Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Been Charged with a Drug Violation?! Watch This Video for Answers

Use, possession, sales, or manufacture of illegal drugs or controlled substances are the common drug offenses in Florida.

Drug offenses in Florida

Some of the most common crimes in Florida involve the use, possession, sales, or manufacture of illegal drugs or controlled substances.  If you have been apprehended with an amount of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, meth, molly, or any other illegal or prescription drug, how you are charged in Florida when you are found to be in possession of illegal substances is a largely discretionary call by the prosecution. Getting an attorney that is experienced in the defense of drug-related crimes immediately is crucial.
 When you are arrested for a crime involving drugs in the Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach area, important things that may adversely affect your future are happening right away. Once an officer books you, the evidence and reports are transmitted to the Case Filing Unit for the prosecutor's office in the county in which you were arrested. The local case filing attorneys look over the reports, evidence, and other items, and decide what charges to file against you. What the officers arrest you for determines your bond amount but are merely suggestions that the prosecutor's office is free to accept or reject. A case filing attorney may file the charges as presented by the officer, elect to file different charges, or file no charges at all.
 While the above is true for all South Florida criminal cases, this process becomes especially important in the context of drug cases. In Florida, if you are arrested with an extremely small quantity of illegal drugs, you will generally be charged with simple possession of that contraband substance. If you are arrested with a large quantity of illegal drugs, that is all the State of Florida requires to charge you with the crime of Drug Trafficking, a charge that in most cases is punishable by a sentence of up to 30 years in Florida State Prison, with minimum mandatory sentences of up to 25 years.
 In the hugely common middle ground however, where an individual is caught with a moderate amount of an illegal drugs, that same person may be charged with a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felony with accusations of intent to distribute the substance. The range in penalties range from as little as a maximum of 364 days in jail, to as much as 15 or even 30 years in Florida State Prison. How a case is filed has far reaching effects on what punishments are available to the state, and what resolutions may be available to you.
 If you want to aggressively protect your rights, you should retain an attorney that is experienced in defending drug-related charges immediately after you are arrested. That attorney can negotiate with the case filing prosecutors and present your mitigating facts. In the prosecutor's discretion, this may result in reduced charges at the outset. Even if your situation is very serious and you are in fact subject to Drug Trafficking charges, or are alleged to have been involved with the manufacture, sales, delivery, or intent to deliver illegal substances, there are solutions we can pursue for you that may not be available later in the case.
 According to the Florida Department of Corrections, drug offenders who have been sentenced to prison under the current minimum 85% of sentence served policy will, on average, serve a significantly longer period of time in prison than at any time over the past 25 years. The average prison sentence under this policy has resulted in 2.5 years of incarceration compared to 1.8 years under the parole system of the early 1980's and 1.2 years during the early prison release policy of the late 80's and early 90's. Don't gamble with your freedom, protect your rights.
Because the State of Florida is cracking down on drug possession, sales, and trafficking cases, individuals are receiving wildly different sentences for the very same charges. You will want to make sure that you have a criminal defense attorney in your corner with extensive experience in this field of law. Many criminal lawyers concentrate their practice on DUI, traffic tickets, or white collar crimes.  I have successfully defended thousands of individuals over the past decade that were charged with drug related offenses.
If you are getting calls from a narcotics detective of if law enforcement officers have stopped by your home or place of business,  DO NOT speak to any law enforcement personnel without obtaining a lawyer! Anything you say can be used against you in furtherance of your arrest and ultimate conviction. Remember, an officer is legally permitted to lie to you during the course of his or her investigation, and any deals that are promised are completely unenforceable if you do not have representation.
In addition, many first time offenders have diversion or drug court options that are available to them somewhat comparable to a term of probation. The important difference being, your case is usually dismissed upon successful completion of the program. If you enter this program, you may report to a supervisor similar to a probation officer, and you will be expected to undergo random drug testing. You will be subject to regular court appearances as well. Of course, any new criminal charges will immediately end this program. However, if you complete the program successfully, without being arrested again during the term, the charges are generally dismissed.  Anyone charged with a drug offense should consult with an attorney to see if these options may be available in their case.
Call the Law Offices of Eric A. Kay today at 954-330-8994 for a free consultation. We will listen to the facts of your case, and determine what options and solutions are available to you. Whether you have just been arrested, or have been fighting a drug-related case for a long time, call today to protect your rights.
 The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

12 SE 7th Street Suite 707
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

123 SE 3rd Avenue #252
Miami, FL 33131

Phone: 954-330-8994
Fax: 954-764-8220

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Benefits of Hiring a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Florida

Motorcycle Injury Cases in Florida – Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, you are faced with all of the same concerns and considerations as victims of any other motor vehicle accident, where an insurance company is going to be involved. But motorcycle accidents are also very different from other accidents. Therefore, it is important in hiring an attorney that you are represented by someone who gets that difference.

