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      Joel Leppard

      Don’t Drive While Intexticated

      150 150 Joel Leppard

      Everyone knows that texting and driving is extremely dangerous. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, “each day in the United States more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver.” Nevertheless, some of us just can’t resist the urge to send that important text while on the road. But it might be time to reconsider. Texting and driving not only forces you to take your eyes off the road, but also causes you to remove your hands from the wheel.




      This is where commitment devices come in. Commitment devices are techniques that make it easier for us to kick unwanted habits and commit to those habits we need to make stronger. For example, say my mom is allergic to peanuts, but she loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I suggest, why not just have a jelly sandwich, only to receive the reply, “What’s a PB&J without peanut butter?” A strong retort indeed; however, this behavior can be easier to eliminate with the help of a commitment device. In this scenario, that might involve making my dad hide the peanut butter so my mother won’t be tempted to eat it.


      So how does a commitment device apply to texting and driving? Well, there are a ton of apps out there that can help keep you from texting and driving by preventing you from turning on a text app when your car is in motion. Some apps lock your phone; others will put your phone on silent mode. In any case, using these “commitment apps” can help you stay focused on the road and avoid being distracted. You can find a few of these apps posted below. Remember, it might take just a second to check a text, but in the same amount of time a life can be lost or devastated.


      iOS apps:

      DriveSafe Mode


      Parental control- for No Text and Drive


      LifeSafer-Distracted Driving



      Android apps:





      Best DUI Attorney Orlando

      PRESS RELEASE: Joel Leppard Tops List as #1 Best DUI Attorney in Orlando, #2 DUI Lawyer in Florida by National DUI Attorney Consumer Ranking Service

      1024 576 Joel Leppard

      This month, Orlando DUI attorney Joel Leppard was selected as the #1 Top Best DUI attorney in Orlando by, a national DUI attorney ranking service. also selected Joel Leppard as the second best DUI attorney in the entire State of Florida in 2016. Joel Leppard is the founder of Leppard Law, a Central Florida law firm dedicated to providing each case the time, attention and skillful representation that it needs

      The national DUI attorney locator service “is dedicated to providing a comprehensive list of DWI/DUI attorneys to best fit the needs of each case.” In choosing Joel Leppard as the Best Orlando DUI attorney, the attorney ranking service “searches for lawyers who are experienced at handling DWI and DUI cases“ and look for “attorneys who teach DWI and DUI law, who are actively studying breath analyzers for the flaws they have present in them even today, and/or for those who serve on boards or are members of organizations who specialize in DWI defense.”

      Unlike many professional awards, did not solicit membership or marketing fees from Joel Leppard when naming him the top DUI lawyer in Orlando, relying instead on its own selection criteria. “Best DWI Attorney’s approach to providing impartial, and unrecompensed information is an extremely effective way for consumers to access unbiased information when selecting a Orlando DUI attorney,” says Joel Leppard. “I am humbled to receive this recognition and only serves to motivate me to work even harder for my clients.”Best Orlando DUI attorney

      Michael Kennedy, an attorney associated with Leppard Law, says the award is “well-deserved” and believes that Joel Leppard “is an outstanding Orlando DUI attorney who goes above and beyond to ensure his clients get the representation they deserve.”

      Joel Leppard’s best Orlando drunk driving lawyer ranking also comes on the heels of recent awards by other well-known national lawyer rating services. The law firm recently named to’s “2016 Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando.” Currently, Leppard Law also tops Yelp’s 2017 list of Best Orlando DUI lawyers.

      AvvoJoel Leppard Avvo Clients Choice Award 2016 in Criminal Defense, a national attorney rating service, which awarded attorney Leppard with the “Client’s Choice” award for Criminal Defense in both 2015 and 2016. Orlando attorney Joel Leppard received this prestigious accolade based on the number, quality and breadth of client testimonials associated with his profile. This prestigious award is presented to attorneys who receive five star ratings from their clients on, the world’s largest online attorney rating and review service. Avvo also rates Mr. Leppard as a “Superb” attorney, with a perfect 10.0 out of 10.0 rating scale.

