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Breathalyzer Tests and DUI in Florida

What is a breathalyzer?

Breathalyzer tests have become a standard way that officers measure the blood-alcohol level of a suspect. While the traditional tests are still used alongside a breathalyzer, the breathalyzer results are going to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence against you when evaluating your DUI case. Let’s start covering how you can possibly fight this by exploring how these results are even determined.

A breathlyzer’s goal is to determine the amount of alcohol in your blood stream. For obvious reasons, it is impractical to draw and test blood at a traffic stop, which would give the most direct results. However, breathalyzer technology actually measures the concentration of alcohol in the alveolar air and uses this figure to determine the concentration in a suspect’s blood stream. As the alcohol you’ve consumed passes through the lungs, some is evaporated into the air sacs (alveoli) and this is referred to as alveolar air, and has a direct correlation with the blood-alcohol level.

How does a breathalyzer work?

There are 3 main types of breathalyzers that are used, and each will measure the amount of alcohol present in different ways. There is the standard breathalyzer, the intoxilyzer, and the alcosensor. The breathalyzer and alcosensor rely on chemical reactions to make a determination, whereas the intoxylizer uses infrared light. Most areas in Florida will use the intoxylizer to administer breathalyzer tests. Generally speaking, all three are accepted as standard breathalyzer devices and are recognized as reliable. However, the smaller devices that are used at traffic stops need to be calibrated and administered in certain ways, and often times courts will reject these occurrences as evidence. Instead, because of the multiple ways an officer can incorrectly administer a test at a traffic stop, a more reliable breathalyzer is often used at the jail, and the results of this are thought to be far more trustworthy when determining a conviction.

Can you beat DUI if your breathalyzer test showed elevated alcohol levels?

There are ways to invalidate a DUI offense that most people haven’t considered. Was there a legal reason the officer stopped you? Did the testing procedure follow Federal guidelines? Do you have a medical condition that might cause a false reading? Was the breathalyzer equipment used functioning properly? Was the test analyzed properly? Cases have been overturned through exposing errors in record keeping or the computer programs which run breathalyzer tests. Cultivating this kind of defense can be tricky and confusing for many people, so we always recommend discussing your case with a certified attorney. A skilled defense attorney might even subpoena the maintenance & calibration records of the device used, if applicable to your unique situation.

To discuss your case and the possibility of dismissal, contact attorney Jerry Jenkins and fill out a free case evaluation request, or visit our Orlando DUI page for more information on DUI Cases.

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About Grand Theft

Orlando Florida Grand Theft Attorney

Grand Theft is considered a felony offense in Florida. Grand Theft can be defined as when someone intentionally and unlawfully takes property that is worth $300 or more, and they did so with the intention to permanently or temporarily take possession away from the rightful owner. The penalties depend on the classification of each individual charge, which typically depends on the value of the stolen property:
  • 3rd degree charges will be brought if the property is valued between $300 & $20,000, and carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and/or probation and/or a $5,000 fine.
  • 2nd degree charges will be brought if the property is valued between $20,000 & $100,000, and carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and/or probation and/or a $10,000 fine.
  • 1st degree charges will be brought if the property’s value is at least $100,000, and carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
These classifications also depend on the type of property in question; for example, if the property is law enforcement equipment, livestock, or emergency medical equipment the charges might be classified more severely. And with any Grand Theft conviction, it must be proven that the defendant had specific, felonious intent beyond any reasonable doubt. Because of this, the most common defenses for Grand Theft in Florida rely on establishing reasonable doubt. Attorneys will try to demonstrate that there was no intention to deprive someone of their property, that it was taken out of necessity or under duress, or that the defendant had reason to believe they obtained the property lawfully or had consent to take it. Another common defense is involuntary intoxication, which is often misunderstood. Being intoxicated while committing a crime does not exempt you from the consequences or prove your lack of felonious intent; instead, involuntary intoxication refers to someone acting under a licensed physician’s order and taking a medication as prescribed, and the prescribed medication had unintended mind-altering effects. This defense is likely only applicable to new medications, as one can anticipate any side effects of a drug they take regularly.

Grand Theft in Florida can be a complicated matter and crafting an effective defense is even trickier. If you are involved in a Grand Theft case we recommend having your situation evaluated by a legal professional. To discuss your case and possible defenses, contact JJ Law Office for a free case evaluation.

