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Joel Leppard

Joel Leppard is Orlando #1 Best DUI Attorney - BEST DWI .net https___best-dwi-attorneys.net_dui_florida_orlando_ (PNG file) Leppard Law Top Orlando DUI attorney (Joel Leppard only shown)

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

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This month, Orlando DUI lawyer Joel Leppard was selected as the #1 Top Best DUI attorney in Orlando by Best-DWI-Attorneys.net, a national DUI attorney ranking service. Best-DWI-Attorneys.net 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 DUI lawyer in Orlando, 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, Best-DWI-Attorneys.net 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 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.”Orlando DUI lawyer, 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 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 Expertise.com’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 Avvo.com, 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 www.LeppardLaw.com. 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 Top 40 Under 40 Joel Leppard, Leppard Law (alternate logo)

Questions to ask your potential lawyer

Questions To Ask Your Potential Lawyer

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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.

Definitions of Commonly Used Terms in Criminal Law

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Acquittal – A release, absolution, or discharge of an obligation or liability. Commonly in criminal law, this can happen when a jury finds a defendant not guilty of a criminal charge.
Adjudication – Giving or pronouncing a judgment or decree; the judgment given. This term is common used when a judge finds and adjudicates a defendant “Guilty.”
Adjudication Withheld – A court decision at any point after filing charges to continue court jurisdiction but stop short of conviction. The court will not reopen unless the person violates a condition of behavior.
Affidavit – A written declaration of facts, confirmed by oath of the party making it before a person with authority to administer the oath.
Affirmed – In the practice of appellate courts, the word means that the decision of the trial court is upheld.
Appeal – A proceeding brought to a higher court to review a lower court decision.
Arraignment – The hearing at which the accused is brought before the court to plead to the criminal charge in the indictment, affidavit, or citation. He/She may plead “guilty,” “not guilty,” or where permitted “nolo contendere.” (See Preliminary Hearing.)
Bond – A written agreement by which a person insures he/she will pay a certain sum of money if he does not perform certain duties properly. (See Cash Bond and Surety Bond.)
Capital crime – A crime punishable by death.
Cash Bond – A written agreement in which a defendant, or another person on the defendant’s behalf, ensures he/she will perform duties as outlined by the Court while awaiting trial by depositing bail money (cash) with an authorized official equal to the bail bond set by the Court.
Citation – A writ or order issued by a court or law enforcement agency commanding the person named therein to appear at the time and place named; the written reference to legal authorities, precedents, reported cases, etc., in briefs or other legal documents.
Concurrent sentences – Sentences for more than one crime that are to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other.
Consecutive sentences – Successive sentences, one beginning at the expiration of another, imposed against a person convicted of two or more violations.
Conviction – A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.
Court Appointed Counsel – Government lawyer who provides legal defense services to a person accused of a crime who cannot afford a private attorney. The defendant must be declared indigent and is responsible for paying an application fee and any reduced legal fees assessed by the Court. See also Public Defender.
Defendant – The person charged with a crime in a criminal prosecution.
Extradition – The surrender of an accused criminal by one state to the jurisdiction of another.
Felony – A serious criminal offense. Under Florida law, it is any offense punishable by
imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or death.
Grand Jury – A jury of inquiry whose duty it is to receive complaints and accusations in criminal matters and if appropriate issue a formal indictment.
Hearing Officer – (also known as a Magistrate) Judicial officer exercising some of the functions
of a judge.
Judgment – The official and authentic decision of a court of justice upon the rights and claims of parties to an action or suit submitted to the court for determination.
Jurisdiction – The power or authority of a court to hear and try a case; the geographic area in which a court has power or the types of cases it has power to hear.
Jury – A certain number of citizens selected according to law and sworn to try a question of fact or indict a person for a public offense.
Lien – An official claim against property for payment of a debt or an amount owed for services rendered.
Magistrate – (also known as a hearing officer) Judicial officer exercising some of the functions of a judge.
Misdemeanor – A criminal offense lesser than a felony and generally punishable by fine or by imprisonment other than in a penitentiary. Includes criminal traffic violations.
Motion – A request made to a court or judge which requests a ruling or order in favor of the applicant.
No True Bill – This phrase, endorsed by a grand jury on the written indictment submitted to it for its approval, means that the evidence was found insufficient to indict.
