Entries by Stephanie Pawuk

Permanent Driver’s License Suspension

Permanent Driver’s License Suspension

If you have been convicted of DUI in the State of Florida four or more times, you received a permanent driver’s license suspension.  Does this mean it is actually permanent?  Maybe not.  The reason why is because Florida Statute Section 322.271 provides a way to possibly get it back after five years.

What that law essentially says is that after the date of your last conviction for DUI you can petition … Read More

Drug Possession – Does Weight Matter?

 

In a Drug Possession case does the weight matter?What if the drug is “cut” with something else?

Drug Possession cases are complicated.  First, there’s the way the cops found the drugs and charged you with possession.  Then there’s the actual chemical testing of the drugs.  And the weight of the drug. Without getting too scientific – and at the risk of showing my ignorance in converting ounces to grams, this blog is an attempt … Read More

Felony Gun Laws

Felony Gun Laws

In the wake of yet another horrible massacre that just took place in Orlando, FL,  it is long past time to fix our felony gun laws.  How should we control gun access to the mentally unstable? How can we find radical lone wolf assassins?  How can we slow the carnage of these criminals in our country while protecting our constitutional freedoms?  We should start with a good, hard look at the laws … Read More

DUI Consent to Police

Consent to Police

Being investigated by a police officer is a very intimidating situation.  This is true whether you are a suspect or completely innocent of a crime.  One of the most usual stories we hear from clients involves consent to police searches and questioning.  What is even more amazing is how often people think they didn’t have a right to refuse the officer.  Most times, the situation involves a traffic stop or investigation of … Read More

Does Juvenile Crime Increase or Decrease during the summer?

Juvenile Crime in Florida

Today marks the end of the 2015-2016 school year for Pasco County.  Those with economic means, such as the ones in Wesley Chapel or Trinity will probably go on vacation and then on to various summer camps.  But what about the less affluent kids? Do they hang out and commit more crimes than they would if they were in school?

Despite popular belief, Juvenile Crime in the Summer – DECREASES.  Here … Read More

State of Emergency – Florida Crimes

State of Emergency

What happens if you commit a crime during a State of Emergency? In Florida, theft crimes are classified one degree higher.  That means if you commit a Third Degree Felony grand theft because whatever you stole was valued over $300 – you just committed a second degree grand theft. But only if you used the State of Emergency to facilitate your crime.

For example:  Let’s say the governor declares a State of … Read More

Seal criminal charges in Pinellas/ Pasco Florida

Are you eligible to Seal criminal charges in Florida?

Many people have been arrested yet never “charged” with a crime. (They never went to court, the charge was dropped or dismissed) They may be eligible to expunge.  Or if their record has been sealed for at least 10 years, they are eligible to expunge it.

Some people have been arrested and charged with a crime, but never “convicted”.  That means they went to court, and … Read More

DUI Crash Investigation Statements

There is a well known law in Florida that statements you make to a police officer investigating your traffic accident  cannot be used against you at a criminal or civil trial.  The law was made to encourage people to be truthful during accident investigations.  This rule becomes very important if you are later charged with DUI.  DUI Crash Investigation Statements can’t be used against you in a criminal trial.  UNLESS the officer:

  • Specifically informs you

Read More

He Didn’t Read Me My Rights! Miranda Warning in Real Life

Miranda Warnings and Your Rights

When do the police have to read your rights? Sometimes never.  If you are new to the criminal justice system, and you or your loved one has recently been arrested, this is a common question.

We hear a similar version of the following scene almost every day: When I (or my boyfriend, my brother, friend, etc.) was arrested the cops never read them his rights! Many people are convinced that … Read More

Stopped for an Obscured Tag?

What is an Obscured Tag? Simply put, it is a traffic violation for having a license plate on your car which has something covering the numbers, letters registration sticker, or any of the writing on the plate – like the word “Florida”.  If the cops can’t see a portion of your plate, they can stop you.   Prior to this week, the meaning of the statute varied from court to court.  For example, some courts said … Read More

George Zimmerman Auctions Gun

Return of Firearms After Criminal Charges Dropped

In the strangest twist of the remarkable life of George Zimmerman, the Orlando man charged and acquitted for killing an unarmed teenager in 2013, Zimmerman has decided to auction the gun used to kill the boy. What???? Who does that? Who advertises and profits from killing another person?  I think he needs a competency evaluation  before he’s allowed to buy another gun. The auction was set today at … Read More

Dan Pawuk wins DUI appeal in Pasco County, Florida

Daniel Pawuk specializes in DUI’s. He loves the technical legal issues involved in DUI’s. He knows more about Breathalyzers than scientists.  He knows more about the administrative rules than most cops.  And he loves to cross examine police officers at trial.

Recently, Mr. Pawuk handled a DUI case where he filed a Motion to Suppress the stop of the vehicle.  Simply, Mr. Pawuk successfully argued that the cop was legally wrong when he pulled the … Read More

Passengers in Traffic Stops

Can a passenger in a car that’s legally stopped for a traffic violation be detained by police?  Yes.

The Courts (both the US Supreme Court and Florida Courts) agree that passengers in a car are not free to leave, and can be lawfully detained for the duration of the stop.  The Courts all agree that because traffic stops are brief, “seizing” the passengers in a car is not an unreasonable violation of the Fourth Amendment.Read More