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What Is The Expungement Process? Is There A Waiting Period?

Are Certain Types Of Charges Easier To Expunge Or Have Sealed Or Is It A Standard Process?

It’s mostly a standard process to seal or expunge your record. There are the minor crimes that are eligible to be sealed or expunged. You certainly can’t be adjudicated and your case has to be over, meaning you can’t still be on probation from the offense. Your case must be completed or it must be finished. You must have a withhold of adjudication and it has to be an eligible crime. In case it is, it is recommended getting it sealed or expunged. That way you don’t have that information out there for the public to easily view.

798528-sealing-and-expungementFrequently Asked Questions About The Sealing or Expungement Process

What Is An Expungement?

Expungement is the way to get your arrest accusation or criminal record removed from public viewing. It’s dictated by a Florida statute 943.0585 and Florida statute 943.059 as well as Chapter 11C-7 of Florida Administrative Code. It gives you a one-time shot, one mistake that you had in your past to get eliminated or erased from your record.

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In part two of the four-part series “Drug charges in Florida”, we talk about “doctor shopping” and “pill mills” and their rapid growth in Florida.

Have Drugs Crimes Become An Issue Recently?

While drugs offenses have always carried serious penalties, the “war on drugs” starting in the ‘70s and ‘80s have greatly increased prison penalties for many drugs.  Unlike cocaine or heroin, some drugs like oxycodone have legitimate medical purposes although they are highly addictive and highly regulated.

Where Does The Pill Mill Fall On That Scale?

So called “Pill mill” drugs like Oxycodone are found under Florida Statute 893.03 and the vast majority of them are schedule 2 drugs. This means that if the person basically had even one pill without a valid doctor’s prescription, it would be considered a third-degree felony which could be up to 5 years in prison.

How Is Doctor Shopping Punishable?

Doctor shopping”, or going to multiple doctors for the purpose of receiving prescription drugs, forged doctor’s prescriptions, prescription fraud among other offenses, the punishment would range anywhere from a second degree misdemeanor to serious felonies.

What Does Doctor Shopping Refer To?

This would refer to the patient hiding an injury, or going to one doctor’s office and not telling the doctor they were being treated from another doctor, and then begging for pills and then going to another doctor’s office and doing the same thing.

Are Doctor Shopping Cases Becoming More Common?

This definitely used to be a problem, but recently the State of Florida and the Gulf Coast, in particular, have been doing some crackdowns, and although it is still a problem, it is not nearly as bad as it used to be up until a few years ago.

For more information on Prescription Drug Crimes , a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by  clicking on the contact button or by calling (727) 286-6141 today.

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What Happens When A Person Is Charged With Domestic Violence In Florida?

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What Should Someone Expect Once They Have Been Charged With A Domestic Violence Charge?

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, it’s important to call an experienced criminal defense firm that can handle your case. The reason for that is because the police and the prosecutor in Florida believe in an active prosecution. An active prosecution means that even if you think it’s a minor incident or even when the alleged victim doesn’t want to prosecute, the prosecutor and the police often go forward with the charges.  In the past, prosecutors often dropped domestic cases once the victim wished not to prosecute.  This is no longer the case.  Previously the state thought the reason victims declined to prosecute was because they were getting pressure from the defendant. As a result, the state of Florida takes a very aggressive and a very active stance towards domestic violence prosecution. Therefore, it is important to hire a defense attorney right from the very beginning because there are certain tactics that we can use to get the very best possible result.

As Saint Petersburg, Florida domestic violence attorneys, we often get asked many of these questions below.  We have taken some of our most frequently asked questions and over the next few weeks will be answering these.

Table of Contents

What Is Domestic Violence And Battery? Blake & Dorsten P.A. Explain. 5

dui 3Quick tip from ABC news…when your brother gets arrested for DUI and you want to argue with the cop, make sure you are also not driving under the influence

Florida Highway Patrol arrested a brother and sister for separate DUIs last Friday morning near Ocala.

Reports say that troopers received a BOLO (be on the lookout) call for a reckless driver going southbound on 75.  A trooper spotted the car and stopped it on State Road 200.  The driver, identified as 31-year-old Josue Moncada, was interviewed and eventually arrested for DUI shortly before 3:00 a.m.

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Meet 20-year-old Jarious Tremayne Mock.  Thanks from a tip from the smoking gun website, we all learn a valuable lesson as to how to turn a bad day into something much worse.

