Domestic violence: Will the State drop the charge?

December 27th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, Family Law, FAQ

When the police are called because of a domestic violence dispute, you can count on things getting out of your control. The laws of the State of Florida and the policies of police agencies presume that when a couple gets into a fight, violence ensues. In order to avoid any violence from occurring after they leave, the police will usually arrest one of the parties and let them cool off in jail. Unfortunately, that’s not where the story ends. Read more..

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What is “Speedy Trial” in Florida?

December 20th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, FAQ

By Attorney Mark Longwell

When a person is arrested or charged with a crime, the law requires that the person is given a trial within a reasonable period of time. This is known as the right to a speedy trial. This is a fundamental constitutional right that is codified in Florida law. If not for this important right, the government could arrest or charge someone on flimsy facts, but still hold the person in jail while indefinitely delaying the requirement of proving the charge beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. The effect would be to allow the government to leave charged individuals to languish, while the government is under no time constraint to act. Read more..

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Sign a Prenup? That Is So Romantic!

November 29th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Family Law, FAQ

By Attorney Vanessa Cotto

A Prenuptial or Premarital Agreement is a written contract created by two individuals who plan to be married. While you may have the best hopes for your future, it is not a bad idea to consider protecting your assets. The cost and time of preparing a premarital agreement is substantially far less than that of divorce litigation. Remember, just because you are prepared for the worst does not mean the worst will happen. Read more..

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How Long Will My Divorce Take?

November 14th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Divorce, Family Law, FAQ

By Attorney Vanessa Cotto

So, you have decided your marriage has come to an end. When I speak to people who are contemplating filing for divorce, there is one question that is always asked: How long does it take to get divorced?

Well, it depends. Read more..

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What If They Didn’t “Read You Your Rights”?

June 20th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, FAQ

By Attorney Mark Longwell

“Your rights” are what are commonly known as Miranda Warnings, named after a supreme court case, Miranda v. Arizona. If a person is in custody and interrogated by or on behalf of law enforcement, this is known as a custodial interrogation. Custody is many things, but it is obviously when you have been arrested. Interrogation is many things, but it is clearly when an officer asks you to give information about what happened. If an officer wants to conduct a custodial interrogation, Read more..

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Expungement v. Sealing

January 25th, 2012 | Posted in Articles, Criminal Law, FAQ

If you or someone you know has a criminal record it can be difficult to find a nice place to live, a decent job, or even get a loan. In today’s world, employers, landlords, and businesses administer background checks on potential employees, tenants, and even customers to ensure quality candidates are obtained. The expungement or sealing of a criminal act may help you get a second chance at life.

What is the difference between expungement and the sealing of a criminal record?
There is a difference between expungement and the sealing of a record. In most basic terms, having your record expunged, completely removes the criminal accusation from your record like a legal eraser. Notice the use of the word “accusation.” Read more..

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How Much Should I Tell My Attorney?

June 20th, 2011 | Posted in Articles, FAQ

Clients often fear that if the attorney representing them knows all of the negative facts of the case, it would cause the attorney to judge the client and perhaps be disappointed with the client. Many times the client believes that since negative facts cannot help the case, they do not need to be disclosed to the attorney. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. Read more..

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What Are My Rights When Confronted By The Police?

June 15th, 2011 | Posted in Criminal Law, FAQ

Knowing your rights when confronted by the police is the first step to protecting your freedom. Police officers are charged with maintaining order and enforcing the law. Unfortunately, these same officers may at times disregard your constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures of your persons and effects, your home, and your car. The following are the basic rights that you should be aware of when confronted by the police.

Florida recognizes three types’ levels of police encounters. The three levels are: Read more..

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How Can They Just Search My Wife?

June 15th, 2011 | Posted in Criminal Law, FAQ

My wife has a distrust of police officers that stems from an incident that happened when she was in high school. Driving home from school one day, police officers pulled her over, searched her and her vehicle for no reason. They told her afterwards that a classmate of hers was a drug dealer, and they were protecting her. No matter what their true intentions were, her rights were violated, and she was illegally searched. Had she understood her constitutional rights, she could have stopped them.

There are two separate ways a police officer can search you or your property. One is with a search warrant, the other is without. Understanding your rights is the best way to protect Read more..

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Was My Search & Seizure Legal? (Part 2)

June 15th, 2011 | Posted in Criminal Law, FAQ

In part I of this series on Search and Seizure law we covered the basic elements of the Fourth Amendment and protecting your privacy. Remember the Fourth Amendment provides “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Read more..

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