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Learning A Little About Orlando, Florida

By | Florida, Orlando | No Comments

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 | No Comments

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 | No Comments

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 | No Comments

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 | No Comments

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 | No Comments

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.

 

Drunk Driving in Florida – What does the law say?

By | DUI | No Comments

If you are like most people, you enjoy having a drink or two when out with friends or relaxing on a sunny patio – but how do you know when it is still legal to get behind the wheel? It can be difficult to determine when this harmless fun transforms into a crime, but if you plan to consume any amount of alcohol and then drive a vehicle, you need to know what the Florida law says about drinking and driving.

Being pulled over – what can you expect?

If you are pulled over under suspicion of drinking and driving, the law enforcement officer has a right to ask you to complete a field sobriety test. These tests can involve a variety of actions that are meant to give them an insight into any potential impairment. With that said, these tests are not foolproof, and there is a chance that an individual can fail them without having consumed any alcohol at all.

If you fail these tests for any reason, the officer might ask you a series of questions or ask you to complete a breath test or blood test. You may be required to accompany them to the station, and if they believe that you are severely impaired you may be arrested and your car impounded. If this happens, you will definitely need to seek an experienced DUI lawyer – do not attempt to navigate the criminal justice system on your own.

Florida Blood Alcohol Limits

If a law enforcement officer elects to test your breath or your blood in order to determine how much (if any) alcohol is in your system, you should be aware of the legal blood alcohol limits in Florida.

  • For drivers who are 21 years or over, the limit is .08 %
  • For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is .02 %
  • For commercial drivers, the limit is .04 %

Remember, no matter what anyone tells you, there is no foolproof way to estimate how different alcoholic beverages will affect you and your blood alcohol level. The way that your body metabolizes alcohol will depend on myriad factors, including hormones, the amount you have eaten that day, how you personally react to different spirits etc.

What should you do if you are accused of drunk driving

If you are accused of drunk driving, do not despair. Even if there seems to be insurmountable evidence against you, with the help of a skilled DUI lawyer you can certainly defend yourself against these charges and win your case. They can guide you through the legal system, help you understand the differences between a DUI and a DUI Felony and give you the support that you need. Most importantly, they can ensure that you do not lose your license or pay exorbitant fines. If you have been charged with drinking and driving in Florida, call or email Whitney S. Boan today and take control of your future.

Police Misconduct and Illegal Searches – What YOU need to know

By | Criminal Defense | No Comments

One of the most common questions that the team here at Whitney S. Boan, P.A. gets asked is “how many police officers commit misconduct and act in a fraudulent way, and can their actions affect my case?” The answer is hard to quantify, but one thing is for certain – the rare few officers who do choose to act in a dishonest way are a threat to the justice system in this country, and they can affect your rights. Read ahead to learn more about police misconduct, illegal searches and how they can affect you and your case.

Most law enforcement officials in the United States are honest, hard working and fair, doing their job to the letter of the law – but it is naïve to deny that there is the rare individual in this profession who does indeed commit misconduct when it comes to the crimes that they are investigating. These outliers are dangerous; not only do they undermine the credibility of other honest police officials, they can completely ruin the lives of the individuals that they wrongfully accuse and frame.

Sadly, some police officers destroy or hide evidence, some detectives do not testify honestly, and other law enforcement officials improperly influence witnesses and even manufacture testimony on the stand according to what they want the outcome to be. This is a shameful miscarriage of justice, but does occur more than most would like to admit.

Can Police Misconduct be a Basis for an Innocent Verdict?

As defense attorneys, the team at Whitney S. Boan, P.A. has an important job to do. We must raise reasonable doubt in the minds of each member of the jury, and once we have achieved this task we can exonerate our client. When we are handling a case in which the law enforcement officials tasked with the case have acting in a dishonest or criminally negligent way, we are able to raise this information with the jury. This can help to build sufficient reasonable doubt in their minds, resulting in a hung jury or, in the best case, an acquittal.

Police Misconduct as the reasons for an appeal

Even if you have been found guilty of a criminal offense, the chance to raise the possibility of police misconduct has not passed. Criminal convictions are subject to appellate review, and during this process we are able to bring this miscarriage of justice to light. We can highlight the possibility that:

  • The police gave false testimony during trial
  • The police improperly handled evidence during the investigation of your case
  • The police coerced witnesses during or before your trial
  • The police suppressed evidence that could have proved your innocence or cast doubt on your guilt

If any of these are a possibility, the team at Whitney S. Boan, P.A. are able to uncover the truth and help you to overturn your conviction. Don’t delay – call or contact us today.

Explore Just How Dangerous Social Media Can Be to Your Car Accident Case

By | Guest Posts | No Comments

With social media being as prevalent as it is today, it makes sense that many people end up flocking to social media to share the details of their car accident case. However, that could end up being one of the worst mistakes you ever make. As your Phoenix car accident lawyer will strongly tell you, spreading the details of your case all over Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook could come back on you and ruin your chances of getting the settlement you deserve. Before running to social media and saying something about your case, such as how your recovery is coming along, how severely you were injured or anything else, you need to stop and think about what the insurance company might think if they were to read your posts.