      In 2015, Central Florida criminal defense attorney Joel Leppard was selected to be a member of the prestigious National College of DUI Defense and has defended thousands of Central Florida residents who were accused of crimes. He is also the author of the Florida DUI defense manual entitled “The Florida Consumer Guide to DUI Defense.”

      Joel takes pride in treating every client’s legal problems as if they were his own. As of the writing of this article, he has all five star reviews on Facebook, Thumbtack, Google and Yelp. With a “Superb” Avvo rating and a passion for helping those with legal problems, Joel is grateful and honored to serve so many worthy and incredible clients. He looks forward to continuing to do so for the remainder of 2016.

      More information about Joel Leppard and Leppard Law can be found at their website at Leppard Law is also on Facebook, Google + and Twitter. The firm is conveniently located in downtown Orlando at 638 Broadway Ave., Orlando, FL 32803 and called or texted at 407-476-4111.

      Schedule a free consultation

      AVVO-badge1 Joel Leppard wins Avvo Clients Choice Award 2015 in Criminal Defense DUI Attorney OrlandoTop 40 Under 40 Joel Leppard, Leppard Law (alternate logo)

      Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Taylor Swift

      Did Kim and Kanye commit felony crimes by secretly recording Taylor Swift?

      1024 576 Joel Leppard


      While some eyes are glued to the GOP convention, others are watching the Kanye West / Taylor Swift feud go down. The dispute concerns whether or not Ms. Swift pre-approved of some disparaging lyrics in Kanye’s new single “Famous.” To clear the air
      , Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian posted a secretly recorded conversation between Kanye and Taylor Swift.

      However, the State of California, like Florida, is a “two party consent” state–

      meaning that it is a crime to secretly record someone without Taylor_Swift-Kim_Kardashian-Kanye_West_2their permission. This does not apply to recording in public, but normally does apply to private conversations, such as a phone call — a California appellate court has ruled that this statute applies to the use of hidden video cameras to record conversations as well. See California v. Gibbons, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1204 (Cal Ct. App. 1989). If, this happened in Florida, Kim Kardashian and Kanye could face felony charges with up to 5 years in prison, 5 years probation or a $5,000 fine.

      If either “Kimye” or the “Tay Dizzle” were in California when the secret recording took place, the famous duo could be facing a criminal fine of up to $2,500 and/or imprisonment for up to a year (misdemeanor). In addition, Kim/Kanye could be sued in civil court and may be subject to civil liability in the amount of $5,000 or three times the amount of any actual damages sustained as a result. Most people don’t know that it’s a felony in Florida to record someone without their knowledge– so be careful! Read a history of the Snap-gate Kim/Kanye & Taylor beef here for a Buzzfeed article. 


      Questions to ask your potential lawyer

      Questions To Ask Your Potential Lawyer

      1024 576 Joel Leppard

      Deciding on a lawyer can be an extremely difficult and oftentimes daunting task. How do you know what to ask, and who will best fit your legal needs? Before you decide on a lawyer to handle your case, you want to have a list of questions to discuss during your free or low-cost consultation.

      Below are nine questions to ask your potential attorney before making your choice.

      1. What is your education, work experience and practice areas?

      2. How long have you practiced law in the State of Florida?

      3. Have you won any awards or other industry recognition?

      4. Have you ever been sanctioned for, or accused of, attorney misconduct?5. Can you provide me with reviews and references from former clients and other attorneys familiar with your work?

      6. What is your plan for my case?7. How long do you estimate this case will take?

      8. What is my role and responsibilities?

      9. What are the fees and expenses?

      Call (407) 476-4111 for a free consultation to determine if you are a good fit for our firm.

      Joel Leppard, winner of Avvo Client Choice Award

      Congratulations to Joel Leppard for being named Avvo Client’s Choice Award Winner for 2016, the second year in a row

      1024 576 Joel Leppard

      Orlando attorney Joel Leppard received this prestigious accolade based on the number, quality and breadth of client testimonials associated with his profile. This prestigious award is presented to attorneys who receive the highest ratings from their clients on, the world’s largest online attorney rating and review service. The Avvo reviews praise Joel for his confidence, his knowledge of the law, his attentiveness, his quick response time, and his dedication to his clients. The reviews also mention that he gets results, even when other attorneys are willing to give up. Here is a recent example.

