Comprehensive Coverage  Insurance designed to pay for the repair or replacement of the policy owner’s car in the event of damage not resulting from an accident.  Comprehensive insurance covers theft, fire, vandalism, weather damage, riots, missiles, and other similar circumstances which may cause damage to a vehicle.

Property Damage Coverage  An insurance policy which pays for damage caused to the property of others, including cars, as a result of a motor vehicle accident. Florida law requires minimum coverage of $10,000.00 property damage liability coverage.

Collision Coverage  Insurance designed to pay for the repair or replacement of the policy owner’s car in the event of an accident, no matter who caused the accident. Collision coverage usually requires the payment of a deductible when a claim is made and may be required to secure a new car loan.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage (Sometimes Referred to as “No-Fault”)  Insurance designed to be paid without regard to “fault,” or more properly, legal liability. PIP is also called “no-fault” because, by definition, a claimant’s, or insured’s, insurance premium should not increase due to a PIP claim.  Florida law requires minimum coverage of $10,000.00 personal injury protection.

Bodily Injury Coverage  An insurance policy that pays for injuries caused to other individuals in the event of a motor vehicle accident.  Generally, insurance companys will only the allow purchase of UM/UIM coverage up to the insured’d current bodily injury limit.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage  An automobile policy option which covers one for property damage and bodily injury caused by another motorist who does not carry liability insurance.

Contact CLEARWATER PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY Joseph Montrone, Jr. for a free initial consultation regarding your accident case.

If I have heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times: I am fully covered. Fully covered means different things to different people. In cases involving automobile accidents with personal injury, unless you carry uninsured motorist coverage, you are NOT fully covered. In the State of Florida, with respect to having automobile coverage for cases involving personal injury, drivers are only required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or “no-fault” insurance. PIP is insurance coverage provided by your own insurance company designed to pay for your own medical expenses and, in some cases lost wages. Florida Law requires this coverage up to $10,000.00 dollars. In other words, you are driving down the road and another driver runs a red light and hits your car injuring you. You then end up with permanent injuries and medical bills in excess of $100,000.00. Florida Law only requires that each driver have coverage from their own insurance company to pay for their own medical bills up to $10,000.00, regardless of who was at fault in the accident; hence, the term “no-fault.” Florida Law does not require drivers to carry liability insurance (bodily injury insurance) to cover claims of others who may be injured in an automobile accident. So when you are purchasing automobile insurance in Florida, and you are dealing with your agent, you are only required to get the PIP coverage. The agent may tell you that you are “fully covered” because you have complied with Florida Law. But nothing can be further from the truth.

In order to understand the importance of uninsured motorist coverage, it is important to distinguish it from bodily injury coverage. It is again important to keep in mind that neither uninsured motorist coverage; nor bodily injury coverage are required under Florida Law. Bodily injury insurance provides coverage to you in the event that you are at fault in an automobile accident and cause bodily injury to others. For example, you are the driver that runs a red light and hits another automobile injuring its occupants. Bodily injury insurance will cover you in the event that the occupants sue you seeking money damages for injuries they suffered in the accident. This is also very important insurance coverage to have especially to protect assets that you may have accumulated over the years. But what happens if you are driving down the road minding your own business and someone else runs a red light and hits your automobile and injures you and you end up with permanent injures and over $100,000.00 in outstanding medical bills? Guess what? That other negligent driver, like you, is only required to carry PIP coverage. He does not have to have bodily injury insurance so that you can make a claim against his insurance company for your permanent injuries and $100,000.00 in outstanding medical bills. In other words, if that negligent driver does not have enough assets to cover your medical bills; you are out of luck. The negligent driver has complied with the law. Do you feel “fully covered” now? That’s why uninsured motorist coverage is so important for the consumer to have.

You can purchase uninsured motorist coverage from your own company to provide insurance in the event that you sustain bodily injuries caused by another negligent motorist who does not carry any bodily injury insurance, or who does not carry enough bodily injury insurance to cover your damages from an accident. So in the example above, by having uninsured motorist insurance, you can make a claim against your own company to cover you for damages resulting from the negligence of other uninsured or under insured drivers. Moreover, the additional cost of this insurance is well worth the benefits that it provides. I urge you to review your automobile insurance policy to make sure that you have adequate uninsured motorist coverage. You should not consider yourself “fully covered” until you do.

