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What Constitutes as Domestic Violence in the State of Florida?

When you have been accused of perpetrating domestic violence, the experience is unnerving and extremely emotional. It can be difficult for you to sort out your next steps as well as to figure out whether or not your case meets the guidelines for domestic violence.

Miami domestic violence attorneyRegardless of whether or not your domestic violence charges are legitimate, one of the most important things you can do is consult with a Miami domestic violence attorney.

Having your questions answered and determining your options can be one of the smartest and most valuable things you can do during this experience, and can even help resolve your case.

Visit here to learn more about how a Miami domestic violence attorney can help you with domestic violence charges.

Defining Domestic Violence

Domestic violence speaks specifically to several different types of criminal acts in the state of Florida, which include:

  • Stalking
  • All forms of assault
  • Battery
  • Death
  • Other aggravated versions of these particular offenses

All offenses that can happen under the umbrella of domestic violence can include:

  • Aggravated battery
  • Aggravated assault
  • Kidnapping
  • False imprisonment and battery

Though domestic classification, however, does imply additional statutory conditions.

Does Domestic Violence Repeat Itself?

Domestic violence refers to any criminal offense resulting in the physical injury or the death of a household or family member at the hands of another household or family member, and is often characterized as cyclical behavior.

This means that domestic violence is usually not a single incident, although a major physical incident could be the manifestation of months of escalating violence and abuse between two individuals.

Domestic Violence Victims in Florida

In 2014, more than 100,000 domestic violence crimes were reported to the authorities in Florida. This also led to more than 60,000 arrests. Being accused of or arrested for domestic violence is a serious matter, so you should be cautious in the event you face criminal charges.

According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, 192 women and children were the victims of fatal domestic violence in Florida in 2011. And while domestic violence victims can be both men and women, unfortunately, the majority of abusers are men.

In fact, 83% of attackers and perpetrators are male. Furthermore, traces and evidence of substance abuse was present in 44% of the cases, and mental health disorders were present in 28% of the cases.

What If I Have Been Accused of Domestic Violence?

Discovering that a loved one is alleging domestic violence against you can be devastating. You may get extremely upset when you discover that someone is accusing you of such activity.

That being said, having resources and support outlets, such as a Miami domestic violence lawyer can assist you with these kinds of situations. Finding the proper support in facing domestic violence charges can go a long way…

What To Do If You Face Domestic Violence Charges in Miami

In the event that you need to fight criminal charges, having a support network in the form of an experienced Miami domestic violence attorney already in place can be very helpful.

Even just the accusation of domestic violence can shatter your reputation, so it is important that you take the matter seriously and consult with a knowledgeable lawyer as soon as you have been accused.

There is too much on the line in the form of your future to ignore an allegation that someone may press charges against you for domestic violence.

Your Reputation is One the Line – Count on a Miami Domestic Violence Attorney

With your reputation on the line, take the matter seriously and get a Miami domestic violence lawyer to help you as soon as possible.

Visit here to read about what to do if you’ve been arrested, and how a Miami domestic violence attorney can help you with your case.

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Is There a Gun Dealer in Your Neighborhood in Florida?

According to recent research published by the Huffington Post, gun dealers in Florida now outpace the number of post offices 3 to 1. The study was completed by Mayors against Gun Violence, and determined that there were 3.2 times the amount of federally approved gun dealerships in Florida when compared with post offices.

Miami Criminal Defense AttorneyVisit the Huffington Post to read more about gun dealers in Florida.

Breaking this down into terms that are meaningful for residents across Florida, the study means that more than 99% of residents of the sunshine state live in a 10-mile radius of an authorized firearms dealer.

This means that there is a pretty good chance that you, the reader of this blog, lives relatively close to someone who sells firearms for a living.

Dangerous and Disturbing Facts

Miami Criminal Defense AttorneyPart of the most disturbing impact of this particular research study is that an analysis conducted by Harvard University’s Injury Control Research Center found that in instances where more guns exist, higher homicide rates follow.

This is surely not news to most individuals who live in Florida, as Florida ranks only behind California and Texas as far as the number of individuals who have been killed.

Between 2007 and 2010, more than 9000 Floridians suffered fatal injuries from a firearm. Across the country, there are more than 58,000 federally approved gun dealers, which is almost 4 times the amount of McDonald’s restaurants located across the nation.

