Florida’s “Move Over” Law prevents Deaths

Sean C. O'Halloran 239-334-8890
Sean C. O’Halloran
239-334-8890

I am sure you have seen the signs on the expressway telling you to move over for emergency vehicles parked on the side of the road. On I-75, the police will often park on the shoulder with lights flashing waiting for someone to zoom by without pulling over one lane. Down the road a number of highway patrol cars are waiting to issue a ticket. At first glance, this looks like just another reason to write tickets and meet quotas. Sadly, there are a lot of accidents where police and tow truck drivers are injured needlessly while doing their job. Just two weeks ago a tow truck driver was killed when a man (allegedly drunk), plowed into the stopped vehicles. This is true when it comes to the “road rangers” who pull over to assist people whose cars have broken down or are disabled. If you see flashing lights up ahead and you are in the right lane, move over before you pass the stopped vehicles. The same goes for the left lane, particularly if it is a three or four lane road. Just today a rescue helicopter was hit in such an accident.

A lot of these accidents are hit and run cases where the driver hits a person who is rendering assistance to a broken down vehicle. This is particularly true if the driver is impaired from alcohol or drugs. If a death results, the Florida sentencing guidelines are harsh, and a person could be looking at a long prison sentence if convicted of DUI homicide. I guess that is why so many people leave the scene of the accident. You can get a prison sentence for leaving the scene but generally it is less than if you are convicted of DUI death. Of course, the better solution is to simply not drink and drive but in reality, many people do. I encourage people to find another way to get home. With services like Uber, it is so easy to avoid a DUI arrest. We have defended DUI homicide cases for decades. The cases are sad for both sides. On the one side, a family has lost a loved one. On the other side, someone is looking at ten years in prison. You cannot bring back a life, but good lawyering may be able to lessen the impact for the family of the person accused of the DUI death.

If a loved one has been arrested for leaving the scene of a death, or worse yet been arrested for a DUI homicide, hiring a good experienced lawyer is a must. Do not trust ten years of a person’s life to the Public Defender if you have a choice. We will try and work with you on the fees and for sure work as hard as possible to get a good result. A lot of lawyers make promises just to get hired. At our firm, our promise is to put a 100% effort at getting the best possible result. We have offices in Ft. Myers, Punta Gorda and Sarasota and it costs nothing to call and talk. Call 239 334 8890 in Ft. Myers, or in Sarasota call 941 366 3506 or in Punta Gorda, call 941-639-6009

Alligator Kills Burglar

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In Brevard County, police hours ago, confirmed that an alligator did indeed kill a young burglar fleeing from the police. Evidently, when the police dispatched a helicopter and patrol units to pursue two suspicious men dressed in black, one of them jumped in the lake to hide. Running from the police turned out to be a huge mistake. He was attacked, drowned and partially eaten by an eleven foot alligator. The gator, an extremely aggressive one, was later killed and after examining it, it was confirmed that the gator was indeed the cause of death.
Some years ago, I represented a young man who after being handcuffed by the police, took off running and jumped into a lake. Evidently, he failed to comprehend that he could not swim while handcuffed. The officer actually jumped in and saved his life. It is never a good idea to run from the police. The recent police dash cam videos prove that many time this results in the suspect being shot. If the police say “stop”, you need to do so. You are much better to shut your mouth and “lawyer up” than take a chance on being killed. A good criminal defense lawyer is a much better option than taking your chances with the police possibly killing you.
Running will also get you charged with the additions crime of “resisting arrest” or “fleeing and eluding”. The police often also charge “aggravated assault” claiming the vehicle was driven towards them when in fact they jumped in front of the vehicle to stop it. We live in dangerous times and the police often over react. In Cape Coral and Ft. Myers, with all the gun violence, tensions are high. Do not take a chance and try to escape. You cannot outrun the police radio or the helicopter. Getting good solid legal representation from an experienced criminal lawyer is hands down the only way to go.
If you are being arrested, put your hands in the air and make no movement that will justify them shooting you. Do not give them any lip and for God’s sake, keep your mouth shut. The only words out of your mouth should be “I want to talk to a lawyer”. No matter what they say, insist on talking to a lawyer. There are a lot of good cops out there. There is also a small minority within any police department that use “excessive force” and just look for a reason to light you up. In any police encounter, keep your cool, shut your mouth and let the lawyer do the talking for you. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you need to talk to a lawyer, call us for a free consultation in Ft. Myers at 239 334 8890 or you can call in Sarasota at 941 366 3506