For more information on theft and property crimes, visit our property crimes page.

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DUI Penalties in Orlando and Florida

Orlando DUI Attorney Jerry Jenkins

A DUI in the State of Florida is defined as an offense in which the operator of a motor vehicle has a blood alcohol level greater than or equal to .08. The manner in which the offense is proven may vary, but once convicted, offenders are subject to the same penalties.

First Time DUI Offenders

A 1st conviction results in the impoundment or immobilization of the vehicle. The exception, being if the defendant's family has no other means of transportation. The impoundment or immobilization shall not occur at the same time as incarceration. If the vehicle is operated solely by the employees of the defendant or by a business owned by the defendant, the court may dismiss the order of impoundment.

Additionally, the drivers license of the offender will be revoked for a minimum period of 180 days and a maximum of 1 year.

The minimum fine imposed is $500 and the the maximum, $1000. For offenders whose blood alcohol level is equal to or greater than .15, a minimum fine of $1000 is imposed and the fine should not exceed $2,000. In addition to the fine, offenders receive 50 hours of mandatory community service or an additional fine of $10 for each hour of service required.

The total period of incarceration or probation for first time offenders shall not exceed 1 year. The sentence can be served at a residential alcohol and drug abuse treatment program at the discretion of the court. This is credited towards the term of imprisonment. For offenders with no prior convictions and a blood alcohol level less than .15, imprisonment shall last no longer than 6 months. Offenders with no prior convictions whose blood alcohol exceeds .15 or had a minor in the vehicle at the time of the offense, imprisonment shall not exceed a period of 9 months.

Second DUI Conviction

If the Second Conviction is within 5 years of the first, the drivers vehicle shall be impounded for a period of 30 days. The person may be imprisoned for up to 9 months and if their blood alcohol level was greater than .15 or they had a minor in the vehicle, no more than 12 months. Regardless, a second conviction within 5 years of the first results in mandatory imprisonment for 10 days in which 2 days of the imprisonment must be served consecutively. As with first time offenders, the court has the discretion to credit time at an abuse treatment program towards time served. Additionally, a conviction within 5 years of the first the license of the offender is revoked for a minimum of 5 years with possible eligibility for hardship reinstatement after 1 calendar year. Fines for 2nd Convictions are as follows: minimum of $1,000 and maximum of $2,000 . If blood alcohol level exceeded .15 or a minor was in vehicle, the minimum and maximum fines are doubled to $2,000 and $4,000 respectively.

Third DUI Conviction

If the Third Conviction is within 10 years of the second, the drivers vehicle shall be impounded for a period of 90 days. The driver is also charged with a Felony DUI. As with 1st and 2nd Convictions, impounded must not occur simultaneously with incarceration, in which a mandatory imprisonment of 30 days is served, with 2 days of consecutive time served. Additionally, the license of the offender is revoked for a minimum of 10 years, with the eligibility for hardship reinstatement after 2 years. If the conviction was more than 10 years after the previous conviction, imprisonment shall not last more than 12 months. The fines for 3rd convictions more than 10 years from the 2nd conviction are no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000. If the blood alcohol level was greater than .15 or a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the offense, a minimum fine of $4,000 is imposed.

Fourth and Subsequent DUI Convictions

Offenders are categorized by the State of Florida as habitual/violent offenders and the penalties are significantly steeper, with the mandatory permanent revocation of the license and the possibility of up to 5 years of incarceration.

Additional Charges

There a number of circumstances in which additional charges are brought upon the offender, for which additional punishment is probable. Cases involving accidents that result in property damage, bodily injury or death, carry stiffer penalties. Offenders being charged with vehicular homicide or manslaughter can be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison and 30 years in prison if they left the scene of the accident. The fines under these conditions shall not exceed $10,000.

Summing it Up

DUI Penalties are dependent on a number of conditions including but not limited to:
  • The record of the driver
  • Whether any other crimes were committed in the process
  • The blood alcohol level of the driver
  • Compliance with hardship reinstatement policies (ie: Fines,Alcohol Programs, Interlock Device)
  • The presence of a minor in the vehicle
  • The age of the Driver: Were they of legal drinking age?
DUI offenses are time consuming and require immediate action. Contact The Law Office Of Jerry Jenkins for a case evaluation. Mr. Jenkins has extensive experience handling DUI cases and can represent you throughout the process.

