The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A.
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Orlando, FL 32801
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Criminal Defense Blog

The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins

What Happens After Getting a DUI?

Driving while under the influence of alcohol can be a very dangerous and costly mistake to make. Florida considers any individual operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher to be legally DUI, or driving under the influence. Regardless of whether you didn’t feel drunk or felt your driving ability wasn’t affected, your BAC is often the determining factor in your conviction. This limit is lowered to 0.05% for anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 (considered to be minors under certain DUI laws), and the penalties can be severe. Penalties can include revocation of their driver’s license until they are 18 (first-time offenders) or revocation until they turn 21 (second-time offenders).

When you are pulled over by a police officer, they will perform a series of sobriety & field tests if they suspect you are DUI. The most notorious of these is the breathalyzer test, and Florida, unlike other states, requires you to comply with this test. Anyone receiving a driver’s license in Florida is automatically agreeing to perform this test if it is requested by an officer. Failure to comply carries its own set of penalties, depending on whether this is the first, second, or third time you’ve refused a breathalyzer test. The first refusal results in license suspension for 1 year, and a second or third refusal results in license suspension for 18 months. Aside from the consequence of license suspension, courts might interpret your refusal as an admission of guilt. It is generally recommended to comply with the field & sobriety tests an officer gives you, as these can potentially be invalidated. Simply put, it just doesn’t look good to avoid the tests – it makes you look guilty. For instance, the field tests they administer (like walking in a straight line, reciting the abc’s backwards, etc.) are difficult for most anyone, sober or drunk, to actually perform. Aside from their inherent difficulty, there might be a medical condition or medication which hinders your performance – or even a piece of obstructing clothing (think high-heels). Breathalyzer tests can also be invalidated for a variety of reasons, including how the test was given, how the results were analyzed, and the maintenance record of the specific equipment used. There have been cases where a breathalyzer device was not maintained according to state regulations, and the convictions were overturned as the equipment could no longer be relied on to provide accurate results.

An experienced attorney can help you determine whether any health or environmental factors could potentially invalidate your conviction. Because they have experience arguing these kinds of defenses, they can anticipate what the prosecution’s arguments will be. If you’ve been ticketed for a DUI, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins today for a free case evaluation.

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Orlando Florida Criminal Lawyer

The Orlando greater region is home to upwards of 2.1 Million residents according to the 2010 US Census. A more recent 2014 US Census registered a population of 262,372 in the City of Orlando and much like any large urban sprawl, Law Enforcement deal with a variety of issues and make no shortage of arrests. In the 2014 year, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement registered a total of 54,448 Arrests in Orange County alone. Police have a duty to protect and serve the community, while this is the case; citizens also have the right to an attorney when they are being charged with a crime. The state of Florida is tough on crime, particularly Drug Crimes where possession of small quantities of elicit or controlled substances can result in harsh sentences.

If you are being charged with a crime in the Orlando area, it is important to secure the services of a skilled defense attorney. Once you're arrested in Orlando, there a number of possible outcomes that are dependent on the severity of the crime, circumstances surrounding the incident and your history. While Orlando may be known for it's tourist attractions and 'Magic', making charges simply disappear is no easy task. Because the Criminal Justice system is so complex, navigating it without a fierce, knowledgeable advocate greatly reduces your chance of receiving the best possible outcome. The protocol following an arrest includes being booked and assessed. If the crime is considered to be non-dangerous, the possibility for release exists. Otherwise it is likely the Judge will set a bail amount. Following the preliminary hearing is an arraignment and from this point on, every decision matters.

With extensive experience as both a military policemen and assistant state attorney in Florida, Jerry Jenkins possesses invaluable knowledge and a unique skill set that differentiates him from his counterparts. Jenkins investigative experience allows him to assess each case and carefully comb through the facts to increase your chance of receiving a plea-bargain or case dismissal. In any event, Jerry will use his knowledge of how the system works on a state and local level to minimize the adversity you experience when being charged with a crime. There are a wide variety of procedures which must be followed by Law Enforcement and when those are not done 'by the book', Jenkins utilizes these opportunities to highlight the flaws of the states case.

Prior to a trial, the exchange that takes place between the defense and prosecution can often eliminate the need to go to trial or give the defense more leverage when the trial takes place. It is important to consider all of this if you or a loved one is being charged with a crime. Jerry offers reliable representation for a wide variety of crimes including but not limited to crimes against other persons, property crimes, drug crimes and white-collar crimes. Of the 54,448 arrests in Orange County last year, 4,826 involved a juvenile offender. The procedures for Juveniles differ from adults and Jerry has the expertise to reduce the impact being charged with a crime can have on the life of a young person. Each courthouse is a unique terrain and the best way to achieve a favorable outcome is by having a strong guide familiar with the region to make sure you're best interests are represented throughout the process.

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Juvenile Delinquency Attorney Orlando Fl

A juvenile delinquent is defined as a minor who committed an act in violation with the law. Depending on the severity of the act, the youth in violation may be charged with a delinquent act or with an actual crime, in which case, they could be tried as an adult in the respective court. Once the youth has been observed or is implicated in an act that violates the law, an officer of the law becomes involved and from that point on, the implications and punishment varies substantially depending on the situation.

If the violation isn't severe, the youth can be given a civil citation. This is a preventative measure taken by the state of Florida to :

a) Reduce the rate of Juvenile Delinquency

b) Give youth another opportunity/ alternative to potentially being criminalized.

