Were Your Rights Violated at a DUI Stop?

Most of the time, the real reason why Florida police officers pull drivers over is not for texting, speeding, running a stop sign, or failing to use a turn signal. In most cases, the traffic stop occurs because the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Pretextual traffic stops […]

What is Embezzlement?

Florida property crimes all fall under the umbrella of theft offenses. Under the Florida criminal statute, theft is defined as the unauthorized taking or use of another person’s property, with the intent of depriving that person of the property on either a temporary or permanent basis.  Embezzlement is one type of theft offense under Florida […]

Enhanced Penalties in Cases Involving Domestic Violence

Domestic violence law, because of its unique sensitivity and goal of protecting specific vulnerable people, has rules (and penalties) which can look unlike any other area of criminal law. Even those who think that they understand criminal defense can often be surprised by unique aspects of domestic violence law, such as the state’s attorney making […]

Violent Crimes Can Have Long-Term Professional Consequences

Being convicted of a violent crime in Florida can have wide-ranging personal consequences. In addition to fines and a possible prison term, it can impact your right to vote, to own a firearm, to veteran’s benefits, to many forms of public assistance, and even access to student loans. If you are not a citizen it […]

Can You Go to Jail for a 1st-Time Drug Possession Conviction?

The short answer is “yes, absolutely.” Florida has harsh drug laws, with high mandatory minimum sentences. Even a first-time offender carrying a small amount of a low-level drug like marijuana can face a wide array of penalties, up to and including a year in prison. However, prosecutors in Florida have many options available to them […]

Potential Defenses in a Manslaughter Case

Manslaughter is an act which leads to the death of another human being, but without the mental state – the intention to kill – which makes the crime murder. Acts committed unintentionally or in the ‘heat of passion’ may be considered manslaughter. Additionally, Florida law provides for defenses against the crime of manslaughter. Having an […]

How New Record Sealing Law Provides Greater Protection to Defendants

In the current information age, more and more charges and convictions are entered by jurisdictions online to be searched indefinitely by future Internet users. Privacy advocates have voiced broader concerns and individuals who may have had legal action taken against them in St. Petersburg or elsewhere may find that their legal information is searchable online. […]

What Are the Criminal Penalties for Entering into a Fraudulent Marriage?

Getting married in the United States affords couples certain legal benefits that citizens have enjoyed for decades, from tax breaks from the federal government to family rates for health insurance. Another benefit is the conditional permanent residency that foreigners can obtain upon marrying American citizens. This benefit has led to exploitation, where some Americans have […]

Are Past Juvenile Crimes Committed in Florida Expunged?

Crimes committed while a person is a juvenile are usually treated with more leniency by the criminal code. This is in part because society appreciates the distinctions in maturity and judgment between adults and those not considered adults by law. Despite that appreciation, each state takes a slightly different approach to how the records of […]

At What Point After an Arrest Should I Hire a Criminal Attorney?

The best time to obtain an attorney is not always clear to someone involved in a criminal matter. When a police officer arrests an individual, they are required to inform them about their Miranda rights before an interrogation, which include reminding the person arrested that they have rights to an attorney. Because statements made to […]