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Drinking, Driving, and the Fourth

Note: With the onset of summer, we will discuss drunk driving in Florida – its penalties, and its consequences – in a multi-part series. Topics covered will include the following: DUI statistics in Florida, DUI penalties, several ways a first-time DUI conviction will ruin your summer, boating and drinking, and the dangers of drunk-driving on the Fourth of July. Be safe, have fun, and if you decide to imbibe, please have someone sober drive. Few things will put the brakes on your summer vacation like being arrested for a DUI.

As Floridians prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July this week and weekend, law enforcement departments all over the state will gear up for increased numbers of sobriety checkpoints and DUI arrests. During the 96 hours of the Fourth of July Holiday in 2011, 29 people were killed on Florida roads (5 deaths related to alcohol) and there where were 90 DUI arrests. Additionally there were over 8000 citations written during the 2011 holiday weekend.

What to do if your Fourth plans involve driving?

  • Always wear your seat belt. The National Safety Council estimates that approximately 50 lives could be saved each Fourth through seat belt use.
  • If you plan to consume alcohol, plan ahead. Designate a sober driver and give that person your keys.
  • If you are impaired, call a cab, a sober friend or family member. Record cab and tow-truck company numbers before the weekend. Often, companies provide free services during holiday weekends.
  • Don’t let friends drive drunk.

If you happen to be pulled-over and arrested for DUI in Hilllsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, or Hernando County, make sure to contact our experienced and knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Bauer, Crider, and Parry. With a knowledgeable Tampa DUI lawyer, like one from Bauer Crider & Parry, by your side to deal with the charges, your have a vital ally by your side to navigate the legal morass.

A good example of how a lawyer can help is by pleading to lower the charge—say, from a DUI to a “wet reckless” case. In this example, your case becomes one of reckless driving instead of an actual DUI charge. When you are facing a DUI charge, find legal assistance to ensure that you don’t get stuck with a DUI on your record.

Drinking and Boating

Note: With the onset of summer, we will discuss drunk driving in Florida – its penalties, and its consequences – in a multi-part series. Topics covered will include the following: DUI statistics in Florida, DUI penalties, several ways a first-time DUI conviction will ruin your summer, boating and drinking, and the dangers of drunk-driving on the Fourth of July. Be safe, have fun, and if you decide to imbibe, please have someone sober drive. Few things will put the brakes on your summer vacation like being arrested for a DUI.

So far in 2015, eleven people have died in boating accidents in Florida. “If you’re going to be drinking, [make sure] that you have a designated driver, designated operator of the vessel. Boating under the influence is similar to driving under the influence,” according to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.

Criminal penalties for drinking while operating a boat are similar to those for drivers, with the exception of open containers. Open containers are allowed on boats; however, state law sets limits on the blood-alcohol content and impairment of the operator/driver of the boat. What is a BUI? In Florida, a vessel operator is presumed to be under the influence if their blood or breath-alcohol level is at or above .08. Any person under 21 years of age who is found to have a breath-alcohol level of .02 or higher, and operates or is in actual physical control of a vessel, is in violation of Florida law and subject to arrest for BUI.

BUI officers can conduct a stop when they have probable cause to believe a boat is violating a regulation or speeding. In certain cases, the BUI officers can stop a boat for a random inspection related to an equipment check, fishing compliance or safety registration (see below). The officer can ask the operator of the boat to perform a hand-held breath test or complete a series of sobriety exercises, or chemical tests of the boater’s blood, breath or urine.

Civil requirements of boaters – According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, inattentiveness by a vessel’s operator often contributes to boating accidents. Statistics also show that more than 70 percent of the 73 boating-related deaths confirmed last year were attributed to drowning. Florida boaters are required by law to adhere to the following:

