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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Law Blog

Florida man facing felony charges for stealing toilet paper

Police in Florida recently arrested a man who is said to have taken a pack of toilet paper valued at one dollar from his neighbor's truck. This individual is now facing felony charges, which can result in hefty consequences if he is convicted. Thankfully, the accused has the right to defend himself with the assistance of legal counsel.

According to reports, the alleged incident occurred Tuesday, March 10, in the Clearwater area. Someone called police, claiming to have seen the accused -- a 25-year-old male -- break into a truck and take a six-pack of toilet paper. Police found this young man not far from the vehicle with a roll supposedly in his front pocket. He was promptly taken into custody.

Charged with drug possession?

The state of Florida is always working hard to keep controlled substances out of the hands of its residents. Anyone found possessing illegal drugs -- whether for personal use or to sell -- may face severe consequences that can change their lives forever if they are convicted. What do Florida laws say about drug possession? What does it take for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction, and what can those accused of drug possession do to defend themselves?

In order to be charged with drug possession, one must be found with a drug on his or her person, in his or her car, in his or her home, or his or her general vicinity. Being charged with this type of crime does not mean a conviction is guaranteed. For prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction, three elements have to exist in one's case. Those elements are:

  • An illegal drug was seized
  • The accused knew he or she possessed the illegal drug
  • The accused had immediate control of the drug

Fight the administrative side of a DUI

If arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, going to court to address the criminal charges is generally something people expect to do. What some Florida residents may not realize, though, is that there is an administrative side to a DUI charge that almost always must be addressed. Tackling the administrative side of this is a must if you want to protect your driving privileges.

If you think that the entirety of your DUI case is handled in a criminal courtroom, you are not alone. Many people are not aware that they have to schedule and attend administrative hearings to address license suspensions. These hearings are completed by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Facing a domestic violence charge?

Most couples in Florida and elsewhere engage in verbal arguments on occasion -- which is considered normal, as no couple gets along all the time. What is not normal is engaging in physical violence with your partner. When that happens, police tend to get involved, and the party allegedly responsible for the violence ends up facing domestic violence charges. If you have found yourself in such a position, all hope is not lost. This type of charge does not have to destroy your life.

Domestic violence accusations are always taken seriously by law enforcement. If they have any reason to believe the alleged victim, the alleged abuser will be taken into custody, even if only temporarily, and the case will be investigated. Regardless if there is any truth to accusations of domestic violence, such accusations can have an extremely negative impact on you personally and professionally. This is something that can follow you around for a long time, which is why fighting to clear your name is so important.

You do not have to be driving to get a DUI

An arrest and conviction for drunk driving can derail your life pretty quickly. Florida has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country, and a conviction even for a first offense could mean expensive fines, extended license suspension and the possibility of months behind bars. Perhaps you know someone who went through this and is still recovering from the personal, financial and professional damage such a conviction can cause.

This is why you may monitor the amount of alcohol you drink or arrange for alternative ways home after a night on the town. However, did you know that driving after drinking is not the only way you may risk a DUI arrest? While the laws in every state are different, if authorities determine your impairment by alcohol is placing you or others at risk, you do not necessarily have to be operating a motor vehicle for police to arrest you.

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. 

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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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