Orange County Law Blog

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Nurse accused of stealing 10,000 painkillers and other meds

Employees of institutions that use prescription pain killers to treat patients are often tempted to feed their own drug habit by stealing drugs from their employer. Such thefts increase costs to patients who need the drugs and feed the addiction of the employee. In a recent example of such a drug crime, law enforcement officers in Hernando County recently arrested a nurse for allegedly stealing pain killers from the institution where she worked.

The suspect was employed as a nurse at Spring Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center. The rehabilitation center reported the suspect to the Hernando County Sheriff's office when its staff noticed missing medication. Hernando County Sheriff's deputies say that the woman cooperated with them in their investigation after she was arrested. The nurse allegedly told deputies that she had been struggling with drug addiction for years. She said that her addiction began when she was prescribed strong pain killers for an injury.

Fatal hit-and-run driver arrested

Panic is a common reaction when a driver thinks that he has struck another vehicle or a pedestrian, and flight is too often the behavior that ensues. Unfortunately, flight often worsens the situation for the driver. In a recent example of this phenomenon, the Florida Highway Patrol announced the arrest of a man they allege fled the scene of a fatal collision involving a bicycle rider in Orlando in June.

The suspect was driving along a street in Orlando when he thought he hit a construction barrel. Police are alleging that the suspect instead hit a man riding a bicycle, not a construction barrel. Police say that no construction barrels were found in the vicinity of the accident. The body of the bike rider was found after the accident in a water-filled ditch. Police made a tentative identification of the driver by viewing surveillance videos of the scene and also by using information provided by an anonymous tip. The suspect surrendered to police at the Highway Patrol's Cocoa office.

Could birdnesting solve your child custody issue?

If you owned a home during your marriage, you already know that you will have to figure out what to do with it. Will you keep it, taking on the mortgage payments, taxes and upkeep by yourself? Is your ex hoping to stay? Maybe you plan to sell the house and split the profits. Neither of you might have considered birdnesting, a relatively new child custody arrangement.

After their parents' divorce, most kids travel back and forth between mom and dad's houses. Birdnesting posits that Florida parents should let their children stay in the marital home with each parent rotating in and out according to their custody plan.

Florida man offers novel defense to DUI charge

Readers of this blog may understand just how serious drunk driving charges can be. Therefore, it is important for those facing DUI charges to formulate a strong criminal defense strategy. In what appears to be a novel approach to countering DUI charges, a Florida man gave an unusual defense statement when he was arrested in Vero Beach after being accused of drunk driving.

The Indian River County Sheriff's office was called to a McDonald's restaurant on Highway 1 by a woman who reported erratic driving by another driver. The woman claimed that the man in the car behind her in the drive-thru had hit her rear bumper several times. The caller was still on the scene when deputies arrived, and she was able to point out the car that she believed had hit her.

DUI suspect literally goes kicking and screaming to jail

The phrase "kicking and screaming" is often used metaphorically to describe someone who performs a task while expressing intense objection to it. A literal instance of the phrase recently occurred when Melbourne police arrested a woman on suspicion of drunk driving.

At about 1:30 a.m., a driver called 911 to say that she thought she saw a woman in an SUV driving recklessly. Melbourne police saw the SUV and pulled it over. Police allege that the driver had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. They also allege that they found marijuana and cocaine in her possession. She allegedly failed a field sobriety test and was arrested for drunk driving. As officers attempted to place her in the police cruiser, she began to lash out.

What is the role of mediation in a Florida divorce?

Most Floridians who are contemplating divorce are more concerned about enduring a long and bitter struggle than they are about the actual outcome. One way of reducing the rancor between the spouses and ensuring a better result for both (and any children that may be involved) is engaging in divorce mediation.

The purpose and nature of mediation are often misunderstood. Mediation is essentially a voluntary process that is guided by a neutral third party. The neutral third party is the mediator, and most mediators have received special training in how to conduct mediation sessions. A mediator is not - repeat, not - a decision maker. The only decisions that come out of a mediation are mutual decisions by the two divorcing spouses. The mediator uses his or her training to help the couple resolve what may seem to be intractable disputes. For example, the mediator might suggest a flexible visitation schedule to help resolve custody issues, or the mediator may be able to help the couple set values on their assets to expedite property division.

Review of Florida's child support guidelines

As this blog has discussed on previous occasions, Florida has a set of child support guidelines that are supposed to apply to all parents in Winter Park who are living in separate homes and have children whom they legally must work to together to provide for financially. The idea behind these guidelines is to make sure that child support is fair and is relatively consistent across the state.

While most if not all other states also have child support guidelines, it is still helpful to review exactly what Florida's guidelines will consider in their formula for determining support.

Three men charged with Fruitland Park murder

Some criminal suspects are arrested very soon after they committed a crime. Others remain free while police investigators gather evidence and compile information that will lead to identifying the suspects. On April 10, 2018, a man was shot to death in his garage in Fruitland Park. Police have just now announced that three suspects have been arrested and charged with the murder.

The victim was working in his garage repairing a truck. Three men stopped in the alley, and two of them entered the garage to rob the victim. The victim was shot and killed in the garage, and the three men fled the scene. Investigators were able to learn that they were traveling in a black Honda. A vehicle matching the description was stopped a few days later, but all occupants of the car were able to escape on foot.

Seeking modifications of child support orders

Your children are your world, and you likely spend much less time with them than you would like. While you may have balked at the amount of child support the court ordered you to pay, you know it is your obligation to provide for your kids, and you willingly comply with the order.

However, things are getting tough. Maybe you have lost your job, suffered a medical emergency or are dealing with another type of financial setback. If you are having trouble meeting your other bills, you may worry about your ability to keep up with child support payments. Since the penalties and consequences are significant for falling behind on your support obligations, you will want to investigate the potential for modifying your court order.

Parental relocation with a child after a divorce

Many residents of Orlando and Winter Park who have finalized a divorce and been awarded custody of their children wonder whether they can move and take the children with them. Conversely, many residents respond with anger and fear when they learn that their ex-spouse plans to move and take the children. Fortunately, for both parties, Florida law provides two basic methods for resolving the problem of parent relocation when children are involved.

For purposes of the statute, "relocation" is defined as any move for a distance of 50 miles or more. The parents and "every other person entitled to access or time-sharing with the child" can agree among themselves to any relocation, if they sign a written agreement that specifies the move, contains language that expresses individual consent to the move and defines an access or time-sharing for all individuals entitled to visitation with the child. The agreement must be filed with the court. If no one objects to the agreement within 10 days, the relocation is presumed to be in the best interests of the child.

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