What to Expect After a DUI

An arrest and conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol is a frightening and life-changing experience. It’s important to know what to expect after a DUI, especially if it’s your first one, so you can be prepared. You need to adjust to a different way of life now and in the future. Know that many DUI consequences are far-reaching. Here’s what you should know.

Employment

One difficult thing to deal with after a DUI is the effect on current and future employment. Your current employment may be at risk if you take a lot of time off for DUI proceedings. Also, having limited transportation could increase the number of days you take off or arrive late. Future employment is affected because of your criminal record. There are some positions that you may not be eligible for. Take advantage of any job or career programs offered in your area.

Counseling

Often, a counseling program is mandatory after a DUI conviction. The counseling may be specifically for alcohol abuse, or it may be a drug and alcohol combination program. The program will likely be several weeks or months long. Therefore, it’s important to always attend unless you are severely ill. In all likelihood, you will be required to complete the counseling program successfully as part of your sentence. In fact, it’s important that you attend and make arrangements to ensure the program is completed.

Transportation

Unfortunately, transportation can be significantly affected if your license was suspended as a result of your DUI. First, apply for a hardship license that grants you the ability to drive to and from work yourself. However, you may not be approved for this so it’s important to also explore the option of public transportation. Fort Lauderdale has a wealth of public transportation options, but they do cost extra time and money. If traveling by bus to work, plan for delays and allow yourself plenty of time to get there.

Contact a Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney Today

Arguably the most effective way to avoid life changes after a DUI arrest is to avoid being convicted. An experienced DUI attorney can help. Call Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. today for a consultation at 954-400-5000.


What You Need To Know About Divorce Court

The courtroom can be a frightening place for divorcing couples. Naturally, you’ll want to know what to expect, especially if you’ve never been inside a courtroom before. It’s quite different from what you see on television; there are some things to keep in mind to help you prepare. Here’s what you should know.

Basic Courtroom Etiquette

Treat the courtroom like you might treat a job interview. Make sure your cell phone is turned off or on silent (not vibrate, you’ll be surprised at how loud a vibrating cell phone can be in a quiet courtroom). Also, don’t bring in drinks or food, don’t chew gum, and make sure to remove your hat or sunglasses. Look for signs in your specific courtroom that list anything else that isn’t allowed.

Be Prepared for the Metal Detectors

All courtrooms screen for weapons. How this is done varies from location to location, but you can expect to go through a metal detector. Metal detectors won’t pick up small pieces of metal in your clothing, like pants buttons, but they will pick up on keys left in your pocket. You’ll likely be asked to put your purse, wallet, or other personal effects in a bin to be scanned while you walk through the metal detector. It’s not much different from going to the airport.

You May See People You Don’t Know

Many people are surprised that divorce court isn’t private. The courtrooms are public and anyone can sit in on a case. While this means you can ask family or friends to come support you (this is not recommended) it also means that you’ll likely see some people you don’t know. Be prepared for strange faces and stay focused on your case.

There Won’t Be a Jury

Juries are typically used for criminal cases and aren’t necessary in divorce cases. Your divorce will be presided over by a commissioner or a judge. Remember to call the judge “your honor” when addressing him or her to show respect.

Contact Our Office Today 

Divorce is best handled by a competent divorce attorney. Facing family court alone, even with a few ideas of what to expect, can be a harrowing experience. Contact our office for a consultation today to discuss your divorce options, to file for divorce, or to get help preparing for an upcoming divorce hearing. Call now at 1-954-765-1900.


What To Look For In A Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Facing Criminal Charges In South Florida?

When hiring a South Florida criminal defense attorney, you’ll want to look for someone who has extensive experience and one who will remain committed to you for the duration of the case. The attorney that you are looking for may not be the same person who you used after a vehicle accident, the person who put together your estate plan, or the one who helped you with your real estate purchases.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Are Vital

A criminal defense attorney serves a crucial role in the outcome of your case but is quite distinct from a civil attorney. Private criminal defense attorneys usually will work in small partnerships or practice on their own.

Usually, they will focus on the specific geographical setting and they have distinctions about which type of criminal defense practice they maintain. Some may only represent certain types of crimes. A typical private criminal defense attorney will likely have had several years of experience working for the government before entering in private practice either as a public defender or as a prosecutor. You should try to hire a criminal defense attorney who has experience in the courthouse in which your case is currently pending while the same laws will be in effect throughout your state.

