Frequently Asked Questions

What is the officer looking for during the initial detention at a DUI scene?

What is the officer looking for during the initial detention at a DUI scene?

Any indication that you've been drinking and that you're ... read more

What is an injunction?

What is an injunction?

A: An injunction is a court order signed by a circuit court judge prohibiting contact. They're also known as restraining orders. Generally speaking, if you're served with an injunction, you're prohibited from having direct or indirect contact with the person whose requested the court order. read more

What is probation? What do I have to do on probation?

What is probation? What do I have to do on probation?

A: Probation is a period of time that's ordered by the court when imposing sentence. Probation could either be supervised probation or administrative probation. Depending upon the nature of the charge and the sentencing court, you may have specific conditions that will have to be met during your period of probation or supervision. read more

What should I do if I am asked to take a field sobriety test in Florida?

What should I do if I am asked to take a field sobriety test in Florida?

A: Because field sobriety tests are designed in a way that a person cannot possibly pass them, if you're asked to take one you should simply refuse. In all likelihood of the officer has asked you to do a field sobriety test he has already made a decision to take you to jail. read more

Will I lose my license following a conviction for DUI in Florida? For how long?

Will I lose my license following a conviction for DUI in Florida? For how long?

A: Any conviction for a DUI in the State of Florida requires a mandatory suspension of your driver's license. The length of that suspension varies depending upon whether or not it's a first offense and whether or not you have completed certain mandated requirements by Florida Statutes, such as the completion of a DUI school. read more

What happens if I violate my probation?

What happens if I violate my probation?

A: If you violate your probation, the judge that placed you on that probation will then issue a warrant for your arrest. Depending upon the basis for the violation of probation, you may or may not be entitled to have a bond when you're picked up on that warrant. It's important to speak with an attorney, prior to the warrant being issued, in order to be adequately prepared at that violation of probation hearing. Typically, if you do not have a private attorney, it takes between two and three weeks before you'll actually have a court date with your original sentencing judge. read more

What is a diversion program? Can I do a diversion program?

What is a diversion program? Can I do a diversion program?

A: The diversion program is an alternative to prosecution. Often time, on first defenses, the state attorney's office will extend an offer for you to participate in one of these programs. Basically, what it is is just an agreement that we enter into or the accused enters into where you have to complete certain conditions. In exchange for you completing those conditions, your case is closed out. You're not prosecuted. read more

What happens if I am arrested for domestic violence?

What happens if I am arrested for domestic violence?

A: If you're arrested on a domestic violence charge, you will be held without a bond until you appear before a judge. At that initial appearance, if the victim is not present, the judge will order very specific conditions of your release. The specific conditions can include the requirement that you have a GPS monitor placed on you, that you not have any contact with the alleged victim, and that you not return to your home. read more

What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer in Florida?

What happens if I refuse to take a breathalyzer in Florida?

A: If you refuse to take the breath test in the state of Florida, you will lose your license for a minimum of one year. Because driving is a privilege and not a constitutional right, when you get your driver's license you consent and have already consented to the fact that you will submit to the breathalyzer. Therefore, if you refuse to take the breathalyzer, you will lose your license for a year. read more

There is a warrant for my arrest. What do I do?

There is a warrant for my arrest. What do I do?

A: The first thing you should do if you find out that there's a warrant for your arrest is to contact a lawyer. A lawyer can determine whether or not there is a bond, can also help you contact a bondsman and prearrange to have that bondsman post the bond, and will also be able to tell you what that warrant is for. read more

What are the defenses to a DUI in Florida?

What are the defenses to a DUI in Florida?

A: There are a number of defenses to a DUI in the state of Florida. Some of those defenses would be that the law enforcement officer did not have probable cause to stop your vehicle to begin with, that the officer did not conduct the field sobriety test in a manner prescribed by law. You may have a medical condition that could possibly be a defense. Again, there are numerous defenses to an DUI and it's important that you consult with an attorney. read more

How do I get a bond set for a domestic violence case?

How do I get a bond set for a domestic violence case?

A: Your attorney will have to reach out to the state attorney's office and input will have to be received from the alleged victim of the domestic violence. Once that is accomplished, that information will be relayed to the judge. A hearing may or may not be required. read more

I was served with an injunction. What should I do?

I was served with an injunction. What should I do?

A: If you were served with an injunction, it was in all likelihood a temporary injunction. It's really important for you to contact an attorney who can help you prepare for the hearing that will be set, to ensure that a permanent injunction is not entered against you. read more

Is an injunction the same as a no contact order?

Is an injunction the same as a no contact order?

A: They are not the same. No contact orders are generally entered into as a condition of a pending criminal charge. A no contact order usually expires whenever the criminal case is closed. An injunction on the other hand, is an order that's entered into by a civil court judge, that may extend indefinitely or for a longer period of time. read more

Should I agree to a plea bargain?