No Bill or Notice of No Information – Issued by the State Attorney when the charges against a defendant are dropped prior to formal charges being filed by the State.
Nolo Contendere (No Contest) – A plea made by a defendant to a criminal charge, meaning he/she will not contest the charge, allowing the judge to find him/her guilty. This is also known as a “plea of no contest.”
Nolle Prosequi – This Latin phrase means that the prosecution or State Attorney will no longer prosecute the criminal case. In some circumstances, the case can be again be brought up for prosecution.
Non-jury trial – Trial before the court but without a jury; also known as a “bench trial” –which is a reference to a judge’s “bench.”
Opinion – A judge’s written explanation of a decision of the court or of a majority of judges.
Order – A mandate, command, or direction authoritatively given. Direction of a court or judge
made in writing.
Ordinance – A rule established by authority; may be a municipal statute of a city council or a county statute of a county commission, regulating such matters as zoning, building, safety, matters of municipality, etc. An ordinance violation can be criminal or non-criminal. A violation could be punishable by a court appearance, a fine, and possibly by confinement in a county jail.
Plea – The written or verbal response by an accused defendant to each charge of the commission of a crime. The defendant’s answer to the charges made in the indictment or information.
Preliminary hearing – (also preliminary examination) A hearing by a judge to determine whether a person charged with a crime should be held for trial. (See Arraignment.)
Pretrial Conference – Conference among the opposing attorneys and the judge called at the discretion of the court to narrow the issues to be tried and to make a final effort to settle the case without a trial.
Pretrial Diversion – The process of removing some minor criminal, traffic, or juvenile cases from the full judicial process, on the condition that the accused undergo some sort of rehabilitation or make restitution for damages.
Probable cause – A reasonable belief that a crime has or is being committed; the typical basis for lawful searches, seizures, and arrests.
Probation – An alternative to imprisonment allowing a person found guilty of an offense to stay in the community, usually under conditions and under the supervision of a probation officer. A violation of probation can lead to its revocation and to imprisonment.
Prosecutor – A trial lawyer representing the government in a criminal case and the interests of the state in civil matters. In criminal cases, the prosecutor has the responsibility of deciding who and when to prosecute. They are also known as a State Attorney.
Public Defender – Government lawyer who provides legal defense services to a person accused of a crime who cannot afford a private attorney. The defendant must be declared indigent and is responsible for paying an application fee and any reduced legal fees assessed by the Court.
Recuse – The process by which a judge is disqualified from hearing a case, on his or her own motion or upon the objection of either party.
Regional Counsel – (also known as the Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel)
Government lawyer who provides legal defense services to a person accused of a crime who cannot afford a private attorney. The defendant must be declared indigent and is responsible for paying an application fee and any reduced legal fees assessed by the Court.
Released on own recognizance – (also known as ROR) Release of a person from custody without the payment of any bail or posting of bond, upon the promise to return to court.
Remand – To send a dispute back to the court where it was originally heard. Usually it is an appellate court that remands a case for proceedings in the trial court consistent with the appellate court’s ruling.
Restitution – Returning to the proper owner property or the monetary value of loss.
Reverse – An action of a higher court in setting aside or revoking a lower court decision.
Revoke – To cancel or nullify a legal document.
Sentence – The punishment ordered by a court for a defendant convicted of a crime.
Stay – A court order halting a judicial proceeding.
Subpoena – A command to appear at a certain time and place to give sworn testimony upon a certain matter.
Subpoena Duces Tecum – A court order commanding a witness to bring certain documents or records to court.
Summons – A document commonly used to commence a civil action or special proceeding; the means of acquiring jurisdiction over a party.
Surety Bond – A written guaranty which is purchased from a bonding company (bail bondsman) by the defendant or on his/her behalf, to guarantee some form of performance, including showing up in court.
Trial – A judicial examination of issues between parties to an action. The issues could be
presented solely to the judge for a ruling or also to a jury of the defendant’s peers. (See Jury.)
Vacate – To set aside.
Verdict – A conclusion, as to fact or law, which forms the basis for the court’s judgment.
Warrant – Most commonly, a court order authorizing law enforcement officers to make an arrest or conduct a search. An application seeking a warrant must be accompanied by an affidavit which establishes probable cause by detailing the facts upon which the request is based.
Writ – A judicial order directing a person to do something.

 

Policing for Profit

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GOOD-Cops-Main

Civil forfeiture laws allow police to seize your property, sell it and use the money to fund agency budgets. This means your car, cash, real estate or other property can be taken from you even if you are not convicted or charged with a crime.