Contact CLEARWATER CAR ACCIDENT LAWYER Joseph Montrone, Jr. if you have any questions about your uninsured motorist coverage.

Crimes Against Law Enforcement Officers, Florida Statute 784.07(2) and (3)

*3 Year Minimum Mandatory Aggravated Assault Upon Law Enforcement Officer

 *3 Year Minimum Mandatory Battery and during commission possessed a firearm or destructive device

 *5 Year Minimum Mandatory Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer

 *8 Year Minimum Mandatory Battery and during commission possessed semiautomatic or machine gun

 Crimes Against the Elderly, Florida Statute 784.08

*3 Year Minimum Mandatory Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery on aperson 65 years or Older with up to $10,000.00 fine and up to 500 hours of community service

 Fleeing or Eluding &  Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding, Florida Statute 316.1935(3)(b) and (4)(b)

 *3 Year Minimum Mandatory when causing serious bodily injury or death

 Dangerous Sexual Felony Offender, Florida Statute 794.0115 (18 years and older)

*25 Year Minimum Mandatory if convicted of:

1.  Luring or Enticing a Child, Sexual Battery pursuant to Florida Statute 794.011(2), (3),(4), (5), or (8), Lewd or Lascivious Battery, Lewd, Lascivious Molestation, Sexual Performance by a Child pursuant to Florida Statute 827.071(2)(3), or (4), Lewd or Lascivious Act committed upon the elderly or a disabled person pursuant to Florida Statute 825.01025(2) or (3), or Selling or Buying Minors pursuant to Florida Statute 847.0145, and

2.  There is a prior conviction for the above listed crimes, or causes serious injury, or uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, or victimized more than one person during the course of the criminal episode, or is under the jurisdiction of the court for a felony.

Domestic Violence

*5 Day Minimum Mandatory in the county jail if adjudicated guilty and the defendant has intentionally caused bodily harm to another person.

 ***For additional Minimum Mandatory Sentences please see my blog post on February 4, 2010 – Florida’s 10-20-Life Law:  Minimum Mandatory Sentences.

Contact CLEAWATER CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY Joseph Montrone, Jr. for a free initial consultation.

                                                                       

If a person is in possession of a firearm or destructive device during the commision of one of the statutory listed felonies (attempt included) **See List Below – pursuant Florida Statute Section 775.087 , that person will be subject to the following minimum mandatory sentences:

* 3 Year Minimum Mandatory for conviction of Aggravated Assault, possession of firearm by a felon, or burglary of a conveyance.

* 10 Year Minimum Mandatory for conviction for one of the listed felonies except those above with the 3 Year Minimum Mandatory.

* 15 Year Minimum Mandatory for Possession of semi-automatic firearm or machine gun during the commision of one of the 18 listed felonies.

* 20 Year Minimum Mandatory for conviction wherein the discharge of a firearm or destructive device occurred during the commission of one of the listed 18 felonies.

* 25 Year Minimum Mandatory (to life) for conviction wherein the discharge of a firearm or destructive device resulted in the death or great bodily harm to another during the commision one of the listed 18 felonies.

** List of 18 Felonies

Murder;

Sexual battery;

Robbery;

Burglary;

Arson;

Aggravated assault;

Aggravated battery;

Kidnapping;

Escape;

Aircraft piracy;

Aggravated child abuse;

Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult;

Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;

Carjacking; Home-invasion robbery;

Aggravated stalking;

Trafficking drugs per Florida Statute Section 893.135; or

Possession of a firearm by a felon

***For additional Minimum Mandatory Sentences please see my blog post on February 18, 2010 – Florida’s Minimum Mandatory Sentences for Violent Crimes

Contact CLEARWATER CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY Joseph Montrone, Jr. for a free initial consultaiton.

