Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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October 2014 Archives

A Client's guide to understanding attorney's fees & billing

Understanding how attorney's fees and attorney billing works can be difficult if you have never previously hired an attorney. Some attorney's bill hourly and others charge a flat fee. The vast majority of family attorney's, nearly all, charge by the hour. The way that attorneys get paid for that hourly rate is typically by you paying an up-front "retainer". This up-front retainer can be very misleading and many times leads to frustrated and disappointed client. Hopefully, this blog will help shed some light on this matter.

Criminal Law: Drug Trafficking in Florida

In Florida, drug trafficking is a first-degree felony and is defined as the sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or mere possession of drugs over a certain amount. That means you can be criminally charged based on your actions OR solely based on the amount of drugs found in your possession absent any evidence of sale or delivery.

Domestic Violence Criminal Charges

Being charged with a domestic violence criminal charge can be a very emotional experience, particularly because of the relationship between parties involved. It is important to understand how someone can be charged with a domestic violence charge and what the potential penalties are, since they are different than non-domestic violence charges.

Attorney's Fees in Family Law Cases

Attorney's Fees may be awarded in family law matters, making one party responsible to pay the other party's fees. There is no "winner" or "loser" in family law matter. So, the traditional idea of the "loser" being responsible for fees does not apply to family law matters. Who filed the case is also not a factor (typically) in the determination of fees in family law cases. Attorney's fees in family law cases are ALWAYS discretionary.  Courts can but do not have to award such fees. Generally the Court's analysis of whether or not to grant fees is based on the relative financial circumstances of the parties & whether or not one party has a need and the other the ability to pay. The purpose of a fees awards is to ensure that both parties have similar abilities to pay for a lawyer & that one party is not left without adequate representation in a family proceeding.

How Criminal Drug Charges Can Affect Your Driver's License

One of the punishments that can result from a criminal drug charge is the suspension of your Florida driver's license. If you are convicted/adjudicated on a drug or controlled substance charge, whether it be for possessing, selling, or trafficking, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will suspend your license for one year. This is commonly referred to as a "Chapter 893 Suspension" and would be reflected as such on your driving record. The most common types of drug charges that can have this impact are misdemeanor and felony possession of cannabis, as well as possession of cocaine.

Sealing vs. Expunging Your Criminal Record in Florida

Not every arrest or charge can be sealed or expunged in Florida. There are many different factors that play a role in whether your criminal case is eligible. However, below are some general guidelines regarding eligibility.

Habitual Traffic Offender: Consequence of Criminal Charges

One of the possible penalties of accepting a plea to a criminal charge is being labeled a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO). As an HTO, your license is suspended for five years, and you cannot apply to receive a hardship license until at least one year of that suspension has passed. There are two types of charges that count toward making someone HTO and how you resolve your case can be crucial.

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Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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Plantation, FL 33317

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