I am an avid rider and have enjoyed motorcycles since I learned to ride at the age of 8. I have owned and operated various streetbikes.  I am aware of the stigma that attaches to every rider, no matter how law abiding or safety minded. We all have witnessed motorcycle riders that cut through the lanes of traffic, drive in a reckless manner, or drive at an extremely high rate of speed. Sadly, while these antics are only engaged in on public roads by a small percentage of motorcycle enthusiasts, every motorcycle rider who is injured first has to convince the insurance company involved that he or she was not in fact operating in a reckless manner.

 Insurance companies routinely exploit the misguided public perception that motorcycle riders are reckless or lawless individuals with a death wish in order to minimize and otherwise devalue legitimate claims. All of this while the Hurt Report, the most definitive body of scientific research done on motorcycle accidents where other vehicles are involved, has concluded that in these accidents, the driver of the car is at fault in two out of every three accidents. It goes without saying as well, that victims of motorcycle accidents tend to have more significant and severe injuries that those who drive cars.

Having a professional review your situation is always a good idea. Sometimes, it's absolutely vital. In limited circumstances with minor injuries, we may sometimes recommend that you handle a motorcycle accident case yourself. But in most situations, these cases quickly become complex and demand that a legal professional be at your side to get the recovery you deserve. Call us and we will give you a free consultation and straightforward advice about your specific case.
Not every attorney has the same approach to handling your motorcycle injury case. Many lawyers look at certain aspects of the case such as the insurance company involved and simply rush to settle the matter, accepting the first offer they receive.  They believe their job is done the moment they get a settlement offer. At The Law Offices of Eric A. Kay, we stay with you every step of the way and ensure that you get the largest recovery possible for your motorcycle accident. We care about our fellow riders, and take pride in our service to the motorcycle community.
You may be able to collect for medical expenses including:

•emergency treatment



•ongoing care

•rehabilitative treatment

•lost income including future lost wages

•pain and suffering

Those who love the independence of being on a bike commonly have that go-it-alone personality showing up in other parts of their lives. When it comes to negotiating with an insurance company claims adjuster, however, you will typically not do yourself any favors by doing it yourself. The claims adjuster or attorney working for the insurance company has only one goal: to keep the value of your claim as low as possible.

According to studies on the subject, involving a lawyer in your settlement negotiations and/or possible lawsuit against an insurance company will often result in a larger overall payout in the end. But there is more to the process than just the money. An attorney's involvement is likely to help you reduce stress at a time when you don't need more stress in your life, and dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend in dealing with the financial portion of your accident.

Call come in or call us today for a free consultation at:
The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

12 SE 7th Street Suite 707
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
The Law Offices of
Eric A. Kay, PA

123 SE 3rd Avenue #252
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: 954-330-8994

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why Do You Need A Prenup In Florida?

Prenups Are Not Just For The Wealthy             

According to The Center for Disease Control's latest statistics show that 43 percent of all marriages will end in divorce after 10 years. Divorce can become complicated when the couple has accumulated property or assets, or when they came into the marriage with property or assets. Under Florida law, soon-to-be spouses can agree to a prenuptial agreement that will dictate how their property, spousal support, death benefits and assets will be divided if they are divorced.          

Formalities of the Agreement
Florida'sUniform Premarital Agreement Act includes specific requirements needed for a prenuptial, or premarital, agreement to be valid. The agreement must be in writing, meaning the court will not enforce any verbal arrangements made between the parties. Both parties must sign the agreement. Lastly, the agreement is valid without either party giving anything up or forfeiting any rights. The fact that the two parties are getting married is enough to create a valid agreement.

Content of the Agreement
In the 1970s, the Florida Supreme Court expanded the variety of rights and property that can be included in a prenuptial agreement by adding spousal support to the list. Presently, under Florida law, parties can use a prenuptial agreement to agree to rights in property, issues in regard to spousal support, the making of a will, ownership rights in death benefits, and any other matter not in violation of public policy. Agreeing to something illegal under Florida law would be an example of a matter in violation of public policy.
Time of Effectiveness of the Agreement
The prenuptial agreement goes into effect when the couple gets married. If the couple signs a prenuptial agreement, but does not get married, there is no valid agreement, no valid contract, and the signed agreement has no effect on their lives.
Amending or Abandoning the Agreement
If, at any time after marriage, a couple that has a valid prenuptial agreement decides they no longer want the agreement, they can revoke the agreement. They can also amend the agreement. There are two stipulations in Florida's law. First, the revocation or amendment must be in writing. Second, both parties must agree to and sign the revocation or amendment.
Enforcement of the Agreement
Florida's Family Law Rules of Procedure stipulate multiple ways in which a prenuptial agreement is not enforceable. Example are if either party can prove that he did not sign the agreement voluntarily, perhaps due to fraud, duress or coercion, or that the terms of the agreement were very unfair and one party was not provided fair access to the other party's financial situation.

