DUI School Information for Melbourne, FL & Palm Bay, FL

Arrested for DUI in Melbourne, FL or Palm Bay, FL and want to know the specifics?

Contact Attorney Eric A. Morgan at Morgan Law, P.A. DUI in Melbourne, FL – Palm Bay, FL for a free consultation: (321) 253-6223.

Level One or Level I DUI School in Brevard County, Florida (Melbourne, FL & Palm Bay, FL)
First offenders take the Level 1 DUI Course. There are both Spanish and English versions of the course. The Brevard County DUI Level 1 course meets the statutory requirements of Florida State 316.192(4) and 316.193(5).
A judge may order a defendant to take the DUI Level 1 course for a variety of offenses, not just DUI. Sometimes people charged with Reckless Driving or Driving with Open Container will be ordered by Brevard County, FL judges in Melbourne, Titusville, or Viera to take the DUI Level 1 Course. People convicted of out of state driving charges may need to take the DUI Level 1 course in order to qualify for a Business Purpose Only driver’s license.

Level II DUI School in Melbourne, Florida & Palm Bay, Florida:
People convicted of a 2nd DUI must take the DUI Level II course. The course involves a psychological evaluation interview by a certified DUI instructor. Additionally, participants engage in 12 hours of classroom instruction about the dangers of impaired driving and the legal consequences suffered by Florida offenders.

Victim Awareness Program
In addition to taking either the DUI Level 1 Course or the DUI Level II course, defendants must complete the Victim Awareness Program.

The only acceptable online version of Victim awareness class is the YouImpact course which is available at https://youimpact.com/.

Brevard County, Florida DUI School Locations:
There are two physical locations where Brevard residents may take the DUI courses, one in Melbourne, FL and one in Merritt Island, FL. The Melbourne, FL DUI School is located between Airport Boulevard and Babcock Street, off of Hibiscus Boulevard. People may register for the classes at either location from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Online registration is available. The Merritt Island, FL DUI School is located near the intersection of Courtenay Parkway and State Road 520 near Home Depot.

Melbourne, Florida DUI School:
1515 Elizabeth St.
Melbourne, FL 32901
Phone Number: (321) 952-5327 or (407) 847-4452
Fax: (321) 727-7429

Merritt Island, FL DUI School:
250 N. Courtenay Parkway
2nd Floor
Merritt Island, FL 32953
Phone Number: (321) 631-2347 or 
(407) 897-4429
Fax Number: (321) 639-2593

Registration Requirements for Level I or Level II DUI Schools
People registering for the Level I or Level II DUI School for Brevard County, must provide the following documents:

  • Driver’s license or photo identification
  • Driver’s license number
  • DUI citations and arrest affidavit
  • Traffic Crash Report (if a crash occurred)
  • breath or blood alcohol level (BAL) reading

After a defendant completes the required course, the Brevard County, FL DUI Schools will send proof of completion to the Court, the probation officer, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The Brevard DUI Schools must report a failure to complete the requirements of either Level 1 or Level II courses, if they have not been completed within 90 days, potentially leading to suspension of one’s driver’s license.

Other Important DUI information for Residents of Melbourne, Florida & Palm Bay, Florida

Ignition Interlock Device – People who were especially intoxicated at the time of their DUI or people facing a second or third DUI charge are often ordered to pay for and install an ignition interlock device. The ignition interlock prevents a vehicle from being started until a breath sample is provided. When the device detects a breath alcohol reading of more than 0.05%, then the vehicle will not start.

SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) – A SCRAM device allows law enforcement agencies to remotely monitor whether a person is impaired.

DUI stop in Florida…Agree to breath sample? Field sobriety exercises?

For many people it is a nightmare come true: stopped by the police on the way home and arrested for driving under the influence.

The good news is both Brevard and Volusia counties now offer programs for some first time offenders in which an amended charge of reckless driving is offered, if certain criteria are met. Prosecutors will evaluate the blood alcohol level, demeanor, and history of the defendant in determining whether these programs will be offered.

