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Shea A. Fugate, P.A. ,1800 Pembrook Drive, Suite 300, Orlando, FL 32810
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1800 Pembrook Drive, Suite 300, Orlando, FL 32810

Practice Areas : SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY

PASSIONATE & DEDICATED ORLANDO, MAITLAND, TALLAHASSEE AND PENSACOLA DISABILITY & ELDER LAW ATTORNEY
Pam Olsen, Esq. ,1030 SE 17th St, Ocala, FL 34471
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1030 SE 17th St, Ocala, FL 34471

Practice Areas : Personal Injury

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Criminal Defense in Florida
Chisom Amanoh

Criminal Defense in Florida

The criminal law system in Florida can sometimes be tough to understand. Any person charged with a criminal offense is always out to do all it takes to drop such charges. This is because if you are charged and found guilty of the crime, it tremendously affects your life. Criminal defense in Florida entails several processes. Nobody wants their freedom or certain rights taken away by locking them up in prison. Florida's criminal court system is one of the biggest in the United States. So persons involved in it must have basic knowledge of how it works. When you are charged with a crime, you are referred to as the accused and become the defense. You are expected to raise your shield and try to prove your innocence. Usually, the burden lies on the prosecution to prove that you committed the said offense.  This does not mean there is no work for the defense. On the contrary, you must have an excellent criminal defense attorney to help advise and represent you properly before the Court.  The moment you are charged with committing a crime in Florida, the first step you should take is to get in contact with a criminal defense attorney in Florida. The attorney will better explain the case's pros and cons and prepare you for what lies ahead. No panic is needed if you have reached out to an excellent criminal defense attorney.  You may have been charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. These are the two crime categories in Florida, and both have different compositions. Misdemeanor  A misdemeanor is seen as a less severe crime with a more minor penalty. Misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. This is usually for a first-degree misdemeanor, while for a second-degree misdemeanor, you can be sentenced to 60 days in prison and pay a fine of $500.  Sometimes, the judge may impose further sanctions such as community service, attending anger management classes, etc. Examples of crimes that fall under misdemeanors are stealing, reckless and negligent driving, possession of drugs, etc.   Felonies  Felonies are considered more severe than misdemeanors and come with severe penalties. In Florida, a person accused of a felony is liable to imprisonment for more than one year and responsible for paying up to a $15,000 fine. In Florida, felonies are classified into five.  The first is a third-degree felony which usually carries a penalty of up to 5 years imprisonment and a fine of $5,000. The second is the second-degree felony which is punishable by a maximum of 15 years jail time and a fine of $10,000.  Next is the first-degree felony that bears a penalty of a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $ 10,000 fine. The fourth category of felonies in Florida is the life felony, with the penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $15,000.  Death or life imprisonment without parole is the penalty for this last category of a felony. The previous type of felony in Florida is the capital felony. Examples of felonies are kidnapping, manslaughter, murder, robbery, rape, etc.  Note that there are crimes that are deemed misdemeanors or felonies. The decision is up to the prosecution under which to charge the offense. Such crimes are referred to as wobblers in Florida.  Criminal Defense Protocol in Florida  When a crime is committed, what follows are investigations into the crime by officers of the law. The officers visit the crime scene to conduct basic investigations, such as interviewing persons who witnessed the offense.  The officers are allowed to examine the home of any person whom they reasonably suspect to have committed the crime. They also have the right to bring the suspect to the station for questioning. Where they have sufficient reason to believe that the suspect committed the offense, they can go ahead to arrest them.  The arrest of a suspect must be followed by specific requirements that the law provides. The officer who arrests the suspect must spell out to the suspect his right to remain silent and to a lawyer.  An accused person has the right to not talk or give out any statement to the police officers until he speaks with his defense lawyer. Any statement that the police officers force him into making in the absence of his lawyer will be considered null and void.  