 The following article found offers some interesting commentary on the prenuptial agreement. For example the agreement can protect the less wealthy spouse. Click here for the full article.

Why Do People Sign Prenuptial Agreements?

The prenuptial agreement is a premarital contract that spells out the financial settlements that would take place in the event the marriage ends in divorce. Prenups are usually associated with wealthy people, but they may also be advisable for people with children from prior marriages, business owners or people who may come into an inheritance in the future.

There are several reasons that a person signs a prenuptial agreement. Wealthy people that enter marriage with substantial assets are likely to require a prenuptial agreement on advice of their attorney. Their betrothed may sign the agreement as a stipulation of entering a marriage they desire.
The prenuptial agreement turns the marriage into what seems like a business arrangement, but the agreement can protect both spouses. While one could take a moral high ground and say that people should not enter marriage with the anticipation of divorce, the sad fact is that the divorce rate is high. A prenuptial agreement does not mean there will be a divorce, but offers a level of comfort and assurance in knowing how property and assets will be divided in the event the marriage comes to an end.

People who sign a prenuptial agreement in advance have the psychological benefit of knowing in advance what their financial picture would look like if they get divorced.

People who sign a prenuptial agreement often have assets and property to protect. They may want to make sure that their assets will be kept out of marital property so that they can pass on to their children or specified beneficiaries.

People who have substantial wealth, assets, anticipated inheritance, retirement saving, property holdings and children from a prior marriage can benefit from the assurance offered by a prenup.
It is also common for people who have been married previously to desire a prenup, possibly because both parties have their own assets and children to leave them to. Prenuptial agreements help to assure all parties that the division as assets will not be an issue in case of a divorce.

People who own a business also may wish to have a prenup so that the business stays whole in the event of a claim against it in case of divorce. People who anticipate receiving an inheritance may also try to prevent the inheritance from being considered marital property.

Prenuptial agreements can also benefits the less wealthy spouse, as they have the chance to negotiate their future financial settlement and alimony prior to the marriage, when people should be getting along better.

The prenuptial agreement should be drafted to be fair to both parties, for the sake of the marriage and also to prevent it being overturned in the event of a divorce.

 If you are looking for a lawyer in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale area to assisit you with a prenupual agreement contact The Law Offices of Eric A. Kay, PA.  They are located at 12 SE 7th Street Suite 707, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 and 123 SE 3rd Avenue #252, Miami, FL 33131, 954-330-8994.
They speicialize in Family Law and know what needs to be done inorder to secure a legal and fair prenuptual agreement.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Alimony, Child Custody, Asset Distribution Just Some of the Issues in a Florida Divorce

Video Explains What You Need to Know About Divorce Law in Florida


Some clients ask me what are the common issues that the Court seeks to determine in a divorce case in Florida.  Some divorce cases transpire uneventfully and resolve with little difficulty while others last for years and have hundreds of pleadings where seemingly everything is at issue.  What you will spend in legal fees on a divorce case is largely based on the reasonableness of the parties involved to get on the same page with regard to a resolution.  There are many, many factors which can have an effect on this, including the lawyers that are chosen by each party to a case.  However, in even the most complicated and litigious cases, certain common issues are present.  This discussion is meant to simply identify some of the basic issues that are involved in most cases.

A primary issue in most divorce cases is equitable distribution, or in other words, how should the parties involved split the assets and liabilities that have accumulated during the marriage in a fair manner.  For instance, if the couple bought a house together, does one party keep it, or is it sold and the proceeds divided?  With regard to credit card debt, are both equally responsible, or did one person come into the marriage with a larger amount that should be accounted for going forward? Generally the parties complete financial affidavits and participate in mandatory disclosure in order to help the attorneys and the court get a comprehensive picture of the finances of the couple involved.  If a couple has no significant property or debt that has been accumulated during the marriage, equitable distribution may be fairly simple and uncontested.  In the opposite case, if a couple has a great deal of financial assets, business holdings, and debts, proper financial discovery could take years and involve multiple experts in the absence of any agreement between the parties.
Another primary issue is alimony, better known as spousal support.  Alimony is frequently a contentious point because the very idea irritates some people.  The reason being, many feel that they should not have to provide support for a spouse that they no longer wish to spend time with.  The Court engages in an analysis of multiple factors in order to determine whether alimony is appropriate.  Some of the factors include the length of the marriage, whether one party made sacrifices to benefit the other’s education or career, whether one party made sacrifices to his or her career in order to be the primary caretaker of the minor children born of the marriage, and a host of others.  The Court also considers what type of alimony may be appropriate based on these facts.  There are different types of alimony awards including rehabilitative, lump sum, or permanent.  This is another area that sometimes gives rise to prolonged litigation in the absence of an agreement by the parties.
If there are children born of the marriage, the Court must also engage the issues of child support and time sharing, the latter of which was previously known as custody.  Child support is relatively straightforward in Florida as it is based on a formula which considers the total income of the parties, the percentage of that income that each party makes, the number of minor children involved, and who is to be the primary residential parent.  
As you may expect, the time sharing determinations can be very argumentative if each party tries to assert that he or she should be the party that the children spend more time with.  Florida requires the parties to abide by a parenting plan which explicitly sets forth minimum time sharing requirements that each parent has with the minor child or children involved.  Every holiday, spring and summer break, weekend, and weekday in accounted for.  If the parties are not willing to agree, the Court will determine a parenting plan it deems to be in the best interests of the minor child or children involved.

