Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Blog

300 new prosecutors added to fight nation's crime

The attorney general of the United States has put 300 new prosecutors in action -- the largest number added in more than a decade.

The goal is to add some more strength to the fight against opioids, immigration violations and violent criminals. The cost to the Justice Department for the new additions will be $26 million, but the agency says that it has funded the additions by cutting out some unnecessary items from the budget. It's likely that the money comes from the $702 million that was previously eliminated from other programs the department runs.

How does federal law affect the legalization of marijuana?

Florida legalized medical marijuana in 2016, but has only recently started issuing ID cards allowing residents to purchase medical marijuana. A ban on smokable marijuana remains in effect.

Two separate groups, Regulate Florida and Floridians for Freedom, are working to legalize the drug for all Floridians. The groups approach legalization from two slightly different angles. Regulate Florida wants marijuana to be treated like alcohol, so it would be legal for those over 21 to use, grow and sell marijuana. Floridians for Freedom is pushing for roughly the same thing—use, cultivation and possession for those over 21—but it also wants legalization to become a part of the Florida Constitution. The group argues this could create stronger protections that may prevent federal interference.

Is marijuana use legal in Florida?

Florida passed the legalization of medicinal marijuana in 2016, but the state has just started issuing ID cards allowing its use. According to the Sun Sentinel, over 100,000 people have registered to use medical marijuana across the state. However, the state still bans all smokable forms of the drug.


Online actions can lead to charges of terrorism, bullying

Social media has become deeply integrated into American culture -- especially among young people. While the law is generally a few steps behind real-world changes, the national focus on terrorism and violence in the schools and other public places has forced legislation into being rather rapidly, particularly concerning anything that might be considered a "terroristic threat" or online bullying.

Is it really against the law to blow off some steam online?

How do you protect yourself against a drunk driving charge?

It's all too easy to end up with a drunk driving charge these days. Most people mistakenly believe that they're safe from charges as long as their blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .08. However, that not true.

In fact, a simple traffic stop can turn into a legal nightmare for a driver who has had even a single drink. The law recognizes the fact that everyone responds to alcohol differently. Therefore, even though a BAC of .08 is an automatic cutoff point, you may be considered too drunk to drive at a far lower amount if there's any evidence -- including merely the officer's testimony -- that your driving was somehow impaired.

There is still hope after a drunk driving charge

In our last post, we talked about the massive financial consequences of a DUI. And in the post before that, we discussed the serious nature of a DUI charge, and how these offenses can leave the accused in a tough spot. Today, we want to give hope to those that are accused of this violation because there are indeed effective ways to defend yourself against the charges.

For example, let's say that prior to being pulled over, the police officer that initiated the stop didn't have probable cause. This could be a critical part of your defense. The police or the prosecution may have also botched their side of the investigation by failing to follow proper chain of custody of evidence, failing to properly administer a breath or blood test, or violating your rights in some other way.

A DUI is more expensive than you might think

When people are charged with DUI, they typically worry about going to jail and losing their driver’s license. It is only later that they realize the financial costs of a DUI conviction.

The costs can be considerable, easily ranging in the thousands of dollars. Learn what makes a DUI conviction so expensive:

Felony DUI? Many people don’t realize how serious this is.

While all DUI charges are serious, a felony/aggravated DUI is far worse than a misdemeanor DUI. If you or a loved one is facing felony DUI charges, you must act quickly to protect your rights and your freedom.

There are several reasons you can be charged with felony DUI, including:

Do you have to take the Breathalyzer test?

This is a question many people ask, although some ask it too late after they have been pulled over by the police. Don't put yourself in that situation. Learn more about breath tests so you can make an informed decision.

There is more than one type of breath test

If the police stop you on suspicion of drunk driving, you will likely be asked to take a breath test. It's important to know that the results of this roadside portable breath test are not admissible in court. If you refuse the test, however, the officer will probably arrest you and take you to the station.

What to expect if the judge orders an ignition interlock device

Many people think that ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are used only in very serious DUI cases. However, this is not true. If you have been charged with drinking and driving in Florida, a judge may order you to install an ignition interlock device, even if it’s a first offense.

According to Florida statutes, an IID is required in the following circumstances:

  • First offense – If the judge orders it
  • First conviction with 0.15 percent BAL (blood alcohol level) or with a minor child in the vehicle – Minimum of six months
  • Second conviction – Minimum of one year
  • Second conviction with 0.15 percent BAL or with a minor child in the vehicle – Minimum of two years
  • Third conviction – Minimum of two years
  • Four or more convictions – Minimum of five years
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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
1311 SE Second Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

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