When the prosecution presses charges against the suspect, he must appear before the Court to determine his case. The defendant will usually plead not guilty, and the burden shifts to the persecution to prove otherwise.  While the trial is about to commence, the accused can be granted bail upon the fulfillment of certain conditions or can be detained back in prison. Usually, there is an option of a plea treaty that is open to the defendant. Here, the criminal defense attorney tries to mediate a deal between the prosecution and the defense. It involves the accused pleading guilty to the offense in exchange for a lighter penalty. Where a plea treaty is not attained, the matter moves to trial.    After listening to the witnesses and evidence provided by both sides, the judge or the jury will decide whether the accused is guilty or not. If the accused is found guilty, he will be returned to prison to await sentencing by the Court. Where the accused is found not guilty, he will be acquitted and regain his freedom. A defendant has the right to appeal to a higher court if he is unsatisfied with the decision of the Court. The appeal must not be frivolous but must have legal backing. Criminal Defenses Open to an Accused Person An accused person in Florida has different options for raising a defense in Court. These defenses cannot be used in every circumstance but some particular cases only. Below are some reasons available to a defendant in a case.  Alibi When a defendant raises the defense of alibi, he is positing that he was not present at the crime scene at the time it is alleged to have been committed. The defendant must give details of where he was, with whom, and the time. If the accused can successfully provide these details, the alibi defense will avail him. This defense should be raised from the beginning of the investigations and trial. Prosecution's failure to prove elements  In Florida, the law places the burden on proving the defendant's guilt on the prosecution. Every offense has specific elements which make it up. This is to say that for a person to be said to have committed a violation, the elements of which the law provides for that offense must have occurred. Since the prosecution alleges that the defendant committed the crime, they must prove the elements of the crime. Where the prosecution fails to prove this, the defendant need not raise any defense and can be acquitted.  Lack of Mens Rea  This defense can be raised where the defendant had no intention of committing the offense. This is referred to as the mental element of an offense. Note, however, that the absence of a mental component does not apply in all offenses.  For some crimes, the intention to commit the crime must be established before the defendant can be proven guilty. In some, the absence of intention vindicates the defendant or lessens the penalty reasonably.  These and several other defenses are available to you. Your criminal defense attorney should be able to identify which reason will work best for your case.  Contact a Florida Criminal Defense attorney.  Being charged with a crime in Florida is something you should take seriously, as a lot is on the line. A criminal defense attorney is better positioned to ascertain your case's circumstances and advise you on the next necessary steps to take.  To get in touch with a good, competent, and reliable criminal defense attorney in Florida, contact the Attorney Directory. You will be quickly connected and matched to a criminal defense lawyer you can trust.  FAQs on Criminal Defense in Florida  Q: How long does a criminal case last in Florida? Ans: There is no specified duration for how long a criminal case should last in court. It all depends on the nature of the case. Usually, a misdemeanor will take a few weeks to be concluded, whereas a felony case will take longer.    Q: Is insanity a defense?   Ans: Yes, it is. You can raise the defense of insanity and successfully prove it. You will, however, need to show that you were mentally unwell when the crime was committed. You were mentally ill before or after the crime will not avail you.    Q: What is a plea bargain?   Ans: A plea bargain is an offer from the prosecution to the defendant to plead guilty and be given a lesser punishment. While this might seem good, do not rush into signing off on it. Do well to assess the offer properly with the help of your criminal defense attorney.    Q: Can my criminal charges be sealed in Florida?    Ans: Yes, it can. Although this is usually very touching to achieve. Contact an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney to help you with this.    Q: When on trial, must I appear in every court session?    Ans: No, you must not. Certain sessions may require your presence, but aside from them, your criminal defense attorney can represent you in court even in your absence.    Q: How do I contact a good Florida criminal defense attorney?   Ans: Connect with one through Attorney Directory  
Business Law in Florida
Chisom Amanoh

