Traffic Fines to Raise Revenue: Is Law Enforcement Focusing on the Wrong Public Safety Incentives?

Getting pulled over for a traffic violation is always vexing. While the concept is understandable — and is often necessary — sometimes the system can be considered excessive and monetarily based.

For example, pulling over a motorist who is driving recklessly is crucial to keeping people safe. But what about routine stops for people who are allegedly driving a mile or two over the speed limit, or have a broken tail light during daylight hours, or any other technical, minor infraction?

We are not advocating for freely breaking the law. However, a recent New York Times report revealed that a whopping 730 municipalities raise revenue from precisely these types of traffic stops. The question then becomes: are drivers being pulled over for the right reasons?

The Use of Traffic Fines and Fees to Raise Revenue

Using traffic fines to raise revenue is nothing new or unique to a specific jurisdiction. Between 2010 and 2017, a significant portion of city governments in New York State increased their budgets by about 25% as a result of traffic stop fines.

Two examples include the city of Buffalo, where traffic fines accounted for 24% of revenue for the fiscal year 2019 – 2020, and Poughkeepsie, where such revenue accounted for a staggering 46% for the 2019 budget.

Then there is also Valley Brook, Oklahoma, which is a small town of 870 residents. It raises about $1,000,000 a year in revenue from traffic infractions.

Some of these fines can cross the line from routine to flabbergasting. NPR’s economics podcast, The Indicator from Planet Money, investigated such practices. One of the people they interviewed, Orlando, FL resident, Celeste Sawyer, related how she was stopped at a red light, when one of her twins saw a police officer, unbuckled her seatbelt and rolled down the window to say hello to the officer. The police officer then pulled over in front of Celeste’s car and issued her over $1,000 in fines for seat belt ticket violations (one for each of her kids).

Turner County and Norman Park (both in rural Georgia) also rely heavily on revenue raised from traffic tickets to finance their governments. And Governing magazine conducted an analysis on such practices. Their findings indicated that hundreds of small towns significantly rely on traffic fines to fund their budgets.

Relying on these stops to raise revenue sometimes places police officers in an uncomfortable situation.. Once a municipality becomes accustomed to relying heavily on these funds for their annual budgets, law enforcement sometimes will look for even the smallest or most technical of infractions.

On a much larger scale, this issue also affects federal funding, since the federal government provides highway safety grants that reward a high incidence of traffic tickets. These grants come in the tune of $600 million a year. Granted, the funds are not simply awarded to applicants with the highest number of traffic tickets alone. However, they are taken into account to evaluate police performance.

The Problems With These Types of Traffic Stops

Every single day, there are legitimate reasons to pull someone over. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, weaving in and out of traffic at excessive speeds, trucks carrying excessive cargo. These behaviors put people’s lives at risk.

And that is precisely what society needs: law enforcement that puts public safety as their first priority (as opposed to raising revenue or meeting quotas). When you switch priorities incentivized by budgetary reasons, it encourages harmful consequences, including:

Civil Rights Violations

In theory, people cannot be imprisoned for failing to pay their debts. Creditors can take debtors to court in a civil case. They also have several ways of enforcing judgments — such as garnishing a portion of a defendant’s wages or placing a lien on their property. But when these debts are the result of traffic stop violations, you can get a warrant for your arrest for nonpayment.

This is why, in January 2021, a group called Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed a lawsuit against Valley Brook and three of its public officials. The claim is for alleged unconstitutional debt collection from poor residents.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys in that suit point out how such methodologies of raising revenue have a dire effect — that of sending to jail people who cannot afford to pay them. And this is not a problem just in Valley Brook. This is happening all over the nation.

Traffic Stops that Escalate Quickly

It is no secret that this country has seen its fair share of what were supposed to be simple traffic stops ending with law enforcement shooting a motorist. Things get even uglier when it was a white police officer and an African-American driver. Recent examples include Phillando Castille, Rayshard Brooks, and Daunte Wright. These are just a few instances of traffic stops for minor violations that escalated quickly.

It is easy for people who were not at the scene to point out that if the motorists had followed instructions, they would be alive today. But that oversimplifies the issue and ignores the bigger problem: All of these deaths originated with a traffic stop for a minor infraction, and ended with the shooting of unarmed individuals.

Racial Bias

This is a hot topic, but it would be remiss to discuss the subject at hand without bringing it up. Researchers from Stanford University conducted a study that took a close look at 100 million police traffic stops across 21 state patrol agencies and 29 municipal police departments. That is not a typo. One hundred million. It is a pretty significant sample size. In fact, it is the largest one ever collected.

And here is the unsurprising result: Between 2011 and 2017, police officers stopped minority motorists based on less evidence used to stop white drivers.

By the same token, a recent report issued by the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) warns New York governments against attempting to restore the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic through traffic fines — since this method is often used to exploit low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.

Similarly, after reviewing data from 9,000 cities across the United States, a study conducted by Michael Sances (from the University of Memphis) and Hye Young You (from Vanderbilt University) concluded that using traffic fines and court fees to raise revenue disproportionately affects underserved communities.

This is not a matter of officers being blatantly racist. Few people would readily admit to such behavior — even to themselves. But it does point to the implicit bias and systemic racism that is embedded into many elements of criminal justice.