These are some of the basic key issues involved with a divorce case in Florida.  This has been a short summary, but from this list alone, it is easy to see just how much room for disagreement there is.  A couple that can work these things out will have much less in the way of legal fees, as compared to a couple that will run to court dozens of time to ask the court to make decisions.  Most cases in Florida settle at mediation or before because eventually, ideally, some reasonable common ground is found, even between parties that can no longer get along.  For those that simply cannot settle their differences, a judge that knows comparatively little about the people involved will make decision as to some of the most personal aspects of their lives.  For this reason, most would rather have a greater role in settling their differences before trial.
For more information about your divorce case and the options that may be available to you, contact the law office of Eric A. Kay for a free consultation at 954-330-8994.  We look forward to helping you through your situation, however simple or difficult.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Children Of Divorce

Divorce is one of the most stressful, painful, emotionally debilitating and dehumanizing experiences most adults will ever suffer. When there are children involved it is magnified. Custody issues are one of the most difficult parts of divorce. Divorce is a scary time for children, leaving them sad, insecure confused and angry. A good lawyer can help you move through the custody process quickly and in the best interest of your children. At The Law Offices of Eric A Kay, our mission is to provide you with the kind of representation that will minimize the toxic effects of the divorce on everyone affected: You, your children, other family, and friends. If you are in need a a divorce lawyer that can help with custody matters in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area contact us at (954) 330-8994 in Miami or (954) 764-7373 in Fort Lauderdale.

Even the rich and famous are not immune to the difficulties of divorce.  Read on the learn what the celebrities are saying of their parents divorces. The full article can be fround in the Huffington Post.  Click here to read more.

Celebrity Divorce: Stars Open Up About The Impact Of Their Parents' Splits                       

From teen icons to Golden Globe winners, see what these celebs have said about their parents' divorces below.

Selena Gomez
"I blamed my mom a lot [for the divorce] because I wanted a family so bad," Gomez said. "I wanted to have my mom and dad together. I remember just being angry with my mom. I still feel really bad about that."
Nicole Richie
“When my dad divorced my mom it was kind of like him leaving me also,” Richie said.

Justin Timberlake
“My parents divorced when I was three. I’m humbly and honestly finding out that I have a lot of issues with that," Timberlake said.

Jennifer Aniston
"It was pretty crappy, I came home from a birthday party and he was moved out. It was pretty abrupt," Aniston said. "Sure, your dad leaves and disappears for a while, that’s pretty brutal. But that’s sort of the beauty of it. Like I said, I would never exchange any of it… Me making people laugh, finding the humor in things, trying to lighten up the mood between disgruntled parents, getting attention… It sort of was a survival technique.”

Harry Styles
 "When I was seven my mum and dad divorced and that was quite a weird time. I remember crying about it. I didn't really get what was going on properly. I was just sad that my parents wouldn't be together any more," Styles said.

Isla Fisher

"You can't underestimate how traumatic divorce is for the children. When your parents divorce, it makes you grow up fast. I'd urge parents to strongly consider working things out. I'd work things out and I'd definitely stay put. Especially if there were babies involved," Fisher said.
Corinne Bailey Rae
"My parents divorced when I was a teenager. As the eldest of three sisters, I was my mom's confidante. You grow up fast working out how something went wrong," Rae said.

Jamie Lee Curtis
"There was no Demi-and-Bruce amicable divorce or joint family vacations for us. No love was left between them," Curtis said.

Justin Bieber
"My parents splitting up is definitely not one of the highlights of my life," Biebersaid. "It's sad, the kid experiences feeling like one of his parents left."

Johnny Depp
"I recall hearing my parents argue and thinking: 'Come on, this is torture. Just split!' They stuck it out until I was 15, but I'd seen it coming for years. When they finally did divorce, I thought: 'OK, this is the right thing'," Depp said.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Kardashian and Odom On Track For A Divorce

Khloe and Lamar
Divorce Will Be Simple According to TMZ.Com

Khloe Kardashian
wants to divorce Lamar Odom -- even though she hasn't pulled the trigger -- and there will be NO disputes because everything is predetermined by their prenup ... TMZ has learned.

