D. Scott Rieth Criminal Defense Attorney
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Sarasota County Criminal Law Blog

Man faces multiple allegations after car theft and other acts

When arrested on criminal charges in Sarasota, it is easy for one incident to spiral out of control and lead to several charges that can compound into a litany of allegations and potential penalties if there is a criminal conviction. Often, people will make mistakes because they are caught up in personal issues like drugs. When charged with such acts as car theft, there can be other allegations made such as attempting to flee law enforcement and resisting arrest. Circumstances can make a situation far worse than it originally would have been. For those confronted by allegations of criminal law violations, having legal assistance can make a significant difference in the case.

A 31-year-old man is facing multiple charges after an alleged attempt at stealing a car led to kidnapping, burglary, resisting arrest and more. The incident happened at shortly before 5 p.m. when the man was accused of trying to steal a Chrysler 300 from a Lowe's parking lot. The owner of the vehicle was putting items in the vehicle when the man jumped into the vehicle and sped away. The owner's 9-year-old daughter was in the backseat at the time. The man told the child to get out of the car, but she refused. He again told her to get out when she jumped from the moving vehicle.

Considerations when determining if items are drug paraphernalia

One of the reasons for which a Florida resident can be arrested on drug offenses is possession of drug paraphernalia. While this can lead to various consequences, it is important for a person who is dealing with drug charges to know what state law says about how it is determined that an item is drug paraphernalia. If there is a reasonable argument that the item in question might not have been used as drug paraphernalia, this could be the foundation for a defense against the charges.

The following will be considered when determining if the item was used as drug paraphernalia: statements that the owner or anyone in control of the object made regarding how it was used; the location of the object and how close it is - in time and space - to a violation of the law; the location of the object and how close it is to controlled substances; if there is evidence either direct or circumstantial regarding the owner's intent, or the intent of anyone who controls it to deliver it to those who should know or reasonably know that it will be a violation of the law. For that, even if the person is found to be innocent, that does not mean that the object will not be found to have been used as drug paraphernalia.

What if I am charged with breath test refusal in Florida?

The laws in Florida can be confusing especially in a situation in which law enforcement is asking for a breath test to be taken. Some might believe that they have the right to refuse like the "right to remain silent" in the reading of the rights when arrested. They might then make the mistake of refusing a breath test and find themselves charged for it. Under the law, drivers are obligated to submit to the test. This is known as implied consent. For those who commit breath test refusal, there are certain penalties they will face.

When asked by law enforcement to submit to a physical or chemical test of breath, blood or urine, a driver who had a prior suspension of driving privileges for refusal to submit to the test might be confronted with a misdemeanor in the first degree. With this charge and a conviction, the person will be subjected to a potential jail sentence of up to one year or a fine of up to $1,000.

Understanding the long-term consequences of a DUI conviction

You may think that a conviction for driving under the influence is nothing worse than a traffic violation. You pay a fine, get your suspended license reinstated and you are back on the road.

In the first place, DUI is a serious offense. In the second, a DUI mark on your record may act as a roadblock against the plans you have for your future. This underscores how critical your defense can be when facing DUI allegations.

Man faces accusations of drug possession and assaulting police

Sarasota residents who are arrested after accusations of violence can also have other crimes lodged as part of the same incident. If, for example, a person is alleged to have been using drugs and behaves irrationally during that time and commits violence, it can result in a litany of charges. Because violent crimes carry with them such harsh penalties including jail time, fines and more, it is essential that a person who is charged understands what he or she is confronted with and takes the necessary steps to cobble together a strong legal defense.

A 35-year-old man was arrested on a slew of charges including biting a law enforcement officer who tried to subdue him. In the incident, police say that they were contacted at around 7 p.m. to help emergency personnel with a patient who was violent and ill. When police arrived, the man tried to close the door to prevent their entry. They managed to get into the residence. The man is said to have punched two of the law enforcement officers. It was believed that the man was on the drug known as spice and was not responding to police commands. He is said to have bit an officer on the thigh. More police arrived at the scene and the man was eventually subdued and arrested. He was taken for medical treatment and then brought to jail. The man faces three counts of battery. He was also charged with being in possession of a controlled substance.

