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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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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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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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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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Understanding Your Right To Be Present At Your Own Criminal Trial

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every person accused of a crime the right to a trial where they may confront the witnesses and evidence against them. This includes the defendant’s right to be present at every “critical stage” of the trial process, including sentencing following a conviction. Of course, a defendant… Read More »

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How The Hearsay Rule Applies To Expert Witnesses In Criminal Trials

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

As a general rule, hearsay is not admissible as evidence in a Florida criminal trial. The technical definition of hearsay is an “out-of-court statement offered to prove the truth of whatever it asserts.” For instance, if a witness testifies that the defendant told them they had committed a robbery, that would be an admissible… Read More »

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What Is The Limit Of An Alimony Award In Florida?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

The purpose of alimony is to help one ex-spouse maintain their prior standard of living. Alimony is therefore not awarded in every divorce case. It is only considered appropriate when there is a substantial financial disparity between the parties. Alimony helps to “level the playing field,” especially when one spouse has not worked for… Read More »

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Can A Court Consider “Prospective” Future Events When Making A Child Custody Order?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

The legal standard that Florida courts must apply when deciding questions of child custody and visitation is the “best interests of the child.” This applies not only to the initial determination of these issues, but also any subsequent modifications. For instance, if the custodial parent wishes to relocate the child to a new home… Read More »

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Why Representing Yourself In A Criminal Trial Is A Bad Idea

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

Everyone has the right to the assistance of counsel when charged with a criminal offense. You should always invoke this right. Yes, you can legally represent yourself in court, but it is never a good idea. While you may think you can handle the rigors of a criminal trial without a lawyer, keep in… Read More »

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The Differences Between Federal And State Criminal Appeals

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

When you are found guilty of a federal or state crime, you have the right to file an appeal. The appellate process is often confusing to individuals who have no prior experience with the criminal justice system. With that in mind, here is a brief overview of the federal and state criminal appeals courts…. Read More »

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