Gun Crimes in Florida

In Florida, there are numerous acts that have been criminalized as a result of the use of, possession of, or purchase of firearms or weapons. Understanding how this can impact you can be critically important, particularly if you are accused of a crime carried out with the help of a weapon.

Some of the most common charges involving firearms in the state of Florida include carrying a concealed weapon, carrying a concealed firearm, improperly exhibiting a dangerous firearm, discharge or possession of a destructive device, or firearm possession by a convicted felon.

Serious penalties and other repercussions can be associated with being convicted of such a crime, which is why you need the advice of an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney as soon as you have been charged.

Do not hesitate to get help from an individual in this position if you are currently facing charges of any crimes involving a weapon in the state of Florida.

Visit here to learn about how a Miami criminal defense attorney can help you with violent crimes charges in Florida.

Weapons Offenses and Weapons Enhancements

Weapons enhancements refers to penalties associated with a crime where a firearm or weapon has been used in conjunction with another crime, such as aggravated battery, robbery, or aggravated assault.

Weapons offenses, however, only relate to situations involving the improper possession, purchase, or use of firearm or weapon.
Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

What is 10-20-Life in Florida?

The most common knowledge of firearms enhancement in Florida has to do with the 10-20-Life rule, referring to the mandatory minimum sentences if a firearm is carried and discharged or if a person is shot and killed with a firearm while another violent crime is being committed.

The sentences are as follows:

  •  Carrying a firearm can lead to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years
  • Discharging a firearm can lead to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 20 years
  • If a person is shot or killed due to a firearm being carried during the commission of another violent crime, there is a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 25 years, but the individual could also receive a sentence of life in prison

Learn more about the 10-20-Life rule in Florida, and how that might apply to you…

What Convicted Felons Need to Know About Owning a Gun

in 1934, the U.S. government passed a law that officially began an individual who had been convicted of a violent felony from owning a weapon in the future. In 1968, this restriction was expanded to incorporate all felonies. To this day, this practice is still used in the United States.

There are certain rare situations where civil rights may be restored in order to allow you to own a firearm, but it is important to remember that you need to go through the legal process to receive this restoration and have confirmation before obtaining a weapon.

Until your civil rights are restored, or until your felony conviction has been expunged from your record, you are not legally allowed to own a firearm.

This also applies to ammunition…

Many felons do not realize that this restriction also applies to any kind of ammunition. Being caught with just one bullet could mean that you are violating the weapons ban for convicted felons, and you could be facing an additional felony charge.

It is imperative that you understand all of your rights as it relates to owning a weapon after you have been convicted of a felony having a Miami criminal defense attorney represent you for the duration of being accused of such a crime can be extremely helpful in these instances, as following advice from your attorney before and after a conviction could have significant repercussions for the rest of your life.

Count on a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

Given that so many individuals in Florida live relatively close to a gun dealer, the opportunities for convicted felon to come into contact with someone selling guns for living are much higher.

This is why it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable Miami criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Top 4 DUI Defenses for Your Vindication Needs

DUI Attorney Miami, Criminal Defense Attorney Miami

Whether this is the first time that you have been charged with a DUI offense, or you are a repeat offender, you are no doubt concerned. You know you need to hire an attorney, but you are curious about the potential defenses your criminal defense attorney might use to defend you and your case.

Read more about the peak times for a DUI in Florida.

Here are a few of the more common defenses your DUI attorney may use to vindicate you…

Download a PDF version to read more about DUI defenses.

1. Illegal Stop by Police

DUI Attorney Miami, Criminal Defense Attorney Miami
Illegal Stop by Police

One of the most common defenses used in a DUI case is looking into whether or not the police had sufficient grounds to pull you over in the first place.

A criminal defense lawyer will assess the situation to determine whether the police had probable cause to pull you over.

The police would have probable cause if you had a previous traffic violation, if the vehicle showed a safety defect, or if you had a previous DUI arrest on your record.

2. Sobriety Test Error

DUI Attorney Miami, Criminal Defense Attorney Miami
Sobriety Test Error

If you were charged with a DUI offense, and the sobriety test proved to be invalid as a result of an error, then the criminal defense attorney can ask the court to drop the charges against you.

If the test was not accurately administered, then this could be a claim made to the court of its inaccuracy.

Learn More about the possible punishments for refusing a test.

