Lessening the Financial Damage of a DUI

November 17th, 2012

Being charged with a DUI will result in severe financial penalties both direct and indirect.  In addition to the cost of arrest, you may lose your driver’s license if your attorney is unable to overturn your driver’s license suspension.  An inability to drive could result in job loss, have implications in custodial arrangements, and generally affects your ability to function given the layout of our Tampa Bay area community.  If jail time is statutorily mandated or your plea requires it, you will could lose your job, your home, and the ability to care for your dependents.  Generally this “worst case scenario” is avoidable if you make sure to hire an attorney skilled in charge bargaining and negotiation with the State Attorney’s Office.   If you find yourself in this situation, you need to hire a Clearwater DUI attorney.

The sooner you hire an attorney to represent you, the better your potential for favorable outcome.  As with any DUI, time is of the essence with respect to challenging your administrative driver’s license suspension.  By challenging your suspension within 10 days, you can in most cases buy yourself 42 days of necessities driving time in order to shore up your affairs.  Should you waive this challenge you will immediately enter a period of “hard time,” time where you cannot drive for any purpose.  As you can imagine the inability to drive is devastating financially.  Clearwater DUI lawyer, Jason Mayberry, has been interviewed by thestreet.com, seeking his expert advice on the financial implications of a DUI.

Due to the serious nature of this offense and the financial implications inherent to a DUI, you should speak to an attorney immediately.  If you have been charged with a DUI in Tampa, Clearwater, or St. Petersburg, a Clearwater DUI attorney can help with your case in addition to helping you avoid a financial crisis.  Contact the Clearwater and Tampa DUI attorneys at The Mayberry Law Firm today at 727-771-3847 or 813-444-7435.  We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Injured? You need us!

November 7th, 2012

If you were involved in an automobile accident and are seriously injured, the Mayberry Law Firm can help. Like accidents, injuries vary in their severity.  In the case of an auto accident involving serious injury, you will likely miss work, will be unable to enjoy the things you normally would with your family, and no doubt will endure pain and suffering caused by the fault of another.

If you are unable to work, the obvious consequence is lost wages.  As part of your injury claim, in most cases we can recuperate those lost wages in addition to getting you compensated for the pain you’ve endured while in recovery.  With pain and injury comes medical bills.  What few know is that when you settle an injury claim, medical bills paid by your health insurance or Medicare must be reimbursed.  Our experienced Clearwater injury lawyers can negotiate with your insurance company or Medicare adjustor to reduce the amount you have to pay back, thereby putting as much money in your pocket as possible.

Hire the Mayberry Law Firm to handle your personal injury case and we’ll do all we can to get the best and highest dollar amount to compensate you for your injuries.  Insurance companies have a financial interest in keeping settlements low.  Don’t allow the at fault driver’s insurance company to give you the run around by denying your claim or making an insulting offer.  Our experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys will protect your interests and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one was involved in an auto accident and need a personal injury attorney, call the Mayberry Law Firm today at 727-771-3847 for a free consultation.

The Danger of False Allegations

November 6th, 2012

It is a fact of life that people disagree. In many families, with many different opinions, there can be cause for heated debate and argument. For many it is a chance to speak their mind, be heard and come to a peaceful resolution.  There are, however, times when the resolution is not so peaceful.  When anger comes into play and accusations fly, the outcome can be disastrous.  Unfortunately, there is occasion where a domestic violence report is used for the wrong reasons.  When this happens, law enforcement will be called to the scene and an arrest may happen.  After the dust has settled, lives are altered and help is needed.  That’s where we step in.

It is times like this, when a familial disagreement turns into a visit by the police on a domestic violence call that you need a St. Petersburg Criminal Lawyer to help navigate this accelerated disagreement.  Whether it is a misunderstanding or the individual making the call is doing so out of spite or an ulterior motive, the criminal justice system is not where anyone wants to be. Divorce, custody battle, or an attempt to speed along an eviction process are all motives we’ve encountered.

