gavelWhen you (or a friend or relative) are facing a criminal trial, there are lots of ways in which the prosecution can make mistakes. The state can bring a case that is too old (in other words, outside the statute of limitations), that is based upon illegally obtained evidence (proof that is barred under the Fourth Amendment), or that violates your constitutional protection against double jeopardy. Two cases, one from here in the Tampa Bay area (recently decided by the Second District Court of Appeal) and one from across the state (decided earlier this year by the Fifth District Court of Appeal), present two different scenarios in which the state can stack charges in a way that violates double jeopardy.

A Single Criminal Episode and Double Jeopardy

The nearby case, which originated in Pasco County, involved a man, a travel trailer, and a firearm. Cecil Lambert stood accused of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of carrying a concealed weapon. All of these charges arose from an exchange outside a travel trailer on land that Lambert owned. Lambert allegedly shot at one man and also placed his gun against the head of a woman, pulling the trigger only to have the gun jam. At his trial, the jury did not find Lambert guilty of any homicide crime. Instead, on the murder charges, the jury decided to convict on two counts of “improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon,” which was a lesser included offense. The jury did, however, convict on the concealed firearm charge. Lambert received a sentence of time served on the improper exhibition convictions and five years on the concealed weapon charge.

Lambert appealed and won. The problem with his verdict related to the pair of improper exhibition convictions. The facts in this case clearly showed a single instance of Lambert wielding his gun in the presence of his victims. In some cases, having multiple victims can mean a possible conviction on multiple charges, but not in this circumstance. The illegal-exhibition statute expressly used the language “in the presence of one or more persons.” That wording meant that, if the accused person engages in one act of exhibiting his weapon, that translates to one count of improper exhibition, regardless of the number of victims involved. Therefore, even though Lambert exhibited his weapon in front of more than one victim, he only brandished it once, so he could only be guilty of one count. By stacking two counts of illegal exhibition based upon this one single criminal episode, the state violated Lambert’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy.

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Consequences Of A Felony Conviction In Florida

What Civil Rights Are Lost When Someone Is Convicted Of A Felony In Florida?

When you are convicted of a felony in the state of Florida, you lose the right to vote, the right to legally possess a firearm, the right to hold office, and the right to sit on a jury.

What Sets Blake & Dorsten, P.A. Apart In Handling Driving Without A License Cases?

The law firm Blake & Dorsten specializes in these types of cases. They’re located literally directly across from the Department of Motor Vehicles so they’re able to deal with the DMV to oftentimes get your license situation corrected, to talk of a DMV, to figure out how to get your license back for you, whether it’s suspended, revoked, cancelled, or expired. Each one takes a little bit different course of action that the layperson may not understand.

The attorneys at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. are going to find out why your license is suspended. They’re going to take the steps to get it corrected and since they’re also located right directly across from the county court where the vast majority of these cases go, they are a familiar face at the courthouse and with the prosecutors. They’re able to deal with the prosecutor and work on getting the best result for you.

Other Questions Asked In Driving While License Suspended Cases

How Can Someone Verify Their License Has Been Suspended Or Reinstated?

If you check online with the DMV and you type in your driver’s license number, there are links from the DMV website that will tell you if your license is suspended or revoked.

Defending A Driving On A Suspended License Charge In Florida

Pinellas County  has specialized courts that deals strictly with traffic citations, DUIs and license suspension, like driving while license suspended issues. Attorneys Nicholas Dorsten and Rex Blake have more than 25 years of combined experience in prosecuting and defending these types of cases.

The good thing about that is they have handled hundreds of motions, and literally thousands of traffic citations throughout their career.  This is the type of experience you need when looking for a Pinellas DWLSR defense attorney.  As former prosecutors, they know what the state needs for a conviction and also how to best defend your charge.

What Happens When Someone Is Driving On A Suspended License?

What Happens When Someone Is Pulled Over While Driving On A Suspended License?

There are a couple of different protocols and there are several different ways the police may handle this. It usually depends on the reason your license is suspended. The officer may be able to give you an NTA or a Notice to Appear in Court in lieu of an actual arrest.