  • The owner and/or operator of a vessel is responsible to carry, store, maintain and use the safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
  • All vessels are required to have onboard a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person.  The PFDs must be of the appropriate size for the intended wearer, be in serviceable condition, and within easy access.  The State of Florida urges all people onboard a boat to wear a life jacket.
  • Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have at least one USCG-approved throwable Type IV PFD that is immediately available in case of a fall overboard.
  • A child under the age of 6 must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device while onboard a vessel under 26 feet in length while the vessel is under way.  “Under way” is defined as anytime except when the vessel is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore or aground.
  • Vessels with built-in fuel tanks or enclosed compartments where gasoline fumes can accumulate are required to carry at least one fire extinguisher (depending upon vessel length) which is approved for marine use.
  • All vessels are required to carry an efficient sound-producing device, such as a referee’s whistle.
  • Vessels less than 16 feet in length are required to carry at least 3 visual distress signals approved for nighttime use when on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise.  Vessels 16 feet or longer must carry at least 3 daytime and three nighttime visual distress signals (or 3 combination daytime/nighttime signals) at all times when on coastal waters.
  • The use of sirens or flashing, occulting or revolving lights is prohibited except where expressly allowed by law.
  • Recreational vessels are required to display navigation lights between sunset and sunrise and during periods of reduced visibility (fog, rain, haze, etc.).  The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules specify lighting requirements for every description of watercraft.

Boaters who do not have the required equipment may receive a civil citation. Citations range in cost from $53 for a non-moving violation to $90 for a moving violation.

If boaters have any questions regarding boating safety or boating laws, they can contact the Sheriff’s Office to have them answered. Also, detailed information is available on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website: http://www.myfwc.com/RULESANDREGS/Rules_Boat.htm.

If you are arrested for BUI, call a BUI attorney in Tampa immediately. They can help you sort out any questions you may have regarding submitting to a breath test or any other sobriety test. They can look into the details of the arrests to ensure that none of your rights have been violated. If there have been violations, the attorneys can use these to get your charge dismissed or your penalties reduced. BUI cases are not as cut and dried as they may seem, and a lawyer from reliable firms like Bauer Crider & Parry can help prevent the life-changing consequences of BUI. Remember, arrest does not always lead to conviction.

Source: http://www.hcso.tampa.fl.us/articles/articles/summer-boater-safety.aspx

6 Ways a DUI Can Ruin Your Summer

Note: With the onset of summer, we will discuss drunk driving in Florida – its penalties, and its consequences – in a multi-part series. Topics covered will include the following: DUI statistics in Florida, DUI penalties, several ways a first-time DUI conviction will ruin your summer, boating and drinking, and the dangers of drunk-driving on the Fourth of July. Be safe, have fun, and if you decide to imbibe, please have someone sober drive.

Few things will put the brakes on your summer vacation like being arrested for a DUI. The following are just a few ways a DUI arrest will ruin your summer:

1. If you get arrested for DUI on a Friday evening, you might spend the entire weekend in the county jail before seeing a judge or being bailed out Monday.

2. Your DUI case will probably move slowly through the court, and may not be finally adjudicated until 2016.

3. You will incur thousands of dollars in expenses and fines due to the fine, attorney’s fees, car impound fees, enrollment in a drug or alcohol program, and installation of an ignition interlock device.

4. You won’t be driving for a while with a suspended license. And when your license is reinstated, their might be a period of restricted driving.

5. You will now have a criminal record that may negatively impact job prospects and insurance rates.

6. If children are present in the car when you are arrested, you may face a charge of aggravated DUI, and possibly even child endangerment charges.

If you are arrested for DUI, call a DUI attorney in Tampa immediately. They can help you sort out any questions you may have regarding submitting to a breath test or any other sobriety test. They can look into the details of the arrests to ensure that none of your rights have been violated. If there have been violations, the attorneys can use these to get your charge dismissed or your penalties reduced. DUI cases are not as cut and dried as they may seem, and a lawyer from reliable firms like Bauer Crider & Parry can help prevent the life-changing consequences of DUI. Remember, arrest does not always lead to conviction.

Part 2: Overview of FL DUI Penalties

Note: With the onset of summer, we will discuss drunk driving in Florida – its penalties, and its consequences – in a multi-part series. Topics covered will include the following: DUI statistics in Florida, DUI penalties, the recent rise of DUIs in central Florida, several ways a first-time DUI conviction will ruin your summer, boating and drinking, and the dangers of drunk-driving on the Fourth of July. Be safe, have fun, and if you decide to imbibe, please have someone sober drive.

