Author: Igor Hernandez

About Igor Hernandez

I am one of the partners here at Cornish Hernandez Gonzalez. I specialize in criminal defense and personal injury. I am an avid student of the art of trial advocacy and look to master that art every day.

    Being shot can be very traumatizing event. As a Miami shooting lawyer, it is something that I see more and more often these days, unfortunately. If you don’t believe me, a simple media search will get you multiple new incidents every week. Because of that, it is critical that you have a plan in place in the event that you are shot in Miami.

    Here are some things you should keep in mind if you ever find yourself the victim of a shooting:

    Get to a safe place and away from the threat as soon as possible

    The first thing to worry about is your safety. If you are the victim of a shooting, the number one thing you need to do is survive. If you don’t look out for yourself, it is likely that no one else around you will be looking out for you under such a stressful situation. Make sure to maintain your situational awareness to the best of your ability, and try to get yourself to a safe place as soon as possible. Most shootings are not mass shootings where the shooter walks in with an intent to kill multiple people. Most shootings are robberies gone wrong, assaults on specific people, or accidents. Because of this, getting to a safe place will not be as daunting as it sounds.

    If you are conscious and able call 911

    The paramedics will take several minutes to respond, depending on where they are, so the quicker you call them the quicker they will be able to respond with lifesaving first aid. Many gunshot wounds can be devastating. Depending on the caliber and the amount of times you are shot you could be losing a lot of blood. That is why getting emergency medical aid as soon as possible is extremely critical. If no one calls 911, no medical aid may be forthcoming until it is too late. You should never assume that someone else has called 911. You should be the one to call, as soon as possible and provide them with any information they need to get to you as soon as possible. The earlier they can get to you, the higher your chances of survival.

    If you are able, apply pressure to the wound to slow down the blood loss

    If you have been shot in an extremity, like an arm or a leg, use your clothing to reduce the blood flow to the limb by using it as a tourniquet. Make sure to not apply so much pressure that you cut off all the blood flow to your limb.  Completely cutting of the blood supply to the limb for an extended period of time can cause your tissue to die off. While this is better than dying, it is not ideal if you can avoid it. You wouldn’t want to lose an arm or a leg if you could have survived with all your limbs by applying a bit less pressure.

    Here is a great clip on making a makeshift tourniquet:

    Tell the police the details of your shooting

    Assuming you fell victim to a shooting while going about your lawful life and not while trying to rob a bank, it is critical that you share all the details of what happened with the police. The police will conduct an investigation that could lead to the criminal prosecution of the shooter. While that is only half of the justice equation when you’ve fallen victim to a shooting, it is a very important half. That is because the police investigation could assist your lawyer in getting you justice in the civil realm.

    Call a Miami Shooting Lawyer

    First off, I know what you’re thinking, what is a shooting lawyer? Is that a guy who kicks down doors and shoots my problems away? No, not exactly. A shooting lawyer is a lawyer that handles shooting injuries. If you’re in Miami you’d want to call a Miami shooting lawyer. This is because a Miami shooting lawyer would be most familiar with the court system in Miami, and also the way the different police departments operate.

    But, why would you need a Miami shooting lawyer if you’ve fallen victim of a shooting in Miami?

    Glad you asked. Most shootings are not only the fault of the person actually committing the shooting itself, but they are also the fault of the property owners in which the shooting took place. For example, let’s say you’re in a store in Miami minding your own business when a person comes in to rob the store. Let’s say the robber gets upset and shoots you, a customer, while the robbery is in progress. Chances are that this was not the first violent crime to happen at that store. Chances are that the owners of the store knew that this shooting was a real possibility. Chances are that they did nothing to help prevent or minimize the incident, even though they knew that it was reasonably expected to happen.

    Under Florida law that means that the store-owner is responsible for your injury. That means that the store owner would be responsible for making you whole, which is the lawyer way of saying that they have to pay you enough money to make up for the physical, emotional, and financial losses that you suffered as a result of being a victim of a shooting in their store. Because that is what we call “civil law,” the police or prosecutors can’t help you with that. The only people who can help you with that are lawyers that handle these kinds of cases. That’s why after you’re safe, and followed every other tip in this list you should call a Miami shooting lawyer to help get your life back on track.