Business Law in Florida

      Florida has one of the fastest-growing economies in the country, and this has made room for business law in Florida to thrive wildly in it. The state has laid down laws for business operations that must be strictly followed. The purpose of this business [caption id="attachment_172980" align="alignnone" width="259"] Business law in Florida[/caption] Laws are to regulate businesses and enterprises and ensure that no one is exploited or used. Unfortunately, thousands of business owners and intending business owners in Florida do not know these business laws. They are oblivious to what to do when faced with a business crisis.  The business laws of the state of Florida may look complex and tricky to a person with no legal background. That is why as a business owner or intending business owner in Florida, you must get in touch with a Florida business attorney to guide you on the necessary steps. You must not attempt to handle a business, especially the legal aspect of your business, by yourself. You have spent lots of money starting up and running your business. The last thing you wish for is to see the company you have invested a lot of resources into crumbling or even dying off entirely.  Business owners or intending business owners in Florida are always advised to engage the services of a business law attorney to help handle issues no matter how little they might seem. Also, in making decisions that concern your business, get a business law attorney involved who will advise you on the legal implications of the actions you are about to take. For a better understanding, we will look at some business laws in Florida below to give you basic knowledge of them. Business Start-up in Florida  Starting a business in Florida involves a lot of due processes that must be followed. When you are about to start up a business, there are things you must first determine. Such as the nature of the business you intend to start up, the scope and size of the company, the number of administrators to be involved, etc.   All these and more you must lay out if you want your business to thrive and stand the test of time in the competitive business world. Starting up a business without legal expertise is putting your business in jeopardy and crashing the business even before it rises.  Business Registration in Florida  No one nurtures a business idea and suddenly decides to start a business without taking specific steps. Florida business laws require every company to be registered correctly. Registering your business gives it recognition before the law. You must first receive specific licenses before you can be said to lawfully run a business in Florida. This stage is a significant step to owning and running a business that must be done properly and by Florida business laws. You need a business law attorney to assist you with this, as an attorney will be better able to know the pertinent licenses you must obtain to start.   Mergers and Acquisitions  It is common in Florida to see two or more business enterprises coming together to join resources and be recognized as one body. This is referred to as the merging of businesses. Several factors can lead to this decision, and it must be mutual. That is to say, the executives of both companies must agree. Any merge done under duress, undue influence, fraud, or misrepresentation of facts is considered thanks and void before the law. The terms and conditions of the merger must be expressly stated in a contract and endorsed by both parties.   Acquisition, on the other hand, is somewhat similar to mergers; however, in this case, a particular business buys the resources of another entirely primarily for expansion. Some companies appear to be flourishing but are gradually heading to bankruptcy. Acquiring an already existing business is more complicated than it looks. You will require an expert in that field to advise you on the advantages or disadvantages that come with that decision.  If you wish to merge with or acquire an already existing business, ensure that you get an expert involved from the beginning. This is why you must be careful not to sign off on an acquisition immediately after you have the papers. Do well to contact a Florida business law attorney to look into it from a legal point of view and advise you accordingly.   Business Dissolution  Circumstances may arise when running a business, and the best option would be to dissolve the business. However, dissolving a business is not something you can do just by snapping your fingers. Business dissolutions may seem not to require much, but in reality, there are laid down processes for this, too, under Florida business laws. The procedure for dissolving a business in Florida varies for different business types. For example, the procedure required to dissolve a sole proprietorship business differs from what is required in dissolving a partnership business.  