The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

Naples Legal Blog

Scrutinizing breathalyzer accuracy

When people in Naples are asked to visualize a drunk driving arrest, they likely will immediately conjure up images of one standing beside his or her car and blowing into a handheld breathalyzer device. Indeed, these devices has seemingly become the visual representation most equate with drunk driving. Many may believe that they are the singular tool law enforcement officers use to determine a driver's level of impairment. Yet do the results that they produce justify their association? 

According to the National Motorists Association, the answer to that question in unequivocally no. It points to research that shows that these devices have a margin for error in determining one's blood alcohol content that may be as high as 50 percent. Many would say the reason for this discrepancy is glaringly simple: These devices do not measure blood alcohol content. Rather, they record the alcohol concentration of the air being tested. While a standardized formula is then used to convert the measurement to BAC, the fact remains that the test itself is not a direct measurement. 

Examining another major cause of distracted driving

Significant resources have been dedicated to raising the awareness of the dangers that result from drunk driving. The same can be said about texting while driving. Yet will an emphasis on stopping such practices ensure your safety from impaired or distracted drivers? Several of the clients that we here at The Calderone Law Group, P.A. have worked with in the past have learned firsthand that there is another subcategory of distracted drivers on Naples' roads that can be equally as dangerous. 

If you have been hit by another vehicle and noticed signs such as food wrappers on the floor of the other car or grease stains on the steering wheel or the driver's clothing, then those might be indicators that he or she had been eating while the accident occurred. What is wrong with eating while driving? Many may tell you "nothing" before reviewing some eye-opening statistics compiled about the practice. Information shared by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that eating while driving could increase the potential of being involved in an accident by as much as 80 percent. That figure becomes even more alarming when you consider that 70 percent of people admit to doing it. 

Are you a victim of an illegal DUI traffic stop?

If you are facing charges for drunk driving, you know there is a lot at stake. From your personal freedom to your right to drive, there are many consequences that could impact your life and your future. You know it is important to build a strong defense, and the first step of your defense process is to explore the validity of the original traffic stop.

Law enforcement officers must have clear and valid reasons to stop a person for suspected drunk driving. If there was no reason to pull you over or you experienced a violation of your personal rights in any way, you have grounds to seek a dismissal of the charges against you. Individuals facing DUI charges in Florida have the right to fight back against invalid or illegal traffic stops.

Florida's ongoing changes in marijuana laws

As changes in marijuana laws sweep across the nation, states such as Florida continue to be in a state of limbo. While some areas have legalized both medical and recreational use, others continue to grapple with the system's strict penalties that can come with even one small possession charge. Lawmakers and residents alike have increased their efforts to completely legalize marijuana in the state, thus helping those who face damaging penalties and those who need the drug for medical purposes.

Just weeks ago, The Tampa Bay Times highlighted Florida's marijuana laws and the ways some residents still face a number of limits. The Times focused on one family who were relieved to discover medical marijuana's legalization, yet nevertheless struggle to find the right strain of marijuana to help their young daughter battle seizures. Reasons for this obstacle include a limited number of growers in the state; as a result of this regulation, there are fewer new strains introduced to experiment with potential health benefits. Although Florida legalized medical use years ago, some patients face obstacles posed by state health officials. The end result may still be up in the air, but in the meantime, patients continue to suffer.

Speeding continues to threaten safety of Florida drivers

Speeding is one of the most common dangerous driving habits. Almost every driver is guilty of driving too fast at some point, but there are times when increased speed is a direct threat to the safety and well-being of every person on the road. In fact, speeding is one of the leading causes for car accidents in Florida and across the country.

Over the last few years, the United States has seen an increased number of car accident fatalities. While many of these deaths are related to the rapid increase in distracted driving, experts also believe that speed deserves part of the blame. A recent study from the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed that speed is a factor in a significant number of auto collisions that result in a fatality.

Defending You Against Drug Charges

Everybody makes mistakes, and most people regret them. If you have been charged with drug possession in Florida, you may be facing some scary consequences. At the Caldarone Law Group, we know it can be a frightening experience; we have helped guide many people through the court system, working for the best resolution of their case.

According to FindLaw, there are several options in defense of drug possessions charges, depending on the specifics of your case.  Here are some common defenses:

  • Not yours: You can deny the drugs are yours and that you were unaware of them if found in your home. It is more difficult to use this defense if drugs are found on you, such as in your coat or pants pocket.
  • Entrapment: This occurs when law enforcement or informants coax you into committing a crime that you may not have committed otherwise.
  • Lab analysis: In order to charge you with possession, officials must first test the substance to determine if it is an illegal drug and if so, what it is. The analyst must also testify at trial about the findings.
  • Missing evidence: The drug must be presented at trial, and a savvy attorney will ensure that it is. Drugs may be transferred many times before they make it to court. If they are lost and can’t be shown at trial, the judge may dismiss the case.

What do you need to know about field sobriety tests?

Florida drivers know that driving drunk could have serious financial and legal repercussions. If convicted of this type of crime, a driver could face financial penalties, time behind bars and the loss of driving privileges. Even if it is a first-time drunk driving offense, a driver would be prudent to learn how he or she could fight these charges.

One of the ways that you can defend your interests is to learn more about what to expect from a DUI traffic stop. This can help you know if you experienced a violation of your personal rights and prepare you in the event law enforcement ever stops you for suspected drunk driving. There are certain protocols in place for suspected DUI traffic stops, and law enforcement must follow certain rules when pulling people over.

Can I get a DUI using prescription drugs?

Florida drivers should know that a drug does not need to be illegal to affect you behind the wheel. You can become impaired with the use of both prescription and over-the-counter medication, as well as alcohol and other drugs. That means you can be convicted of driving under the influence no matter what type of drug or medication you may use and despite using it legally.

FindLaw explains that the point to ponder is whether your driving is impaired. If so, you should not drive. In general, a DUI arrest can be made of anyone in control of a vehicle on a public road who is under the influence at the same time. Being “influenced” by a drug or alcohol simply means your ability to drive and make driving decisions is lessened, or impaired.

Slip-and-fall accidents outdoors: Who is to blame?

If you suffered injuries in a slip-and-fall accident while on personal or private property in Florida, you may have grounds to seek compensation through a premises liability claim. However, there are times when it can be difficult to determine who may be to blame for an accident.

If your slip-and-fall accident took place while you were outside, you may be unsure of who or what could be to blame for your suffering. While it can be difficult to identify liable parties, you do not have to walk through the aftermath alone. With guidance, you may be able to build a strong claim for recompense for your financial losses and your pain and suffering.

The potential changes of florida's strict drug laws

It is common for minor drug offenses in Florida to escalate quickly, and often unnecessarily. While state drug laws exist for a reason, that reason can become unclear when a small cocaine possession charge turns into months -- and even years -- of repercussions.

Florida, like most states, enforces its own laws on drug possession and trafficking. However, with a drug history dominated by cocaine cartels in the 1980s, the state considers such offenses seriously. Might the seriousness of these penalties see future change? 

Fighting For Your Rights So You Can Focus On Your Recovery

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2390 Tamiami Trail North, Suite 216
Naples, FL 34103

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