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Simple Assault v. Aggravated Assault

Simple Assault v. Aggravated Assault Q. What is the difference between a simple “assault charge” and an “aggravated assault charge”?

A. The difference between these two charges is separated by what act or acts characterize the assault, and what means are used to carry it out. “Assault” is defined as an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act, to do violence to another person coupled with the apparent ability to do so, and the doing of some overt act that creates a well founded fear in the victim that such violence is imminent. [Florida Statute 784.011]. ” Aggravated assault” is an assault committed with a deadly weapon.. [Florida Statute 784.021].

Q. What types of charges and sentencing are associated with these crimes?

A. In the State of Florida, a simple assault charge is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to sixty days in jail and aggravated assault is a third degree felony that punishable by up to five years. Other circumstances associated with this crime, however, may substantially increase that sentence.

If you or someone you know has been charged with any form of assault, you need an aggressive criminal attorney that will defend your rights. Andrew Shafii, Esq., and Mustafa Ameen, Esq. are former prosecutors who are knowledgeable about these crimes and are dedicated to helping you face the serious consequences associated with them. Call 1-800-436-4357 for a free consultation.

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Traffic Infractions: A Minor Infraction that May Affect YOU in a Major Way

Traffic Infractions: A Minor Infraction that May Affect YOU in a Major WayReceiving a traffic infraction can be expensive and time-consuming. Depending on the severity of your infraction, you can receive fines for up to $500 or mandatory court appearances in front of a judge. Aside from dealing with deadlines and the threat of facing a suspension if you do not meet them, there are lasting consequences that can affect the way your insurance company treats you following  receipt of a traffic infraction.

Florida law assigns point values for each moving violation you receive, depending on the severity of your violation.  For example, lesser infractions such as violating a right of way are associated with low point values and stay with you for only a short period of time.  More serious moving violations such as Careless Driving are associated with higher point values and may remain on your record permanently.  So, how do points affect the way you are covered?

Points on your license affect your driving record and help your insurance company determine whether you are a low, moderate, or high-risk driver. Low-risk drivers have lower premiums, while moderate to high-risk drivers are considered more expensive to insure. This is because insurance companies view moderate to high-risk drivers as more likely to get into accidents and cost them money. As a result, rates tend to increase with a high number of minor traffic tickets or one or more severe traffic infractions.

Because you can’t predict exactly how your insurance rates will be affected based on your infraction, it helps to hire an experienced traffic attorney who will attend court on your behalf and fight for a reduced fine and no points on your license. If you receive a traffic ticket, do not admit to guilt. Call the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 1-813-436-4357 to defend your rights and keep your insurance premiums at a low rate.

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Have You Been Charged With Theft in Tampa? Call the Law Office of Ameen & Shafii Today!

Have You Been Charged With Theft in TampaQ. Have You Been Charged With Theft in Tampa? Call the Law Office of Ameen & Shafii Today!

Have you or someone you’ve known been charged with theft in Tampa, Florida? This charge can have a far-reaching impact on the rest of your life in terms of your livelihood, housing qualifications, and how society perceives you in general. When facing a charge like theft, it is important to know the laws where one will be prosecuted and how one can defend his case. For example, penalties for theft vary depending on the degree of the charge. Degrees are determined largely by the property value of the items allegedly taken. For stolen property between $100 and $300, Florida will prosecute a first time offender with petit theft, which is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to sixty days of prison and a fine up to $500. Other factors can increase the severity of penalties incurred by the defendant, if convicted. For instance, if the property is taken from a premise other than a home, the charge will elevate to a theft charge in the first degree. More serious grand theft charges are felonious in nature.  The prosecution pursues felony theft charges against defendants accused of stealing property valued at or above $300. Differences in penalties arising under misdemeanor and felony theft charges vary drastically depending on the degree of the alleged crime and the criminal history of the offender. If you or someone you know is facing a theft charge of any type, contact the Law Office of Ameen & Shafii to begin fighting your charge. Andrew Shafii, Esq. and Mustafa Ameen. Esq. are former prosecutors who have the experience and knowledge to help you defend your case. Call us today at 813-236-4357 for your free criminal consultation!

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The Holidays Are Right Around The Corner

The Holidays Are Right Around The CornerThe holidays are right around the corner. During this memorable time of time of year, most people are traveling from destination to destination to visiting friends and family.  This is a busy, exciting time of year, but if your celebrations involve alcohol there are a few things you should remember. DUI checkpoints are more prevalent during holidays and subsequently—the amount of those charged with DUIs all over the United States increase. The experienced DUI attorneys at The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii want you to have a safe, stress-free holiday season. Below are a few helpful tips from Attorney Andrew Shafii, Esq. advising how you and your loved ones can avoid getting into legal trouble this holiday season.

#5. BE COOPERATIVE WITH THE POLICE IF YOU ARE STOPPED.