3. Inaccurate Breathalyzer Test

DUI Attorney Miami, Criminal Defense Attorney Miami
Inaccurate Breathalyzer Test

If you had an inaccurate breathalyzer test done and your criminal defense lawyer can prove it, then you may be able to have your DUI charges removed.

Your lawyer may question whether the police officer received adequate training to use a portable breathalyzer or whether the breathalyzer device was properly maintained and calibrated.

4. Inappropriate Police Action

DUI Attorney Miami, Criminal Defense Attorney Miami
Inappropriate Police Action

A criminal defense lawyer can question whether the arresting office committed any civil rights violations against you.

For instance, if it can be proven that the officer falsified the police report or displayed any inappropriate actions during the arrest or traffic stop, a good criminal defense attorney can attempt to get the charges dropped.

Visit here or read on to learn more about the DUI laws in Florida.

What Are the Potential Consequences?

You could pay thousands of dollars in fines as a first time or repeat offender of a DUI crime. You could also face possible jail time. Your license could be suspended for an undetermined amount of time.

This could affect your livelihood, and cause a huge inconvenience in your day to day life. If the law can establish guilt or you agree to a plea bargain, a criminal defense lawyer can help to reduce the penalty, but you could still have these charges on your record.

Legal Advice with an Experienced DUI Attorney

Working with a DUI attorney can lessen the impact of a DUI arrest. He or she will make sure your rights are protected and defended, and they will work with you to ensure that the negative impact on your life is minimal.

Check out how an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami can provide you legal advice and representation for your unique case.

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What NOT to Do When Charged with a Crime in Florida

Everyone makes mistakes. If you are fortunate, you learn from your mistake and put it behind you. Sometimes, however, a mistake can result in a criminal charge, which isn’t as easy as just “putting it behind you”. Read more about what happens when someone is charged with a crime.

Criminal-Defense-Lawyer

In addition to learning from a mistake, you also need to learn how to handle yourself if you have been charged with a crime. In many cases, knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what you should do…

Visit here or read on for what to avoid if you have been charged with a crime in Miami.

Do Not Discuss Your Case with Anyone Except Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

After an arrest, your first instinct may be to reach out to friends and family members for support and encouragement. When you have been accused of a crime you did not commit, you want everyone to know the truth.

Although this is a natural reaction, it can potentially hurt your case. When you are in jail, your right to privacy is severely diminished. This means the police and corrections officers can monitor any phone calls you make from jail.

In some cases, admissions made during jailhouse phone calls have been used to convict people of crimes. Do not discuss the details of your case with anyone but your criminal defense lawyer.

Read more here about making phone calls from jail.

Do Not Be Impolite to the Police

You may feel understandably frustrated about your arrest and the charges pending against you, but it is never a good idea to vent your frustration on the police. This can hurt your case and even result in additional criminal charges being filed against you.

Do Not Talk to Police

The police have a right to obtain certain information from you, such as your name, address, and other identifying information, but you also have a right to refuse to discuss details about your case with them.

Be polite but firm about your rights. If possible, wait to speak with your criminal defense lawyer before speaking to the police.

Get Help from a Reputable Criminal Defense Law Firm in Miami

If you are facing charges related to a crime in Miami, it is important to start working with a reputable criminal defense law firm in Miami as soon as possible. Your future is on the line.

Whatever you are facing, your attorney can help you create a compelling defense designed to minimize the charges against you or even get them dismissed. Don’t delay or waste precious moments that you could be using to mounting your defense.

Visit here to speak with a reputable criminal defense law firm in Miami to learn more about what you should do if you were charged with a crime in Miami.

The Top 5 Mass Shootings in 2015

Sadly, there have already been more than 350 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015. This equates to nearly one mass shooting every single day of the year! The fact that this phenomenon has become such a major issue is a huge part of the reason why police and prosecutors are focusing more heavily than ever on crimes involving guns.

Mass-Shooting-in-U.SPart of the reason that guns and gun rights are getting so much press recently is that it seems like gun violence has become too “normalized”. That’s typically the line of thought brought forth by authorities and prosecutors hoping to reduce gun violence by punishing individuals accused of perpetrating crimes with weapons.

Here are some of the facts on the top 5 mass shootings in the U.S. over the course of 2015.

1. October 1st, 2015: Oregon. This Oregon shooting left ten dead and seven wounded after a shooter went loose on the campus of Umpqua Community College. According to the father of one victim, the gunman was targeting Christians.