Should I agree to a plea bargain?

A: The decision to enter into a plea bargain is something that should be made after you've had the benefit of receiving the state's discovery in your case, which is the state's evidence in your case, reviewing any possible defenses you might have in that case, and discussing the possible penalties that could accompany a plea or a conviction after trial, should you not enter a plea bargain. read more

The police never read me my Miranda rights. Will my case get dropped?

The police never read me my Miranda rights. Will my case get dropped?

A: Whether or not you are read your Miranda rights, probably will have no bearing on whether or not the state drops your charges. If you are not read your rights, there's a good chance that any statements that you gave, if you were in custody, cannot be used against you in any further court proceedings. read more

How long will I be on probation?

How long will I be on probation?

A: The typical term of probation on a misdemeanor is one year. On felony cases, it can vary. The typical felony probationary term is between one year and three years. A lot of it depends upon the sentencing judge, and who the prosecutor is. read more

How do I get a work permit?

How do I get a work permit?

A: The first thing you need to do in order to get a work permit following a DUI arrest or a conviction would be to enroll in and then successfully complete the DUI school. Once you have proof of completion of the DUI school, you need to request a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles. They will then make a determination as to whether or not they will issue the work permit. read more

How do I drop a charge of domestic violence if I am the victim?

How do I drop a charge of domestic violence if I am the victim?

A: Only the state attorney's office can drop the charge, whether or not you're the victim of a domestic violence. The first step is to find out who the prosecutor is that's assigned to the case, set an appointment up to meet with that prosecutor, and then sign what is known as a waiver of prosecution. read more

Do I need a lawyer for an injunction hearing?

Do I need a lawyer for an injunction hearing?

A: It's not legally required that you have an attorney at an injunction hearing. However, if you consult with an attorney before the injunction hearing, that attorney will be able to go over the facts and circumstances that are alleged that led to the issuance of the temporary injunction and will help you prepare and present testimony and evidence for the court to consider so that a permanent injunction is not issued. read more

How do I get a bond reduction?

How do I get a bond reduction?

A: Reducing your bond requires a court order. Typically, your attorney will contact the State Attorney's office and explain your particular circumstances and the reasons why you can't afford the bond that is already in place. A motion can then be filed with the court, and a hearing be set. read more

The police want to get my side of the story. Should I speak to them?

The police want to get my side of the story. Should I speak to them?

A: Prior to speaking with a police officer, you should always consult with an attorney. Typically, the police do not want to get your side of the story, and they're simply looking for additional evidence to use against you in their criminal investigation. read more

Do I have to consent to a request to search my vehicle?

Do I have to consent to a request to search my vehicle?

A: You do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle, in fact, if the police have a legal basis to search your vehicle, they will do so without asking for your consent. read more

Can I terminate probation early?

Can I terminate probation early?

A: Unless the judge that imposed sentence specifically stated that you could, that you can't terminate probation early, you always have the opportunity to file a motion for early termination of probation. Typically, a judge will not entertain that motion unless you've completed at least half of your probationary period, and have completed all the specific terms and conditions of that probation. read more

Can I be charged with domestic violence if it’s my word against hers/his?

Can I be charged with domestic violence if it’s my word against hers/his?

A: You can be charged with domestic violence solely based upon a person making an accusation against you with no physical evidence, but keep in mind, being accused or charged with a crime is not necessarily the same as being convicted of that crime. That would include the domestic violence charges. read more

What are the possible ways my case may be resolved?

What are the possible ways my case may be resolved?

Typically, criminal cases are resolved in one of ... read more

The victim in my case does not wish to press charges, why do I need an attorney?

The victim in my case does not wish to press charges, why do I need an attorney?

If probable cause exists, the police have the right to ... read more

What happens if the police didn’t read me my rights?

What happens if the police didn’t read me my rights?

On television you typically hear the police advise a ... read more

When are the police allowed to search me?

When are the police allowed to search me?

Typically, the police can only search you or your ... read more

What is an arraignment?

What is an arraignment?

An arraignment is the procedure where the state attorney ... read more

What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor?

What is the difference between a felony and misdemeanor?

In Florida, crimes are ranked in terms of severity and ... read more

What is First Appearance?

What is First Appearance?

When a person is arrested and is held in jail, the law ... read more

What is the process to post a bond?

What is the process to post a bond?

Usually, when a person is arrested there is a monetary ... read more

What can be done on a case where there is “NO BOND”?

What can be done on a case where there is “NO BOND”?

In certain circumstances, a person is arrested and is ... read more

I’ve been arrested for a crime, now what?

I’ve been arrested for a crime, now what?

Because time is of the essence, a person arrested for a ... read more