Skubiak & Rivas P.A., Attorneys Warn Against Illegal Cell Phone Searches by Police Following U.S. Supreme Court Ruling

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) July 28, 2014 The U.S. Supreme Court recently reached a unanimous ruling that police can no longer search cellular phones carried by people under arrest without first obtaining a warrant from a judge.*

“This decision has a significant impact on privacy rights for citizens since random searches for evidence of criminal content is no longer permitted,” said Brandon Gans,. It supports the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which provides the following protection:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

“This amendment was largely influenced by the British soldiers who rummaged through colonists homes searching for evidence of criminal activity,” said Brandon Gans. “However, the drafters of the Bill of Rights could never have conceived of mobile electronic devices that can upload and store large quantities of data such as documents, photos and audio recordings. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision applies the protections against unreasonable searches and seizures of the Fourth Amended to the ever changing and technology driven world in which we all live, he said.

When police seize a cell phone, it is usually the result of a search of a house, vehicle or person. Assuming the police had a legal basis for the initial search, a seizure of a person’s cell phone will likely be deemed lawful. The problem arises when the police search the contents of that device without first obtaining a warrant. Unlike drugs or weapons, it is not immediately apparent from looking at a cell phone whether it contains contraband. The police must convince a judge that they have probable cause to believe the device contains evidence of criminal conduct. Only then may a warrant be issued.

Traditionally, police have been able to elude the warrant requirement if they can articulate an exception. These exemptions include exigent circumstances, search incident to arrest, consent, inventory search, and imminent destruction of evidence to name a few. Police often justify a search of an item if it has the potential to be used as a weapon. Under the new ruling, they may still make an initial determination of whether the mobile device is threatening, but they may not perform a search of its contents.

“People generally accept a diminished expectation of privacy when they leave their homes and enter the world. However, nobody expects that their cell phones will be searched without their consent. These devices often contain sensitive personal and private information. The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision is significant in protecting that information from illegal and unauthorized searches by police,” said Brandon Gans.

If police do search a cell phone without a warrant, the remedy may be exclusion of evidence in court. Under the exclusionary rule, evidence that is illegally obtained by government officials may be deemed inadmissible in court and cannot be used to prove the charges.

If your mobile phone or person device is searched, Skubiak & Rivas P.A., suggests calling your attorney immediately.

For more information or a free consultation, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com or call (407) 894-4449.

References
*http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-132_8l9c.pdf

About Skubiak & Rivas, P.A.
With offices in Orlando and Kissimmee FL, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. serves Central Florida’s criminal and traffic law defense firms. Founded by attorney Robert P. Skubiak in 1993, and partnering with attorney Alain Rivas in 1999, the practice represents clients involved in automotive and traffic-related infractions. Areas of focus include speeding tickets, red light cameras, auto accidents, reckless driving infractions, DUI charges, drug charges, tourist defense, habitual traffic offenders, suspended licenses, leaving the scene of an accident and more. For additional information, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com.

Partner Robert P. Skubiak founder and senior partner of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., attorney
Skubiak graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics in 1989 and graduated University of Florida in 1992 with a degree in Law. In 1993 Skubiak opened his own law office in Orlando to provide clients with traffic and criminal defense.

Partner Alain Rivas graduated from Rollins College with a B.A. in Political Science and History in 1992 and graduated from Stetson College of Law in 1994. Rivas worked for the Hillsborough County Attorneys Office and as legal Counsel for Joelo Inc., Attorney Rivas has extensive experience with criminal and traffic defense and has a passion for excellent service and excels with representing all of his clients.

Attorney Brandon Gans graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. While attending FSU, he served as President of the FSU chapter of the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. Mr. Gans served as a prosecutor for the State of Florida for three years. He served in Lake County for a year and a half before transferring to Orange County.

Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. Reports on Newly Created Statute 316.305 Pertaining To Florida’s Texting and Driving Law That Takes Effect October 1, 2013

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) September 30, 2013

Beginning October 1, 2013, it will be illegal to text and drive in the State of Florida.