Raising revenue is an integral part of any government, regardless of its size. However, the main duty of police officers is to protect and serve the community. Balancing the budget sheet should not be a responsibility that is placed on their shoulders — and clearly, there is enough data to showcase the troubling consequences of doing so.

About the author: Matthew J. Weiss, Esq. has a Juris Doctor from Hofstra Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review. Upon graduating in 1987, he became one of the first Hofstra graduates at the New York Court of Appeals (New York State’s highest court). He then went into private practice, focusing on fighting any type of traffic ticket issued in New York.  He eventually reached a level of success in his career where he could focus on areas other than day-to-day operations. This freed up time to pursue other opportunities, such as producing and directing Man in Red Bandana, an award-winning film about an incredible 9/11 hero named Welles Crowther. You can also listen to his TEDx talk about courage.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

The Future of Florida Traffic Safety Laws

Anybody who has ever driven in Florida is aware of the atrocious state of commuting. No matter where you’re going, it behooves you to check traffic apps to avoid significant jams caused by accidents. And these are no minor deals, either. While there is a fair share of fender benders, at some point you’ll also see the aftermath of a major crash — from totaled cars to a crane pulling a vehicle from the water underneath a causeway.

And things are only getting worse. A recent study published by the Advocates for Auto and Highway Safety concluded that Florida is among the worst states when it comes to highway safety. Such revelation is dire, considering that in 2020, data from the U.S. Department of Transportation reflected an increase in auto accident fatalities during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the decrease in driving on a national level.


To add insult to injury, these increases are seemingly pointing to a continued upwards trend, since the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that deaths from traffic accidents increased by about 11% more in 2021. Since Florida is topping the list, the Sunshine State needs to do something about it.

What’s Causing So Many Traffic Accidents in Florida?

There are a myriad of reasons that contribute to car accidents. No matter anyone’s background or walk of life, a common denominator is that we’ve all seen or heard about the most popular ones, including:

  • Speeding
  • Driving while texting
  • Driving under the influence

Not only are many of these circumstances preventable, but they are made even worse by the fact that almost half of car accident fatalities are the result of not wearing a seat belt. And the numbers of deaths related to DUIs and distracted driving are high enough to merit more serious preventive measures.

Finally, there are two significant additional issues: Teen drivers and the consequences of driving while texting.

While all of these issues occur all over the US, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation includes a breakdown of crash rates as they relate to state population. Florida is among the top five.

Florida Traffic Laws

Florida Statute 316.614 establishes that anyone operating a motor vehicle is required to wear their seat belt. As for front seat passengers, it’s unlawful for anyone 18 or older to ride in a car without wearing it. While this may seem practical, violating this law only carries a penalty of $30.

Florida Statute 316.193 states that anyone with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or more while driving is considered to be driving under the influence (DUI). A first conviction penalty ranges between $500 and $1,000. A second one is between $1,000 and $2,000. Additional consequences may include spending between six and nine months in jail, and installing an ignition interlock device at their own cost for a full year. A third conviction constitutes a felony, and penalties increase accordingly. While these are certainly heftier, they pale in comparison when placed side-by-side with the loss of life.

Florida Statute 322.1615 establishes that the DMV may issue a learner’s permit to anyone who’s at least 15 and has passed driving and eye examinations. The standards are pretty baseline considering the consequences of not being properly trained.

By the same token, Florida Statute 316.302 establishes texting while driving ban. The penalty for a first offense is $30, and it continues to increase with subsequent violations.

While these laws exist to protect public safety, statistics show they are failing as a deterrent. This is why it’s crucial to advocate for more robust penalties.

Proposed Updates to Current Florida Traffic Safety Laws

Some of the proposed legislation to address the road fatalities issues in Florida include:

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is technology designed to prevent car accidents by providing blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, recognition of traffic signs, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. They work by installing sensors on motor vehicles.

Some of these applications also include features such as driver drowsiness detection based on the driver’s heart rate, movement of their head, and lane swerving. There has been recent legislation proposed in Congress to install such technologies on trucks. Similar bills would be beneficial at the state level.

Automated Enforcement

Automated enforcement (AE) is most commonly known as traffic cameras. While they already exist in some Florida jurisdictions, installing them more widely could serve as a deterrent for drivers who are gung ho on running red lights if they do so fast enough.

Better Technologies to Reduce Impaired Driving

Interlock ignition devices are nothing new. As mentioned earlier in this article, a third DUI conviction requires one in your car. However, there’s a new research program called Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), which, together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is lobbying for car manufacturers to install breath and touch systems to measure BAC as safety features in their vehicles.

Autonomous Vehicles

Since so many traffic accidents are caused by human error or negligence, autonomous vehicles could help reduce the number of crashes. This does not necessarily mean that a person would get a car and have no control over it. There are several automation levels that include assistance with steering and braking while the driver monitors operation.

In Conclusion

These proposed solutions are only the tip of the iceberg. And regardless of which ones move forward, it’s evident that the systems that are in place now are not working. So it’s crucial for legislators at the state and federal levels to actively look for ways to not only implement more stringent consequences, but also safety measures that prevent accidents in the first place.

A great starting point is to pay closer attention to current proposed bills and study how well they have worked in other jurisdictions — whether nationally or internationally. And most importantly, get the input from subject matter experts who may take into account details that may otherwise not be considered.