The night started with Mr. Mock leaving a nightclub and drunkenly shouting “F–k the police” as he saw nearby officers.  The cops responded by giving him a citation for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor.  Per usual regulations, the officers ran the North Carolinian man for warrants and they discovered he had an outstanding warrant for a failure to appear on a possession of marijuana charge!

This cost him an arrest.  He was taken to jail where he was then told that he could make bail of only $200 if he wished.  He told the cops the money was in his wallet.  What the police found instead earned him a felony charge.  The police discovered a counterfeit $100 bill and a fake $20 bill!  His bail was increased to $2,000 and he is now facing a load of charges.

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In a case of justice delayed but (finally) not denied, the case of the “affluenza teen” may finally have come to an end…

Ethan Couch, who killed four people in a DUI manslaughter case, but received no jail time in a case that outraged the nation finally received his punishment.

A Texas judge just sentenced him to two years in the Tarrant County jail-180 days per each person he killed.  While this seems light, it is the maximum punishment he could receive based on the conditions of his parole.  The judge announced that Couch’s terms of probation would be similar to what he was previously doing including no drugs/alcohol and he must get a job.

Ethan Couch was front page news in 2013 when a now retired judge sentenced him to 10 years of probation only after he drove into a crowd of people.  Though only 16 at the time, he was legally drunk on stolen beer and the crash killed four people including a youth pastor and  a mother and daughter.

The judge at the time listened to Couch’s criminal defense attorney who hired a psychologist.  The psychologist claimed that the boy was a victim of “affluenza” and that he was so spoiled from his family that he never learned the difference between right and wrong.  The court was told that the “child” never learned that actions have consequences.

The judge bought it and Couch stayed out of trouble…for a while.  Video last year showed him playing beer pong at a party which was a violation of his probation.  Rather then face the court, Couch and his mother Tonya fled to Mexico.  They both changed their appearance with Couch sporting dyed blonde hair and his mother holding tens of thousands in cash.  They were arrested in Puerto Vallarta in December and he was deported in January.

As of this writing, his mother still faced a third-degree felony charge.

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pinellas policeA government report that was just released showed that state laws/regulations regarding teen driving has actually contributed to a large decrease in crime.

Starting in the early 90’s a few states passed GDL (graduated driver licensing) laws, making teenagers gain experience driving before they could become fully licensed drivers.  As of this writing, all 50 states have some form of GDL.  Now, research has suggested that these laws have contributed to fewer teenagers being arrested for nontraffic-related crimes.

State GDL laws, limiting teens ability to drive at night, have led to fewer kids being arrested for battery and burglary.  In effect, driving curfews have cut down teenagers being out in the dark when the majority of violent crimes and home invasions take place.

When these laws were first being passed, the effect on crime was not a consideration.  The sole purpose was to improve teen safety.  These findings, if correct, are just a happy bonus.  This protects both the public and keeps kids out of the juvenile criminal court system.

Still, this study is new and more correlation is needed.  Yet so far, studies have shown that introduction of the GDL has reduced total arrests of 16- and 17-year-olds between 4 and 6 percent.

It appears that the nighttime driving restriction is the main reason behind the crime reduction.  States in which driving curfews are not lifted until 17 or 18 see an even larger drop in arrests for 16-year-olds.

The study also shows certain crimes drop more then others.  The FBI tracked nine of the most serious crimes and found various degrees of change.  For instance, theft crimes dropped between 5 and almost 7 percent.  Aggravated assault charges dropped between 4 and 6 percent.  Even murders saw a decline.  However, other crimes such as grand theft auto and sexual battery saw little to no change.

These results were determined by comparing arrests between juveniles and 18-24-year-olds acting as a control group.  They were then cross checked between each state and particular age groups for each year between 1995 and 2011 while taking into consideration other law changes.  The conclusion?  Fewer teens driving at night means fewer arrests.

The report also found that traffic enforcement by police played a role as well.  Depending on the state and the particular rules, many teens were ticketed or charged with driving at night.

One final bit of good news.  It appears that the GDL restrictions had a part in lowering teenage traffic deaths.  The study showed that the longer kids had to wait for their driving licenses or permits, the lower the state’s teen driving fatalities.  The much stricter nighttime driving restrictions also yielded lower auto deaths. Continue reading

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