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.
Constructive possession means other than physical possession. In the world of criminal defense this usually means drugs or narcotics, firearms or other contraband are found but, not in the pocket or in the bra of the defendant. Constructive possession is an important concept for cases involving possession of a firearm by a convicted felon or a concealed firearm or weapon without a license. For example, you possess that television on your wall, you can move it, throw it away, and beat it with a baseball bat because you control it. However, no one carries around their flat screen in their back pocket.
Criminal and traffic defense can be a difficult area to practice. It seems that every time a constitutional protection might favor a person, the government finds a way to circumvent or change the law. A recent criminal traffic case of driving on a suspended license reminded me of a stop that the fact that it is a legal stop absolutely blows my mind.
One option in Criminal sentencing is probation. Some people are not aware that there is an option to request to terminate or get off of probation early by filing a motion for early termination of probation. A probationer does have to file a written motion in the court and request a court hearing. Most judges will consider the motion to terminate probation early after half the time is served and all conditions are completed.
What is the difference between a technical and a substantive violation of probation? This is a common question when a family is facing a violation of probation or VOP. There are basically two ways a person can violate probation. One type of probation violation is called substantive and the other is technical.
What happens when you forget to pay your traffic ticket? A new traffic law went into effect on January 1, 2013 that changed what can happen if a person forgets to pay or otherwise act upon the traffic ticket or citation. Under former law, once 30 days passed, the driver would be convicted or adjudicated, points were assessed and the license was suspended and that was it.
Recently I took a Reckless Driving with Property Damage case to trial. Reckless Driving is a criminal traffic offense. Recklessness requires the State to prove a willful and wanton driving pattern likely to cause damage. Furthermore, Reckless Driving is needed to prove Vehicular Homicide, but not DUI Manslaughter. Careless driving is a civil citation, see the blog on the difference between reckless driving and careless driving for more.
Red light cameras and traffic tickets for red light camera violations are becoming more prevalent. It seems that every month there are more phone calls from people who receive a notice of violation on a red light camera.
A violation of pre-trial release in a criminal case can lead to having a bond revoked. According to numerous sources, comedian Katt Williams was arrested on Tuesday January 8, 2013 for failing to appear in court while out on bond. His bond was revoked and re-set. Several of my clients have missed court or otherwise had their bond revoked while out on bond. Not all of my client's bonds were re-set.
Why hire a traffic ticket defense attorney when I can just choose school to have points removed? One reason is that you only have five (5) times in your life to elect traffic school. If this is your first ever citation, then why burn an election? Save it. If you received two or more citations, then most of the time the only way to have points removed entirely is to take your cases to court.