Articles Posted in Criminal Traffic

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A suspected drunken driver hit five middle school students as they walked home from the bus stop last month. One student later died of his injuries.

A witness at the scene pointed out the car that had allegedly just crashed into the children.

The black vehicle had hit another car about 4,000 feet (1,219.2 meters) down the road. The driver then stumbled out of the vehicle. A woman who was four months pregnant was injured in that crash, according to authorities.

The 48-year-old was arrested. He is apparently a former police officer.

Officials said a 13-year-old died of his injuries at an Orlando hospital. Another child was in intensive care with orbital fractures. Three other children suffered minor injuries.

The man arrested has made his first appearance in court. He faces 11 charges, including DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide. He was being held on $600,000 bail.

Regardless of the situation, a car accident that results in a death is always traumatic. Adding a DUI charge to this just exacerbates the situation. DUI manslaughter charges can be confusing, which is why you need to get legal help right away. It is imperative that you understand the charges you are facing, what the consequences are, and what defense options are available to you.

Yes, a DUI manslaughter conviction can result in severe penalties. However, please understand that there are ways to defend yourself. Knowing your defense options are crucial. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI manslaughter charge in Polk County, you need to consult with a Polk County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. We are former prosecutors so we are armed with the knowledge and experience you need to achieve a successful outcome from DUI manslaughter charges.

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Former NBA star Dennis Rodman has been charged with hit-and-run for an alleged wrong-way driving crash on a Southern California freeway.

Orange County prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges against Rodman on Monday for a July 20 accident on Interstate 5 in Santa Ana.

Prosecutors believe Rodman’s SUV was traveling north in a southbound carpool lane around 12:30 a.m., forcing a sedan to swerve into a dividing wall to avoid a collision.

Rodman’s attorney argues that the incident occurred on a poorly signed exit ramp. He says Rodman corrected the driving error without the cars touching, then stopped and spoke to people in the other car.

Rodman has also been charged with driving across a dividing section without a valid license and giving police false information.

He could face two years in county jail if convicted.

Wrong way driving accidents can arise for many reasons, although the most common is impaired drivers. However, this is not always the case. With the rising number of wrong way driving-related incidents, the state of Florida is seeing that these crashes can be chalked up to many other factors, including, poorly lit/visible signs, missing signs, poorly lit areas, interchanges under construction, confusing interstate entrance/exit ramps, and more.

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According to the Florida Highway Patrol, an officer with the Orlando Police Department was arrested this past weekend in Manatee County for DUI and hit-and-run.  

FHP claims that on Saturday, troopers investigated a hit-and-run accident involving two unattended parked cars at 7085 46th Ave. W. in Bradenton.

Reports indicate that the cop was stopped in the area after a Manatee County deputy observed him swerving on the roadway. Troopers said he was off-duty and driving his personal vehicle.

During the investigation, troopers allege they were able to link the DUI and hit-and-run to the police officer.

He was arrested and charged with DUI and hit-and-run.

The Orlando Police Department said the man has been with the force since 2012 and is assigned to the midnight patrol. Reports indicate that the man has been relieved of his law enforcement duties, credentials and firearms pending an internal investigation.

Anyone can be charged with DUI, as this case shows. Your actions following a DUI arrest are critical to the outcome of your case, and it is very important to obtain legal help as soon as possible. There are various defenses available for a DUI charge, and if used successfully, these defenses could lead to a reduction or even dismissal of charges.

While there are numerous defenses available, two that are often brought up involve the reason behind the stop and the method used to test the driver’s BAC. In order for a DUI stop to be legal, police must must have a legal reason to make a stop before administering tests to determine the driver’s BAC levels. If the officer cannot provide a reason for stopping the driver, the stop itself may be illegal and the charges could very well be dismissed.

If the stop is legal, then it is very important to assess the process that was used to determine the driver’s BAC. It must be evaluated that the right method was used and that the sample was analyzed properly.

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Thanksgiving is a time of year when families get together to celebrate memories and honor traditions. However, this is also the time of year when law enforcement agencies gear up to catch drunk drivers on our roadways.

Most law enforcement agencies, receive federal grants to increase their staffing levels during the holiday season, which typically begins with the four-day Thanksgiving weekend and continues to New Year’s Day. Arrests for DUI are highest during this time period.

The following are a few tips that may prove helpful to avoid a Thanksgiving DUI:

  1. Do not drink and drive. If you have been drinking, call a cab, a friend or use a ride share app like Uber or Lyft to get home safe. If you know you will be drinking, designate a sober driver to take you home.
  2. If you are pulled over, do not talk to law enforcement about where you were or what you were doing. Remember, you have the right to remain silent until you have your lawyer present.
  3. If you are involved in an accident, stop immediately and remain at the scene. Do not admit to anything and request to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
  4. Do not fall asleep inside your vehicle. You could get arrested if the officer observes that you have the keys in the ignition or if the engine is running.
  5. Drive cautiously. Police will be closely monitoring motorists for any mistakes they make. In particular, they will be on the lookout for motorists who may be driving too fast or too slow, or running red lights or failing to stop at stop signs.

