DRIVING OFFENSES

Driving a car is almost a necessity to exist in our modern society and in order to have thousands of vehicles on the streets operate safely, everyone is required by law to follow the "rules of the road." The problem is, is that not everyone follows them all of the time. Sometimes that can lead to a civil infraction, which is only punishable by a fine (i.e. speeding, careless driving, failure to obey a traffic control device, failure to stop for a school bus) or a Criminal Traffic Offense which is a crime, potentially punishable by incarceration. Another confusing element between the two is that the physical Uniform Traffic Citation (i.e. a civil infraction or "UTC") and a Notice to Appear (i.e. a criminal charging document or "NTA") look very similar, like a "ticket." This similarity can lead people to make mistakes and end up behind bars.

If you are issued a UTC, I can help you fight to keep points off of your driving record, reduce the fine, or in some cases, get the civil infraction dismissed entirely. Alternatively, I have the extensive experience to pursue the best outcome when you are issued a criminal Notice to Appear. On most Criminal Traffic Offenses, the Law Enforcement Officer has the option to arrest you or write you an NTA. If you are issued an NTA and you miss your arraignment date, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Some of these Criminal Traffic Offenses are misdemeanors and some are even felonies, so do not take this lightly!

Call (407) 274-7501 or email seth@sethhymanlaw.com to schedule a consultation with DUI lawyer and criminal defense attorney Seth Hyman today!

NO VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE

 

This crime is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in county jail or 6 months supervised probation.

To prove the crime of No Valid Driver’s License, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.    Defendant drove a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state.

2.    At the time, Defendant did not have a valid driver’s license recognized by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of the State of Florida.

DRIVING WITH A SUSPENDED LICENSE

For the first offense, this crime is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in county jail or 6 months supervised probation.

A second offense is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 1 year in county jail or 1 year supervised probation.

A third offense is a third degree felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and 5 years in state prison or 5 years supervised probation.

To prove the crime of Driving While License was Suspended, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:


1.    Defendant drove a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state.

2.    At that time, Defendant's license was suspended.

3.    At that time, Defendant knew that their license was suspended.

FLEEING & ATTEMPTING TO ELUDE

The crime of Fleeing & Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer is a third degree felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and 5 years in state prison or 5 years supervised probation.

If damage to a person or property occurs as a result, then this crime is a second degree felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in state prison or 15 years supervised probation.

If serious bodily injury or death occurs as a result, then this crime is a first degree felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 30 years in state prison or 30 years supervised probation.

To prove the crime of Fleeing & Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.    Defendant was operating a vehicle upon a street or highway in Florida.

2.    A duly authorized law enforcement officer ordered the defendant to stop or remain stopped.

3.    Defendant, knowing they had been ordered to stop by a duly authorized law enforcement officer,
 
a.    willfully refused or failed to stop the vehicle in compliance with the order; or

b.    having stopped the vehicle, willfully fled in a vehicle in an attempt to elude the officer.

VIOLATION OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE RESTRICTION

 

The crime of Violation of a Driver's License Restriction is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in county jail or 6 months supervised probation..

To prove the crime of Operating a Motor Vehicle in Violation of the Restrictions Imposed in a Restricted License, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.    Defendant drove a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state.

2.    The license was restricted by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles of this state.

3.    The restriction was noted upon the license.

4.    The defendant operated the motor vehicle in violation of the restriction.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

 

This crime is a second degree misdemeanor with special penalties that vary depending on if the Defendant's blood alcohol content was .15 or higher or if there was crash. These penalties typically include up to 1 year in county jail or 1 year supervised probation, a significant fine, a significant driver's license suspension, DUI school, vehicle immobilization, and an interlock device which requires you to blow into it to start the vehicle. All penalties must be paid for by the Defendant if convicted.

In some circumstances, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles may issue a business purposes only driver's license to those with a suspended driver's license which permits limited driving to places like work, school, and church.

A third DUI within a 10 years after a second DUI is a third degree felony. Four or more DUIs are also a third degree felony.

To prove the crime of Driving Under the Influence, the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:


1.    Defendant drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle.


2.    While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, Defendant


Give 2a or 2b or both as applicable.
a.    was under the influence of alcoholic beverage, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that their normal faculties were impaired.


b.    had a alcohol level of .08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath.


