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Contacting a St. Augustine Criminal Defense Attorney after an Arrest

September 22, 2015

Man wearing prisoner uniform St. Augustine Criminal Defense AttorneyOur St. Augustine criminal defense attorney can explain that the moments after an arrest can be some of the most critical in a case. Often, criminal defendants are scared and may say things that hurt their case because they mistakenly believe that they will be let go. However, this is usually not the case. A St. Augustine criminal defense attorney may be able to offer information about the arrest procedure that can help a criminal defendant protect his or her legal rights.

What to Expect After an Arrest

After a criminal defendant is arrested, he or she may not have access to a phone until after the initial court appearance. Additionally, his or her spouse and other family may be frantically looking for him or her and be concerned that he or she is being taken care of appropriately. This is the time when many family members place a call to a St. Augustine criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer may attempt to determine the law enforcement agency and officer who arrested you. Additionally, he or she may ask the agency to confirm when you are first due in court.

Finding Your Location

It may be difficult for a St. Augustine criminal defense attorney to initially locate criminal defendants who have just been arrested. However, he or she can usually follow the trail in order to determine the defendant’s location by first checking with the court, the jail, the central booking center and other entities that had contact with the defendant. Once the defendant’s location is determined, his or her lawyer may attempt to find out how long he or she is expected to be there, whether bail is an option and whether anyone can see him or her.

Illegal Arrests

One of the important roles of a criminal defense attorney is to determine whether law enforcement acted within the confines of the law. In order for an arrest to be legal, law enforcement must have probable cause, which means that the law enforcement officer had a reasonable belief that the defendant committed a criminal act. If it is determined by the court that an illegal arrest occurred, the criminal defendant has the right to be released. Additionally, any evidence that directly stems from this primary illegality must be suppressed because it will be considered “fruit of the poisonous tree.”

Legal Assistance from a St. Augustine Criminal Defense Attorney

For more information, contact a St. Augustine criminal defense attorney from Canan Law by calling (904) 824-9402.

Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney Explains the Arrest Procedure

September 15, 2015

man under arrest Jacksonville Criminal Defense AttorneyAs any Jacksonville criminal defense attorney will tell you, there are specific procedures that must be followed in any arrest. Being arrested can be frightening and it may seem as if it takes forever from the time you are arrested until you appear in court. Understanding the process can reduce some of the fear and stress as you will better understand the steps that must be followed throughout the procedure.

The Arrest

The first step in the arrest process is the filing of a complaint or other charging document. Often, this occurs after an investigation that may have gone on for a long time or may have been conducted quickly, depending on the circumstances of the case. You may have suspected the arrest was coming based on questions asked in an investigation or the arrest may come as a complete surprise as police do not have to warn a suspect that they plan to issue an arrest warrant. In either case, you will want to discuss your circumstances with a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The complaint or charging document is presented to a judge who then issues the arrest warrant. Once it has been issued, the police arrive at your home or business to put you under arrest.

Booking Process

The booking process after an arrest can vary depending on the location and what agency arrested you, but most follow the same pattern. Once you are arrested, you are transported to the police station and booked. This involves confirming your identity and recording the arrest, which will involve photographing you, known as a mug shot, and taking your fingerprints. You will be asked questions and a database will be used to search for any prior criminal offenses. The questions asked may include:

  • Identity
  • Where you live
  • Your nationality and immigration status
  • Health Issues
  • Employment
  • Associates

Although it may be done as soon as you are arrested, at this point you may be read your Miranda Rights. In some cases, the police may read them at the time of arrest and again once you are booked. Once you have been booked, you may be able to make a phone call to a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.

Bond or Bail

After you have been processed at the police station, you may be released on what is known as your own recognizance, which means you do not have to post bail and the police believe you will return for your court dates. However, depending on the charge and your risk of flight, you may have to attend a bond hearing at the courthouse. At that time, a judge will determine how much, if any, bond must be posted for your release. If your bond is high, you may need to use the services of a bail bondsman who will require at least ten percent of your bond be paid to them in order to insure your return to court. In some cases, you can use equity in your home or other property as collateral for the bail. In some cases, bail may be set low enough a family member or friend can pay the amount in full. If so, your bond is returned to you as long as you appear in court as ordered. The fee paid to a bail bondsman is not returned to you, but if you do not show up in court, you will be required to pay the bail bondsman your entire bail.

Contact Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been arrested and you don’t know where to turn, contact Canan Law to speak to a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney about your case. You can reach them by phone at 904-824-9402.