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You want to avoid getting arrested for DUI in Florida on New Year’s Eve and “becoming a statistic.” New Year’s Eve is a holiday that it is both cause for celebrating and relaxing. After the stress of getting ready for Christmas, people usually take this time to enjoy the end of the holiday season and contemplate their goals for the new year. However, because this is the last holiday of the year, there tends to be an increased number of people who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Listed below are several tips to help drivers avoid a DUI this New Year’s Eve.

  1. Limit Drinks

If you are at a party that has an open bar, and you know you are driving, know exactly how many drinks you are having so that you can watch your personal limit. Remember that once you start drinking it can be difficult to stop yourself from having too many. Be mindful of the exact amount you have had to drink.

  1. Call a Cab or Uber or Lyft

Public transportation can save many people from DUI-related accidents and arrests. Save the number of a local cab company in your phone, use a ride share app on your phone or attend parties or social gatherings close to a bus route.

  1. 15958303240_5a5181cc2a_zDon’t Go Solo

Don’t go to a party or social gathering by yourself. Bring along at least one other friend and make sure to determine who the designated driver is for the entire group before any alcohol is consumed.

  1. Eat!

While many people have New Year’s resolutions about weight loss, New Year’s Eve is one of those nights where you should eat. Food fills the stomach, making less room for alcohol. Try to snack on foods like meats or dark chocolate, which are known to keep you fuller longer.

  1. Offer Alternative Drinks

If you are hosting a party, include “mocktails,” sodas, punch, or even just water on your drink menu.

  1. Make Accommodations for Guests

If you know your guests have a far trip ahead of them, arrange for them to stay with you or at a nearby hotel. That way, no one drives home drunk.

  1. Leave the Party Early

New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year. You can expect delays for taxis and other modes of public transportation, so be prepared. Leaving your party or social gathering early can also ensure that you get home safely and at a reasonable hour.

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is urging all party-goers to recognize that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving this Halloween. As with all other holiday weekends, Halloween can bring about an increase in parties and celebrations in Florida and across the United States. Sadly, this also means that there will be an increase in drunk driving related injuries and deaths. Because of this, law enforcement officials are expected to be out in full force on Halloween night all across the state of Florida.

If you plan on drinking this Halloween, make sure to designate a sober driver before hitting the town. Consuming even just “a few” drinks could still place you over the legal limit. You do not want to place innocent trick-or-treaters and other roadway users in danger. Avoid drinking and driving entirely. Police will be ready to pounce if they believe they spot a drunk or buzzed driver, so save yourself the terrifying ride to jail and the horrifying costumed mug shot as well.

11064883376_6771bd6c4a_zHalloween Drunk Driving Facts

  • Nearly half of all car crash fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver in 2012.
  • In 2012, 26 people were killed in car accidents involving drunk drivers on Halloween night.
  • In 2012, 10,322 people were killed in drunk driving crashes across the nation, accounting for a third of all traffic crash fatalities for the year.
  • Young drivers between the ages of 21 and 34 years old make up the largest group of drunk drivers involved in fatal collisions.
  • In 2012, 18 percent of all drivers under the age of 21 involved in fatal crashes were impaired.

The best way to make sure your Halloween is happy and safe is to be smart and stay sober if you plan on driving. Just one drink can be one too many – buzzed driving is still drunk driving. If you plan on consuming any amount of alcohol, make sure you have a safe ride home lined up. Pre-program a cab company’s number into your phone or make plans with a designated driver.

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Two fired Broward Sheriff’s deputies surrendered at the federal courthouse Monday where they faced charges alleging they abused their power as law enforcement agents in order to assist Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein and his allies.

Prosecutors filed federal conspiracy charges against a former 48-year-old  lieutenant from Boca Raton and a former 47-year-old detective from Weston on Friday. They were fired from their positions shortly after their arrests.

Prosecutors claim the former lieutenant accepted $185,000 worth of cash, gifts and other perks from Rothstein. They claim the man sent the former detective “to do his dirty work on the street.”

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Former NBA All-Star Mookie Blaylock, facing charges of driving on a suspended license and failure to maintain his lane in a Friday head-on crash in suburban Atlanta, has now been charged with vehicular homicide.

Authorities claim that Blaylock, 46, was driving an SUV that crossed the center line of Tara Boulevard, about 20 miles south of downtown Atlanta, when he struck a van. A 43-year-old female passenger of that van died from her injuries hours later. The woman’s husband, who was also riding in the van, was treated for his injuries at a hospital and released later.

