Could a New Anti-Hazing Law Put Your College Student at Risk for Criminal Charges?

Young Criminal in Florida

If you currently have a college student in the state of Florida, it is imperative that you know about the new anti-hazing law in our state. It is also equally important that you clearly relay these laws to your child. According to Inside College Ed, the new law allows prosecutors to bring charges of hazing against sorority and fraternity members who helped plan a hazing incident but were not present at the actual hazing. The new Florida law may well be the most intricate in the country. Read More

Are Florida Juvenile Records Really Confidential?

Melbourne Civil Litigation Attorney

Most people believe that juvenile records in the state of Florida are confidential. However, this is not necessarily true. Some juvenile criminal records in the state are not confidential. Specifically, juvenile felony arrests in the state of Florida are not confidential. The confidentiality status of a juvenile record in Florida depends on which government agency is handling the information, as well as the nature of the charge.  Read More

Florida Woman Arrested for Turning in Her Abuser’s Guns

Photo of a Woman Behind Bars After Being Arrested and Charged With a Crime

In what can only be characterized as a strange twist, Courtney Irby, 32, was recently arrested and charged with one count of armed burglary after showing up to the Lakeland Police Department with guns belonging to her estranged husband. Irby claims Joseph Irby tried to run her over. So, one day after his arrest on a domestic battery charge, she entered her husband’s apartment without his permission, collected his guns and took them to the police station. Irby said she feared her husband would not turn the guns in himself, and believed he might use the guns to harm her once he was released from jail. Read More

Do I Really Need to Hire an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Instead of a Public Defender?

Melbourne Criminal Defense Attorney

In the event that you have recently been charged with a crime in the state of Florida, you might be tempted to go the route of working with a public defender. The constitution protects your right to have a criminal defense Attorney  present and to have an attorney represent you in your case.

It can be a major mistake to go without an attorney and to attempt to represent yourself on your own. But it also matters the kind of attorney that you select. Your rights are important in a criminal trial.

Not all lawyers are created equal and this is an important lesson to consider as you think about whether or not it makes sense to go with a public defender or with an experienced private attorney. All people accused of a crime have the right to legal counsel.

The public defender program helps to protect this right by providing legal assistance to individuals facing charges who are unable to afford an attorney. In the event that you are appointed a public defender, this individual should reach out to you relatively quickly.

The system keeps income requirements in order to work with a public defender very low due to the sheer number of individuals seeking public help. This usually means that a large number of individuals charged with a crime in Florida cannot qualify for a public defender because of their income level.

However, they may still struggle to afford or select the right attorney to begin with. Working with a public defender can be a mistake as this individual may be inexperienced or not committed to your defense in the way that an experienced attorney is.

A knowledgeable attorney should be committed to investigating all possible avenues for your defense. In many cases public defenders are extremely overtaxed and overwhelmed.

A private attorney, however, typically only takes on a certain number of clients. A public defender might spend only half an hour talking to a person over the course of the case throughout many months, meaning that they are unable to delve into great detail.

Public defenders also tend to handle many different kinds of criminal cases whereas identifying the right criminal attorney for you usually involves working with someone who has handled your kind of case before.

While a public defender certainly has the basic requirements in place in order to represent you after you have been accused of a crime, he or she may not have expertise or a great deal of experience defending that particular kind of charge in Florida.

With so much on the line for your future when you have been accused of a crime, it is far better to partner with an attorney who is committed to the best possible outcome for you and someone who has intimate knowledge of the charges of which you are being accused.

A private attorney is frequently able to give clients much more time than public defenders because public defenders frequently carry a caseload of dozens of even hundreds of clients.

When selecting the right criminal defense attorney for your case you need to schedule a meeting with this person as soon as possible after you have been charged with a crime.

This is for two big reasons. First of all, you want to be able to rely on your right to speak to an attorney rather than speaking to the police directly.