From communicating with the parties involved to filling out the business dissolution forms in Florida to publishing a notice of dissolution, you will need a business law attorney. Usually, the mode for dissolving a business is stated in the contract or document, creating the business from the beginning. Where you have such express requirements, they must be strictly followed. Avoid lawsuits from interested parties, and be sure you involve a business law attorney while dissolving a business to remain within the ambit of the law.  Business Litigation in Florida Every party to an adequately created contract must adhere to the terms. In business, it is common to see persons or corporations breaching agreements or going on a spree of their own. Where there is a breach, the affected party can take the matter to court. Other situations too may arise that will require bringing the matter before the court for determination. Whether you are suing or being sued, contact a business law attorney immediately to represent you and your business in court. Why You Need a Florida Business Law Attorney  Every business owner or intending business owner needs expert involvement, no matter how business-inclined you are. Your business transactions must always be done according to Florida business laws to avoid being flagged down. A business law attorney has much experience in the field and will: Advise you. Negotiate on your behalf in transactions. Draft contracts and necessary documents needed.  Represent you and your business in court and panels, etc. How to Contact a Florida Business Law Attorney  Finding a business law attorney you can trust should not be a problem. At Attorney Directory, you will connect with the best Florida business law attorneys without hassle.  FAQs About Business Law in Florida  Q: Must I have a physical office for business in Florida?   Ans: The law mandates every enterprise documented as an entity to have a 'Principal Office' at the time of registration.    Q: Can the owner of a company be sued personally?   Ans: In some situations, yes. This largely depends on the type of business in question. Where it is an LLC, the other cannot be sued personally for the business's fault. However, the owner may be sued personally when it is a sole proprietorship business. In a partnership business, the owners may also be sued personally to the extent of their liability.    Q: Must a business feud be resolved in court?    Ans: No, it must not. On the contrary, most business owners prefer to settle whatever conflict arises between themselves. Taking your business and internal issues to the court may sometimes become messy and leave the company's reputation in shambles. This is why there is the option of mediation between the parties involved. When both parties settle and reach an agreement, the agreement must be written and signed. This makes it binding on both parties. Where the parties cannot reach an agreement, the matter can be taken to court for determination.    Q: How do I create a corporation?   Ans: To create a corporation, you will need to: incorporate the name and business, get an EIN number, develop bye-laws, appoint the board of trustees, allocate shares, create all necessary documents and file them, etc. You will need the help of a business attorney to direct you appropriately on all you need to do.    Q: What do I do when someone breaches a contract?    Ans: When you believe a person you entered into a contract with breaches it, you first need to speak with a business law attorney to ascertain if, indeed, there was a breach. This is to avoid frivolous claims and waste of time. Usually, the violation will be determined from the express terms of the signed agreement you entered into from the very beginning. With the help of your business law attorney, if it is certain that there was a breach, then several options are open to you. These options include the demand for restitution or reinstatement. You can also take up the matter to court.    Q: Can I sue a person for breaching an oral agreement?    Ans: Yes, you can. Although oral contracts are pretty tough to prove, they can be enforced.    Q: I have more questions to ask on certain aspects of business law in Florida that concern me. How do I go about it?   Ans: Connect with a Florida business law attorney to get clarified.   
Family Law in Florida 
Chisom Amanoh

