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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Law Blog

Reported sound of gunshots leads to teen's arrest

Area police arrested a teenager for several weapons charges after receiving a call about someone celebrating New Year's Eve by firing a gun into the air. Although police consider it dangerous and illegal, firing bullets or shells to celebrate the New Year is a rather common practice.

The police came to the property near where the incident had been reported and performed a search of the area. In the process, they say they located a 17-year-old with several handguns. Police also discovered shell casings as well as ammunition that had not been fired.

Criminal defense options are critical for accused individuals

Different criminal defense strategies can help accused individuals in different situations, so it is important to be familiar with the options available. The best and most appropriate criminal defense option depends on the accused individual's unique circumstances. Criminal charges can result in serious penalties for accused individuals, so it is important for them to have a strong defense.

One way of addressing criminal charges is to present an affirmative defense. An affirmative defense provides a reason for the actions the accused individual has been charged with. An affirmative defense does not argue that the accused individual did not take the alleged actions, but that they had a reason to do so, such as self-defense, necessity, insanity, duress, entrapment and others.

Help with major and minor traffic violations

Traffic violations can have a significant effect on the lives of those impacted by them and that effect can oftentimes be negative. Individuals facing traffic violations should understand the difference between major and minor traffic violations and what they can do about them

Minor traffic infractions include speeding tickets, running a red light, running a stop sign, illegally passing, improper lane changes and passing a school bus or speeding in a school zone or construction zone. Major traffic infractions include driving with a suspended license; hit-and-run or leaving the scene of an accident; reckless driving; racing; and driving under the influence, or DUI. In addition, habitual traffic offense charges may apply when the accused individual has three major traffic violations or 15 moving violations.

Understand probation and the rights you have

Any accused individual facing criminal charges in Florida, and the possible penalties and consequences that accompany them, including being placed on probation, probably has a long list of questions. It is important that they understand what they are facing and what probation entails.

Probation is an alternative to incarceration that requires the accused individual to abide by certain court-ordered rules and conditions and be under the supervision of a probation officer. The length of probation an accused individual may be placed on depends on the rules in their state and the nature of the offense but generally ranges from one to three years. Probation conditions can include meetings with the accused individual's probation officer; community service; refraining from any drug use or excessive alcohol use; avoiding certain individuals and locations; and appearing in court when required.

What's going to happen to you if you get a DUI?

Facing criminal charges of any kind can be intimidating, and you may not know where to start in your efforts to defend your future and long-term interests. This is also true when facing drunk driving charges. You would be wise not to underestimate how serious these charges can be and learn as much as you can about what to expect from this point.

The consequences of a DUI vary depending on your criminal history and the details of your individual case. Regardless of your unique situation, you have the right to fight back with a thoughtfully prepared and effective defense strategy. There are a lot of things at stake, whether it is your first offense or you have previous Florida DUIs on your criminal record. No matter what, your future is worth fighting for. 

How to challenge a breathalyzer test

Florida drivers who have been accused of driving under the influence may not know that they can challenge a breathalyzer test. Nonetheless, it is important for them to not only know that they can challenge a breathalyzer test, but also to know how to do so. Breathalyzer tests may lead to serious drunk driving charges, which is why accused drivers need to understand their potential weaknesses.

Breathalyzer devices must be properly maintained and calibrated in order to produce reliable results upon which DUI charges can be based. To produce accurate results, breathalyzer tests must be properly maintained at regular and set intervals and be in proper working order when used. State standards for how breathalyzer tests are maintained can vary by state, which is why it is important for accused drivers to be familiar with the rules in their state.

A closer look at domestic violence charges

Florida domestic violence charges are significant for everyone involved, which is why families affected by domestic violence should understand what it is and what the criminal and other legal consequences of domestic violence charges may be. Domestic violence includes more than physical violence and anyone affected by family violence should be familiar with what domestic violence includes.

Domestic violence refers to violence, specifically violent acts, one family or household member commits against another. Domestic violence can include physical harm inflicted by family members and can include child abuse. Domestic violence can refer to violence between parties, including married and unmarried partners, straight or gay partners and those that are dating or who are living together and cohabitating.

Important criminal defense protections against drug charges

Drug charges are serious criminal charges and those facing them can face serious potential penalties and consequences as a result. Drug possession charges can lead to an arrest record and even incarceration which is why accused individuals need to be familiar with the criminal defense protections available to them to help with the charges and possible consequences they are facing.

Possible drug charges accused individuals can face include marijuana possession charges which may be charged as misdemeanor marijuana possession or felony marijuana possession depending on the amount of marijuana the accused individual allegedly possessed; cocaine possession charges; other drug possession charges such as heroin, meth or other controlled substances charges; illegal prescription drug possession charges; prescription fraud; and possession with intent to sell charges.

Challenging field sobriety tests after a DUI stop

Drunk driving charges can impact an accused individual professionally and personally and can result in serious criminal penalties and other legal consequences. Many DUI charges may be based on initial field sobriety tests which is why it is essential to know how to challenge them when necessary.

There are several different ways to challenge field sobriety tests that individuals accused of a DUI should be familiar with. There are generally three different kinds of field sobriety tests including the horizontal gaze nystagmus test; the walk and turn test; and the one-leg stand test. Research has shown that even when performed properly, field sobriety tests are only 81 percent to 91 percent reliable at determining intoxication. Because of this, they may be challenged in court.

Certain behaviors that could lead to a drunk driving traffic stop

When you're driving home from dinner after having a nice evening with your friends and family, seeing the flashing lights of a police car in your rearview mirror can ruin your entire night. Facing DUI charges is a serious legal concern, and the penalties you are up against can change the course of life. It's in your interests to start thinking about ways you can defend yourself against these charges. 

Many people don't understand why they get pulled over for suspected drunk driving. While people under the influence of drugs or alcohol may think they are driving safely, they may often be displaying certain behaviors that could catch the attention of law enforcement. There are certain actions that may be grounds for Florida police to stop a driver and determine if sobriety tests are necessary.

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Steven Wetter Attorney at Law, P.A.
1617 Hendry Street, Suite 213
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Phone: 239-347-9133
Fax: 239-476-9552
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