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Fort Myers Florida Criminal Defense Law Blog

Have you been charged with first-degree murder?

Standing accused of a serious crime can throw anyone's life off balance. In some cases, serious accusations could result in a person spending time behind bars while his or her trial takes place. If authorities accuse you of first-degree murder, you are in an extremely difficult predicament.

First-degree murder is commonly considered one of the most serious crimes. Of course, you may not fully understand what that exact allegation means. Murder charges can come in varying degrees, and you will certainly want to understand what your charge means for your case and possible defense options.

How common are DUI charges and how might you handle your case?

Many of our readers in Florida probably know someone who has been arrested for drunk driving at some point. While we are all aware that such conduct is incredibly dangerous and can lead to serious legal problems, there are many people who still take this chance. But, how common are DUI charges and, if you face such a charge, how might you handle the case?

Well, for starters, DUI charges are some of the most common criminal charges people face in America, including in Florida. Some estimates show that, in any given year, approximately 1 million people in America will be arrested for drunk driving charges or for driving under the influence of drugs. If you find yourself in this unenviable position, it is time to start thinking about how you will approach the defense strategy in your case.

'Click It or Ticket' saves lives

From the time you were small, you may remember adults telling you to buckle your seat belt. For years, this was just good advice. Now, however, it is the law in many states across the country. In fact, Florida law requires you to wear a seat belt whether you are driving, a passenger in the front seat or sitting in the back seat. Failing to buckle up is a primary offense, which means police can ticket you even if you commit no other violation.

With Memorial Day approaching, and with it the start of the summer holidays, it is likely that traffic will become even heavier. Because of this, Florida police are joining the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign by increasing patrols for the next few weeks. Not only will wearing your seatbelt reduce the chances of injury during an accident, but it may also help you avoid legal trouble.

Facing a 'zero tolerance' atmosphere when it comes to drug crimes

Of all the states in the country in which law enforcement officials seemingly have a "zero tolerance" policy when it comes to the enforcement of illegal drug laws, some may say Florida takes the cake. As one of the most populous states as well as one through which many illegal drugs enter the country, state and federal law enforcement officials certainly maintain an active presence in Florida. This can have an impact on many different types of cases, from those involving allegations of wide-ranging drug smuggling operations, to those involving something as simple as the possession of marijuana.

When it comes to any type of drug crime in Florida, arrestees and defendants will probably feel like they are at a disadvantage from the get-go. Tough questioning from police officers, direct and forceful allegations from the prosecutor's office -- these are highly likely in any drug crimes case, large or small.

Police chase near Fort Myers leads to arrest

High-speed vehicle chases that involve police officers and criminal suspects present a danger to many people on the roads. Public safety needs to be weighed when police officers engage in these chases. In one case, it appears that law enforcement officials believed that the need to apprehend a criminal suspect outweighed any potential danger to the public.

According to reports, a high-speed chase took place earlier in April. The chase began in Collier County when law enforcement officials received reports about a stolen vehicle. Police officers reportedly observed the vehicle in question, which was then driven on I-75 to Lee County. With a police vehicle behind it with sirens and lights on, the suspected stolen vehicle was driven at speeds that allegedly approached 125 miles per hour.

Fight for the recovery you deserve after an accident

It takes just a second for a car accident to change a person's life. One moment you may be driving home from work or heading to the grocery store to pick up dinner, and the next you may find yourself with serious physical injuries and a damaged car. It's hard to know what to do first as you try to pick up the pieces, recover and move forward from this tragic event.

If your accident was the result of the negligent actions of another driver, you could have grounds to move forward with a civil claim. However, the first step of this process is to determine how much your case is worth and what you need for recovery now and well into the future. There are many factors to consider when seeking damages after a serious car collision.

Know the basic facts about field sobriety tests in Florida

Our readers in Florida may know that drunk driving arrests are some of the most common interactions between citizens and law enforcement officials. Each year thousands of people are arrested in Florida and charged with DUI. However, there are many steps involved in each of these DUI cases, and one of the main steps is the part of the investigation when a law enforcement officer is conducting field sobriety tests.

For anyone who is facing DUI charges, it is important to know the basic facts about field sobriety tests. For starters, there are three common field sobriety tests that are conducted during the investigation in a DUI stop: the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the one-leg stand test and the walk-and-turn test.

Florida laws may be tougher on distracted driving in the future

Florida roads are typically busy with snowbirds, tourists and residents, especially during the spring and summer. With so many people on the road at any one time, it is especially important for drivers to make safe choices and be attentive. Distractions of all kinds are some of the leading reasons why accidents happen, and lawmakers are looking for ways to make the roads safer for you and everyone else.

Distracted driving continues to be a serious problem and one of the main causes for injuries and fatalities on the road. As a result, lawmakers are considering legislation that would increase the penalties for distracted driving, They are also looking to change the definition of distracted driving to include various different types of dangerous behaviors in addition to texting and cell phone use.

What evidence can come up in the criminal defense process?

Each year thousands of Florida residents are charged with crimes, from misdemeanors to felonies. Contrary to what media coverage these days would have most people believe, an arrest is not the same as a conviction. Every defendant is supposed to have the benefit of the doubt, commonly known as being held as "innocent until proven guilty." In order for law enforcement officials and prosecutors to prove that a criminal suspect is guilty, they will need to collect and present evidence.

So, what types of evidence might come up in your criminal case? Well, there is quite a potential variety, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case. In the vast majority of cases, there will probably be eyewitness testimony that is presented as evidence. This can come in the form, simply, of a person telling what they saw. However, there is a potential for "hearsay" evidence when it comes to eyewitness testimony, which is when a witness tries to repeat a statement that was heard from a third-party to prove the truth of the statement asserted. Such evidence, despite many exceptions, is usually inadmissible in court.

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.

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