Articles Posted in Driving on a Suspended License/Driving Crimes

Only on Job a Week, No Union Protection, Terminated

According to a report, a nineteen year old  Jacksonville Sheriff’s Corrections Officer was arrested and charged after leading his co-workers on a high speed chase on February 4, 2017.  Joshua Vergara who had been a recruit for only one week with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has been charged with Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, Leaving the Scene of an Accident Without Providing Information and Reckless Driving.

A review of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report gives details into the incident.  A patrol officer first observed Vergara traveling at a high rate of speed on Old Baymeadows RD as well as ran a red light causing other drivers to “break abruptly.”  The patrol officer initiated his lights to pull over the vehicle for reckless driving.  At this time the patrol officer caught up to the vehicle and “got a very good look at the driver.”  Vergara did not simply pull over at this point, and instead chose to speed off nearly crashing into other motorists.  At this point the patrol officer states that he shut off his take down lights and terminated the pursuit, however continued to maintain visual contact of the vehicle as it turned onto Southside BLVD.  During the pursuit, a concerned motorist spoke to the patrol officer and stated that his vehicle was struck by a vehicle matching the description of  Vergara’s vehicle.  The vehicle was a black BMW with New York plates.

Jacksonville’s citizens sometimes go out for a drive, thinking that the conditions of the road will be suitable for driving. Others go out for a drive not being suitable to drive themselves. In either situation, the costs can be tremendous. If one has been charged with a traffic violation or criminal offense resulting from a traffic stop, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

An unidentified young woman was killed about 5:30 a.m. when her car hit a tree in the 1200 block of Girvin Road on Christmas Eve. Paramedics arrived to find the driver dead. There were no passengers, and police have not released the name or age of the victim yet. met_girvinfatal1224_01_3.jpg

Traffic tickets for speeding and other violations do not carry criminal penalties, but they still have the ability to negatively influence one’s driving record and one’s life. Points against one’s driver’s license for a traffic ticket will typically cause an increase in one’s insurance rates. If one accumulates a certain amount of points, one’s license can be suspended or revoked. After a traffic offense, one may experience pressure to attend traffic school to reduce or avoid fines and license points, but this option may not be one’s best option for handling a ticket.

Criminal citations carry fines and other penalties, including possible jail time. An experienced traffic violations defense attorney can help one fight traffic violations charges such as:

– Driving on a suspended license, expired license or no valid license
– Fleeing and eluding
– Hit and run
– Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)
– Failure to appear for a court date

One cannot just pay a fine and hope that these charges go away, particularly for those charges that require a mandatory appearance in court. It is important to hire an experienced attorney to defend one’s rights against a criminal traffic violation. One can potentially avoid the points and have a seasoned professional helping to fight for one’s rights. The following point values correspond to the speeding ticket violation designations according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV):

– Less than 15 mph over the limit- 3 points
– More than 15 mph over the limit- 4 points
– Speeding resulting in a crash- 6 points
Law enforcement may ask for permission or impose authority to search the vehicle under the assumption of probable cause. The officer may determine that a field sobriety test should be conducted he or she suspects a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In order to detect impairment from drugs, many police departments have Drug Recognition Experts (DRE). These DREs are police officers who have been trained in drug-impairment detection. In some situations, their search may lead to criminal charges depending upon what the officer finds, or his or her personal perception of the person’s sobriety.

One can either hope that the system is fair and treats one with the dignity of a citizen that is expected under the Constitution, or one can obtain an experienced Jacksonville traffic violations defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected. One should not have to face an army of difficult legal problems alone. One needs an experienced attorney.

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Santa Rosa County Judge Robert Hilliard sentenced a Florida Panhandle teenage driver to six months’ probation, as well ordering her to speak about the crash at her high school and revoking her driving privileges for a year; her mother will serve time in prison for letting her drive. The teen driver was 15 when her SUV crashed into a car driven by Margaret Catyb’s son in June. Catyb of Dracut, Mass., died at a hospital. Catyb’s family asked the court not to sentence the teen to jail because of her age.