      Avvo has also given Joel a rating of “Superb” based on client reviews, over 25 attorney endorsements and his professional record.

      Joel takes pride in treating every client’s legal problems as if they were his own. He has all five star reviews on Facebook, Google + and Yelp.  With a “Superb” Avvo rating and a passion for helping those with legal problems, Joel is grateful and honored to serve so many worthy and incredible clients. He looks forward to continuing to do so for the remainder of 2016!

      Call (407) 476-4111 for a free consultation!

      Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice.

      Leppard Law - Best DUI Attorney Orlando

      DUI “Counterattack School” Class Information

      1024 576 Joel Leppard


      All those convicted of a DUI must enroll and complete a DUI Counterattack course (also known as DUI School or DUI Counter attack school).  Many of my clients are curious about what the DUI class entails.  The following information is typed almost verbatim from a 3 page DUI Counterattack School Florida Safety Council handout.  I hope you find this helpful! -Attorney Joel Leppard

      Page 1 – Evaluation/Class Assignment Receipt

      In order to satisfactorily complete the DUI Program you must attend all scheduled class sessions, complete all homework, attend all evaluation appointments and pay all fees. You will not receive a certificate of completion until you meet all these requirements and must complete all requirements within 90 days.

      If you are seen to be or test to be under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or if you test at any level on an alcohol breath test or refuse to comply with a test, you will be asked to leave the class or evaluation. Per Florida Statute, you will be required to pay 100% of the enrollment fees and be required to begin the enrollment process again.

      In order to avoid a penalty for failure to make your evaluation or class appointment, you must contact the program in person no less than five business days prior to the appointment. With good cause, this program will allow you to reschedule to up 48 hours after your appointment. If you are ill and under a doctor’s or dentist’s care. If there is a serious illness or death in your immediate family, or if you are involved in a natural disaster, you will be rescheduled without additional charge: however, you will need to bring documentation to verify your absence or conflicting court dates or jail.

      DUI photo

      Evaluation information (your date, time and evaluator will be listed here):

      1. If you fail to attend this appointment, you will be charged a penalty fee as required by Florida Statute. Late or absent fees in the 90 days after enrollment are $75 for the first occurrence and $153 for the second.       If you fail to return for your evaluation within 90 days of your first enrollment date, you will forfeit all fees and will have to begin the enrollment process again.
      2. If you are 5 minutes or more late for your appointment, you will not be seen and penalties for absence will be incurred.
      3. If checked, you MUST bring the following information to your evaluation appointment. Failure to have this documentation will be considered an absence and penalties, as outlined above, will apply (these have lines in front of them, not letters as the auto-format is putting below):
        1. Copy of breath/blood alcohol results, or documentation of refusal
        2. Proof of social Security and driver license numbers
        3. A copy of your probable cause/arrest affidavit
        4. A copy of your court order (if applicable)

      Class information (your class dates and times, along with the room number will be listed here):

      1. All classes start on time. Once roll is taken, no one will be admitted to class.       If you miss a class because you are late, you have to reschedule and complete the entire class schedule with no credit for sessions attended.
      2. If you miss any class session, you will be required to begin the class again, from session one. You will not receive credit for classes attended.       You will be charged a reset fee unless you can document “good cause” as defined above. Reset fees are established by Statute and are:       Level 2 — $60 (1st); $120 (2nd); $238 (3rd) and Level 1 — $40 (1st); $75 (2nd); $153 (3rd).
      3. If you fail to attend class and do not reschedule your class within 90 days of your original ENROLLMENT date, you will forfeit all fees paid and begin the enrollment process again.       Notice of this failure is sent to DHSMV. If you refuse to comply with all class requirements or are disruptive in the class, you will be asked to leave and will forfeit all fees and be required to completely re-enroll.

      (This ends the first page, where it shows when your 90th day is, your receipt number and the fee you have paid for the class. You are then required to sign and date the first page.)