I’m sure you are wondering how your property can be taken from you if you are not involved in any criminal activity. The answer to that is: Civil forfeiture is basically a way for the courts to try inanimate objects for their involvement with criminal activity. That is why civil forfeiture actions are in rem proceedings, which means “against or about a thing.”

Originally, civil forfeiture was created to drain resources from powerful criminal organizations, but today it has become a way of funding for law enforcement agencies and has also led to personal gain.  According to a 2003 article in the St. Petersburg Times, Tampa Bay police seized and kept cars for their own use. “The seized fleet consisted of some 42 cars, including a Lincoln Navigator, a Ford Expedition, and, Police Chief Bennie Holder’s favorite, a $38,000 Chevy Tahoe.”

In Florida, law enforcement must prove with clear and convincing evidence that the property being seized was related to criminal activity. Although this is a higher standard than most other states, it still puts property owners at a disadvantage. This is because unlike a criminal forfeiture case, in which the government has to prove someone is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the standards in a civil forfeiture case are much less rigorous. According to the Institute for Justice, “law enforcement in Florida still receives 85 percent of the funds generated from civil forfeiture.”

It is also a misconception that most people who have their property seized are wealthy. Some low-income families who do not have the resources to get their property back are also targeted by law enforcement. Regardless of socioeconomic status, it is not fair that likely innocent people are being stripped of their property without ever being convicted of a crime.

 

For more information, please read:

The Institute for Justice’s Initiative to End Policing for Profit

The Huffington Post article “Above the Law: New DPA Report Finds ‘Policing for Profit’ Gone Wild”

Central Florida Law Enforcement Agency Interested in Buying Hacking Team Technology

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Hacker

Wikileaks, a website that posts original documents from anonymous sources, has recently leaked e-mails between the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation (MBI) and the Italian company Hacking Team that show the MBI’s desire to purchase spyware technology that would enable the agency to infiltrate phones and computers.

The MBI is a multi-agency task force in Orlando that covers Osceola and Orange counties and includes members from State Attorney’s Office, Orlando Police Department, Orange County Sherriff’s department as well as other local police agencies and the DEA, FBI, ICE, Secret Service and other agencies. Hacking Team is a company that uses computer viruses to help law enforcement and national security organizations gain access to targeted networks.

Ironically, Hacking Team itself has been hacked in the past. The hackers exposed documents on a Twitter page titled “Hacked Team” that showed evidence of the company working with numerous repressive governments such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, many of whom have been criticized by international human rights organizations for aggressively monitoring journalists and other freedom activists. This is alarming because it essentially means that the MBI is using tax payer money to associate itself with and support a company that provides support for terrorists.

The recently leaked documents between the MBI and Hacking Team show that the MBI wants to purchase spyware called Galileo from the company. Galileo, which can be installed on phones and computers, will allow law enforcement officials to see what a targeted suspect is seeing in real time. The police would also be able to track the suspect’s movements. MBI director Larry Zweig even told the Orlando Sentinel that the task force wants to be able to track drug and human trafficking organizations through apps like Snapchat.

The MBI’s collaboration with Hacking Team wouldn’t be the first time that the agency has tried to use questionable methods to obtain evidence of criminal activity. In 1981, the MBI arrested 10 men on charges of running a football gambling ring after wire tapping two phones. The agency, however, was only permitted to tap one phone as part of the investigation. Therefore, none of the defendants went to jail.

In another instance, the MBI enlisted an alleged drug dealer named Donna Jean Gallagher as an informant in 1985. She later claimed that “she stole cocaine during MBI investigations to feed a habit agents knew about but did nothing to stop, was gang-raped by drug dealers while working for the agency and had sex with two of her supervising agents.” The agents were consequently fired.

If the MBI uses Galileo in its investigations, the agency needs to make sure that it filters out information obtained from people who are not targets of the investigation. In doing so, the MBI would be violating Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets act of 1968. If the agency’s past transgressions say anything about the future of the MBI + Hacking Team partnership, however, it’s that there may be significant privacy concerns ahead.