If the jury finds the defendant guilty of Driving Under the Influence, they must also determine whether the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt whether:


a.    the defendant had a blood or breath-alcohol level of .15 or higher while driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle; or


b.    the defendant was accompanied in the vehicle by a person under the age of 18 years at the time of the Driving under the Influence.

RECKLESS DRIVING

The crime of Reckless Driving is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail for a first offense and punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a second offense.

If damage to person or property occurs, then this crime is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and 1 year in jail or 1 year supervised probation.

If serious bodily injury occurs, this crime is a third degree felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and 5 years in state prison or 5 years supervised probation.

To prove the crime of Reckless Driving, the State must prove the Defendant drove a vehicle in Florida with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property beyond a reasonable doubt.

FAILURE TO OBEY A LAWFUL ORDER

The crime of Failing to Obey a Lawful Order is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in county jail or 6 months supervised probation..

To prove the crime of Failure to Obey the Lawful Order, the State must prove the following five elements beyond a reasonable doubt:


1.    Defendant was operating a vehicle, bicycle, or was walking upon a highway, street or alley.


2.    (Name of official) gave a lawful order to Defendant regarding the operation of a vehicle, bicycle or the movement of a pedestrian.


3.    At the time, (name of official) was acting in their capacity as a law enforcement officer or fire fighter.


4.    Defendant knew that they had been given an order by a law enforcement officer or fire fighter.

 

5.    Defendant willfully failed to obey the order given.

LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT

 

When there is only damage to property, this crime is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 60 days in county jail or 6 months supervised probation.

To prove the crime of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Damage to an Unattended Vehicle or Unattended Property, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
 
1.    Defendant was the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash or collision.

2.    The crash or collision resulted in damage to another vehicle or other property.

3.    The vehicle or other property was not driven or attended by any person.

4.    Defendant failed to immediately stop at the scene of the crash or collision and then and there either
 
a.    locate and notify the operator or owner of the vehicle or other property of their name and address and the registration number of the vehicle they were driving, or

b.    attach securely in a conspicuous place in or on the vehicle or other property a written notice giving their name and address and the registration number of the vehicle they were driving, and, without unnecessary delay, notify the nearest office of a duly authorized police authority.

To prove the crime of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Damage to an Attended Vehicle or Attended Property, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
 
1.    Defendant was the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash.

2.    The crash resulted only in damage to a vehicle or other property.

3.    The vehicle or other property was driven or attended by a person.

4.    Defendant failed to stop at the scene of the crash or as close to the crash as possible and remain there until they had given “identifying information” to the driver or occupant of the damaged vehicle or person attending the damaged vehicle or property and to any police officer at the scene of the crash or who is investigating the crash.

When there is simple bodily injury, this crime is a third degree felony punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and 5 years in state prison or 5 years supervised probation.

When there is serious bodily injury, this crime is a second degree felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in state prison or 15 years supervised probation.

When there is death, this crime is a first degree felony punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 30 years in state prison or 30 years supervised probation.

To prove the crime of Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving Death or Injury, the State must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1.    Defendant was the driver of a vehicle involved in a crash occurring on public or private property resulting in injury to or death of any person.


2.    Defendant knew that they were involved in a crash.


Give 3a if death is charged or 3b if simple injury or serious bodily injury is charged.


3.    a.    Defendant knew, or should have known from all of the circumstances, including the nature of the crash, of the injury to or death of the person.


b.    Defendant knew, or should have known from all of the circumstances, including the nature of the crash, of the injury to the person.

 

Give 4a, 4b, or both as applicable.


4.    a.    Defendant willfully failed to stop at the scene of the crash or as close to the crash as possible and remain there until they had given “identifying information” to the occupant and to any police officer investigating the crash.
           
b.    Defendant willfully failed to render “reasonable assistance” to the injured person if such treatment appeared to be necessary or was requested by the injured person.

SETH@SETHHYMANLAW.COM (407) 274-7501

EXCLUSIVELY CRIMINAL DEFENSE. REPRESENTING CLIENTS THROUGHOUT CENTRAL FLORIDA.