      Page 2 – DUI Program Rules and Regulations

      General Information

      All fees must be paid prior to receiving a class schedule.

      Failure to provide accurate information may result in additional program requirements and additional fees. Please be honest.

      You must be alcohol and drug free for all appointments, including registration.

      Per Administrative Rule, a DUI Program may refuse to enroll any person who is unwilling to comply with the rules and procedures of the program or who is unwilling to make a full disclosure for purposes of an evaluation.

      Evaluation Requirements

      Florida Statutes require a substance abuse evaluation of anyone enrolled in a DUI Program. This evaluation will be accomplished in part by having you complete questions concerning your drinking and/or drug use habits, questions about your personal life, and questions about your DUI history. If you have any questions about these forms, you may speak with an enrollment officer.

      The DUI Program is State certified to provide DUI education programs and complete DUI evaluations. All Evaluators, SSS Evaluators and Instructors are State certified and are under direct Clinical Supervision. After completing paperwork, you will be given an appointment with a State certified Evaluator who will complete various forms that relate to your responses.

      A determination will be made if referral to a DCF licensed (or exempt by Statute) substance abuse treatment program will be required. There will be additional fees for this treatment as outlined in Florida Statutes.

      90 Day Completion Requirement

      Per Administrative Rule, any client who returns to the program more than ninety (90) days after the original enrollment to complete all or part of the program will have to re-enroll completely, including payment of all program fees. The following requirements must be completed within the 90 day period:

      1. Enrollment paperwork
      2. An evaluation with a State certified DUI evaluator
      3. An appropriate, mandated DUI education program.

      If you fail to complete any part of these requirements within the 90 day time period, you will forfeit all fees and will not receive credit for any component completed.

      Per Administrative Rule, anyone entering the DUI Program (voluntarily, court ordered or as a requirement of DHSMV) is required to complete the educational requirements and obtain an evaluation within 90 days of enrollment. If your DUI conviction is dropped or dismissed but your Administrative Suspension remains valid, you must still complete the DUI Program within 90 days. Failure to do so may result in a notice of cancellation to DHSMV and repayment of the full fee upon re-enrollment.

      Class Completion Requirements

      1. Attendance at all classes, on time and in sequence.
      2. No alcohol or other drug use within 24 hours of class.
      3. Completion of all assignments.
      4. Payment of all fees.

      If you receive a class schedule prior to completion of your evaluation, you will not receive a certificate of completion until you complete all components of the DUI Program.

      Transfer to Other DUI Programs

      You must attend a DUI Program in the county where you work, live or attend school. You may transfer your DUI requirements from or to this office to comply with this requirement. Failure to complete official transfer paperwork may complicate your completion of the DUI Program. The transfer fee is $25.

      Orange County Florida Safety Council Location:

      Florida Safety Council Driving Under Influence

      Florida Safety Council
      1505 E. Colonial Dr.
      Orlando, FL32803

      Page 3 – DUI Program Rules and Regulations continued…

      Confidentiality Requirements

      The confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse records is maintained by this office in accordance with Federal Law 42 CFR (Part 2) as well as State requirements. This program may not say to any outside person that you attend this program or disclose any information which identifies you as an alcohol or drug client unless:

      1. The client consents in writing.
      2. The disclosure is allowed by Court order.
      3. Information regarding child abuse or neglect is obtained.
      4. The disclosure is made to medical personnel in a medical emergency or to qualified personnel for research, audit, or program evaluation.

      Information concerning any alcohol or drug client may not be used to criminally investigate or prosecute that client. Violation of confidentiality is a crime.

      Program Fees:

      ALL Program fees are non-refundable. Complete Program fees, including reset fees, are posted in the enrollment area and appear below.

      If you come to your evaluation appointment or to any scheduled class under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or are uncooperative or disruptive and asked to leave evaluation or class, you will be required to pay ALL FEES AGAIN, per Florida Statute. In cases of documented financial need, a fee reduction or payment plan may be available.

      Grievance Procedure

      Any individual who wishes to file a grievance regarding services may do so in writing within 30 days of the date of service delivery. Correspondence should be directed to the Director of the DUI program at the address listed on this form. Client rights violations may be reported to DUI Programs Office.