Police officers serve a purpose. Ultimately, their aim is to keep you safe and keep the peace. Be respectful and responsive to their questions, but remember to protect your own rights as well.

#4. DO NOT VOLUNTARILY OFFER INFORMATION.

Answer questions and be polite, but DO NOT offer information about your activities. This includes telling the officer how many drinks you’ve consumed. This is not necessary, so keep it brief.

#3. KEEP IN MIND THAT ALL INTERACTIONS WITH THE POLICE MAY BE AUDIO RECORDED OR VIDEO TAPED.

This works to your advantage and disadvantage. This ensures that police officers are working within the scope of their authority and not unnecessarily violating you in any way. However, audio and video recordings can be used against you to pursue charges. Speak and act accordingly.

#2. DO NOT ALWAYS REFUSE THE EXERCISES OR BREATH TEST. SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT REFUSALS IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA CONSTITUTE A CRIMINAL OFFENSE AND COULD RESULT IN YOU SUBJECTING YOURSELF TO MORE TROUBLE THAT NECESSARY.

This tip directly correlates with number 5, which advises you to cooperate with police officers if stopped. Avoid confrontation and any behaviors that could be interpreted as insubordinate.  If you fear that the results may incriminate you, sort out the details with an experienced DUI attorney.

#1. LIMIT YOUR CONSUMPTION AND APPOINT DESIGNATED DRIVERS!

Have a few beverages in moderation and avoid compromising your reputation, freedom, and occupation.  Maintaining your ability to exercise good judgment is crucial! If you feel like you’ve had too many drinks, then appoint a trusted friend to get behind the wheel.  Don’t risk your livelihood over a weekend of fun! Enjoy your holiday.

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Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance Coverage and How It Can Benefit You

UM ArticleUninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance is a coverage option designed to protect you and your family in the event you get struck by a driver who has little or no insurance. This type of coverage is important because it lessens the financial burden that arises if you or others covered by your insurance policy get into a serious car collision that results in severe injury. At times, drivers overlook the benefits of Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance. This is because most drivers have Bodily Injury coverage or insurance which pays for wage loss, medical expenses, and future pain and suffering for parties injured as a result of their negligence. However, while this type of coverage is encouraged, it is not required for drivers to obtain Bodily Injury insurance under Florida law.  As you may be aware, the medical bills that accrue following serious accidents are expensive and difficult for injured drivers to handle without proper insurance. Even if the other party involved in a motor vehicle accident has Bodily Injury coverage, their policy limits may be insufficient to cover your expenses. Opting for Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance is a proactive means of ensuring that you and your family are covered if you are involved in a serious accident. If you have recently been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 813-436-4357. Mustafa Ameen, Esquire, is an experienced Tampa Bay Personal Injury Attorney who is ready to handle your case today.

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Can Law Enforcement Search My Vehicle Without A Warrant?

Can Law Enforcement Search My Vehicle Without A Warrant?Q. Can law enforcement search my vehicle without a warrant?

Police are able to search your vehicle if they have probable cause that a crime is being committed.  The typical situation arises when an officer smells marijuana in the in vehicle or sees, in plain view, something illegal such as drugs.  Additionally, if you are arrested, the police are permitted to search your vehicle for an inventory of the items within the vehicle. The police can seize any illegal items found during the course of that search. Remember, if something is found in your vehicle, it is best not to admit that it is yours. Instead, contact the Law Office of Ameen and Shafii immediately.  We are on call 24 hours a day to handle your Tampa criminal charge.

Q. Can police search other intimate personal property such as cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices without a warrant?

Generally, police need a warrant to search cell phones, laptops, and other electronic devices.  However, if law enforcement believes evidence on the device will be immediately destroyed, they may conduct a search without a warrant.  If you police have illegally searched your items, contact Tampa criminal attorneys Attorney Andrew Shafii, Esq. and Mustafa Ameen Esq. as soon as possible. They are former state prosecutors with the experience to help you defend your Tampa criminal charge.

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Probation: What Follows a Violation?

Probation: What  Follows a Violation?Q. I’ve violated my probation for the first time, what should I expect?

There are two types of violations of probation, technical and substantive.  A technical violation of probation is for not completing the terms of your probation (community service hours, drug testing, classes).  A substantive violation of probation is when you commit a new crime.  In this situation, the Judge may hold you in jail without bond.  On both types of violations, the Judge will issue a warrant for your arrest for the violation of probation.

Q. What legal rights am I entitled to during my probation hearing?

When you have violated your probation, the Judge will set a hearing date for you to contest the violation.  At this hearing, you have the right to call witnesses and put up a defense to the Judge about why you did not violate your probation.  You do not have a right to a jury in this situation, the Judge will make the determination of weather you have violated your probation.

