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Category Archives: Criminal

Witness4

Does The Prosecution Have To Disclose Their Witness List To The Defense Before Trial?

By Faulkner Law Group, PLLC |

In a Florida criminal trial, the prosecution is not allowed to ambush the defense with “surprise” witnesses. To the contrary, the state’s criminal procedure rules require prosecutors to disclose the names of any witnesses they plan to call at trial. This includes identifying any “expert” witnesses who may be used to explain certain technical… Read More »

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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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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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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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CourtGavel

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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FedCrime

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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Courtroom

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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FedCrime2

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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