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    Most people don’t think of hiring a gunshot victim lawyer while they are recovering from a shooting injury. This is because most people don’t know that if you’ve been shot through no fault of your own, you have rights and may be entitled to have the responsible parties compensate you for your injuries. While most of the time the person who shoots another does not have the money to make that person whole, there are usually other parties who are also at fault for a shooting incident.

    A gunshot victim lawyer will tell you that the property owner may be responsible for your shooting injury

    In Florida, property owners have a duty to keep their property in a reasonably safe condition. That means that they have a duty to make sure that people on their property do not fall victim to reasonably foreseeable acts of violence. Put simply, if you’re a property owner and you know that everyone around you is getting robbed, shot, and murdered, you have a responsibility to enact reasonable security measures to make sure that that doesn’t happen to the people that visit your property.

    If you’re trespassing on someone else’s property you’ll likely not to have a right to compensation from the property owner

    In Florida, whether you’re entitled to compensation from a property owner if you’re shot on the property depends on many factors. One of those factors is whether you were invited on the property, or whether you were trespassing. If you go onto someone else’s property without permission and are injured there, your ability to receive compensation is substantially diminished. In that case there may not be much that a gunshot victim lawyer can do for you. On the other hand, if you’re on the property under invitation, or for a legitimate business purpose (like buying something), then your ability to receive compensation will be much higher.

    If you’re actively engaged in violent/illegal conduct at the time of the shooting you’re likely not to have a right to compensation from the property owner

    If you were shot because you were trying to rob a store, trying to kill someone, or engaged in a drug trafficking operation that went wrong, you are likely not entitled to compensation. Not only are your legal options limited here, as they should be, but you’d also be hard pressed to find a competent gunshot victim lawyer to represent you in that case. Frankly, any lawyer that would take a case like that should be shot.

    If you’re shot on public property, such as a the beach or a public roadway, you’re likely not going to have a right to compensation

    The laws governing public property are slightly different from those governing private property. As such, your ability to get compensation if you’re shot on a city street, for example, is very limited. Also, in Florida there is something called sovereign immunity. Sovereign immunity is a law that protects public bodies like cities and counties from liability from certain wrongs. We could go in-depth here as to why if you’re shot on the street you’ll have a hard time recovering, but instead we’ll just leave it at that. Suffice it to say that the law in Florida in that respect makes it almost impossible for a gunshot victim lawyer to help you out.

    If your injury is minor you’re likely not going to be compensated

    The law compensates you for injuries caused as a result of someone else’s fault. The more severe the injury, the greater the recovery. Bringing a claim for compensation in the civil justice system is a long an expensive process. If your injury is not severe enough, the recovery will not be sufficient to justify the costs and time of litigation. As a result, if you have been shot but your injury is not severe, you should consider yourself lucky and move on with your life.

    If you’ve been shot while on someone else’s property you should consider hiring a gunshot victim lawyer. These cases can be difficult to prosecute, and time is of the essence.

    In the meantime, if you’d like to find out what a lawsuit for this kind of case is about, feel free to check out our post on the subject.

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    If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a shooting incident in Miami you may have considered the possibility of bringing a lawsuit. While you may be vaguely familiar with how a lawsuit works, you will likely not be familiar with the intricacies of a shooting lawsuit. If you’re considering bringing a shooting lawsuit, you should know that the lawsuit will be broken up into these parts:

    Filing the shooting lawsuit

    The first step in the lawsuit process will be to file the actual shooting lawsuit. A lawsuit is just a piece of paper that sets out the allegations in the case. In a shooting lawsuit, the paperwork will allege that the defendant failed to meet its standard of care, resulting in your injuries. The specifics of the allegations will depend on what the Defendant knew or should have known at the time, and the ways in which the Defendant failed to act to keep you safe. Once this paper is filed in court and served on the Defendant the lawsuit has officially started.

    Discovery

    After the shooting lawsuit is filed, the discovery process begins. Discovery is what lawyers call the process used to gather information about the lawsuit that may be in the possession of the parties or other entities. In Florida this process includes requests for production, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and depositions. This process is governed by the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. It is during this process that the lawyers can information that may otherwise not been available before the shooting lawsuit was filed. Things that are commonly obtained during this process include: surveillance video of the incident, internal policies and procedures of the Defendant, and admissions of fact regarding the incident.