Created by the Florida Legislature, the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law”* prohibits the use of wireless communication devices while driving. Governor Rick Scott approved the proposed legislation in May 2013. When the new law takes effect on October 1, drivers may be ticketed, assessed a fine and may even receive points on their license.

“Drivers should be aware of what constitutes texting and driving,” said Brandon Gans, attorney with Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. The new Florida Statute, 316.305**, bans “operating a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other characters into a wireless communications device or while sending or reading data on such a device for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication, including, but not limited to, communication methods known as texting, e-mailing, and instant messaging.”

The statute defines wireless communications device as “any handheld device used or capable of being used in a handheld manner, that is designed or intended to receive or transmit text or character-based messages, access or store data, or connect to the Internet…and that allows text communications.”

“Persons ticketed under this law can expect to receive fines associated with this non-moving violation,” Gans said. Drivers who receive subsequent tickets within five years of the first conviction can expect even heftier fines along with points assessed to their driving record. If the case involves a crash and the court determines the driver was texting, six points may be assessed to the driver’s record. If a driver accumulates twelve points within one year, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will suspend driving privileges for thirty days***. “There will be no grace period, so when the law takes effect on October 1, 2013, drivers text at their own risk. Just like any of Florida’s other driving laws, ignorance is no defense,” he explained.

“For those who feel this new law is too invasive, there is good news. This law is a ‘secondary offense,’ meaning that a law enforcement officer cannot stop a driver simply for texting and driving. The officer must first witness another traffic infraction (primary offense) before conducting a traffic stop. Once stopped for the primary violation, the officer may then issue a ticket for texting as a secondary violation. For those who remember, this was once the case with Florida’s seat belt law. In 2009, the Florida Legislature changed not wearing a seat belt from a secondary offense to a primary offense. It is likely only a matter of time before the same action is taken with the texting law,” said Gans.

There are several other limitations to the texting ban. For example, the following exemptions have been carved out for drivers who are:

  • using the device for navigation purposes of call 911
  • receiving information relating to traffic or weather alerts
  • receiving radio broadcasts

The new law still allows drivers to use a wireless communications device to make phone calls while operating the vehicle. The law also does not apply when the vehicle is stationary.
“So for those messages that just can’t wait, make sure the vehicle is stopped before texting,” Gans advised.

References
*http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0013
**http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.305.html
***http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/faqsuspend.html

About Skubiak & Rivas, P.A.
With offices in Orlando and Kissimmee FL, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. serves Central Florida’s criminal and traffic law defense firms. Founded by attorney Robert P. Skubiak in 1993, and partnering with attorney Alain Rivas in 1999, the practice represents clients involved in automotive and traffic-related infractions. Areas of focus include speeding tickets, red light cameras, auto accidents, reckless driving infractions, DUI charges, drug charges, tourist defense, habitual traffic offenders, suspended licenses, leaving the scene of an accident and more. For additional information, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com.

Partner Robert P. Skubiak founder and senior partner of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., attorney
Skubiak graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics in 1989 and graduated University of Florida in 1992 with a degree in Law. In 1993 Skubiak opened his own law office in Orlando to provide clients with traffic and criminal defense.

Partner Alain Rivas graduated from Rollins College with a B.A. in Political Science and History in 1992 and graduated from Stetson College of Law in 1994. Rivas worked for the Hillsborough County Attorneys Office and as legal Counsel for Joelo Inc., Attorney Rivas has extensive experience with criminal and traffic defense and has a passion for excellent service and excels with representing all of his clients.
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Traffic Attorney Albert Pucylowski is Interviewed on News13 about Fighting Red Light Camera Ticket and The Potential Costs

More red light cameras will be going up around Central Florida and if you get caught running one, you could pay big time — up to $400.

If you could put a price on safety, it would be around $400, the price for trying to fight a red light ticket and losing. Sgt. Kim Montes, with the Florida Highway Patrol, said the price doesn’t matter because the cameras serve a purpose of reminding drivers to obey the law.

“Since these cameras have gone in, we’ve actually seen a reduction in crashes at intersections,” said Montes.