Additional information:

This week, NPR 90.7 aired an interview Florida Center for Investigative Reporting reported Trevor Aaronson, who voices some of the concerns with providing MBI with this powerful technology. http://www.wmfe.org/fcir-leaked-documents-show-mbis-interest-in-surveillance-software/

Read the MBI and Hacking Team emails here:
https://wikileaks.org/hackingteam/emails/?q=randall+pennington&mfrom=&mto=&title=&notitle=&date=&nofrom=&noto=&count=50&sort=0#searchresult

I just got arrested on a DUI – what’s next?

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Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined as operating a motor vehicle while impaired with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance. Those under 21 years old can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is 0.02% or over and commercial drivers can be charged if their BAC is 0.04% or over.

After you are charged with a DUI, you may feel confused, upset and fearful. It is very important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

 

Things to consider after getting out of jail for DUI….

License Suspension

Keep in mind that in every DUI in Florida, there are two separate cases that flow from the same offense. In addition to criminal penalties and charges, you will also have a separate civil case filed against you with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

You have 10 days from the date of arrest to do one of two things. First, you or your attorney  can request an Administrative Hearing (formal or informal) in order to determine if the officer had probable cause to arrest you for a DUI. The second option is to forfeit your right to a review hearing in exchange for having a Business Purpose Only (BPO) license issued immediately. This option only applies if you have never had a prior DUI administrative suspension or DUI conviction. You must enroll in DUI School and show proof to DHSMV in order to obtain your BPO license. Failure to request either option within 10 days of your arrest will result in you losing your right to challenge the suspension.

What is an Arraignment on a DUI?

At an arraignment the judge court will inform you of the charges against you and give you the opportunity to plead guilty, no contest or not guilty. A guilty plea or no contest plea will place you at the mercy of the court and the judge find you guilty and will sentence you right then and there in the courtroom–the judge could even send you to jail. There is normally no advantage to entering a guilty or no contest plea at arraignment, especially if you haven’t spoken with an attorney yet to examine the possible weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. If you miss your court date, hiring an attorney can be a crucial move. An attorney can get sometimes negotiate away a failure to appear and get a suspension of your license cleared.  Furthermore, if you hire a DUI attorney, he can waive your appearance at your arraignment and Pre-Trial Conference court dates so that you do not have to attend if you do not want to.

Trying to resolve your case without an experienced DUI attorney is generally not a good idea. Before entering a plea, at a minimum, you and your attorney should review all of the police report, watch the roadside video (if available) as well as the video taken at the breath center to determine the strength of your case.

Is jail time mandatory if I am convicted of a DUI?

No. Not for the first conviction. However, for a second conviction within five (5) years of a prior conviction, a minimum imprisonment term of ten (10) days is required. For a third conviction within ten (10) years of a prior conviction, a minimum imprisonment term of thirty (30) days is required by law.

Can my charges be reduced?

Sometimes, a skilled DUI attorney can get a  DUI “reduced” to the charge of reckless driving (alcohol related).  This is not actually a reduction of charges; rather, it is an amendment.  DUI in Florida carries with it a mandatory minimum penalty which requires an adjudication of guilt.  If someone has been adjudicated guilty, it means they have been convicted.  When someone enters a plea of no contest to reckless driving, Florida Law does not require the judge to adjudicate that person guilty; rather, the judge may withhold the adjudication which means that person has not been “convicted”.  Moreover, unlike a DUI conviction, the disposition of a reckless driving charge usually does not increase ones insurance rates, does not carry a mandatory driver’s license revocation with it, and it can be sealed at a later date in many cases.   A judge is not authorized to “reduce” a DUI charge to reckless driving.  This can only be achieved through plea negotiations with the prosecutor.  An experienced DUI attorney can use knowledge of the law, effective use of motions and artful plea negotiations to attain a “reckless driving” plea offer for his client.

DUI PENALTIES

Unlike the penalties for most other misdemeanors, the minimum statutory penalties for a DUI conviction in Florida can be very severe and involve various types of punishment, including, but not limited to any of the following:

MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM DUI PENALTIES IN FLORIDA

 

1x Conviction:

Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty  Comments
Jail None Six Months – Max. Nine months if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle- Max. Year if crash
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Six Months One Year
Community Service Fifty Hours Discretionary
Impoundment Ten Days Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock None Six Months – Required if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $500 $1,000 – $1,000-$2,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

 

 2x Conviction within 5 Years of Previous DUI Conviction:

Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty  Comments
Jail Ten Days Nine Months – Max. Twelve months if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle 
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Five Years
Community Service None None
Impoundment Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock One Year – Two Years if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $1,000 $2,000 – $2,000-$4,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

