Criminal Defense Attorney | Criminal Defense Law

Blog Published By Kenneth Padowitz, P.A.


Boating and Intoxication

The Position of the Law The dangers of driving while drunk take different forms. It may lead to bodily harm for the drunk individual or someone else; or destruction of property; losing your driver’s license; or worse, being slapped with a DUI charge. For purpose of clarity, DUI is the acronym for ‘Driving Under the Influence.’ A related term is DWI, short for ‘Driving While Impaired,’ which depending on the jurisdiction may either be a synonym of DUI or have a different meaning. In this article, the goal is to find out if DUI or DWI, regardless of its name, also applies to boating. If yes, then what are the consequences? The important question—Can I get breathalyzed on a boat?—also receives a thorough answer. Both state and federal laws frown on boating while intoxicated. However, state laws have different consequences for mixing boating and alcohol use. As expected, the consequences of boating under the influence are stiffer in states where boating is common (check out Florida’s statutes). Regardless, as is the case with driving under the influence of alcohol: Boating while drunk is unlawful, and… Read More

DWI: How It Affects Job Search

A criminal record is a huge stain on your profile in the U.S, as it affects your future job prospects. Thankfully, more employers are taking a more lenient approach towards applicants with a DWI on their record. This is in addition to the encouraging fact that you may be able to dismiss a DWI from your record. Changing Times Once upon a time, only one in six hiring managers gave an employment letter to an applicant with a criminal record. Today, that stat is much better at one in two. The more liberal stance of employers cuts across the board. For example, while poor credit can still be a stigma, employers are not as judgmental as they used to be owing to the recession and scarcity of jobs. Nevertheless, while the trend is a laudable sign of better days ahead, you would want to keep your optimism in check. Baby boomers (older people) are still at the helm of affairs of the larger corporations. These individuals are a lot more traditional and conservative, and often fall into the class of employers who are particular about… Read More

DUI versus DWI

So, Are They The Same? It is easy to use DUI and DWI as synonyms, seeing how often we use them and differing definitions between jurisdictions. However, they are distinct offenses that, in some jurisdictions, carry separate charges. What is DUI? First, the more common of the two; DUI is the acronym for “Driving Under the Influence.” Typically, it relates to driving a car while you are drunk after taking copious amounts of alcohol. Nonetheless, DUI is not exclusive to alcohol. It also covers being under the influence of drugs or medications. In some states, you need not be noticably drunk or visibly impaired. This is referred to as a per se offense. What it means is that, you only have to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or road with a blood-alcohol concentration of .08% to receive a DUI charge. It really doesn’t matter if you are  slurring your words or not. Furthermore, more states are buying into the use of phrases such as “operating a vehicle” or “being in physical control of the vehicle” with the intention of widening the net of… Read More

Sponsored Legislation By The Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility

The Foundation For Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is an organization that seeks to eliminate drunk driving in America. It is involved in research and policy development regarding underage drinking, teen driver safety and healthy lifestyles. In addition, they hold community events to campaign against driving while under the influence of alcohol. The Foundation also participates in legislation processes and has done so in more than 45 states and even at the federal level. In this regard, the Foundation lists some of the pending legislation regarding driving while under the influence. Pending legislation under the title “Ignition Interlock Devices for Repeat DUI Offenders” seeks to establish a statutory scheme for the issuance of a restricted driver’s license. The scheme would also enable one to get reissued with a driver’s license. It would require such a person to install an ignition interlock device on all the motor vehicles that they own or operate for a stated period of time. The manufacturers of these devices would be issued with specified requirements. Court fees for alcohol and drug assessment programs would also be required. This legislation is currently at the… Read More

Supreme Court DUI Ruling Regarding the Use of Blood Tests in Determining BAC

DUI or driving under the influence is a criminal term used to refer to the crime of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. In the case of alcohol, a typical test referred to as the blood alcohol content is administered to determine the level of intoxication that the driver has. There is a specific threshold that forms the basis of the criminality of the driver’s actions. Precisely, if the if the blood alcohol content of the driver exceeds this threshold, the driver is deemed to have committed a DUI offense and is therefore liable to any legal ramifications that are attributed to DUI. There have been several Supreme Court decisions regarding DUI in the recent past. One of the most notable Supreme Court DUI rulings regards the use of blood tests in determining an offender’s blood alcohol level. A blood test is indeed one of the most reliable ways of ascertaining a driver’s blood alcohol level but there have been various issues surrounding the use of this method especially with regard to the rights of the accused. In the recent case… Read More

Warrantless Blood Draw in DUI Investigation | United States Supreme Court Lets Decision Stand