An attorney can tell you more about your individual rights and recommend whether or not it makes sense to make any statements to the police or to sign anything. In most cases it is better to remain silent and to speak only to your attorney about the criminal case.

The second reason why I want to speak to an attorney sooner rather than later is because you want to ensure that this is the right individual for you. As stated above, not all lawyers are created equal and you need to identify an attorney who is committed to your individual needs.

Contact to An Expert Melbourne Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Do not hesitate to reach out to the offices of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later so that you can protect your rights and have the confidence that you are going through a case with a committed attorney on your side.

Learn more about one of the most common scenarios in which you might be accused of a crime and how you should handle it: Read More

What You Need to Know About Drug Crime Mistakes Made by Police Officers

Drug Crime

In the event that police officers make a mistake after arresting you for a drug crime in the state of Florida, you may be entitled to use the information you find to defend yourself in court or to pass it on to your criminal defense attorney to protect you.

If the police officers have violated your rights in some way, any evidence collected by them could be found out. This could mean that your drug crime charges are dismissed or reduced as a result.

If you suspect that a mistake was made, you need to bring this up to your attorney immediately. Your attorney can begin to develop a criminal defense strategy linked to these mistakes and it may be instrumental for eliminating or minimizing your penalties.

Avoid Mistakes When You’re Accused of a Crime Read More

New Legislation and Programs Aims to Curb Long-Term Impacts of Criminal Convictions

Criminal Convictions

Being accused and convicted of a crime can be an overwhelming and frustrating experience in Florida, particularly if you do not have the knowledge of a Melbourne criminal defense attorney.

Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after you have been arrested and accused of a crime is essential to protecting your rights.

Criminal Time and Record Impacts Your Future

One of the most problematic aspects of being convicted of a crime is that you may be concerned about how it will impact your employment prospects in the future.

Consulting with a criminal defense lawyer can help you identify issues in your arrest or the handling of your trial that could result to dismissed or reduced charges.

If you have already been accused of a crime, you want to speak with a lawyer sooner rather than later in order to better understand your exact charges.

It’s a mistake to believe that just because a crime is classified as a misdemeanor that it will not affect your future. Both misdemeanors and felonies can impact you, depending on the type of crime.

Some of the most common concerns shared by those accused of a crime as it relates to their future have to do with your future employment chances, attending college, federal student aid, and renting a house or getting a loan.

Wanting to give employees and college applicants a fair chance to be considered for opportunities once they’ve fulfilled the terms of their sentence, a new program called Ban the Box is picking up speed.

What is Ban the Box?

One issue that has gotten increasing attention in recent years is Ban the Box legislation, in which employers will be inhibited from asking about your criminal history on a job application.

Recently, Broward County unanimously voted to ban this box and remove the checkbox on all government employment applications requesting that job applicants detail information about their previous criminal record.

A research study from the University of Michigan discovered that Ban the Box legislation might actually generated more racial discrimination than anticipated.

The primary goal of Ban the Box legislation is to minimize racial disparities in the hiring process.

Research Study Identifies Other Consequences of Ban the Box

Since African Americans are more likely to have a criminal history and therefore a harder time finding gainful employment after serving their time or dealing with any penalties, the study from the University of Michigan found that the legislation could actually lead to more discrimination. This is because of social assumptions about criminality based on race alone.

At companies affected by Ban the Box legislation, white applicants received a callback 7% more often than their black applicants prior to Ban the Box legislation. However, after Ban the Box was implemented, that gap increased to 45%.

Researchers at the University of Michigan believe that two factors could be influencing these results.

Employers may call back fewer black applicants with no criminal record to begin with, and there may be an increase in callbacks to white applicants who do have criminal records because the employer assumes that they do not have a background.

Campus officials argue that these college application questions, which may include details about a criminal history are used to help identify and promote campus safety issues.

Opponents, however believe that these boxes actually give college campuses and administrators there a better opportunity to discriminate against certain individuals.