 

2x Conviction with Previous DUI Conviction Outside of 5 Years:

Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty  Comments
Jail None Nine Months – Max. Year if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle 
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Six Months One Year
Community Service None None
Impoundment Ten Days Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock Year – Two Years if .15 or above, or minor n vehicle
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $1,000 $2,000 – $2,000-$4,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

 

3x Conviction within 10 Years of Previous DUI Conviction:

Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty  Comments
Jail Thirty Days 5 years – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Prison
Probation Early Termination 5 years – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Five Years Probation
Driver’s License Suspension Ten Years – eligibility for hardship driver’s license after 2 years
Community Service None None
Impoundment Ninety Days
Ignition Interlock Two Years
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $2,000 $5,000 – $4,000-$5,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

 

3x Conviction with Previous DUI Conviction Outside of 10 Years:

Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty  Comments
Jail None Year
Probation Early Termination One Year
Driver’s License Suspension Six Months One Year
Community Service None None
Impoundment Ten Days Thirty Days
Ignition Interlock Two Years
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $2,000 $5,000 – $4,000-$5,000 if .15 or above, or minor in vehicle

 

4x Conviction of DUI or more:

  Minimum Penalty Maximum Penalty  Comments
Jail None Year – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Prison
Probation Early Termination One Year – If upgraded to felony then Max. Five Years Five Years Probation
Driver’s License Suspension Lifetime Revocation
Community Service None None
Impoundment None  None
Ignition Interlock None None
DUI Counterattack Class Required
Victim Impact Panel Required
Fine $2,000 $5,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nevada SC strikes down DUI implied consent law

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Last week, the Nevada Supreme Court  ruled [opinion, PDF] that Nevada’s implied consent law, which allows police officers to take blood samples of motorists to determine impairment, is unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment.  It’s ruling relied on the US SC  decision in Missouri v. McNeely [SCOTUS blog background] which held that the fourth amendment may require a warrant [JURIST report] for a blood test in a drunk-driving investigation.

Jurist summary here: http://jurist.org/paperchase/2014/10/nevada-high-court-strikes-dwi-implied-consent-law.php

Florida Implications:  The Nevada SC and SCOTUS cases seem to have two implications. First, warrantless blood draws in felony bodily injury cases might be subject to suppression if the  State cannot demonstrate that obtaining a warrant would significantly undermine the efficacy of test of the blood draw.  Florida Statutes, Section 316.1933(1), permits forcible warrantless extraction of a blood sample if the officer has “reasonably trustworthy information,” sufficient to cause a person of reasonable caution to believe that a driver was under the influence of alcoholic beverages at the time of an accident causing death or serious bodily injury of a human being, even if the only one injured is the driver.  The holding in McNeely provides that there can be no per se exigency exception to the warrantless blood draw and thus these blood draws may be ripe for a factually intensive MTS to determine if police could have obtained a warrant.  However, note that at least one circuit court has denied a MTS on the specific facts of the case.    In contrast to felony DUI blood draws, MM warrantless involuntary blood draws are invalid, as the Fifth district held that Section 933.02 Florida Statues precludes police from securing a warrant for a DUI blood draw in MM DUIs.  State v. Geiss, (Fla. 5th DCA 2011).  (However, consensual voluntary blood draws would still be admissible, see e.g. State v. Slaney, 653 So. 2d 422, 427 (Fla. 3rd 1995)).

Second, Florida’s implied consent for blood draws might not be constitutional.  Law enforcement can ask for a blood draw when a breath/urine sample is “impracticable ” under implied consent; a driver can refuse but is subject to DL suspension/penalties.  See section 316.1932(1)(c).  It stands to reason that if a request for blood draw cannot be compelled under the 4th amendment, then Florida’s implied consent law which provides for penalties for a refusal might be suspect under McNeely.  (This is basically what the NV SC held.)   There do not appear to be any Florida cases on point yet.

If you have a warrantless blood draw case, you may want to read this excellent 36 page legal brief discussing the Florida implications for blood draws: “A COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF  MISSOURI v. McNEELY ON FLORIDA DUI PROCEDURES” available here: http://goo.gl/bWr829.

 

If you are in Colorado and need DUI help, please look at the law office of Jim Forslund.

Get the best DUI Attorney Denver CO. Colorado DUI lawyers offering drunk driving defense service in the USA. Call 303-332-3602 for a free consultation.
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