Even though earlier estimates of the injured had put the numbers of those hurt and killed at higher numbers, the family members and friends of those killed still grieved over what became the mass shooting with the highest number of casualties on U.S. soil in 2015.

2. February 27th, 2015: Missouri. This mass shooting took place over six different locations across Tyrone, Missouri. Ultimately, nine individuals were killed and one person was wounded in this incident.

3. May 17th, 2015: Texas. Following a day in which three mass shootings happened in Wisconsin, Baltimore, and Rochester, nine were killed and 18 were wounded when a fight occurred outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Texas.

4. June 17th, 2015: South Carolina. During bible study at a church located in Charleston, South Carolina, nine individuals were killed. This was one of the most prominently covered mass shootings in 2015, especially as the media covered the way that the people of South Carolina came together after the incident. Unfortunately, this was not the only time that a church was targeted. Churches were popular locations for violence throughout the south in 2015.

5. August 8th, 2015: Texas. In a disturbing story of domestic violence, a mother and her family were held at gunpoint by her former boyfriend. He killed two adults and six children during this incident.

Due to the fact that gun violence has become an area of focus for the entire country, it’s important to understand that individuals and authorities may be particularly sensitive to violations and crimes involving guns. In some situations, the desire to pursue these issues too zealously can lead to you facing charges that you do not deserve.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Miami

If you have been accused of carrying out a crime involving a weapon, your penalties may be severe. Hiring a Miami criminal defense lawyer to represent you in this situation is not just recommended, but should be something you strongly consider in order to protect your rights.

Being accused of carrying out a crime with a weapon is no small matter. With many mechanics at play as to your rights to have a gun and whether the evidence of the crime actually suggests that a gun was used by you, it’s imperative to work with an attorney who understands the many issues at stake and how to best protect you.

Don’t hesitate to get legal advice from a Florida weapons lawyer when you have been accused of a crime or any violations of weapons law. These issues can be serious, and you need to respond appropriately by taking your own rights seriously and communicating with a lawyer.

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The Holiday Season and DUIs

It is normal to make merry over the holiday season, as most people attend what often seems like an endless round of work parties, family gatherings, and get-togethers among friends and acquaintances.

Holiday-Season-and-DUIAlthough it is fun to celebrate during the most festive time of the year, it is also a peak season for DUIs…

Traffic Deaths Peak During the Holiday Season

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost half of all traffic deaths that occur on January 1 are alcohol-related. On Thanksgiving Day, alcohol-related traffic fatalities increase fivefold.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid a drinking and driving-related arrest over the holidays.

Don’t Drink and Drive

It sounds obvious – and it is – but the easiest way to avoid a DUI is to abstain from drinking if you plan on driving. Take turns acting as the designated driver with friends and family. One night of avoiding alcohol can mean the difference between a pleasant evening and a lifetime of severe consequences. And you can still have fun and enjoy the holiday festivities without alcohol.

Know Your Limits

You should be aware of the state legal alcohol limit for impaired driving, but it is also important to know how alcohol affects you and your abilities. For some people, a single drink is enough to make them dangerous behind the wheel. Other people can tolerate more alcohol in their system.

Know your own personal limits, and recognize when you are there. Don’t be afraid to ask for a ride home if you don’t think you are in any condition to drive, or take advantage of public transportation if you don’t want to ask a friend or family member for a ride home.

Be Polite to Police Officers

If you are pulled over during the holiday season, it is important to be polite, respectful, and cooperative. When someone is belligerent, uncooperative, and rude, most police officers are less inclined to let them go without a citation. Police officers are human beings, and they have jobs that are often challenging and unpleasant. Know your rights, but also remember that a little kindness can go a long way toward improving the outcome of your situation.

Help for Holiday DUIs

If you have been charged with a DUI, do not wait to speak to a Miami DUI attorney. The outcome of your case depends on the lawyer you choose to represent you during this difficult time. Your lawyer can help you put together a successful defense.

A drinking and driving conviction can change your entire life. Work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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What Should You Do if You are Arrested in Miami?

Arrested in Miami?

An arrest is one of the most frightening experiences of a person’s life. Most people assume it will never happen to them, but if it does, there are several things you need to know. Remember, even if you are arrested, you still have some control of your situation. There are things you can do following the arrest to protect your future freedom.

