Thursday, June 15, 2017

Why I Do What I Do

I am often asked one of several questions by people with no understanding of what I do:
I am very proud of what I do.  I work each and every day to protect people and their Constitutional rights.  I protect them from an overzealous government.  I protect innocent people and people who have made mistakes.  And make no doubt about it, everyone makes mistakes.  

I have always been a public servant. I worked for over ten years as a public school teacher.  There did come a point however, when I decided I needed to do more.  I saw kids that I could not reach. They were not going to do their homework for me or learn from me when they weren't safe at home (think back to Maslow's hierarchy of needs).  

When I started law school, I immediately became an intern at the Public Defender's Office.  My first week on the job I saw a ten-year old in handcuffs. I cried.  This wasn't justice.  I knew at that moment, that this area of the law was what I was meant for.  

It was also through my work at the Public Defender's Office that I met James Bain.  Through a joint effort of the PD's office and the Innocence Project, he was exonerated after 35 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.  He is such a wonderful man. He has no hate in his heart.  It is truly amazing.

I have represented people who have been harassed for no reason by our government simply because they looked different or poor or "like trouble."  I have represented people whom I know were completely innocent of what they were accused of, yet their lives were potentially ruined because of the stigma.  

And yes, I have represented people whom I have no idea if they were guilty or not.  But that is not my job.  My job is to protect their rights.  Every person in this country has certain rights and protections guaranteed by our Constitution. The Constitution is not a technicality.  These rights are not only given to innocent people--they are given and guaranteed to all people.  If those protections are eroded, our country as a whole has lost. Whose rights will they come after next?

If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney, contact Heather Bryan Law online, or call her today at 863-825-5309.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Common Offenses With Driver's License Suspensions and Revocations

Offense
Suspension
Murder resulting from operation of a motor vehicle; DUI manslaughter where conviction represents a subsequent DUI-related conviction; 4th DUI (See section 322.26, Florida Statutes)
Permanent revocation
Any felony where a motor vehicle is used; failure to stop and render aid when required in a crash resulting in death or personal injury; perjury to the Department under 322.26; conviction of 3 charges of reckless driving within 3 months; conviction of lewdness or prostitution with the use of a motor vehicle; conviction of any offense where there is the use of a motor vehicle and the Court feels it warrants the revocation of driving; fraudulent insurance claims (See section 322.26, Florida Statutes)
Indefinite revocation
DUI; Refusal (See section 316.193, Florida Statutes)
Anywhere from 6 months to permanent revocation
Fleeing/Eluding law enforcement (See section 316.1935, Florida Statutes)
Anywhere from 1 year to 5 year suspension
Possession of Controlled Substances (See section 322.055, Florida Statutes)
1 year suspension
Theft (See section 812.014, Florida Statutes)
Anywhere from 6 months to 1 year suspension
Racing on Highways (See section 316.191, Florida Statutes)
1 year suspension
Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) (See section 322.264, Florida Statutes)
5 year suspension
Suspended until paid

If you have been given a citation or charged with a crime, or need help getting a hardship license, you need the help of an experienced attorney to stand beside you.  Contact Heather Bryan Law today for your confidential consultation, at 863-825-5309

Friday, June 2, 2017

You Have A Right To Remain Silent...Use It!



Our founding fathers very specifically crafted the protection against self-incrimination located in the Fifth Amendment with a purpose.  The protection dates back to English common law when the courts sought to prohibit the use of inquisitorial methods of interrogation.  By the late 1700's, Parliament had begun to recognize the presumption of innocence.  Of course, these ideas were carried over into colonial America and adopted into our Constitution. Through decisions of our Supreme Court, the protection of the Fifth has been well grounded and preserved.  Justice Frankfurter, in Ullmann v. United States, 35 U.S. 422 (1956), stated:

"This constitutional protection must not be interpreted in a hostile...spirit. Too many, even those who should be better advised, view this privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury in claiming the privilege. Such a view does scant honor to the patriots who sponsored the Bill of Rights as a condition to acceptance of the Constitution by the ratifying States."

There is no shame or presumption that a person must have done something wrong or must have something to hide just because someone utilizes his or her constitutional right to remain silent.

In fact, I would advise you to never speak to law enforcement without having a lawyer present. Far too often, your words will get turned in such a way that you never intended.  People tend to believe that since they are innocent and have nothing to hide, it is okay to speak to law enforcement.  Then the next thing, they know, they are in handcuffs, being charged with a crime that they did not commit.  You have the protection of the Fifth Amendment for a reason. Use it!

If you have been charged with a crime, or need experienced representation for a legal matter, contact Heather Bryan Law online or call 863-825-5309 for a consultation.