March 4, 2019

Will I need a hearing for my Expungement?

If you are trying to seal or expunge a criminal case in Florida, you may or may not need to have a hearing.  In most cases, the State Attorney will agree or “not object” to your record being sealed or expunged.  There are some cases where a hearing may be necessary.  Here are some examples of when the State may object, and a hearing will be required:

  • The offense was a theft from an employer
  • The offense originated as a serious or sexually motivated felony, and the case was resolved with a plea bargain to a lesser offense
  • The case was dismissed due to a finding of insanity or incompetency
  • The particular facts of the case were so egregious that a seal/expunge would not be in the public interest

If the State objects, all is not lost.  The Judge will have the final say, and if you have a good attorney who knows the law and can argue effectively in court, you will have a much better chance of winning.  At a hearing, the State may present witnesses and other evidence to support their position.  The witnesses can be cross-examined, and the Defendant/Petitioner can also call witnesses and present evidence of their own.  It is an error for a judge to rely on a police report without further corroboration of the facts.

Attorney Amanda Sampaio Bova has argued successfully in court to have her client’s petitions to Seal and Expunge granted.  It takes both knowledge and experience to achieve favorable results, and Amanda has what it takes to get the job done.  If you are concerned that your case may end up in a hearing, it would be a good idea to have an experienced attorney review the potential case.
CAll or TEXT today for a FREE consultation at 321.800.2400

November 15, 2016

Yo dude, you got a fake? Criminal Consequences of getting caught with a Fake ID

Criminal consequences of getting caught with a fake ID

The use of fake identification among high school and college students to obtain alcohol before the legal alcohol purchasing age of 21 is more common than one might think. It has become a hugely accepted and widely used practice among adolescents. After a recent study surveyed 1,000 students from a university in the United States, it was found that around two-thirds of undergraduates had at one time used a fake ID to purchase alcohol during their time in college. Use of fake IDs can be attributed to more than just purchasing alcohol, however. Those with possession of a fake ID may use it to avoid an expensive cover charge for underage individuals or to gain access to a club that is exclusively for ages 21 or older.

Because the use of fake IDs is so prevalent and popular, many seem to downplay the risks associated with attempting to use one. They seem to believe that shop owners or police officers simply “won’t care” or “will cut you some slack” if you’re a young college kid. Please understand that this is not always the case. If you are caught with or attempting to use a fake ID in the state of Florida, you can be charged with Possession of an Unauthorized Driver License. This is a 3rd-degree Felony which carries up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000.00 fine according to Florida Statute Section 322.212. In addition to the fake ID charge, the police may choose to charge you with other misdemeanors, such as trespassing.

Obviously, the message here is: DO NOT TRY TO USE A FAKE ID! You may get caught, and if you are, you could have a felony placed on your record for the rest of your life. If you find yourself in a situation where you are in trouble with the law regarding the use or possession of a fake ID, it is essential to contact a qualified attorney who can best mitigate the potential consequences.  You may qualify for a diversion program or a reduction of the charge to a lesser included offense.  It is always a good idea to have an attorney if you have been charged criminally.

CAll or TEXT today for a FREE consultation with Board Certified Criminal Attorney Amanda Sampaio. 321.800.2400

January 5, 2016

DUI License Suspensions

DUI License Suspensions

Florida DUI license suspensions are some of the harshest in the country. Therefore, you must hire a skilled attorney immediately to advise you on your license options. In Florida, you will certainly have your license suspended, and there are time limits for you to take action.
There are several ways that you can choose to handle your DUI license suspension, and you should consult with a competent Florida DUI attorney before making your choice.

Waiving your hearing is an option…but choose carefully.

You can waive your right to a hearing and not challenge your license suspension. If you tested over .08, then your license will be suspended for six months. If you refused the breath test, your license will be suspended for one year. If you give up your right to challenge your license suspension, the DMV no longer requires a “hard time” suspension. You are eligible immediately for a business purpose license if you meet other requirements.

Challenging your suspension.