In order to earn a learner’s license, one must be at least 15 years old and must show proof that one completed a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course, or have a license from another jurisdiction, and a Parental Consent Form, which must be signed in the presence of a driver license examiner or notarized if a parent or guardian will not be present. If one is under 18 and is not married, one parent or legal guardian must sign one’s license application. Step-parents may not sign unless they have legally adopted the juvenile. imagescaraccident.jpg

One will also be required to take A Written Test covering road Rules, particularly general questions about traffic laws, and road signs, testing one’s knowledge and recognition of the signs one might see on the road way. One must also pass a vision and hearing test. These tests are all meant to ensure that one is knowledgeable of the responsibilities of driving and the conditions one might face on the road.

When one is granted a learner’s license, particularly at the age of 15, one may only drive during daylight hours during the first three months and until 10 p.m. The adolescent driver must always drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat. In this particular situation, the adolescent driver’s mother allowed her 15-year-old to drive alone.

Parents can actually do a lot to help protect the lives of their young teenage drivers on the road by setting an example and taking parental responsibility. This principle is particularly important in Florida because Florida’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) mandates only go so far in setting the rules for adolescent drivers. Parents can take the GDL a step further and have set consequences if the household rules are not met.

Parents of these adolescent drivers could also set additional limits in regards to activities in the car, including phone usage and passenger numbers. Statistics show that 16 and 17 year-olds that carry just one passenger in the car increase their crash risk by nearly 50%, simply because of the extra distraction.

One can hope that a teenager will not bear the burden of a heavy prison sentence, or one can obtain an experienced Jacksonville traffic crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected. One should not have to face an army of difficult legal problems alone. One needs an experienced attorney.

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Jacksonville’s drivers are distracted by many things on their way home from work, school, and the many other places that they may visit. Unfortunately for those who are involved in accidents, damage costs can be expensive. For many, the cost can be even greater with a criminal charge, should that individual leave the scene. If one has been in a situation like this, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to NewsChief.com, Kenneth A. Congdon of Winter Haven was sentenced to five years of probation for leaving the scene of a crash that killed Timmy A. Kelly, also of Winter Haven, who died Dec. 5 from injuries sustained during a during the crash last Nov. 13. Judge Ernest Jones said what Congdon did was a mistake but it was not intentional. According to police, Congdon made a turn onto Cypress Gardens Road, causing Kelly, who was riding east on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, to hit the back of Congdon’s truck. Congdon said he did not see Kelly and did not realize anyone was injured; it was only after hearing about the crash, that Congdon turned the truck in through his lawyer’s office. bildedp5.jpg

One may be charged with leaving the Scene of an Accident in Jacksonville if:

– One is involved in an accident or crash with another person’s property; such as a vehicle, building, or structure; and
– One leaves the scene of the accident or crash without providing one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license to the owner of the property.

If the owner of the property is not present to receive one’s information or cannot be readily located, one is required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency and provide one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license. However, one may not know one has caused or even was involved in an accident, and therefore never reports an accident, as Congdon did here.

If one is involved in an accident or crash that results in injury or death to any person, including a passenger in one’s own car, one is required to:

– Stop Immediately;
– Provide one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license; and
– Render reasonable assistance by making arrangements for or transporting the injured or deceased person to a medical professional for treatment if it is apparent that treatment is needed or the person requests assistance.

If the person injured or deceased is not able to receive one’s information or be transported to a medical professional, one is required to report the accident or crash to the nearest law enforcement agency as quickly as possible and provide one’s name, address, registration information, and driver’s license.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury is a Third Degree Felony punishable as a Level 5 offense under Florida’s sentencing guidelines. If convicted of Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Injury, one may be exposed to any the following penalties:

– A maximum sentence of five (5) years in prison,
– Five years of probation, or
– A fine of up to $5,000
People are involved in accidents every day. Not every one of those people is intending to get away with a crime, or intending to commit a crime by leaving the scene of the accident. One in a situation like this should obtain an experienced Jacksonville driving crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected.

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Jacksonville’s citizens do things that they think are fun, regardless of the legality. Unfortunately for those who do such illegal activities, the cost can be tremendous. For many, this can be as simple as driving on a suspended license, If one has been charged with this offense, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight the case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to Boca News Now, John Derosalia of Boca Raton was arrested after he was operating his vehicle with a license that had been suspended for six months. Derosalia was on probation for selling and making opium and possession of a controlled substance. The news source has stated that if one is wanted, fleeing police, or hiding in plain sight, to not break the law. wpid-Photo-Sep-28-2012-335-PM.jpg

The great majority of arrests in Jacksonville are for driving charges. About 60% of the arrests are for driving on a suspended license in Jacksonville (also called DWLS). Even though DWLS arrests rarely carry any jail time and are non-violent, JSO officers still make these arrests.