Otherwise, the youth is taken into custody where an assessment known as the D.R.A.I (Detention Risk Assessment Instrument) is used to determine where the youth should be placed pending a court date. Depending on the evaluation done, there are a number of potential outcomes where the youth could be:

1) Placed in a Diversion Program - This is typically an option when the youth is being charged with a minor crime. The goal is to keep the youth in their own community where they may be required to participated in Arbitration, Mentoring Programs, Alternative Schooling or Juvenile Alternative Services Program, Teen Court, Intensive Delinquency Diversion Services. They are assigned a Probation Officer who oversees their compliance with the program. In some cases, the youth could be required to live in a residential facility. Depending on the individual, the court may impose sanctions or conditions to follow such as restitution, treatment for substance abuse, therapy, avoid contact with co-defendants and/or the victim (if applicable). Curfew may also be imposed and the drivers license of the youth may be confiscated.

2) Charged as an Adult in Adult Court- In this case the court must provide an order specifying the facts and factors that influenced their decision to charge the youth as an adult. The court uses a number of criteria to determine whether adult sanctions should be imposed including but not limited to:

◦ Seriousness of crime

◦ Safety of community,

◦ Nature of the offense (spontaneous or premeditated, violent or non-violent?)

◦ Was the crime against a person or property?

◦ History of the Child (Criminal and Social Services)

◦ Probation history

◦ Probable Cause

◦ The maturity of the youth in question

3) Placed into the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative, this program was designed to reduce the impact incarceration has on the state by reducing over-crowding in detention facilities and taxpayer dollars. Its goal is to provide youth in violation of the law the opportunity to become productive members of society.

Under certain circumstances, the youth is placed in a secure detention center while the court evaluates the case. The alternative to being held in a detention facility is awaiting the court date at home. Eventually the case will either be dropped, adjudication will be withheld (youth is released) or the youth will be adjudicated and placed in a residential facility. In many cases a youth is assigned to a Juvenile Probation Officer that enforce the court order. If you are the parent of a youth found in violation of the law there are many things to consider. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the incident, once a youth is taken into custody, retaining an attorney who has knowledge of the system will give the child the best opportunity at receiving a favorable outcome.

The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins has extensive experience defending youth offenders in Orange County and Lake County as well as the surrounding area. When your child or loved one is being charged with a crime, invest in their future by securing the services of an assertive advocate who will evaluate the facts and fight for their best interest.

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DUIs in Orlando Florida

A DUI conviction is a serious offense in the state of Florida and carries with it severe penalties. To anyone unfamiliar with DUI law, these penalties are almost unavoidable. The time constraints to formally fighting a DUI penalty are very strict as well, and must be adhered to for any hope of dropping or lessening the charges. Florida specifically has rigid timetables as to when certain motions and evidence needs to be submitted. Without specific, up-to-date knowledge on how Florida prosecutes DUI convictions, it is extremely difficult to get a DUI charge dismissed.

There are many possible defenses to DUIs that should be taken into consideration from the second you are pulled over by an officer. If you are suspected of driving under the influence the police will perform a series of tests to determine your sobriety level. These can include a field sobriety test, blood test, breath test (breathalyzer) or urine test.

To start, it’s important to understand Florida’s “Implied Consent” law. By receiving a driver’s license in Florida you are automatically agreeing to this law, which means you have already given consent for officers to give you a breathalyzer test. You can still refuse to perform this test, but there are penalties for your refusal (including license suspension), depending on the number of prior offenses and other factors. Refusal to take a breathalyzer doesn’t mean you won’t be arrested; in fact, it almost guarantees your arrest. If officers have requested you to provide a breathalyzer test it’s because their initial observations have led them to suspect you are driving under the influence. If you refuse a breathalyzer, officers will then be basing their decision solely on their observations & field tests – which have already concluded you are DUI.

There are many ways to invalidate a DUI conviction, and these defenses start the second you are pulled over. Breathalyzer tests can be proven inaccurate for a number of reasons, including the way they are maintained, administered, analyzed, etc. The testing procedure must follow federal guidelines in order to be considered admissible, and sometimes it can be proven that the testing equipment wasn’t properly maintained or there was an error in the way the test was given. In Miami, for example, a DUI conviction was overturned because it was proven the computer program that analyzed the breathalyzer results had an error in its programming code. The officers are also under strict guidelines as to how they submit evidence. What most people don’t realize when their license is suspended is that they have the right to subpoena the test results, the officer who administered the test, and the technician who analyzed your results. Failure to appear by any subpoenaed party will automatically invalidate the suspension.

To avoid a DUI penalty and possible license suspension, it’s important to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the litigation process. To find possible defenses to your DUI conviction, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins for a free case evaluation today.

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Labor Day Weekend 2015 and DUI in Florida

As we celebrate the working people's contribution to the country and the end of summer, as with most holidays, law enforcement will have increased patrol units trying to keep the roads safe. There are many common ways that the cops will use to detect and enforce drunk driving laws. For example, the Metropolitan areas have and will continue to use multi-agency patrols to detect and target drivers suspected of DUI. These patrols are usually in high traffic areas. Another tactic that the police use are DUI Roadblocks. The roadblock is designed to stop vehicles to check driver's licenses, insurance and registrations. The cops make sure to use their eyes and take a big sniff to see if they can see or smell any alcohol or drugs. The police are also patrolling the waterways, did you know there is a specific law against boating under the influence?

Please be responsible. The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drive. Therefore, while out celebrating please designate a driver or use one of the many services to keep from being subjected to an arrest. If you are pulled over and the officer believes you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there is nothing you can do or say that will help you. They have a Zero Tolerance policy and they need to make an arrest to place that number in the news to show the public that they are out doing something. If that unfortunate event does happen, you do have rights. There are defenses to DUI and possible challenges to the breath test and sobriety exercises. DUIs can have serious punishments and depending on the particular case it could include prison time.

In Florida, you only have 10 days to challenge your administrative driver's license suspension. You need to contact me as soon as possible to work on your case.

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