Broward DUI Task Force to install Intoxilyzer 8000s in Patrol Cars?

William R. Moore Criminal Defense DUI Task Force Broward County

DUI investigations in Broward County Florida have troubled Sergeants due to the time that it takes a detective to conduct an adequate investigation under Florida law. According to attorney William R. Moore, investigations typically take about 6 hours. A majority of this time is spent transporting a suspect to the Breath Alcohol Testing Facility. Once at the BAT facility, it is a fairly lengthy process before the individual is tested. As a result, perhaps due to the lack of funding, we have seen less DUI arrests and a drastic reduction in the number of DUI Task Force Detectives.

An arrest is required prior to requesting and administering breath tests.

Many people believe that officers test individuals at the scene using portable breath testing equipment which hasn’t been the case until now. Florida has only authorized the use of CMI’s Intoxilyzer 8000 for use in testing a suspect’s breath/blood alcohol level and this device is not conducive to being housed in a vehicle. Under Florida law, Intoxilyzers must be kept in a secure environment that is clean, dry and free from airborne chemicals such as ethanol. Criminal defense attorneys have understood these requirements to be the rationale behind officers not having them installed into the patrol cars of DUI Task Force Members.

A pilot test of “in-car breathtesting”

Despite regulation tending to restrict the use of breath testing equipment in police cruisers, one DUI Investigator in Broward County is utilizing an Intoxilyzer 8000 which has been specially mounted in his patrol car to make arrests. The reason for which is undoubtedly to cut down the time required to conduct a full DUI investigation through utilization of the Breath Alcohol Testing Facility. It is estimated that, should in car breath testing be permitted, DUI investigations could be cut from 6 hours to under an hour and a half.

Florida’s standard ground law still confusing in light of Markieis Mcglocklon case

William R. Moore on Deadly Force and use of firearm to defend one' self

The recent Markeis Mcglocklon arrest is the latest long-line of controversial cases involving deadly force which is claimed to have been used in self-defense.

Criminal law used to require a person to retreat from a threat

The use of deadly force to defend oneself has always existed, however, under common law, the defender first had an obligation to retreat prior to asserting any type of legal justification. Florida’s standard ground law eliminated this duty to retreat which raised concerns as to vigilante justice throughout the state of Florida.

Two scenarios under Florida’s “stand your ground” law

Justification for the use of deadly force is presumed where such force take place in a person’s home or automobile. This fueled the fire in that many

An individual may use deadly force in any other place that they have a legal right to be where that person reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to either himself or others, or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.

Threat of death or great bodily harm

I think we’re seeing here is either a misunderstanding or a loose definition of the “necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm” claims William R. Moore

Florida courts have defined this as a justifiable belief that:

The assailant was attempting to murder them,

commit and aggravated assault upon them,

burglarize them,

a forcible felony,

sexual battery

etc.

False sense of security among Florida gun owners?

Florida has some of the most liberal concealed carry laws in the nation and it is been argued that the stand your ground law has created a somewhat false sense of security with regard to when you can draw a firearm.

You perceive a threat, doesn’t matter if your public, the law says that you’re justified in meeting force with force. If you justifiably fear great bodily harm then you can take a step further and use deadly force such as killing the assailant with firearm.

What about situations where you can’t justify a fear of great bodily harm or death?

What then of situations where someone is in fear of being pushed rather than being severely beaten or killed? How is the use of a firearm viewed under Florida law in that circumstance

There are many ways that you can use a firearm. Understanding that you should never pull a firearm unless you’re prepared to use it, you can still tell an assailant that you have a gun and that you’ll use it if necessary. You can show them that you have a gun and can actually pull that firearm. You can even take another step in point that gun at your assailant. All of these things can be done without firing a shot.

It’s interesting though that Florida’s standard ground of law doesn’t mention firearms in the statute rather only the term deadly force. This of course includes firearms, however:

What if someone fears that they are in danger of being battered but not justifiably to the extent that they are in danger of serious bodily harm, such as being pushed to the ground?

Can you draw a gun?

