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Carlson Meissner Hart & Hayslett | Legal Blog

Apr  25,  2017
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Recognized Clearwater criminal defense attorney Paul A. Meissner Jr., of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, PA. clarifies the red light camera controversy


When the Florida Legislature convenes on March 7, 2017, the debate over red light cameras will resume. This time, discussions will include a recent report from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles that indicates crashes increase at intersections where red light cameras are installed.

According to the report, after the installation of red light cameras, crashes rose 10 percent at 148 intersections in 28 Florida cities and counties during the July 2012-April 2016 period, and rear-end crashes increased more than 11 percent.  Accidents involving pedestrians and other non-motorists fell almost 20 percent, and crashes involving running a red light were down about 3 percent.

Florida’s Legislature has considered bills to ban red light cameras over the past few years. Each of those bills has failed. This upcoming legislative session will consider two bills—SB 178 and HB 6007 -- that call for the repeal of red light cameras in Florida by 2020.

“The introduction of photographic automated enforcement systems – red light cameras – has added a new twist to defending against traffic tickets,” said defense attorney Paul A. Meissner Jr. of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. “Much of the controversy over the use of these red light cameras is related to the way evidence of speeding or running a red light is verified and how the violation is served.”

Red light cameras work by triggering the camera to take a photograph as a vehicle passes over a sensor in the intersection when the light is red. Photos of the vehicle’s front license plate and the driver are taken. A police officer is to check the photo of the driver against the driver’s license photo of the vehicle’s registered owner before a citation is mailed to the vehicle’s registered owner.

“If you receive a citation, the first step is to check the photographs to determine if the vehicle in the photo is your vehicle, and who was driving the car at the time the photograph was taken,” continued Mr. Meissner. “There are several issues to explore in defending a red light ticket, including circumstances where the driver was making a right turn.”

The criminal defense lawyers at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. have been serving the Tampa Bay area community for more than 45 years, and share more than 125 years of combined experience. Innovative practice and proven litigation skills make the firm Tampa Bay’s premier legal team, with a proven track record of success and a reputation for excellence. For more information, visit the firm website at www.CarlsonMeissner.com or contact the office directly at 877-728-9653.

Tags: red light cameras, edward carlson, carlson meissner hart and hayslett, carlson meissner, traffic ticket lawyer, red light camera lawyer, criminal lawyer
Posted in Criminal Defense|Drivers License
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Sep  01,  2016
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Kevin Hayslett, of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., will be giving a free seminar on Monday, September 19th, from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Ministry Center, located at 6825 Trouble Creek Road, New Port Richey, Florida 34652. 

The subject of this seminar will be the rights of our citizens in Florida regarding gun safety, and what you can do if you find you have a legal need for.

Following the seminar, Kevin Hayslett will remain for a Question and Answer session.

Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, gun safety, gun rights, free seminar, kevin hayslett
Posted in Announcements|Criminal Defense|News and Media
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Jul  25,  2016
By Jason Reid
Today, Kathy Prucnell, of the Anna Maria Islander Reporter, wrote that Chris Arnold, who is represented by Jason M. Reid of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., left the courthouse June 17th a free man. Twelfth Circuit Judge Deno Economou is expected to decide what the former city contractor will pay in restitution for grand theft sometime after July 15. The June hearing was the last of four hearings on the subject since the judge reserved it as part of Arnold’s sentence a year ago.

The judge ordered Arnold to serve 14 years probation and 100 hours of community service work after he pleaded no contest to a reduced grand theft charge in connection with bilking the city for $92,830. Arnold, who contracted to perform work for the city, initially faced a first-degree felony scheme to defraud for failing to perform curb work after a former employee told city officials Arnold was painting over curbs marked for replacement. Curbs on 11 streets in Key Royale and on Flotilla Drive were to be removed and replaced in three months — by Sept. 15, 2012 — under the 2012 city contract. Arnold testified June 17 the curb markings were not representative of work he hadn’t done. “There were literally thousands of marks” on the curbs for utilities, he said. Arnold also testified former Holmes Beach public works superintendent Joe Duennes verbally changed the contract, ordering curb grinding to fix drainage flow and remobilization efforts after Tropical Storm Debby, as well as adjustments for brick pavers. Former building inspector Bob Shaffer testified for the defense, saying Arnold’s crews performed grinding work and he saw many dumpsters. Arnold valued the extra work he performed without payment at $141,000. On cross, Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro showed Arnold paperwork for $2,263 in pipe repairs and HE acknowledged the payment. She added, he “was paid for it” if he “did it.” Chittaro also questioned Arnold about his current work, income and assets. Arnold testified he worked in jail, but since getting out hasn’t been able to find employment, except at the VFW. His earning ability has been “devastated” by the grand theft record, he testified. Arnold told the court he owned property in Pennsylvania with his wife and others. After the hearing, Chittaro said the financial inquiry will be used to make a monthly payment recommendation. The city is looking for restitution of its claim for $92,830 in unperformed work, attorneys’ fees, an engineer’s fee and $3,069.19 police and staff time. 