In cases where there is an accident, or where a person is obviously completely drunk, there is often little doubt regarding an eventual outcome: mandatory DUI penalties as set out by the Florida Legislature. Penalties may include probation, community service, fines, court costs, a driver’s license suspension, vehicle impoundment, driving courses, and so forth. Depending on the severity of the facts, some people may be sentenced to county jail.

The bottom line is that any evidence that will indicate that a person is impaired will be used against them. An admission of prescription drug use will be used against a person. Driving under the influence often occurs in Florida when people are intoxicated by their own medications.

If a person refuses to provide a breath sample, they will typically lose their license for 12 months. The fact that they refused to provide a breath sample can be mentioned in court. However, some people do not trust the calibration of the breath testing equipment. When a person has previously been arrested for and refused a breath test, and subsequently is arrested again and refuses a second time, they can be charged with a crime: Second Time Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample. So the option to refuse, if used, is not really available again.

The second part of a DUI investigation will normally involve field sobriety exercises. People can elect to take part in the exercises or not. Often, there is no video of the exercises, so the police officer’s account of what happened is the only evidence of how well someone did. People who have medical conditions that might affect their performance are better off if they remember to mention their physical limitations. The fact that someone denied being ill or having any physical limitations can be used against them in court. When requested to perform field sobriety exercises, remember to tell the officer if you have physical limitations, an illness, or an injury!

One of the main signs of impairment that police notice is the failure to follow the directions properly. For example, the police officer may instruct someone to stand on a certain leg. If the other one is used, then the failure to follow directions may be seen as a sign of impairment. The result is that people who are nervous and scared sometimes do less well on the tests simply due to the fact that they are not following the directions properly.

Do you have more questions? We may be reached by phone at (321) 253-6223 or (386) 218-4973.

Defendant Appeals Guilty Verdict, Raises Self Defense…but what is an Appeal?

OK, so you’ve lost your criminal defense trial and now you want to appeal… What does that mean?

Recently, I was made aware of a criminal case in central Florida involving a young man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend. Essentially, the defendant’s ex-girlfriend came to his home and, after a fight, hit him in the head with a hammer. She broke his skull and seriously injured him. According to the defendant, he managed to seize the hammer and defend himself, killing her. The defendant was charged with 2nd degree murder and went to trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to life in jail. He is now appealing the verdict against him. His family and friends are working to help him develop the case for appeal.

For many people, it would be the ultimate nightmare: something bad happens, the police come, an arrest occurs, and one is taken to jail. Later, perhaps, a bond is posted, but there is still the matter of the pending charges.

For many defendants, a pre-arranged punishment in the form of a plea agreement is the means of resolving the matter. The plea might involve merely a fine, or perhaps probation and community service, or in the case of a serious charge, an agreed jail sentence.

Others opt for a trial and fight the charges. Such people feel that that they are innocent, or at least the case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. They elect to have a trial and let a jury decide the outcome. If they win the case (on all charges), then they go home. If they lose, a judge sentences them according to his discretion and/or statutory requirements.

When defendants lose a trial and are sentenced, many will consider whether an appeal would give them some relief.

However, there are many misconceptions about what an appeal really is. First of all, appealing a verdict, in most cases, does not mean that the entire trial will occur again. An appeal must be based on an error of law by the judge, improper behavior by the attorneys or the jury, or some problem with the legal procedures that occurred in the case. If the judge followed all the laws and used his discretion within permissible bounds, and if the prosecution, defense, and jury members acted appropriately, there is not much chance of an appeal prevailing.

Examples of cases overturned on appeal might include: whether evidence was admitted, when it shouldn’t have been–perhaps causing improper bias within the jury, or where the evidence was collected by the police in violation of the US Constitution. Where a prosecutor trashes the defense attorney or makes improper personal attacks that have nothing to do with the case. Where a judge errs in ruling for or against objections to testimony. These are examples of issues raised in appeals.

Sometimes a trial is so riddled with errors that an appellate court will ask for the whole case to be retried. Often however, appellate courts rule that although an error occurred, it was not a material or substantive error to the extent that it would have affected the overall outcome in the case. Most appeals are denied.