If you feel you are wrongly accused, our St. Petersburg Criminal Attorneys are there to represent your side of the story, the accurate side of the story.  Whether we work to get the charges dropped or ultimately have to try your case to a jury, we’ll lead you into this fight to ensure justice prevails.

The Mayberry Law Firm is a State and Federal criminal defense firm located in Clearwater and Tampa, Florida.  We are here in your time of need.  Give us a call at 727-771-3847.

Former Penn State President Charged

November 3rd, 2012

Former Penn State University President, Graham Spanier, has been charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, endangering the welfare of children and failure to report allegations of child abuse.  Spanier’s charges continue the terrible saga that revolve around former Nittany Lion defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s convictions for sexual abuse of 10 boys over his tenure as a coach at Penn State.  Former Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz face the same charges.

Spanier’s charges precipitate, at least in part, from his alleged efforts to sweep under the rug allegations by former Graduate Assistant Mike McQueary.  McQueary claimed that he witnessed sexual abuse in a locker room shower by Sandusky on a child at Penn State for a football camp.  Pennsylvania Attorney General Linda L. Kelly is quoted as saying “(The three defendants) worked to actively conceal the truth with total disregard to the children who were victims in this case.”

With respect to the charges and what must be proven against these three amigos, for an obstruction charge to stick, the State must show they intentionally obstructed, impaired, or perverted the administration of justice.  Conspiracy generally is any action said to aid or abet or planning to conduct a crime with another.  As in Federal Court, conspiracy charges are generally add on or catch all charges that must be based off of another crime charged in order to gain a conviction.  So, in order for a conspiracy charge to stick, the State must earn a conviction on one of the other charges.  Pennsylvania Code 18.4304 makes it a crime if in an official capacity one prevents or interferes with the making of a report of suspected child abuse.  In Spanier’s case, they no doubt will allege he got news of the suspected allegations and in an effort to save face for the University and its beloved football program, put the lid on this kettle in a hurry.  Pennsylvania Code 21.502 will likely be used to charge Spanier with failure to report allegations of child abuse.  Simply put, if a staff member of a public agency (school) witnesses what they reasonably believe to be abuse or sees what they believe is the result of abuse, they have to report the abuse to their superior. Once reported, the superior then has the burden to make a report to the proper legal authorities.

Charging these three is fine and well, but will the charges stick?  It’s quite the drive from having probable cause to make an arrest to the beyond a reasonable doubt standard required to convict.  I don’t have a dog in the fight and am not endorsing either side, however if I were the criminal defense lawyer representing Spanier there would be a couple of ways to potentially raise a reasonable doubt in the mind of a juror.  With respect to the obstruction charge, lack of intent is where I would hang my hat.  We don’t know all the facts of the goings on with Penn State and this issue and we may never.  The State will have to show any event alleged to have obstructed the investigatory process was purposefully put forth by Spanier in an effort to obstruct.  Intent is an element and it is necessary to convict.  Negligence or Recklessness won’t cut it.  With respect to a conspiracy charge, you defend on two levels; the first being that the other substantive charges are bogus, then you have to poke holes in the State’s allegation that these three clowns were working together.  Even if Spanier is convicted on the other charges, they may not find that the three blind mice were in cahoots.  As for the endangering the welfare of a child charge, Spanier is going to assert that he in no way prevented anyone from making a report.  Knowing what I know about this case, Spanier can defend on this charge by asserting that McQueary could have reported what he saw at any time and more than once if necessary.  If there is no evidence of Spanier actively preventing a report, he may be exonerated of that charge.  As for the failure to report child abuse allegations, Spanier will likely defend that he did not think the allegations were reasonable based on what he was told and upon his own investigation if he claims to have conducted one.  If he had a reasonable doubt that the accusations were factual, he may be able to mount a defense to this charge.

Ultimately, Spanier may be cooked as I’m betting they will have to zap in Marvin the Martian and his pals in order to find someone who truthfully hasn’t heard about this case and has a predetermined opinion.  Couple that with the fact there may just be an overwhelming amount of evidence against him and he may be roomies really soon with Jerry.  No doubt, Spanier’s criminal lawyer has his work cut out for him as the State Attorney won’t be backing down if for no other reason but out of politics.  No matter how you slice it, what went on at Penn State is tragic.