About the Author: Mitchell J. Panter is a founding and managing partner at Panter, Panter & Sampedro, a leading personal injury law firm in South Florida. He is Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, and he has been designated as such by both the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has successfully argued before the Florida Supreme Court and has held leadership positions in multiple professional entities within the legal industry.

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What Are the Differences Between Careless and Dangerous Driving?

The road can be a dangerous place whether you’re a pedestrian, a cyclist or a motorist. Many road deaths are caused due to someone else’s actions. While any person can cause a road traffic accident, motorists are most at risk of causing a serious accident. Vehicles can be extremely dangerous, especially if the driver acts in a negligent manner. There’s a reason why people need to undergo thorough driving examinations and why using the road is heavily regulated by laws.

Fatal road accidents caused by another person can be split into two categories: death by careless driving and death by dangerous driving. Careless and dangerous driving does not suggest an intent to harm someone, which is why it’s called an accident. But with that said, it is still a serious act of negligence. Dangerous driving is clearly the more severe offense and will lead to harsher consequences. However, both careless and dangerous driving can be impactful behaviors and may lead to loss of life. It’s useful to know the differences between the two to ensure you behave like a safe and competent road user.

Fatal Accident Claims is a specialist solicitor service that helps clients with a wide range of accident claims, including road accidents, asbestos-related diseases, and fatal work accidents. They offer victims and relatives advice and claims management support to help them come to terms with their serious injuries or tragic loss. Fatal Accident Claims have provided us with information on the differences between careless and dangerous driving, including the potential penalties and how you can make a compensation claim.

What is Careless Driving?

Careless driving is defined as driving below the minimum standard expected of a competent and careful driver. While the type of actions that fall under this category can be complex and open to interpretation, it is ultimately about falling below the minimum standards. Careless driving can typically be summed up as acting with undue care and attention or having a brief lapse of judgment or concentration. If you drive carelessly, you are doing so without reasonable consideration for other road users.

There are several examples of careless driving. For starters, driving too close to another vehicle, also known as tailgating, would fall under this category. Accidentally running a red light, overtaking on the inside, or suddenly braking would be other examples. Turning into the path of another vehicle or failing to properly assess your surroundings is also careless. Being distracted by the radio, phone, eating or smoking may also fall under careless driving but depending on your specific actions, could also be classed as dangerous driving.

What is Dangerous Driving?

While careless driving is described as driving below the minimum standard, dangerous driving is defined as falling far below the expected standards of a competent driver. Dangerous driving is to operate a vehicle in a completely negligent manner, endangering both yourself and others. Again, there may be some debate as to what constitutes a dangerous action versus a careless one, but it comes down to judgment on how far below the person’s standards have slipped. To be convicted of dangerous driving, there must be significant evidence showing that they were responsible for the accident and are judged to have driven dangerously.

One of the most common examples of dangerous driving is racing with others, driving at excessive speed, or driving aggressively. If you operate a vehicle while aware of a serious fault, then this would also be considered dangerous. Other examples include intentionally ignoring traffic lights or road signs, driving on the hard shoulder, or driving with an unsafe load. Driving while unfit, such as experiencing eyesight issues, is also dangerous. Last but certainly not least, driving while uninsured, disqualified, or under the influence are three of the most serious examples of dangerous driving.

The Penalties for Driving Carelessly or Dangerously

Driving dangerously or carelessly is a serious offense that comes with hefty penalties. Punishments can vary depending on several factors, including what careless or dangerous actions led to the action. A history of offenses and points on a driver’s license can also increase the punishment handed down.

Generally speaking, for careless driving in the UK, you can expect to at least pay a £100 fine and receive three points on your license. If your case goes to court, you may receive as much as a £5,000 fine and a nine-point penalty. The maximum sentence is 5 years in prison and disqualification from driving for a minimum of 1 year. If convicted of careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs, the maximum sentence is 14 years in person, an unlimited fine, and disqualification for a minimum of 2 years. As for death by dangerous driving, you can expect to be hit with a two-year disqualification and 1-14 years imprisonment. You may also be ordered to pay an unlimited fine and receive three to eleven penalty points.

If the incident transcends that of an accident, then the driver may also be convicted with the more serious charge of murder or manslaughter. In this case, the driver can face life imprisonment and at least years disqualification from driving.

Claiming for Death by Careless Driving

As well as a criminal conviction, a driver guilty of death by careless driving may be liable to pay civil compensation. Losing a loved one is not only tough because of the emotional distress, but also because of the financial problems that death can cause. There may be additional fees to pay such as medical costs and funeral expenses. Therefore, compensation is essential to help the family come to terms with the loss and help them cope financially.

The process of making death by careless driving compensation claim begins by speaking to a solicitor firm who will listen to what you have to say and offer advice on how you can move forward. Solicitors work on your behalf to support you and help you claim the maximum amount of compensation. They will investigate the accident to build the strongest possible case, and most solicitors operate on a No Win, No Fee basis so you only pay if the claim is successful.

There are several types of compensation that you can claim, including the bereavement award and a dependency claim. The bereavement award provides a statutory amount to close relatives while the dependency claim is awarded on the basis that essential services have been taken following the death. Compensation is usually made against the driver’s insurance company. If they have no insurance, then it will be dealt with by the Motor Insurer’s Bureau or a court judge.