Procedural Differences In Courts

Procedures will be different from one courthouse to another and your criminal defense attorney already being familiar with the specifics of your case and the way that the cases are handled inside the courtroom can make things much easier for you when trying to protect yourself.

You should also look for criminal defense attorney who has a successful track record in the type of crime with which you are being charged. This will dramatically increase your chances of being able to walk away after being accused of a crime without facing the consequences of conviction or having a criminal record haunt you for many years to come.

Get Help With Your Criminal Charges

Your criminal defense attorney should also give you a heads-up about how he or she will keep you informed over the duration of your case. If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime, call for assistance today.


Reasonable Child Visitation

Custodial Parent

When a child’s parents separate, they will typically live with one of their parents most of the time. This parent is called the custodial parent, and the other is referred to as the noncustodial parent. If the child is old enough, they may choose with whom they live. 

Courts in Florida understand the psychological and emotional importance of a child maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents. Often, they will award the non-custodial parent what is known as “reasonable visitation.” What is it and what should you know about it? 

Reasonable Visitation Defined 

Reasonable visitation is a term that is used to describe fair visitation for the non-custodial parent, based on the best interests of the child. In most child custody cases, it’s beneficial for the child to have an ongoing relationship with both of their parents. This is true even when one parent only has partial visitation. 

However, visitation may not be reasonable in certain cases. For example, a non-custodial parent with a history of abuse or domestic violence may find it difficult to be awarded any type of visitation. Or, a court may see fit to award a parent who is actively working towards self-betterment infrequent, supervised visitation.

How Reasonable Child Visitation Works 

If possible, you and your ex-partner should create a visitation schedule that is agreeable for both of you. Take your work schedules into consideration, along with any extracurricular and educational activities that your child has. Make sure you plan in advance for special events and holidays and come up with a proposed visitation schedule that offers your child the most stability. 

When Will a Judge Decide Reasonable Visitation? 

If you cannot reach an agreement with your ex about a mutually beneficial visitation schedule on your own, the court will need to intervene. This means that your custody case is contested, and you no longer have the final say in what visitation looks like for your family. 

Many courts default to “standard” visitation for the non-custodial parent. Many people recognize this as visitation every other weekend and two weeks a year (usually during the summer if a child is school-age), and alternating holidays. 

Why Contact a Boca Raton Family Law Attorney for Your Visitation Case 

The outcome of your child custody dispute hinges largely on the evidence you’re able to present and how you’re able to present it. This is where an experienced Boca Raton child custody attorney can help.


Golf Car DUI

Driving A Golf Car While Under The Influence

Golf is a great sport and it’s easy to get carried away at the club but what happens if you find yourself behind the wheel of a Golf Cart after an accident?

Some of you may have heard of someone drinking while out for a game on the course. Golf Cart DUI is a reality that is brought to the forefront regularly and often makes the weekend news. Allegations that a local resident was under the influence after a Golf Cart crash are not unusual in Florida. Being accused of a DUI is not an easy position to be in and it is something that can happen to anyone, whether it be a common motor vehicle, a motorcycle, or even a golf cart. What happens if you get into an accident with a Golf Cart and are accused of driving under the influence?

DUI Charges And Penalties In Florida

If you are accused of Driving Under The Influence in Florida, you may be facing serious penalties, possible charges, and license suspension.   DUI is a very serious offense and it can be life-altering as well as costly.

It’s important to note that any DUI in Florida that involves injury to another party as a result of driving under the influence has the possibility of facing Felony DUI charges.

Play It Safe

So before you decide to have a drink at the Golf Course, aside from the actual club rules which may not even allow drinking on the course, play it safe.  If this is something that is allowed at your particular club, have another party who is not a part of the game locked in as your driver, grab an Uber or simply do not get behind any wheel of any vehicle, conventional or otherwise.

Get Help

If you or someone you know has been involved in a DUI Golf Cart Accident and needs help, speak to a qualified DUI Criminal Defense attorney as early as possible and learn about your options.


Defenses Against Dealing in Stolen Property

Second-Degree Felony For Stolen Property

In the State of Florida, dealing in stolen property is considered a second-degree felony. In fact, it is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The penalties imposed depend greatly on the value of the goods allegedly stolen. If found guilty, this crime significantly impacts your life, career, and relationships. Find out how to fight for a clean criminal record and also defend your rights under the law.

Florida Statutes

Florida defines dealing in stolen property as:

(1) Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082775.083, and 775.084.
(2) Any person who initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages, or supervises the theft of property and traffics in such stolen property shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082775.083, and 775.084.