      Additional Information Required prior to your evaluation:

      1. A copy of your arrest ticket which indicated B.A.L.
      2. A copy of your probable cause/arrest affidavit.
      3. If applicable, a copy of your court order
      4. One form of ID.


      Level One enrollment:

      $233 (Includes $5 DRI fee) *Note: online registration adds a $7 fee for a total of $240.*

      Level Two enrollment:

      $363 (Includes $5 DRI fee)

      Class Reassignment: Level One

      $40      1st reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $75      2nd reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $153    3rd reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $233    Any class reassignment more than 90 days after enrollment

      Class Reassignment: Level Two

      $60      1st reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $120    2nd reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $238    3rd reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $363    Any class reassignment more than 90 days after enrollment

      Evaluation Reassignment: Level One

      $75      1st reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $153    2nd reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $233    Any evaluation reassignment more than 90 days after enrollment

      Evaluation Reassignment: Level Two

      $75      1st reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $153    2nd reassignment within 90 days of enrollment

      $363    Any evaluation reassignment more than 90 days after enrollment


      Evaluation not associated with DUI Program enrollment $150

      Transfer fee                                                                                       $25

      Administrative refund fee                                                                  $25

      Processing referral to different treatment agency fee                      $15

      State assessment fee                                                                        $15

      Duplicate certificate fee                                                                    $5

      Per page copy fee                                                                              $.25


      The driving record can be ordered at cost through the Florida Safety Council office ($19.95). Please call for driving record prices. The driving record must be under 30 days old and reflect lifetime record.

      This is the end of page 3, which ends the rules and regulations, and you have to sign and date that you understand and received the rules.

      If you’re curious about the costs of a DUI in Florida, please click here. 

      If you have any questions about the charge of Driving Under the Influence, contact Leppard Law at 407-476-4111 with any questions about your DUI.

      Why Civil Rights Are Important

      150 150 Joel Leppard

      The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Foster v. Chatman, a death penalty case where prosecutors excluded every African-American from the jury pool based upon bogus pretexts. The prosecutors even circled the race of the African-American jurors and highlighted the African-Americans as “definite NOs.”  The prosecution excluded one African-American woman because her age was so close to the defendant but she was 15 years younger and the prosecutors included 8 white jurors whose age was close to the defendant. There are many more examples like that, you can read more about Justice Sotomayor and the jury selection bias case here.

      In Florida, a 2000-2010 study of juries in Sarasota and Lake Counties found that 1) juries formed from all-white jury pools are 16 percentage points (or 22.7% more likely)  to convict black defendants than white defendants, and 2) this gap in conviction rates is entirely eliminated when the jury pool includes at least one black member.   See “The Impact of Jury Race in Criminal Trials” for more information.

      Along the same vein, in the New Jim Crow Chapter 5, Michelle Alexander argues that the mass disfranchisement of largely minority felons is akin to the poll taxes, literacy tests and other forms of racially motivated voter suppression utilized after the Civil War.  If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s an eye opening read. (Amazon link here.)

      I think a big takeaway from these example is how important it is to get disenfranchised Persons of Color back in the jury pools.  However, here in Florida we have moved in the opposite direction in the past five years.  In 2010, Gov. Rick Scott reimposed the lifelong denial of civil rights to convicted felons, unless pardoned by the Governor himself.  Florida law is unique, insofar as the convicted felon must be pardoned by the Governor and a majority of the publicly elected State Cabinet in order to restore one’s civil rights after being convicted of a felony (and pretty much everything is a felony these days). It’s so bad that the UN is convening a panel to determine if the U.S. is violating international civil rights standards set forth in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).  If you are interested in helping, the ACLU is working toward reinstating automatic restoration of civil rights and you can sign their petition in support of voting rights here.

      Justice photo

      New Cybersecurity Bill Passed by Senate Creates Privacy Concerns

      150 150 Joel Leppard


      A new bill called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) was passed by the Senate on Tuesday. Its main goal is to stop hackers by getting companies to share information with the federal government about any cyber attacks they face. Basically, CISA works by works by letting companies share “cyber threat indicators” with the Department of Homeland Security, which then sends out a red alert to warn other people of the threat.