Law enforcement officer arrested for DUI and fired from her job

When a person is arrested on drunk driving charges in Florida, the aftereffects and consequences can extend beyond penalties such as fines, incarceration and license suspension. It can also influence a person's life in myriad ways. For example, depending on the person's vocation, there can be ramifications at work for DUI and traffic offenses. For some, they occur even before a conviction. When arrested for driving while intoxicated and other allegations, having legal help is essential for personal and professional protection. This is especially true when the person placed under arrest is a law enforcement officer.

A law enforcement officer who had been on the job for nearly 20 years lost her job after she was arrested for DUI. In the incident that precipitated her arrest, she was said to have been driving her personal vehicle in reverse and blaring her horn. When they investigated, the officers stated that her eyes were glassy, watery and bloodshot. They smelled alcohol emanating from her. She took part in field sobriety tests and did poorly. She was asked to take a breath test and refused. As an employee for the sheriff's office, she did not have the option to refuse. She was placed under arrest for DUI and later released on her own recognizance. She was subsequently terminated from her job as an officer.

What should I know about Florida ignition interlock device laws?

Drivers in Florida who are convicted on drunk driving charges might be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. This device is part of a restricted driving penalty to ensure that the driver is not getting behind the wheel while under the influence. The driver will blow into the machine so it can register the blood alcohol content. The vehicle will not start if the BAC is above a certain level. Understanding the law as to when the ignition interlock device will be installed is an important part of the program and its process.

Florida DUI laws will determine the length of time the interlock device will be on the person's vehicle. The ignition interlock device will be put on a vehicle that the person owns as an individual or leases or owns jointly and operates it routinely. If the driver is convicted of a first offense DUI and his or her BAC is 0.08 or more, the ignition interlock device might be placed on the driver's vehicle for a minimum of six continuous months. If it is a first offense and the BAC is 0.15 or higher or the level was 0.08 with a person in the vehicle who was under age 18, the ignition interlock device will be installed for at least six continuous months. For a second offense in these circumstances, it will be for two continuous years.

Facing a DUI? 2 reasons why you should hire an attorney

If you are facing a DUI charge in the Bradenton, one of the worst things you can do is dismiss its importance. All too often, individuals find themselves with DUI charges and believe they cannot afford to hire an attorney. They do not realize charges do not equate an automatic conviction. Also, regardless of the evidence against them, it is possible to mount an effective defense against the charges. 

The consequences of a DUI conviction are not worth the risk of not having a proper defense. An attorney has the experience and knowledge of the law to help improve the outcome of your case. Here are a couple of reasons why you should consider hiring an attorney. 

Man arrested on drunk driving charges and other allegations

Law enforcement in Bradenton is constantly on the lookout for drivers who might be on the road while under the influence. This leads to traffic stops, investigations and arrests. Being charged with driving under the influence carries with it certain penalties that the driver would undoubtedly like to avoid. The circumstances of the arrest are vital to the case and people who are confronted with drunk driving charges are not necessarily guilty. Having a qualified DUI attorney can help with lodging a strong defense against DUI and traffic offenses.

A driver who was allegedly driving 36 miles per hour in a zone with a maximum speed of 25 mph and had drifted into another lane was stopped by law enforcement. Upon investigating, the officer suspected that the 41-year-old driver was under the influence. According to the report, the man stated that he had one drink while having dinner. The driver agreed to take field sobriety tests. Impairment was suspected and the driver was arrested. He is then said to have committed breath test refusal twice at the jail. He was charged with DUI, driving under the influence with a minor in the vehicle and for driving with an expired license.

Man arrested for drug offenses and fleeing deputies

In Sarasota and throughout Florida, allegations of drug offenses can lead to substantial consequences. Many of these cases begin with a traffic stop. The situation can be made worse if the driver does not comply or flees the scene. People who are confronted with drug crimes should be aware of the penalties that accompany the allegations as well as what can happen if they are accused of other violations along with it. Having a strong legal defense is essential with any arrest, drug-related or otherwise.

An attempted traffic stop following a traffic violation spurred a high-speed chase as the driver fled. When he was caught, officers stated they found drugs and drug paraphernalia. The incident began when deputies attempted to stop a black Mercedes at an intersection at approximately 11:30 a.m. After first pulling over, the driver then took off. In the chase, speeds were said to have reached 60 mph. The chase continued until the driver hit another car at a stop sign. The driver again fled from the deputy who made the initial traffic stop and tried to box the driver in. A second law enforcement vehicle stopped the Mercedes.


D. Scott Rieth
9040 Town Center Parkway, Suite 204A
Bradenton, FL 34202

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