But I Am The Father, Why Don’t I Have Any Rights?

You may very well be the biological father but does not mean you are the legal father or that you have any legal rights to your child.  It is important that if you are an unmarried father, you immediately establish your legal rights to your child.  In Florida, if a child is born out of wedlock, there is no presumption of fatherhood.  Paternity should be established first and foremost. An establishment of paternity Read More

Can I Get My Attorney’s Fees Paid in My Family Case?

Divorces can be expensive. So can going back to court to enforce orders in a multitude of family issues from time-sharing to alimony payments.  Many people attempt to represent themselves because of the cost of attorney’s fees.  While in some circumstances (I would venture to say very few) a person may represent himself or herself quite well, in most circumstances, a person does not know all of his or her rights and Read More

What is an HTO?

HTO stands for Habitual Traffic Offender. Upon being deemed a habitual traffic offender, the Department of Motor Vehicles will revoke your driver’s license for 5 years.  There are a couple of ways that you can be deemed a habitual traffic offender in Florida: 1. 3 or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts within a 5-year period: a.      Voluntary or Read More

What is Resisting An Officer Without Violence?

If you live in Polk County you have probably seen the video circulating social media of the gentleman that was supposedly resisting arrest by Lakeland police officers and therefore force was used against him.  According to the chief, that force was necessary because the gentleman was “actively resisting” and his resistance was even “violent.” This video has caused an array of opinions whether the officers’ Read More

Co-Parenting and Relocation

One would think that you should be able to pick up and move with your child(ren) whenever and wherever you would like. However, if you have shared parental responsibility pursuant to a parenting plan in Florida, unfortunately, you cannot just move; or you might be in contempt of court.  It seems that I have had to counsel quite a few people on "relocation" lately, so I thought a blog post was necessary. Read More

False Confessions

There are only 24 states that require police interrogations to be recorded from start to end, and Florida is not one of them.  Not recording the entirety of a police interrogation is a problem, especially considering that in over 25% of wrongful convictions that have been overturned by DNA evidence, the Defendant made false confessions to law enforcement during the interrogation.  Why do people make false Read More

Prostitution in Florida

I happen to live in a county where the Sheriff is known for prostitution stings.  I just did a google search and almost every hit was for my county!  As a criminal defense attorney, this causes me some distress.  (One might think, this brings me business, but I have different opinions on the matter).In Florida, prostitution is defined as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire but excludes Read More

Expungement and Record Sealing

People often ask about record expungement.  In Florida, record expungement is defined as court-ordered physical destruction of a record by any criminal justice agency or other public entity in possession of such information.  In order to obtain an expungement, the State must not have filed an indictment, information, or other charging document in the case.  If one was issued, it was dismissed by the State.  There are Read More

Co-Parenting Through the Holidays

It's that time of year.  The time when I get complaints about my child's parent is not being cooperative about Christmas and I want to take them to court.  It is difficult because both parents want to spend as much time with their child as possible.  You may want to leave to go out of town earlier than your parenting plan will allow, and maybe the other parent is being unreasonable by not allowing you to do so.  Or Read More

Modifying A Parenting Plan

I get many calls from parents wanting to change or modify their parenting plan.  The problem lies in that their reason for the change may not meet the legal requirements for a change to the parenting plan. In order to modify a parenting plan, there must be a 1) substantial, 2) material, and 3) unanticipated change in circumstances and a showing that the modification is in the best interests of the child. Parents Read More