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Recent Blog Posts

Bankr28

How Does Florida’s Homestead Exemption Protect Me in Bankruptcy?

By Julia Kefalinos |

The purpose of bankruptcy is two-fold. First, it enables you to discharge–i.e., eliminate your legal obligation to pay–many if not all of your outstanding debts. Second, it ensures you retain enough property to make a “fresh start.” On this second point, federal and state law allows you to keep or “exempt” certain property. If… Read More »

BankFile

When Can You Discharge an Unpaid Tax Bill in Bankruptcy?

By Julia Kefalinos |

A question we often get is, “Can I file for bankruptcy to wipe out an unpaid tax bill?” The answer to this question is complicated. While many individual debts can be easily discharged in bankruptcy, there are special rules applicable to taxes. To explain things as simply as possible, you may be able to… Read More »

Stalker

When Does “Creepy” Conduct Rise to the Level of “Stalking” Under Florida law?

By Julia Kefalinos |

Stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor offense under Florida law. The legal definition of stalking is to “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly” follow, harass, or cyberstalk another person. If the stalking involves making a “credible threat” against the target, the criminal charge becomes a third-degree felony. Individual victims of stalking may also seek an injunction against… Read More »

DefRights

When Can “Newly Discovered Evidence” Affect a Criminal Conviction?

By Julia Kefalinos |

The purpose of a criminal trial is for a jury to weigh the available evidence and deliver a verdict. But there are situations where new evidence may come to light after the verdict is entered. When this happens, is it possible for the defendant to seek a new trial based on newly discovered evidence?… Read More »

CrimDef4

Can Police Officers Give Opinions About Your Statements in a Criminal Trial?

By Julia Kefalinos |

In any criminal trial, the jury is the “trier of fact.” This means it is up to the jury to listen to all of the testimony and decide if the prosecution has met its burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To help protect the jury’s role, there are a number… Read More »

Gavel_Cuffs2

Federal Court Orders New Sentencing Hearing for “Polite” Bank Robber

By Julia Kefalinos |

When a person is convicted of a federal crime, the amount of prison time they face is determined in part by a complex set of sentencing guidelines. The guidelines are not mandatory, but they are commonly used by judges when sentencing defendants convicted of felonies or Class A misdemeanors under the United States Code…. Read More »

Jury

The Importance of “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” in Florida Criminal Trials

By Julia Kefalinos |

Even if you have never been charged and tried for a crime, you have probably heard the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This refers to the legal standard of proof the prosecution must meet to convict anyone of a crime. It does not matter what the crime is–whether it is misdemeanor DWI or felony… Read More »

Advocate2

How Domestic Violence Charges Can Affect Your Probation

By Julia Kefalinos |

A domestic violence allegation can have serious consequences if you are already serving probation as the result of a prior criminal conviction. If prosecutors can prove the new allegation is true, then a judge can revoke your probation and send you to jail. And unlike a criminal trial where prosecutors need to prove a… Read More »

CrimLegal

Understanding the Line Between Persistence and “Stalking” When It Comes to a Dating Violence Injunction

By Julia Kefalinos |

In movies, characters are often rewarded for chasing after a love interest even after they tell them repeatedly to stop. In real life, such behavior is often considered “stalking” can get you slapped with a dating violence injunction. This is why you need to proceed carefully when someone tells they are not interested in… Read More »

Guns

How Florida’s New “Red Flag” Law May Affect Your Right to Own a Firearm

By Julia Kefalinos |

Following the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018, the Florida legislature passed new laws intended to address the ongoing problem of gun violence affecting schools. The new law authorizes law enforcement agencies to seek the removal of a person’s firearms with court approval if they pose “a… Read More »

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