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 […]

How to Obtain a Concealed Weapon or Firearm License in Florida

Basic Requirements Unlike many states, Florida has a relatively easy and straightforward process for obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon or firearm.  To begin with, there are four basic eligibility requirements: You must be 21 years of age or older; You must be able to demonstrate competency with a firearm; You must currently […]

The Legal Implications of Paying Employees in Cash

Paying workers in cash for their services is not necessarily illegal for businesses that operate in Florida but, depending on the circumstances, it can definitely lead to a host of legal problems.  And if the person that’s being paid in cash is ultimately deemed to be an employee of the business, those problems can become […]

Recording Phone Calls in Florida

Like many legal issues in America, the recording of phone calls is subject both to federal and state laws. As a result, where you are physically located when you record a phone is one of the major factors in determining whether what you’re doing is legal or illegal (Warning: Things get a lot more complicated […]

Regaining The Right to Vote in Florida

Anyone who is convicted of (or pleads guilty to) a felony, loses a variety of civil rights. Just which rights are lost – and whether and how they can be restored – generally depends on whether the felony in question involved a federal crime or a state crime and, most importantly, on the state in […]

Cross-examination at a Florida Criminal Trial

Contrary to what you may have seen on television, there is nothing glamorous about a criminal trial. Rather, a criminal trial can be a very long, involved, and time-consuming process. Florida law provides for two types of criminal trials. At a criminal bench trial, the judge listens to the evidence presented during the trial and […]

Direct Examination at a Florida Criminal Trial

Direct examination at a Florida criminal trial allows the defendant to tell his or her version of events. Although Florida law provides for both criminal bench trials and jury trials, most criminal trials are jury trials. Clear and concise direct examination answers can go a long way in maximizing the effectiveness of your testimony and […]