Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors At Law
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Regular office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Jacksonville Florida Criminal Defense Blog

DUIs involving women

The number of drunk drivers on the roads in Florida may be decreasing each day. But the number of intoxicated female motorists is increasing. There are two million more female drivers on the roads than there are men, states Time.com. Traditionally, men were more likely to be apprehended for driving while drunk. Although males may make up the majority of DUI arrests across the country, recent studies show that more women are drinking alcohol and driving, regardless of the risks.

Here is a brief rundown of why more women are receiving DUIs.

CSI-style forensic labs at a retail location near you

While the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation television franchise ended first-run episodes and only exists in syndication, new CSI-style "adventures" continue at high-profile locations.

Law enforcement does not have a corner on the market in digital-forensics laboratories. These labs can be found throughout the country in banks, tech companies, and even well known retail company headquarters.

Knowledge That Victim Is a Law Enforcement Officer Now Required to Convict for Attempted Murder of Law Enforcement Officer

Florida law imposes harsher penalties on defendants who knowingly commit crimes of violence against law enforcement officers. For instance, a defendant found guilty of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer is subject to a mandatory life sentence. Understandably, a criminal defense attorney who represents a client faced with one of these charges will strive to remove the law enforcement victim enhancement, if possible. A recent decision out of the Florida Supreme Court-Ramroop v. State-has made it easier for defendants to do just that, by holding that the defendant must have known the victim was a law enforcement officer for the statute to apply.

Can I refuse to take a breathalyzer?

You know the potential consequences of drinking and driving in Florida. However, that does not stop you from wondering if you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer. You may not have consumed enough alcohol to qualify as drunk. But there is an officer knocking on your window, asking you to step out of your vehicle for the test. If you value your driving privileges, you should consider abiding by their request.

You cannot be forced to take a breathalyzer test if you do not want to. But if the officer decides to detain you because of probable cause, then you could ask for them to administer the test to you. Keep in mind that if you refuse the test and it is later discovered that your BAC is over the legal limit, then your refusal can lead to stiffer penalties. If you have prior DUI convictions, refusing to blow into a breathalyzer or take any field sobriety test can result in your arrest and a misdemeanor charge, states ABCActionNews.com.

Nation's Courts Divide on Whether Title VII Protects LGBT Workers

We previously posted about a decision from the Northern District of Florida-Lafayette v. Winstead County-holding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protected employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Our own Elizabeth White's article on courts' growing recognition of this new theory was also featured in this Spring's business edition of Best Lawyers Magazine. Since we wrote those two pieces, there have been some major shake-ups in this area of employment law.

Black Box Recorders and the Fourth Amendment

Approximately 96% of all vehicles manufactured since 2013 are equipped with devices called event data recorders-or "black boxes"-that keep track of data such as when the driver brakes, steering, engine rpm during a crash. More sophisticated black boxes record a wealth of information about a person's driving habits ranging from where they go, how fast they drive, and even whether the vehicles systems are in working order. In the hands of law enforcement officers or prosecutors, such data can become powerful evidence in a criminal case.

Disabled Students Have the Right to Make Meaningful Educational Progress

In 1973, Congress enacted legislation which would later become the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The act gives students with certain disabilities the right to a "free appropriate public education." Each student under IDEA is given an individualized education plan (IEP), which sets forth educational goals for the student and lays out a roadmap for services that will be provided to ensure disabled students can meet those goals. Under the IDEA, each IEP must ensure that disabled children are receiving sufficient help to make progress toward their education. If the IEP fails to provide such support, the IDEA allows parents to sue for tuition at a private school that can meet the student's needs.

Handling false drug offense allegations

If you are currently facing drug charges, you may be unsure of how your future will be affected. Unfortunately, you may have been accused of a drug-related offense that you did not commit and you could have no idea of what to do next. At Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, our Jacksonville law firm knows how challenging these allegations can be for Florida residents.

From possession to the manufacturing or distribution of illegal substances, drug charges of any kind can upend your life in many ways. For example, you may be hit with steep financial penalties and sentenced to prison. However, it is also essential to understand some of the other ways drug charges can create problems that may follow you for years to come. Whether you lose your job or struggle with job applications in the future, you may have difficulty restoring a sense of normalcy.

Florida Supreme Court Clarifies Definition of "Sexual Intercourse" In Criminal HIV Case

In Florida, it is a crime for anyone infected with the human immunodeficiency virus to have sexual intercourse with another person unless they first disclose the infection and obtain that person's consent. HIV can spread through a range of sexual activities. Until recently, however, some Florida courts used a very limited definition of "sexual intercourse" that only applied to heterosexual encounters that involve contact between male and female sexual organs. A recent decision by the Florida Supreme Court-Debaun v. State-clarified the definition so that it now applies to all types of sexual encounters.

Firm Again Receives Tier 1 Ranking by U.S. News - "Best Law Firms for 2017"

The firm has once again been ranked a Tier 1 law firm by U.S. News - Best Lawyers in America for 2017. This ranking is based "on vigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process." The firm earned Tier 1 ranking in the following areas of practice: appellate practice, criminal defense: general practice, criminal defense: white collar, employment law - individuals, and First Amendment Law. Individual members of the firm are also listed by Best Lawyers in these practice areas. Mr. Sheppard previously has been recognized as Lawyer of the Year in the areas of non-white collar criminal defense, white collar criminal defense and employment law - individuals (2010, 2012, and 2014), in recognition of his decades of expertise in those areas of practice.

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  1. Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Rated for highest level of Provisional Excellence 2016 Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2016 American College of Trial Lawyers William J.Sheppard Best Lawyers Lawyer of the year 2014 The Florida Bar Board Certified Best Lawyers|Best Law Firms US News|Criminal Defense: White-Collor|Tier 1|Jacksonville|2017
  2. Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2017 AV Martindale Hubbell Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards and Legal Ability Super Lawyers Best Lawyers Linking Lawyers And Clients Worldwide

Sheppard, White, Kachergus, & DeMaggio, P.A. Attorneys & Counselors at Law.
215 N. Washington Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Phone: 904-701-0589
Phone: 904-727-7191
Fax: 904-356-9667
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Regular office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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