    Mediation

    Mediation is a step of the process where the parties agree to meet and see if they can resolve the issues in the lawsuit without the need for a trial. A mediator will usually be chosen by all the parties in order to facilitate this process. A mediator is simply a neutral person who is trained in negotiation whose job is to facilitate the negotiations among the parties to see if a resolution can be reached. Mediation is strictly confidential, and nothing that is said during the mediation can be used at trial.

    Trial

    Trial is the culmination of the shooting lawsuit. If the parties cannot come to an agreement before trial as to who is at fault and how much money should be given to the person bringing the shooting lawsuit, the parties will take the case to trial. Trial in Florida is almost always done before a jury. The jury is a pool of people from the community chosen by the parties to decide issues such as who is at fault, and if the Defendant is at fault how much money should be awarded to the victim of the shooting. Most shooting lawsuits resolve before getting to this point.

    Appeal

    Regardless of who wins at trial there will usually be an appeal. An appeal is a way for the losing side to take the case up to a higher court and try to get a new trial. Unless someone made a serious mistake during the trial, appeals typically fail. But an appeal can take a year or more to resolve, and in the meantime you will not see any compensation if you won at trial.

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    If you’ve been shot in Miami you will find yourself in a roller-coaster of police, medical providers, pain, suffering, and medical bills.  Most people who are shot in Miami know that there will be a criminal investigation, and hopefully the person who shot them will be held accountable in the criminal justice system. Other than that, most people do not know what other remedies are available to them if they are shot in Miami.

    Here are some things that you should know if you’re shot in Miami.

    The police and prosecution can only help you as far as the criminal justice system goes

    The prosecutors and the police will do what they can to help you get justice in the criminal justice system. In laymen terms that means that they will prosecute the person who shot you and try to put them in jail for what they did to you. While that is definitely a helpful measure of justice, that will do nothing to help you regain your mobility, pay your medical bills, and compensate you for the pain and suffering that you went through and may continue to go through. This is because the criminal justice system isn’t set up to make you whole, it is set up to punish the person who injured you. In the best of cases in the criminal system you can expect that the person who shot you will be punished to some extent, and nothing more than that. Your medical bills, your loss of employment, your lack of mobility, and every other aspect of your injury will be something that you would have to deal with, without any help from the police or prosecutors. The system is just not built for that.

    If you were shot in Miami on private property, the property owner may have to compensate you for what happened to you

    All is not lost, however. If you were shot in Miami while on private property, like for example, a Walmart or McDonald’s, or even a housing complex, the property owner may have to pay you for your losses. This is because Florida law requires that property owners take reasonable measures to keep these kinds of incidents from happening on their property. If you’ve ever been somewhere and you’ve seen security guards, prominently displayed cameras, lighting, etc., you have witnessed the kind of reasonable measures that property owners are expected to take. The most common example is that of a night-club or bar where you have one or more bouncers to ensure the safety of the customers.

    Unlike the criminal system, the civil justice system is perfectly equipped to hold the property owner accountable for his/her failure to provide adequate security. Under the civil system you are entitled to receive money for pain and suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. This means that if the property owner’s failure to establish reasonable security measures contributed to you being shot, you should receive money from the property owner to make you whole.

    Your shooting was likely preventable and avoidable, if the property owner had done the right thing

    Unfortunately, the great majority of shootings in Miami could have been avoided or prevented had the property had the property owner put on reasonable security measures. There are way too many shootings happening on or around the same properties. If these property owners spend some of their business profits to add security guards, cameras, and proper lighting, a lot of these shootings would never take place in their property.

    Most property owners do not do the right thing when it comes to protecting their patrons and tenants

    Most property owners, however, do not do the right thing when it comes to protecting their patrons and tenants. This is because additional security measures affect their bottom line. If they have to pay a security guard, that is money that has to come out of the business profit margin. More money for security means less money in the pocket of the property owners. It is sad that we live in a world where people and companies are willing to risk people’s life and limb in order to save a couple of bucks, but that is the world we live in. This profits-over-people mentality leads to countless deaths and shooting injuries.  

    While the prosecution and police are there to hold the shooter criminally accountable, there is no government body that is set up to help you hold the property owner civilly accountable

    If you’ve been shot in Miami, you know that the police and prosecutors are available to help. In fact, those two bodies are designed for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting crimes. But you’d be surprised to learn that there is no government body that is set up to help you hold the property owners accountable if you are shot in Miami. There are no government civil prosecutors or police for that. You’re literally on your own.