Our St. Johns County DUI Attorneys Discuss Getting the Right Attorney

September 9, 2015

stack of books St. Johns County DUI AttorneysDrunk driving is a serious charge with serious consequences, call our St. Johns County DUI attorneys if you want our expert attorneys with the knowledge and experience to fight for you. Find the right attorney, not just any attorney.

  • Experience Matters. Look for an attorney with several years’ experience including at least two years defending DUIs. Many attorneys do some DUI work, so look for one who does DUI defense as a substantial portion of their practice or as a specialty. Former DUI prosecutors are often great DUI defense attorneys.
  • The Meet. You have to work with your attorney, the “best” attorney in the state may not be best for you if you are uncomfortable working with them. The first time you meet with an attorney, it’s important to remember that it is similar to a job interview, and you are doing the hiring! You are picking a representative in a very real sense. Your attorney speaks for you to the prosecutor, the Judge, and possibly a jury. Is the attorney listening to you? Are they responsive to questions? Personal fit isn’t everything, but it does matter.
  • Closing the Deal. DUIs are expensive, so it’s essential to discuss the money up front. There should be a written representation agreement – read it! Most DUI attorney work on a fee schedule. Ask what is, and is not, included in the fee. Many DUI cases include an administrative element with the DMV; is that included? What if the case is dismissed? What if it is re-filed? Does the fee include trial? What about an appeal? Are costs included or billed separately? Note, contingency fees are never allowed in criminal cases in Florida.

Contact Our St. Johns County DUI Attorneys

The right attorney can make a big difference in your case. The experienced St. Johns County DUI attorneys at Canan Law can help, call for a consultation and case evaluation. Call (904) 824-9402 today.

Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney Discusses Bad Faith Insurance Company Negotiation Tactics

August 13, 2015

Insurance claim Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney Our Jacksonville car accident attorney understands that many insurance companies have standard bad faith negotiation policies they use in any effort to get a claim eliminated or drawn out through full court litigation. The typical injured victim should never attempt to negotiate their own insurance coverage settlement because the insurance adjusters are all well-trained in the process of “low-balling” a covered claimant. Anytime an insurance adjuster thinks they can settle a case with the lowest offer possible, they will do so and will even request a release on continuing medical coverage in situations that may involve long-term injury. It is never a good decision to attempt to settle your claim without legal advice or representation from an experienced litigator like a Jacksonville car accident attorney from Canan Law because they are professionally trained negotiators who can recognize bad faith negotiation tactics before they develop.

Art of the Deal

It is acceptable for the claimant to talk with the insurance adjuster before retaining an attorney, and many times the attitude of the adjuster will indicate the company policy on case settlements. Any information gleaned from the adjuster can help your attorney after he is retained. Many times an attorney will assess the value of a claim as high as possible because settlement compromises always shift downwards. The starting points concerning compensatory amounts are important in receiving a maximized settlement.

Dealing with a “Litigation Only” Insurance Company

Many insurance companies will only honor claims on cases that are formally filed in court. This is an immediate sign of a bad faith insurance company. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can often confer with the adjuster and request negotiation hearings directly with the company management officials. This process can entice a hard-line bad faith negotiation insurance company to get reasonable in their offer of settlement. But, some insurance companies will still only make one offer before wanting to go to court.

Going to Court Against Bad Faith Insurance Companies

When negotiations break down between your counsel and the insurance company, it will be necessary to take the insurer to court. This puts all negotiation tactics in the formal court record and can trigger a change in attitude by the insurance carrier, especially if your attorney wants to seek punitive damages from a sympathetic jury. In addition, if the court finds that the insurance provider has used general bad faith in an effort to reduce or deny a claim, there is a distinct possibility that you will have standing for a separate lawsuit against the respondent insurance company. Insurance companies want to avoid bad faith suits at all costs because it can impact operation status of the company. And, they also cringe at the idea of punitive damages for cases they should have settled long ago.

Contact a Jacksonville Car Accident Attorney

Anyone in Florida who suspects they are being dealt with unfairly by an auto insurance company should contact Jacksonville car accident attorney Canan Law at (904) 824-9402 and let them evaluate your car accident claim for maximum value potential.

St. Augustine Car Accident Lawyer Explains Psychological Testing

August 12, 2015

A St. Augustine car accident attorney can explain that in some personal injury cases, the defendant requests that the victim submit to psychological testing. This test may be completed by a psychologist, neuropsychologist, or psychiatrist. Each test and administrator may conduct the process differently. Your St. Augustine car accident lawyer may use several strategies to help you stay on a level playing field with the defendant during this proceeding.