Author Bio:

Mark Boyle
Mark is a content writer at Fatal Accident Claims, a specialist firm of solicitors based in the United Kingdom. Fatal Accident Claims helps people claim compensation for a wide range of services, including fatal work accidents, dependency claims, asbestos-related diseases, and road accidents.

Find top rated attorneys and law firms profiles with Find Attorneys Directory, the best and free online attorney directory. Guest bloggers can also publish their articles here as other bloggers are doing.

What Should You Do If You Are Injured in A DUI Accident?

Being involved in any car accident can be a scary and traumatic experience. This is especially true if you’re injured in a DUI accident. We all know that driving while under the influence of a controlled substance is against the law. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop thousands of people each year from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. If you have recently been involved in an accident with a drunk driver, keep reading to learn about the steps that need to be taken to ensure that you can get the help you deserve.

What to do if You are Involved in a DUI Accident

The first thing you should do when you are involved in an accident is to call the police and assess any damage. If you or anyone else is injured, you should also call an ambulance.

In many states, the law requires you to report any accident to the police that involves damage to property, personal injury, or death. When the police get to the scene of the accident, they will assess the situation, and if they suspect that the other driver has been drinking, they will perform the necessary test to test whether or not the driver is too impaired to drive.

The next thing that you need to do is to make sure that you exchange information, such as your name and insurance provider, with the other driver. This information will be listed on the police report. You can usually pick up a copy of the police report one to three days after the accident.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

It is important to call your insurance company and notify them of the wreck as soon as possible. Many people are under the impression that calling their insurance company is not necessary if they were not at fault; however, this is simply not true. Even if you are not at fault, your insurance company can still help you through this difficult time.

Your insurance provider should be the only provider that you contact. Do not try to contact the other driver’s insurance provider. If the other driver’s insurance agent contacts you directly, try to politely end the conversation with them quickly and without giving any details about the accident. No matter how nice they may seem on the phone, the other driver’s insurance company will not have your best interest in mind. The main goal of this company is to pay out as little as possible. There is a good chance that the other driver’s insurance company is calling you to try to trick you into providing evidence that the accident was your fault, or that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.

If the other driver’s insurance company wants to talk to you directly, make sure to give them as little information as possible. The only information that should be given to this company is the name and number of your insurance agent or your attorney.

What to do if the Insurance Company Doesn’t Pay You a Fair Settlement

Being injured in any car accident can be extremely expensive. Not only do you have to pay for repairs to your vehicle, but if you sustain any injuries, doctor’s bills can continue to pile up for months or even years. If you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, you should not be responsible for any of the out-of-pocket expenses.

If the other driver’s insurance company has not agreed to give you enough money to cover the expenses that you have incurred because of the accident, then you may want to talk to a car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on the proper steps to take next and may decide that it is best to take the other driver to court to get the rest of the compensation that you deserve.

Lawsuits Involving DUI Accidents

If you decide to file a lawsuit against the drunk driver that caused your accident, you may be able to obtain a reasonable amount of compensation for medical bills and other expenses. However, there may be a few challenges that you encounter if you file a civil lawsuit against a drunk driver.

Civil lawsuits and criminal lawsuits are completely different. If the driver is charged with a DUI, he or she will have to go before a judge for the criminal proceedings. In a civil suit, however, instead of the defendant (the drunk driver) facing any potential jail time, the court could order them to pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and any other bills that you may have that are in direct relation to the DUI accident.

The No-Fault States vs the Negligence States

Many states in the country have no-fault laws. When a state has these laws, it can make it a little more difficult to sue a drunk driver in civil court. In no-fault states, the victim usually has to have a substantial amount of property damage or has suffered major injuries as a result of the accident in order for the drunk driver to be held liable.

In states that have pure negligence laws, however, a civil suit is not based on how much damage was obtained from the car accident. As long as you are able to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident, you can file a civil lawsuit against that driver.

It can sometimes be confusing trying to figure out what to do after you are involved in a DUI accident. If you need help navigating through this difficult time, you should contact a personal injury lawyer that is experienced with handling DUI accidents. helps injury victims find the best lawyer for their personal injury claim in order to get the highest compensation possible — for free.

What Are the Chances of Getting a DUI Dismissed?

What are my chances of getting a DUI dismissed?

The word DUI refers to Driving Under Influence, and it is a driving violation. It is basically driving under the influence of any kind of drugs, alcohol, or any other substances which can impair the ability of a person to operate an automobile most of the time. If someone is committing a DUI then the person or a defendant has to incur some penalties which are sometimes compulsory, and may also be varied depending on the place at which it has been incurred.

A Knowledgeable, experienced, and skilled professional DUI lawyer in Washington DC can be the best option for a person if he/she is getting a DUI dismissed. Every case can be tricky. If it is not represented properly in court, it will surely ruin the chances of getting the DUI dismissed. Therefore, it is necessary to retain the services of a reputable and experienced DUI Defense Attorney Washington, DC who is able to understand the tactics for how to get a DUI dismissed.

Mainly, the percentage of DUI cases dismissed may vary from one area to another. Statistically, if there is any technical error which is found in your case then there is about a 50 percent chance of getting a DUI dismissed in Washington DC. However, many cases end up with convictions because the person hired an attorney who was not well-prepared or knowledgeable, or skilled with these types of cases. Therefore, it is very important for you to hire a lawyer who has a higher percentage of DUI cases dismissed to have numerous positive results.