The following information is a general guide. It is not meant to be comprehensive. Additional penalties and conditions of sentencing will apply. Fines may be higher if a .15 Breath or Blood alcohol level is applicable. You are urged to consult with an attorney prior to entering into any plea to a criminal charge.

FIRST TIME OFFENSE

FINE: Not less than $250 or more than $500

PROBATION: Up to 12 months

DL SUSPENSION: 6 months to 1 year (Hardship once enrolled in DUI School)

JAIL OR PRISON: Up to 6 months

SECOND OFFENSE WITHIN 5 YEARS

FINE: Not less than $500 or more than $1,000

PROBATION: Up to 12 months

DL SUSPENSION: 5 years (Hardship after 1 year)

JAIL OR PRISON: Up to 9 months, 10 days mandatory

SECOND OFFENSE OUTSIDE 5 YEARS

FINE: Not less than $500 or more than $1,000

PROBATION: Up to 12 months

DL SUSPENSION: Up to 1 year (Hardship after 1 year)

JAIL OR PRISON: Up to 9 months

THIRD OFFENSE WITHIN 10 YEARS

**CAN BE A FELONY

FINE: Not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000

PROBATION: Up to 5 years

DL SUSPENSION: 10 years (Hardship after 2 years)

JAIL OR PRISON: Up to 5 years, 30 days mandatory

THIRD OFFENSE OUTSIDE OF 10 YEARS

FINE: Not less than $1,000 or more than $2,5000

PROBATION: Up to 12 months

DL SUSPENSION: Up to 1 year (No Hardship)

JAIL OR PRISON: Up to 1 year

FOURTH OR SUBSEQUENT CONVICTION

** CAN BE FELONY

FINE: Not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000

PROBATION: Up to 5 years

DL SUSPENSION: Permanent Revocation (No Hardship)

JAIL OR PRISON: Up to 5 years

*3 Year Minimum Mandatory if Theft of $5,000.00 or more, or use of 10 Individual’s ID’s

*5 Year Minimum Mandatory if Theft of $50,000.00 or more, or use of 20 Individual’s ID’s

*10 Year Minimum Mandatory if Theft of $100,000.00 or more, or use of 30 Individual’s ID’s

Call CLEARWATER IDENTITY THEFT ATTORNEY Joseph Montrone, Jr. for a free initial consultation.

Marijuana

*25lbs or 300 Plants = 3 year minimum mandatory & $25,000.00 fine

*2,000lbs to 10,000lbs = 7 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*over 10,000lbs = 15 year minimum mandatory & $200,000.00 fine

Cocaine or Phencyclidine (PCP)

*28g to 200g = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*200g to 400g = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

*400g to 150kg = 15 year minimum mandatory & $250,000.00 fine

*over 150kg = life for cocaine

Morphine, Opium, Hydrocodone, Heroin, Oxycodone or Hydromorphone

*4g to 14g = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*14g to 28g = 15 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

 *28g to 30kg = 25 year minimum mandatory & $500,000.00 fine

*over 30kg = life

Methaqualone

*200g to 5kg = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*5kg to 25g = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

 *25g or more = 15 year minimum mandatory & $250,000.00 fine

 Amphetamine or Methamphetamine

*14g to 28g = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*28g to 200g = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

*200g or more = 15 year minimum mandatory & $250,000.00 fine

Gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) and Gamma-hydroxy-butyrate (GHB)

*1kg to 5kg = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*5kg to 10kg = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

*10kg or more = 15 year minimum mandatory & $250,000.00 fine

Flunitrazepam (Roofies)

*4g to 14g = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*14g to 28g = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

*28g to 30kg = 25 year minimum mandatory & $250,000.00 fine

Methylenedio xymethamphetamine (MDMA)

*10g to 200g = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*200g to 400g = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

*400g or more = 15 year minimum mandatory & $250,000.00 fine

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

*1g to 5g = 3 year minimum mandatory & $50,000.00 fine

*5g to 7g = 7 year minimum mandatory & $100,000.00 fine

*7g or more = 15 year minimum mandatory & $500,000.00 fine

Contact CLEAWATER CHARGES ATTORNEY Joseph Montrone, Jr. for a free initial consultation