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JuryRoom

Does A Jury Have To Make All Of The Factual Findings In A Criminal Case?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

The right to a jury trial in criminal cases includes the right to have that jury determine all factual issues related to the elements of the crime. In a 2013 decision, Alleyne v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that this includes “any fact that increases the mandatory minimum” sentence for… Read More »

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Alimony9

Can A Florida Judge Alter An Award Of “Permanent” Alimony After A Divorce?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

Florida law provides for several different types of alimony. Permanent alimony is appropriate when one spouse “lacks the financial ability to meet his or her needs and necessities of life” following a divorce. Alternatively, a court may award durational alimony if permanent alimony is “inappropriate” but ongoing financial support is still necessary for a… Read More »

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FamLaw

Does A Judge Have To Provide “Specific Steps” For You To Regain Time With Your Child?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

Florida courts resolve child custody disputes by approving a document known as a “parenting plan,” which among other things spells out a “time-sharing schedule” for each parent to follow with respect to their child. Although parents are free to negotiate their own parenting plan, the final decision rests with the court, which is legally… Read More »

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DoubleJeopardy

When Does A Mistrial Lead To A “Double Jeopardy” Situation?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

The phrase double jeopardy refers to the constitutional prohibition on trying a person twice for the same crime. Basically, if you are found not guilty by a jury, the state cannot re-try you on the same charge hoping to get a different verdict. However, if a trial ends without a jury verdict–i.e., there is… Read More »

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MedRec

Can The State Subpoena My Medical Records Following A Car Accident?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

Federal law guarantees the privacy of a person’s healthcare records. But even medical privacy may be forced to yield to the demands of law enforcement. For example, if the police have grounds to suspect you have committed a crime, they may subpoena healthcare records that are reasonably related to their investigation. This issue frequently… Read More »

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Bankr20

When Can A Florida Judge Impose Additional Costs As Part Of A Criminal Sentence?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

A criminal conviction often means more than just potential jail time or probation. Many offenses also carry certain fines and additional court costs that must be paid as part of your sentence. These costs can quickly add up for defendants with limited financial resources, so it is crucial they not be assessed arbitrarily or… Read More »

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Arrest_Bars

The Difference Between “Actual” And “Constructive” Possession Of Illegal Drugs

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

In order to be convicted of drug possession, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had “actual or constructive” possession of the illegal substance in question. Actual possession is just what it sounds like–i.e., the police actually find the drugs on your person or somewhere within “arm’s reach” that is under… Read More »

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Handcuffs2

When Can The Police Rely On “Exigent Circumstances” To Search Me Without A Warrant?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

The police must typically obtain a warrant before taking a sample of your blood as part of a criminal investigation. For example, if a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of drunk driving, if you do not consent to a blood draw, then the officer must ask a judge or magistrate to issue… Read More »

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Courtroom2

When Is A Criminal Defendant “Mentally Incompetent” To Stand Trial?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

There are some situations where a person is arrested and charged for a crime yet has no idea what is actually happening. Due to a mental illness, they may be incapable of understanding the nature of the charges against them, much less be in a position to assist in their own defense. In this… Read More »

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JuryBox

Can A Judge Dismiss A Juror In The Middle Of Deliberations?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

One of the most basic principles of American legal system is that a jury must reach a unanimous verdict to convict a defendant accused of a crime. Jurors are expected to be impartial and determine the facts based on the law, as instructed by the judge. While a judge may dismiss a juror once… Read More »

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