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What is the difference between robbery and burglary?

By | Theft

Some people use the terms robbery and burglary interchangeably but the terms actually refer to different crimes and each has its own legal definition and penalties.

Robbery and burglary are the two crimes that comprise taking possession of something owned by someone illegally without the permission of the owner. But the two are differentiated by the circumstances that surround each of them. The legal definition of theft involves a number of categories in addition to the crimes of robbery and burglary. These additional theft crimes include: larceny, theft and extortion.

Robbery

The definition of the act of robbery by law is to take or try to take something that is valuable and belongs to someone else by utilizing acts of intimidation, force or threat. Mostly, robbery is thought of as a crime committed by bank robbers or guys who hold up a convenience store, but actually, some of the states have laws according to which any student threatening to beat up another student who refuses to give his lunch or money also falls under the category of robbery. The crime of robbery can take place with a single victim who must be present on the crime scene. The victim must have gone through a feeling of being harmed or suffered a physical injury. Robbery can take place with multiple victims as well, for example, bank robberies where a large number of victims are available. The elements of the crime of robbery include:

  • The act of taking money or property from someone else
  • The act is done directly
  • It does not involve taking permission from the person
  • The act is done with the intent of possessing money or property permanently
  • It involves the use of force or intimidation

Burglary

The definition of the act of Burglary by law is the unlawful entry to a facility or a structure to commit the crime of theft or a felony. The act of burglary does not involve the presence of a victim. In order for burglary to take place, the structure being unlawfully entered into can include a number of different types of buildings. These buildings can be business offices, personal homes and even garden sheds. The crime of burglary does not include crimes that are committed on cars. An example of burglary is someone breaking the lock on the back door of your house and stealing your television. The typical elements of the crime of burglary include:

  • Unlawfully entering any building that can be a home or any other facility
  • Entering the building involves the intent of committing a felony or stealing something

There are four types of burglary:

  • Completed burglary – This is a type of burglary in which an individual, who is not authorized to enter a facility, gains the entry with or without force
  • Forcible entry – This type of burglary involves the use of force to gain entrance for example, breaking a window
  • Unlawful entry without force – This type of burglary involves no use of force
  • Attempted forcible entry – This type of burglary involves the use of force in an attempt to gain entry

If you have been a victim of robbery or burglary, you need to inform the authorities and contact a lawyer immediately.

Author Bio:

Holmes Law Office for real property advice, preparation of documents, mortgages, title opinions & land contracts and bankruptcy consultation.

What are stalking and domestic violence crimes?

By | Domestic Violence

Stalking of an individual refers to the act of following the victim or monitoring them and may include harassment and intimidation. It is an undesired or obsessive attention towards an individual by another individual or group. The term stalking is used in some legal jurisdictions as a criminal activity.

Stalking and Domestic Violence

Stalking can also be related to domestic violence in which the victim is being stalked by the estranged or separated spouse or partner. The act of stalking involves behaviors like:

  • Intimidating, harassing or threatening the victim through phone calls or emails etc.
  • Following the victim or shadowing them
  • Uninformed appearances at the victim’s home or place of employment
  • Damaging the property of the victim
  • Doing activities that intimidates the victim and increases concerns about their safety

Types of Stalking

There are three different categories of stalking:

Erotomania – This type of stalking involves a delusional obsession with a celebrity or a public figure who is mostly out of reach of the stalker.

Love Obsessional – This type of stalking involves individuals who become obsessed with any individual with whom they didn’t have any intimate or close relationship. The victim may be a friend, a person met only once, or even a complete stranger.

Simple Obsessional – This type of stalking is done by stalkers who has previously been involved in an intimate relationship with their victims. In most of the cases, the victim has attempted to get out of the relationship but the stalker does not allow the victim to leave. Such stalkers suffer from different personality disorders. They may as well be emotionally immature, extremely jealous, insecure and have low self-esteem. They stalk their victim with the goal of reconciliation and they often feel powerless without the relationship and they think they won’t survive without the relationship.

Domestic violence stalking comes under this category of stalking which is done by ex-husband or lover or a co-worker or employer. Approximately 30% of the cases fall into this category in the US.

