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Recent Blog Posts


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 »


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 »


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 »


Even in Juvenile Cases, the State Must Prove Guilt “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”

By Julia Kefalinos |

Juvenile crimes may not carry the same penalties as adult criminal charges. But they can still leave your teenage son or daughter with a record that can follow them into their adult years. That is why it is critical to ensure no child is adjudicated delinquent unless the state can meet its burden of… Read More »


Can a Judge Impose a Sentence Without Allowing Me to Present Evidence First?

By Julia Kefalinos |

When charged with any state crime, you have certain basic constitutional rights. This includes the right to be present during all “critical stages” of your trial, from arraignment to sentencing. Indeed, not only do you have the right to be physically present in the courtroom–you also have the right to meaningfully participate in what… Read More »


How a “No-Contest” Plea Can Come Back to Haunt You

By Julia Kefalinos |

Although the federal government and the State of Florida maintain separate criminal justice systems, what happens to a defendant in one can affect their rights in the other. For example, under a federal criminal statute known as the Armed Career Criminal Act, a defendant faces additional penalties at sentencing if they have three or… Read More »


Is a Judge Required to Accept an Uncontested Allegation of Domestic Violence at Face Value?

By Julia Kefalinos |

A domestic violence is not something you can simply ignore. If your spouse, partner, or another family member asks a judge to issue an order of protection against you due to domestic violence, you must be prepared to show up in court and defend yourself. Doing nothing may lead the court to take the… Read More »


Does “Dating Violence” Require Actual Dating?

By Julia Kefalinos |

Florida’s domestic violence laws cover more than married partners or individuals who are living in the same household. A judge may also issue a domestic violence injunction where there is evidence of “dating violence,” or “violence between individuals have or have had a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.” In… Read More »


Is Workplace Sexual Harassment the Same Thing as “Stalking”?

By Julia Kefalinos |

If someone feels threatened by you, they may ask a judge to issue an injunction “for protection against stalking.” In this context, “stalking” means that a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks” another person. If the court determines that stalking has occurred within these parameters, the judge can issue a temporary… Read More »


How Specific Details Can Affect Federal Criminal Sentencing

By Julia Kefalinos |

Details matter when it comes to criminal offenses. Something that might seem insignificant to the casual observer can actually have a significant impact on a person’s criminal liability or the sentence they receive from a judge. And even where the law might seem ambiguous on a given detail, judges often give prosecutors the benefit… Read More »

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