In Florida, a person can seal or expunge criminal records but only once in a lifetime and only if the charge(s) qualifies. Not all charges can be sealed or expunged. The Petition to Expunge or Seal must be filed in the county where the case originated. In Florida, expunging a case or sealing an arrest or case are different things.
The term 'Statute of Limitations' (SOL) refers to the time period under which a case can be brought. If the time passes, then the SOL operates to bar the case and the plaintiff is out of luck. There is a SOL for almost every type of case. In criminal cases, the time limit is expressed in a term of years depending on the offense. Sometimes people feel that if it took several months to receive a criminal citation, then that should be enough to have the case dismissed. Unfortunately, so long as prosecution is started within the time frame allowed then, a delay of several months will not win the matter.
Though the Stand Your Ground law was enacted a few years ago, the burden of proof had never been ultimately decided by the Florida Supreme Court. The procedure in a Motion to Dismiss based upon immunity had been established.
Domestic violence has made a lot of headlines recently and by now most of us have seen the ads the NFL felt compelled to bombard us with. My office defends those accused of the criminal charge of domestic violence but we also represent victims seeking injunctions and proceeding with divorce or dissolution of marriage.
In criminal cases a bond is an amount set by the court to allow a person to remain at liberty while their case is pending. There are several standard conditions of bond such as do not use illegal drugs and do not violate the law. The Court can set other conditions of pre-trial release such as curfew, day reporting and drug testing.
In order to prove vehicular homicide in Florida, the State must prove reckless driving plus one additional fact which is the death of a person. Therefore, vehicular homicide is simply stated reckless driving plus a death caused by the reckless driving.
The criminal offense of Solicitation of Prostitution is a second degree misdemeanor. Normally, a second degree misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum of sixty (60) days and a five hundred dollar ($500) fine. However, effective 2013, the Florida legislature changed the fine for soliciting a prostitute to a mandatory five thousand dollar ($5,000) fine. According to this relatively new law, a judge has no discretion. The fine that is required to be imposed is five thousand dollars ($5,000).
Criminal child abuse or neglect cases can be difficult to handle because of the raw emotions that usually accompany the alleged victim. An alleged child abuse victim is usually assigned a victim advocate by the state. The child abuse victim is also regularly removed from the home if the alleged abuse or neglect took place at the hands of a caregiver such as a parent or other adult household member.
After over a decade of criminal law experience, one thing I have learned is that the police will try anything unless and until a court tells them different. Along these lines, most law enforcement (in my non-scientific opinion) would have told you a couple years ago that they get to search your cellular upon arrest for no reason other than you are arrested. The Constitution mentions papers and effects and not cellular telephones is a reasoning I actually heard.
Auto accidents frequently give rise to criminal cases in addition to civil lawsuits and traffic tickets. For example law enforcement may charge a driver in a car crash with Reckless Driving with Property Damage, Vehicular Manslaughter, DUI Manslaughter, DUI with Serious Bodily Injury, DUI with Property Damage, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Failure to Render Aid, etc. Vehicular Manslaughter is essentially Reckless Driving with a Death. If law enforcement does not believe a crime was committed, then the driver will be charged with careless driving. (More on the difference between Careless Driving and Reckless Driving)