Family Law in Florida 

Family law is a popular area of law in Florida that is dealt with daily across the state. Family law is a vast area of law that acts as a canopy to several categories. The different categories of family law range from domestic abuse, child access, and custody, annulment of marriage, protective rules, divorce, child support, etc.  These subcategories of family law are rampant and notorious in Florida; however, many of the persons involved do not know how to go about it.  Most times, people go on a voyage of their own to seek out answers to their questions and end up not doing things the right way. Ignorance of how to go about your family law issues in Florida need not leave you on the disadvantaged side. You should not be completely ignorant of how family law works in Florida. Read on to have a basic understanding of these categories of family law in Florida. Your best option is to contact a family law attorney in Florida to assist you through the process. Marriage laws in Florida  Marriage is beautiful, and the thought of spending the rest of your life with that person who makes everything worth it is exciting. However, you have to be within the legal age before thinking about marriage. Under Florida law, marriage will become null and void if you are not old enough. Under Florida law, teenagers below 17 years cannot be legally married.  Whereas an 18-year-old teenager can be legally married even without the parents' consent, a 17-year-old can only be legally married with the permission of the parents or guardian. To better understand the legal age requirement, you should contact a family attorney in Florida. Another marriage law Florida provides for is forbidden marriages. In Florida, a marriage between persons connected by lineal consanguinity is not allowed. A union with a brother, sister, aunt, nephew, or niece is illegal in the eyes of the law. Bigamy and common law marriages are also not allowed under Florida laws. If you plan to marry someone related to you but are unsure if it is allowed, do well to contact a family law attorney in Florida for advice and assistance.   Protective Order in Florida  Protective order simply means an order by the court ordering a person to avoid and stay away from another person. It can be said to be a restraining order against a person. In Florida, a protective order is usually filed in domestic violence cases. Here, the person who files for a protective order usually has a special relationship with the person it is filed against. Florida laws will protect you if you are a domestic violence victim. Find a family law attorney today to get going on filing a protective order against your abuser.  Adoption Laws in Florida   In Florida, adopting a child is a legally confounded procedure and may take a long time. Beyond the physical processes involved, adopting a child is always an emotional process for the intending parents. As much as the thought of having a new family member leaves one excited, the idea of the rigorous process also easily leaves one exhausted.  In arriving at a decision for or against an adoption request, the court usually considers the best interest of the child in question. Several factors and requirements precede the adoption of a child in Florida. You will stand a better chance of having the child adopted if you get in touch with a family law lawyer in Florida to walk you through the different procedures. Divorce Laws in Florida In Florida, a person who wishes to file for divorce must show the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Either of the parties is required to file for a dissolution of marriage with a petition. The divorce will be concluded when the couple reaches a consensus on specific issues such as child custody, settlement, etc. However, where they do not, the matter will be taken up to trial for the court's determination. Divorce matters in court can be complex as both parties seek certain entitlements they believe they should have.  If care is not taken, you may lose out on several benefits and settlements to which you are ordinarily entitled. The moment you decide to file for a divorce, please do well to contact a family law attorney. If you have already filed for a divorce without the help of a lawyer, you should still reach out to one immediately.  Child Custody Laws in Florida  Usually, when a couple with children from the marriage is filed for a divorce, the following pertinent issue is who gets custody of the children. This is a very sensitive issue as no parent wishes to be separated from their child. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act regulates child custody in Florida. In deciding which parent is to have control over the child and to what extent, one of the essential things the court will always consider is the best interest of the child in question.  Several other factors, such as the income of the parents or the stability of the parents, amongst other things, are always considered. Failing to contact a family law attorney in Florida to handle your custody matter is a significant risk you should not take. Your future with your children is at stake here and should not be taken lightly.  Child Support in Florida  Caring for and raising children is always not easy, especially with the expenses that come with it. Child support is usually dependent on several things, such as the financial capacity of the parents. In Florida, as a single or an unmarried parent, you are entitled to some form of financial support to cover the bills to an extent. Florida child support laws are another complex area of Florida law, so you will require legal help to scale through. Your best option is to contact a family law attorney to assist you with this. Why You Need a Family Law Attorney in Florida  Family issues are always personal and sensitive, and nobody wishes to have the whole world discussing them and playing judge over them. When faced with a family law matter, it is only natural to be skeptical about letting it out there. However, family laws in Florida are pretty complex and require a legal practitioner to help you understand how it works. Taking it up and settling it yourself can leave you in a not-so-great position.  You need a reasonable and competent family law attorney who you can confidently rely on to have your interest at heart. Due to their years of experience, family law attorneys will be in a better position to help get your matter solved without much hassle or unwanted attention.  Where or how to find such an attorney should not be an issue for you either. Attorney Directory allows you to contact a family law attorney in Florida easily and quickly. Feel free to get in touch today and get started on getting your family issue settled.  FAQs in Family Law  Q: What is required to create a prenuptial agreement in Florida?   Ans: The essential thing required is the agreement of both partners. This agreement must be reasonable and must be put down in writing and signed. A family law attorney will best help you with this.    Q: Does a prenuptial agreement determine child custody?   Ans: No, it does not. In Florida, child support can only be determined at the time of separation.    Q: I want to file for a divorce in Florida. What should I do?   Ans: If you wish to file for a divorce in Florida, you should contact a family law attorney to assist you in filing a petition for the dissolution of the marriage. All you want from the court concerning the divorce in the petition should be stated explicitly. The other party will be notified by the court and will be required to give a reply within 20 days. The response will determine whether the matter would need a further hearing.    Q: How long does the divorce process take in Florida?   Ans: There is no specific period for the conclusion of divorce in Florida. Usually, it takes less time when both parties agree on the initial terms of the divorce. However, where a party contests the terms given by the other, the case is bound to drag on in court, taking much more time than expected. If this is the case, the divorce should be concluded within weeks.    Q: Does relocating affect child custody in Florida?   Ans: No, it does not. This is referred to as a change of residence address in Florida. Where the other party agrees to the relocation, you must both sign a written agreement. However, if your former partner disagrees, you must file a notice of intent to relocate. Your family law attorney will help you guide you on how to go about this.    Q: Can I file a protective order against my dad?   Ans: Yes, you can. However, you need to speak with a family law attorney in Florida to help assess your case.    Q: Is the consent of the child needed for adoption in Florida?   Ans: Yes, in Florida, the consent of a child who is 12 years or above is needed before adoption.   Q: I have more questions on family law in Florida that I would love to be clarified.    Ans: Do well to connect with a Florida family law attorney instantly.