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Fort Myers Criminal Law Blog

A fake ID can mean real trouble

For many young people, summer is over, and they have already returned to their colleges and universities to resume their studies. College is a heady time, full of new opportunities and freedom they may not have had at home. You may remember your own college days well and hope your child has positive and rewarding experiences.

You are likely not fooled into believing that your child will travel through his or her college days without tasting alcohol. In fact, it may be difficult to resist the lure of friends' invitations to parties, bars and gatherings. If your child is underage, he or she may be tempted to procure a fake ID in order to access alcohol in these situations.

A DUI checkpoint can be a turning point

You see the signs and lights ahead and realize you are stuck. There is a DUI roadblock, and you can't turn back. Maybe you had a couple of beers earlier in the evening, and you're sure police will smell it on your breath. If they do, what will happen? Will they arrest you? Will they search your car? If they do, what will they find? Are checkpoints even legal?

These questions may flood your mind in the moments while you sit in line waiting to pass through the checkpoint. Checkpoints seem to be part of life in Florida, especially around holidays like New Year's and July Fourth. While some states have banned them as unconstitutional, Florida uses checkpoints frequently as a way to identify and deter drunk drivers.

Assault? Battery? Do you know of which crime you've been accused?

Finding yourself in a heated situation can cause you to feel a variety of emotions. You may feel afraid because the incident has escalated more quickly than anticipated, and you may also feel uncertain as to the best way to handle the predicament. Unfortunately, heated arguments or other incidents can sometimes turn dangerous or violent, and the authorities could become involved.

If you end up facing criminal charges as a result of such an event, you may wonder how the exact charges could affect your situation and how you could potentially handle those charges. In cases of suspected violent incidents, assault and battery charges typically come about. However, you may not know the difference between these two crimes.

Charged with DUI while vacationing in Florida

Florida is a beautiful state with miles of beaches and various forms of entertainment available for people of all ages. As such, it is a popular vacation destination for couples, families and even single travelers. However, what happens if, while vacationing here, you are ultimately arrested and charged with DUI after spending a night on the town?

Obviously, you will have a lot of questions about how an out-of-state criminal charge will affect you. The truth is, facing an out-of-state crime can land you in double the trouble.

Don't let your firearm trigger problems on the flight you booked

Whether you're a full-time resident in Florida or just passing through for business reasons or personal vacationing, you may be one of thousands who use flight services at one of the state's many airport facilities. It's no secret airports can be crowded, noisy, busy places that often contain groups of stressed out, frustrated people who are trying to reach their destinations to no avail when airlines cancel or delay flights, or when desk attendants make ticketing errors.  Most airports advertise positive customer service experiences.

Complications and issues with Transportation Security Administration regulations, however, can bring a happy flying day to an abrupt halt. Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, airports nationwide bumped up their security. Before you board a flight, it's crucial to thoroughly research all requirements, prohibitions and laws regarding issues such as firearms, baggage and what you may or may not do on an airplane. Seeking clarification of passenger regulations ahead of time can prevent potentially serious problems in the air.

Police often arrest first and ask questions later

You waited all year for your trip to Florida. When spring break finally arrived, everything went as planned - at first. You hopped in the car with a few of your best friends, hit the highway and headed for a week of fun in the sun and time away from your studies at school. What could be better than beach volleyball, catching some rays and all-you-can-eat crab legs buffets, right?

At least, that's what you thought before you wound up in the back of a police car, headed straight for jail on charges of assault. You may have tried to explain to the officer that you merely tried to defend yourself, defend someone else or just ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other party or parties involved gave you no other choice.

Leaving a restaurant with a partially consumed bottle of wine

It's almost that time of year when college students throughout the nation come to Florida to enjoy a little R & R during spring break. If you plan to be among this year's vacationers, you've probably already begun making plans. In addition to booking hotel rooms, contacting friends who will be traveling with you, and creating a rough itinerary of how you'll spend your time when you arrive, you might also want to do a little research regarding various types of laws, just in case a problem arises while you're here.

Medical marijuana now legal in Florida: what that means for you

On the ballot this past November, Florida residents cast their votes regarding the legalization of medical marijuana use. The measure passed overwhelmingly, allowing chronically, terminally or seriously ill Floridians to have access to marijuana for the treatment of certain conditions or to manage chronic pain.

This may be great news if you face the challenges of a serious medical condition, but it is important to understand what this amendment to the state's constitution means for you or a loved one.

Minimizing the negative impact of DUI in college

If you're a college student in Florida who has been hitting the books hard since the beginning of the 2016 school year, you're probably like many others who seek respite from their studies from time to time with friends. Perhaps your school has a common area where you can shoot pool, watch a movie or socialize. You may also live on a campus near a local town where the nightlife is bustling and merchants welcome local college students.

If your visit to town led to trouble with the law in a traffic stop on the way back to campus, you are certainly not the first college student to have faced such circumstances.

Health conditions that can affect a field sobriety test

Law enforcement may have you believe that a breathalyzer or field sobriety test is the be-all and end-all in support of a DUI charge. Even sober people may struggle to pass, however, and they are neither an admission nor objective evidence of guilt. There are many factors, in fact, that can complicate the findings of a field sobriety test. Potential health conditions are not the least of these. 

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