When seeking compensation for your accident claim, you do not want to make it seem like you are lying about your injuries or anything that happened. Adjusters are always looking for some way or another to discount your damages and make it seem less serious than it is. With everything being posted on social media today, you can bet the insurance company is going to look and see what all you have to say about your case before paying you.

How Insurers Can Turn Social Media Against You

If you are someone who is always on social media, you might be inclined to head over to social media and start updating your friends and family members about what happened and letting them know that you are okay. While you might think that you are helping to alleviate any concerns your friends and family members have, you are also making the insurance company wonder just how extensive your injuries really are to begin with.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • Even something from years ago could come back to hurt your case.
  • Insurance companies are not always looking at all of the specifics of your posts.
  • A picture from a trip you took last year when you hiked through the mountains could be used to show that you are healthy and do not need to be off work. They will say that you are fine to return to work and your fractured pelvis must not be as bad as you are making it out to be. They are not looking at dates, just what you are doing in the pictures.
  • The adjuster is looking for a way to show that you are lying about your injuries and do not need the compensation you are asking for.

If any of this happens, it could end up causing you to lose out on your claim. Next thing you know you are having to appeal the claim and provide proof that all of those pictures were from years ago and not something that happened recently. You are the one stuck having to prove your injuries and fight for compensation that you deserve.

Using Social Media Safely When Injured

The best thing you can do when it comes to using social media accounts when injured is to simply refrain from using them whatsoever. This way there is nothing on your account that can be used against you. If you absolutely must post, make sure any information posted is brief and purely factual. Avoid letting your emotions step in and get the best of your situation. You do not want to go on a rant about what happened or the way the insurance company is behaving.

Here are a few tips to follow with your social media account:

  • Change your security options to only friends and family members.
  • Do not accept any weird requests from people you do not know. An insurance agent could be posing as someone else in an attempt to get into your personal information.
  • Avoid accepting requests from someone you know to be the adjuster, even though they might seem friendly and concerned. They are often just out there to gain access to your information and use it against you.

Since the relationship you have with the adjuster should be strictly professional, there is no reason for them to get your information and start sending you requests through social media. They should only be contacting you through phone, email or communication with car accident lawyers. There is no reason to get personal and take it to social media.

The main thing to remember is that social media should not be considered a main resource to discuss all of the specifics surrounding your accident claim. You are better off keeping the details of your injuries, accident, the progress you are making and so on to yourself. No one needs to know all of the intricate details of what is going on in your life. Even after you have settled your claim, you do not want to go around bragging about the money you received. You are better off saying the least amount of information possible.

Illegal Searches and the Suppression of Evidence – What do you need to know?

By | Criminal Defense | No Comments

If you have watched much television in your life, you have probably seen a procedural legal drama or gritty crime film in which law enforcement agents must impatiently wait for a search warrant before being able to search a suspect’s home or office. Sometimes the plot even revolves around evidence collected from an illegal search performed without a warrant being thrown out of a court case (referred to as suppression of evidence).

From these pop culture representations it certainly seems like the police need a warrant 100% of the time in order to search your residence, but this is not the case.

When is a search warrant issued?

A search warrant will only be issued in the event that law enforcement agents can demonstrate that they have probable cause (defined as “reasonable grounds to believe that a particular person has committed a crime”). Search warrant request records are usually sealed (so as to not compromise future investigation efforts), so it is impossible to estimate how often these requests are denied. Anecdotally, most are approved; investigators usually only request them when they know that they have grounds for issuance of a search warrant to satisfy a judge’s concerns.

When is a warrant NOT needed?

There are four conditions under which police officers do not need a warrant in order to search your residence. Any evidence collected under these circumstances is admissible in court.

  1. The search was consented to – A consent search refers to when an individual allows an officer to search their home or car. This must not be the landlord or owner, but the person who legally inhabits the space.
  2. The items were in plain view – The plain view doctrine covers instances in which the law enforcement officer unintentionally sees a weapon or other evidence from a legal vantage point.
  3. Incidental searches – An officer can search an individual and their vicinity immediately after an arrest in order to ensure that the space is safe and free from weapons.
  4. An emergency may be occurring – If officers believe that a crime is in progress or an individual is in immediate danger, they can enter a home or vehicle without a warrant.

What should you do if you do not consent to a search?

If police officers arrive at your residence and inform you they are about to conduct a search, he first thing you should do is ask to see the search warrant. If they do not have one, or refuse to provide the document – remember: they may be planning to conduct a warrantless search based on one of the four above criteria. Because of this, you should always stay out of the way of law enforcement agents – never try to get in their way or prevent them from conducting a search.

You should, however, make it clear (verbally) that you do not consent to the search; remember, if they do not meet the above criteria and they do not have a warrant, any evidence collected will not be admissible.

Most importantly, you need to immediately contact a reliable and skilled criminal defense lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system – your representation can be the difference between a conviction and having your case thrown out.