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.
There is no such thing as a traffic ticket for a moving violation being issued as "no points, no school". Unfortunately, cops on the road seem to be telling people that they can get no points by paying a citation. That is not true. (They give other misadvice too, see my blog on Bradford County Traffic Tickets). Paying a citation without talking to a lawyer first is the worst thing that you can do. This is because it is a plea of guilty, an admission to the offense, points will be assessed to your license, your insurance may increase and your guilty plea could be used against you later even if your guilty plea cannot be entered into evidence in another court proceeding. Entering a guilty plea by paying an infraction can be disastrous if you are accused of driving on a suspended license.
The firm represents individuals who have received traffic tickets or criminal accusations in Columbia County, Florida, located in North Florida. Several people receiving citations in Columbia County are from out of state. This is because Interstate 75 and Interstate 10, both heavily traveled by tourists and visitors to Florida, intersect just north of Lake City in Columbia County. The Florida Highway Patrol or FHP monitors traffic along both I-75 and I-10 corridors.
To prove a criminal case of vehicular homicide in Florida, the State must prove reckless driving plus one additional fact, the death of a person. Vehicular homicide, simply stated reckless driving plus a death caused by the reckless driving.
Drug trafficking cases can include a conspiracy to traffic element. In Florida a conspiracy to engage in trafficking is committed when any person agrees, conspires combines, confederates, etc with another person to commit any act prohibited by section 893.135. Generally conspiracies are punished the same as the actual crime charged, such as trafficking, except that they are scored one level lower for purposes of the score sheet.
When is a weapon concealed or not concealed inside a vehicle? Florida law defines a concealed weapon as a deadly weapon carried on or about a person in such a manner as to conceal the weapon from the ordinary sight of another person. Normally a person cannot see the items inside a vehicle without opening a door. This can lead the state attorney's offices to file charges that the weapon was concealed if the weapon or firearm is carried within a vehicle.
Many people contact me about the Dunnellon red light camera as soon as they receive a notice of violation. The red light camera system was put in place supposedly for traffic safety. A driver is not supposed to be issued a notice of violation of the red light if the driver was turning right at the time. If you are to be accused of running a red light the first listed owner of the vehicle will get a notice of violation in the mail.
You leave court and realize, there is a mistake in the Order! Clerks are people, what happens if the Clerk makes a mistake? For instance what happens if the judge orders one thing from the bench but the written order says something different? There is a mistake on the judgment, sentence or final order! This happens from time to time and if you have ever been to criminal or traffic court you know why. One hundred cases are handled within 120 minutes and there is simply a lot of paperwork moving really fast. Most of the orders are simply forms and the Clerk will check boxes as the judge speaks from the bench. Sometimes, the wrong box gets checked.
As a traffic ticket defense attorney, a question I am often asked by drivers from other states is the where the smaller municipalities along US 301 between Jacksonville and Gainesville conduct their traffic violation hearings. In Florida, there is no municipal court. All civil traffic infraction hearings are held in County Court and depending on the county either by a county judge or a hearing officer. You may elect to have a traffic hearing determined by a judge.