Top 5 Crimes in Florida

Getting to know your state can be hugely beneficial. And while it is great to know the best tourist destinations and where to get the best sushi, for your safety and well-being it is also a good idea to learn about the crime statistics for the state. Here you can learn about the top five crimes that are committed in the state of Florida, as well as the potential consequences of each of those crimes.

If you are ever arrested for one of these crimes, it is best to hire a Florida defense attorney for help. They will be able to ensure you get the quality defense that you need and deserve.

Aggravated Assault

This crime is more serious than a standard assault charge because it includes a weapon and the intent to seriously injure or kill someone else. This is considered a felony charge that may result in up to a $5,000 fine and five years in prison.

DUI Charges

Even though there is a great deal of information available and advocacy groups to help those struggling with alcoholism, it is a problem that plagues the nation. If you are caught while driving under the influence in the state of Florida, then you could potentially receive a serious punishment. The sentence you receive will be based on the total number of offenses you have had in the past, and if anyone was injured or if you damaged someone else’s property.

Assault

Assault doesn’t always mean that you have touched someone; provocation or harassment may also lead to a person spending time in jail with a charge of assault. The punishment you receive will range, based on the specifics of your unique case. However, in many cases, the assault charge may be increased to a more severe crime, such as attempted murder.

Theft

According to crime statistics, theft is a very serious problem in the state of Florida. It is estimated that an average of one theft occurs every minute, and the actual monetary value of the theft has an impact on the outcome in court. These types of cases including misappropriation, property theft and others.

Drug Crimes

Just like a number of other states in the U.S., Florida has quite a few issues with drug crimes. However, this is an extremely broad category and includes everything from large scale trafficking to small-time possession. Additionally, the punishments and sentences handed down for drug charges can be severe, such as years spent in prison, lengthy probation periods and hefty fines.

The fact remains that there are serious and lengthy sentences that can be instituted for the crimes listed here. The outcome of a case is dependent on several factors, and there is no guarantee of what may happen in the court room.

If you have been charged with a crime, it is a good idea to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Florida. You can contact the attorneys at Stokes Law by calling 727-954-0186.

Florida’s DUI Punishment is Costly

The state of Florida has some severe penalties in place – even for the first-time DUI defendant. Those penalties involve both administrative and criminal consequences.

The administrative penalties include a license suspension for at least six months, which could go to a year depending on blood alcohol level (BAC).If there is a minor in the car when stopped the driver will have their privilege to drive suspended for 9 months or more, or it may even be revoked.

A BAC of .08% (.02% for a driver under 21) makes the driver legally drunk in the eyes of the law.Reinstating the driver’s license requires payment of fines along with an administrative fee of $130and the driver will be required to pass a DUI course. Depending upon the specific details of the incident, anignitioninterlock device may be installed, and there is a fee for that as well.

Criminal Penalties

The criminal penalties are proof that the state of Florida takes DUI very seriously. Possible jail time can be incurred – up to nine months, depending on whether a minor was in the car or the BAC was .15% or above. Fines can range from $500 to $2,000 depending the on who is present in the car and BAC of the driver.

Once convicted, the driver will have to serve 50 hours of community service, probation, and impoundment of thevehicle for 10 days. The penalties for a second or third DUI get even more expensive, and it takes a lot more than just money to get back on the road.

Vehicle Impoundment

During the impoundment, the car is impounded and made immobile for a period of ten days. This can be a major problem but there may be a possible solution. If it can be demonstrated that a family member needs the vehicle to get to work or it is the only means of transportation, the probation officer or judge can waive this part of the punishment. It can also be waived if the vehicle is used in a business and an employee needs to use it to keep the business going

Once the defendant gets past the initial period of impoundment, it may be possible to get a hardship license to allow them to get to and from work. This requires an ignition interlock device that is used to prove you aren’t under the influence while using the car. This device will even call for another sample while driving to make sure someone else hasn’t breathed into the device for the driver when they first started the car.

Thereare potential scenarios where the person convicted can’t get a hardship license. If this is the case, the driver will incur additional travel expenses, such as using ride sharing services or public transportation. The expenseincurred is far worse for those who need their license for their job. Truck drivers, taxi drivers, and delivery drivers can all lose their primary source of income due to a DUI conviction. Even train operators will not be allowed to operate a train with a suspended driver’s license.

Anyone facing a DUI must have an attorney with them to represent them to the court and get the best possible outcome for their case.At the Stokes Law firm,our criminal law experts have many years of combined experience dealing with DUI cases.

If you are facing a DUI, contact us today for a consultation. Stating the case for a hardship usage of the vehicle for work and waiving the impoundment requirement are just two things that our lawyers canwork to make happen for a first-time defendant. Our legal team will also explore potential options to get your charges and subsequent fines reduced – or even eliminated – to minimize the hardship you’ll face as a result of a DUI charge.

Determining Child Custody in Florida

Although most people are accustomed to thinking in terms of “custody” and “visitation,” Florida law does not use that terminology. Instead, Florida courts determine parental responsibility and time sharing. While the factors considered in making these determinations are similar to those applied in the old “custody and visitation” system, the new language reflects the view that both parents remain responsible for their children after separation, divorce, or whatever circumstances have led them to seek a court order.

The goal, under Florida law, is to preserve the children’s relationships with both parents and encourage the parents to continue to share responsibility, unless one of those relationships would be harmful to the children. In fact, the statute explicitly states:

It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.

Parental Responsibility in Florida

“Parental responsibility” describes the parents’ right and obligation to make decisions and take action on behalf of the children in areas such as education and medical care. By default, parental responsibility is shared. The court may grant full parental responsibility to one parent and exclude the other only on a finding that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. The court may, however, grant decision-making power in a particular area to one parent.

This division of responsibility may arise out of an agreement between the parents, or may be ordered by the court to avoid anticipated conflicts. For example, if one parent has taken the child to see a therapist to help him or her adjust to the changes brought about by divorce and the other parent does not believe in this type of therapy, the court may place discretion in the hands of one parent to prevent deadlock or repeated conflict.

By law, both parents have access to school records, medical records, and other similar information unless the court has specifically revoked that right. This access is not dependent on parental responsibility.

Time Sharing in Florida Custody Cases

Time sharing is Florida’s current approach to what was once known as physical custody and visitation. In simplest terms, time-sharing arrangements determine how much time each parent has with the children and when. The primary consideration in determining a time-sharing schedule will be the best interest of the children. The best interests analysis takes many factors into account, including:

  • The ability and inclination of each parent to maintain a relationship with the child or children
  • Each parent’s mental and physical health
  • Each parent’s “moral fitness”
  • The caretaking responsibilities of each parent prior to the separation
  • Any history of domestic violence or other abuse
  • The stability of each parent’s environment
  • The reasonable preferences of a child the court determines to be of sufficient intelligent, experience and understanding to express a preference
  • Substance abuse issues involving either parent or their environments

Every Child Custody Case is Different

Although the statute creates a presumption in favor of shared parental responsibility and shared parenting time, the final determination will be based on what is best for the children. Since every marriage, every divorce, and every parent-child relationship is different, the analysis will vary from case to case. Contact us at Stokes Law today, as an experienced child custody attorney can be your best source of information about what you can expect in terms of parenting responsibility and time sharing, and how you can positively impact the outcome of your case.

The sooner you get professional guidance, the better. Just call (727) 954-0186right now, or fill out our contact form to request a consultation.