Sources close to the couple tell us ... Khloe is "anxious" to end the marriage but, as we first reported, she hasn't had papers drawn up because she fears it could push Lamar over the edge -- she's worried he'll OD or commit suicide.

But we're told Khloe is waiting for the right time to make her move, and when she does the divorce will go without a hitch. That's because the prenup keeps the assets of Khloe and Lamar separate ... sources familiar with the document tell TMZ.

In fact, we're told Lamar is so deep into the world of drugs, he's in no position to start haggling, even if there were something over which to haggle. As we reported, Lamar has been using crack off and on for months, among other drugs, and is probably legally incompetent to negotiate anything.

One more thing. There are stories floating around that there's an "infidelity clause" in the prenup, giving Khloe more money if Lamar had cheated. All of our sources make it clear -- NO SUCH CLAUSE is in the prenup.

Read more:

Will their divorce really be that simple? Is anything really that simple with the Kardashian family? Chances are it will get messy. Have you found yourself in a sticky divorce situation? Are you concerned about the equitable distribution of high end assets and debts?

photo credit

Contact The Law Offices Of Eric A. Kay.  They specialize in family law and provide advocacy that focuses on reaching an amicable resolution as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Whether your situation calls for able negotiation or forceful advocacy, you can rely on Eric A. Kay to uphold your rights and protect your interests at a reasonable cost. A positive and common-sense approach to divorce or paternity litigation begins with the decision that past animosity does not need to determine the future course of events.

Tell us about your case. We want to truly understand your the details of your situation, your concerns, and your goals so we can provide you with the counsel, options, and direction you need to make informed decisions. Call us if you need assistance with a restraining order, child support or custody issue, post-judgment modifications, or any other family law related matter.

  • Divorce
  • Paternity
  • Domestic partnership dissolution
  • Legal separation
  • Community property
  • Alimony
  • Custody and visitation
  • Child support
  • Restraining orders
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Post-divorce disputes
  • Modification of orders
  • Appeals

We are available to consult with you throughout the South Florida area, whether you reside in Miami-Dade, Broward, or West Palm Beach County. The first consultation is always free. Contact us at 954-330-8994  Our offices are located at 12 SE 7th Street Suite 707, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301and 123 SE 3rd Avenue #252, Miami, FL 3313.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It Is Not Illegal To Drink And Drive. It Is Illegal To Drink Too Much and Drive.


Arrested for DUI in Fort Lauderdale?

You probably know someone whose life has been affected by DUI. Perhaps a friend or family member has spent a night in jail because of a DUI. Or maybe a friend's problem with drugs or alcohol has led to multiple arrests behind the wheel of a car. Whatever your individual experience, DUI affects everyone.
  • You were sure that you waited long enough after that last drink before starting home.
  • You were pretty sure you only had two beers, or was it three.
  • You were only going ten blocks from the restaurant to your home.
  • You were sure that you were driving in a safe manner despite having drinks.
If you are in need of legal assistance due to DUI, contact The Law Offices Of Eric A. Kay, PA at 954-330-8994  They are located at 12 SE 7th Street Suite 707, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301and 123 SE 3rd Avenue #252,  Miami, FL 33131.
Photo Credit
If you get pulled over for a DUI in Fort Lauderdale or other Florida cities, the officer is going to put you through a routine that has been practiced many times before. In Florida, it is not illegal to consume an alcoholic beverage and get behind the wheel of a car. In order to prove that an individual is guilty of the crime of DUI in Florida, the state must prove that a person consumed alcohol to the extent that their "normal faculties" are impaired. Sadly, many officers will conclude that you are guilty of DUI simply because the odor of alcohol is present on your breath, and simply build their case from there based on roadside exercises that are nearly impossible to perform perfectly, even for a completely sober person.

According to the Florida state law is as follows.
The State of Florida drunk driving laws prohibits driving any type of vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or above. The .08 percent BAC limit is the standard measurement used across the United States for the "impaired" driver. This limit is lower for drivers of commercial vehicles (.04%) and virtually non-existent for drivers under the age of 21 (.02%).

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Florida?

There really isn't a magic formula that can calculate exactly how much you can drink before you become legally impaired. It is safe to say that for every drink you take, your level of impairment increases. There have been studies that have shown that you blood alcohol concentration level goes up approximately .05 percent for each drink taken. In fact, it takes very little alcohol to become legally drunk.

The best answer is not to drink and drive . The State of Florida has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Florida, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

A first time conviction of drunk driving in Florida will result in up to 6 months in jail. If a minor was
in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, or if the driver had a BAC of .15 percent or higher, a sentence of no more than 9 months in jail will be issued. Unless the family of the DUI has no other means of transportation the vehicle will be impounded for 10 days. The convicted driver will also receive a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $1,000. If the driver's BAC was .15 percent or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle the fine will be no less than $1000 and no more than $2,000. A drivers license suspension of 6 months. You will also need to do 50 hours of community service or pay $10 for every hour of community service given. You must also complete DUI school as directed by the court.