In order to prove the crime of driving on a suspended license in Jacksonville, the prosecutor has to prove the accused was driving and that their license was suspended. An officer just has to run tags to see if the individual who is registered to the car has a suspended license. Once the officer pulls the car over and discovers the individual driving does not have a good license, the officer can issue a ticket or make an arrest.

If one has three or more driving on a suspended license citations in a five year period, one’s license could be suspended for five years. If this happens, one will be designated a “Habitual Traffic Offender”. Even if one of the convictions is a Driving on a Suspended License “Without Knowledge”, one can still qualify as a habitual traffic offender. Often, a person pays the civil infraction for DWLS and forgets about the ticket. They do not realize this qualifies as a prior conviction under the Habitual Offender statute.

If one has four DUI convictions, one’s license is suspended for life. Driving on a Permanent Suspension is a third degree felony and is punishable for up to 5 years in prison. The vehicle one was driving can be seized under Florida law if it was used in the commission of a felony, or if one drove on a DUI suspension and got a new arrest for a DUI. The same may apply to drug related arrests involving driving impaired.

In many cases like this, the accused will run away from police because they are probably aware of their fugitive status and are not wanting to go to jail. Even though it is the human instinct to run when faced by the possibility of one’s freedoms being stripped, when one is caught, one is caught. Furthermore, the police can only temporarily deprive one of one’s rights. However, one can permanently control the ability of the police and the legal system control the outcome of one’s case.

One can either hope that the system is fair and treats one with the dignity of a citizen that is expected under the Constitution, or one can obtain an experienced Jacksonville traffic violations defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected. One should not have to face an army of difficult legal problems alone. One needs an experienced attorney.

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Jacksonville’s citizens make mistakes at times; the legal system is aware that people are not perfect. Sometimes though, people continuing making the same mistakes over and over again. A person in this situation will be looked at by the court as hopeless. However, if one in a situation like this obtains an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case, one will have the best defense possible so that one may attempt to fix one’s problems and rise to a better future.

According to Miami New-Times, Kimberly McCarthy, 18, of Tampa, has racked up three DUIs in an 18-day span. However, the teen won’t be facing jail time. Instead, a judge sentenced her to rehab, in part because she told police she wasn’t aware “smoking marijuana and driving would be a DUI.” McCarthy will be sent to a rehabilitation facility and must wear an ankle bracelet for two years. imagestrafficstop.jpg

Jacksonville DUI cases typically involve someone who has had a little bit too much to drink. This does not mean that the person is intentionally trying to hurt others on the road. However, the police and prosecutors will attempt to paint a picture of just that: a person who has no concern for himself and others. Unfortunately for the accused, most attorneys do not dig deeper to understand what is going on in the mind of the defendant, especially the mind of a repeat offender.

Most people, when confronted with the many penalties, fines and other problems associated with their first DUI charge will never do the crime again. Some of these factors include:

– DUI school enrollment
– License suspension/revocation
– Up to 6 months in jail
– Expensive court fines and fees
– Vehicle tow and impoundment
– Ignition interlock installation and monthly access fees
However, some people have personal issues with alcohol and/or other substances that make them more susceptible to drinking and driving.

In this case, McCarthy’s string of DUI stops involved many different open containers of alcohol, marijuana, and drug paraphernalia. Most would see this teen as endangering everyone else on the road; this one cannot deny. However, most do not see a broken individual who is crying for help, using alcohol and drugs as a crutch to fight a major issue in her life that she may feel she cannot tackle on her own.

When one enters the legal system for a charge such as this, some Judges will be more lenient than others, seeing that people make mistakes and are willing to change; others may not. However, if one obtains an experienced Jacksonville DUI defense attorney, one will be able to have the best defense possible for one’s case. An experienced attorney will ensure that one’s issues with alcohol are brought before the court, are understood by the Judge, and will be helped by the legal system rather than hurt.