Jason Mayberry is a Clearwater criminal attorney with offices in Clearwater and Tampa.  If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, contact The Mayberry Law Firm today at 727-771-3847.

 

 

Lawyers who get results

November 1st, 2012

Driving under the influence is illegal in every State in the US and as a general rule, in all countries with a stable government.  In the United States a DUI can result in fines, penalties, and imprisonment.  States vary in the severity of their sanctions for driver’s taking the chance to get home after having one too many.  States like Tennessee require jail time by statute for a first time DUI.  Luckliy, Florida has no such requirement for a DUI though a prosecutor or Judge can certainly request it based on the facts of your case.  That’s where The Mayberry Law Firm can help.  We’ve faced these kinds of prosecutors and judges numerous times and have the results to show we can help.

When looking for a Clearwater DUI attorney, it is in your best interest to look for one who gets results.  If you are in Florida, The Mayberry Law Firm can provide you with the support and knowledge you need in court. You have the right to due process.  Make the most of it with a lawyer who gets reuslts.

Got a DUI? We can help!

October 31st, 2012

If you’ve been charged with a DUI, you need the Mayberry Law Firm.  Driving Under the Influence hands down, is the most complicated and often most serious misdemeanor offense that you can be charged with.  A DUI conviction can often result in a jail sentence and always results in probation including public service hours, a high fine, and driver’s license suspension.  Don’t hire just any attorney to handle your DUI case.  As experienced DUI and traffic attorneys, we have in-depth knowledge with all things DUI.  Give our office a call at 727-771-3847 and learn how we can help you.

We will give your case the personal attention it deserves and help you in understanding both the administrative and criminal procedure as your case flows through the legal system.  At the Mayberry Law Firm, we are in tune with the ever changing landscape that is DUI law and are familiar with the testing the police alleged you failed to get you here.  We will thoroughly review your case and ensure that if your rights were violated in any way, that those are addressed in Court.  Getting your charge reduced or dismissed is of utmost importance to our firm.  A happy client is a success for us, but more importantly helps you put this incident behind you.

If you need an experienced Clearwater DUI attorney, call the Mayberry Law Firm today and schedule a consultation. We’ve helped countless people in your situation and we’re ready to help you.

Someone In Your Corner

October 30th, 2012

Let’s face it. Driving with alcohol in your system is simply not a good idea. No matter where you are in the world, laws regarding driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), and operating while intoxicated (OWI) exist, and carry a range of penalties and fines, that can be very financially and personally problematic. Choosing a designated driver, finding a place away from your vehicle to “sleep it off,” or even walking home, are all ways to avoid finding yourself stopped by police after a night out on the town, or a party at a friend’s house or your place of work.

However, these options are not always available, and the end result is that you find yourself behind the wheel of a vehicle with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. You took a prescription drug that is reacting badly with something you drank or ate, and you are exhibiting “drunk-like” behavior, for example. Or your designated driver is more drunk than you are, and you became the only option for a trip home on a freezing cold night. In scenarios such as the aforementioned, help from a lawyer with experience in DUI cases can be extremely beneficial. If you are in Florida, the lawyers at Mayberry Law Firm can help ensure that all of the facts relating to your DUI arrest are presented appropriately, and that your case results in a satisfactory conclusion. Sometimes the unforeseen can happen, and when it does, it helps to have someone on your side.

Tips for Hiring a Clearwater DUI Attorney

October 23rd, 2012

If you receive a DUI, hiring an attorney is likely a top priority. Driving under the influence is a very serious offense. Even if a traffic accident did not occur and no one was hurt, a DUI can result in jail time and a fine. In this case, you need a qualified Clearwater DUI attorney on your side. But don’t hire any attorney, if involved in a DUI, here are a few tips for finding the right attorney.

1. Ask friends and family for referrals. Maybe an acquaintance was also involved in a DUI. If so, ask this person for the name of their attorney. However, only use their Clearwater DUI attorney if they were satisfied with the results.