A second drunk driving conviction in Florida will result in up to 9 months in jail. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, or the driver had a BAC of .15 percent or higher, a sentence of no more than 12 months in jail will be issued. If the second conviction of drunk driving is within 5 years of the first, the driver must be imprisoned for 10 days mandatory, 48 hours of the confinement must be consecutive. Unless the family of the convicted driver has no other means of transportation the vehicle will be impounded for 30 days. The convicted driver will also receive a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $2,000. If the driver's BAC was .15 percent or higher or there was a minor in the vehicle the fine will be no less than $2,000 and no more than $4,000. If within 5 years, a minimum drivers license suspension of 5 years. If eligible, a hardship reinstatement will may be issued after 1 year. You must also complete DUI school as directed by the court.

A third drunk driving conviction in Florida will result in up to 12 months in jail, 30 days of the jail sentence is mandatory and 48 hours must be served consecutively. Unless the family of the convicted driver has no other means of transportation, the vehicle will be impounded for 90 days. The convicted driver will also receive a fine of no less than $2,000 and no more than $5,000. If the driver's BAC was .15 percent or higher, or a minor was in the vehicle during the DUI, the fine will be no less than $4,000. A minimum drivers license suspension of 10 years. If eligible, a hardship reinstatement will may be issued after 2 years.

A fourth drunk driving conviction will result in up to 5 years in jail as provided in the State of Florida statutes as a habitual offender. On your fourth drunk driving conviction, your license will be revoked for life, without any possibility of receiving a hardship reinstatement. The fine will be no less than $2,000.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fort Lauderdale DUI Attorney: What to do When You Get A DUI in Fort Lauderdale

You Have Many Options in any DUI Case in Fort Lauderdale


Typically, a DUI investigation begins with a traffic stop, whether due to some infraction like speeding, or as a result of a checkpointwhere officers are stopping most if not every vehicle.  In some cases, a DUI investigation begins because there has been a traffic accident, whether or not the person being investigated is at fault. 
What happens during a DUI investigation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida?   When an officer first makes contact with you, he or she is trained to make certain observations to determine whether further investigation is warranted.  This includes:
  • how you answer the officer’s questions 
  • how you smell
  • how you look
  • how quickly and smoothly you are able to provide your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance.
If the officer is suspicious, or just going fishing, you can expect questions about where you were prior to the stop and where you are heading.  The officer is looking for details that suggest you were at a place were drinking is common, such as a sporting event, party, bar, or nightclub.  The officer is also looking to see if your story makes sense.  If you are coming from a nightclub, this will likely count against you.  If you tell the officer that you are heading to a certain location and you are traveling in the opposite direction, this will count against you because it seems to indicate lies or confusion.
The officer will also be observing whether you have tell-tale signs of alcohol consumption, such as:
  • bloodshot eyes
  • slurred speech
  • the odor of alcohol on your breath.   
These three indicators find themselves into every single police report of the thousands I have seen for the crime of DUI.  Did you know, however, that drinking and driving is not illegal in the State of Florida.  Having a beer or wine or whiskey at dinner and driving afterwards is not illegal, and every officer will be forced to admit this on the stand if asked, as they have to because it is the law.  In order for a person to be found guilty of DUI in Florida, the State must prove that a person consumed alcohol or drugs to the extent that their normal faculties are impaired. 