Different Types of License Suspensions In Florida

There are different types of license suspensions in Florida. There are different terms for everything but at the end of the day, the end-result is the same. Your license is suspended.

There is a driver’s license revocation, which is just termination of your privilege to drive, meaning just the license is revoked. There is a driver’s license suspension, called the withdrawal of driving privileges. There is also an administrative suspension, which is the actual department itself, the DMV withdrawing your abilities to drive, and there is also a cancellation which is just delaying a driving privilege.

There are different types but realistically, all comes down to your licenses being suspended. It means there are different ways of getting your license back depending if it’s revoked, suspended, or it’s cancelled.

D6 License Suspension

A D6 license suspension is basically the state of Florida suspending your privilege to drive. The most common reason for the D6 is usually just a failure to pay a traffic ticket.

Other reasons: if someone was convicted of a drug charge or if one failed to do the mandatory alcohol evaluation treatment for a DUI this results in their license being suspended. The only way they can get it back is by either paying that ticket, or doing the course they’re supposed to do.  Once done, the judge himself or herself will have to lift the D6 suspension.

FR Suspension Or Financial Responsibility Suspension

An FR suspension stands for Financial Responsibility suspension. The DMV basically states that driving is a privilege, so they promulgated many different ways for your license to be suspended.

In a Financial Responsibility suspension, if you don’t pay a traffic ticket, if you don’t pay a red light camera ticket, if you don’t pay your insurance, if you don’t pay the things that are required for you to be able to drive, the DMV will suspend your license for the financial responsibility and in order to get your license back, you’ll have to pay off everything you own in order for an individual to drive again.

If you need information on the Different Types Of License Suspensions And Their Consequences, call the law office of Blake & Dorsten P.A. for a free initial consultation at (727) 386-6956 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

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Common Questions About Driving On A Suspended License In Florida

Defending A Driving On A Suspended License Charge In Florida

Pinellas County court has specialized courts that deals strictly with traffic citations, DUIs and license suspension, like driving while license suspended issues. Attorney Nicholas Dorsten and Rex Blake have more than 25 years of combined experience in prosecuting and defending these types of cases.

Consequences Of Traffic Violations, And License Suspensions In Florida

Habitual Traffic Offenders In Florida And Their Consequences

A habitual traffic offender is found under statute 322.264. That means that someone receives 3 or more specific traffic violations within a 5-year period.  These violations include serious cases such as vehicular manslaughter but they also include any combination of DUI, driving while license suspended, or even if they receive 15 traffic infractions in that period, such as speeding, running red light, no lights on, etc.

If someone picks up two driving while license suspended (DWLSR) within a 5-year period, they are a habitual offender.

Short And Long Term Effects Of Having A Traffic Violation On Your Record

When someone gets a traffic infraction or multiple traffic infractions and they don’t have an attorney deal with them, the short term effects are that their insurance is going to go up costing hundreds or possibly even thousands of extra dollars a year.

Long term effects if you start getting points on your license, you’re putting yourself at risk of a driver’s license suspension. Once your license is suspended, it is considered a criminal charge if you then knowingly drive.  License suspensions can be very problematic as you legally can’t drive to work, to visit friends or loved ones or even to maintain the necessities of life. So it is vital that your license is not suspended.  The criminal defense lawyers at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. may be able to save your license!

Consequences Of License Suspension For Commercial Drivers

The biggest consequence of a commercial driver’s license suspension is that your actual livelihood is at risk. It is crucial to have a lawyer representing them because one cannot avoid points on their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Any infraction or moving violation you receive as a commercial driver, you are not allowed to get a withhold.  The judge must give you points on your CDL which renders many drivers unemployable.  The bottom line is unless you have a lawyer fighting for you and getting the ticket dismissed, you will be receiving points on your CDL.

This is the Florida point system, and for commercial drivers who drive for a living, it’s a lot stricter and they are a lot more likely to suspend your CDL or Commercial Driver’s License.

If you are facing a Traffic Violation Or A License Suspension In Florida, call the law office of Blake & Dorsten P.A. for a free initial consultation at (727) 386-6956 and get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.

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