Often times people are unsure of the procedure or how the court process works after they have been arrested. Assuming that you are given some type of bond and post it after your arrest, the jail will provide you with your first court date, which is your arraignment. If you plan on hiring private counsel, it is wise to consult with them prior to your arraignment so that they can file a notice of appearance on your behalf and waive your arraignment, which means you would not have to attend that court date. If you have not retained counsel prior to your arraignment, you MUST attend or the court will issue a failure to appear and will likely revoke your bond. If you go to your arraignment, having not hired private counsel, the court will inquire as to whether your wish to use the services of the Public Defender. If you qualify financially, the court will appoint a Public Defender on your case. Procedurally, the arraignment date is when the State formally charges you with what law(s) they believe you have broken based upon your initial arrest. At the arraignment the court will also announce your next court date which in county court (for misdemeanor charges) is called your plea day and it is typically a month or so out from your arraignment date. In circuit court (for felony charges) the next court date is called docket day and it is typically a couple of months out from your arraignment. In between your arraignment and your docket day, your attorney conducts discovery, takes depositions, negotiates plea offers and files any legal motions that might be available on your behalf. Assuming the case is not resolved via dismissal prior to plea/docket day, it is your decision at that point based upon discussion with your attorney/advice from your attorney, whether or not you would like to accept a negotiated plea offer or take your case to trial. If you have any further questions about the court process or other matters involving a crime you have been accused of, please contact me at Ferry & Ferry and I will gladly provide information based upon my 18 years of experience practicing criminal defense.Chris Ferry, Attorney at Lawhttp://www.ferryandferry.com/practice-areas/criminal-defense/
In Florida statutes, only the biological parents have parental rights unless there is a court order detailing otherwise. For instance, two gay men can adopt a child, thus terminating the biological parents’ parental rights. The Department of Vital Statistics will change the child’s birth certificate listing both men as the child’s parents. If a child is born before the marriage of two parties, unless the step-parent adopts the child, the step-parent not only has no rights for parenting time after a divorce, but also has no obligation to support the child financially. If the step-parent adopts the child, he or she is now entitled to parental rights regarding that child as if he/she was the biological parent. See our blog for other issues. http://www.ferryandferry.com/practice-areas/family-law/The below statute gives a little guidance on who can adopt and the definition of parent.
In 1999, led by then Gov. Jeb Bush, the 10-20-Life statute was passed. It established bright line minimum mandatory sentences for defendants who used a firearm while committing a crime. Between July 1, 1999 and July 1, 2016, if you had a firearm on your person during a felony, you received 10 years; if you fired it, you received 20 years. If someone died during the commission of a felony and a firearm was used, the defendant automatically received a life sentence. Minimum mandatory sentences remove any discretion that a Judge usually has when a defendant is sentenced. In 2016, Gov. Rick Scott removed from the minimum mandatory sentence from the crime of aggravated assault. The previous statute included defendants who fired warning shots, or those that were not intended to cause any harm but to scare away a possible attacker.
- As it stands today, if you carry a firearm on your person in the commission of the listed felonies, you automatically receive at least 10 years in jail:
- If you caused great bodily harm or killed someone while committing one of the crimes above, you will serve no less than 25 years.
- The number of years is increased if a semi-automatic firearm is used. If a defendant possesses a semi-automatic firearm, it is an automatic minimum of 15 years. If one is fired, 20 years. If one kills a person, 25 years minimum.
In the Pensacola area there are at least three different churches who host Divorce recovery groups.
Marcus Pointe Baptist Church 6205 North “W” Street Pensacola, FL on Tuesdays, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm;
Aug 15, 2017 – Nov 7, 2017
Myrtle Grove Baptist Church
5920 Lillian Higway
Pensacola, FL Sundays, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Sep 10, 2017 – Dec 10, 2017
Olive Baptist Church 836 E. Olive Rd. Pensacola, FL
Wednesdays Starting August 23 | 6:00p-8:00p | Room 4103.
If you try to open a Florida statute volume, you will not find a provision for annulments. However, you can still obtain one. Judges over time have created different causes of action via case law. Florida Courts have recognized reasons why a couple can get an annulment. They are: one participant is less than 18 years of age at the time of the marriage, if one is incapable of having sexual relations, related too closely (brother, sister, aunt, uncle), or mental impairment. The downside to filing an annulment is that you can spend the money to hire an attorney but the judge can still say no. Annulments are unlike a divorce proceeding. When you file for divorce, you may not know the specific details when you begin, but you are for sure certain that you will be single! A judge, even if your spouse doesn’t want a divorce, will grant it.
