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Fort Myers Legal Issues Blog

Are joint bank accounts becoming a thing of the past in Florida?

Traditionally, married couples in Florida and elsewhere have shared everything, including bank accounts. That trend is slowly changing, though, especially as Millennials appear to be redefining traditional marriage. In fact, a recent study found that more than a quarter of all Millennial couples are ditching jointly held bank accounts in favor of separate accounts. This number is more than double the rate at which couples in Generation X and the baby boomer generation opted for separate bank accounts. One reason for this change may be the fact that it is easier for couples to repay each other, especially given the number of apps available to make these transactions quick and simple.

Another major reason for this shift, though, could be that many Millennials saw first-hand the financial challenges brought about by divorce when a couple shares everything. Property division, after all, can have serious financial ramifications for an individual's post-divorce life. By keeping accounts separate, many find themselves comfortable knowing where they stand, financially speaking, should their relationship come to an end.

Drug charges in Florida can be enhanced based on several factors

There are many factors that are considered by prosecutors when they decide which specific drug law to utilize when filing charges. If an individual was arrested for possession of a narcotic, prosecutors will consider the severity of the drug in question and the arrestee's intent for those narcotics. Possessing heroin with the intent to distribute it will therefore carry the possibility of much harsher penalties than an arrest for simple possession of marijuana.

There are other factors that can cause enhanced drug charges. Distributing, manufacturing or possessing a drug with intent to distribute or manufacture while close to a school, child care business or public housing can result in enhanced penalties. Again, the severity of the drug alleged to be involved will be key in just how severe the potential penalties will be.

Florida firm aggressively advocates child custody disputes

The outcome of a child custody dispute can have a profound impact on your relationship with your child and affect his or her emotional and physical safety. This is why before petitioning the court for any type of custody or visitation arrangement, you need to make sure you have the strongest legal arguments possible to back your position.

As we have discussed previously on this blog, child custody and visitation determinations are based on what the court feels is in the child's best interests. This is a pretty subjective standard, which means that there are lots of legal arguments that can be made to support your position. Evidence of substance abuse, physical abuse or neglect, and domestic violence can all be powerful in these kinds of disputes, but so, too, can evidence of the child's wishes, each party's financial standing, and even the school system in which each parent lives.

Factors that could turn a DUI charge into an enhanced allegation

No one wants a legal situation to become more complicated than it has to be. Unfortunately, some people who face criminal charges could wind up in more complex predicaments because details about the situation that led to the arrest resulted in enhanced charges.

In particular, it is possible for aggravated DUI charges to come against you if a Florida police officer stops your vehicle and believes that certain factors have made your situation more serious than a standard DUI stop. If you do face aggravated charges, you will undoubtedly want to make sure that you know why authorities believed the enhance charge suited your case.

Drunk driving and Breathalyzer problems

Just about any criminal charge has the potential to significantly damage an individual's life. It can result in jail or prison time, fines and harm to one's reputation. One of the more common criminal offenses in the Fort Myers area is drunk driving. Some individuals who find themselves accused of this crime either didn't have a drink prior to being pulled over, or they had a drink or two but believed they were under the legal blood alcohol content level of 0.08%. This, then, raises the question of how a motorist's blood alcohol content is calculated. This is no small thing. After all, there are usually significant penalties on the line.

While law enforcement and prosecutors often rely on field sobriety tests to detect intoxication, they also commonly utilize Breathalyzer tests. These tests require an individual to blow into a machine which then calculates his or her blood alcohol content. These are machines that most motorists have never interacted with, but which law enforcement may use daily.

Reasons to modify a Florida child support order

If you are considering or in the process of ending your marriage, then you know that there are several legal issues that you have to address. Unless you are fortunate enough to end your marriage on amicable and cooperative terms, then a number of these issues can become quite contentious. Amongst them is child support. This financial obligation is meant to ensure that children and their custodial parents have the financial resources needed following a divorce, but it sometimes is either insufficient for the custodial parent or overly burdensome for the noncustodial parent. This is when child support modification may be warranted.

