Mr. Misdemeanor Blog by Royce Brent Bishop, Esq.       (305) 290-4263 royce@mrmisdemeanor.com
 
Mr. Misdemeanor is dedicated to the defense of felonies, misdemeanors, speeding tickets, traffic tickets, domestic violence, civil infractions, foreclosure defense, and other offenses relating to county, municipal, or local ordinances.

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Chart for Florida Traffic Violations with Statutes and Points

Chart for Florida Traffic Violations with Statutes and Points

This is a nice reference chart I found from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that shows the statute that you were accused of violating and how many points are assigned for that violation. The chart is here:  List of Florida Traffic Violations, Statute number, and number of points per violation 

Points accumulated equals months suspended.


This is easy to remember:
12 points in 12 months equals 30 days suspension;
18 points in 18 months equals 3 months suspension;
24 points in 36 months equals 12 months suspension.

Most moving violations are 3 points


In general, most moving violations or the common violations like speeding, failure to obey a traffic light or traffic signal or traffic control device--same thing; failure to maintain a single lane; failure to use turn signal; careless driving; racing, are all 3 points. Reckless drivng is 4 points. 

Here is one I just learned becasue police officers never cite you for it--failure to dim headlights or failure to use low-beam in rain, fog, or twilight is 3 points. Everyone hates it when someone coming towards you or someone in back of you blinds you with their bright lights.

Window tinting that is too dark (suncreen matrial) is a non-moving violation, has no points, but does carry a fine like other non-moving violations. Ususally, judges will consider dismissing tickets for non-moving violations like window tinting, inoperable tail lights, head lights, if you make the repairs and present a receipt of purchase to the traffic judge.

Sueing in civil court from criminal acts & Prosecutorial Discretion

Suing in civil court from criminal acts and prosecutorial discretion.

Prosecutorial Discretion

I never see prosecutorial discretion come up on TV Shows or movies. If it has, I missed it. Prosecutorial discretion just means that I could walk out of a bank with a gun, a bag full of money, get into a get-away car and the prosecutor could say, "Eh, so what?" and not charge me at all. True, but not likely. If it is an elected Prosecutor--many are--they would never get reelected if they let bank-robbers go, but yes, legally they could do it. But prosecutors can also be very aggresive if they want to. In the Casey Anthony trial, I think most of America thinks she is guilty or was at least heavily involved. The State Attorney of Florida (the prosecutor) went for a first degree murder charge. I cannot remember if she was offered any plea bargain--probably not. So, in a situation like this, you have to go to trial because the prosecutor is not giving you a choice. My point is that the State Attorney could have gone for second degree murder, third degree murder, or manslaughter, which is easier to prove. First degree capital murder is not supposed to be easy to prove. That is why only the most experienced and senior prosecutors will try those types of cases. The point is that with prosecutorial discretion, some prosecutors in State or Federal Court are more aggressive than others.

Suing in civil court from criminal acts

Sometimes prosecutors decide not to sue (file criminal charges) somone and you want them to. This is because some prosecutors offices prefer to prosecute certain types of crimes and other prosecutors offices prefer to prosecute other types of crimes. One office may be big on prosecuting street crimes, but not big on white-collar crimes. One office may be big on prosecuting cocaine, but not marijuana. All prosecutors offices will prosecute alleged drunk drivers--all of them. The reasons for this selective prosecution could be the budget, public opinion, pressure from the media, pressue from voters, pressure from the head prosecutor like the Attorney General for the State of Florida, the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, or maybe the U.S. Attorney General when in Federal Court. Or, it could be a pet-peeve of the prosecutor that runs that particular district, circuit, county, branch, division . . .whatever. If a prosecutor will not file charges against somone, and you have been "harmed" physically, mentally, monetarily, most all states and jurisdictions permit you to "take the law in your own hands"--no, not like that--by suing somone in civil court. I will use the Florida and Kentucky and Kentucky statutes because that is where I am licensed for now.

Florida

In Florida the relevant statutes are Chapters 772.101 and 772.102

Kentucky

In Kentucky, the relevant statutes are Chapters 431.080 and 431.082 I hope suing in civil court from criminal acts is something new and that you can use, if necessary. But use it wisely and carefully as you cannot sue someone for fun or to get even or to teach them a lesson. There are claims called, malicious prosecution, vexatious litigation, and abuse of process that could then be used against you. Always consult with an attorney.

Hearsay evidence rule helps motion to suppress evidence

Hearsay rule helps with motion to suppress evidence for DUI traffic stop<< MORE >>

Police can question or interrogate underage minors

Police can question or interrogate underage persons or minors.

Police can quesion underage minors without the parents, grandparents, or legal guardians being present there with the minor, juvenile, or underage person. It is up to the defense attorney to show that the the suspect was in custody, did not feel free to leave, and was basically bullied, tricked, or scared into a confession.

The right to remain silent

There are a few tests that a court uses to decided if someone--even an underage minor--gave up their right to remain silent.

Whether the suspect was in custody

This test asks what were the circumstances of the questioning and whether or not the person would have felt free to leave. All of these are based on the facts of the case. If the person was in a police station handcuffed to a chair in a room, then yes they were in custody. But if the person had been given a traffic ticket by the police officer and the police officer kept asking questions, a court may say that the suspect should have known he was free to leave, even thought most people would not feel free to leave.

Totality of the circumstances

This is the first test that a court to use, which basically means that under the circumstances of the police questioning or interrogation "was the suspects will overborne?" If someone was questioned for 8 hours straight in a small room with bright lights with no food for water, and was refused a phone call to a attorney, then the suspect's will was probably overborne.