    But that’s not entirely accurate. While there are no government bodies that are set up to help you get the money that you deserve for your loss, there are civil lawyers who sue on behalf of people who are injured in shootings. We at Cornish Hernandez Gonzalez handle these kinds of injury cases and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients.

    If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being shot while on private property, we can help. Do not hesitate to give us a call or fill out the form.

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    You fell victim to predatory towing tactics. You call the police, but they say it is a civil matter, and won’t help you. They tell you that your only choice is to take them to civil court. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, if the predatory towing companies have their way in Florida, after July 2019 you will no longer be able to take them to court.

    HOW PREDATORY TOWING COMPANIES ARE TRYING TO CHANGE THE LAW

    Florida Statute 715.07 allows for people to fight back against predatory towing companies by suing them in civil court. This is possible by a provision in the statute that makes the companies liable for your towing costs, court costs, damages, etc. This law has been on the books since 1976.

    Instead of abiding by the law, predatory towing operators have come up with a different idea: they are going to change the law in Tallahassee. As we speak, the Florida legislature is considering a towing lobby sponsored bill to remove all the protections that the law has afforded to the people. And the bill appears to be clearing every committee without opposition.

    WHO WOULD WANT TO TAKE AWAY PEOPLE’S ABILITY TO FIGHT BACK WHEN THEY ARE VICTIMIZED BY PREDATORY TOWING PRACTICES?

    The answer to this can be found in the public records. Senate bill 1792 (which is the bill that intends to make it easier for towing companies to prey on people) was introduced by Senator Joe Gruters from District 23 in Sarasota. Its house counterpart was introduced by Representatives Stan Mcclain, from Ocala, and Mel Ponder, from Okaloosa.

    Proponents of the Predatory Towing Bill

    WHY WOULD A POLITICIAN WANT TO MAKE ITS CONSTITUENTS AN EASIER TARGET OF PREDATORY TOWING PRACTICES?

    The answer to this question is not as clear. Politicians are supposed to represent the interests of the people. It is hard to fathom why anyone who represents the people would back a bill that would make it so that people are easier to victimize by towing companies. After all, people are already getting crushed by these predatory companies with the current law in place.

    Why would anyone want to legitimize predatory practices against the very people that he or she is supposed to represent? The answer to that is lobbyists. Tracking the progress of these bills gives you a direct look into how special interest groups have taken control of our democracy.

    WHO IS BEHIND THESE PREDATORY CHANGES?

    The following is a list of the players who are in the open about pushing this bill. There are probably many more players who are in the shadows:

    1. David Custin (Lobbyist) – Beach Towing Services (Miami Beach towing company)
    2. Sam Brewer – Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida.
    3. Jase Diaz (Lobbyist) – Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida.
    4. Mike Seamon (Lobbyist) – Professional Wrecker Operators of Florida.

    Unsurprisingly, the only people in favor of this change in the law is the towing lobby. What is surprising is that with only the towing lobby in support, these bills are swiftly making their way through each committee. The very committees that are supposed to be in place to protect the will of the people.

    What’s even more outrageous is that the change in the law is literally to make it so that towing companies who tow illegally cannot be sued. When was the last time that we as a people wanted to change the law to protect bad actors? And why is the towing lobby behind this change, if it proclaims to be a good citizen of our communities?

    The answer is simple, towing companies want to continue to victimize you, and they want to be able to do it with impunity. The sad part about it is that they may be able to do it, with the help of your Florida legislator.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT

    Let the representatives and senators know that you do not like the idea of being preyed upon by predatory towing companies, and that you don’t support these bills.

    The Towing bill (Senate Bill 1792) is coming before the Infrastructure and Security Committee on 04/02/19. The people who can vote on that committee are:

    1. Senator Tom Lee – (850) – 487 – 5020
    2. Senator Keith Perry – (850) – 487 – 5008
    3. Senator Aaron Bean – (850) – 487 – 5004
    4. Senator Janet Cruz – (850) – 487 – 5018
    5. Senator Ed Hooper – (850) – 487 – 5016
    6. Senator Travis Hutson – (850) – 487 – 5007
    7. Senator Linda Stewart – (850) – 487 – 5013
    8. Senator Annette Taddeo – (850) – 487 – 5040

    Give them a call, let them know that predatory towing companies don’t need a change in the law, they need to start following the rules.