2. Make sure the attorney offers a free consultation. Attorneys are not cheap. However, many offer a free initial consultation. This is your opportunity to meet with the attorney and discuss your options.

3. Even if a friend recommends an attorney, you should still interview at least two other attorneys. You want to ask questions such as, what is your experience handling DUIs? What is your success rate with DUI cases?

I blew over .08, do I really need an attorney?

October 19th, 2012

The longer I practice as a lawyer in Clearwater, the more I realize how indiscriminate DUI arrests are.  Doctors, lawyers, CEOs, factory workers, teachers, laborers, all are subject to the long arm of the law.  In most every case I’ve been a part of, either as a criminal defense lawyer or as a state prosecutor, I have found that the DUI defendant is generally cut from a different cloth than the defendant accused of robbery with a weapon or brutally beating his spouse.  Most DUI clients have little or no prior criminal history and have, for the most part, followed the law throughout their life.  Following with this is the fact that most people arrested for DUI continue to follow the request of law enforcement and ultimately submit to a breath or urine test to measure their blood alcohol level or levels of narcotics in their system.  Finally, the vast majority of those who submit a breath test end up blowing over the legal limit in Florida, .08.  Many people are of the impression that a breath test above the legal limit removes any hope of a reduced charge or beating the DUI charge outright.  This just isn’t true.  Arrest is but the tip of the DUI iceberg.

As with any arrest, a DUI arrest in Florida must be conducted in a fashion so as not to violate an individuals right to be free from illegal search and seizure.  Further, when a breath sample is taken, the DUI officer must ensure that there is substantial compliance with the protocols mandated by Florida law for retrieval of same.  These issues must be reviewed by your attorney and often a good DUI lawyer can find an issue that can either be used as leverage to coax a charge reduction out of the State or if the issue identified is strong enough, a motion to suppress the arrest or breath sample.  These issues must be evaluated as soon as possible as time is of the essence in any DUI with a breath test above .08.

All lawyers have their own methods and protocols to case intake and review.  The first issue I evaluate is whether the officer had proper grounds to stop or detain my client.  In Florida it is necessary to either have probable cause that a driver has committed a civil traffic infraction or reasonable suspicion that a driver is committing a crime.  Without either, an officer can’t just turn on his blue lights, thereby seizing you, without just cause.  An example of one of my cases where this was relevant is State v. TE.  TE was witnessed falling off his motorcycle in the middle of a Pinellas County road by a lady behind him in her car.  Despite TE’s attempts to pick his motorcycle up, he kept dropping it in the road.  The lady called the police to the scene where they made contact with TE who was now standing on the side of the road a few feet from his motorcycle.  Ultimately the investigating officer arrested TE for DUI.  TE later submitted to a breath test and blew .278 and .282, over three times the legal limit in Florida.  I immediately recognized an issue with the arrest in TE’s case and filed a motion to suppress based on the State’s failure to show that TE had been involved in a traffic crash.  Florida case law defines a traffic crash as, “a breaking of pieces by or as if by collision” or “an instance of crashing.”  In order for someone in Florida to be arrested for Driving Under the Influence where a police officer did not see every element of the DUI occur, there must be a traffic crash per Florida Statute 316.645.  I was able to show at the motion hearing that no witness could testify damage occurred from my client dropping his motorcycle in the road and because of that there could be no proof of a traffic crash and ultimately the arrest was found to be unlawful.

If there is no issue with the stop, the next step is to evaluate whether the breath test was given in substantial compliance with the mandate of the law.  Fresh out of the State Attorney’s Office and in my first criminal defense job, I represented a woman who blew a .226 after her DUI arrest.  My client was leaving a convenience store where she made contact with police who warned her about not driving home.  She ignored their requests proceeded to drive and was pulled over.  After refusing field sobriety tests my client was subsequently asked to give a breath test and complied, blowing a .214 and .226.  Upon meeting with my client and an another attorney in that firm, it was decided that we should file a motion to suppress the breath test based on my client being misinformed of the consequences of failing to give a breath test.  At the motion to suppress hearing I was able to get the breath test operating officer to admit that he told my client that should would not be able to drive for a year if she refused the breath test.  I argued this is an incorrect statement of the law as a refusal to give a breath test initiates a suspension of an individual’s unrestricted privilege to drive as the individual can obtain a restricted license in most cases.  In my client’s case, she had no previous DUIs so she would have been eligible for a restricted license.  The Judge agreed with my argument and suppressed the breath test results.  Ultimately my client pled to a reckless driving charge reduction.