The crime of stalking is defined differently and has different laws for it in different states of the US. However, the requirements to label an act as criminal stalking are listed as under:

  • Intent requirement – There should be a proof that the stalker intended the consequences of his actions.
  • Standard Fear – Some of the states require that the behavior of the stalker must cause the victim to fear.
  • Threat – Some states require that the stalker poses a credible threat to the victim. Implicit threats are mostly very hard to prove in court. They are mostly experienced by victims who had an intimate relationship with the stalker previously.
  • Target of the Stalker’s Act – Mostly, this is also a requirement that the actions of the stalker pose a threat to any person close to the victim like their children, current spouse or any other family member.
  • Crime Classification – Some states classify stalking as a felony when it is reported for the first time and is actually done for the first time. Mostly, it is classified as a felony when the offense is done a second time and involves aggravating factors. The factors that aggravate the situation include possession of a weapon by the stalker, stalking someone under 16 years of age, the same victim being stalked again and again, or violation of a court order.

Author Bio:

Jacobs Jacobs & Edmison, LLP caters all your legal needs from Estate Planning, Bankruptcy, Tax Law throughout Arkansas. Call now (501) 254-0311.

Defending White Collar Crimes

By | White Collar Crimes

The term White-collar crime refers to nonviolent crimes that are committed by businessmen and government professionals. Such crimes are financially motivated. White-collar crimes normally refer to crimes by people who are slightly wealthier – those who wear a “white collar” to work. They generally involve fraud or public corruption. For the first time, white collar crimes were defined by the sociologist Edwin Sutherland in 1939 as “a crime committed by a person of respectability and high social status in the course of his occupation”.

Some of the examples of white-collar crimes include fraud, insider trading, securities and commodities fraud, embezzlement, mortgage fraud, financial institution fraud, cybercrime, money laundering, identity theft, forgery, copyright infringement, fraud against the government, election law violations, mass marketing fraud, health care fraud and bribery.

White-collar crimes are not victimless. Sometimes, a single scam is enough to sabotage a company or devastate a family financially by wiping out the savings of their entire lives. It can even cost investors billions of dollars. The fraud schemes nowadays are more sophisticated than ever before.

White-collar criminal charges are a complex and evolving area of the law. There is variation among the criminal penalties of white-collar crimes. Most states charge the convicted with a fine and a prison sentence, and sometimes a combination of both. The criminal laws approve maximum penalties, which are quite severe most often. However, less than the maximum sentence is authorized to most of the defendants.

The sentencing guidelines followed by the courts vary depending upon the jurisdiction. The guidelines are followed in order to ensure that the criminal sentences are uniform, therefore, the judge is given little choice while imposing the sentence. Any prior criminal record and the crime for which the defendant is convicted are taken into consideration. The court, in some cases, may also consider factors that will enforce a sentence other than the sentence required by the guidelines.

A defendant who does not have any significant criminal record may be sentenced to probation, a postponed jail sentence, or a jail sentence that is far shorter than the maximum sentence. The convicted may also be charged with fines and is often required to confiscate any loss or pay compensation money to their victims.

There are a few strategies to defend oneself from being convicted of a white-collar crime:

  • Showing a lack of intent to commit a crime (for example, proving that you never intended to deceive someone) can help drop your charges. You can do this by preventing prosecution from proving intent
  • Demonstrating a lack of knowledge of unlawful activity occurring and your participation in it. When multiple parties are involved, it can give you a save passage
  • If you were made to forge documents by force, then you can take the help of coercion in the court room. Threats, fraud or force can also be used for entrapment defense to stick
  • Plea bargain may also be used when the defendant wants to admit his guilt. A shorter sentence is offered in exchange of guilty plea

Author Bio:

Scott Cohen is a highly qualified and dedicated Philadelphia Family Lawyer who can help you. Learn more about your legal options during a free consultation Call (267) 297-2952

Are Red Light Cameras Actually Protecting the Public or Just a Revenue Source?

By | Traffic Ticket

In a recent interview with Fox News, I spoke about the legitimacy of red light camera systems. For many Orlando drivers, seeing that flash at a red light is very stress inducing. To make matters worse, you are forced to wait, day by day, until you receive a letter. Most people are unaware of exactly who is behind the red light cameras that we all have come to loathe.