Learn About the Tests

One proactive step that your St. Augustine car accident attorney may take is to learn about the actual test that you will be performing. Your lawyer may ask about any proposed testing and the exact nature of the test. He or she may research the protocol to conducting such a test and compare this information with the information that is included in the test report. If your St. Augustine car accident lawyer sees disparities, he or she may cross-examine the doctor who performed the test or have an expert witness rebut the testimony of the doctor who performed the test.

Learn About Mental Conditions

If the doctor who performed the psychological test diagnoses you with a particular mental condition, your St. Augustine car accident lawyer may research this condition. Doing so will help him or her develop a better understanding of your condition and how it may affect your performance in a courtroom.

Get Another Opinion

Like many things related to medical diagnosis, it is usually best to get a second opinion. Your lawyer may arrange for you to complete the test with another doctor. He or she may also take the raw data that is associated with your performance on the first test in order to get another opinion on a diagnosis. Through a formal discovery request, your lawyer may ask for all documents related to the psychological test, which may include raw data, your handwritten responses, your answers and information that was included in the computer records that did not make it on the official report.

Legal Assistance from a St. Augustine Car Accident Lawyer

If you would like more information on psychological testing, contact a St. Augustine car accident lawyer from Canan Law at (904) 824-9402.

St. Augustine Motorcycle Accident Attorney Explains Depositions

August 3, 2015

St. Augustine Motorcycle Accident Attorney gavel and stethoscopeYour St. Augustine motorcycle accident attorney will explain to you that one of the most important parts of your case will involve a deposition. A deposition is a fact finding process that both sides of a lawsuit use to gain knowledge about the event in question. Your attorney will give you information about when you need to appear for a deposition. When you arrive, you will be asked a series of questions that will either be recorded by hand or on tape. In some cases, you may also be videotaped during the questioning process. Before the questioning begins, you will be placed under Oath and must promise to only tell the truth. Your deposition will be a significant part of your case. Your St. Augustine motorcycle accident attorney will use the information gathered during the deposition to either help encourage a settlement or to prepare for trial. Everything that occurs during the deposition, including your attitude and appearance, will have an impact.

Definition of a Deposition

By definition, a deposition is an oral testimony that is given by a witness to an event that is in question. That testimony is then transcribed so that all parties to the proceedings can review the answers to the questions. Attorneys representing both parties will be in attendance of the deposition. Both attorneys will ask questions regarding the event and the outcome of the event. Your St. Augustine motorcycle accident attorney may ask additional questions after the opposing party is finished, that pertain to your injury so that the facts are on the record. All of the answers that are given will be under Oath. The answers will be transcribed and the video tapes will be duplicated so that they deposition can be used as evidence in Court, if necessary. The opposing counsel will look for any type of flaw in the answers to build their case against you. Depositions are a very important part of the case. This should not alarm you. If you go to your deposition prepared, remain calm, and do not panic, everything will go well. In many cases, you may have access to the questions that will be asked prior to going to the actual Deposition. With this in mind, you can prepare for your answers and enter into the room fully confident.

The Purpose of the Deposition

The main purpose of the Deposition is for the opposing party to gather information about the event in question. It is also a way to gain knowledge about any additional witnesses or information that may be necessary to completely investigate the case. How you answer and the way you respond will have a significant impact on the entire Deposition process. In most injury cases, the opposing attorney asks for a Deposition so that they can:

  • Gather what facts you know about the lawsuit in general
  • Determine if you have any knowledge that is useful to their side of the case
  • Make you testify under Oath so that you cannot retract any statement at a later time
  • Find ways to discredit your injury claim or your version of what caused the accident
  • Get an impression of how you react to questioning, what you look like, and how you would appear if the case went to Court.

Depositions Are Usually Mandatory

If you have been notified that you are required to attend a Deposition, you are required by the Court and the law to attend. Failing to attend a Deposition can cause your case to be closed without notice. In some states, failing to appear for a Deposition is considered Contempt of Court. If there are reasons that you cannot attend the Deposition, such as your injuries will not allow you to leave your home or require special transportation, you will need to notify your attorney immediately. Your attorney will make arrangements with the opposing counsel to have te Deposition conducted in a manner that can accommodate your needs. If you have a medial appointment that day, and it cannot be changed because the next appointment would be too far ahead that your treatments would be impacted, you can speak to your attorney about rescheduling. These are about the only reasons that will be accepted for missing a scheduled Deposition.

