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Drunk driving charges carry massive penalties

Getting behind the wheel of a car after you have consumed alcohol can lead to an arrest. The charge of drunk driving is a serious one, and it can claim many of your liberties and cost you thousands and thousands of dollars. From license suspension to increased insurance costs, and a criminal record to court fees and jail time, there are simply far too many consequences to a DUI.

But sometimes people make mistakes -- good people who have never made a mistake before. Unfortunately, the law doesn't care if you haven't made a mistake before. The violation you committed can still lead to punishment. Specific to DUIs, if you think that refusing to take a breath test will get you off the hook, then you are wrong. In Florida, refusing a breath test actually result in its own criminal charge.

Tax fraud denotes a serious and intentional act

In just a couple of weeks, most people in the United States will have to have filed their tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service. Some people may have received extensions, but most will need to have them mailed by April 18. For those who are just getting to their filings, it is understandable to be a little stressed out about this task and, under such stress, it is conceivable that you will make a mistake or two.

Making mistakes like this is common, and most tax filings that have minor math errors are simply corrected by the IRS. The agency realizes that the tax code is complicated and if the error is honest in nature, then the IRS won't take any action. If the error is still honest in nature but egregious enough that action needs to be taken, then the IRS will declare your mistake "tax negligence" and probably fine you for the infraction.

Challenging a will - difficult but not impossible

You have heard stories from your friends and seen them in the news. A loved one passes away, and when it comes time to read the will, the family finds out that the decedent left all assets to a caretaker or a financial advisor, or even to just one heir. While challenging a will is tough, it is not impossible.

Almost all wills complete the probate process without any problems. This is because the court usually views a will as the final directive of the decedent. However, any individual or entity that might have an interest in the will can contest it. For example, if your parent passed away and did not include you or siblings in the will, you each have the right to challenge it. If you find yourself in a similar position, a probate attorney in the Santa Rosa County area can help you. Read further to see some of the grounds that you can use to challenge a will.

How are assault and battery charges dealt with in Florida?

In the state of Florida, when someone harms another person and/or has the intent to harm another person, then the charges filed are assault, battery or both. Assault is when someone has the intent to harm someone or makes someone fear that they will be harmed. Battery is when actual physical contact is made, inflicting harm on another person.

Assault and battery charges are very serious, but they also come in many forms. For assault, there are two primary charges:

Expungement might be an option for you

A criminal conviction can affect finding a new job or getting an apartment. Even criminal charges without a conviction can haunt you as you try to move forward with your life. One way to put the past behind you is to take the necessary steps to have your record expunged.

In Florida, the sealment and expungement processes are very complicated. Furthermore, not everyone is eligible to have his or her records sealed. A simple mistake in filling out paperwork could cause you to be disqualified. A Pensacola attorney with criminal defense experience can help you navigate the process in order to get your life back on track.

Florida House could soon consider ignition interlock bill

The Florida House of Representatives could consider a new bill that would force first time DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle in the wake of a conviction. Currently the Florida law forces first time DUI offenders to place a ignition interlock device in their car if their blood alcohol content was 0.15 or higher, or if a minor was present at the time of the DUI. This new law would be a blanket rule forcing any first time DUI offender to install an ignition interlock device.

The bill has passed its first committee, with two other committee's yet to analyze and debate the bill. If it passes those two committees, it will be presented to the House. More than half the state sin the country have a similar law on the books. There are also roughly 9,000 ignition interlock devices out on the roads at any given time in the state of Florida.

DUIs carry serious penalties, whether you are a celebrity or not

In some celebrity news that crosses over into the criminal defense realm, the daughter of Laurence Fishburne -- a well-known actor known for his iconic performance as Morpheus in "The Matrix" -- was arrested on DUI charges over the weekend. According to the report, Montana Fishburne blew two breath tests that were significantly over the 0.08 blood alcohol limit.

She was pulled over by a police officer who noted that Montana's car had an open container of wine in it and a "purple liquid" was spilled on the seat that smelled of alcohol. That led to the breath tests and the ultimate arrest. Montana faces a number of serious penalties as a result of the bevy of DUI charges.

What should you do if you believe a last will isn't valid?

In the state of Florida, is it relatively simple for an heir or family member of a deceased person with assets to contest a last will. You will, of course, need the help of an experienced probate and estate planning attorney to review the circumstances and file with the courts if you are contesting a will.

There are a number of reasons why people contest last wills. For example, an elderly family member could have been the victim of financial abuse while in a care facility. Alternatively, someone could have altered the last will in the last days of someone's life while the person was in declining health.

Does more punishment solve the drug problem?

A common talking point about the "War on Drugs" or drug crimes in general is the amount of legal punishment that should be applied to someone accused and/or convicted of drug crimes. People who are accused of such crimes face a mountain of penalties, from extensive jail time to massive fines and other legal penalties. There are also mandatory minimums in some cases, where no matter the circumstances of the case, the individual accused faces many years in prison as a base punishment.

We bring all of this up in the context of Florida law, which already permits the police to target drug suppliers for murder in the cases of cocaine and heroin. Lower-level dealers are not subject to his law -- yet.

After liquor store burns down, owner accused of tax fraud

While the following story didn't occur in the state of Florida or in southwest Alabama, it still holds importance to many people who are accused of white collar crimes -- especially tax evasion.

A liquor store owner was arrested on charges of tax evasion and arson in relation to a 2012 fire that burned down his liquor store. The Internal Revenue Service, along with local police officers, arrested the man because they believe he burned his own liquor store. They also say that the liquor store owner has underreported his income. These are serious accusations that the man will have to adequately address in the coming weeks.

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