Under Florida law, a child support order can be modified if a parent can show substantial life changes. Usually this involves a noncustodial parent losing his or her job or seeing a decrease in wages. In these circumstances, a court may decrease the amount owed under a child support order so that it is more manageable for the noncustodial parent. This, in turn, may prevent arrearages from building up and deterring the noncustodial parent from making any payments at all. A modification may be warranted under other conditions as well, such as when a child's financial needs become greater because he or she becomes ill or disabled.

Domestic violence can take many forms

It can be hard to leave an abusive relationship. This is because domestic violence can proliferate a relationship, warping an individual's perception of his or her abusive relationship. This can prove dangerous, as a victim may be willing to stay with or return to an individual who puts his or her safety and well-being at risk. For this reason, it is important that Floridians learn to recognize the signs of domestic violence so that, if the time comes, they can develop a plan to escape their situation.

Domestic violence manifests in various ways. The most obvious is physical in nature. Here, a perpetrator may bite, scratch, punch, push or even strangle an individual. Not all physical abuse leaves marks, though, so it is sometimes hard for victims and those around them to differentiate when a line has been crossed into domestic violence. Yet, physical abuse can be broadly defined, and may include threats of harm, acts that intentionally disrupt one's sleep pattern and destroying an individual's possessions.

Common ways to suppress evidence in drug cases

Drug charges are serious. Depending on the specifically alleged crimes, an individual can be threatened with jail or prison time, enormous fines, and a criminal record that can affect just about every aspect of his or her life. With so much on the line, those who are accused of drug crimes need to be active in seeking out a competent criminal defense. This is true even if it seems like the evidence stacked against an individual is insurmountable.

This is because sometimes the evidence that is relied upon by prosecutors can be suppressed, meaning that it can't be used against an individual in court. Evidence is most often suppressed when it has been collected subsequent to a Fourth Amendment violation, meaning that there was an illegal search or seizure. While the police are able to obtain a warrant to search an individual's home, car, or property, there are a number of justifications for a warrantless search. This is usually where Fourth Amendment violations occur. Even evidence is gathered subsequent to one of these violations, then all of that evidence, even if otherwise admissible at trial, is deemed inadmissible.

Being proactive during asset division

Facing divorce can raise many concerns about your future. Aside from issues involving your children, perhaps one of your primary concerns is how you will fare during asset division. After all, your future financial stability may hinge on obtaining a fair share of marital assets during your divorce. It is not unusual for a spouse to struggle for years following a divorce if he or she does not fight for a more favorable outcome.

Getting your portion of marital assets is not something you should leave to chance, and it may not be something your future ex will concede to easily. It begins with learning as much as you can about the laws in Florida and understanding how those laws pertain to your unique circumstances. This knowledge will help you take the appropriate steps to prepare for property division in your divorce.

Accused of drunk driving? Legal help is available

Fort Myers-area police are constantly trying to crack down on drunk driving. They keep their eyes out for minor traffic offenses that may allow them to administer field sobriety tests, and they oftentimes establish sobriety checkpoints to try to catch individuals in the act. Those who are arrested on allegations of drunk driving can face the potential of serious penalties. Depending on the facts at hand, jail and extensive fines are a very real possibility, and so, too, is mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device and licenses suspension. A drunk driving conviction can also cause extensive damage to an individual's reputation, thereby affecting his or her ability to secure future employment and even housing.

Oftentimes prosecutors claim to have iron-clad cases against those who are accused of drunk driving. They rely on the testimony of police officers, observations made during field sobriety tests, and the results of breathalyzer tests. Sure, some of this evidence may seem pretty condemning, but these evidentiary forms are far from perfect, which is why Floridians who face allegations of drunk driving may want an aggressive and competent criminal defense attorney on their side.

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Ian F. Mann, P.A.
1424 Dean Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Toll Free: 866-416-1488
Phone: 239-935-5935
Fax: 239-332-5242
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