Get Answers to Common Questions Now

Our clients have many of the same fears and concerns. To get started, we’ve compiled answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about Florida DUI and criminal law, covering a wide range of topics to help each client understand the potential implications and options of many legal situations.

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  • Should I accept a pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention program?

    Pretrial diversion programs are great outcomes for most people that have been charged with a crime in the State of Florida.  However, it may not be the best option for you.  Of course you don’t know this until consulting with a knowledgeable defense attorney that can properly advise if this is truly the best outcome for your case.  Some counties throughout Florida make you sign an admission of guilt prior to being accepted into a pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention program.  They make this a condition of being accepted--meaning there's no way around it!  Is this something you want to do without consulting an attorney?

    If you are not a U.S. Citizen this admission of guilt can hurt your ability to obtain status or even Naturalize as a citizen.  Furthermore, accepting a referral to a pretrial diversion program when your case should be dismissed by the State or there are issues with the evidence, may not be in your best interest.  If for whatever reason you are “bounced out” of the program or do not complete it, your case will be set for Trial and you will have to face the original charges.  Not to mention having to deal with the admission of guilt you gave as a condition of being accepted into the pretrial intervention or diversion program.  This can be extremely damaging if you are not properly advised and accept a program when the State could have been pushed to perhaps offer to dismiss the charges.

    You’ll want to be properly advised and have a lawyer that does all the leg work before advising you on your best course of action—not a lawyer that is looking to make a quick buck off of your case and throw you into a pretrial diversion or intervention program.  

    Remember, a criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

  • Will the State offer me a plea deal to close my case at arraignment?

    This is a major problem in misdemeanor cases where you’re not guaranteed a public defender.  It is extremely troubling to sit in court on an almost daily basis and watch as defendant after defendant comes forth and accepts pleas to DUI, possession of marijuana, petit theft, disorderly conduct or driving while license suspended.  All of these and many other misdemeanors carry serious and life-altering consequences that can affect parts of your life such as becoming a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, obtaining a professional license or getting a job, being expelled from school, even getting a loan or renting an apartment.

    If you’re charged with a felony, you will get a public defender at arraignment and will probably have a plea offered. The consequences are also extremely severe. Have you had adequate time to think about the evidence?  Have you been able to review the evidence and discuss it with your lawyer? Do you know how the plea will affect you going forward if you have a professional license or are not a citizen?

    More often than not, it is best to listen to any pleas offered at arraignment and then take some time to think about it.  It is not uncommon for the court to set a plea or status hearing shortly after your arraignment for this very reason.  Not to mention, your lawyer will probably receive some, if not all, of the discovery (evidence) the State intends to use against you.  This will give you some time to review the evidence and discuss any potential pleas with your lawyer.  

    An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to properly advise you as to whether the plea offered at arraignment is worth considering given the State's evidence and your ultimate goals when resolving the case. 

    A criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

    If you or someone you love has been arrested in Miami, don’t delay.  You don’t have time to waste!  Call our office, (305) 707-7345, to schedule your 4-Point Case Evaluation and Strategy Session.  

    Our Guarantee to You:

    We guarantee to have you in and out of the office in less than 60 minutes. 

    We guarantee this will be different than what most other lawyers offer when they say “Free Consultation.”  

    We guarantee that we will actually discuss your case in detail rather than try to scare you while we sell our services and brag about ourselves.

  • Should I go to my arraignment without a lawyer?

    This is one of the most common questions and myths that criminal defense attorneys hear from prospective clients.  While we understand that not everyone has the money to retain a private attorney to fight for them in criminal court; you should try to hire one prior to arraignment (and give them time to reach out to the State) if possible because the benefit to you can be huge.  Why is that?  See, an arraignment is the beginning of every criminal case.  It is where the state announces whether they are filing charges against you and what charges they’re filing. 

    Now, you have to be selective and hire someone you trust as not every lawyer that you hire prior to the State making its filing decision will reach out to them, conduct initial investigation and fight for you in an attempt to get the State to not file charges or to file reduced charges.  Getting the State to file reduced charges may not seem like an outright victory, but its effects can be extremely valuable because oftentimes where you start can determine and affect where you will finish.

    The saddest thing I see day in and day out in criminal court is people that show up to arraignment without a lawyer and just take pleas to close their case without understanding what consequences the plea will have, without analyzing the evidence that the State has against them and if they can even prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is extremely common in misdemeanor cases.  While it may seem that you’re good to go and this will all be behind you, I cannot begin to tell you how many people seek us out because a plea they took so many years ago is now preventing them from becoming a U.S. Citizen, getting a job, loan or professional license.