Chittaro and Arnold’s attorney, Jason Reid of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett of Bradenton, are to submit legal arguments by July 15 to Economou. After the hearing, Reid said their “strongest argument” is Arnold’s grinding work, which is acknowledged by city officials. The former contractor for the city — who constructed trolley stops and dog park structures, a public works building and performed work at Grassy Point Preserve — left the courthouse with more to say. “If I could go through it over again, I would have gone to trial. I have the evidence. I really do,” Arnold said.

Tags: carlson, meissner, hart, hayslett, jason reid,
Posted in Criminal Defense
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Apr  21,  2016
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Steadfast advocate for accident victims and clients facing criminal charges, Adam R. Bugg advances his career with premier legal team 


One of Tampa Bay’s foremost law firms, Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. expanded their firm’s wealth of knowledge by adding attorney Adam R. Bugg to the legal team. Bugg will focus on serving clients in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and surrounding counties in the areas of personal injury and criminal defense. His addition to the team offers an even stronger advantage to the firm's “team approach” strategy. 

Adam R. Bugg graduated Cum Laude, ranking in the top 9% of his class, from Stetson University College of Law. During his time at Stetson he received a coveted award, the Paul Barnard Award for Clinic Excellence. Before attending law school, Adam received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Samford University and was very involved on-campus. 

Following his undergraduate degree and immediately after graduation, Adam began serving the Largo community as a Police Officer. As a first responder, Adam was assigned the crisis intervention team, and additionally, mentored new recruits and managed other officers. Adam continued his career as an active duty police officer for five years before beginning law school. 

Adam succeeded in his scholastic pursuits while attending law school, consistently at the top of his class. He worked with both the Office of the Public Offender, Sixth Judicial Circuit and the Office of the State Attorney, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit as a certified legal intern and handled jury trials. Following graduation from Stetson’s College of Law, Adam passed the Florida Bar and worked for Phelps Dunbar LLP as an associate handling defense liability claims. Adam is looking forward to continuing his career with Carlson Meissner, a firm that built a notable reputation advocating for injured accident victims. 

Adam was raised in Pinellas County, and now resides in Tampa with his wife and two children. He spends his extra time coaching little league. “Attorney Bugg has consistently proven his commitment to strong and fair legal representation. His addition is paramount to our firms' continuing success and reputation for excellence,” explained partner J. Kevin Hayslett. “Adam’s dedication to serving others in the community is commendable.”

 

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Posted in Announcements|Personal Injury|Criminal Defense|News and Media
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Feb  16,  2016
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Trusted Tampa Bay Attorneys Celebrate 45 Years of Success

Beginning in 1971, the prominent Tampa bay firm of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett P.A. began living their motto, “Fighting for the injured, defending the accused”. Attorneys at the firm agree that the personal relationships they build with clients and their reputation as leaders in the community is the driving force behind a client's motivation to trust the Carlson Meissner team

The firm’s long history of success is founded upon four key philosophies - based on the word CARE. The “C” is this acronym stands for community commitment. The next letter represents accessibility, a promise of a timely response to clients. “R” stands for responsible, reasonable and reliable service while the final letter, “E”, stands for extensive experience and the team approach. 

Since 1971, the firm has grown to five locations across the Tampa Bay area to better meet the community’s needs. Locations include Tampa, Clearwater, Spring Hill, Bradenton, and New Port Richey. A team of 16 highly skilled attorneys comprises the Carlson Meissner legal team, giving clients access to more than a century of legal experience through the firm’s team approach. The attorneys have a proven record of success in several areas of practice, including:

The founders of the law offices of Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A. celebrate being named one of Florida’s Top Ranked Law Firms based on AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Lawyers Ratings, pursuant to the Wall Street Journal. Attorney Edward D. Carlson, co-founder of the firm, remarks, “ Our long-lasting success was not without hard work. Attorneys with our firm go the extra mile for the clients we serve and it is evident as each case unfolds.” The firm’s other co-founder, Paul A. Meissner, adds, “Our values have guided our practice and our skilled group of attorneys have allowed our firm to be unique in the creation of innovative legal strategies.” 

 

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Posted in Announcements|Personal Injury|Criminal Defense|Community|News and Media|Workers Compensation|DUI|Family Law
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