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Fort Myers Legal Issues Blog

Was your child charged with DUI under zero-tolerance laws?

As a parent, you undoubtedly want to see your child thrive and do well in life. Now that he or she has reached adulthood -- albeit young adulthood -- you likely hoped that you would receive outstanding reports regarding grades in college, learn about awards and new friendships, and overall feel as if your child is on the right track.

What you may not have anticipated and were in shock to find out, however, is that an officer pulled over your child and charged him or her with DUI. Because he or she is under the age of 21, you may have felt dismayed that your child was consuming alcohol at all, let alone getting behind the wheel after drinking. 

Dealing with a marital home during property division

There are many legalities that must be addressed during the divorce process. Child custody, child support and alimony often take a lot of attention, but the outcome of property division can be crucial to one's financial position post-divorce. Although Florida recognizes equitable division of marital property, this does not mean that marital property has to be divided equally. This gives the parties to a divorce some flexibility to negotiate a settlement that fits their particular needs.

One of the biggest and most important assets that must be dealt with during the property division process is the marital home. While the marital home may hold a considerable amount of financial value, it can also possess a certain amount of sentimental value, too, which can make it hard for individuals to give up in a divorce.

Drunk driving conviction may affect professional license

Drunk driving allegations are serious. They cannot only threaten an individual with heavy fines, jail, prison and damage to his or her reputation, but they can pose significant professional consequences, too. Most professions conduct thorough background checks on applicants and newly hired employees, which means that many individuals with a DUI conviction are turned away by the jobs they seek. Although this can affect those who work in the retail and hospitality sectors, it can also affect professionals who are subjected to licensing standards.

As an example, let's look at the teaching profession in Florida. Under the profession's code of conduct, educators are required to self-report any criminal conviction, admissions of guilt, participation in pretrial diversion programs and no contest pleadings. These disclosures must occur within 48 hours. It is likely that those teachers who are convicted of drunk driving will be released from their position.

Long-term operation leads to many multiple drug crime arrests

In many cases, charges related to drug offenses are only brought against an individual after a prolonged investigation. Therefore, the authorities and prosecutors often believe that they have ample evidence to obtain a conviction. While this may be true in some instances, it is not always the case. In fact, sometimes police officers overstep their bounds and conduct illegal search and seizures, or they base their investigations on the word of witnesses who lack credibility. Even when the evidence seems stacked against an accused individual, strong criminal defense options may be available.

A number of Floridians may need to carefully consider those options now after the culmination of a three-month long investigation called Operation Triple Beam. According to reports, the Fort Myers Police Department cooperated with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Lee County Sheriff's Office, and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to initiate well over 100 local arrests for drug crimes and weapons offenses. Apparently, as many as 90% of those arrests occurred in the Fort Myers area.

Drunk driving allegations can affect commercial drivers

It almost goes without saying that a drunk driving conviction can result in the imposition of serious penalties. Most people are aware that a DUI conviction can result in jail time and hefty fines, but they may not realize the damage that can be caused by an impounded vehicle, a suspended or revoked license or the mandatory implementation of an ignition interlock device. These penalties can wreak havoc on a Floridian's life, making it difficult for him or her to carry on with his or her normal daily tasks. In addition, it may become challenging or impossible to get to work, which can result in additional financial hardships that can have a severe ripple effect.

This may be especially true for those who drive a commercial motor vehicle for a living. These individuals are subjected to stricter standards, which means they must be aggressive when they need to protect their interests following DUI charges. The legal limit for those driving commercial motor vehicles is lower than it is for those driving standard automobiles. While the legal limit for those driving standard vehicles is 0.08%, the legal limit for those driving a commercial motor vehicle is 0.04%.

What property will you get to keep in your divorce?

One of the most common concerns people have when going through a divorce is what will happen to their personal property. It's frustrating to face the possibility that you could lose the things you worked hard for. You will find it beneficial to learn more about how property division works and how you can protect your future interests.

Marital property includes all of the things a couple accumulated over the course of the marriage. This includes real estate, retirement savings and more. All marital property is eligible for division between the two parties in a divorce, but separate property is not. Separate property includes certain things you owned before marriage or things to which your spouse does not have a rightful claim.

Fort Myers raids lead to multiple drug crime arrests

Drug crime convictions carry serious penalties. Those who are accused of these types of offenses therefore can be confronted with the very real possibility of years or even decades in prison as well as fines that can ruin their financial standing for life. Additionally, the criminal record that accompanies an individual who is convicted of a drug crime can negatively his or her life long after the individual pays his or her debt to society. Therefore, individuals accused of drug crimes need to aggressively fight to protect their interests.

Multiple individuals in Fort Myers may need to do just that after being taken into custody on numerous drug offenses. Reports indicate that an undercover investigation over the course of two months led to the search of two homes. Police allege that an undercover purchase of fentanyl led to the search of a home that resulted in the recovery of fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone and Xanax. Two men at that residence were arrested.

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.

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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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