Questions about criminal history are common in college applications because they appear on the common application, which is used by more than 600 universities generating more than 4 million college applications in the last year alone. It’s estimated that next year 700 universities total will be using the common application.

Why Do I Need an Attorney if I’ve Been Accused?

If you have questions about how your criminal history could affect your ability to get into college or to be employed in the future, consult with your Melbourne criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you are charged.

In this situation, you need a dedicated attorney who is committed to fighting for the best possible outcome for you.

Evaluating all these circumstances of your arrest and the crime itself could help your defense lawyers determine the appropriate strategy and tactics to pursue.

To learn more specifics about how a criminal conviction impacts you in college, read this blog: http://www.jtlaw.net/2016/06/21/will-criminal-conviction-florida-impact-ability-obtain-federal-student-aid/ Read More

Will A Criminal Conviction in Florida Impact My Ability to Obtain Federal Student Aid?

Criminal Conviction

Most people are aware that being convicted of a crime in Florida has repercussions like potential jail time or a crime. There are also, however, collateral consequences for a conviction.

This refers to the many ways in which a criminal conviction in Florida can impact your future down the road, even after you have paid the fine or completed the jail time and other requirements.

Some of these collateral consequences may make it difficult or impossible for you to obtain a job or a professional license, as one example.

Simple being convicted of a crime means that many doors can slam shut for you instantly, even if you comply with all the terms of your punishment.

Depending on the nature of the offense, you may even be unable to get a bank loan for a house or a credit card. As these consequences suggest, there are many ways that a criminal conviction in Florida can follow you for years to come.

If you’re considering going to college, there’s a good chance you’re interested in whether or not your criminal conviction could block your ability to receive financial aid.

Since two-thirds of college attendees use scholarships, grants, and loans to pay for some portion of their education, it’s important to understand the facts as it relates to receiving financial aid with a criminal conviction.

When you are facing criminal charges at a young age in Florida, what feels like a bright future can become dimmed immediately if you have concerns about supporting yourself through college and especially receiving federal student aid in order to support your educational efforts.

Certain criminal convictions in Florida will affect your ability to obtain financial aid, and it is important that you understand this so that you can retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to aggressively fight in your defense in the event that you are charged.

Many aspiring students have criminal records, running the gamut for misdemeanors to felonies.

It is a mistake, however, for all of these students to assume that these criminal records will prevent them from pursuing higher education at all.

For example, someone might be falling for the myth that any kind of criminal conviction on their record means that it’s impossible for them to go to school and obtain federal student aid.

Since financial aid is often the biggest factor in determining whether or not most people can afford to attend college, it’s important to sort the myths from the reality.

Does Having a Felony Mean I’m Permanently Disqualified from Getting Federal Financial Aid? Read More

Is the Florida the Worst State for Young People Accused of Crimes?

Young-Criminal-in-Florida

Being charged with a crime is scary enough when you’re an adult. When you’re a kid, it’s downright terrifying. Florida has the unfortunate distinction of leading the nation in charging juveniles as adults in the criminal justice system.

The statistics are shocking. If your child has been charged with a crime in Florida, there is no question you need immediate help from a Melbourne juvenile criminal defense attorney.

The stakes are simply too high to handle your case on your own or without experienced criminal defense.

High Rate of Juveniles Charged as Adults

Florida has attracted a lot attention from human rights organizations due to the state’s disproportionately high number of juvenile offenders being prosecuted in the adult criminal justice system.

Consider the following statistics:

  • In the past five years, 12,000 children have been moved from the juvenile to the adult criminal justice system for prosecution
  • Of the 12,000 kids moved to the adult system, more than half were accused of non-violent crimes
  • 98 percent of children prosecuted in the adult system got there because of Florida’s direct file statute, which gives prosecutors complete discretion to move them to the adult system
  • Florida transfers an average of 164.7 per 100,000 juveniles to the adult system each year; the state with the next highest transfer rate is Oregon, which transfers just 95.6 kids per 100,000 to its adult justice system
  • Read More