You can choose to challenge your license suspension. The new rules make the hearings a bit easier to win, but if you lose, you will have a 30-day hard-time (“no driving of any kind”) suspension for a test over .08, and a 90-day hard time suspension for a refusal. This is just one reason to hire an attorney to represent you in your DUI case. This hearing may also allow your attorney to see the evidence against you early in the process.

Hardship License

To be considered for a hardship license, you must provide proof of enrollment in a DUI School to the Administrative Reviews Office. If approved to reinstate early for hardship, you must present this approval to the driver license office. Failure to complete the course within 90 days after reinstatement will result in cancellation of your driver license by the department until the course is completed. Treatment, if referred, is required. Failure to complete treatment will result in cancellation of your driver license.

At the time of reinstatement, whether for a hardship license or a full license, you must take the required examination, and pay an Administrative fee and suspension reinstatement fee and any license fee required. You must be able to show proof of the appropriate required coverage of bodily injury liability insurance if convicted of the DUI charge.

Contact Sampaio Legal to have your DUI license options explained in detail. Call (321) 800-3400 for a free DUI consultation.

July 8, 2015

Avoid A DUI Arrest

The best way to avoid a DUI (driving under the influence) arrest is to NOT drive after drinking. It may seem obvious, but the risks do not seem to dissuade many. Take an Uber or cab. Call a friend. Sober up with some pizza. Call and ex-boyfriend/girlfriend. Do what you have to but don’t drive drunk. Besides the risk of being arrested, you could seriously hurt someone or yourself.

Spending $25 to get home safely is money well spent. The average DUI will end up costing you thousands in the long run. Besides paying a good lawyer, you have to pay your bondsman, the DHSMV, your insurance will go up, fines, classes, etc.

“My goal as a DUI defense attorney is to clear my client of all charges if possible.” – Amanda M. Sampaio, Esq.

HOW MANY DRINKS DOES IT TAKE TO BE ABOVE THE LIMIT?

The answer is, “it depends.” It depends on your size, how much food you’ve had to eat, over how long you’ve been drinking, and other factors. A good rule of thumb is to drink a glass of water after each alcoholic beverage you have. Also, not all drinks are equal. One 8oz beer is typically equivalent to one 6oz glass of wine, or one 1oz of liquor. There is no realistic equation for you to calculate how much it will take to get to .08

Remember you can still get convicted of a DUI even if you are below a .08. The standard is whether or not you were impaired! Impairment can be from alcohol or drugs (prescription, OTC, or illegal drugs). Just because you feel ok does not mean you are under the limit. Many people do not feel impaired when they are, in fact, over the legal limit of .08.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE PULLED OVER AND THE POLICE SUSPECT DUI

First, remain calm. Be polite and respectful but keep talking to a minimum. The first thing an officer is going to look for is the odor of alcohol on your breath. They will also look for the following:

  • The smell of alcohol on your breath
  • Slurred speech
  • Red, glassy, or bloodshot eyes
  • Inability to find or fumbling your license and registration
  • Your admissions (i.e., your answers to “how much have you had to drink”?)
  • Your performance on the field tests (see below)

ROADSIDE TESTS AKA FIELD SOBRIETY EXERCISES

Other than the breathalyzer, the tests done on the side of the road are the prosecution’s best evidence against the driver in most cases. These tests are completely subjective, and in court, the arresting officer is allowed to give his or her “opinion” regarding the DUI charge. A skilled lawyer can dissect the officer’s investigation and point out the “reasonable doubt” that surrounds the case.

REMEMBER -not only are they looking to see how well you perform, they are analyzing your every move, word, and lack thereof. If you start an exercise too soon, they will make a note of that and hold it against you.

BEING ARRESTED FOR DUI DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE GUILTY OF DUI

Police officers are human and make mistakes. There are several defenses available, and a skilled attorney may be able to get the charge reduced to a less serious offense or even dismissed. It is essential that the lawyer you hire regularly goes to court, attends DUI seminars, and stays up to date on the current technology, trends, and defenses.

CAll or TEXT today for a FREE consultation. 321.800.2400

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