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    If you’ve lived in Miami for any period of time you’ve undoubtedly experienced being towed from private property. Maybe you parked your car and went to Publix and then walked to the restaurant across the street for a couple of minutes to pick up the take-out you ordered, only to find your car on the back of a pickup truck upon your return. Or maybe you’re an Uber Eats driver, making a 3 minutes delivery, only to see your car disappear before you make it back. Whatever the case may be, know that you’re not alone. These predatory towing practices happen every day in Miami, and they are often illegal.

    These companies want you to believe that if you accidentally overstayed your parking, or did not see the hidden “Tow Away” signs you’re SOL. But did you know that despite what the tow truck companies tell you, you have rights?

    Most States and municipalities have laws in place to regulate the illegal and predatory towing practices that towing companies are well known for. Because of this, even if you accidentally overstayed your parking, or did not see the Tow-Away signs, you may be able to get your money back.

    Miami Dade county is no different.

    Illegal Towing In Miami: Your Rights

    A Florida Statute, as well as Miami Dade county ordinances regulate towing in Miami Dade County. The Florida Statute sets a minimum threshold of rights, while the Miami Dade County and City ordinances add an extra layer of protection to the consumer.

    If you’re towed in Miami you should know the following:

    • If the tow truck driver is in the process of towing your car when you return to your car, the driver has to release your car for 50% of the maximum towing rate. In Miami Dade County the maximum towing rate for a Class “A” (most regular cars) tow is $101.00. This means that in these cases you’re entitled to get your car back for $50.50.
    • If you’re towed in Miami you have the right to have access to your car to retrieve your paperwork, even if you have not paid to have the car released.
    • Before you can be towed from a private lot in the Miami, the tow truck operator is required to have a written directive from the owner or authorized representative of the property owner to tow your particular car. This means that the act of patrolling a lot looking for violations is illegal. Note that this only applies during the hours of operation for the business that owns the lot.
    • Also, in order for a tow company to be able to tow your car the company needs to have a written agreement with the owner of that lot.
    • A tow company is required to get you an itemized receipt once you pay to get your car back.

    Things To Keep In Mind

    No Help From City or County Officials

    If you’re a victim of illegal towing in Miami you should know that the county and the city are not going to be of much help. For decades these towing companies have been carrying out illegal tows in Miami. The behavior is so common and widespread that city and county officials that we’ve dealt at times don’t even seem to know that it is illegal.

    But, but, the Police will certainly help me, right?!?

    illegal towing in Miami

    Unfortunately, the police will not help you. If you are towed in Miami, the police will say that whether you were properly towed or not is a civil dispute. They will say this even though a lot of towing violations that happen in Miami are actually criminal offenses in nature. Simply put, the police believes it has better things to do than keeping the towing companies from stealing your hard-earned money and holding your car hostage.

    Towing Charges Will Accrue

    If you are towed in Miami, you should pay to have your car returned to you as soon as possible. This is because the longer the car stays at the lot, the more money you’ll need to pay them to get it out. If the tow was an illegal tow, you’ll be able to fight it later on. There’s no reason to leave the car in the tow lot.

    Tow Companies Will Charge For Services Not Rendered

    Tow truck companies will try to charge you for things that they are not allowed to. They do this because they know that most people feel that they are in a hopeless situation and have no real remedy. They also do this because they know that some of these charges are hard to disprove.

    Although every now and then this happens on video: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-beach-cracks-down-on-bogus-towing-fees-after-complaint-10649222

    Tow Truck Companies Will Try To Bully You

    The tow truck companies will try to bully you by telling you anything that they can to discourage you from fighting the tow. Many of our clients have been told by tow truck operators that they have lawyers on retainer, that they will win in court regardless, that you won’t hire a lawyer because it is too expensive, and many other things.

    Do not fall for those claims.

    The reality is that very often these companies are operating illegally. Because of that, you are very likely to win in court if you have a good lawyer.

    Hiring a lawyer will also not cost you any money. This is because we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. Meaning, you do not pay us anything out of pocket for us to handle your case.

    Signs Of Illegal Towing In Miami

    While these signs do not always indicate illegal towing in Miami, in our experience they are a good indicator that something is wrong. If you experience any of these, keep your eyes open and document as much as you can.

