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Are There Different Types Of Probation Violations?

question markIn most all areas of life there are different types of most anything. There are manual labor or professional jobs. There are cars or trucks. There are houses or apartments. You can choose to live in town or in the country. In the law there is civil law and there is criminal law. These differences are significant and when you have been charged with a crime it is important you understand the difference.

Failing to abide by all the rules of your probation will result in new criminal charges. The terms and conditions of probation vary from case to case, but are generally as follows:

  • Report to the probation and parole supervisor or meet them at your home or any other place directed.

● Maintain employment.

● Maintain a permanent residence and report the… Continue reading

What Happens If I Can’t Pay My Fines?

dimeWhen you are on probation for a crime, it is imperative you follow all the rules of your probation. One misstep can land you back in jail, which means additional fines and penalties. A successful probationary term includes one where you stay out of trouble, pay your fines, and appear back in Court when ordered. One of the fines you might be ordered to pay is called restitution.

Florida statues define restitution as payment that:

● Compensates a victim for the damage or loss caused by the defendant’s offense.

● Compensates a victim for losses associated with criminal conduct.

Restitution may be monetary, or non-monetary.

The law provides that restitution payments are a condition of probation. This means if you fail to make the payments or make non-monetary restitution you can be charged with a probation violation. Restitution is… Continue reading

How Long Can You “Stand Your Ground”?

stopwatchThe Stand Your Ground Law is well-known throughout the country. Several states have a version of this defense that allows a person to protect their body and home from mortal danger, by returning fire. But, like most rights, if you are a convicted felon you may not be able to take advantage of this defense. Maybe

Ever since George Zimmerman “stood his ground” and the death of Trayvon Martin was the result, the Courts have been flooded with issues surrounding this defense. The time is ripe for a decision on this important issue. A recent ruling has proved controversial and could have wide reaching impact:

● The Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms is not a constitutional provision the Courts take lightly.

● The 4th District Court of Appeal recently ruled a felon may use the stand your ground defense.

The problem? A felon… Continue reading

What Is My Standard Of Living?

coins and billIn law there are certain phrases and buzz words that lawyers and Judges frequently use. In family law cases with minor children you often hear the goal of the judicial system is to decide issues that result in what is in the best interest of the children. When seeking spousal support, it is often said that the award should be one that allows the party to maintain the standard of living to which they’ve become accustomed. But what exactly does this mean, and why is it important?

 

A Huffington News Report offers insight on the standard of living concept and why it should not be overlooked:

 

● Determining the lifestyle or standard of living to which a party seeking support is used to lays the groundwork for future modifications. It is difficult for the Court to make changes later without a starting point.… Continue reading

Common Probation Violations

stack of papersThe best advice you can get when starting off on a term of probation is to stay out of trouble! Sometimes it is hard to know what is and isn’t a probation violation and other times the offender knows that their actions are a violation. Any new arrest is always a violation of probation, and causes new charges to be filed against the accused. And, any arrest counts.

Crime Stoppers publishes a list of violators. A common act that violates probation is failing to appear back in Court to face the charges against you:

●A man believed to be living in Naples is wanted for sex crimes, and when he is finally found and apprehended he will be held without bond.

● A Lee County man being searched for on similar charges is believed to be in the care of family, but no one… Continue reading

How To Value Assets In A Divorce When The IRS Is Involved

Taxes1There seem to be a few things in life you can just never escape. Death and taxes. Even when divorcing, you have to look at the value of your assets through the eyes of the IRS. This is important because in many divorce cases, assets are liquidated to satisfy the terms of property distribution. But, there could be tax implications depending on what you liquidate and how your assets are valued.

For example, liquidating a 401(k) or other retirement account to pay your spouse their part of property division could have immediate tax implications. For example:

  • Early withdrawal of funds from a 401(k) often carries an additional 10% tax penalty.
  • The funds you receive from the distribution are considered income and must be reported as such when you file your income tax return.

Depending on the type of account you liquidate, there may be… Continue reading

A Matter of Minutes: A DUI Timeline

alarm clockIt may take all night at a bar, friend’s party, or restaurant to reach the level of being legally intoxicated. But when you drive after drinking, the time it takes to be pulled over and arrested for DUI can be just a matter of minutes. If you have plans that involve alcohol, it is always best to have a designated driver, because the consequences of a DUI conviction are harsh.

A Florida driver recently learned just how harsh a DUI conviction can be. While making a U-turn, Donna Lynne Brown failed to see a motorcyclist. Brown struck the cyclist and drug him nearly 3 miles before stopping. The case resulted in the death of the driver of the motorcycle, and for Ms. Brown:

● An arrest.

● A charge of DUI.

● A bond of $70,000.00.

This extreme example illustrates the stiff punishment law… Continue reading

Advice From The Bench

roman statue with scalesUnsolicited advice is generally disregarded. This is especially true when you tell friends and family of your decision to divorce. Almost immediately everyone from your mom to your second cousin once removed has an opinion about something. You might hear what your best friend thinks about who should get the house, or where the kids should live. The bottom line is you should only take advice that comes with sound reasoning.

One of the most reliable sources of advice is of course your divorce attorney. But, sometimes people want to know a family law Judge’s take on the important issues that surround divorce and marriage. Some nuggets of wisdom from a popular Judge include:

 

● When your circumstances change, you do have the right to change (or modify) your divorce decree.

● Identify your needs before going to Court, this helps your… Continue reading

Olympic Star’s Brother Violates Probation

gavelProbation is a common result for criminal misdemeanor cases. Being on probation allows the accused to live somewhat of a normal life, by going to school and work, and remaining out of jail. Typical terms of probation include regularly checking in with a supervisor, and keeping your nose clean during the probationary period. This means you cannot have any further arrests, for anything. It might even be a good idea to steer clear of minor violations like parking tickets. If you do something that violates your probation terms, you will face new charges.

Probation violations are faced by all sorts of people, for all sorts of actions. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s younger brother, Devon, faced charges of probation violation earlier this year. The case involved:

● Lochte’s younger brother was arrested in 2012 on charges of possession of marijuana, with the intent to sell.… Continue reading

Can I Keep Property I Had Before The Marriage?

house with gavelYour great grandmother’s favorite bracelet, or your granddad’s collection of baseball cards hold sentimental value and are things you want to hold on to after a divorce. These types of property are things you consider your separate property, as opposed to the marital home or vehicles acquired during a marriage. So, when you divorce, an important question of property division becomes who gets what and can you keep what you believe to be your separate property?

 

In Florida, property is divided under a system called equitable distribution. What this means is that the Court divides property in an equitable way. This does not mean property is divided equally, it means the Judge decides what is fair. When deciding what is fair, the Court will consider each case on its own facts and look at: