Articles Posted in Felony DUI

President Obama designated the month of December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month in 2010 in an attempt to shed light on the serious problem of drunk and drugged driving in the U.S. With the holiday season and the end of the year approaching, holiday parties and celebrations will go hand in hand, making it a great time to highlight the dangers of impaired driving and the consequences that come along with an arrest.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, someone is killed every 52 minutes in a drunk driving-related crash every year and someone is injured every 90 seconds. An interesting fact to note about drunk driving problems is that one-third of arrests, injuries and fatalities come from repeat offenders. This translates to mean that each time a driver is behind the wheel, he or she is possibly sharing the road with 2 million people who have three or more drunk driving offenses.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_zPreventing a serious drunk driving accident or a DUI arrest all begins with you, so if you know that you will be attending a party or event where you will consume alcohol, make sure to designate a driver before you head out, or even program the numbers of local cab companies in your phone to ensure you have a safe ride home.

If you are going to host a party, make sure to include non-alcoholic beverage options for guests. Another good tip? Try not to serve alcohol the last hour of the gathering. Also, be ready to help your guests stay off the road if they have been drinking by allowing them to stay at your home, or by having sober rides home lines up.

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Bartolo “Buddy” Valastro, star of TLC’s popular reality cooking show “Cake Boss,” was arrested in Manhattan early Thursday for driving while intoxicated, according to police.

Valastro, a resident of New Jersey, was pulled over around 1 a.m. on Thursday, November 13th, for driving under the influence, according to the New York Police Department. Officers allege that he was seen swerving between lanes.

4146394800_570f1eca36_zThe arresting officer claims that the 37-year-old reality star’s breath smelled of alcohol, and he had a flushed face and watery, bloodshot eyes. He allegedly failed a field sobriety test, then blew over the legal limit on a breathalyzer, which led to his DUI arrest.

Valastro stars on “Cake Boss,” and also appears on the baking competition series “Next Great Baker.”

When you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you may be asked to submit to a field sobriety test or a Breathalyzer test. These tests should be videotaped by the police officer, and the officer is required to inform you of your right to refuse a Breathalyzer. However, the results of these tests are constantly being scrutinized for accuracy, which is why you should contact a Florida DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible after your arrest to help you inspect the evidence. The sooner you contact us for help, the better.

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A 31-year-old woman who killed two sisters in a 2012 DUI crash has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.

On Tuesday, the judge also ordered for the woman’s prison term to be followed by 10 years of probation, a stipulation that prohibits her from consuming alcohol or going to bars.

3041221202_eebf02b178_zAccording to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the woman’s blood alcohol content was 0.106 percent when she drove the wrong way down a highway and crashed into a car carrying the two sisters on Jan. 12, 2012. It was her second DUI arrest. In 2007, her DUI charge was pleaded down to reckless driving and she received six months of probation.

It is quite dangerous to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol can be a big factor in many auto accidents. If you have been charged with drunk driving following an accident that caused the death or injury of another person, police and prosecutors will automatically assume your blood alcohol content was the sole cause of the accident.

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Amanda Bynes was arrested on a DUI charge early Sunday morning in Sherman Oaks, California.

CHP officers said they observed the 28-year-old actress driving her white Mercedes Benz SUV west on Riverside Drive, where she stopped for a red light in the middle of an intersection.

Bynes pulled over immediately for the highway patrol and allegedly failed to pass a series of field sobriety tests.

Officers then transported her to the West Valley CHP office for evaluation by a drug recognition expert.

6905273526_d6f6d3b525_mBynes was eventually arrested for driving under the influence of a drug and booked at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys Jail shortly after 7 a.m.

The CHP arrest report notes that Bynes had a “disheveled appearance.” The report also shows that she was cooperative throughout the entire arrest process.

The former child star of Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “The Amanda Show” was placed in an involuntary psychiatric hold last year.

In 2012, she was charged with a DUI after an April incident in which her BMW allegedly sideswiped a police cruiser in West Hollywood. In February 2014 that DUI charge was dismissed in a plea deal where Bynes ended up with three years probation, a requirement to attend an alcohol education course and pay a fine after she entered a no-contest plea to reckless driving.

Bynes’ recent arrest would typically be charged as a misdemeanor offense, however there are some complications due to the fact that she was sentenced to three years of probation in February because of her 2012 DUI arrest.

While this DUI arrest was made in California, in the state of Florida, a second DUI within 5 years of a previous DUI conviction is punishable by up to 270 days in county jail, a fine of no more than $2,000, probation of up to one year, five years of a driver’s license suspension and one year of ignition interlock.

