Family Matters Law Group P.A.
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November 2014 Archives

Mediation in Family Law Cases Part I

Mediation is required in most family law cases which involve children in Florida, including divorces. It is a process where the parties come together with the help of their attorneys (if they have attorneys) and a neutral 3rd person called a mediator. the purpose is to attempt to work out an agreement as to all or some of the issues. In most family cases mediation will come about 1/2 way through a case. As an attorney, I prefer to mediate earlier in cases, because, if parties are inclined to settle, settling early can decrease total attorney's fees, animosity between the parties and chaos in the family. It also provides valuable information on the case for both sides.

Criminal Law: Resisting without Violence/Resisting with Violence

Resisting without violence is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or probation and $1000 fine. Unfortunately, it is a common criminal charge that is usually added to other charges, or can also be a sole charge.

Criminal Law: Leaving the Scene of an Accident

More commonly referred to as a hit and run, Leaving the Scene of an Accident is actually much more common than most people realize. Unfortunately, the criminal consequences are much more serious that you may realize. You could be facing jail, fines, license suspension, and points assessed on your driving record, which could raise insurance rates. There are three types of Leaving the Scene of an Accident charges.

Basic Steps in the Criminal Justice System

I have had several clients confused about the way a criminal case commences, proceeds, and ends. This is meant as a brief explanation as to how cases in the criminal justice system proceed generally. These are not hard and fast rules. Each case and each county is unique, and it is best to speak to a criminal defense attorney about the specific facts of your case to know what applies and what does not.

Criminal Law: Theft in Florida Defined

In Florida, a person commits theft by knowingly taking or using, or attempting to take or use, someone else's property with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive them of a right to or benefit from the property, or appropriating the property for their own (or someone else's) use. (Fla. Stat. Section 812.014). There are varying degrees that may be charged criminally, depending on the value or the item itself.

Jurisdiction over Custody/Children: The UCCJEA

When dealing with custody issues the first thing you must determine is who has jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is a State's power to make decisions over a certain issue and can be a tricky thing. When it comes to custody, states look to something called the UCCJEA, or Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act to determine jurisdiction. Jurisdiction cannot be consented to by the parties. So this is not a matter of what two parents agree to, it is a matter of determining which state has the power to make decisions under the UCCJEA.

Criminal Law: What Are My Rights When Stopped by Police?

There are three types of "stops" that could occur, and your rights in Florida differ in each situation. It's important to recognize the differences among them so you know how to respond and avoid any additional criminal charges or evidence for the police.

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