A private company is in charge of building red light cameras all across the country. They are also behind those letters that you receive, ordering you to pay them immediately. Receiving this letter, whether you were aware of your infraction or not, is a very stressful situation to be in.

Did you know that these red light cameras aren’t as safe as you were led to believe?

A study done by the Florida Department of Highway & Motor Vehicles found some interesting facts concerning red light camera systems. Their report found that intersections with the red light cameras actually saw an increase in reported crashes for 2015-2016! Rear end crashes, the kind involving no serious injuries, increased by 11%. However, the more shocking statistic is when we look at injury-inducing crashes. What this report found was that there was a 27% increase in injury crashes at intersections with red light cameras.

If intersections with red light cameras are causing more wrecks to occur, who are they really protecting?

Perhaps, the private companies, who are funded by money received for violations are the most protected. It is said that these cameras are put in place to protect the public. Higher amounts of crashes at intersections with these cameras seem to be protecting no one but the pockets of private companies.

Isn’t it strange that we pay a private company for a law infraction, instead of actual law enforcement?

Changes in weather conditions, the amount of traffic, and length of yellow lights are all variables that can lead to you running a red light. One-tenth of a second, the time it takes a yellow light to change to red, is all it takes for a private company to presume your guilt. Don’t let a private company continue to earn money from you. If you have received a letter in the mail, ordering you to pay a hefty fee, give our office a call right away.

If someone is going to run a red light, it is unlikely that a camera will stop them. In many situations, the person that has planned to run a red light isn’t going to stop and check for a camera. The accuracy of a red light camera, in determining who exactly is driving, is a heated source of debate in courtrooms across the country. The presumption of red light cameras accuracy is a topic that has been fought against for years. If you were found at fault, don’t let a camera be the judge and seal your fate, let your voice be heard!

Received a red light ticket? Contact me today and I will stand in your corner. Talk to a traffic lawyer who has handled many cases involving red light cameras.

Learning A Little About Orlando, Florida

By | Florida, Orlando

orlando florida downtownWhile Orlando isn’t the capital of the state of Florida, it’s a city that almost everyone knows about. The city is one of the larger cities of the United States and known as the ‘Theme Park Capital of the World.’ But besides theme parks, this city has a lot to offer the people that come to visit it in both the people and other attractions that it holds.

Population

The population of Orlando, Florida is interesting and ever evolving. The population of the city is at about 238,300 people. The population is made up of a majority Caucasian people, but there are large numbers of Latinos and African-Americans living in the city.

There are two growing communities inside of Orlando that are really contributing to the local culture: the Puerto Rican community and Caribbean community. The Puerto Rican community has been long established, and the culture has affected the city immensely.

Besides diversity of races, Orlando has a large LGBT community. The city is often recognized as one of the most tolerant in the Southeast. The city throws several LGBT events and has had many LGBT officials.

History

The history of Orlando, like many other places, is full of ups and downs that eventually led to the Orlando that we have today.

Orlando began officially existing as a town in 1875. However, about twenty years before that, Orlando was where Florida’s Orange County was governed from. During the time that Orlando wasn’t a town, the area suffered during such events as the Civil War. During that time, the area specifically suffered from the United States’s naval blockade of the Confederacy. After the Civil War was over, the area had a population increase that led to it becoming a town.

The town eventually became a city in 1885. The area had become the state’s citrus industry hub, but in 184, a freeze took over the area leading to a shift of land holding in the area. In the 1920’s, Orlando began to build out creating more and more neighborhoods. But after several hurricanes and the Great Depression struck, the city slowed down it’s building of new neighborhoods.

Two events that probably put Orlando on the map occurred in 1965 and 1971. In 1965, Walt Disney announced plans for a new theme park in the state; and in 1971, the new park opened. Both of these ushered in boosts to the economy and a population increase.

Points of Interest

Now obviously all of the theme parks that are located in and around the city can be considered points of interest, but Orlando has a lot more to offer than just theme parks. If you’re looking to go to Orlando, then here are a few other places to go when you’re in the city.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil

Located in the Disney Springs area, this is a perfect place to see a show. While it is located on Disney property, the shows here are separate from the parks in the area. This means that you can get out and see a cool Cirque du Soleil show without having to go to the Disney parks.

