Gainesville Personal Injury, Divorce and Alimony Attorney

Do officers and witnesses appear at traffic hearing?

A question that is regularly asked of me is whether officers and witnesses appear at traffic hearings. The communities of Gainesville, Waldo and Alachua (Alachua County) or Ocala, Belleview and Dunnellon (Marion County) or Starke and Lawtey (Bradford County) or Lake City (Columbia County) are very different than the communities in South Florida.  My understanding is that no show rates are higher down south, regardless, here in North Florida, witnesses and officers do fail to appear. 

All officers and witnesses are subpoenaed to appear. Everyone knows that they are supposed to show up. Notwithstanding the issuance of a subpoena, people still fail to appear. There could be a problem with the service, a conflict in schedules, or the officer or trooper could be responding to an emergency.

This week in traffic infraction court in Alachua County I covered eleven (11) cases. The communities of Waldo, the Alachua County Sheriff, Gainesville, and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) on I-75 and rural roads were all subpoenaed to appear. Five (5) cases were dismissed due to the officers or witnesses failure to appear. One of the cases was a single car crash and the driver was represented. I always say that if you are cited for careless driving and no other person was involved, then you MUST be represented because the State cannot prove their case. This person having taken that advice had their careless driving single car crash case dismissed.

The life lesson is that if a person is facing an accusation from the government you should hire a lawyer to defend you in court and make the government prove the accusation. If you or a family member is cited for any traffic or criminal matter, please click or call today to hire a lawyer to represent you in court.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529

Felony DUI in Florida

In some circumstances Driving Under the Influence of drugs or alcohol or DUI can be charged as a Felony DUI. DUI sometimes also referred to as DWI is an offense that can carry enhanced penalties both by the number of convictions and the severity of the bodily injury to another.

Felony DUI can be if a person has priors. If there are three (3) prior offenses without regard to when the prior offenses occurred, a fourth (4th) DUI can always be categorized as a Felony DUI. Second, if a person is arrested for a third (3rd) DUI within ten (10) years, then that third (3rd) within ten (10) can be charged as a Felony DUI. The ten (10) years is from the last conviction; therefore, it is not required that the prior DUIs all be within ten (10) years.  Only the most recent conviction for DUI has to be within ten (10) years. 

DUI can also be a felony if a person is accused of causing or contributing to causing a “serious bodily injury”. Whether an injury caused by DUI is a “serious bodily injury” can require expert medical testimony which can be expensive. DUI manslaughter, when the alleged victim dies, is also a Felony DUI. DUI Manslaughter is a second degree felony or can be filed as a first degree felony if the accused failed to give information or render aid.

If you or someone you know has been arrested or may be arrested for a felony DUI of any kind, quick action is the best defense. The best results are obtained when the scene of a crash is documented immediately. If you think you may be accused of DUI with serious bodily injury or DUI manslaughter, or if your blood was taken after a crash, then you must act right away to preserve evidence that will otherwise not be available to your defense team later. Click or call today to get started.

Gainesville (352) 371-9141

Ocala (352) 694-4529