      You may be thinking: Don’t companies already have initiatives in place to share threat information? Yes. But what makes CISA different is that Homeland Security can now share the report with the National Security Agency and other spy agencies.

      One huge concern is that nowhere in the bill does it say customers’ personally identifiable information has to be left out of the report. In fact, of the countless amendments made to the bill, one necessary amendment that actually failed on Tuesday would have made it mandatory to remove that information before a company could share information about threats.

      Here’s another catch: Although a company’s cooperation in sharing information is voluntary, the bill gives companies a nice incentive to do so by eliminating legal liability. For example, if a company ends up sharing too much information about its customers, it won’t have to worry about private lawsuits or antitrust laws.

      CISA opposers believe that the bill ignores the goal of encouraging companies to increase their cybersecurity standards and puts more responsibility on a “generalized public-private secret information sharing network.” In other words, opponents say CISA creates a new law in the wrong places.

      Learn more here:

      Florida’s Harsh 10-20-Life Law on the Road to Reform

      150 150 Joel Leppard


      Florida’s harsh 10-20-Life mandatory minimum sentencing law is on a long road to reform, but small steps are being taken to give judges more authority in certain cases.

      The 10-20-Life law strictly punishes anyone who is in possession of or actually uses a firearm while committing a crime by imposing a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, 20 years, or 25 years to life depending on the nature of the crime. For example, if a person simply pulled out a weapon while committing a crime, he or she would have to serve 10 years in jail regardless of the circumstances.

      One example of why the 10-20-Life law is too harsh is the August 2010 case involving Marissa Alexander. Alexander shot what she called a warning shot near her ex-husband, who was physically abusive towards her and sent her threatening text messages. The shot did not hurt her ex-husband, yet Alexander was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm. Under the 10-20-Life law, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison despite having no criminal past. Fortunately, after serving just 3 years in prison, Alexander was released due to a faulty jury instruction in her case.

      Although things ended well for Alexander, this is not the typical outcome in most cases. That is why the proposal of a new bill (HB 135) by Florida legislators is a great step in the right direction.  The bill, called the Self-Defense Protection Act, makes exceptions to certain mandatory minimum sentences if the defendant had a justifiable reason to use a firearm.

      The bill will not eliminate the entire problem, of course. Some defendants will still be harshly punished under the 10-20-Life law because judges cannot change the sentence to match circumstances, but at least progress is being made and judges will be able to act fairly in the cases in which it applies.

      Learn more here:

      Supreme Court Case Could Result in Change in Florida’s Death-Penalty Laws

      150 150 Joel Leppard

      Florida, Delaware and Alabama are the only states that do not require a unanimous jury decision when sentencing someone to death.  A U.S. Supreme Court case with a ruling expected in 2016, however, could change Florida’s death penalty procedure.

      Timothy Hurst, a man currently on Death Row for murder, is appealing his death sentence. Jurors in his case recommended death by a 7-5 vote, but Hurst’s attorneys argue that allowing this sentence without a unanimous jury is a violation of Hurst’s Sixth Amendment rights.

      The sentencing of hundreds of other people on Florida’s Death Row could be impacted if the Supreme Court rules in favor of Hurst. Former Jacksonville State Attorney Harry Shorstein said the impact of the issue could be avoided if it is fixed legislatively instead of in court.

      Legislation that would change the law to require a unanimous jury recommendation of death has already been introduced into the Florida House and Senate, however. The issue with both bills is that they have been sponsored by Democrats, and the majority of people in the Florida House and Senate are Republican.

      Rep. Rob Bradley, who is on the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, does not believe legislation regarding the death penalty is likely to pass during the 2016 legislative session. He voted for a similar bill in 2015, but the legislation went nowhere in the House.

      Bradley personally believes that the Supreme Court will deem Florida’s sentencing procedures unconstitutional in the Hurst case, which makes it more likely that the issue will be dealt with in the 2017 regular session.

      For more information, please read:

      Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!