First time DUI charge:

If a person has never been charged under driving under the influence (DUI) or any criminal case Before prosecutors in Washington, DC handle DUI charges accordingly. This implies that investigators will document charges on each and every DUI claim and will push ahead on addressing each and every case. You may contact all-around experienced DUI attorneys in Washington, D.C. on the off chance that you are confronting driving impaired charges interestingly.

Penalties in case of a first time DUI conviction:

The maximum penalty a person can have for a first­time DUI is 180 days in jail. For the most first­time DUIs, defendants don’t have to face mandatory jail time. However, if a person provides with a sample of their blood, urine, or breath on their arrest, and the result of the test declares a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .20 or higher than that, then first time offender will be eligible for a compulsory minimum ten days of jail time which will be solely based on the high BAC level. In the process, if the person provides a urine sample upon their arrest, and the result in urine alcohol content is .25 or higher than that, then that person would face a compulsory minimum of ten days in jail.

The prison time increments if the blood, breath, or urine liquor content increments by 20. There can be some circumstances when a first­time DUI offender can have the mandatory jail time. This may be true if the DUI defendant is convicted of a DUI for the first time and the person’s blood or urine contains certain serious drugs which may include heroin, PCP, or even cocaine. When any of the serious drugs are involved, even if a person’s alcohol content is below .20, and they are facing a first offense conviction, the person would be eligible for compulsory jail time in Washington DC. There can also be a possibility for mandatory jail time if a person is convicted of a DUI and if they also had a minor in the car with them. In any of these above circumstances, a person’s maximum penalty is 180 days in jail.

Impact of Criminal record

A criminal record can affect a person’s professional, personal, and even academic life. Criminal records also sometimes show up on credit reports, which include applications for bank loans, rental agreements, car purchases, and similar other financial transactions that may be difficult, if not impossible. If they qualify for the loan, banks, and credit card then companies often charge higher rates of interest. This problem can be solved by knowledgeable, skilled, and professional criminal defense attorneys in Washington DC. It is mandatory for defendants to seek the services of DUI lawyers in Washington DC. An attorney can help an individual to avoid these serious long term consequences of DUI.

Role of judge

Under Washington DC procedural rules, judges have a limited role in DUI cases in most cases. Judges cannot reduce the charge or dismiss cases in DC. It all takes place between prosecutors and defense attorneys. Judges may be involved if the case goes to trial or if there is any legal issue that must be resolved, which can include the prosecutor’s failure to turn certain kinds of evidence, a failure to preserve evidence so that it can be turned over, or any such situations where there can be a violation of a person’s rights. Judges can be involved in these kinds of limited legal situations. They can also be involved if a person is found guilty of DUI and proceeds to a sentencing hearing. A judge has the final say about the person’s sentence.

Lotze Mosley LLP is amongst the most prominent law firms based in Washington D.C where expert criminal lawyers have been representing clients for more than 25 years. Law Firm Lotze Mosley LLP promises to aggressively represent you in your time of need in the District of Columbia and Maryland criminal courts. Their Criminal Defence Attorney Washington, DC understand your emotional stress of facing time in prison, fines, the loss of a driver’s license, life with a criminal record, and many other consequences of the conviction.

Do I Need A Defense Attorney For A First Time DUI?

DUI Talk: Do You Really Need a Defense Attorney in Fort Mill

It becomes difficult for someone to handle a DUI(Driving Under the Influence) case when he/she has very little experience or training to understand all the sides of the case including strengths and weaknesses. DUI law is continuously changing and becoming complicated day by day and every single case is difficult and unique at its level. So it is important to get help and the opinion of an experienced, skilled, professional, and valuable DUI lawyer in Fort Mill.

Most of the DUI Lawyers in Fort Mill give a free consultation to the clients and some of them charge handsome amounts according to the respective DUI cases. It is not necessary to hire a DUI lawyer you consult with but it is important to meet face to face so that you can understand the things whether it would work out with the lawyer you are the thing to hire.


Usually, the DUI is considered as “standard first DUI” when the offender has no prior convictions and when the offense did not involve any factors such as injuries, accidents, and high blood alcohol concentration or BAC. And in this when there is a case of a first-time DUI; there the standard offer plays the same role whether the case is represented by the public defender, a private attorney, or no attorney at all. So hiring an attorney in standard first DUI would not be worth it. But sometimes in case of complicated cases, it is important to have an opinion of a skilled and experienced DUI lawyer’s attorney in Fort Mill so that the attorney can look after the weaknesses of the case. So, before accepting any plea deal, it is good to have an attorney’s opinion.


All criminal defendants have the right to appoint or to take the opinion of an attorney but if you can’t afford to appoint a lawyer for yourself, the court will offer an attorney for you to appoint it. You can appoint an attorney normally from a public defender’s office. Public defenders usually handle criminal cases which also include several DUI cases. Some defendants feel that their case is not being handled with enough attention. Public defenders are believed to have good trial skills and experience because they take a lot of cases on trial. Public defender representation is sometimes limited to criminal court. A DUI arrest usually leads to mainly two administrative proceedings with DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and a criminal court case. Defendants who appoint public defenders will have to deal on their own with DMV proceedings.