Wonder Works

Since it’s Florida, there had to be one theme park on the list. However, this theme park is an indoor theme park. This theme park is all about testing your knowledge and having some hands-on fun with some science. The hands-on nature of all the exhibits inside makes this a great place to take a family.

Downtown Orlando

While it’s not a single location, downtown Orlando certainly should be on any list. Because there’s so much to do there, the city put together a guide for the area, including some of the best attractions, best hotels, best food, and a small map of the area so you can see where some of these attractions are. There’s a ton of stuff for people of all ages to do in downtown Orlando, so no matter what kind of fun you want, you’ll be able to find it in downtown.

Notable Neighborhoods

If you’re looking to move to Orlando rather than just visit, there are several places you can go to live in the city. Here are a few neighborhoods that might interest people looking to move to the area.

Lake Nona

On the Southern side of town, the Lake Nona area is a newer neighborhood that was originally going to become a large golfing area. However, the area is now full of housing for people with a range of budgets. There are luxury homes in the area, but there are also townhouses and such. Although the area isn’t quite the golfing mecca that it was originally imagined as there are several golfing events in the area that are quite popular in the golfing community.

Celebration

Although this neighborhood is actually located in the city of Kissimmee (a town just south of Orlando), the Celebration neighborhood is perfect for families or for those that are looking to work at the nearby Disney resorts. This neighborhood is designed with the retro designs of the 1910s in mind. Besides the retro design, the neighborhood also boasts a positive atmosphere that is perfect for families. The people that live here have several community events such as an Oktoberfest and a Great American Pie festival. This neighborhood really behaves as a mini-city full of neighborly people and a great attitude.

Conclusion

The city of Orlando is so full of life and things to do that even if you don’t want to live in the city, visiting it has to be on your bucket list. The city boasts not only many of the most visited theme parks, but plenty of other attractions for people with varied interests. There are tons of great shows to go to and plenty of good food for you to taste. Because of the great diversity, the culture is full of intersecting ideas and celebrations. There is something in this city for everyone, but you have to get here to find it for yourself.

The Florida Sex Offender Registry Explained

The Florida Sex Offender Registry Explained

By | Criminal Defense, Sex Crimes

Are you (or a loved one) facing charges that, if convicted, could land you on the Florida Sex Offender Registry? If so, you already know what a daunting and intimidating prospect this can be – a mandatory lifetime enrolment on this list could truly turn your life upside down and severely limit your goals, dreams and future happiness. Read ahead for everything that you need to know about the Florida Sex Offender Registry – and how you may be able to remove your name.

What is the Florida Sex Offender Registry?

Designed to alert neighbours, locals and colleagues when someone convicted of a sex crime in Florida (defined as a sexual offender or a sexual predator) moves into the neighbourhood, the Sex Offender Registry can be a truly useful safety tool for concerned individuals. That said, if you believe that you are on this list unfairly, it can derail your life permanently and alter your future chances of success.

Utilised in many countries and regions around the world, these registries collect the personal details of those individuals who have been charged and convicted of sexual crimes against children and adults. A Florida law (effective since 7/1/96) requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to maintain a current and regularly updated list of Registered Sexual Predators (as defined by statute Chapter 97-299).

If you have been convicted of one of these crimes, you will be required to regularly register yourself on this list and ensure that all of your personal details (including a photo, home address, date of birth, full name and more) are correct. Long after you have served your time and probation for this crime you will need to remain on this list – for the rest of your life.

Florida Sex Offender Registry FAQs

  • What kinds of crimes can land me on the Florida Sex Offender Registry?
    The list includes sexual assault, rape, molestation, incest and other sexually motivated crimes against adults and children. Under recent changes to Florida sex crime laws, this can now also include the posting of ‘revenge porn’ photos or information online.
  • What is the difference between a sexual offender and a sexual predator?
    While both are required to register with the Florida Sex Offender Registry, but the police must actively inform the public when an individual designated as a sexual predator moves into the area. From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement:
    There is a subcategory of sexual offenders who are considered sexual predators. They have been convicted of (1) committing a forcible sexual battery upon an adult; (2) kidnapping a child under the age of 13; (3) engaging in sexual activity with a child under the age of 12; or (4) selling or buying a person under the age of 18 for sex. Florida Statute 775.21(4)(a).
  • How long will I be required to remain on the Registry?
    Currently, the law stipulates that you will be required to remain on the registry for the rest of your life; that said, in some rare cases you can indeed petition the court for the removal of your name (see below).
  • How far will I have to stay away from schools?
    Under Florida law, sex offenders are not allowed to come within 1,000 feetof a school, daycare or park.
  • What will happen if I fail to register as a sex offender?
    Under federal law, if you fail to register as a sex offender when you move or travel, you can face up to ten years in a maximum security federal prison.
  • Will this affect my job prospects?
    The short answer is: yes. If your career requires you to work with (or near) children, you are unlikely to be able to find steady work in your field. Even if you are employed in a completely different industry, you will be required to disclose this information to your employer. You will also not be permitted to work near places where children gather (even if your office or worksite has nothing to do with them).
  • Who can access the Florida Sex Offenders Registry?
    The Registry is open and available to anyone living in Florida – they can inquire at their local police station or search that database online.

How can you remove your name from the Florida Sex Offender Registry?

Finding yourself condemned to the Florida Sex Offender Registry can have serious repercussions on your personal and professional life. Your mandatory enrolment on this list can dictate where you must reside, the kinds of jobs that you are permitted to do and the kinds of company that you are allowed to keep. It can even bar you from attending family events, social gatherings and the milestone achievements (such as graduations, birthday parties and weddings) of your loved ones. It is understandable that many individuals who are on this registry are keen to be removed from it as soon as possible.

That said, when it comes to getting yourself removed from the Florida Sex Offender Registry, there is no quick and easy fix. While you may have undergone complete rehabilitation (or been charged and convicted with a minor crime that you believe should not have landed you on the list), it can be tough to convince those in charge that you deserve to be removed. If is has been more than 25 years since your conviction (and you have not been indicted for any felonies since), you can petition the court for the removal of your name.

The most important first step that anyone should take when seeking to be removed from the registry is to consult with a skilled sex crimes lawyer with expertise in this area. Whitney S. Boan has extensive experience defending individuals in sex crime related cases, and she can be a valuable resource when it comes to being removed from the Florida Sex Offender Registry.

personal use vs intent to sell

Personal Use vs. Intent to Sell – Marijuana Laws in Florida

By | Drug Crimes

While many states have legalized marijuana for sale and personal use, Florida has not yet taken this step – and some are doubtful that it will ever happen. While some legal precedent has been established for medicinal use, possession of cannabis in the state of Florida can earn you at least a year in prison.
While many people think of ‘pot’ as being harmless and /or medically necessary, in Florida it is treated as a serious matter. This is a zero tolerance state, and possession can result in jail time, prison sentences, costly fines, probation and other inconvenient penalties. If you are facing marijuana charges, you need the services of skilled criminal attorney with experience in defending individuals against drug charges.

Are you confused about the difference between the amount of marijuana that is classified as being for ‘personal use’ versus the amount an individual would have to have to possess for charges of ‘intent to sell’? You are not alone. Read ahead for more information about convictions of possession of marijuana vs. ‘intent to sell.’

How is Marijuana defined in Florida?

Under Florida state law, marijuana refers to any or all parts of the cannabis plant that have not had the resin extracted. This excludes hemp seeds (used for nutritional purposes), hempen clothing and all other hemp products (as they will have had resin extracted, and retain only trace amounts of THC). The definition includes any plant that is growing, dead or dried, and also encompasses unsterilized seeds that are capable of germination.

When Does Possession of Marijuana Become Intent to Sell?

Under Section 893.13(1)(a), Florida Statutes, it is unlawful for a person “to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance,” such as cannabis. That said, what factors turn simple possession unto “intent to sell?” The statute lays this out with three standards, each building on the previous:

  • You knowingly possessed marijuana
  • The substance is confirmed as marijuana
  • The possession is for the purpose of sale

While these three standards seem straightforward, the criminal justice system must use their judgement and the evidence at hand in order to determine if the marijuana was for sale. Note that the above standards do not include the physical amount of the drug found on the suspect; some of these other factors must be present.