Furthermore, in Florida, a new arrest while on probation could lead to additional charges, like a violation of probation. This means that you could not only be facing criminal liability for the new charge, but your probation could be revoked, and the original sentence for the prior crime could be reinstated.

Despite the circumstances, if you are arrested for DUI in Florida, a DUI Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help. We will review your case and figure out what steps need to be taken in order to give you the best possible defense strategy. Time is of the essence in these cases – by acting quickly, negotiations can sometimes be made with the state attorney to have the terms of probation reinstated. However, every DUI case is unique.

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Around 50 percent of people arrested for their first DUI will face the same charges or nearly the same charges if arrested for the same offense in the future. This is the case for Olympian Michael Phelps who was arrested early Tuesday morning in Baltimore on suspicion of driving under the influence, making it his second DUI arrest.

According to reports, Phelps, 35, was stopped at 1:40 a.m. after an officer observed him traveling 85 mph in a 45 mph zone. The officer apparently followed the athlete’s White Range Rover northbound through the McHenry tunnel on I-95, where he allegedly spotted him crossing into the other lanes. The officer pulled him over just before a toll plaza.

The officer claims that Phelps exhibited signs of intoxication and asked him to perform  field sobriety tests. According to the officer’s report, Phelps performed poorly on the tests and was taken into police custody.

2770812057_d31fdb2417_mThe arresting officer said Phelps was cooperative. He was released later Tuesday and charged with DUI, speeding and crossing double lane lines.

This is the gold-medal winner’s second DUI arrest. His first was in 2004, when he was only 18. He was stopped for running a stop sign. He was charged with DUI, but made a deal and was sentenced to 18 months’ probation for pleading guilty to drunken driving.

A second DUI offense is classified as a misdemeanor offense in Florida. A misdemeanor is punishable by a jail term that can extend to 12 months. However if you cause an accident that results in property damage or bodily injury to another person, a second DUI offense can then be enhanced to felony status.

Florida does not have a typical lookback period when it comes to DUIs. All DUIs will remain on your record and can be used for charging purposes in the future.However, if a second DUI conviction happens within 5 years, the offender will be sentenced to mandatory time behind bars for 10 days, and at least 48 hours of confinement must be consecutive.

The look back period in Maryland is 10 years so Phelps may be able to avoid being charged a repeat offender. If Phelps is charged as a repeat offender, he could avoid some of the harsher penalties attached to this second DUI by working with a DUI Defense Lawyer.

Everyone, celebrity or regular Joe, needs to contact a DUI attorney as soon as possible after an arrest. A DUI is not a charge to take lightly, as the repercussions could adversely affect your life in many ways. A solid defense strategy is vital to avoid the harsh ramifications that can accompany a conviction.

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A Tampa man is facing his sixth DUI charge in 10 years after a hit-and-run crash in Miramar, according to police.

At the man’s first court appearance, a Broward judge set bail at $85,000, after reviewing the man’s arrest record.

The man apparently has three previous DUIs in Tennessee and two in Virginia.

In this case, the man allegedly got into a crash and took off.

6469630651_3689c55464_mThe 46-year-old was apparently driving a 1998 red Ford Ranger in the 6800 block of East Woodscape Drive around 10:15 p.m. Sunday when he crashed into a 2013 black Ford Fusion, according to the arrest report.

The man allegedly got out of the truck and ran away. Two of the passengers in the Fusion chased him and caught him at 6800 SW 41st St. and held him until police arrived, the report stated.

Officers noted that the man had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and bloodshot eyes. They conducted a roadside sobriety test and claim the man had difficulty standing up and maintaining his balance.

The man was then taken to the Breath Alcohol Testing center, where he complained of pain in his arms, according to the report.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue checked his condition and offered to take him to the hospital but the man refused. He also refused to take a breath-alcohol or physical dexterity test, according to police.

He was charged with DUI, leaving the scene of a crash causing property damage and driving without a valid license.

Florida law enforcement does not discriminate when it comes to charging individuals with driving under the influence. Numerous men, women, young adults, students and even celebrities face DUI charges in our state each year. The penalties for DUI can include license revocation, jail time, fines and/or community service. However, if you were previously convicted of a DUI, the penalties you could face are much more severe.

If you have multiple prior DUI convictions within a period of 10 years, this includes out of state DUI convictions, the fourth will most likely be charged as a felony. In addition to substantial fines and other consequences, a felony conviction will result in a mandatory prison, unless a deal is reached where you could possibly receive probation. In Florida, however, a state prison sentence is becoming more and more common.

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Planning a trip to Key West for the holiday? There will be a DUI checkpoint on Stock Island, according to reports.

