Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

In Florida, it is a crime to leave the scene of a car crash if the collision causes an accident or death. As demonstrated in a recent case, however, the act of doing so only constitutes a single crime. In other words, a person cannot be charged more than once with an offense related to leaving the scene of an accident, as multiple charges that stem from a singular incident may be considered a double jeopardy violation. If you were charged with one or more crimes following a car accident, it is prudent to speak to an assertive Florida criminal defense attorney to assess what arguments you may be able to set forth in your favor.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant was driving his car along a Florida highway and had one passenger in his vehicle. He suddenly struck another car, resulting in the sudden death of the driver. Additionally, the impact caused the second vehicle to crash into a third vehicle that was occupied by a passenger and a driver. The two people in the third vehicle and the defendant’s passenger all suffered injuries. The defendant left the scene of the accident, however, without trying to render aid to any of the injured parties.

It is reported that the defendant was charged with numerous crimes arising out of the accident, including one count of leaving the scene of an accident that involved death, and three counts of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury. A jury convicted him as charged, after which he appealed, arguing that his convictions violated double jeopardy.

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People with dementia often lose their money management skills. Unfortunately, this often means that they become victims of scams or otherwise lose their hard-earned retirement money. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with early dementia, we recommend you consult with an elder law attorney.

Our Florida attorneys hope to empower you by showing what you need to beware of and how to protect yourself financially from the effects of dementia. You can still accomplish a lot in the early stages of this disease.

One of the biggest issues with a dementia diagnosis is that it shifts the focus of your retirement plans. Instead of being able to retire at an age that would allow you to draw maximum Social Security, you may be forced to quit your job. Other dangers to your financial security include forgetting to pay your bills or falling victim to scams. While it may be difficult to think about, much less plan for, you’ll need to start thinking seriously about how you’re going to protect yourself once you slip further into dementia.

Emotions run high after people pass away, which is why it’s important that you leave behind an ironclad will that can stand up in court. Well-meaning, but dissatisfied, family members can challenge a will if there are any inconsistencies or loopholes. You want your will and testament to be strong enough that it can’t be contested. That way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your assets will be distributed how you see fit. Keep reading to learn how an elder law attorney can help you make an ironclad will.

Don’t Wait to Write Your Will

While Hollywood shows people writing their last will and testament on their deathbed, you’ll want to come to our office a lot sooner than that. A last will should be written while you are in good mental health and in the presence of an attorney. It’s a misconception that only elderly people have a will: in fact, people of all ages should look into putting one in place. If you are elderly, make sure you hire an attorney with experience in elder law. Estate planning attorneys know how to recognize potential loopholes or inconsistencies before they lead to legal issues.

Motorcyclists have little in the way of protection in the event of a motor vehicle collision. This is why it’s important to make sure to take all the precautions you can to avoid motorcycle collisions and serious personal injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident involving a motorcycle, we recommend that you contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible.

Below, you will find some of our tips for how new motorcycle riders can avoid getting in accidents in the first place.

Don’t Engage in Lane Splitting

A parent’s worst fear is getting that phone call in the middle of the night, notifying you that your teenager has been arrested. Unfortunately, there are circumstances in which this is a possibility.

Our defense attorneys will do everything in their power to ensure that your child receives a fair trial and the best possible outcome. Whether your child is tried as a juvenile or an adult, our lawyers can help.

Here are our tips for what to do if your teenager is arrested.

If your criminal record isn’t squeaky clean, doing something basic like landing a job, obtaining credit, or renting an apartment can be incredibly difficult. Something you did a long time ago can keep you from achieving your goals. Is it possible to get a clean criminal record? You can do it, with a little help from an attorney in your area.

Expungement vs. Sealing

While you might think that expunging your record is the same as having your record sealed, it’s actually very different.

In a case involving injuries to a pedestrian, the failure of the defendants to preserve an argument at the trial court level barred the assertion of that claim upon appeal. In Witherell v. Larimer, the parties took issue with a jury verdict concerning noneconomic damages.  During trial, the jury was provided with evidence showing that one defendant was operating a vehicle when she struck the plaintiff as he crossed the street. Neither party accepted liability for the accident, with each blaming the other for the injuries the plaintiff sustained. The plaintiff asserted that the defendant driver failed to operate her vehicle in an attentive manner, while the defendants contended that the plaintiff had been using alcohol.

At the conclusion of trial, the jury deliberated as to liability and damages. Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict, holding each party equally at fault. However, the jury concluded that the plaintiff sustained a permanent injury as a result of the accident and awarded him approximately $89,000 in damages for medical expenses. With regard to noneconomic damages, the jury awarded nothing.

The trial court instructed the jury to reconcile its holding that the plaintiff suffered from a permanent injury with the fact that it awarded no pain and suffering damages whatsoever. As a result, the jury modified its award to $1 for noneconomic damages. The trial court then entered the verdict and judgment.

Generally, law enforcement officials must get a warrant before they conduct a search of someone’s residence or personal belongings, unless certain exceptions apply. Both state and federal courts have recently seen an increase in the number of cases concerning the search of an individual’s cell phone, tablet, or other electronic device.

In a recent Florida District Court of Appeal opinion, the Third District held that the search of a defendant’s cell phone was unauthorized by law.   In Viervens Saint-Hilaire v. The State of Florida, the appeals court discussed recent laws regarding the search and seizure of cell phones during the lawful arrest of a criminal suspect.

In the underlying case, the defendant had been stopped by police for an alleged traffic violation. During the course of the stop, a police officer observed that the defendant possessed a number of suspicious credit cards in his wallet. The defendant was then arrested and subjected to a pat-down search. At that point, a police officer searched the digital contents of the defendant’s cell phone and discovered multiple names and social security numbers. After the defendant was charged with possession of identification information with the intent to defraud, he made a motion to suppress the evidence found on his cell phone.

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