Arrested-in-MiamiIf arrested, it is important that you do not panic. Anything you say or write on paper for the police can be used against you in a courtroom, so it is best to say as little as possible to police. If a police officer invites you to sign something or say something, or if you feel threatened to sign anything, ask to speak to an attorney.

Police officers are trying to do their job and collect evidence as quickly as possible, but this can put you at risk. Your first priority is to protect yourself, even if you believe you are innocent and that you could help the police.

If arrested, you must protect yourself first. Wait to speak to a experienced Miami criminal lawyer before sharing any information with the police.

What Should I Expect if Arrested?

If you are arrested you will be transported to the police station. Upon arrival, you will either be placed in a jail cell or a room for further questioning. Police officers will explain the charges against you, though these can change in the coming hours and days.

If officers are free to question you, they might ask you to participate in a lineup, provide a sample of your DNA, speak, or provide a writing sample. Fingerprinting and photographing will likely be part of the process.

You should wait until your attorney is available before doing any of these things. You have a right to legal representation if you are arrested. No matter your situation, it is important you have the guidance of a legal professional before working with police. Even if you are innocent and choose to cooperate with police, it is best to have legal representation.

After the initial questioning and intake process, you will be arraigned in court. You and your attorney will prepare a plea, which can be “not guilty”, “guilty” or “no contest”. If your plea is “not guilty”, a future court date will be set. If you plead “no contest” or “guilty”, a date is set for your sentencing, when you will be assigned jail or probation time.

Remember, if you have been arrested, you have the following rights:

  • The right to know the crime(s) for which you are being charged
  • The right to contact an attorney or personal contact by telephone
  • The right to not say or do anything that can be used against you in court
  • The right to representation by a legal professional

Visit criminaldefensefirmmiami.com or contact Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates at 305-379-8688 to discuss your rights. Serving Miami & throughout Florida

 

10 Reasons Your DUI Breath Test May Be Wrong

Many people are surprised to learn that breath tests can often be successfully challenged in court. When breath tests are conducted improperly, recorded on defective equipment, or performed under inadequate conditions, it is often possible for a skilled criminal defense attorney to have them thrown out, resulting in an acquittal of the charges you face.

DUI in FloridaAlthough there are many reasons why breath tests can be wrong, here are ten of the most common:

1. Abnormally Low Hematocrit Values

Breath test machines are calibrated to perform readings at a baseline hematocrit, which is an individual’s ratio of red blood cells to total blood volume. The problem is that these machines are set to measure hematocrit for the average man and the average woman. If your hematocrit is much lower than the average person, then your blood alcohol concentration is likely to read much higher.

2. Breath Temperature

The machine can give a higher reading if you submit a breath sample while you are running a very high fever.

3. Barometric Pressure

Breath test machines are sensitive to changes in barometric pressure, which includes changes in humidity and altitude. If you are arrested during 90 percent humidity—which is entirely possible in the state of Florida, for example—then your reading may be inaccurate.

4. Endogenous Ethanol Production

Did you know that your body makes its own alcohol? In a process known as endogenous ethanol production (or gut fermentation), the body produces a form of alcohol at all times. In some people, this production value is high enough to register legal intoxication on a breath test machine.

5. Inconsistent Breathing Pattern

The pattern of your breath can determine whether you register as legally intoxicated. In a long exhale, the beginning of your breath contains a much lower concentration of alcohol than at the end. If the machine samples the end of your breath, it might pick up a higher level of blood alcohol concentration in your system.

6. Officer Error

Police officers are required to receive proper training on administering alcohol breath tests. An officer who lacks training or certification, or who administers the test improperly, jeopardizes any evidence gleaned from the test itself.

7. Lack of Calibration Records

The law requires police departments to perform routine maintenance and to keep regular logs showing they calibrate their equipment. Discrepancies in the police department’s documentation can result in an acquittal.

8. Radio Frequencies

Breath tests machines are pieces of electronic equipment, which means they are vulnerable to interference from neighboring radio frequencies. If an officer or several officers have their personal radios turned on during testing, then this can cause the machine to give an inaccurate reading.

9. GERD or Acid Reflux

Heartburn sufferers, as well as those with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), are often predisposed to abnormally high breath alcohol concentrations. These conditions can cause acid to travel from the stomach to the esophagus and mouth, carrying residual alcohol from the stomach.

10. High or Low Body Weight

Breath test machine readings can be significantly skewed if an individual is severely underweight or overweight.

Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Miami

If you are facing a DUI in Florida it’s important to work with a Miami criminal defense lawyer who has the experience and skill to build the most effective defense possible in your case. They will be able to work with you to determine the validity of your breath test and the charges against you, and help you to fight and ensure your rights are protected.

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All Gloves Off: Working with a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a crime, then you might be overwhelmed…and wondering where to turn.

Miami Criminal Defense AttorneyWhen you’re facing a criminal conviction, it’s hard to know what steps to take next. Understandably, you’re worried about your finances, your reputation, your relationships, and your freedom.

Powerful Criminal Defense

From the moment the police knock on your door, or you see red and blue flashing lights in your rearview mirror, your entire future hangs in the balance. After any kind of arrest, you need powerful criminal defense…

According to the Innocence Project, wrongful convictions are rampant, with 72 percent of exoneration cases linked to eyewitness misidentification.

A good Miami criminal defense attorney should work hard to safeguard not only your future, but your past. You have worked hard to build a family, a career, and a reputation. After a criminal allegation, some or all of these things can suffer.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer should know firsthand that many criminal allegations are based on inaccurate information and flawed evidence.

A Gloves-off Approach to Criminal Defense

Regardless of the case, charges, evidence, or circumstances, every criminal case deserves to be investigated and could even be defensible. This just means that some cases require more of an aggressive approach than others. Some cases might involve accepting a plea bargain, plead guilty, or plead “no contest”.

Some common crimes that require a solid “gloves-off approach” include:

  • Violent crimes—assault, burglary, and armed robberies
  • Drug charges
  • Auto theft
  • Probation violations
  • Domestic crimes
  • Federal crimes
  • DUIs and other reckless driving charges
  • Felonies and misdemeanors

A good Miami criminal defense attorney should challenge every piece of evidence, question every aspect of the charges against you, and leave no stone unturned when it comes to your defense.

Whatever the challenges in your case, a good Miami criminal defense attorney should tackle them head on, with a gloves-off attitude geared toward reducing and even dismissing the charges against you.

There is simply too much at stake to settle for anything less.

Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney Miami

If you’re facing a DUI or any other type of criminal charge, you need a knowledgeable, experienced ally in your corner. Time is of the essence. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.

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The Police Pulled Me Over – What Are My Rights?

For many people, encounters with the police produce feelings of dread, anxiety, and trepidation – even when you know you have done nothing wrong and have broken no laws.

Miami Criminal AttorneyIt’s common to worry if the police stopped you for any reason.

The sad part is, all too often people don’t know their rights. As a result, they allow police to abuse their authority. If you believe you have been the victim of an unlawful arrest or improper police stop, then you may have a strong defense against criminal charges in your case. You may even be able to get the charges dismissed with the help of a Miami criminal defense attorney.

Did the Police Have Reasonable Suspicion to Detain Your Vehicle?

The police have the authority to stop motorists for purposes of maintaining safety and enforcing traffic laws, such as speed limits and turn signal rules. If the police pull you over, they can’t detain you for any other reason unless they have a valid reason to conduct a second stop completely independent from the reason for the first stop.

In other words, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime or offense separate from the one that made him stop you in the first place.

Know Your Rights at a Traffic Stop

Even something as straightforward as a routine traffic stop can lead to a serious criminal charge if you are unaware of your rights. By law, the officer must tell you why he stopped you as soon as he pulls you over. Furthermore, you have the right to ask why you were stopped if the officer fails to tell you.

At this point, searches or questions that extend beyond the scope of the first, initial stop constitute an improper stop. If the officer pulled you over for running a red light, but now he or she wants to search your car, then this could be a violation of your rights. The officer must clearly state his or her reasonable suspicion of a second, independent criminal activity before detaining you further or asking you more questions.

Moreover, police officers are required to quickly confirm or deny their suspicions of criminal activity. They can’t prolong a stop simply because an individual looks “suspicious” or seems inclined to engage in criminal behavior.

Some examples of improper additional police questioning without reasonable suspicion include:

  • “So where are you going?”
  • “Are there any drugs in the car?”
  • “Do you mind if I search the car?”
  • “How many drinks have you had?”

Meet with Miami Criminal Attorney

These questions are not just improper, they are illegal. If this has happened to you, and you have been charged with a crime as the result of an improper search, you may have a strong defense in your case. Talk to a Miami criminal attorney about your options.

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