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Transportation, Aviation and Railroad Offenses

Florida has numerous laws related railroads, airplanes, roads and common carriers. Some of these laws are relatively common such as riding a railroad train with the intent to ride for free, and others like aircraft piracy are extremely rare. Benjamin Herbst provides representation for defendants charged with all offenses occurring on railroads, busses, trains and planes and is available for a free consultation at (954) 543-0305. Benjamin fights for his clients in all South Florida and Treasure Coast jurisdictions including Miami Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie County.

Common carriers such as railroad engineers, bus drivers and boat operators are held to a high standard of care in Florida, and if they cause injury or property damage, they could face criminal charges. Carelessness of a common carrier is a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, which means a driver or operator of a passenger vehicle or vessel can face up to a year in jail for a violation. The statute punishes gross carelessness or neglect in relation to the conduct, management and control of the vehicle or vessel. Operators and managers of common carriers could be criminally liable for an accident that causes property damage or injury to another. Common carrier employees such as signal station operators and many other railroad workers could also face criminal charges if they are intoxicated while on the job. Benjamin Herbst specializes in representing common carriers who are charged in South Florida with gross carelessness and intoxication, and provides all clients with his cell phone number for access on nights and weekends.

Other statutes that specifically target workers involved in the transportation sector are overcharging for parts and repairs, tampering with a motor vehicle or trailer and shooting or throwing an object at a railroad train. Auto shops that are found to have charged customers for work they did not perform could face second-degree misdemeanor charges. If the auto shop was paid by an insurance claim for work they did not perform the charge could be elevated to a third-degree felony. Overcharging for repairs and parts is a law that typically targets managers and owners of auto repair shops, but mechanics that took part in the scheme may also face criminal prosecution. Benjamin represents all defendants who are facing prosecution for overcharging for repairs and parts in South Florida. Tampering with a motor vehicle or trailer applies in situations where cargo is jeopardized, and is a first-degree misdemeanor. Throwing or shooting an object that can cause bodily harm at a moving train is a third-degree felony if the specific car was unoccupied, and a second-degree felony if the car was occupied. This is a serious offense in juvenile courts and adult courts, and it must be handled by an experienced criminal defense lawyer in order to avoid a potential jail sentence.

While it is not the most serious offense on the books, riding on a railroad train without purchasing a ticket is fairly common. In order for a person to be charged, he or she must have the intent to ride for free, so on trains where you can purchase a ticket onboard this charge may not apply. Anyone convicted likely does not face a jail sentence, but could have a permanent misdemeanor conviction on their record. This charge, and all Florida criminal charges must be taken seriously in order to avoid the potential for permanent consequences. A criminal lawyer can fight for a dismissal or even argue for the charges to be “no info” before they are filed.

Benjamin also represents defendants charged with aviation crimes such as aircraft piracy, which is a first-degree felony and careless or reckless flying, which is a third-degree felony. Operation of an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner that endangers the life of another person, and operation while under the influence of drugs or alcohol could result in a permanent felony conviction and a potential jail sentence if not handled properly. Any conviction will also be reported to the FAA and permanent loss of license is a real possibility. Benjamin represents pilots in careless or reckless flying cases in all South Florida and Treasure Coast jurisdictions, and is available 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305.

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My family and I could not be more grateful for everything you did for me. I truly thought my future would be permanently impacted and I would never be able to join the military or even go to college. Because of your hard work I still have the opportunity to do both. Thank you so much! - T.S.
Hiring you was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Thank you for supporting me and for your willingness to take the state to trial. Another lawyer may have tried to get me to take a plea, but you were ready to fight from day one. I’m so glad to have this case behind me, and have you to thank for it. - R.D.
I can’t thank you enough for your personal attention to the mess I got myself into. You don't know what a relief it is to be done with this criminal case. I never ever thought I would have been charged with a crime, but having you as my lawyer made the entire situation bearable. You gave me confidence that I would be able to overcome this from day one, and you followed through. Take care of yourself and your family, and thanks again for everything! - S.S.
You never backed down from the state, and you supported my decision to go to trial. Then you delivered in court. I appreciate you Ben. - T.C
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