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What is an aggravated DUI in Florida?

If you are familiar with DUI laws in Florida, you should know that the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) when operating a motor vehicle is .08%. If you are pulled over by a police officer and a test shows that you are over this limit, you will be subject to harsh penalties for this infraction. In Florida, you can face a first-degree misdemeanor for your first DUI offense. But there is another kind of DUI offense you may face, and it can mean even more severe penalties. 

Obtaining a hardship license after a DUI conviction

After driving under the influence of alcohol, an officer pulled you over, and you were subsequently charged with a DUI. Upon your conviction, a court assigned a 6-month driver’s license suspension to your driving privileges, among other fines. You wonder how you will attempt to travel to and from your job, and you question how you will sustain yourself and family without your job’s income.

In Florida, you have the opportunity to apply for a hardship license if you prove eligible and follow specific steps in securing the license. You do not have to lose income and experience drastic life changes after a DUI conviction, and if you require a restricted license, Florida court may assign the privilege to you. 

Why recovering from opioid addiction is so hard

Those who have never struggled with addiction to alcohol, drugs or prescription painkillers sometimes make the mistake of thinking getting help "cures" people of their cravings. With therapy and perhaps medical intervention, that addiction should be gone, right?

Those who own up to their addiction and actually seek treatment know better. If last week's reports of singer Demi Lovato's relapse into opioid addiction is anything, it's a reminder that getting sober is no easy feat, even if you have all the money and support from family, friends and fame to help you. So why is getting clean so hard to do?

Will a first-time offender have to pay bail?

Getting arrested is a scary experience, particularly for first-time offenders. They likely do not know anything about the arrest process, other than what they have seen on TV. What is shown on most TV shows would not do much to alleviate fears. Usually, a first-time offender will face less severe penalties and should not have to stay in jail.

Women increasingly falling victim to opioid addiction

When people picture the face of the opioid epidemic, they likely imagine a young man shooting up heroin somewhere like an abandoned building. They probably do not think about their wives or mothers becoming addicted to an opioid. The startling truth is, that in the United States, the number of women dying from opioid overdoses has increased more sharply than the number of men.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that 18 U.S. women die each day from an overdose of prescription pain killers. In 2015, women accounted for 33 percent of the opioid deaths. From 1999 to 2015, the number of women dying from an opioid overdose increased 568 percent compared to a 380 percent increase for men.

What to do if your child is charged with drug possession

You and your spouse have worked hard to provide a loving, comfortable home for your children. You tried your best to raise your child right. Now your son or daughter has been charged with drug possession. You are not sure how you got here, but you know you want to do everything you can to protect your child’s future.

The federal government is about to 'get tough' on opioids

The opioid crisis has captured national attention in recent years. It finally reached the White House in March when President Donald Trump announced his new plan to combat the opioid epidemic in America. Trump's plan is multifaceted and could mean different things to different people. What does it mean to you?

An estimated two million Americans have a substance abuse disorder involving prescription painkillers, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine. For many people in need of pain relief, an opioid prescription becomes an addiction, leading them to be an unwitting participant in America’s opioid epidemic. Further, some people seeking pain relief now find themselves facing criminal charges.

Can I clear my criminal record in Florida?

If you’ve ever been arrested, you now have a criminal record. Even if the charges against you were subsequently dropped, or even if you were found not guilty in court, the offense remains in your public history. Anyone who does a background check on you can discover the offense—sometimes just by conducting a simple Google search.

However, if the offense occurred in the state of Florida, you may have the opportunity to clear the offense from your record—either by sealing or expunging it.

Understanding the consequences of probation violation

Probation is a form of community supervision granted to low risk offenders in lieu of incarceration with the main goal of rehabilitation. During the probationary period, the person must comply with any conditions ordered by the court. The length of the probationary period and the terms differ for each case and usually depend on the severity of the offense and any prior convictions. The state of Florida views probation as a privilege and not a right.

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