Annulments tend to be an exit route for celebrities who failed to get a pre-nup before getting hitched, i.e., Britney Spears’ 55 hour marriage. There are certain benefits. Annulments have previously been a route to avoid the declaration that one was “divorced” There is no stigma associated with divorce in our day and age. The advantage to obtaining an annulment however, can be huge if granted. For instance if one spouse has extensive assets and income, an annulment would necessarily disallow alimony claims. You have to have been married in Florida to claim alimony.
If you are considering an exit from your marriage, contact our firm for options.
In Florida, assets that you bring into the marriage are yours. The status of the asset can change however. If you for instance, had a house prior to your marriage, but added your husband to the deed, he is now entitled to it just as much as you. If you at the time of your marriage have a retirement account and continue to contribute to it, the portion and growth from the date of your marriage is 1/2 your spouse’s. Your salary is a marital asset. If during your marriage you put your salary into a banking account, whatever the name, it is a marital asset.
If you are contemplating marriage and have assets, you should contact an attorney to determine whether you would benefit from a prenuptial agreement. A prenup can streamline your assets if you ever divorce and give you peace of mind for your future, no matter if the marriage is successful. Hopefully, it is successful.
Absolutely! If you are in a family law case, emotions can run high. People say things they later regret. But, when you do it either in a text message or email, the likelihood that you will see it in print at a hearing, is almost 100%! Bad behavior can be punished by a judge. It can reduce your parenting time. If your spouse isn’t paying the child support as ordered, and you text, “I’m not letting you see our son until you pay your child support,” the Judge is no longer looking at a he said she said. It is in black and white. Rant and rave all day long to your family or your best friend, out of the earshot of your kids. DO NOT vent without a filter via text, email or social media.
Often, clients will ask, “Does it matter who files for divorce first?” Technically, no, it doesn’t matter. However, strategically it can. The person who files first, named the Petitioner, will set the tone. If adultery or misuse of money is alleged, then we know the divorce is going to be contested and perhaps hostile.
It is actually about $100 cheaper to file second. However, I find that if you are the Respondent, you are behind the 8 ball. When a divorce is filed, there are certain time deadlines that can cause stress. Within 45 days from the date of service of process, parties must give a lengthy amount of documents to the other side. Honestly, just compiling all of the documents can be stressful. If you are first to file, then in theory, you have already gotten those items together. At our firm, we do not generally file a Dissolution (divorce) unless the client has obtained all of the Mandatory Disclosure documents. (http://www.ferryandferry.com/for-clients-2/mandatory-disclosure-checklist/)
Filing first also gives you more time to plan your future, rather than being blindsided. Women are 2/3 more likely to file first. White women are at the top of that number. This is most likely attributable to increased wages that women are now capable of earning.
If divorce is certainly on your horizon, contact us to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
While I would like to say that a Judge can punish the cheater like in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the answer is no. In the state of Florida, it is no-fault. So if one says there are “irreconcilable differences” between you, a Judge doesn’t have to go any further to grant the divorce. The Judge doesn’t have to see private investigator footage, hotel receipts, or illicit text messages. HOWEVER, if that spouse spent money on the other person, or gave you a STD as a result of the cheating, the answer is different. The Judge can award damages for the STD. If the money was spent, the Judge can require those funds to go into marital assets to be distributed.
Getting Through It:
If you are going through a divorce, my best advice is to exercise. Buy a sparring bag and hit it hard. Go for a long run. Divorce feels like you are going crazy. You have to stay grounded, especially if you have children that will be impacted. The last thing you want is for them to feel the crazy.
Most crimes with few exceptions can be expunged (removed) if the case was subsequently dismissed. The majority of any sexual related offense is not subject to expungement, nor a drug trafficking offense.
Many first time defendants are given a diversionary program option. If you complete the program, the state attorney will then dismiss the case. It could also be if the Judge dismisses the case based on for instance a suppression issue. Keep in mind that you only get this option ONE time. If your case is not dismissed but the Court withheld adjudication (did not convict you), you may be eligible to have the case sealed. A sealing will prevent the average person from being able to discover it. Keep in mind though that military, law enforcement and academia can still see it even if it is sealed. With an expungement, the records are actually destroyed. The link below is the statute itself with links to the offenses that prohibit expungement or sealing.
Our office does handle expungements and sealing. Sometimes the process is 2-3 months, sometimes as much as 6 dependent upon how backlogged the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is at the time of the application. Call us today at (850) 469-8118 to see if you qualify.