    • The tow truck company tells you that they only accept cash.
    • The lot where you were towed from had no signage warning you that you could be towed.
    • The tow truck company refused to give you a receipt.
    • The tow truck company damaged your car, but claims it didn’t cause the damage.
    • Your car is towed within minutes of you parking.
    • The tow truck tows your car, even though you’re inside of it.
    • The tow truck operator wants to charge you over $100 for a drop fee (i.e. releasing your car on scene)

    What Should I Do If Towed In Miami?

    If you are towed in Miami you should do the following:

    • Take photos of all the entrances of the lot from which you were towed. This evidence will be very important later.
    • Take photos of the payment machine in the lot, if there is one.
    • Pay to have your car back as soon as possible.
    • Make sure that you get, and keep, the tow receipt.

    After you’ve done the above, give us a call at 305-853-9440. We are on a mission to eliminate these illegal towing practices one case at a time.

    If you’re interested to know more about our crusade to crush illegal towing and booting practices in South Florida check out our article.

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    If you’re a tourist visiting Miami Beach, Florida for the first time, or a Miamian who doesn’t spend much time there, you may never have experienced what it is like to be towed in Miami Beach. For everyone else, getting towed in Miami Beach is an all too familiar experience.

    These companies want you to believe that if you accidentally overstayed your parking, or did not see the hidden “Tow Away” signs you’re SOL. But did you know that despite what the tow truck companies tell you, you have rights?

    Most States and municipalities have laws in place to regulate the illegal and predatory towing practices that towing companies are well known for. Because of this, even if you accidentally overstayed your parking, or did not see the Tow-Away signs, you may be able to get your money back.

    The City of Miami Beach is no different.

    Towed in Miami Beach: Your Rights

    A Florida Statute, as well as City of Miami Beach ordinances regulate towing in Miami Beach. The Florida Statute sets a minimum threshold of rights, while the City of Miami Beach ordinances add an extra layer of protection to the consumer.

    If you’re towed in Miami Beach you should know the following:

    • If the tow truck driver is in the process of towing your car when you return to your car, the driver has to release your car for 50% of the maximum towing rate. In the City of Miami Beach the maximum towing rate for a Class “A” (most regular cars) tow is $140.00. This means that in these cases you’re entitled to get your car back for $70.00.
    • Unattended private lots in the City of Miami Beach are required to have a multitude of different signs alerting you that your car will be towed. If the lot that you were towed from lacks these signs, the tow is illegal and you’re entitled to have your money back.
    • If you’re towed in Miami Beach you have the right to have access to your car to retrieve your paperwork, even if you have not paid to have the car released.
    • Before you can be towed from a private lot in the City of Miami Beach, the tow truck operator is required to have a written directive from the owner or authorized representative of the property owner to tow your particular car. This means that the act of patrolling a lot looking for violations is illegal. Note that this only applies during the hours of operation for the business that owns the lot.

    Things to Keep in Mind

    No Help From City Officials

    If you’re towed in Miami Beach you should know that the city is not going to be of much help. There’s two companies in the City of Miami Beach that have a duopoly over non-consensual towing in the city. Because of this, the City parking officials are pretty much at their mercy and do not really enforce the rules against them.

    But, but, the Police will certainly help me, right?!?

    Unfortunately, the police will not help you. If you are towed in Miami Beach, the police will say that whether you were properly towed or not is a civil dispute. They will say this even though a lot of towing violations that happen in the City of Miami Beach are actually criminal offenses in nature. Simply put, the police believes it has better things to do than keeping the towing companies from stealing your hard-earned money and holding your car hostage.

    Towing Charges Will Accrue

    If you are towed in Miami Beach, you should pay to have your car returned to you as soon as possible. This is because the longer the car stays at the lot, the more money you’ll need to pay them to get it out. If the tow was an illegal tow, you’ll be able to fight it later on. There’s no reason to leave the car in the tow lot.

    Tow Companies Will Charge for Services Not Rendered

    Tow truck companies will try to charge you for things that they are not allowed to. They do this because they know that most people feel that they are in a hopeless situation and have no real remedy. They also do this because they know that some of these charges are hard to disprove.

    Although every now and then this happens on video: https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-beach-cracks-down-on-bogus-towing-fees-after-complaint-10649222

    Tow Truck Companies Will Try To Bully You

    The tow truck companies will try to bully you by telling you anything that they can to discourage you from fighting the tow. Many of our clients have been told by tow truck operators that they have lawyers on retainer, that they will win in court regardless, that you won’t hire a lawyer because it is too expensive, and many other things.

