The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Naples Legal Blog

Man escapes hurricane, killed by hit-and-run driver

By anyone's account, this year's hurricane season has hit with a vengence and residents in Florida know this all too well. The path of destruction left in the sunshine state by hurricane Irma will take some time to recover from. Many people chose to evacuate and leave the area before the storm hit knowing that they may not be able to save their homes but they could save their lives. That is precisely what one man and his partner did.

The couple left their home in Naples and headed north to stay with relatives in Georgia. Sadly, the 91-year-old man never made it there. Reports indicate that he experienced a flat tire along a stretch of Interstate 75 and was able to make it to a rest area along the freeway. While out of his car on foot, he was walking through the parking lot when the driver of another car hit him and knocked him down.

Cocaine possession and the price to pay

As a whole, America's attitudes toward certain illegal drugs are recently changing -- especially toward substances such as marijuana. Yet cocaine and other, harder drugs still remain in a negative spotlight. Sometimes, an individual is simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, and is in possession of a hard drug that could result in penalities that remain on their record forever. This stain on a record can inevitably wreck a person's career, prevent them from finding new jobs and can even worsen their overall quality of life. In Florida, there are clear laws that state the varying penalties attached to the possession of cocaine, but penalties can entirely depend on each individual drug arrest. 

The Miami Herald covered the recent story of Rodolfo Blanco, a Cuban man who immigrated to America in 1980 and was later arrested for the possession of cocaine. The Herald points out that Florida courts have little sympathy for those arrested on such charges, as the possession of any amount of cocaine constitutes as a third-degree felony in the state. Yet through the advice of his attorney, Blanco pleaded no contest to two counts of attempting to sell cocaine. Although Blanco faced minimal repercussions, he later discovered that this plea threatened his eligibility to continue living in the United States. Due to a number of reasons, including the overall strengthening relationship between the U.S. and Cuba in recent years and Blanco's judge's ruling that he had received ineffective legal counsel after his charge, Blanco was cleared of his drug conviction that threatened his future.

Reducing the stress of a collision with an uninsured driver

While out driving on a normal day in Florida, you may give little thought to what would happen should an accident occur. Unfortunately, with distractions all around, collisions are more common that one might think, and each one has a chance to end in disaster.

Perhaps you take comfort in knowing that if a collision was to take place, insurance would step in and assist with the damages. While this may be true in most cases, what happens if the other party does not carry an insurance policy?

Medical malpractice: when doctors are bad for your health

Doctors, nurses, surgeons and other health care providers have the obligation to provide quality medical care and services for patients. If you are suffering because a Florida health care professional made a mistake or acted negligently in any way, it is possible that you have grounds to seek compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Medical malpractice claims are complex, and they can be difficult to navigate for people who are already dealing with health problems and concerns. If you believe that your continued pain and suffering is the result of a medical error or medical negligence, you have the right to know your options and pursue whatever legal avenue is most appropriate for your situation.

Impairment subject of debate in trial

Florida residents who have been involved in accidents in which they are accused of having been impaired by alcohol or drugs can sometimes face a long defense process, especially if the two sides in the case do not agree about the alleged impairment. An example of this can be seen in a case involving an accident that took place on a Friday afternoon near Wauchula in December of 2011.

A man was reportedly seen driving erratically both in terms of his speed and the way he maneuvered his truck along State Road 64. He then drove into oncoming traffic and hit a passenger sedan. The two women in the sedan died in the crash. The defendant's team asserted through the testimony of a doctor that the amount of drugs found in his system were within reason for someone who had been prescribed them. Furthermore, the doctor said the drugs at that level would not necessarily have prevented him from driving.

Detailing Florida's pretrial intervention program

A drug conviction can hang over you like a stigma, affecting your reputation, your relationships and even possibly your career. Many of the clients in Naples that we here at The Calderone Law Group PA have represented have come to us looking for solutions to avoid having such an association haunt their lives and, if possible, avoid the crminal penalties that can come with a drug charge. If you are looking for similar assistance, you will be pleased to hear that Florida does indeed offer diversion programs that allow you to get past a drug arrest. 

Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could be facing either a felony or misdemeanor charge. According to Section 948.08 of the Florida state statutes, the state offers a pretrial intervention program to any first-time offender charged with up to a third degree felony (you can also qualify if you have been previously convicted of a misdemeanor, provided that is the only conviction on your record and it was non-violent in nature). The purpose of this program is to divert your case away from the legal system and help you secure whatever assistance you may need in order to not reoffend, whether that be: 

  • Counseling
  • Supervision
  • Medical care
  • Psychological treatment

Lack of police training may mean fewer DUI convictions

Florida law enforcement may be experiencing difficulties convicting some drivers of the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol. The cause of the challenge to convictions may be that the officers lack a specific expertise.

A trial court may admit an officer’s observations of a driver’s behaviors when the state is trying to prove a DUI charge. However, there is a more credible scientific test that may constitute stronger evidence. In Florida, the court may suppress that scientific test result if the officer did not have his certification noting proper training in that particular test.

Pro golfer to participate in DUI program

Florida residents who are facing criminal charges for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal dugs will want to understand what may happen to them. After the initial arrest process in which they may be taken to jail and have a mugshot and fingerprints taken, the time comes to review the potential penalties. For people who have never had a DUI offense before, the possibility of joining the state's DUI first offender program may exist.

This program was launched four years ago and is designed to give people the opportunity to avoid having a criminal conviction on their record. In order for this to happen, they must successfully meet certain criteria during the life of the program. The professional golfer Tiger Woods is one person to recently enter this program in Florida. The program entrance is related to his drugged driving arrest in late May.

Assault and battery are separate crimes in Florida

Threatening physical harm and/or physically harming another person intentionally are crimes according to the state of Florida. While many states consider assault and battery to be pretty much one in the same, state statutes define them as two separate crimes.

Law enforcement officials take both assault and battery quite seriously. The consequences associated with a conviction on either or both crimes can be quite significant. How do assault and battery differ? What are the penalties for each? How can you fight assault and/or battery charges in criminal court?

Battle over texting and driving laws in Florida

Florida residents know all too well that there can be negligent drivers on the road at any time. However, they should also know that the law puts in place things that are designed to help them be safe and reduce their chances of being injured or killed by these negligent drivers and their poor decisions. Sadly in Florida this may not always be the case.

Currently there is a law in place mandating the use of seat belts for people riding in cars, trucks and other passenger vehicles. That law took an onerous 14 years of effort on the part of leglislators to get in place. Today the dangers associated with distracted driving are taking center stage as some in the state legislature are working hard to change the state's law on texting and driving. Specifically they want this action to be a primary offense and not a secondary offense as it is currently. This would bring Florida in line with virtually every other state in the nation and make safety a priority.

Fighting For Your Rights So You Can Focus On Your Recovery

CLG - The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Office Location:
2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 216
Naples, FL 34103

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Phone: 239-244-3242
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