Sometimes it becomes difficult to hire a DUI lawyer for you because of long-run legal issues which may continue for long years and include a lump sum amount to be involved in the particular case which also changes from a particular case. An experienced DUI plays a vital role in handling different cases and adapting the legal system in an efficient manner which automatically leads to less time and short trials. This efficiency is needed as it saves a lot of money and time in the long run.


It is important to appoint an experienced and knowledgeable DUI attorney who can understand the changing regulations, laws, and standards related to the particular DUI case which can automatically help in building a strong case in your defense. To make your case strong and have a trial you have to take advice and need an attorney to make your case strong and it would be difficult without an attorney. You feel more confident when you know that your case is being handled by a confident and experienced DUI lawyer in Fort Mill.


It is the work of each lawyer to ensure the lawful rights and opportunity of his/her customer, and most make a solid effort with that in mind. You need a Criminal Defense Attorneys Fort Mill who won’t just walk you through a supplication deal; however who will invest each energy to get the most ideal result – a lawyer who will “hit a homerun bat” as far as you might be concerned, as it were. You merit another opportunity on the off chance that you are liable; you merit a reasonable break if you are honest. Despite your circumstance, never face the results of driving impaired without the help and ability of committed criminal defense attorneys in Fort Mill or anyplace you face criminal arraignment. I wish you all the luck that prevails!

David W. Martin Law Group is one of the acclaimed firms throughout Fort Mill that specializes in criminal law. Their team is highly skilled and experienced to represent your case strongly before the criminal justice system. Moreover, this leading law firm also represents cases of administrative and education law who are faced with criminal charges. Their main objective is to safeguard their client’s rights and will do anything to ensure the client is treated fairly. The firm believes in personally investing to get the desired outcome of your case.

Arizona’s DUI Laws, Penalties: Drivers Need to Know

DUI Laws That Drivers in Arizona Should Understand

The dangers of drunk driving are among the most significant lessons taught to all drivers. In fact, due to public safety campaigns, most people learn that driving while intoxicated by alcohol is illegal long before they ever get behind the wheel. Not only is drunk driving unsafe, but it is also illegal, and drivers can face a wide variety of serious consequences if they choose to drive after drinking or using drugs.

Even though drivers are aware that drunk driving is illegal, they may not fully understand the actual laws that apply in these situations, especially since these laws can vary from state to state. When it comes to driving under the influence (DUI), Arizona has some of the strictest laws in the United States, and those who live in the state or are visiting from elsewhere should be sure to understand the offenses that could lead to DUI charges and the potential consequences they could face. Those who are facing drunk driving charges will want to work with a Tuscon DUI defense lawyer to determine their legal options.

The Definition of DUI in Arizona

One of the reasons the DUI laws in Arizona are so strict is because drivers do not necessarily need to exceed the standard .08% blood alcohol content (BAC) limit to be charged with DUI. According to Arizona Revised Statutes 28-1381, it is unlawful for a person to drive or be in “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle if alcohol, drugs, or other substances have caused them to be “impaired to the slightest degree.” This means that even if a driver’s BAC is below the legal limit, they could still be arrested and face DUI charges if a police officer observes any signs that indicate that they are impaired, such as slurred speech, the smell of alcohol or marijuana in a car, or a driver stumbling when exiting their vehicle.

While some DUI arrests may be based on an officer’s observations, chemical testing of a driver’s BAC will usually play a role in the charges a person will face. A measurement of a driver’s BAC within two hours after they were in control of a vehicle will determine whether the driver is presumed to be impaired. If a driver’s BAC is .08% or more, it is presumed that they were under the influence. A BAC between .05% and 08% is indeterminate, and other evidence may be used to determine whether the driver was impaired. A driver with a BAC of .05% or less is presumed to not be under the influence, but other evidence may be presented to demonstrate that they met the threshold of being impaired to the slightest degree.

Drivers may also face DUI charges if they have any amount of certain types of drugs in their system. These include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, PCP, LSD, and prescription opioids. In addition, drivers with a commercial driver’s license who are operating a commercial vehicle may be charged with DUI if they have a BAC of .04% or more.

DUI Penalties

For first-time offenders, a conviction on “basic” DUI charges will result in a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail, although a judge may choose to suspend all but one day of the sentence if the driver completes a drug or alcohol screening, treatment, or education program. A driver will also be required to pay fines and fees totaling around $2,000 and complete a traffic survival school course, and their driver’s license will be suspended for at least 90 days. They may also be sentenced to community service or probation, and they may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle for 12 months.

Certain situations can lead to more serious DUI charges with more severe penalties. These include:

  • Second DUI – If a person is convicted of DUI a second time within seven years, they will face a minimum jail sentence of 90 days, although all but 30 days of a sentence can be suspended if the driver completes a drug or alcohol screening, treatment, or education program. A driver will also be sentenced to at least 30 hours of community service, their license will be revoked for at least one year, and they will be required to pay fines and fees of at least $3,000.
  • Extreme DUI – Drivers who have a BAC of at least .15% will be required to pay fines and fees totaling more than $2,500, and they will be sentenced to at least 30 days in jail, although all but nine days of a sentence may be suspended if a driver equips their vehicle with an IID for at least one year. If a second DUI conviction within seven years is an extreme DUI, the driver will be sentenced to at least 180 days in jail without being eligible for suspension or probation, and at least 90 days of the sentence must be served consecutively.
  • Super Extreme DUI – Drivers who have a BAC of at least .20% will be required to pay fines and fees totaling more than $2,500, and they will be sentenced to at least 45 days in jail, although all but 14 days of a sentence may be suspended if a driver equips their vehicle with an IID for at least one year. If a second DUI conviction within seven years is a super extreme DUI, the driver will be sentenced to at least 120 days in jail without being eligible for suspension or probation, and at least 60 days of the sentence must be served consecutively.
  • Aggravated DUI – Drunk driving may be charged as a felony if a driver had two previous DUI convictions within seven years, if they were driving while their license was suspended or revoked, if they were required to use an IID in their vehicle, if they had a passenger under the age of 15 in their vehicle at the time of their arrest, or if they were driving the wrong way on a highway. A felony conviction may result in a sentence of between four months and two years in prison. A driver may also be required to pay fines and fees of more than $5,000, their driver’s license will be suspended for three years, and they may be sentenced to community service or probation.