In this case, it is easy to see that McCarthy has issues with alcohol and drugs that are more deeply-rooted than just a wild party side. McCarthy was lucky that she was able to plead with the court for a sentence that would have allowed her to go through an alcohol rehabilitation program and be able to be move on with her life as a new individual.

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Jacksonville’s citizens get crazy in their ideas sometimes. Immaturity, restlessness and pure thoughtless behavior become the push behind the illegal activity. However, if one considers the consequences of the activity one is participating in, one becomes highly aware that one’s freedom may become restricted for a long period of time. Fortunately, if one in this situation obtains an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case, one can ensure one’s rights are defenses will be known and protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Curtis Amelio Hardy, 25, and Jennifer Kay Brazell, 28, both of Kingsland, are charged with motor vehicle hijacking. Hardy and Brazell’s arrests came after the two threatened a taxicab driver with a knife, stole cell phones from the man, and then stole his taxicab. The taxicab was later abandoned. With the help of police bloodhounds, Hardy and Brazell were both found in a trailer park nearby. jacksonville-fl-taxis-aarons-airport-transportation.jpg

Jacksonville carjacking crimes are serious offenses for all involved, because of the violent nature and complicated nature of the crime. Unfortunately, more young people are accused of crimes of this nature simply because of the thrill involved. However, the terror that will fill one’s life when charged with a crime like this will make one wish one could turn back the clock.

Under Florida Statute 812.133, carjacking is first-degree felony offense. If no weapon is involved in the carjacking, then the offense can bring as much as thirty years in prison. However, if a deadly weapon of any type is involved, then the punishment for the crime extends to life imprisonment. This is a harsh reality for the an accused party to face, particularly for a party with no criminal record.

Many times in Jacksonville, accused parties feel that the nature of their crime is not that serious or that the punishment for such a crime could be lessened because they have been good in the past. However simple an idea this may be, the fact is that a clean record with the legal system may show a Judge that one is not a hardened criminal or someone who should be locked for the maximum amount of time allowable.

Many times within the legal system, one’s past may hold the key to one’s future. Judges will look at the character and past good and bad acts of the accused when contemplating sentencing. Particularly if the crime is of a heinous nature or one that might cause a Judge to render a harsher punishment upon the accused, if one has a good record, such as documented good behavior in the community, or no run-ins with the law, then the Judge might take a second look and lighten one’s punishment.

Many accused parties throughout Jacksonville face criminal charges of this nature all of the time. For some, the reality of lengthy jail time is coming fast leaving no way to fight back. However, if one in this situation obtains an experienced Jacksonville carjacking crimes defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected, one will be able to know that one will have the best defense possible to one’s charge and that one will be able to move on from this bump in the road to the future.

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Jacksonville’s young adults have many things that they think are fun, and unfortunately, they will do those things, legal or not, on a whim. Unfortunately for those who do such illegal activities, the cost can be tremendous. If one has been charged with one such criminal activity, one should obtain an experienced attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights are protected.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Ronnie Joe Sneed, Jr. has been charged with reckless driving, resisting an officer, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license and having no vehicle registration. He was also wanted on an outstanding warrant on a battery charge from Marion County. His arrest came after he spilled his motorcycle in a high-speed pursuit with police. His passenger was thrown off the motorcycle but was unharmed. imagesbike.jpg

Jacksonville traffic violations cases typically range from smaller offenses such as speeding tickets or reckless driving offenses. However, when those offenses are coupled with more serious driving offenses or outstanding warrants as in this case, the costs and punishments for those crimes can be severe. Furthermore, the penalties will probably be more severe if there are outstanding warrants in the mix.

Many times in Jacksonville, citizens have committed traffic crimes such as reckless driving, been ticketed, set a court date, and then failed to show up for court on the preset date. As unfortunate as it is, the Judge may put out a warrant for one’s arrest, particularly if the matter involved one’s bail hearing for any criminal matter. At that point, the court is making the accused a fugitive evading the law, as is in this case.

An outstanding warrant on someone involves a few possibilities that a Judge will take into account when making subsequent decisions regarding bail and leniency towards the accused. One Judge might look to the fact that an accused individual was on an outstanding warrant and see that the accused is simply another lawbreaker who needs punishment. However, if one knows one has an outstanding warrant and has the ability to turn one’s self in, the Judge may look favorably towards the accused and afford an easier time for the accused while in the system.