How does the State of Florida attempt to establish this? A person may have bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and the odor of alcohol on them, but by itself this only tends to establish that a person has consumed alcohol, not that they are impaired.  Consumption followed by driving is of no legal consequence without impairment.
The State handles this problem in a number of ways.  First, an officer will ask you to step out of vehicle and request that you perform a number of roadside sobriety exercises.  They really wanted to call these tests, but they can’t because these are far too inaccurate to be called tests, and even if you do well, you will likely “fail.”  What the state says is that they are a series of investigative tools that allegedly help an officer determine if a person is impaired.  While this may be true in a limited number of cases, more commonly these exercises are nothing more than a dog and pony show that help police show that a person is impaired, even if they are not.
The reason for this unfortunate result comes down to the exercises themselves and the way they are administered.  By the time a motorist encounters an officer that requests roadside exercises like the finger to nose, or the walk and turn, or the one leg stand, that officer has performed the exercises hundreds of even thousands of times.  The motorist, on the other hand, is given a peculiar set of instructions, once, in a highly stressful situation, asked to perform a strange set of actions not present elsewhere in everyday life, and then marked off for every single deviation from the officer’s instructions.
In school for instance if you got 60% correct on a test, that would be a passing score.  70% would be average.  80% would be pretty good.  90% would get you an A.  But in the loaded game of roadside sobriety exercises, every single mistake, no matter how small, will be recited against you on police reports and in court to show that you were impaired.  Have a balance problem so that standing on one leg is a problem?  No problem, this must mean you are drunk.  Have a hip problem so maybe you leave small gaps in your steps on the walk and turn? You just did 20 things wrong, each one of which will be used to say that you were impaired.  The officers are trained to recite and document every single deviation from their instructions, and not what you did right.  The same level of accuracy that would have you receive a passing grade in school will likely get you arrested instead.
After you complete the roadside sobriety exercises, you will then likely to be asked to complete a breath test.  If you submit, and blow over .08, that is enough to show that you were physically impaired under the law.  If you refuse to submit, they will likely arrest you and then use that refusal against you in court to say you must be guilty.  Refuse more than once, well they can charge you with a separate criminal offense for that.  If you blow, and you blow under the limit, the officer may then turn around a request a urine sample, claiming you must be on drugs.  If you are in a serious accident, they can take your blood without your consent.  If they claim that breath or urine is not practical under the circumstances, they can request a blood test from you as well.
It is important to note, that you may legally refuse to submit to roadside exercises or a breath/urine test.  There are no penalties just for refusing the exercises.  Refusing the breath urine or blood test will get your license suspended.  However, without this evidence, police will be left with your driving pattern and the officer’s observations of you alone in order to try and establish impairment.  While your driver’s license may be taken for a period by refusing, you may benefit from not allowing the State to collect this evidence against you, an advantage that can pay dividends later at trial.
For more information about DUI in general or a DUI case you have been arrested for, consulting with a lawyer can be very beneficial.  In Florida, if a traffic stop or subsequent DUI investigation is in violation of an individual’s constitutional rights, an otherwise difficult case of DUI may be thrown out by the Court as part of the Court granting a Motion to Suppress.  Without obtaining legal representation, you may be giving up crucial rights that in certain cases can result in a dismissal. 
For a free consultation to determine the facts, circumstances, and defenses available in your particular situation, contact the Law Offices of Eric A. Kay, at 954-330-8994, or view our website at  We look forward to hearing from you. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Should I File A Personal Injury Claim?

Have You Been Injured Because  Someone Else was Reckless?

Accident happen everyday.  Often times accidents are due to another persons recklessness or negligent conduct.  If you have been injured as a result of another you have every legal and moral right to demand fair compensation.

The following information was gathered on  Click here for the complete article.

Personal injury cases are legal claims brought by those who are alleging injuries from an accident due to the wrongful or negligent conduct of another person or entity. A viable personal injury claim claim involves proving that the other party had a legal duty to exercise reasonable care and the duty was breached. Typical types of personal injury actions include slip and fall incidents, medical or professional negligence or malpractice, product defect, toxic tort and auto accidents.

In What Jurisdiction Should I File My Claim?

If you need to file an injury claim, Florida requires that you do so in the county where the accident occurred or where one of the defendants resides. If you allege that your damages are valued at less than $15,000, you can file in the county court. Florida circuit courts retain jurisdiction over injury claims valued at more than $15,000. If you file in county court, you risk not recovering more than $15,000, even if a jury verdict awards you more than the court limit.

Statute of Limitations

All injury cases are subject to Florida statute of limitations, a specific time during which you must either settle your injury case or file it in the appropriate court. If you do not do so, you could lose your right to recover any monetary damages. Most Florida injury claims have a four year statute of limitations, although medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of the negligent act that led to the injury or when the injury should have been detected. If children have been injured by malpractice, an action must be brought by their eighth birthday or within two years, whichever occurs later.

Public entities such as state and county governments or agencies and local municipalities have shorter limitation periods. You must follow strict statutory procedures if you are pursuing a claim against these entities.

Comparative Negligence Laws

If you are found to have partially contributed to the accident in which you were injured, you can still collect a portion of your damages. Florida is a pure comparative negligence state. A jury or judge assigns a percentage of fault to each party, then apportions damages accordingly. For example, if you are 60 percent at fault, your financial recovery is limited to 40 percent of the damages.

What is the Discovery Process?

Discovery is a pretrial procedure in which the parties request and disclose records, information, and documents related to the accident. Both parties can demand answers to interrogatories, which are a series of written questions. You must respond to the questions, or you can object to any that your attorney thinks are improper. Documents might also be requested, such as records of your medical care and expenses, lost income, property damage, photographs, police reports, insurance policies, and other relevant records. You may also be deposed, where you would have to orally answer under oath questions posed by the opposing attorney. The questions can address all aspects of your claim. Your attorney will accompany you and advise you during this process. In many cases, you will have to submit to a medical examination by a doctor of the other attorney choice.

During discovery, both attorneys can agree to mediation. Mediation involves a disinterested third party who attempts to help litigants arrive at a resolution of claims without a costly trial.