In Missouri v. McNeely, the United States Supreme Court decided that a blood draw is a search which is protected under the Fourth Amendment. It was held that a forced blood draw, by itself, is not considered an exception to the warrant requirement. Up until this decision, the “exigent circumstances” exception dictated whether or not law enforcement could legally force a suspect to draw blood, if there was a risk of losing the DUI suspect’s blood alcohol content through natural dissipation in the body. The Missouri v. McNeely decision will stand for now; the United States Supreme Court has just announced that they will not be hearing an appeal from Colorado with the same issue in question; prosecutors argued that because of the natural dissipation of alcohol in the body, it should be allowed by officers to forcibly draw blood without a warrant. According to prosecutors, by the time it takes an officer to go through the process to obtain a warrant, there will be a loss of evidence as the BAC of the suspect slowly decreases. Jack Schaufele was involved in a car accident… Read More

Fair DUI Flyer

For a couple months now, various news stories have been published and Youtube videos posted, showing drivers passing through DUI checkpoints. Rather than submitting to the normal inconveniences of the police officer’s demands, they instead pull up to the checkpoint and dangle a Ziploc baggie by a string from the top of their closed window. Inside of the baggie contains their driver’s license, proof of insurance, registration, and the Fair DUI Flyer, which was created by Warren Redlich, a Boca Raton criminal defense and DUI attorney. On the front of the flyer states, “I Remain Silent. No Searches. I Want My Lawyer.” In the video, the officers wave the drivers through the checkpoint after examining and then returning the contents of the baggie. Warren Redlich claims he created the Fair DUI Flyer to protect innocent individuals from being arrested for DUI, he states, “People don’t realize that innocent people get arrested for drunk driving; it happens a lot.” Various law enforcement agencies have spoken out against the use of this flyer; in their eyes, it is just a way for drunk drivers to avoid an… Read More

Oklahoma Senator Proposes New Law Banning DUI Offenders from Purchasing Alcohol

DUI – “Alcohol Restricted”? Senator Patrick Anderson of Oklahoma, has recently introduced a new bill allowing courts to ban those individuals who have been convicted of DUI from purchasing any form of alcohol for a certain amount of time. If this law is passed, those caught and convicted of DUI will have to carry a special license, which indicates that they are restricted from alcohol.Also included in the bill is a provision for those who purchase alcohol for someone deemed “alcohol restricted”, making it a felony to do so. “..knowingly sell, deliver or furnish alcoholic beverages to a person who has been order to abstain” could face a fine of up to $1,000 or one year in prison.  This bill comes a few months after Oklahoma passed another, which is aimed at targeting those involved in DUIs; it is now much easier for the government to confiscate a vehicle when an individual is charged with driving under the influence. Police Discretion & DUI Driving under the influence is a criminal act of operating a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs. DUI and DWI are… Read More

Pregnant Woman Sentenced for Two Counts of DUI Manslaughter

Rosa Kim of Plantation, FL., was sentenced to 15 years in prison for 2 counts of DUI manslaughter. March 18, 2012, Kim crashed into a poolside cabana at the Riverside Hotel, which is located in Fort Lauderdale, resulting in the death of Alanna DeMella, and her unborn baby. In Bautista v. State, precedent was set allowing for multiple convictions of DUI manslaughter stemming from a single act of DUI. DeMella was 7 months pregnant with her first child, and was 26 years old at the time of her death. Michael DeMella, the victim’s husband was left with minor injuries. Kim’s BAC was three times above the legal limit when she got behind the wheel, a reading of 0.24. In court, the husband and other family members claimed Kim purposefully became pregnant in hopes for lesser punishment. “It’s amazing how one person could make so many poor decisions,” said the victim’s mother. “You have tried all avenues to evade responsibility for this crime.” The Assistant State Attorney also claimed the pregnancy was an act of desperation, calling it “appalling and manipulative”, and was aiming for a… Read More

Difference Between a Traffic and a DUI Investigation

What is the Difference Between a Traffic Investigation and a DUI Investigation? Traffic Investigation: If you have ever had the misfortune of being involved in a traffic accident, you knowthat the process can be stressful and traumatic. In most cases, a police officer or crash investigator will respond to the scene and conduct an investigation. When called to the scene of an accident, the officer is required to write an accident report. Witnesses are not required to stay at the scene and report to the officer. If the officer at the scene suspects that either driver is under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, he may perform a series of tests to confirm or dispel his suspicion. In some cases, where the accident results in serious bodily injury or death, a driver suspected of being under the influence of drugs/alcohol may be compelled to have blood drawn to determine their respective degree of impairment. Fla. Stat § 316.645 gives police officers the power to make an arrest pursuant to their investigation. The only caveat to this authority is that a law enforcement officer is… Read More