    If you’re charged with a felony and subscribe to this method of thinking, you must really like gambling with your life.  While you will be assigned a public defender at arraignment and not have to go it alone, you are missing out on the chance of having a private criminal defense lawyer reach out to the State before arraignment in an attempt to not have charges filed. In addition to this, chances are that a thorough criminal defense attorney will have reviewed some of the evidence, spoken with the State and will be able to advise you as to whether a plea offered at arraignment is worth considering.

    A criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

    If you or someone you love has been arrested in Miami, don’t delay.  You don’t have time to waste!  Call our office, (305) 707-7345, to schedule your 4-Point Case Evaluation and Strategy Session.  

    Our Guarantee to You:

    We guarantee to have you in and out of the office in less than 60 minutes. 

    We guarantee this will be different than what most other lawyers offer when they say “Free Consultation.”  

    We guarantee that we will actually discuss your case in detail rather than try to scare you while we sell our services and brag about ourselves.

     

  • What happens if I Get Caught Driving for a Purpose Not Allowed or Covered by my "Business Purpose Only" Restriction?

    If you are driving with a Business Purposes Only license, you likely already have some problems on your hands.  The last thing you want to do is complicate that by being caught driving for a purpose that is not allowed by your restriction.  If you are stopped and the officer believes you are driving for a purpose that is not covered by your restriction, they can issue a Uniform Traffic Citation for a violation of section 322.16(5) of the Florida Statutes.  They can also physically arrest you and take you to jail as this violation is a second-degree misdemeanor. 

    Any time you are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor you are facing up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.  You can also be sentenced to six months’ probation.  If this happens to you, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can take your hardship license away or add time to the revocation or suspension period in addition to adding restrictions. 

    If your driving privileges were suspended because of a DUI arrest, you are jeopardizing your future and risking a lot of further and possibly unnecessary consequences.  If you have been admitted to the Back on Track Program a new-law violation can result in being bounced out from the program.  If your DUI case is still open in criminal court (whether you are in Back on Track or still fighting your charge), it can further complicate things as the State Attorney’s Office is extremely strict when it comes to driving on a suspended license or a hardship license as a result of a DUI revocation.  The standard offer to resolve your case will likely be 10 days in jail and a plea to DUI.  Remember, a DUI conviction can never be erased from your record.  It will follow you for life.   Lastly, if you are currently on probation or serving your DUI sentence, this will be considered a new-law violation as well as a violation of probation. 

    If you’ve been arrested for DUI and your license has been suspended, give us a call at (305) 707-7345, so that we can discuss how you can drive again. 

  • What Does "Business Purpose Only" Mean for my Driver's License?

    When you are issued a “Business Purposes Only” permit, you are allowed to drive for any purpose necessary to “maintain livelihood.” This type of license operates under Restriction C.  The restriction is limited to driving:

    • To and from work
    • School or educational purposes
    • Necessary on-the-job driving
    • To go to church, or
    • To see a doctor or medical reasons.

    When you are driving with a Business Purposes Only license, it is important to keep driving to a minimum and ONLY for the purposes outlined above and in section 322.271 of the Florida Statutes.  If there was ever a time to err on the side of caution, this is it.  Drive only when absolutely necessary.  Meaning if you can have someone take you to church or to the doctor, do it.  If you can car pool when driving to school, take advantage of it.  If you can use public transportation or it’s feasible to take Uber or Lyft to work, I would definitely consider it.  I always advise my clients to do this and if you happen to work at a job that requires you are present at off-hours such as a server, bartender, nurse, security guard, I always recommend that you have your work schedule and paystubs handy so that you can dispel any suspicions should you be stopped.

    Just because you are driving for a valid purpose under your restricted license does not mean that the police officer that stopped you will agree.  It’s definitely better to be safe than sorry when driving with a hardship license.   The consequences are if you are caught driving with a suspended license are severe.

    If you’ve been arrested for DUI and your license has been suspended, give us a call at (305) 707-7345, so that we can discuss how you can drive again. 

  • What is a Hardship License for "Business Purpose Only"?

    Living in Miami it can seem like all is lost after your license is suspended, revoked or canceled.  However, you may still qualify for a restricted license that allows driving for certain purposes.  You need to be aware that no hardship restriction can be added to a Commercial Driver License (CDL). 

    Therefore, anyone who seeks a hardship reinstatement of their driver’s license, must obtain a Class E license.  The Class E license can include one of two restrictions: C Restriction or D Restriction.

    Restriction C is known as a “Business Purposes Only” license which allows you to drive for the limited purpose that is “necessary to maintain livelihood, including driving to and from work, necessary on-the-job driving, driving for educational purposes, and driving for church and medical purposes.”  See Florida Statutes, § 322.271(1)(c).

