Orange County Law Blog

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Police resort to CCTV, photos and sketches in search for suspect

Police have many tools at their disposal when they are searching for criminal suspects. Virtually all of them have been used this past week as the Orlando Police Department search for a man believed to have committed a series of robberies in Orlando and Winter Garden.

The first crime is believed to be the robbery of a CVS pharmacy in Orlando. The man then allegedly stole a car in a Walgreen's parking lot, which was later found by police. According to police, the suspect then tried unsuccessfully to steal a parked van. On Sunday, a gunman shot a customer during an attempted robbery at an ATM; the shooter is believed to be the individual involved in the prior crimes. Later that day, the same man is alleged to have robbed a Walgreen's and pistol-whipped one of his victims. The man is also suspected of stealing a car from a Petco parking lot and robbing a Dunkin' Donuts shop in downtown Orlando.

Understanding Florida law on prenuptial agreements

In 2007, the Florida legislature passed the Uniform Premarital Agreement Act. The statute specifies the requirements necessary for a valid prenuptial agreement and provides guidance as to the subjects that can be included. While many people see a prenuptial agreement as antithetical to the concept of a loving marriage, a properly drafted agreement can reduce the anxiety of one or both spouses about financial matters and division of property from a prior marriage.

To be valid and enforceable, a premarital agreement must be in writing and must be signed by both parties before the marriage takes place. A premarital agreement may be revoked, modified or abandoned after the marriage occurs if both parties agree and if the amendment is in writing.

Trio charged with human trafficking and drug offenses

Three residents of Orlando have been arrested and charged with a variety of sex and drug crimes. The investigation was triggered by a tip that an inmate of the Sarasota County Jail was possibly involved in a human trafficking scheme.

A female inmate told police that a male friend had coerced her and another woman into prostitution. The witness told police that the suspect regularly brought both women form Orlando to Sarasota to engage in sex crimes. The man allegedly kept the money earned by the women but supplied both women with heroin to support their addictions and keep them dependent upon him.

Defending your interests against cyber crime charges

Florida readers know that facing any type of criminal charge is a serious situation. Convictions of both misdemeanors and felony offenses can result in time behind bars, expensive fines and implications that will affect a defendant's personal life as well. Regardless of the type of criminal charge, there is a lot at stake.

One of the fastest growing types of crime is computer crimes. Federal and state authorities work diligently to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes, and the consequences for a conviction are steep. If you face charges involving criminal activity on the computer or internet crimes, you would likely benefit from the services of a defense attorney experienced in this particular type of case.

Authorities try to slow production and sale of forged documents

Despite the advent of computers and mobile devices, people must still depend upon paper or plastic for items such as drivers' licenses, Social Security cards, green cards and the like. People who need one or more of these documents and who are not legally eligible for them must turn to people who sell forged documents. Central Florida has been described as a hotbed of such crimes.

Homeland Security agents, secret service agents and local police formed a task force about 10 years ago to investigate the production and sale of fraudulent documents and government benefits crimes in central Florida. Police arrested one known purveyor of fraudulent documents who admitted to selling 2,000 sets of such documents in a two-year period. The owner of a phone and computer repair store was also arrested and charged with physically producing the documents.

Driver trying to elude police runs light, kills another driver

Trying to escape the police is never a sound idea, especially when the escape attempt involves driving at an excessive speed. A Florida man is learning this lesson after his attempt to out-distance the Florida Highway Patrol on I-75 resulted in the death of another driver and the imposition of several serious criminal charges.

A state trooper who was watching the interstate for speeding vehicles clocked a Nissan traveling 92 mph in the early morning hours of March 6. The driver did not respond to police lights but, instead, abruptly turned off the interstate at the intersection with State Highway 44. After leaving the freeway, the Nissan ran a stop light and collided with another car. The alleged speeder exited his car and ran from the scene. Police gave chase and soon captured him. Meanwhile, the driver of the car that was struck died from her injuries at the scene of the accident.

Britney Spears' ex-husband wants more child support

Former spouses commonly seek to amend the court's order for child support as circumstances change after the marriage is officially over. Petitions to either increase or decrease the amount of child support are common in Orlando and Winter Park. When celebrities get divorced, their lives also take unexpected turns, which may lead to requests for more child support. An example at the moment is pop singer Britney Spears and her ex-husband, Kevin Federline.

Spears' well-publicized emotional difficulties led to the creation of a conservatorship that placed Spears under the care of her father. Her husband, Kevin Federline, was awarded custody of the couple's two boys who are now 11 and 12. While under the still existing conservatorship, Spears performed in and around Las Vegas and grossed more than $137 million over four years. The money is controlled by Spears' father under the terms of the conservatorship.

What is "shared parenting" in a Florida divorce?

In 2009, the Florida Legislature passed a comprehensive statute regulating the award of child support and child custody. Among the act's key concepts is "shared parenting," a legal term that is unique to Florida. The statute requires every court to approve a parenting plan" as part of any order directing the payment of child support or regarding child custody issues.

The statute lays out the essential elements of a parenting plan. A parenting plan must describe in adequate detail how the two parents will share and be responsible for fulfilling the daily tasks involved in raising the child. The plan must also specify how much time the child will spend with each parent, which parent will be responsible for the child's health care and school-related matters.

Suspect allegedly staged break-in to cover up girlfriend's murder

People who are afraid of being charged with a serious crime will often go to great lengths to conceal their crime. A man living in Dunnellon, Florida, was recently arrested and charged with a number of violent crimes in connection with the shooting death of the woman he lived with.

Early on the morning of January 30, a man called 911 saying that an intruder had invaded his home and that his girlfriend had been accidentally shot in the ensuing scuffle. When Marion County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene, they said that a white male met them at the door and pointed out a crowbar and a partially smoked cigarette. The male allegedly told police that he had never seen the crowbar or the cigarette. Police also found a piece of fabric on the front door. The man's girlfriend was found lying on a bed with a fatal gunshot wound to her head. The suspect allegedly told police that he awoke to find a man wearing a headlamp standing over him.

Parental alienation is a form of child abuse

As a parent, you have likely cherished the time with your family. While your obligations at work may have kept you busy, you made the most of the time with your children and marveled at how they grew so quickly. Now you begin to feel that bond slipping away.

Even before your divorce, you may have heard your spouse make subtle comments about you to the children. Perhaps your spouse's explosive personality had taught you not to use contradiction or confrontation, but now you realize your spouse may be turning your children against you. It may seem like this is a personal matter, but if those efforts to alienate you from your children deny you your rights as a parent, you may consider seeking legal counsel to discuss your options.

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