starters, if the evidence in the case is weak, it may be possible to convince the prosecutor that the charges should be dismissed, or at least some of the charges should be dropped, if there are multiple charges involved in the case. Prosecutors need to focus their efforts on cases in which the evidence of a criminal act are strong, so, if that is not the case with a defendant's charges, getting the charges dismissed could be a possibility, although probably a slim one.

Accusations of robbery could lead to felony charges

If you find yourself facing criminal charges, you may wonder just how serious your predicament is. Of course, you should take any type of criminal charge seriously, but some may come with more severe potential consequences in the event of a conviction. Because of the immense differences in allegations, it is important that you understand any with which authorities have charged you.

If police have leveled charges for robbery against you, you certainly face a serious situation. Felony charges apply in robbery cases, which means that the possible repercussions are more serious than those for a misdemeanor charge. In efforts to properly address your case, you may want to gain more information on robbery charges in Florida.

Seven killed in Interstate 75 collision

Each year millions of people visit Florida for the wide variety of tourist attractions our state offers. From beaches to amusement parks, there are seemingly endless reasons to visit the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, a recent visit to Florida by a group that included several children ended in tragedy.

According to reports, the fatal collision in question occurred on January 3 when a semi-truck traveling on Interstate 75 collided with an automobile, causing both vehicles to burst through the middle divider, slamming into a church van that was traveling in the opposite lane. The automobile became engulfed in flames. The force of the collision caused the van and a second semi-truck to collide with the semi-truck. There were five young children in the church van, and, tragically, all of them died in the collision. The children visiting Florida were from Louisiana and were reportedly on their way to visit Disney World.

Defending yourself against a holiday DUI charge in Florida

Thousands of Florida residents will be taking to the roads during the holiday season around Christmas and New Year's Day this year to visit family members and friends and celebrate. Many of these get-togethers will include alcohol consumption. By now most people know that it is a bad idea to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol, but hundreds of Florida residents will still likely face a DUI charge this holiday season.

If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, you'll want to consider the full range of the available defense options in your case. For starters, defendants will want to examine the circumstances surrounding the traffic stop that led to the DUI arrest. Did the law enforcement official have a valid reason to conduct the stop? If not, the entire encounter between the defendant and the police officer that occurred in the traffic stop may be called into question.

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