    Restriction D is known as “Employment Purposes Only” and that a driving privilege that is limited to driving to and from work or any necessary on-the-job driving.

    Violating any of the above restrictions results in a Misdemeanor of the Second Degree and you will lose your driving privilege for the rest of the suspension/revocation period. 

    If you’ve been arrested for DUI and your license has been suspended, give us a call at (305) 707-7345, so that we can discuss how you can drive again. 

  • How Much Do Personal Injury Lawyers Charge in Miami, Florida?

    Most personal injury or car accident lawyers throughout Miami, Broward and South Florida charge 33%-40% of the recovery they obtain for you.  This is known as a contingency fee because it depends on the value of your settlement or jury award.  For example, if we obtain a settlement of $100,000 for you, our fee would be $33,000 if no lawsuit is filed, or $40,000 if a lawsuit was required.  However, you would not pay us anything(!) until your case has been resolved. 

    Plus, I have an unwritten rule at my firm that says: our fee will not exceed your recovery.  I don’t care what the contract says we are entitled to, I will reduce our fees so that you net more than we do.  You’re the one that got hurt, and we were privileged to represent you.  While clients need us to fight for them, we need you too.  And I realize who comes first. 

    If a personal injury attorney wants to charge you a “retainer fee” or bill you “hourly,” I’d look for new counsel.  Remember, not all Florida injury lawyers have the same qualifications and track record.  Just because an attorney charges only 25% (or less) doesn’t mean that is the better choice.  Assume that lawyer is only able to get you $50,000, they are not as valuable as the lawyer that charges 33% but gets you $100,000.    

  • Do Miami Personal Injury Attorneys Charge Retainer Fees?

    I realize that after having your world turned upside down as a result of a car accident or injury case, the last thing you want to do after being hurt is pay a retainer fee.  Your focus is on getting better, getting back to work and regaining your health.  Most lawyers who handle accident and injury cases do not charge a retainer fee.  Some, however, will expect you do come up with a deposit for costs up front.  I am not one of those lawyers.

    If an attorney in Miami tries to charge you anything up front or do your accident case for anything other than a contingency fee, you may want to consider speaking with someone else.  If I believe in your case enough to take it on, I will be willing to accept a fee once we have successfully settled or won your case that is “contingent” with the compensation that you obtain. 

    So you are aware, personal injury lawyers generally charge a contingency fee of 33%-40% at the end of the case.  We don’t charge hourly or retainer fees.  If you have additional questions or want to schedule a free consultation, call our Miami office today at (305) 707-7345.

     

  • Should I Hire a Lawyer for My Car Accident Case in Florida?

    Like so many legal questions about car accidents, the answer is: it depends.  If your injuries are minor, you only had 1-2 visits to the doctor you probably don’t need to and shouldn’t hire a lawyer.  If the damage to your car is being paid by the at-fault driver’s insurance and you did not require medical treatment you need to realize two things: 1). You are very lucky and 2). I doubt an attorney could do much better than you can do on your own. 

    However, if your medical bills are greater than $2,500, you missed time from work or are still experiencing pain and physical problems a week or two after your accident, I encourage to at least speak with us.  If the insurance company for the at-fault driver is giving you a tough time or the runaround when it comes to accepting liability (fault), we may be able to help.  Most lawyers offer free consultations so you can have your questions answered. 

    Remember, under Florida’s PIP law, you must be seen by a doctor within 14 days and ultimately obtain an Emergency Medical Condition (EMC) in order to receive your full PIP benefits.  That’s why it is always best to at least get checked out immediately after your accident to make sure you are covered and there are no serious problems. 

    If you want to speak with a car accident attorney serving Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, Palm Beach and Collier County, call me at (305) 707-7345.  Even if you don’t hire us, we can help provide you with valuable information in the form of free books and other materials.

     

  • I Have a Herniated Lumbar Disc after a Car Crash, What Should I Do?

    One of the most common and troubling injuries after a car accident is a herniated disc in the lumbar region of the spine/back.  The lumbar region is in the lower part of the back and is a serious injury because this part of the back controls a lot of what we do in our everyday lives.  Sitting, standing and bending are all affected by herniation to the lumbar spine.

    If you have suffered a herniation to the lumbar spine after a car wreck, you should take this injury seriously and it is not something you can ignore.  People often make the mistake of assuming that this will simply go away and take care of itself.  That is false and it will not improve and ultimately go away or become manageable without proper treatment.  Receiving treatment is very important following an accident especially if you are diagnosed with herniated disc(s) in the lumbar spine.  When you do go in for treatment, be sure to communicate all of your symptoms with your doctor.  Doing so will be very important should you decide to file a claim.