Moving Violation

Good Ruling for Commercial Drivers in Florida

In Florida if you possess a regular drivers license, and you receive a moving violation, you have three options for non-mandatory traffic infractions:

  1. Elect a driver improvement school
  2. Pay the citation
  3. Elect to fight the citation in Court.

However, the options available to a commercial driver are limited as they can pay the citation or fight the ticket in Court.

Until a memo from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor VehiclesDHSMV) began circulating on January , 2014, it was commonplace for a Judge to withhold adjudication on a commercial driver if the facts and driving record warranted such a result. A withhold of adjudication would mean that a driver wouldnt receive point on their license BUT the violation would still appear on their record as has been commonplace for years.

Since the memo began circulating over a year ago, each county has been inconsistent with their interpretation of the memo and the sentences they were imposing on a commercial driver appearing before them. In an order from Sarasota County (State v John Brandy, 2014 TR 15144 NC) Judge Phyllis Galen on March , 2015, the Judge ruled that the Court has the authority to withhold adjudication on a commercial driver appearing before them on a moving violation. The Judge discussed the separation of powers between the branches of Government and opined that under Florida Law, a withhold of adjudication is NOT masking since the violation still appears on a driving record.

Finebloom, Haenel, and Higgins have been representing motorists across the State of Florida for over 10 years. David Haenel, one of the partners is the former Florida Bar Traffic Court Rules Committee chairman. They can be reached at 1-800-FIGHT-IT (344-4848)

Justin Bieber Arrested for DUI and Drag Racing in Miami

In the early morning hours of January 23, 2014, pop star Justin Bieber was allegedly observed by police officers drag racing in a residential neighborhood in Miami Beach in his rented Lamborghini.  According to the police report of the incident, police saw two black SUV’s blocking Pine Tree Drive while a Lamborghini and a Ferrari, allegedly driven by a friend of Bieber’s named Khalil Sharief, started driving 55-60 MPH in a 30 MPH zone next to each other, appearing that they were drag racing.  The arresting officer pulled Bieber’s car over and noticed the smell of alcohol on his breath along with other signs that he was under the influence, such as slow movements and bloodshot eyes.  According to the police report, Bieber was apparently belligerent while being arrested and became angry when the arresting officer tried to search him for weapons and contraband.  It was later found that Bieber was driving on a license from Georgia that had expired six months ago.  Bieber apparently told the police that he drank one beer, but had also smoked marijuana and took prescription medication that night.  Bieber was charged with a number of criminal charges including DUI, resisting arrest without violence, racing on a highway, and driving on an expired license.  While the police report states that there was a breath test given, it does not state the results, however, Bieber was seen leaving a Miami night club earlier that night.

Even though Bieber is only 19 years old, he will be facing criminal charges in county court in Miami-Dade.  The state attorney will try to establish that Bieber was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the extent that his normal faculties are impaired.  If Bieber submitted to a urine test to determine the presence of a controlled or illegal substance, it will take well in excess of a month to get the results of that urine test.

This is Bieber’s first DUI arrest, meaning that he would be considered a first time offender for purposes of Florida DUI law.  As a first time offender Bieber faces a fine of between $500-$1000 dollars, 50 hours of community service, and the possibility of a maximum of 6 months in jail.  If it ends up his Breath alcohol content was over .15,  Bieber faces a fine of between $1000-$2000 and the possibility of up to 9 months in jail.  Even though Bieber’s license isn’t valid, the Judge will have to revoke his license for a minimum of 6 months if he is convicted for DUI.

Along with the other charges relating to his arrest, Bieber could also face additional penalties for the drag racing.  While he hasn’t been charged officially by the state attorney at this time, if he is convicted with drag racing he faces an additional misdemeanor charge where he could have to pay a fine of $500 to $1000 and lose his driver’s license for up to a year.