Because the DUI laws in Arizona are so strict, drivers who are facing these charges will want to be sure to secure legal representation. A Pima County DUI defense attorney can help drivers understand the specific charges, the potential consequences, and the strategies that can help them avoid serious penalties whenever possible.

The Dangers of Driving Under the Influence

Everyone knows that it’s dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, many people do it anyway and put others in harm’s way. When someone chooses to drive their vehicle under the influence, they increase the risk of being involved in an accident. Below is more information about what legally constitutes driving under the influence and the consequences a drunk driver might face if arrested in Florida.

What’s Considered DUI?

You could face a charge of driving under the influence (DUI) if you’re in actual physical control of a motor vehicle and:

  • Under the influence of alcohol, illegal controlled substances, or harmful chemical substance; or
  • Have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08% per 210 liters of breath or per 100 milliliters of blood.

When a driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol, it isn’t easy to control the vehicle and focus on the road ahead. Driving under the influence can lead to any of the following symptoms:

  • Slowed reaction time
  • Reduced motor skills
  • Decreased alertness
  • Altered sensory perception
  • Lack of muscle coordination
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of consciousness

DUI Penalties in Florida

Driving Under the Influence The penalty you face will depend on various factors, including whether you have a prior DUI conviction and the severity of your offense.

According to Florida statute chapter 316, section 193(2)(a), you could face the following penalties:

  • First DUI conviction: Maximum of six months in jail and between $500 and $1,000 fine
  • Second DUI conviction: Maximum of nine months in jail and between $1,000 and $2,000 fine

You could also lose your driver’s license for 180 days to a year for a first-time offender or up to five years if you’re a second-time offender. Florida statutes might require that you install an ignition interlock device to check your alcohol levels before you’re allowed to start the car.

The penalties for three or more DUI convictions are below.

  • Third DUI within ten years of the last one: Maximum of five years in jail and up to $5,000 fine
  • Third DUI more than ten years after the last one: Maximum of twelve months in jail and between $2,000 and $5,000 fine
  • Fourth DUI or more: Maximum of five years in jail and at least $2,000 in fines

Enhanced Penalties for Bodily Injury or Death

If you cause an accident in Florida while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you could face enhanced penalties for injuries or fatalities that occur.

If your DUI offense leads to property damage or bodily harm, you could face a first-degree misdemeanor charge. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Causing severe bodily injury is a third-degree felony with a five-year jail sentence and up to $5,000 in fines.

If you’re facing a DUI conviction and your accident contributed to the death of someone else or an unborn child, that’s considered DUI manslaughter, a second-degree felony. The penalty is a maximum of $10,000 fine and up to fifteen years in jail. If you fled the accident scene and an injured person ended up dying, you could face a maximum of 30 years in prison.

What to Do If You’re Arrested and Charged with a DUI

If you are arrested or charged with DUI, you should seek legal representation immediately. If you wait too long, you could unknowingly give up your rights and risk the future of your legal case.

When you’re facing a DUI conviction, it can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. You won’t have to go through this alone. A criminal defense attorney will stay by your side from start to finish of your case and make themselves available to provide you with the support and guidance you need. It’s crucial to remember than an arrest never guarantees a conviction, so make sure to hire an attorney to defend your rights.

If you were arrested or charged with DUI and don’t know what to do next, make sure to contact a Pensacola DUI lawyer to discuss your rights and legal options. Your lawyer will evaluate the case against you and will discuss the strategies necessary to get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

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Ask the DUI Lawyer – FAQs on Traffic Offences

You cannot exercise your right if you do not know it. This is the reason many people face convictions that far outweighs the crime they allegedly committed.

Knowing the law is for your good, therefore, you should not see it as the sole responsibility of the attorneys and the legal stakeholders alone.

In light of this, this article will proffer answers to some DUI-related frequently asked questions.

Traffic laws are more interpreted by the state judiciary than the federal legislative system. As a result, you should be particular about finding out the peculiarities of these laws in your state.

What Is the Meaning of DUI?

DUI is a legal acronym for one or several traffic offenses by a driver. In full, it means driving under the influence of illegally unacceptable substances for people behind the wheel. These substances are usually things capable of intoxicating and affecting the driver’s sense of reasoning. DUI charges attorney

Such substances include alcohol, tobacco, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and other psychoactive substances and items.

What Is the Difference Between DWI and DUI?

The interpretation for both DWI and DUI are different, and so are the offenses in some parts. DWI is an acronym for Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired (depending on state definition), while DUI is a shortened form for Driving Under the Influence.