These factors and possessions include:

  • Small baggies (the ones that are often used for packaging individual amounts for sale)
  • Phone records or text messages that include incriminating evidence
  • A physical ledger
  • Large sums of cash or currency
  • A scale (used to weigh product for sale)

If you have been charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession or possession with intent to sell, you must ensure that you hire the services of a skilled and experienced attorney. Contact Whitney S. Boan today for a free consultation – she will work on getting your case dismissed or securing a ‘not guilty’ verdict.

What are the DUI penalties and license suspensions in Arizona?

By | DUI

When you are suspected of DUI in Arizona, you could end up spending up to 10 days in jail if you do not have the help of an experienced DUI attorney. It is important to get a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney’s guidance and support for your case from the very beginning, to avoid the worst of the DUI charges, penalties and process.

Throughout the United States, Arizona is known for having the toughest DUI penalties.

Why it Is Important to Have an Experienced DUI Attorney

When a police officer stops you for suspected impaired driving in Arizona, you may be administered one or more tests to determine whether you have been drinking or using drugs. One of these tests may be a breathalyzer. If your breath test registers alcohol concentration above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, you can be arrested and taken to jail. When you are charged with misdemeanor Standard DUI for a blood alcohol content of above 0.08 percent, you will be scheduled to appear before a judge in court. The same will be true for higher charges of Extreme DUI and Super Extreme DUI, although these cases may be felonies.

Before going to court, you will need the help of a criminal defense attorney. DUI is a very serious matter in Arizona and such a lawyer will guide you through the court process and what you can expect as part of sentencing, penalties and processes of the court.

By Arizona law, first time DUI offenders are required to serve jail time. The law also requires a 90-day suspension of a person’s driver’s license, as well as payment of $1,800 in fines. Jail costs are also the responsibility of the DUI offender. Beyond all of these penalties, Arizona law requires installation of an ignition interlock device on the defendant’s personal vehicle(s). This will remain on the vehicle for a year or more, depending upon the DUI classification. Community service, substance abuse counseling and driver education are other possible penalties.

With the help of a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney, you may be able to gain dismissed or reduced charges, or possibly reduced penalties.

Arizona DUI Penalties

Drivers convicted in Arizona for the first time will likely receive the following penalties for DUI:

Misdemeanor / Standard DUI
0.08 to 0.149 Blood Alcohol Content

  • 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
  • 10 days in city or county jail
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense for one year
  • Over $1500 in fines

Extreme DUI
0.15 to 0.199 Blood Alcohol Content

  • 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
  • 30 days in city or county jail
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense for one year
  • Over $2,700 in fines

Super Extreme DUI
0.20 Blood Alcohol Content or Higher

  • 90 day suspension of your driver’s license
  • 45 days in jail
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device at your expense for 18 months
  • Over $3,200 in fines

First Offense Aggravated DUI
When drivers are convicted of their third DUI in seven years, or charged with DUI when their license was already suspended or charged with DUI while a child under 15 years old was a passenger in the car, an Aggravated DUI may be charged. These are very serious charges leading to more serious penalties than Standard, Extreme or Super Extreme DUI.

  • Driver’s license revocation
  • Felony conviction
  • Minimum four months in prison, for a third DUI in seven years or a DUI with a suspended license
  • Alcohol screening and classes
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

For aggravated DUI cases, you need to call a DUI defense lawyer right away. Your future relies upon having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side.

Fight Your DUI Charges with the Help of a Skilled Arizona DUI Lawyer

DUI cases present high risk for your driving privileges, work, freedom and future. Because so much is at stake, it is very important that you hire an Arizona DUI lawyer who knows state laws inside and out. This lawyer will defend your rights in court, using the law to help you maintain control of your life. Each of the lawyers and other staff professionals of the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor have years of experience in Arizona DUI Court.

Debunking Four Myths About Domestic Violence in Florida

By | Domestic Violence

When it comes to the prosecution of domestic violence in Florida, there are a lot of myths swirling around.