If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Florida, the type of penalties you receive will depend largely upon your prior history of drunk driving, as well as the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance. Drivers who are arrested with an extremely high BAC, however, can also face additional penalties—even if they are a first-time offender. Those under 21 years old will be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.02% or over and commercial drivers will be charged if their BAC is 0.04% or over.

Assuming you are a first-time offender and your BAC was below 0.15%, the maximum criminal and administrative penalties for a DUI conviction will include a $1,000 fine, jail time of up to 6 months, 180-day license suspension, community service (mandatory 50 hours), probation of no more than 1 year, vehicle impoundment for 10 days, and installation of in ignition interlock device.

If you are arrested for DUI, call a DUI attorney in Tampa immediately. They can help you sort out any questions you may have regarding submitting to a breath test or any other sobriety test. They can look into the details of the arrests to ensure that none of your rights have been violated. If there have been violations, the attorneys can use these to get your charge dismissed or your penalties reduced. DUI cases are not as cut and dried as they may seem, and a lawyer from reliable firms like Bauer Crider & Parry can help prevent the life-changing consequences of DUI. Remember, arrest does not always lead to conviction.

Source: Florida DUI & DWI Laws & Enforcement at DMV.org: The DMV Made Simple

Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney: When Should You Plead the Fifth?

It may seem like the stuff you see on TV shows and movies, where distressed suspects of a crime “plead (or claims) the fifth” to avoid answering questions that may further incriminate him, but this situation happens pretty much every day at any court in the United States. Claiming or pleading the fifth—referring to the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution—provides a suspect protection from witnessing against himself. Read More →

Part 1: Florida and DUI Statistics

Note: With the onset of summer, we will discuss drunk driving in Florida – its penalties, and its consequences – in a multi-part series. Topics covered will include the following: DUI statistics in Florida, DUI penalties, the recent rise of DUIs in central Florida, several ways a first-time DUI conviction will ruin your summer, boating and drinking, and the dangers of drunk-driving on the Fourth of July. Be safe, have fun, and if you decide to imbibe, please have someone sober drive.

2011 is the most recent year The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles website provides statistics for drunk driving. In that year, 716 people died on Florida roads and highways as a result of drunk driving. This comprised nearly a third of all road fatalities.

According to Florida DMV records there were 55,722 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2011. Approximately 42% were issued by municipal police departments, 39% were from Sherriff’s Departments, and 17% originated with the Florida Highway Patrol. Of those arrests, 33,625 resulted in DUI convictions. In 2011, Hillsborough County (Tampa) lead the state in DUI convictions with 3256.

If you are arrested for DUI, call a DUI attorney in Tampa immediately. They can help you sort out any questions you may have regarding submitting to a breath test or any other sobriety test. They can look into the details of the arrests to ensure that none of your rights have been violated. If there have been violations, the attorneys can use these to get your charge dismissed or your penalties reduced. DUI cases are not as cut and dried as they may seem, and a lawyer from reliable firms like Bauer Crider & Parry can help prevent the life-changing consequences of DUI.

Are robbery and burglary different?

Robbery and burglary are often confused with each other by those who have little familiarity with criminal law. From a legal viewpoint, there is a significant difference between the two terms. While both are considered property crimes involving the taking or attempted taking of personal property without the owner’s consent, they are differentiated by the circumstances that surround each.

A robbery is taking something from someone and using force, or the threat of force to do it. The property must be taken from someone, or from someone’s control. Robbery is a violent crime, but this doesn’t mean that the robber has to inflict injury upon the victim. Using any type of force, or threat of force, to take property from someone, is considered robbery.

Burglary is defined as the unlawful entry to a structure to commit theft or a felony. In order for burglary to take place, a victim does not have to be present. When a burglary takes place, the structure being unlawfully entered can be any number of building types including personal homes or business offices. The entry must be without the consent of the owner. The burglary statute in Florida, for punishment purposes, makes a distinction between an occupied dwelling and an unoccupied building. In Florida sentencing is enhanced if the burglary is committed in an occupied dwelling, it is further enhanced if the dwelling is occupied at night.