    Do not fall for those claims.

    The reality is that very often these companies are operating illegally. Because of that, you are very likely to win in court if you have a good lawyer.

    Hiring a lawyer will also not cost you any money. This is because we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. Meaning, you do not pay us anything out of pocket for us to handle your case.

    What Should I Do If Towed In Miami Beach?

    If you are towed in Miami Beach you should do the following:

    • Take photos of all the entrances of the lot from which you were towed. This evidence will be very important later.
    • Take photos of the payment machine in the lot, if there is one.
    • Pay to have your car back as soon as possible.
    • Make sure that you get, and keep, the tow receipt.

    After you’ve done the above, give us a call at 305-853-9440. We are on a mission to eliminate these illegal towing practices one case at a time.

    If you’re interested to know more about our crusade to crush illegal towing and booting practices in South Florida check out our article.





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    The towing and booting industries arose out of the idea that private lots should not be occupied by the cars of people who are not clients of the businesses for which the lot is in place. The advent of “pay to park” lots caused these industries to expand into “enforcing” the payments at these lots. The idea was still the same–to make sure that cars that are not supposed to be parked there are removed or penalized in some way so as to incentivize people to use the lots correctly. It was a good idea at the time, little did anyone know that it would lead to predatory towing and booting tactics.

    The Rise of Predatory Towing and Booting Behavior

    After a while, the industry realized that there was a lot of money to be made by towing and booting people, even if space in the lots was not scarce. And so, these companies decided that they would tow and boot for the sake of towing and booting, even if the cars that they were towing or booting were in no way interfering with the orderly flow of business in that lot. After this realization a feeding frenzy began, one that would affect almost every family in South Florida.

    You don’t have to go far to get a feel for the extent of the abuse. A simple internet search reveals plenty:

    -Local 10 Reports Sunny Isles Towing Abuse
    -Miami New Times Reports On Companies Charging Bogus Fees
    -Sun Sentinel: Towing Abuses Still Rampant In Broward
    -King Wrecker Uses Falsified Documents To Justify Tows
    -Tow Trucks Overcharging While Law Enforcement Looks Away

    Our Government’s Flawed Response

    In response to this industry feeding frenzy, and with the goal of protecting the people, counties began implementing regulations to try to prevent predatory towing practices. Regulations to address predatory booting practices followed shortly thereafter. While the goal of these regulations was to curb predatory towing practices, the regulations’ implementation left much to be desired. The cities and counties never really had the funding to enforce them, and predatory towing behavior continued to be rampant. Predatory booting behavior also continued to rise.

    Because of the lack of enforcement, a lot of these companies saw these regulations as a joke, and decided to not even pretend to follow them. When people who were towed or booted in a predatory fashion would call the police, the police would say they could not do anything about it. That it was a “civil matter.” They would say this, even though most of the regulations make it a criminal act to tow or boot illegally. The reality was that the police departments think that they have better things to do than enforcing towing regulations.

    The End Result

    Because of the government’s lack of enforcement, towing and booting companies realized that they were free to hold people’s cars hostage even though these companies themselves were operating illegally. People were stuck paying these companies exorbitant fees to get their cars back because they felt that they had nowhere to turn. In their minds, going to court by themselves was too complicated, and paying a lawyer would cost significantly more than the fee charged by the towing or booting company. And even if someone wanted to hire a lawyer to fight these predatory towing and booting companies, no law firms in town were doing this kind of work.

    The situation seemed hopeless.

    Our Response

    We at Cornish Hernandez Gonzalez realized that there is a large portion of our community that is being victimized by these predatory towing and booting companies. Hard working people who park somewhere for a few minutes, only to be illegally towed or booted and have their cars held for ransom. Single mothers who are trying to run a five minute errand and park their car in an empty lot, not knowing that there are predators hiding in the shadows, hoping they can make hundreds of dollars over her five minute mistake.

    We decided that someone had to take a stand against these predatory practices. And while we are primarily known for working to correct injustice in the personal injury and criminal defense arenas, we feel strongly that injustice in any form should not be allowed to exist in our community.

    How We Are Correcting It

    We have made it our purpose in 2019 to correct these predatory towing and booting practices in our community by filing cases in court on behalf of people who have been abused by these companies. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that we do not actually charge you anything, and we only get paid if we recover for you.

    We hope that by doing this we can give these companies something to think about before deciding to take advantage of another person in our community.