Potential Defenses Against Dealing in Stolen Property Charges

If you are charged with dealing in stolen property, there are several defenses to employ. However, these defenses depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. Your attorney will evaluate your case and determine what defenses would increase your chances of success. Potential defenses include but are not limited to:

  • Alleging that you had no knowledge the goods you bought or sold were stolen. You could show purchase records or receipts that show how you came to buy the property. In fact, receipts provide evidence that you didn’t know that the goods you bought were stolen.
  • Alleging that you were given the stolen property. If you did not purchase the stolen goods and came into possession of them through a gift or some other means, you can allege that you had no intention of dealing in stolen goods.
  • Alleging illegal search and seizure. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney could also allege that the police performed an illegal search and seizure of the stolen goods. If it is determined that an illegal search and seizure took place, any evidence — including the actual property — obtained during the search can be suppressed. Then, the prosecution will have a much more difficult time receiving a guilty verdict if they cannot produce the “stolen property.”

Contact Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. Today

Attorney Mayersohn is an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney who can help you defend against charges of dealing in stolen property. Call now for a consultation at 954-400-5000.


The Basics of Burglary

Burglary is not a charge to be taken lightly and if you are found guilty, you could face serious consequences including imprisonment, fines, restitution, probation, community service, and more. It’s important to work hand-in-hand with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who can help you advocate for your rights under the law. Here’s what you should know about the crime of burglary.

Burglary Defined Under Florida Law

Florida statutes define burglary fairly simply. In order to be charged with burglary, a defendant must — without permission — enter a building with the intent to steal something or commit any type of felony. Although theft is a misdemeanor, it is considered separate from felonies and included in the definition of burglary. If you do not take any property or commit any crimes, but it can be proven that you intended to do so, you may be charged with burglary.

How to Defend Yourself Against Burglary Charges

There are a multitude of potential defenses to a burglary charge. Which defenses are used depends on the facts of your case and which defense your attorney thinks is most likely to be successful under the circumstances. Defenses can include but are not limited to arguing:

  • Actual innocence
  • Mistaken identity
  • That there is not enough evidence presented by the prosecution to convict the defendant beyond a shadow of a doubt
  • That no crime actually took place because the defendant:
    • Had permission from the owner of the building to enter
    • Never actually entered the building
    • Did not have the intent to steal property or commit a felony while inside the building

When to Hire an Attorney

If you’ve been charged with burglary, waste no time in contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who can adequately advocate for your rights. At Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense, we have the skills and resources to help you defend against criminal charges. Our attorneys are dedicated to giving your case the time and attention needed to be successful.

We understand that facing criminal charges is difficult and overwhelming. In fact, we will be there to help you each step of the way. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your specific needs by calling the office at 954-400-5000.


Florida Drug Trafficking Statutes

Drug trafficking is taken seriously in Florida. Therefore, the penalties associated with this crime if you are found guilty are no less than life changing. From prison time to fines and much more, you could be facing a drastic life change if a judge and jury convicts you. In fact, not only will you have a permanent criminal record, but your relationships and career will be negatively affected. Here’s what you should know about Florida’s drug trafficking statutes and also how to get the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Florida Drug Trafficking Statutes by Substance

Florida penalizes drug trafficking according to the substance being trafficked.

Cocaine

  • 28-200 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 200-400 grams — $100,000 fine and 7 years imprisonment
  • 400 grams – 150 kilograms — $250,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment
  • 150+ kilograms — Life imprisonment without the option of parole

Heroin

  • 4-14 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 14-28 grams — $100,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment
  • 28 grams – 30 kilograms — $500,000 fine and 25 years imprisonment

Hydrocodone

  • 14-28 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 29-49 grams — $100,000 fine and 7 years imprisonment
  • 50-200 grams — $500,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment
  • 200 grams – 30 kilograms — $750,000 fine and 25 years imprisonment

Oxycodone

  • 7-14 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 14-25 grams — $100,000 fine and 7 years imprisonment
  • 15-100 grams — $500,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment
  • 100 grams – 30 kilograms — $750,000 fine and 25 years imprisonment

Methamphetamine

  • 14-28 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 28-200 grams — $100,000 fine and 7 years imprisonment
  • 200+ grams — $250,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment

LSD

  • 1-5 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 5-7 grams — $100,000 fine and 7 years imprisonment
  • 7+ grams — $500,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment

Ecstasy

  • 10-200 grams — $50,000 fine and 3 years imprisonment
  • 200-400 grams — $100,000 fine and 7 years imprisonment
  • 400+ grams — $250,000 fine and 15 years imprisonment

 Defenses Against Drug Trafficking Charges

If you’re facing drug trafficking charges, there are a few different defenses to use. In fact, your lawyer will help you determine which one is most likely to be successful in your case depending on the circumstances, facts, and evidence in your case. For example, you could argue actual innocence if the drugs are planted by someone else on you or your property. Or, you may be able to argue that the police illegally searched you. Illegal search and seizure is a very viable defense. It may keep the actual substances out of court evidence, making it harder for the prosecution to make a case against you.

Contact Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer Leah Mayersohn, Esq. Today

Don’t let drug trafficking charges ruin your life. Get help from an experienced drug trafficking attorney today to defend yourself and protect your rights under Florida law. Call now for a consultation at 954-400-5000.


DUI Manslaughter Charges

 

What Happens When Faced With DUI Manslaughter Charges?

An arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol is one thing. But an accident that causes someone else’s death as a result of drinking and driving is an entirely different and heartbreaking situation. While you never intended to cause the death of another person, the Florida criminal system will treat you harshly as a consequence for driving while intoxicated. Here’s how you can defend yourself against these serious charges with the help of a DUI lawyer.

How Test Results Can Be Struck from the Record

The heaviest evidence against you in a DUI manslaughter case is your BAC results. Field sobriety test results — if performed — are also important. Blood testing is most commonly used in DUI accidents since everyone involved is usually transported to the hospital.

The key in any DUI manslaughter case is to question the validity of the evidence and whether the results are accurate beyond a doubt. If an officer gave you a breathalyzer test but did not calibrate the equipment properly, the test could be invalid. Also, if you were given a blood test, your attorney may question the chain of custody. Any potential issues with how your blood was drawn, transferred to the lab, and tested could result in that evidence’s omission from court.

Should You Accept a Plea Deal?

In some cases, the evidence against the defendant is so overwhelming that the chance of a successful litigation is low. Your lawyer can help you evaluate what the prosecutor has against you and plans to bring in front of a jury. This will determine if it is in your best interest to look into a plea deal.

A plea deal could include pleading guilty to lesser charges, agreeing to mandatory alcohol treatment, both, or other penalties. However, they are almost always less than what you stand to incur if you go to court and are unsuccessful. Each case is different and your attorney can help you find the avenue that elicits the best possible outcome.

Contact a Florida DUI Lawyer Today

At Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense, we understand how difficult facing DUI manslaughter charges can be. We commit to aggressively advocating for your rights and freedoms under the law. Call now for a consultation at 954-400-5000.


The Four Steps to a Criminal Case

 

Dealing With A Criminal Case?

Being arrested and charged with a crime is a frightening and sobering experience. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with a crime, the time to act is now. It’s important to understand what will happen during your criminal case and what to expect as you move through the various stages of the Fort Lauderdale court system. Here’s what you need to know about the four steps to a criminal case.

1. The Arrest

The first stage of a criminal proceeding is the arrest. Once the arrest is made, the defendant can be released from jail on bond or on their own recognizance. In some cases, however, no bond is necessary. This typically occurs when the charges are dropped or when the defendant is taken straight to court for the arraignment.

2. The Arraignment

At the arraignment, you will be informed of your rights. This is your first court appearance, and simply exists to state the charges that are formally being filed against you and your right to contact an attorney. During the arraignment is when a defendant is required to enter in their formal plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

3. The Preliminary Hearing

A preliminary hearing is conducted in order for the judge assigned to the case to review all the evidence against the defendant and to determine if there is enough evidence available for the defendant to stand trial. Additionally, if it is determined that enough evidence exists, the prosecutor will file paperwork that requires the defendant to proceed to trial.

4. The Trial

Before the trial occurs, a jury must be selected by the attorneys of both sides — typically the prosecutor and the defendant’s criminal defense attorney. Then, evidence is presented by both sides in front of the judge and jury and the jury must use that evidence to determine if the defendant is guilty or not. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she is taken into custody immediately. If a not guilty verdict is returned, the defendant is free to go.

Contact Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. Today

Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. is a seasoned Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney with the experience and resources to guide you through California’s criminal justice system. When you work with Attorney Mayersohn, you can be confident that you have a strong, viable defense. Call today for a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case at 954-400-5000.