Speak to a St. Augustine Motorcycle Accident Attorney Today

If you are a victim of a motorcycle accident, you need to protect your rights and speak to one of the experienced attorneys at Canan Law. Contact Canan Law at 904.824.9402 to schedule a free case evaluation. Canan Law understands that victims of motorcycle accidents are often treated differently than those involved in a passenger vehicle. Somehow, it seems to be the belief that it is the motorcycle drivers fault, regardless of the facts. Canan Law protects the rights of motorcycle drivers and aggressively defends them when they have been injured. If you have been injured, contact a St. Augustine motorcycle accident attorney today.

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer Discusses Being Released from Jail

July 8, 2015

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer gavel and bookIf you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you should contact a Jacksonville DUI lawyer as soon as possible. You should also follow these steps to establish a case.

Document your Actions

First, write a detailed summary of the events that led up to your arrest. Make sure to note what you were doing, who you were with, and where you were. Describe what you ate, how much you had to drink, when you consumed the drinks, and if you took any type of medication. Then, document your interaction with the arresting officer. Take care to write down anything that you said as well as the officer’s response. If other people were with you, you should get their contact details and have them make a written account.

Recover Your Car

Recover your car and belongings from the impound location. If necessary, have a friend or relative drive your car home. Bring a camera with you to photograph any relevant items or containers that held alcoholic beverages. If possible, note how much liquid was left in the container.

Appeal Your Suspension

If your license has been suspended, contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as soon as possible. You only have 10 days to appeal the decision. Your attorney can also contact the DHSMV and arrange the hearing for you.

Avoid Trouble

It is very important for you to stay out of trouble and avoid problematic situations while your case is pending. Any new charges can hurt your case and make potential penalties more severe.

Contact a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

Finally, find an attorney who has experience handling DUI cases. If you need a lawyer, contact Canan Law today. Call us at 904-824-9402 to speak with a qualified Jacksonville DUI lawyer who is prepared to represent your case in Florida courts.

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer Discusses Police Observations of Driving Behaviors

June 16, 2015

drink keys Jacksonville DUI LawyerOur Jacksonville DUI lawyer can explain the defense against an officer’s observation of your driving behavior.

Police Stops Based on Driving Behaviors

In many instances, the police will use your driving behaviors as justification for the traffic stop. This could be the most important issue when the jury makes a decision in your case. The government has conducted studies showing that incidents of weaving or speeding have been statistically less than what could be considered enough to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses behaviors that law enforcement will use to determine whether or not a driver might be operating a vehicle under the influence. Your Jacksonville DUI lawyer can use this NHTSA study that is supposedly based on science to make a counterargument that bad driving does not automatically indicate driving under the influence.

How the NHTSA Detection Guide Is Viewed by Officers

The NHTSA instructs law enforcement in its Detection Guide to categorize driving behaviors with the following:

  1. A problem staying in the correct lane;
  2. Speeding and problems braking;
  3. Issues being vigilant;
  4. Problems with judgment.

It is predicted that if these indicators are present, the driver will be committing a DUI a minimum of 35 percent of the time. If the driver is weaving, there is a 50 percent chance that there is a DUI occurring. If the driver is weaving and also committing another one of the cues in the guide, the probability rises to a minimum of 65 percent. With two cues apart from weaving, the DUI likelihood is a minimum of 50 percent. Certain cues like speeding up without reason, swerving, or driving on the shoulder will have a single cue likelihood of DUI of more than 70 percent. In general, the probability that there is a DUI being committed rises when there is more than one cue indicated. According to the research, these training tactics can help law enforcement to:

  1. Detect drivers who might be impaired;
  2. Explain the behaviors they witnessed when filling out arrest reports;
  3. Provide support to the expert testimony of other officers.

Ironically, as they are giving a probability that a driver will be driving under the influence, the NHTSA is also providing a probability that a DUI is not being committed.

Contact a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

If you have questions about a law enforcement officer coming to the conclusion that you were driving under the influence and how this can be defended against, call (904) 824-9402 to speak to a Jacksonville DUI lawyer at Canan Law today.

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer Explains the 3 Parts of a Standardized Field Sobriety Test

June 9, 2015

Jacksonville DUI Lawyer police car with lights onLaw enforcement officers in Florida often rely on the results of the standardized field sobriety test to determine if an individual is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This test is composed of three separate tests, and the results of each of these tests could be challenged by a Jacksonville DUI lawyer in certain situations.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Officers look for involuntary eye movements during the HGN test, which is usually conducted by shining a flashlight into the driver’s eyes and asking them to look at a pen or similar object as it is moved from side to side. The eye movements of an intoxicated individual will likely be more exaggerated than those of someone who has not been drinking, and they may have difficulty completing the test. The results of an HGN test could be challenged by a Jacksonville DUI lawyer if the air contained irritants such as dust or pollen or the suspect performed the test while facing the rotating lights of a police vehicle. Certain medical conditions could also lead a sober individual to perform poorly during this test.