If you, or someone you care about, is arrested for a property crime such as robbery or burglary, your rights, freedom, and property are in jeopardy. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your fundamental interests, and will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

A Knowledgeable Tampa DUI Attorney Lets You Know of DUI Consequences

When you’re pulled in for driving under the influence or DUI, it’s nothing to shrug off. People think that since it’s the first time they’ve been arrested, they should be fine. The consequences of a DUI arrest, however, and being convicted for it, can be quite devastating. This is the reason you’d want to get a skilled Tampa DUI attorney as soon as possible to help fight the charges against you. Read More →

FL’s Unenforceable Teen-Sexting Law

“Sexting” occurs when someone shares nude or sexually explicit images with others through the use of cell phones, the internet, or any other device capable of transmitting data. When consenting adults sext, they usually don’t break the law. But teens in many states who sext face significant potential legal consequences. Because most teens are children, many states consider teen sexting a child-pornography offense and require violators register as sex offenders.

In 2011, Florida legislators passed a sexting stature prohibiting minors from sending images of nudity (their own or someone else’s) to other minors. The first offense would qualify as a civil infraction. Minors who violated the statute would have to perform court-mandated community service or pay a $60 fine. The fourth sexting offense would qualify as a felony.

In theory, Florida prosecutors believed they had an easy case when they brought charges against minors for sexting. In practice, however, they quickly ran into jurisdictional problems. Unlike criminal offenses, Florida law doesn’t give any court jurisdiction of civil infractions by juveniles. Thus, the 2011 sexting statute doesn’t grant any court jurisdiction to prosecute a sexting first offense. This results because in Florida, The Circuit Court has Exclusive jurisdiction for all juvenile criminal matters except traffic offenses. The County Court also has jurisdiction for juveniles in traffic offenses only. A sexting charge is a civil, non-criminal offense for the first violation. Therefore it cannot be prosecuted as a crime in Circuit Court. However, because a sexting charge is also not a traffic offense, there is no jurisdiction in the County Court either.

As currently written, the sexting statute is a violation without a home. Since there is no jurisdiction in either County Court or Circuit Court, a sexting first offense must be dismissed. Attorney Michael D. Kenny, a board-certified criminal defense attorney at Tampa-area law firm Bauer, Crider, and Parry, recently had a sexting case dismissed on lack of jurisdiction.

A child charged with sexting or any type of crime is a serious situation. Consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if your child has have been arrested. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your child during this difficult and precarious time and will strive to protect their future. We will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your child’s criminal defense.

Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

Never believe you can’t win.

Do I Need a Lawyer If I Am Guilty?

If you have been charged with a criminal offense and you believe that you are guilty, you might be wondering how a criminal defense lawyer can help you. You believe you are guilty, and you plan on pleading guilty, so why should you waste your time and money on a lawyer? Regardless of your beliefs concerning your guilt, you will likely benefit from an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

The primary reason you should hire a lawyer is to make sure your legal rights and liberties are protected. The criminal justice system is complicated and trying to navigate it yourself may result in deleterious consequences. The judge will not sit down with you and discuss your options when you plead guilty. The prosecutor will not explain flaws in his or her case to you. The prosecutor will not tell you if his or her offer to your guilty plea is reasonable or not. An experienced attorney can read the report, speak with the witnesses, and consider all aspects of your case (good and bad) before you negotiate your case for a plea or go to trial.

Additionally, your lawyer will know what the best possible outcome in your case will be, under a plea or trial, and will construct a strategy to improve the odds of achieving that result. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to obtain a resolution that is less severe than if you had simply pleaded guilty. For example, Florida has pre-trial diversion (aka deferred adjudication) programs for both misdemeanor and felony charges that may apply to your case. If you qualify, and complete certain conditions, your case will be dismissed.

When your finances and liberties are in jeopardy, it should be obvious to you that you need someone with experience and knowledge to defend them. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, are here to defend your fundamental interests during this difficult and precarious time. We will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided Floridians with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results, and over 130 combined years of legal experience.

Never believe you can’t win.