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Palm Beach Gardens Criminal Defense Law Blog

What does it mean to be accused of disorderly conduct in Florida?

A fun night out on the town could quickly turn into a nightmare if a police officer accuses you of disorderly conduct. This offense, also called "breach of the peace," may be intentionally vague and broad. It encompasses a variety of activities believed to violate public decency or corrupt public morals -- whatever that means.

In Florida, it means a variety of things, but what it boils down to is that you somehow disturbed someone else's peace. Perhaps you attended a party that got too loud or walked the streets after drinking because you didn't think you should be driving. Whatever the case, an officer arrested you, and you want to understand why. 

Food-stamp fraud leads to arrests in Florida

There are many times when people do things that are wrong but think they won't get caught. One of those things is selling or using food stamps in a way that is against federal law. For example, you aren't legally allowed to sell your food stamps to others and shouldn't be able to purchase certain items with them.

If you do participate in these acts, you could face charges for fraud. That's what's happening in Florida after a six-month operation caught people in the act.

The way you handle a DUI matters to your future

The way you handle your DUI case matters. Two people with similar cases could end up with shockingly different penalties all because of how they approach their situations. In most cases, people settle outside of court regardless of the case's facts. However, the deal you walk away with could be very different depending on what you do to protect yourself.

To start with, remember that everyone's case is going to be different. One person might get stopped with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent and walk away with no charges, while another person could be pulled over at .08 percent and have several penalties to deal with. Part of how that happens comes down to whether or not you fight the charges. Plea deals are normal in DUI cases, but if you have a good reason to question the results of a breath test or the reason an officer pulled you over, it's possible to have the case dismissed. If there's a good reason to fight the case, going to trial could be a better option than taking a plea.

Choosing an attorney: Prosecutors turned defense attorneys

You know that you want to find an attorney for your domestic violence charges. The charges are largely false, but with an alleged victim rallying against you, you know you need as much help as you can get.

It's important to consider working with someone who understands domestic violence laws but who also understands what the prosecution plans to do. Who would that be? Consider working with an attorney who used to be a prosecutor but who now defends those accused of crimes.

Man hit by car was allegedly attacking girlfriend

Allegations of domestic abuse could get you arrested immediately, even though the situation may be complicated. You may have been defending yourself or a victim of a crime, but if the other party makes up a story that the police believe, it could be you fighting for your freedom.

That's why it's so important to work with your attorney as soon as possible. A strong defense can help you protect your rights. Take for example this case involving two people who may have been aggressive toward one another. Although that's the case, only one was arrested.

What should you know about felony charges?

If you're charged with a felony, there are a few things you need to know. First, you have to understand what degree the felony is. Second, you need to know exactly which felony you face. Finally, you need to know if there are any good defenses that you should know about for the alleged criminal act.

Felonies range from third- to first-degree felonies. A first-degree felony is the most serious, while a third-degree felony is less serious. For example, counterfeiting or altering lottery tickets is a third-degree felony in Florida, whereas treason against the state is a first-degree felony.

Signs police look for to make DUI stops

When driving in Florida, you are obligated to adhere to all posted speed limits and existing traffic regulations. Police often make traffic stops with drivers unsure of what particular issues prompted the situation. If you comply with an officer's request to pull over and an officer asks you to step out of your vehicle, you may logically assume he or she suspects you of drunk driving.

Whether you indeed consumed a beer within a few hours of driving or you have no alcohol in your system at all, situations like this often amount to officer's word against yours, and you may have your work cut out for you to try to avoid conviction if prosecutors wind up filing DUI charges against you. Certain driving behaviors alert police officers to possible driver intoxication, and if you know the signs and make good choices, you may be able to avoid legal trouble.

DUIs have long-term consequences that threaten your future

There are many administrative penalties for DUIs, but perhaps more damaging are the penalties that don't come from the law. After a DUI, the charges and potential conviction aren't the only issues you could run into.

It's important to defend yourself against a DUI because of the damage it can do to your reputation. Here are a few ways a conviction could hurt you.

How does domestic violence or accusations affect children?

Domestic violence has a serious effect on children. Even more serious is the effect an unwarranted accusation of domestic violence could have on your life and your children. Imagine them being told that you've done horrible things to their other parent or that they themselves have been victimized without knowing it. Children are impressionable, and accusations could threaten your relationship with yours.

Domestic violence can lead to several issues for children including depression, eating disorders, alcoholism or drug use and criminality. Children exposed to true violence are twice as likely to experience violence when they grow and have adult relationships of their own.

Getting pulled over? Know your rights

You were driving a little recklessly, and you were aware of it. You had too much to drink, but you didn't want to stop. Now, you're seeing flashing lights in your mirror and know you've been caught.

If you're pulled over, you need to know your rights. Taking the right steps now could prevent an arrest or DUI charge in some cases.

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