If you are looking for a lawyer to represent you in a personal injury case contact the Law Offices Of Eric A. Kay.
123 S.E. 3rd Ave #252
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (954) 330-8994
Ft. Lauderdale:
12 SE 7th St. Suite 707
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 764-7373

We offer compassionate legal representation to our clients throughout Florida in almost any type of personal injury or wrongful death claim. Our goal is to obtain the highest possible settlement amount on your behalf, by either negotiating a settlement or proceeding to trial.

 You need a personal injury attorney who will fight for justice in your case, and see to it that the responsible individual or company compensates you for ALL of your losses. With our help, you could receive compensation for medical expenses including:
  • emergency treatment
  • hospitalization
  • surgery
  • ongoing care
  • rehabilitative treatment
  • lost income including future lost wages
  • pain and suffering

Call today!  954-330-8994 Do not speak to an insurance company about the facts of your case without proper representation. Your statements are likely to be recorded and may be used against you in order to devalue your claim. Let us put our trained associates and investigators to work on your case to make sure that you are not taken advantage of to suit the bottom line of the insurance company involved. Let us help you to get the recovery that you are entitled to.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

5 FAQ About Sealing Criminal Records in Florida

How Can I Seal My Criminal Record

Were you denied a job because of a criminal record? Have you had trouble with a loved one because they found public information about an old arrest? Have you had a minor criminal misunderstanding have a negative impact on your life? You are not alone, and for those who qualify, the solution may be to seal or expunge your criminal record.

Are you concerned that any of the following might find your criminal record:
  • Employer
  • Landlord
  • Friends
  • Family members
Photo Credit
If you have ever been arrested and fingerprinted, regardless of the eventual disposition of your case, even if the charges were dismissed prior to trial, your arrest records are public information and anyone with a computer can find them. Many employers and landlords do criminal background checks as a matter of course. A business partner, potential date, or even an individual in a current relationship with you may uncover this information with little difficulty.

You may be eligible to have this information removed from public record by sealing or expunging your criminal record. Sealing your record makes it impossible for the public to gain access to any public record information about a crime you were involved in. Even better, for those who qualify for expunction the Court will actually order that the public records relating to your arrest be destroyed. For the latter, you must obtain certification from the prosecutor's office in the county in which you were arrested.

Contact the Law Offices of Eric A Kay if you are looking to have your criminal records sealed or expunged.

123 S.E. 3rd Ave #252
Miami, FL 33131
Phone: (954) 330-8994
Ft. Lauderdale:
12 SE 7th St. Suite 707
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: (954) 764-7373
Listed below are a few answers to the most frequently asked questions about sealing and expunging criminal records.  These answers and more can be found on The Florida Department Of Law Enforcement  web site.  Click here for more questions and answers.

1.  Why do I have a criminal history record when the charges against me were dropped/dismissed?

The Florida Legislature has determined that Florida criminal history records are public unless the record is sealed or expunged. See Section 943.053(3), Florida Statutes, which provides for public access to criminal history records. The term "criminal history information" is defined, tracking the federal definition, at Section 943.045(4), Florida Statutes. A criminal history record is created when a person is arrested and fingerprinted, and includes the disposition of that arrest, whether it is a conviction, acquittal, dismissal of charges before trial, or other disposition.

2. What is the difference between having a criminal history record sealed vs. expunged?

When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have access to sealed record information in its entirety.
When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating that "Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record".

3.  What is the difference between having a criminal history record sealed vs. expunged?

When a criminal history record is sealed, the public will not have access to it. Certain governmental or related entities, primarily those listed in s. 943.059(4)(a), Florida Statutes, have access to sealed record information in its entirety.
When a record has been expunged, those entities which would have access to a sealed record will be informed that the subject of the record has had a record expunged, but would not have access to the record itself without a court order. All they would receive is a caveat statement indicating that "Criminal Information has been Expunged from this Record".

4.  What charges may be expunged?

The same eligibility requirements which apply to sealing also apply to expunction, with certain additional requirements. Any charge, which resulted in a withholding of adjudication or in an acquittal (not guilty verdict) after trial, may not be expunged unless and until it has first been sealed for at least 10 years. See s. 943.0585(2)(h), Florida Statutes. A charge which was dismissed before trial (e.g., no information, nolle prosequi, no bill, etc.) may be expunged immediately provided all charges related to the arrest were so disposed of, and the record is otherwise eligible.

5.  If I receive a full pardon can I have my criminal history record sealed or expunged?

Unless the pardon indicates on its face that it entitles the record subject to seal or expunge his or her criminal history record, the granting of a full pardon does not remove any condition of ineligibility for sealing or expunging a criminal history record imposed by the disposition of the pardoned offense. See R.J.L. v. State, 887 So.2d 1268 (Fla. 2004).