Following the crash, Blaylock was placed on life support at the hospital, but his condition has since been upgraded. According to an Atlanta Medical Center spokeswoman, as of Monday, Blaylock was in fair condition.

1135202_basketball_player_5.jpgOfficials said that Blaylock was also wanted in Spalding County on charges of failure to appear in court, DUI and drug possession.

Police are currently investigating the cause of the crash, but do not believe alcohol played a factor.

Blaylock allegedly told investigators that he blacked out right before the crash. Authorities are currently looking into his medical history.

More than 6 million motor vehicle accidents occur annually across the United States. Sadly, a great number of these accidents result in the death of drivers, passengers and pedestrians. If you were behind the wheel of a car that caused a tragic collision, you are most likely facing immense stress over your own injuries, but a vehicular manslaughter charged can quickly pile on more tension to your current situation.

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Boca Raton, FL – A 20-year-old Boca woman was arrested and charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter and two counts of vehicular homicide on Wednesday in connection with a March crash that left a mother and daughter dead.

On March 9, an 85-year-old woman and her 54-year-old daughter were killed in a two-vehicle accident just west of Boca Raton.

The 19-year-old driver apparently failed to stop at a red light and collided with a Toyota driven by an 84-year-old man.

The woman and her passenger suffered minor injuries. However, the passengers in the Toyota, including the victims’ husband and father were seriously hurt.

506798__3.jpgAn arrest for a driving offense is a charge that should be taken seriously, but when an accident occurs and someone dies as a result, the matter become even more severe. Vehicular manslaughter charges are not taken lightly in the state of Florida, especially if alcohol is believed to have been a factor. Vehicular manslaughter is a second-degree felony in the state of Florida punishable by a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison and a $10,000 fine. This offense can be escalated to a first-degree felony punishable by thirty years in prison if the driver left the scene of an accident.

While car accidents can result in devastating losses, not every fatality on the roadway should result in an arrest for vehicular manslaughter. Florida law enforcement officers will investigate the accident site for evidence that supports vehicular manslaughter charges. However, a Florida Vehicular Manslaughter Attorney at Whittel & Melton can perform an independent evaluation of the accident and work with accident reconstruction experts in order to establish viable defenses against the charges.

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U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson was found unconscious in his Lexus after allegedly hitting two vehicles shortly after 5 p.m. Saturday in San Gabriel Valley.

An agency official confirmed Secretary Bryson suffered a seizure. He was given medication, but it is unknown what kind of treatment he received or where it was given.

The 68-year-old was cited for felony hit-and-run, but was not booked and taken to the hospital where he remained overnight.

Sources said Bryson was unaccompanied by security during the crashes because he was driving his own vehicle on personal time.

Bryson allegedly voluntarily submitted to a Breathalyzer test following the accident, but it did not detect any alcohol.

Los Angeles authorities apparently took a blood test and are awaiting the results before deciding whether or not to file charges in connection with the accidents.

Whether or not the collisions were due to a medical condition is part of the investigation, which is ongoing.

Authorities claim Bryson was driving a Lexus Saturday just after 5 p.m. when he allegedly rear-ended a Buick that was waiting for a train to pass.

Bryson apparently got out of his vehicle to talk to the three occupants inside the Buick, and then left the scene and struck the Buick a second time, authorities said. According to a police report, the occupants in the Buick followed Bryson’s car and dialed 911 for assistance.

Bryson allegedly continued driving his Lexus and crashed into a second vehicle with two people inside.

When officers arrived at the scene, they apparently found Bryson alone and unconscious behind the wheel of his vehicle.

A Commerce official said Secretary Bryson was given medication to treat the seizure.

In Florida, leaving the scene of an accident, also known as hit-and-run, is a serious criminal offense that can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on the specifics of the case. This crime is charged when a person involved in an accident flees the scene without providing the other party involved with their name, address, driver’s license and registration information. Additionally, if an accident you are involved in results in the death or injury of another person, you are obligated to stop and reasonably assist any injured parties by calling for medical care. Failing to render appropriate assistance after an accident you were involved in could lead to a felony conviction of leaving the scene of an accident.

If you leave the scene of an accident that causes only property damage, you could be facing second-degree misdemeanor charges carrying consequences of up to 60 days in jail and fines up to $500. Leaving the scene of an accident with a serious injury can result in third-degree felony charges punishable by up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000. A hit-and-run causing death can lead to first-degree felony charges punishable by up to 30 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. Furthermore, if you are convicted of leaving the scene of an accident your driver’s license will be suspended or revoked and your insurance premiums will increase.

If you were charged with a hit-and-run, it is essential to consult with a Florida Criminal Traffic Defense Lawyer as soon as possible to make sure your rights are protected. At Whittel & Melton, we can help you present your side of the story, so that none of your statements to law enforcement can be misinterpreted and used against you in trial. Our experienced criminal traffic offense lawyers can work towards getting your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

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