Florida courts have held that simply drawing the gun is not in itself considered the use of deadly force. Pointing a gun at someone does not in itself constitute the use of deadly force. Marty v. State in 2016, Rivero v. State,

This would seem to suggest that an individual can draw a firearm when they have a justifiable fear that any unlawful force is to be used against them no matter how slight. This would also allow for the drawing of a firearm to prevent a trespass on twins property.

Drawing a gun and firing it in the air as a warning shot does constitute the use of deadly force under Miller v. State. Florida’s standard ground law was amended however to allow the firing warning shot.

 

Uber Crime and Insurance

William R. Moore Explains Uber Coverage

 

Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft have been credited with reducing traffic/criminal offenses such as DUI throughout the nation despite data which suggests that it’s the fact varies greatly depending on the state and jurisdiction.

Various crimes involving rideshare companies reported on regularly

Allegations of crimes and nefarious deeds seem to be all the rage when it comes to reporting on news involving companies such as Uber. Everything from Russian spying to a Driver’s urinating into a bottle when his passenger wasn’t looking have made headlines. More serious cases involving road rage and murder have also been popping up with some regularity.

Recently, criminal offense attorney William R. Moore sat down with personal injury attorney Chris O’toole to discuss steps taken by at least one rideshare company to protect its client passengers.

Uber provides insurance to it’s riders based on 3 scenarios

As of now, Uber provides insurance coverage to its patrons. The policy amounts which range from $50,000 to over $1 million depending on one of three scenarios:

Where a driver was on the clock but did not have a passenger in its car, such as in driving to pick passenger up; where a driver has a passenger in his or her car and gets into an accident (and/or) where an Uber driver comments on intentional or grossly negligent act resulting in harm to a passenger.

It is unclear at this time as to whether Uber provides coverage to its drivers for intentional acts committed against them.

Avoiding a prison sentence through restitution

William R. Moore Criminal Sentencing

Criminal offenses such as DUI Manslaughter almost always include a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the offenders insurance company. In many instances however, the maximum policy limits do not fully compensate the victim’s family. Sometimes the offender didn’t carry automobile insurance at all.

Establishing that restitution to the victim outweighs the need for a prison sentence

Under Florida Statute § 921.0026, the judge can consider during a motion for a downward departure that the need for payment of restitution to the victim outweighs the need for a prison sentence.

A defendant serving a mandatory prison sentence obviously will not be able to make restitution payments to the victim’s family. Where this is an issue, the victims loved ones may be willing to testify that a defendant would better serve them on probation where they can work and make amortized payments over the length of their probationary sentence.

Negotiate with the attorney representing the family

Discussing options with the civil attorney representing the victim’s family may provide an avenue for a criminal defense attorney to file a motion for downward departure and either avoid or reduce the time of incarceration sentence. At the very least effort should be made to communicate with counsel for the victims loved ones to determine if this may be a viable option.

For more information about this article contact attorney William Moore at 954-523-5333

Things that you don’t know about Restraining Orders

Injunctions in Broward County

We see a lot of cases where a business owner is being maliciously defamed online by someone who has a personal vendetta against them. The loss of revenues due to false reports about someone’s business certainly causes great emotional distress and entitles them in most cases to get an injunction preventing a respondent from continuing such an attack.

The court may order an offender to remove all derogatory social media posts

Most people don’t realize that in addition to preventing a perpetrator from continuing malicious information about an individual or the business, they may actually be directed to remove all prior posts. Restraining order judges in Broward County Florida have held in certain cases that an offender not only refrain from further malicious activity but also that they remove all prior posts directed against a petitioner. The argument is that prior posts through electronic means, such as social media, are effectively rebroadcasted and are in essence a violation of a court order restraining order. Judges have found that the respondent who fails to remove prior post within a reasonable period of time may be subject to criminal prosecution and incarceration.

A restraining order judge may require a respondent to provide funds to his or her spouse and minor children

Many restraining order cases involve situations where a spouse cut off all finances to their significant other and minor children. Even where an action has not been filed in Family Court such as divorce, restraining order judges have ordered that an income producing spouse provide finances to the family lest they be in violation and subject to criminal prosecution.

More information about restraining orders can be obtained by contacting attorney William Moore at 954-523-5323.