How can The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins help with your DUI Case? Jerry Jenkins is an experienced DUI Trial Lawyer and former Military Policeman. Visit our DUI page for more information:

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Probation Violations in Florida

Orlando Probation Attorney Jerry Jenkins

If you've been placed on probation in Orlando and are being charged with a Violation of Probation or Violation of Community Control, you have the right to retain counsel. While on VOP or VOCC, if there are any reasonable grounds to believe the terms were violated, any law enforcement officer who is aware of the persons status can arrest or request a county officer to perform an arrest without a warrant and return the offender to the court granting probation or community control.

Often times, a probation officer who believes a violation has occurred will notify the court and a judge may issue a notice to appear or a warrant based on the facts being presented to him or her. Once an alleged violation is brought to the attention of the court, the offender will be given a first hearing where the court informs the individual of the violation.

What happens next is dependent on a number of factors including but not limited to:
  • Whether or not a there is an admission of guilt
  • The severity of the new violation
  • Whether the crime was violent or non-violent
  • The likelyhood of the probationer receiving a prison sanction for the violation
  • Previous history of the individual
  • The unique conditions of the probation or community control set by the court
From there, the court can decide to remand the person to pretrial detention pending a further decision, which may be to adjust the the conditions, or revoke the probation or community control. Under certain circumstances the court may detain the individual or release them with or without bail. Additionally, the court also has the authority to dismiss the charge of VOP or VOCC.

The probation and community control programs are designed to allow a person to remain in the community and the thought of being sentenced to incarceration can be daunting. Since the sentencing is dependent on evidence presented by the court, retaining the services of an expert legal professional greatly increases the chance of receiving a favorable verdict.

As each case is unique, receiving a free case evaluation at The Law Office Of Jerry Jenkins can provide you with the necessary information to take the best course of action. Securing proper legal representation will let you rest assured knowing that your case is being handled properly.

You can read more on probation violations here:

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Orlando Juvenile Lawyer

As a parent or guardian of a child in trouble with the law, you want to do everything in your power to protect them as much as possible. Some of the questions you may be facing are:

Is the legal process the same for juveniles?

What kinds of punishments are applicable?

Will this go on my child’s permanent record?

When a juvenile gets in trouble with the law, they typically go through a very different process than adults who have been accused of a crime.

After coming into contact with law enforcement, juveniles may be issued a warning or civil citation, held in until a parent or guardian comes to pick them up, or be placed into custody and referred to the juvenile court.

Every state has specific courts that handle juveniles. If the youth has been referred to juvenile court by an officer, the youth will go through the intake process. Here, there are several outcomes that can determine the way the rest of the case goes.

A prosecutor or court intake officer will dismiss the case, decide to handle the case informally, or decide to file formal charges. Some of the factors the prosecutor or officer might consider while making the decision:

The age of the accused

The severity of the offense

The past record for the accused

The strength of the evidence

The gender of the accused

Informal Proceedings

If the case is decided through informal proceedings, the accused will typically need to appear before a probation officer or judge, who will usually impose a variety of punishments, such as attending classes or counseling, paying a fine or repaying the damages, performing community service, or entering probation.

Formal Proceedings

If the case is decided through formal proceedings, a petition is filed in juvenile court. The accused will be charged in front of a juvenile court (arraignment) or be transferred to adult court. The court will then decide whether the accused should be placed in a detention center or allowed to return home as they wait for the pretrial hearing.

As the case progresses, the accused may enter into a plea agreement, the judge may “divert” the case, or the judge may hold an adjudicatory hearing and the case could go to trial. If the case goes to trial, both sides will present their evidence, with a judge deciding whether a delinquency ruling is applicable.

To determine how best to proceed in a juvenile case, it is a good idea to contact a qualified Juvenile delinquency Lawyer. The Law Offices of Jerry Jenkins offers free case evaluations, helping you determine the best course of action.

For many juvenile offenders, there are processes to have their records sealed and/or expunged. Additionally, Jerry Jenkins is an expert in expungement, and can help seal juvenile records.

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