Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Law Updates for January 7, 2011

Thermidor, 36 FLW 5, 4th DCA, Abuse of discretion for court to allow evidence of uncharged crime of armed robbery, taxi cab and victim in main case could not identify the defendant in court - not harmless, where dissimilarities outweighed similarities and there did not appear to be anything especially unique or circumstances which would point to the defendant.

Tripoli, 36 FLW 36, 4th DCA, Collateral crimes evidence - Erred in admitting uncharged collateral acts where testimony about the def's actions of placing another child on his lap while he was tutoring the child was not probative of def's guilt or innocence of charge of lewd and lascivious conduct against the victim, beyond it's showing def had a propensity to molest children or it was his character to do so-not harmless.

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley,P.A.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Refusal DUI Checkpoints?

Florida Statutes 316.1933 and 316.1932 allow blood draws to be used only in a limited number of scenarios: either there has been serious bodily injury, a fatality, or the person from whom blood is to be drawn appears in a medical facility for treatment and a breath test is impractical. Consensual blood tests are of course always permitted... but we would hope that in this day and age no one would willingly agree to one.

A blood draw is only supposed to be requested when one of the above statutorily prescribed circumstances exists. When the circumstances are not present, the legislature provided for the use of breath tests/urine tests. None of this apparently matters any more, however, in light of Florida’s new “No Refusal DUI Checkpoints.” Now if you refuse a breath test during a traffic stop and a judge happens to be on site and issues a warrant, police can perform a mandatory blood test.


Judges are supposed to be neutral like game referees; they have no right to make their own laws or help police in the enforcement of the statutes. Since when do judges have the power to act in concert with law enforcement? What happened to separation of powers? Are these judges going to ignore what the legislature has written, specifically chapter 316 of the Florida Statutes? Is there going to be a new roaming judicial division set up specifically to follow police around and issue warrants for otherwise unlawful blood draws? Images of circus clown cars come to mind. If you refuse to talk when being questioned is the judge going to hit you with his gavel? Is he going to write an order that waives all of your rights?

What this DUI checkpoint policy is essentially doing: helping the local government justify their existence and churning out more money to pay for it. Police will be able to make more arrests and pad their arrest numbers, justifying more personnel and requiring more money to run. This is on top of the overtime they already get for each DUI arrest. More overtime means Mr. Policeman makes more money, which means we pay more taxes, the government gets larger and more powerful, and your freedoms diminish. Which is all fine and dandy, until you find yourself going for a ride in a police car and requiring an attorney.

Any judge that proposes this should decide what they really want to be: Judges, Police Officers, or Politicians. Attention Judges: If you want to be a police officer and fight crime, go take a fitness test and enter the police academy. If you’re not happy with the laws of the state and feel compelled to change them, go schmooze, collect money, and run for a higher political office. If you want to remain a judge, then go back to the Bill of Rights, the Florida Constitution, the Florida Statutes and READ THEM. Pay specific attention to the 5th and 14th amendment

Just my humble thoughts.

Copyright (c) 2011, Law Office of Roger P. Foley

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley,P.A.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Florida Tickets and Suspensions

Most people do not know what will happen to their Florida license if they receive a ticket in another state. This is understandable because traffic compacts between states are not uniform and can be complicated. There are Non-Resident Violators Comapcts, Drivers License Compacts, and the National Driver Register, each of which have varying rules and requirements.

Florida has adopted the Non-Resident Violators Compact (NRVC) and the Drivers License Compact (DLC). Under these compacts, the "other state" a ticket is received in will send the "home state" the ticket information and it will be added to the "home state's" driving record. The information sent to the "home state" has to identify the person convicted, describe the violation, and indicate what kind of plea was entered.

This means that when a person who holds a Florida license receives a ticket in another state and it is reported to Florida, that person will receive points in Florida (if the ticket is one for which points would be assessed pursuant to chapter 322 of the Florida Statutes). On top of that, Florida does not allow any school or program to remove points for a ticket received in another state. So, while you're driving on your family vacation and you get busted for speeding, you may be taking those points home with you if you admit guilt in the other state, and there isn't a whole lot you can do about it after the fact.

Florida will also suspend your Florida license if you fail to pay a ticket reported by another state and it is not dismissed by that state.

Drivers license issues are sometimes a little more complicated than they may first seem and we all know how difficult it is to be stuck without a license. This is why it's important to contact qualified attorneys to review your ticket options.

Copyright (c) 2011, Law Office of Roger P. Foley

The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley,P.A.