The practical difference between DWI and DUI is determined by the state and not the federal judicial system. This is because some states consider both offenses as similar, while some term them as different criminal counts.

Can You Still be Alleged a DUI Offender after Passing a BAC Test?

You can still be charged for committing a DUI crime even if you pass the Breathalyzer test. This is the situation in many parts of the country as offenders are first noticed because of some reckless driving action.

So, other reasons you may be convicted of this offense include reckless driving, failing a sobriety test, and a few others.

Can You be Charged as a DUI Offender for Using CBD?

Legally, you cannot be charged for using CBD products that do not exceed the 0.3% THC content. However, we strongly recommend that you stay away from using these drugs when you want to drive.

This is because of the inability to truly ascertain the THC content by law enforcement agents when using a Breathalyzer. Also, many cannabidiol brands are not truthful about the exact amount of THC concentration in the product.

As a result, it will be better to avoid the complications using this product can cause in this regard.

Can a DUI Record be Expunged?

A Driving Under Influence conviction falls under the category of charges that cannot be expunged. This is why alleged offenders should seriously consider all the options presented by their lawyers. Also, this stresses the need to take traffic laws seriously.

Should You Hire a Private Lawyer or a Public Defendant for Your DUI Charge?

You are strongly advised to do all within your power to get a capable private lawyer. This is because of the massive workload of public defendants and how the system is often handled.

Many public defendants selfishly convince the alleged offenders to accept a plea bargain. This is even if the client is innocent of the allegation. To protect your interest in every possible way, you should give serious thought to being represented by a private counsel.

What Are the Possible Penalties for DUI Offenders?

DUI or/and DWI offenders can face legal penalties such as fines, suspension of driving license, community service, and jail time.

You should know that factors such as the location of the offense, the offender’s criminal record, and other factors determine the specificity of the punishment meted out.

Usually, first-time offenders are handed a light penalty. On the contrary, the penalty is more severe for felons and drivers that have a similar criminal history.

Can You Have Your Case Dismissed If You are Not Read Your Miranda Right?

You cannot legally maintain that your DUI case should be dismissed if you are not read the conventional Miranda right. However, this means that your responses to interrogatory questions subsequent to the arrest should not be presentable in court.

However, it is important that you state clearly that you want your legal counsel present from the moment you are arrested. This also means that you should not answer questions until your lawyer is available. For more answers to other FAQs on this subject, you can check here.

On a Final Note

We have gone over some important things you should know if you are faced with a traffic charge. Finally, you should respect every traffic rule as obtained in your state. This is so that your chances of being charged with any traffic offense is minimal or non-existent.

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How to Fight DUI Charges in Colorado

5 Ways You Can Fight DUI Charges in Colorado

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Colorado, it doesn’t mean that you will be convicted immediately. However, Colorado has strict DUI laws that can affect the outcome of your case. Fortunately, there are many defenses that you can use to fight these charges.

1. DUI breath test wasn’t done correctly

Before you can take a breath test, some procedures must be followed to ensure that the results are true. Therefore, when the laid-down procedures are not followed to the letter, you can argue that the results were inaccurate. Some of the common procedural errors in DUI breath tests include:

  • Poor calibration of the Breathalyzer
  • The law enforcement officer didn’t receive proper training on how to administer the breathalyzer test
  • You didn’t get tested after driving for over 2 hours
  • The officer conducted the test without observing you for 20 minutes
  • The accurate results of the test were not preserved

2. Inconsistent blood test results

Even though breathalyzer test results are prone to human error, blood tests conducted in a lab can also give false-positive results. This is why Colorado DUI laws require that the lab save some of the DUI blood samples for a maximum of one year for independent testing.

If a certified independent lab analyzes the samples, and the results come up lower than what the police used, a Colorado court of law can give you the benefit of the doubt. This is why you should opt for a blood test over a DUI breath test.

3. DUI breath test was inaccurate

It’s not uncommon for breath tests to give false-positive results. Some of the reasons for a false positive breath test result can include health conditions, diet, and consuming substances like mouthwash, which contains alcohol. Additionally, there are external factors that can affect these results, like the temperature of the room.

4. No probable cause for you to be stopped

Before a police officer pulls you over and detains you for a DUI investigation, arrest, or for a chemical test, they need to have probable cause. This means that the officer should either be suspicious or believe that you’re breaking the law. Therefore, if the officer doesn’t have probable cause, they are not allowed to stop you or even build a case against you. If you’re in such a situation, the evidence they build up against you is inadmissible in a Colorado court of law.

5. The officer didn’t read you your Miranda rights

Before any arrest in Colorado, a law enforcement officer is legally required to read you your Miranda rights. This means that the officer conducting the interrogation during an arrest should read you your Miranda rights. Therefore, if they were not read to you, anything you say cannot be used as admissible evidence. However, you should note that anything you say before an arrest and before your Miranda rights are read to you can be used against you in court.

Get a DUI Attorney to Fight on Your Side

Colorado DUI cases are more complex than they appear. However, if you have been arrested and charged with a DUI, don’t despair. Experienced Denver DUI lawyers from the Law Offices of Steven J. Pisani, LLC know all the tricks prosecutors use. Call us today at 303-529-2242 for a free consultation to discuss how we can protect your rights and defend you from your Colorado DUI charges.

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