The Walk-and-Turn

This test involves walking heel-to-toe in a straight line before turning on one foot and returning along the same path while still walking heel-to-toe. An intoxicated individual may find it difficult to maintain their balance or walk in a straight line. They may also have difficulty turning. The results of this test could be disputed by a Jacksonville DUI lawyer because the test has been found to accurately predict a BAC level of .10 percent or more only 68 percent of the time.

The One-Leg Stand

During the one-leg stand test, the driver is asked to hold a standing position for about 30 seconds with one foot approximately six inches off the ground. Intoxicated individuals may put their foot down or either swing their arms or hop about as they try to keep their balance. A Jacksonville DUI lawyer may question the results of a one-leg stand test if the ground is uneven or the individual is wearing footwear that would likely make the task difficult to complete successfully. Balance also deteriorates with age, and this test may less accurately indicate impairment when the subject is over 65 years of age.

Contact a Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

For more help understanding the standardized field sobriety tests, contact a Jacksonville DUI lawyer from Canan Law at (904) 824-9402.


Our Jacksonville DUI Lawyer Discusses Whether Passengers Drink Alcohol in a Car

June 2, 2015

Pitcher of beer on table, close-up Jacksonville DUI LawyerA Jacksonville DUI lawyer may be able to help shed light on the complicated matter of passengers drinking alcohol in a moving vehicle. While it may be common knowledge that drivers are not permitted to operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other impairing substances, whether passengers are allowed to drink may vary according to state and local laws. Even states that do prohibit open containers in a moving vehicle may have exceptions that can be confusing.

Open Container Laws

Most states prohibit driving with any open cans, bottles, or other unsealed containers of alcohol, even if the driver is not drinking. Even carrying empty alcohol containers on sidewalks and streets is prohibited in many areas. Some states allow the presence of unsealed alcohol containers if they are in a secure location, such as a locked trunk or glove compartment where they may not be easily accessed. An overwhelming majority of 43 states have some type of open container law in place. Of those states, 40 conform to federal guidelines that mandate open container laws. If you are driving with an open container of alcohol on your person or within reach, you may be cited for an open container violation. Even if the container is in possession of a passenger, both you and the passenger may be cited.


There are seven states that do not have open container laws, including Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Mississippi, Missouri, Virginia, and West Virginia. Alaska, Louisiana, and Tennessee have open container laws that do not conform with federal guidelines. In states which do not ban open alcohol containers in vehicles, passengers may drink alcohol as long as they are not in violation of any local open container ordinances. As long as no local ordinances are being violated, passengers may legally drink alcohol in a moving vehicle. In Mississippi, even drivers are allowed to drink as long as their BAC level remains under the legal limit. Even in states where open container laws are in effect, some municipalities have specific ordinances that offer exemption to open container laws under certain circumstances. These exemptions are designed to boost tourism in areas such as the French Quarter in New Orleans. A DUI lawyer may be able to help clarify these special circumstance exceptions to open container laws.

Contact an Experienced Jacksonville DUI Lawyer

If you were arrested for a DUI, a skilled lawyer may be able to help you evaluate the evidence surrounding your arrest and build a strong defense. A lawyer may also be able to provide you with the representation you need in court and to ensure that your legal rights are protected, from questioning the performance of any field sobriety and chemical tests to evaluating whether you really were in violation of any local or state open container laws at the time of the arrest. Contact Canan Law today at (904) 824-9402 for a consultation with a Jacksonville DUI lawyer who may be able to ensure that you get the representation you deserve.

The Law Offices of Patrick T. Canan in St. Augustine, Florida represents clients throughout St. Johns County, Duval County, Flagler County, Putman County, Clay County,
and the cities of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach, Palm Coast, Palatka, Green Cove Springs, Bunnell, Flagler Beach, Hastings, Crescent City, Interlachen, and Jacksonville.

The Offices of Patrick T. Canan | 1030 N. Ponce de Leon Blvd | St. Augustine, FL 32084 | Telephone 904.824.9402 | Fax 904.824.9269
Email | For emergencies, call 904.716.3450 | Office Hours: 8:30-5:00 Monday through Friday
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