Do you have questions about a criminal charges in Melbourne, Florida? Questions about a Palm Bay, FL trial? Is your family member facing a trial in Deltona, Florida, Orange City, Florida, or Deland, Florida? Please contact Morgan Law, P.A. at (321) 253-6223 or (386) 218-4973.

What Do You Think a Brevard County, Florida Jury Pool Should Look Like?

As I was leaving felony court in Viera this morning with my client, I saw the entire pool of jurors lining up in front of the elevators to go upstairs for voir dire, also called jury selection.

Out of fifty or sixty people, I saw a single Asian woman. Everyone else that had shown up was white, and most of them looked retired. There were no Hispanics, no African Americans, and no Indians.

This is probably not anyone’s fault. These are the people that showed up to take part in their civic duty and they deserve to be commended. My client, who is not white, said that seeing the panel confirmed his fears about getting a fair trial.

Why Do Defense Attorneys Defend People Charged with a Crime…Why Do Defendants Get Out on Bond?

When people in Volusia and Brevard County, Florida find out I’m a local attorney that handles criminal defense, a lot of people ask why do I want to “defend criminals?” I welcome this question, because it means talking about why America is a great country and discussing the deep wisdom of our founding fathers.

I guess it says something about the success of America, the freedoms we enjoy, the prosperity that many have known, that we have completely forgotten why there are strong constitutional limitations on the power of the police and the power of local and federal governments in detaining, charging, and incarcerating people. We only have to look at countries like Libya, North Korea, or Belarus to remember why our founding fathers wrote “innocent until proven guilty” into the U.S. Constitution.

Here’s some things to consider:

  • In some countries, the police can stop and detain anyone they want, for any reason.  Here in America, the police should only stop someone if there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or reasonable suspicion of a traffic infraction.
  • A person should only be detained for as long as it takes to dispel the suspicion of wrongdoing that lead to the stop or for the length of time necessary to write the ticket.
  • When a person is arrested, it may take months for a trial to occur–if the person is innocent but held in jail without bond, they will have already lost their home, their job, and watched their family suffer without them for months before being cleared of wrondoing…

Bottom line is that for every criminal defense attorney, there is also a prosecutor fighting for a conviction, police and investigators that worked the case, and lab technicians that are analyzing evidence such as DNA. There are correctional and probation officers that may be monitoring the defendant. There may be witnesses that will testify against the defendant. There is only one person working for the defendant to make sure that constitutional limitations on the power of the police are maintained: the defense attorney.

The reality is that when there is strong evidence against a defendant in any given crime, there is not much likelihood that the defendant will escape justice.  In other words, they are not going to “get away with it.”

Instead, the question is what type of punishment will the defendant face.  The defendant may serve a period of probation or possibly go to jail or prison. They may be fined, drug tested, sentenced to do community service, write letters of apology, avoid certain people or locations, and so on.

Many people are troubled by the fact that defendants can often post a bond after initially being arrested. Perhaps people don’t realize that because courts in Viera and Deland are busy, it often takes months before a defendant can have a trial in front of a jury. If an innocent person was charged with a crime and has to wait in the Brevard or Volusia jail for months before the trial, obviously they would lose their home, their job, and suffer in jail surrounded by criminals before even being allowed the chance to mount their defense in front of a Florida jury.

Obviously, many people charged with crimes are not innocent. But some people, while they may be guility of a minor violation, are overcharged. Sometimes the plea offer that is provided is overly harsh. If everyone had to sit in jail until a trial or plea, than people would accept plea deals that are perhaps unfairly harsh–just to get out of jail and back to their lives.

Local judges here in Volusia and Brevard County, FL do not have to offer a bond.  Instead, the judge examines a person’s prior criminal history, ties to the community, and record of appearing at scheduled court dates. The judge also tries to assess the level of risk the defendant poses to the wider community. People with no prior record and who pose little risk to the wider community are typically going to be allowed to pay a bond and be at liberty until they are either found not guilty or sentenced. Obviously, if a person is later found guility, they will face their sentence at that time.