Q. What consequences am I facing regarding a first and/or subsequent violation?

If you have violated your probation, the Judge can sentence you to the maximum penalty of that offense.  If you are charged with a first degree misdemeanor, the Judge can give you one year in jail.  If it is a third degree felony, you could get five years in prison.  The consequences of a violation of probation can be severe.  It is best to contact an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Office at Ameen and Shafii to fight your violation of probation.  We have handled thousands of violation of probation cases and know how to handle them effectively. Call today for your consultation at 813-436-HELP.

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Florida Habitual Offender or “3 Strikes Law”

Florida Habitual OffenderQ. Does FL have a habitual offender or “3 Strikes Law?”

Yes, Florida has a very harsh habitual traffic offender rule.  There are multiple ways you can become a Habitual Traffic Offender and lose your license for 5 years.

Q. How does it work?

A. If you receive any combination of three driving while license suspended charges and/or driving under the influence within 5 years your license will be suspended for 5 years.  For example, if you receive two driving while license suspended charges and one driving under the influence or if you receive three driving while license suspended charges within 5 years you will lose your license for 5 years.

Q. If charged as a habitual offender what should I expect?

A. If you have been charged with a third offense you should not plea to the charge because you will lose your license for 5 years.  There are ways to convince the State Attorney to amend or reduce the charge to prevent the 5 year suspension.  If this is your fourth offense and you have already been classified as a habitual traffic offender and lost your license for 5 years, we may be able to go back on a prior case to reduce or remove that charge.  This will cause the habitual traffic offender status to be removed and you will be able to reinstate your license.  There are several conditions and requirements to do this, so it is best to contact The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii to discuss your specific case.  We are former prosecutors and Tampa criminal defense attorneys who have handled thousands of habitual traffic offender cases and can get you back on the road. Call 1-800-436-HELP today for your free consultation.

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Have You Been Involved in an Auto Accident? The Law Office of Ameen & Shaffi is Here to Help!

Personal injury attorney A car accident is a very traumatic experience for everyone involved. One moment you’re on the way to your destination safely with your vehicle intact, and suddenly, on impact you are shocked, surprised, angry, frustrated or any combination of these emotions. An accident takes seconds to occur and days, months, or years to resolve depending on the severity of the collision. If you are seriously injured, the effects of the accident remain with you daily as you go about your work, responsibilities, and recreational activities.  As the medical bills climb and the property damage needs to be resolved, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to aggressively and effectively represent your interests.

Mustafa Ameen, Esq., of The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii, specializes in helping those involved in car collisions. We will answer your questions from the onset of your consultation and throughout your case as it progresses.  Because we understand the stress and financial difficulties an auto accident will inevitably present, we initiate and maintain thorough communication on your behalf with the insurance providers from beginning to end. We do this to ensure that your medical expenses, property damage, and future pain and suffering are adequately covered without your phone ringing off the hook. The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii cares about your financial and physical well-being following an auto accident, so we commit to providing you and your case with the personal attention it deserves and requires.

If concerns about balancing additional expenses are keeping you from hiring counsel, don’t fret. At the Law Office of Ameen & Shafii, if there is no settlement, you don’t pay us for the work we’ve done on the case.  So, don’t delay, contact our office immediately and begin defending your rights. Call The Law Office of Ameen & Shafii at 1-800-436-HELP today!

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Pulled over for a DUI?: How Refusing to take the Breath Test Can Affect You

dui-123rfWhen pulled over for a DUI, the officer may ask you to submit to a breath test designed to indicate whether your Blood Alcohol Concentration is above the legal limit of .08. Technically, this test is optional in Florida and law enforcement can’t force you to comply without your consent. If you are aware of this fact, you may be inclined to refuse a breathalyzer after you’ve had a few drinks. However, it is important to consider the lesser known consequences of initial and subsequent refusals in the state of Florida.

While saying “no” to the breathalyzer deprives prosecution of tangible evidence of your intoxication, it does not guarantee you won’t be convicted of a DUI after the fact.  Your choice can be used against you in court where the State may claim your refusal indicated you were in fact, under the influence.

Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer in Florida can breed serious consequences. For instance, saying no to the test after getting pulled over for a suspected DUI the first time can result in getting your license administratively suspended by the DMV for up to one year. Second refusals result in 18 month license suspensions by the DMV. These suspensions are routine and separate from any sanctions the courts can impose if you’re found guilty of a DUI charge.

If you’re arrested for a DUI and refused to take a breath test in Tampa, you need to hire an experienced DUI attorney who can protect and defend your rights. Andrew Shafii, Esq. and Mustafa Ameen, Esq. are skilled former State prosecutors who gained useful knowledge of how the prosecution in Florida interprets evidence in DUI cases. Call The Law Office of Ameen and Shafii at 1-800-HELP (4357) for your free consultation today.

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