There is measure sitting on Gov. Rick Scott’s desk which increases the price you could pay if you run a red light and are caught. Right now the cost is $150. But if the governor signs the bill, you can still pay the $150 or you can fight it.” Source News13

What’s going to have to be done is a ballot initiative. We have to get a committee put together and people have to do a Constitutional Amendment to the Florida Constitution outlawing the use of cameras and traffic detection systems“, States Albert Pucylowski

Read Full Article

Skubiak & Rivas P.A. Announces New Traffic Law Firm Kissimmee Location

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) March 21, 2013 Each day, people from around the world move to Central Florida to take advantage of employment opportunities and the unique lifestyle. Unfortunately, many new residents find themselves in difficult legal situations when it comes to traffic law, especially when they don’t speak fluent English or completely understand the culture. To defend the rights of this community, Skubiak & Rivas Traffic Law Firm has opened a new office in Kissimmee to help keep pace with this rapidly growing need.

Located at 811 W Mabbette St. Kissimmee, FL 34741, the Kissimmee office is fully staffed with a Spanish speaking legal team that specializes in the defending the rights of the Hispanic community.

“This under-represented population is a growing force in our region and they are entitled to the same legal representation as native English speakers,” said Robert P. Skubiak, founder and senior partner of Skubiak & Rivas Traffic Law Firm. “In fact, the immigration status of many Hispanics can compound the difficulty of resolving their traffic-related violations and offenses. That’s where we can help.”

According to the Metro Orlando Economic Development Commission’s Demographic Detail Report for Kissimmee, the 2000 Census Report estimated the 2011 population to be 55,405. Of that, 33,337, or 60.2 percent, are classified as Hispanic ethnicity. And the 2016 Hispanic projection is 67.6 percent.

“This is simply a growing population that we, as a Central Florida community, cannot ignore,” he said.

Skubiak & Rivas P.A. offers free consultations, and most cases can be handled over the phone – saving clients time and money. With more than 30 years of combined experience and thousands of cases resolved, the firm offers defense for the following violations:

• Speeding tickets
• Habitual traffic offender
• DUI defense
• Auto accident defense
• Red light camera defense
• Moving violations
• Reckless driving charges
• Drug possession charges
• CDL defense and renewal
• Suspended licenses

For more information or a free consultation, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com or call (407) 894-4449.

About Skubiak & Rivas, P.A.
With offices in Orlando, FL, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. serves Central Florida’s criminal and traffic law defense firms. Founded by attorney Robert P. Skubiak in 1993, and partnering with attorney Alain Rivas in 1999, the practice represents clients involved in automotive and traffic-related infractions. Areas of focus include speeding tickets, red light cameras, auto accidents, reckless driving infractions, DUI charges, drug charges, tourist defense, habitual traffic offenders, suspended licenses, leaving the scene of an accident and more. For additional information, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com.

Partner Robert P. Skubiak founder and senior partner of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., attorney
Skubiak graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics in 1989 and graduated University of Florida in 1992 with a degree in Law. In 1993 Skubiak opened his own law office in Orlando to provide clients with traffic and criminal defense.

Partner Alain Rivas graduated from Rollins College with a B.A. in Political Science and History in 1992 and graduated from Stetson College of Law in 1994. Rivas worked for the Hillsborough County Attorneys Office and as legal Counsel for Joelo Inc., Attorney Rivas has extensive experience with criminal and traffic defense and has a passion for excellent service and excels with representing all of his clients.

Skubiak & Rivas Traffic Law Firm Launches New Website to Educate Drivers About Traffic Violation Rights

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) December 13, 2012 In response to the significant increase in call volume from people wanting to better understand their rights after receiving traffic violations, Orlando-based Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., Traffic Law Firm recently launched a new informational Website that caters to English, French, Portuguese and Spanish speakers.

“Some traffic violations are fairly cut and dry, but most of the time the best course of action is to seek legal representation,” said Robert P. Skubiak, founder and senior partner of Skubiak & Rivas. “Each day we represent people who have received unwarranted citations. We also help those who are clearly in the wrong navigate the legal system, with the goal of continuing clients’ full driving privileges.”

