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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Blog

Alcohol-fueled road rage leads to DUI charges

Many motorists in the Fort Myers area are aware of the dangers of drinking alcohol and driving. Some people do not care and believe themselves to be invincible to risks. Alcohol dulls the senses, impairs judgment, reduces reaction time and fuels aggression. It also causes impaired drivers to make critical mistakes on the roads that endanger themselves and other motorists. In 2015, their actions caused 10,265 deaths, states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Drunk driving accidents happen all the time. It is not always easy to spot intoxicated motorists. However, drivers should watch for motorists who drive erratically, too slow or fast, and recklessly. They should use good judgment and safe driving behaviors to avoid them. They should also refrain from drinking alcohol when they plan to drive. When drinking is unavoidable, they should use alternative means of transportation. 

What does the Federal drug policy change mean for Florida?

Recently, it was announced that the federal government was going to change its longstanding policy about state marijuana laws. This is a concern if you live in Florida and use marijuana under the state's law. What does this policy change mean for you? Could you face drug charges by legally using marijuana under state law?

According to ABC News, the federal law has remained that marijuana is an illegal substance, but states are making laws that legalize it. Due to this discrepancy, the federal government has been leaving things to the states and not stepping in to make arrests, even though it technically could. However, it was recently announced the federal government is going to start cracking down on the illegal use of marijuana. 

What should I do if I have a DUI charge?

DUI charges in Florida carry serious repercussions. If you are facing a DUI charge, it is important for you to understand the importance of acting in a timely manner. A conviction may seem like it is unavoidable. But the faster you act in managing your situation, the better the chances for a favorable outcome. 

Wasting time can lead to driver’s license suspension 

Drugs that may lead to addiction as well as legal problems

You might be one of many Florida residents currently taking prescription medication for a chronic pain condition or other ailment. Perhaps you're in good health, but take pills from a friend to help you stay awake and study for college exams or, oppositely, to get some much needed sleep while dealing with a family crisis of some sort. There are any number of situations in life that may lead you to take a drug. The problem is some drugs may highly addictive and possibly, illegal.

It's always a good idea to research a particular drug before taking it even if your doctor prescribed it for you. Especially in situations where you have obtained a particular drug from a non-medical source, you'll want to consider the possible health effects of ingesting it as well as potential legal repercussions.

Can a breathalyzer give a false positive?

If you are pulled over in Florida on suspicion of drunk driving, then you will likely be asked to take a breathalyzer test. This is when you breathe into a device that calculates the amount of alcohol in your system. However, the results of such tests may often be called into question because these tests can fail. In fact, according to ABC 7, there are specific things that could result in an inaccurate breathalyzer test. 

The way a breathalyzer works is that it measures the alcohol that has been absorbed into your mouth. Therefore, if you have consumed anything that could possibly leave alcohol in your mouth, it will register on the test. This could lead to a false positive reading. For example, mouthwash and cold medications are often culprits because both may contain alcohol.

How do drug convictions affect student aid?

If you get a drug conviction in Florida, it could put your college plans in jeopardy. Drug crimes can affect your eligibility for financial aid, but this is something many students do not understand or even know about. Here's some helpful information you should know before you end up putting yourself at risk of being banned from financial aid.

U.S. News and World Report notes that for a drug conviction to count against you for financial aid purposes, you must be receiving financial aid at the time. Upon conviction, you lose your eligibility to receive aid for a time based on how many times you have previously been in trouble. If it is your first time, you are ineligible for two years. After that, you lose eligibility forever. 

Why do people have a hard time leaving an abusive relationship?

You have probably heard stories of people in Florida who have been severely injured by a partner. You may even have wondered why the person stayed in the relationship. This is a common thought for people who have never been in an abusive relationship. It is difficult to understand. However, there have been some reasons found through learning more about the dynamics of such a relationship.

Psychology Today notes the reason for staying in an abusive relationship is not the same for every person. Some victims of domestic violence are afraid to leave because they have been cut off from anyone who could help them. They may also feel like nobody will help them, or they are too ashamed of being in such a situation to ask for help.

Can I get a DUI without drinking alcohol?

You may think that you can avoid getting a DUI in Fort Myers if you do not drink alcohol before driving. But there are other ways you can end up with an operating a vehicle while impaired charge. The law does not limit impairment substances to just alcohol, states FindLaw. If you drive while you are under the influence of marijuana, illegal drugs, prescription medications and other substances, you could end up losing your driver’s license, spending some time behind bars, paying fines and fees and dealing with the lingering consequences of your actions. 

It is important for you to consider the effects of any medication or substance you take. You must use sound judgment to know when you to put your keys down and wait until the effects wear off. Keep in mind there is the possibility that you may not realize you are in no condition to operate a motor vehicle. Your vehicle does not have to be on for you to end up with a DUI/DWI charge either. 

Five facts you should know about Florida's marijuana laws

Marijuana laws have become a hot-button issue. Public support for the drug is higher than ever, and several states have voted to either decriminalize or legalize its use.

You probably know that marijuana is still illegal in Florida. Though the state did vote to legalize medical cannabis in 2016, recreational use is still prohibited. If you are interested in the future of marijuana in our state, look no further: We have compiled a list of five important facts that you should know about Florida's marijuana laws.

Prescription medication, drug classifications and your case

Florida readers know that prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem, both in the state and across the country. As a result, law enforcement is working hard to curtail the improper use and illegal distribution of prescription drugs, and crimes associated with prescription fraud or abuse can come with steep penalties if convicted. 

If you are facing criminal charges associated with the misuse, trafficking or improper use of prescription drugs or prescription fraud, you would be wise to act quickly to build a strong defense. The severity of the penalties you are facing depends on the nature of your individual case, including the type of drug and its classification.

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Ian F. Mann PA

1424 Dean Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Toll Free: 866-416-1488
Phone: 239-935-5935
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