In addition to the prospect of dismissal or charge reduction, DUIs are the most complicated misdemeanors out there.  Not only is there a criminal charge involved, there is also administrative law at work.  The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will initiate a suspension on an individual’s driver’s license for a breath test above a .08 that can be challenged if the challenge is filed within 10 days of arrest.  These waters are rough but navigable with the right counsel.

All in all, a DUI charge could likely end in a DUI plea.  However, to summarily plea because you feel your case is hopeless is selling yourself short.  As an experienced DUI attorney I would advise everyone to hire a DUI lawyer if it’s feasible.  At minimum you will have a professional helping you through the process and if the facts give rise to it, you may find yourself in a better position than you would have been in had you pled.

The Mayberry Law Firm is a law firm focusing on DUI, Federal and State Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Family Law.  If you’re in the need of an attorney please give us a call at 727-771-3847 or email us at info@mayberryfirm.com.

Mr. Ed’s Nightmare

October 3rd, 2012

It was a rainy, lonely morning in Gadsden County, Florida.  Patrick Louis Linn was resolved to the fact that he would never feel the touch that had rocked him to the core all those years ago.  That rainy, lust filled night in Havana was but a faint memory, growing more distant with each passing day.  But wait!  What if he could feel those feelings again?  What would one more day of passion hurt?  He could be in and out in a matter of minutes and the risk of getting caught paled in comparison to the joy he would feel from that sweet horse’s touch.  With that, the decision was made to have another date with his love.  One last meeting of star crossed lovers…  Unfortunately for Mr. Linn, his date never climaxed as he was confronted not with his equine lover, but Gadsden County Sheriff Deputies as he entered his unwilling lover’s barn.  Upon seeing Deputies, Linn fled into the nearby woods only to be arrested and taken to jail on Burglary, trespassing, resisting an officer, and a “sexual activities involving animals” charge per Florida Criminal law 828.126.

In terms of potential penalty Linn’s biggest concern is not a sexual activities with animals charge, but the Burglary charge as it is at minimum a third degree felony under Florida law carrying with it a maximum penalty of five years in the department of corrections.  Because this isn’t Linn’s first rodeo with the ponies, having just been released from prison in May, for burglary convictions based on similar “activities,” he will no doubt be seeing more prison time.  Odd as it may be, in Florida, sexual activities with animals is but a first degree misdemeanor punishable by only 11 months, 29 days in a county jail.  To boot, it seems this law had difficulty being passed as it failed twice before finally being passed on its third attempt in 2011.  Florida?  Hello?  Third time’s a charm on a “no boom boom with the dog” law!?!?!?  Seems to me we’re a little behind the 8 ball on this one?

As Clearwater criminal lawyers and prosecutors, my colleagues and I have seen and heard just about every twisted, wild, and perverted story out there.  Nothing, and I mean nothing, is as indefensible as a bestiality charge when caught red handed.  Perhaps Mr. Linn’s criminal attorney can mount a defense that he was not witnessed engaging the act and that he was there but for shelter albeit doubtful.  I’ve tried enough cases to a jury to know that if it doesn’t pass the smell test, you’re work is cut out for you.  If prints or DNA were left on any of the items previously left behind or Linn makes an admission to his actions, his ship is summarily sunk.  One thing is certain, Mr. Linn’s court appearances will be awkward.

The Mayberry Law Firm is a law firm focusing on Federal and State Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, and Family Law.  If you’re in the need of an attorney please give us a call at 727-771-3847 or email us at info@mayberryfirm.com.