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FAQs About The Process Of Civil Rights Restoration

What Is The Process Involved In Having Your Civil Rights Restored?

It is actually quite a long, arduous process. There are several different types of restoration one may apply for. You can put an application in to restore your civil rights, meaning your right to vote, hold office, rights to sit on a jury etc. There’s also a separate application that you could fill out for the specific authority to own, possess or use a firearm. That is just like asking for your civil rights to be restored but with the added addition of now getting your right to possess a firearm restored.

Crystal Meth RockIn a criminal case, there are many details that both the prosecution and the defense must manage. The law imposes many requirements, both large and small, on the state regarding how it carries out a prosecution in order to ensure compliance with the Constitution and to make certain that justice is done.

In a recent case originating in South Florida, a man accused of conspiring to manufacture illegal drugs obtained a reversal of his conviction because the state charged him of conspiring with a man named “Webb” but then presented a case involving the defendant and a man named “Hicks.” The Fifth District Court of Appeal ruled that, under the specifics of this case, that error required overturning the conviction.

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Restoring Of Civil Rights And Civil Liberties In Florida

How And When Is Restoring Civil Liberties And Civil Rights Possible?

Civil liberties and civil rights are one in the same. Though it is a long and costly process that does take a lot of effort and does depend on the actual felony conviction itself, it is often possible for a person convicted in the state of Florida or in another state to actually have their rights restored.

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.

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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

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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.

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