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Recent Blog Posts

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

Judge

Can Florida Prosecutors Charge a Defendant Twice for the Same Crime?

By Julia Kefalinos |

In criminal cases, Florida prosecutors will often try to bring as many separate charges as possible against the defendant. Such practices may bump up against the constitutional ban on double jeopardy. That is, the state may actually split hairs to the point where it is asking a jury to convict the defendant of multiple… Read More »

CrimDef7

Do Past Allegations of Domestic Violence Against Another Person Justify an Injunction Today?

By Julia Kefalinos |

Domestic violence laws provide important protections for victims of actual or imminent acts of abuse. They are not designed to resolve intra-family squabbles or even address unrelated acts of abuse that occurred in the distant past. Nor should a Florida court issue a domestic violence injunction based on pure speculation about possible future abuse…. Read More »

Cyberst

When Can Posting Negative Comments About Someone on Social Media Lead to Cyberstalking Charges?

By Julia Kefalinos |

As new technologies gain popularity, the law must often play catch-up. For example, social media networks like Facebook and Twitter have made it easier than ever to communicate with other people. Unfortunately, in some cases that communication is unwanted or considered harassment by the recipient. Under Florida law it is a first-degree misdemeanor to… Read More »

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How Dating Violence Injunctions Work in Florida

By Julia Kefalinos |

You probably know that Florida has strong laws against domestic violence. But the law also covers cases of “dating violence.” This refers to “violence between individuals who have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” Generally speaking, a party may seek an injunction for dating violence up… Read More »

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