“We added the Google Website Language Translator option to our site because we felt strongly that non-English speakers were falling through the cracks of our legal system,” said Skubiak. “We also Integrated Google Maps and a separate mobile-friendly version for ease of use. Throughout the past year, we have seen an increase in mobile device users and we needed to specifically cater to this user base.”

Everyone at Skubiak & Rivas P.A. stands by their work and embraces social media as a way for clients to rate our performance. Included on the new Website are links for reviews on Google, Yelp and Dex. That’s also an effective way for prospective clients to evaluate whether the firm is right for them.

As the new Website indicates, Skubiak & Rivas offers free consultations, and most cases can be handled over the phone—saving clients time and money. With more than 30 years of combined experience and thousands of cases resolved, the firm offers defense for the following violations:

• Speeding tickets
• Habitual traffic offender
• DUI defense
• Auto accident defense
• Red light camera defense
• Moving violations
• Reckless driving charges
• Drug possession charges
• CDL defense and Renewal
• Suspended licenses

For more information or a free consultation, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com or call (407) 894-4449.

About Skubiak & Rivas, P.A.
With offices in Orlando, FL, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. serves those in Central Florida with criminal and traffic law violations. Founded by attorney Robert P. Skubiak in 1993, and partnering with attorney Alain Rivas in 1999, the practice represents clients involved in automotive and traffic-related infractions. Areas of focus include speeding tickets, red light cameras, auto accidents, reckless driving infractions, DUI charges, drug charges, tourist defense, habitual traffic offenders, suspended licenses, leaving the scene of an accident and more.

Partner Robert P. Skubiak founder and senior partner of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., attorney
Skubiak graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in Economics in 1989 and graduated University of Florida in 1992 with a degree in Law. In 1993 Skubiak opened his own law office in Orlando to provide clients with traffic and criminal defense.

Partner Alain Rivas graduated from Rollins College with a B.A. in Political Science and History in 1992 and graduated from Stetson College of Law in 1994. Rivas worked for the Hillsborough County Attorneys Office and as legal Counsel for Joelo Inc., Attorney Rivas has extensive experience with criminal and traffic defense and has a passion for excellent service and excels with representing all of his clients.

Orlando Traffic Law Firm, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A., Fights Record Number of Citations Resulting from Red Light Cameras

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) February 25, 2012 In 2010, Florida joined 30 other states in support of the Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act (WPSC) requiring counties to enact an ordinance utilizing traffic infraction technology to identify vehicles failing to stop at red light signals. As a result, the law offices of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. have seen a dramatic increase in number of cases involving red light citations during the past 3 months in Central Florida.

“Orlando, like many cities across the country, is making use of red light cameras to generate revenue. It is important that if you are ticketed due to a red light camera, you consult a lawyer immediately to understand your rights,” said Robert Skubiak, attorney of Skubiak & Rivas, P.A.

The firm has seen an uptick in the number of cases involving red light cameras and they are challenging all of them in court. Adam McGinnis, attorney, with Skubiak & Rivas, said, “I haven’t lost one of these in front of a judge in probably 6 or 7 months.”

According to a WFTV 9 story that aired February 6, 2012, two-thirds of ticked drivers simply pay the fines to clear their records. However, of those cases that do go to court, many are thrown out because it’s difficult for law enforcement to get critical video entered into evidence.

Skubiak added, “Even with attorney fees, it’s often less expensive when defendants fight and win their cases in court rather than simply paying the fines.”

With more than 30 years of combined experience, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A, focuses on criminal and traffic defense. Skubiak has extensive experience representing clients with traffic tickets, red light camera citations, speeding tickets, auto accidents, DUI, drug charges, suspended and revoked licenses.

About Skubiak & Rivas, P.A

With offices in Orlando, FL, Skubiak & Rivas, P.A. serves Central Florida with criminal and traffic defense.founded by attorney Robert P. Skubiak in 1993, and partnering with attorney Alain Rivas in 1999, the practice represents clients involved in automotive and traffic-related infractions. Areas of focus include speeding tickets, red light cameras, auto accidents, reckless driving infractions, DUI charges, drug charges, tourist defense, habitual traffic offenders, suspended licenses, leaving the scene of an accident and more. For additional information, visit https://www.trafficlawfirm.com.