    To learn more about how we handle these cases, go here.

    If you have been towed or booted in South Florida, give us a call at 305-853-9440, or fill out the form in this page. We would love to have you join our battle against these predatory towing and booting companies.

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    There are several ways that a person can be held without a bond in Florida state courts. In this article I will walk you through them.

    Re-Arrested While On Pre-trial Release

    The first and most common way that people end up in custody without a bond is because they are re-arrested on a new criminal offense while on pre-trial release for a criminal offense.  When this happens the person will be held at the bond hearing on the new charge for them to go in front of the original judge who will then revoke their bond on the original case.  A judge always has discretion to reconsider setting a bond after revoking a person’s bond and a lawyer can file a motion to have the judge re-evaluate all the circumstances and issue a new bond.

    Non-Bondable Offense

    A person can also be held without a bond if they are arrested for what we call “non-bondable offenses.”  These are offenses that carry a maximum penalty of life in prison or death.  If a person is arrested on a non-bondable offense he or she will be held without a bond until a hearing is held.  This hearing is called an Arthur hearing.  At the Arthur hearing the prosecutor will need to prove that the person is guilty of the charged offense by a standard called “proof evident, presumption great.”  It is a standard that is higher than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  If the prosecutor cannot meet that burden at the hearing the judge has to set a reasonable bond.  Even if the prosecutor can meet that standard, however, the judge still has the discretion to set a bond.  This is why it is important that your lawyer request an Arthur hearing on your behalf.

    Probation Violation

    A person can also be held without a bond while pending a probation violation hearing.  A probationer who is accused of violating his or her probation is not entitled to a bond pending the violation hearing.  A lawyer, however, can still file a motion with the court asking the court to consider some form of release pending the violation.  Although these motions are rarely granted, it might trigger the court to become involved towards facilitating a resolution to the violation with the prosecution and may result in the probationer being reinstated sooner than the hearing date.

    If you or a loved one are facing the possibility of being held without a bond for a criminal offense give us a call or enter your information on the form in this page for a free consultation.  We would love to help.

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    For most people, being arrested and being forced to navigate the criminal justice system is a scary proposition.  Knowing what to expect can ease this anxiety.  Every criminal case develops in the same way after the prosecution has decided to prosecute the case.  Once the prosecution has levied charges against a person that person has two options: option 1) take the case to trial before a jury of his or her peers, option 2) reach a deal with the prosecution.

    I. Trial

    If a person chooses trial, the prosecution has to prove the accusations beyond every reasonable doubt to a jury before the person can be convicted.  A good defense attorney can make sure that the jury sees all the evidence in the case that can help the defendant, and in that way increase the chances of an acquittal.

    II. Plea

    If a person chooses to not take the case to trial, then the person has to make a deal with the prosecution.  In Miami Dade County there are three typical resolutions to a case.  If a person has no previous contacts with the criminal justice system the person will usually qualify for the Pre-trial Intervention program (PTI).  To go into the PTI program in Miami Dade the person is not required to plea guilty to the charges.  Once the person completes the program the prosecution will dismiss the charges against the person.  PTI is the best resolution to a criminal case because it does not carry a risk of conviction or jail time.

    The next potential resolution to a criminal case is a probationary sentence.  A probationary sentence can come with a conviction or with a withhold of adjudication, which does not result in a conviction.  While there are many different conditions of probation that a person may be require to abide by, the typical conditions of probation are random drug tests, submission to warrantless searches by a probation officer, reporting requirements, community service hours, and not leaving the county without permission.

    The third potential resolution to a criminal case is a straight time sentence.  In this scenario the person pleads guilty to the charge and proceeds to serve a jail or prison sentence.  Upon completion of the jail or prison sentence the person is done with the case and has no additional requirements.

    The fourth potential resolution to a criminal case is what is called a split sentence.  In this scenario the person pleads guilty and is sentenced to jail or prison time, to be followed by a probationary sentence.  In this scenario once the person finishes his or her jail sentence the person is under the supervision of a probation officer and has probationary conditions to abide by.

    In any event, a person who violates probation is subject to the maximum penalty he or she would have been subjected to if he or she was convicted at trial.  This means that a person who violates probation can be sentenced up to the maximum sentence allowed by law for the charge regardless of how long or how short the original probationary period was.

    If you or a loved one is navigating the criminal justice system give us a call.  We would love to help.

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