In this case, the accused ran away from police because he was probably aware that he was a fugitive and was not wanting to get caught by police. Even though it is the human instinct to run when faced by the possibility of one’s freedoms being stripped, when one is caught, one is caught. Furthermore, the police can only temporarily deprive one of one’s rights. However, one controls just how much the police and the legal system control the outcome.

One can either hope that the system is fair and treats one with the dignity of a citizen that is expected under the Constitution, or one can obtain an experienced Jacksonville traffic violations defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected. One should not have to face an army of difficult legal problems alone. One needs an experienced attorney.

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Some of Jacksonville’s drivers can be very conscious as to the risks they take, and as such, are more courteous than others. However, there are those who do take risks that lead to probation. If one has been charged with violating one’s probation, one should contact an experienced attorney to fight for one’s rights.

According to the ABA Journal, Emilio Santacruz, an epileptic man has been given a sentence of nine years in prison for violating his probation by obtaining a driver’s license. This sentence is the result of his original probation requirements of never driving again and revocation of his original driver’s license. Santacruz said that the only reason he obtained a new license after the old one was revoked was because he needed a driver’s license for his job. The judge disagreed. 1.jpg

Jacksonville probation cases can stem from simple violations that the person on probation probably did not know about or was mistaken about. Others can stem from direct violations not only explicit clauses of one’s probation, but direct violations of other laws themselves. No matter what the case, one should not have to suffer tremendously for violations of probation.

Probation typically involves some sort of court order to refrain from a particular action or remain free from breaking any laws. However, when the legal system fears that a person is a danger to society, the particular judge rendering the probation may require that the person not do a normal, commonly safe activity. In Santacruz’s case, that activity would be driving.

Santacruz was involved an unfortunate accident that resulted in the death of a woman in 2002. What caused the accident was Santacruz’s unfortunate onset of an epileptic seizure which caused Santacruz to lose control of his vehicle. His doctor had told him not to drive, but Santacruz did not think his condition was that serious. However, the first judge Santacruz went before did, pulling his license and forbidding him to drive.

Most courts accept the defense of a medical condition such as epilepsy if the accused did not know they had epilepsy previously. However, Santacruz was aware of this fact. In 2008, against his probation, he obtained a new license. Because of this violation, he received a nine year sentence. If Santacruz had obtained an experienced Jacksonville probation attorney, his attorney would have been able to provide a top-of-the-line defense to his violation.

Santacruz’s reason for obtaining the new license was for his job. Most employers require that one have a driver’s license in order to be hired for the job. Santacruz has a wife and children. As a husband and father, Santacruz has to put food on the table and if he cannot obtain a job because of a lack of a driver’s license, he cannot support his family.

Furthermore, an experienced attorney has the knowledge and skills in how to deal with particular judges like this. An attorney that has gone before that particular judge knows what and how that judge thinks and as a result, may be able to predict not only what the outcome will be for the accused, but may be better able to present a defense that that particular Judge will be more sympathetic towards and more willing to accept.

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There are many crimes that a person can be arrested for in Florida. The great majority of arrests in Jacksonville are for driving charges. About 60% of the arrests in Jacksonville are for driving on a suspended license. (also called DWLS) Even though DWLS arrests rarely carry any jail time and are non-violent, JSO officers still make these arrests.

In order to prove the crime of driving on a suspended license in Jacksonville, the prosecutor has to prove the person was driving and that their license was suspended. An officer just has to run tags to see if the person who is registered to the car has a suspended license. Once they pull the car over and discover the person driving does not have a good license, the officer can issue a ticket or make an arrest. Overwhelmingly, officers arrest. A typical arrest usually takes about 2 hours when you consider pulling the person over, searching the car, writing the report, taking the drive downtown to the Police Memorial Building, and filling out jail intake paperwork. A JSO officer could fill up his or her whole day on a few DWLS arrests. After all that, the person usually gets out of jail the next day and is told to get their license.

The other most common driving arrest in Jacksonville is DUI. (Driving Under the Influence) These arrests are more complicated than DWLS arrests and carry more severe consequences.