Knowingly, Voluntarily, and Intelligently

This is another important test the courts use. If a suspect did waive (give up) his or her right to remain silent; gave up (waived right) to an attorney; and agreed to answer questions wss it knowingly, voluntarily, and intellgently? That again depends on the circumstances. If the person was intoxicated, very young, mentally ill, the police lied a lot, beat them up, made a lot of false promises, tricked the suspect into signing a confession, threatened to harm the suspect financially, physically, or the the suspect's family, then the confession may have been coerced instead of knowingly, voluntarily, or intelligently

Rabbi pleads guilty to wire and mail fraud?

New York Times Article

Rabbi Menachem Youlos, a bookstore owner who described himself as a Jewish "Indiana Jones" plead guilty to mail and wire fraud in the New York City Federal Courthouse. His scheme involved convincing people that he was traveling the world--particularly in Europe and in Israel--to find ancient Torah's (the Old Testament) that were lost during the holocaust.

He created a foundation called, "Save a Torah" wherein he would sell Torahs, just not ancient Torahs, and just not recovered from personal exploration into exotic and dangerous places like Harrison Ford's character did in the 4 Indiana Jones movies.

An investigation discovered that Rabbi Youlos had never been beaten or captured either as he claimed. Menachem Z. Rosensaft, and adjunct professor at Cornell Law School and General Counsel of the World Jewish Congress began doubting Rabbi Youlos stories when Rabbi Youlos claimed that he even fell through the floor of a German barracks at Bergen-Belsen, which was a concentration camp in Germany in WWII. Mr. Rosensaft knew from his parents that Bergen-Belsen was burned down by the British.

At sentencing, the Judge impersonated Indian Jones and told the Rabbi, "Snakes . . .I hate snakes . . .." The judge did not say that.

South Florida Law Enforcement cracks down on "Pill Mills"

USA Today Article

South Florida is a popular place for dealers and drug traffickers to come to all the way from my home state of Kentucky and surrounding states because there are so many "pain clinics" here to buy Xanex, Methadone, Hydro Codone, Oxycodone, etc.. I said "pain clinics" because they are not really treating people for pain. It is more like an mutual understanding that a patient pretends to be in pain, when the doctor knows that the patient is not really in pain, and the doctor knows that the patient is not in pain and the patient knows that the doctors knows that the patient is not in pain. It is really just a drug deal. The sad part is that some patients really are in pain, but they are giving the other patients a bad name. Perhaps some of these doctors really are concerned about their patients health and well-being, but maybe they are just overeducated and over trained dealers.

I hold the doctors more accountable because they have a duty to help provide a better quality of life for their patients. I had a client whom I believe was run through the system and prosecuted for DUI. My client may have been drinking and driving, but I think his bigger problem was pain pills. My big problem was why is the prosector after my client and no the pain clinic? My client is a result of a problem, not the source of the problem. The pain clinic was the source of his problem. I honestly believe that if the local government had shut down the pain clinic, then the local law enforcement would not have anyone to prosecute.

That case always haunts me becuse my client was so out of it that he said some awful things to the police officer who arrested him (spontaneous statements 90.803(1) and statements of then-existing mental, emotional, or physical condition 90.803(3) are admissible evidence). Not awful things about the police officer, but just awful things in general right into the video camera. I don't think my client was in the right state of mind, when he said those things. Those facing criminal charges should also be aware of DRE's, which stands for Drug Recognition Experts. These are police officer with special training who look for things like "the shakes", jittery behavior, nervousness, hyper-verbal, or just the opposite: overly relaxed, slurred speech, lethargic, overly relaxed, pupils, eye movement, etc.

Federal Reserve Governor Raskin, "penalize the banks"

Reuters Article

More Relief from Making Home Affordable--must be current

The new Federal Housing Finance Agency regulates Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and 12 Federal Home Loan Banks.  FHFA

This improved HARP program will continue to be available to borrowers with loans sold to the Enterprises on or
before May 31, 2009 with current loan-to-value (LTV) ratios above 80 percent. The enterprises are Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Here is FHFA News Release (pdf)

Some Highlights:

You must be current on your mortage or have only been late once in the last 12 months.

The new program enhancements address several other key aspects of HARP including:
 Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term
mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers;
 Removing the current 125 percent LTV ceiling for fixed-rate mortgages backed by
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
 Waiving certain representations and warranties that lenders commit to in making loans
owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
 Eliminating the need for a new property appraisal where there is a reliable AVM
(automated valuation model) estimate provided by the Enterprises; and
 Extending the end date for HARP until Dec. 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to the
Enterprises on or before May 31, 2009.

Were you in foreclosure from Jan. 1, 2009-Dec. 31, 2010.

If you were in foreclosure during this time frame--an actual lawsuit had been filed against your property you are encouraged to vistit Possible Remedies Fed Government agreement with Loan Servicers.  I actually discovered this form the Washington Post.  Washington Post Article. The Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) have authorized this independent review and have hired and outside consulting firm.

Deadline is April 30, 2012 and you must have had one of these loan servicers.

America’s Servicing Co.
Aurora Loan Services
BAC Home Loans Servicing
Bank of America
Beneficial
Chase
Citibank
CitiFinancial
CitiMortgage
Countrywide
EMC
EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company
Financial Freedom
GMAC Mortgage
HFC
HSBC
IndyMac Mortgage Services
MetLife Bank
National City Mortgage
PNC Mortgage
Sovereign Bank
SunTrust Mortgage
U.S. Bank
Wachovia Mortgage
Washington Mutual (WaMu)
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Wilshire Credit Corporation

Mass. Attorney General Sues 5 National Banks

This is from the Massachusetts Attorney General's Website. The Attorney General is Martha Coakley who is suing JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage.
From MA Atty. Gen. Website with audio

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