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Gainesville Legal Blog

Recanting Refusal, Changing your Mind When arrested for DUI

After a DUI arrest in Florida, a person will be asked to submit a sample of their breath for analysis. Also referred to as taking the breath test. Upon refusing to provide a sample, the arresting officer is supposed to read a warning that the license will be suspended. Sometimes, people change their mind and provide a sample immediately. What if the officer says it is too late to blow and announces the arrestee has refused?

Criminal Summons in Florida

What happens upon receipt of a Criminal Summons? In some jurisdictions, the use of a Criminal Summons was part of criminal justice even prior to COVID. Some people are surprised to receive a summons, while others are made aware of a criminal investigation and may be expecting it.

Florida Criminal Arraignments During COVID

Much has changed in the practice of Florida criminal defense during COVID. With varying orders being issued by the Florida Supreme Court, the Chief Judges of the Circuits, County and local municipalities, we are all dealing with the semi-shutdown as best we can. It seems that new orders, tweaking the last set, are made about every other week.

Criminal Law and COVID-19

Intersections between criminal and public health law do exist. In Florida, section 381.00315, relating to public health advisories; public health emergencies; isolation and quarantines, creates a misdemeanor for violating "any rule adopted" pursuant to the section. Of course, this includes "any isolation or quarantine, or any requirement adopted ... pursuant to a declared public health emergency".

Criminal Assault, the Threatened Use of Force and Warning Shots

In the realm of criminal cases one way a defense attorney can protect a client is to argue self-defense. Some years ago, there were reports of a 'Warning Shot Bill' that would allow Floridians to fire a warning shot. There is no law that specifically 'allows a warning shot'. What in the stand your ground law caused the confusion that has me answering similar questions years later?

Equitable Distribution the Division of Assets and Liabilities in a Divorce

In any divorce or dissolution of marriage, an area of great concern(s) is the division of assets and debts. In Florida, the law provides for an "equitable distribution" of marital assets and liabilities. While a divorce court must begin with the presumption that marital assets and liabilities are to be divided equally, the court may distribute the marital estate fairly or "equitably" instead. Fair is not always equal. Factors to be considered include the contribution of each spouse to the marriage; the duration of the marriage; and the economic circumstances of each spouse.  Alimony is determined after equitable distribution.

Child Support, Incarceration and Imputed Income

When a parent is about to be or has been ordered child support and the paying parent is or is about to be incarcerated, then what? This is a common occurrence in divorce and paternity cases and like many things in family law, the answer depends on the facts of each case. There is a distinction in the case law between setting child support and supplemental petitions to modify child support.

DUI, the 20 minute observation & DHSMV Hearings

After an arrest for driving under the influence (DUI), if the driver is alleged to have refused to provide a breath sample or provided a sample resulting over .08, then the arrestee's driver license is supposed to be automatically suspended. This suspension takes place after ten (10) days. A driver must apply to challenge the suspension at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) or DMV within those same ten (10) days. DHSMV blog.

Alimony / Spousal Support in a Florida Divorce

In some divorce cases, alimony can be awarded to a former spouse that is in need of spousal support if the paying spouse has the ability to pay. Alimony is considered after equitable distribution. The court may grant alimony to either spouse. The requesting spouse must demonstrate a need for alimony and the ability of the other spouse to pay alimony.

Leaving The Scene Of Crash Involving Death - Actual Knowledge Required

The criminal traffic charge of Leaving the Scene of an Accident (LSA) or Hit and Run from a crash involving a death is a serious felony. 

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