Many people erroneously believe that domestic violence charges are completely in the hands of the victim, a personal matter that can be erased and forgotten easily if the victim forgives the perpetrator – this is not the case. It is also not the case that all crimes have only one ‘victim’ – issues of domestic violence can be multilayered and complex. Are you confused about the intricacies of Florida domestic violence charges? Read ahead for valuable clarifying information.

Here are four myths about the crime of domestic violence in the state of Florida

1. We made up/ got back together, so everything is forgotten – While you and your significant other may have patched things up and moved on from this incident, the law does not work so simply. If law enforcement agents were involved in any way, the state may choose to prosecute the perpetrator. This decision is complex, and you will need a skilled and experienced Florida domestic violence lawyer in order to help you navigate these charges.

2. My partner does not want to move forward with charges, so I am in the clear – As with point number one above, once law enforcement agents have gotten involved, your partner’s opinions about pressing charges may no longer matter. If the police officers and district attorney feel that there is enough evidence to convict you, they may move ahead without your partner’s cooperation. Your lawyer may be able to have the case thrown out – consult with Ms. Boan about your specific circumstances.

3. What happens in our relationship is our business alone – While your individual disputes, arguments and relationship ups and downs are certainly your own business, the minute they cross over into the criminal sphere this is no longer the case. This can include domestic violence in all forms, sexual assault, kidnapping (holding your partner against their will), verbal threats, stalking and the abuse of pets.

4. I am always entitled to enter my own home – Even if your partner or the state have not sought to press charges against you, you may be served with a restraining order (also known as a domestic violence injunction). If this is the case, you will be required to stay away from your partner at all times, and this will include your shared residence. If you are served with a domestic violence injunction, an officer will accompany you to your home to pick up supplies, but you will be required to maintain a minimum distance for the duration of the order.

Have you been accused of domestic violence? You need skilled, professional representation – call or email Whitney S. Boan to learn more about and how she can help you with your case.

Plea Bargains 101 – What do you need to know?

By | Criminal Defense

Plea bargains make a regular appearance in Hollywood films and as plot devices in crime shows on television, but do you know actually know what a plea bargain entails? Read ahead to learn everything you need to know about plea bargains and what they can mean for you.

What is a plea bargain?

If you are charged with a crime, in many instances the prosecutor will offer you a plea bargain. This is defined as an agreement between a prosecutor and defendant in a criminal case in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty. In return, the prosecutor will make a concession that benefits the defendant; in many cases they will dismiss some of the charges, ensure that they are less serious than the original charges, or recommend a more lenient punishment from the judge.

3 Kinds of Plea Bargains

Charge bargaining – Of all of the plea bargains, this is the most common in Florida. In exchange for a guilty plea, this will drop some of your charges or reduce your charge in different ways. A good example of charge bargaining would be with a murder charge; if you agree to plead guilty, the prosecutor will reduce the charge to manslaughter rather than Murder Two.

Sentence bargaining – If you accept a sentence bargain, you will plead guilty to the original charge in exchange for a lighter sentence.

Fact bargaining – This is the least common type of plea bargain, and not all of the Florida courts allow it. With a fact bargain you will admit to specific aspects of the crime in exchange for the prosecutor agreeing not to enter other facts and the judge agreeing to the bargain. This can lead to a lesser sentence.

Benefits of a plea bargain

While you will still have a criminal record if you accept a plea bargain, there can be many benefits of this kind of arrangement. You will avoid the embarrassment and potential press coverage of a trial, and you can often negotiate a shorter sentence and get back to your real life as soon as possible. Even though you will still have a record, it will be for a lesser charge that may have less negative repercussions in your life.

Should you accept a plea bargain?

Only a skilled defense attorney can help you to make this decision. While accepting a plea bargain can help you to avoid harsh consequences or serve less time in prison, it necessitates admitting your guilt. This will mean that you will have a criminal record for the rest of your life, you may face deportation and you may face difficulties landing a job, a rental property and credit or a mortgage from your bank. The pros and cons need to be weighed carefully, and you need to think clearly about what both options could mean for your future. Your criminal law attorney can also help you to understand the ins and outs of how your sentence will be determined in Florida.