As most Florida drivers know, there can be huge traffic delays in the Florida Keys if there is a crash on U.S. 1, which is the main thoroughfare through the island chain. However, this Labor Day weekend, expect delays because the DUI checkpoint will be on Stock Island, which you have to travel through to get to Key West.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, deputies will stage it for northbound drivers on U.S. 1 at Cross Street, from 8 p.m. Saturday through 2 a.m. Sunday.

2816552570_c25300d775_mPer usual sobriety checkpoints, vehicles will be checked for safety violations, and drivers will be observed for signs of impairment.

Authorities claim they are expecting lots of visitors to the Keys for the long weekend, so deputies will be heavily enforcing laws against speeding, passing in the no passing zones and drunk driving.

While the police are allowed to establish DUI roadblocks, they still are required to follow certain constitutional guidelines. With that said, police cannot just create a checkpoint at anytime and anywhere on impulse. They must sufficiently justify their reasons for the roadblock in that vicinity, clear guidelines must be established for the conduct of the roadblock and prior notice must be given to the public. If proper procedures are not followed, any evidence gathered during the investigation may be deemed inadmissible in court.

In many instances, police do not follow required procedures for DUI roadblocks. However, irregularities on their part can actually benefit your case. A Florida DUI Lawyer at Whittel & Melton will scrutinize every facet of your DUI arrest and find anything that could possible help defend you.

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Labor Day weekend is just around the corner. For many people, that means an extra day off work, backyard and beach barbecues, visiting with friends and family and the unofficial end of summer. However, with the good comes the bad and unfortunately, Labor Day means a sharp increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities.

Beginning August 15 and continuing through September 1, local law enforcement and the Florida HIghway Patrol will be aggressively targeting drunk and drugged drivers as part of a nationwide effort to put an end to impaired driving and save lives.

13002617474_07a9010503_mPolice will be patrolling streets and highways looking for impaired drivers throughout the the state. Residents should expect to see an increase in police as well as DUI checkpoints.

Phoenix Suns wing P.J. Tucker was sentenced to three days in jail as well as 11 days of home detention Monday for a “super extreme” DUI charge dating back to May of this year.

Tucker pleaded guilty to the charges after police revealed he had a blood alcohol level of .22 at the time of his arrest. The blood alcohol level legal limit in Arizona, as well as Florida, is .08.

4086811539_8f8f7bc159_mOn top of jail time and home detention, Tucker has agreed to undergo counseling for substance abuse, pay $2,750 in fines, install an ignition interlock device on his car for 18 months and has been placed on probation for up to five years.

If Tucker had been convicted of the “super extreme” DUI charge, he would have faced a minimum of 45 days in jail.

In July, Tucker signed a three-year $16 million contract to stay with the Suns. Suns’ president of basketball operations Lon Babby issued a statement regarding the DUI matter, stating that while the Suns do not condone his behavior or actions, they will continue to support him through this trying time as he works through this. He went on to add that the Suns find his remorse and acceptance of the consequences as sincere.

The Suns were aware of the DUI charge against Tucker at the time of re-signing him.

As mentioned earlier, a conviction for super extreme DUI can result in a minimum of 45 days behind bars. The courts may also decide to install an ignition interlock device, which is essentially a breathalyzer that is installed on the dashboard of a vehicle in order to prevent a motorist from starting the car if intoxicated. If the courts deem this appropriate, the device will be installed and maintained at the expense of the accused.

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The Fourth of July is just around the corner. Most Americans love to celebrate this day by hanging out with friends and family which usually means cookouts, pool parties, festivals, parades and fireworks.

In gearing up for the Fourth, it is important to remember the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. This campaign is designed to inform drivers that if they get behind the wheel of a car at or over the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content, they will be arrested and charged with DUI.

Florida drivers can expect to see lots of police cars out patrolling this holiday weekend. That means more roadside checkpoints and more drivers getting pulled over for speeding and other infractions. The period just before the Fourth and immediately after, from July 3 to July 6, usually means Florida law enforcement will be out in full force patrolling cities looking to stop those suspected of DUI.

The Fourth of July holiday is a dangerous time to be on the road, and not just in the state of Florida. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012, 179 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents between 6 p.m. on July 3rd and 5:59 a.m. on July 5th. Of these accidents, 44 percent were found to be alcohol-related and 28 percent involved a driver that had a blood alcohol content of .15, which is almost twice the legal limit in all 50 states.

IFThis holiday weekend, the Florida DUI Lawyers at Whittel & Melton urge you to play it smart. Exercise caution and safety and do not drink and drive. While a DUI charge is serious, what is even more serious is that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol places everyone on the roadway at risk for injury or death.

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