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Orange County Law Blog

Alleged intoxication of wrong-way driver causes fatal collision

Most modern highways are designed to make entering or leaving traffic lanes easy and safe, but drivers can become confused about which lane they are using or how to enter that lane. Such confusion can lead to fatal consequences, as proved by a recent head-on collision between an apparent wrong-way driver and another vehicle.

According to state troopers, the accident occurred on State Highway 528 when a driver heading west in the eastbound lane collided head-on with a Chevrolet van heading in the opposite direction. The driver of the van was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver who was allegedly headed the wrong way was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. Florida Highway Patrol troopers say they took a blood sample from the wrong-way driver to measure his blood alcohol level. No toxicology reports from the accident have been released, and officers have said that no charges will be filed until the toxicology test results are known.

Parents are often more satisfied after child custody mediation

For generations, Florida parents let the courts decide who would receive custody of the children and who would get visitation rights during a divorce. Under these circumstances, the parents had little reason to get along, even if for the sake of the children. Some couples overcame the situation, but so many others never did, and the parents weren't the ones who suffered the most for it.

These days, parents tend to take a different approach. Research in recent years indicates that children of divorced families fare better when both of their parents remain an active part of their lives. It also shows that how parents act during the divorce proceedings also makes a difference. For this reason and more, many couples are making the conscious decision to work together, and mediation could help.

Driver charged with vehicular manslaughter

Traffic accidents can produce any number of sad or ironic outcomes. As the result of a three-vehicle accident in Lake County on April 1, 2018, a woman was recently arrested and charged with vehicular homicide for allegedly causing an accident that killed her boyfriend. According to the police report, alcohol appeared to be the principal causative factor.

The deceased was driving west on his motorcycle and his girlfriend was following in Ford Explorer. Both were approaching an intersection at which traffic was stopped for a signal. The woman in the Explorer failed to stop, and she reportedly crashed into her boyfriend on his motorcycle. According to the arrest report, the collision pushed the man into the vehicle in front of him. The impact threw the man from his motorcycle, and he landed on the ground. The man was transported to Waterman Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Alleged escapees come to Orlando for crime spree

Half-way houses are intended to provide opportunities for convicted criminals to master their anti-social instincts and habits and learn how to fit into society. Sometimes, however, people who live in half-way houses do not see or take advantage of these benefits. According to reports, a pair of teenagers living in a Fort Myers half-way house recently escaped and fled to Orlando, where they allegedly engaged in a spree of petty crimes.

The reports indicate that a 15-year-old and an 18-year old stole a car after escaping from the half-way house and drove to Orlando. Upon arriving, they met the older teen's twin brother. The trio is alleged to have broken into cars, burglarized a store and fired gunshots outside of their home. One of the twins is alleged to have stolen an SUV a day after the three began their alleged crime spree and attempted to run down a person in the street. He is alleged to have returned a few moments later and fired shots at the man.

How to expunge a criminal record in Florida

Many residents of Florida have been wrongly charged with a crime or have been acquitted after a trial before a judge or jury. A common question after the criminal proceeding has been completed is whether Florida maintains a record of the charges or the proceeding. The answer is "yes," giving rise to the second question: Can the record be erased?

The answer to the second question is also "yes," although the legal term used to describe the process of erasure is called "expunction" or "expungement." Florida statutes spell out a procedure by which certain individuals can have criminal charges expunged or erased if they can demonstrate their eligibility for such a remedy. A person seeking expunction must first obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Such a certificate may be obtained only if the person seeking expungement obtains a certified written statement from the appropriate state attorney indicating that the indictment, information or other charging document in the case at issue was either not issued or dismissed, or that the applicant was found not guilty by a jury or a judge.

Recognizing when your spouse is hiding assets during divorce

Couples going through a divorce may have concerns about how they will come out financially when all is said and done. After all, divorce can mean a severe cut in income, and it is important for property division to be fair to avoid one spouse struggling for months or years after the divorce.

Unfortunately, not every spouse is willing to play fair when it comes to disclosing assets and income during a divorce. You may have suspicions that your husband or wife is hiding assets from you. Do not dismiss those concerns until you have investigated the possibility. Once your divorce order or settlement is official, it may be too late to claim what you deserve.

Harry Potter's World alleged to be lure for attempted kidnaping

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter near Orlando has proven to be very popular with both children and their parents. One of the most popular parts of the park is the simulated train station where people can watch the fabled Hogwarts Express depart for the wizard training academy. Unfortunately, reports have emerged that an alleged kidnapper attempted to use the exhibit's popularity to kidnap a young girl on New Year's Eve.

According to police reports, a 9-year-old girl was standing by herself in the locker area of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey when a man whom she did not know touched her shoulders. The man allegedly told the girl to walk outside where her mother was waiting. The girl was immediately frightened and pulled away from the man. According to witnesses, she then ran to her mother. A witness told police that she saw the defendant put his hands on the girl's shoulders and tell her, "Mommy is over here." According to the witness, the girl looked very frightened. At that point, the girl broke free and ran to her mother's side.

Mother accused of DUI with child in car

Any time that a child is involved in a crime committed by an adult, the penalties for the adult may be much harsher that if the child had not been present. A common example is an arrest for suspected drunk driving where the officer discovers that a child was in the car while the adult was engaged in DUI. A recent arrest in Flagler County demonstrates this point.

Two off-duty Seminole County deputies observed a car being driven in a reckless manner on I-95. Other drivers also called police about the car and the driver's dangerous behavior. The two deputies followed the suspect's car until the driver pulled over on her own accord. The deputies were concerned about her (at the time, they thought she was male) behavior, and they pulled over to offer assistance.

Titusville man charged in robbery at McDonald's

Television programs often show citizens heroically preventing a robbery or theft, even when the criminal possesses a firearm. Police officers, on the other hand, will usually advise citizens to avoid confronting armed individuals who appear to be intent on committing a crime. Moreover, citizens should let police tend to the investigation of the crime scene and apprehension of the alleged criminal. An attempted robbery of a McDonald's Drive-in Titusville on Christmas night occurred recently that lead to criminal charges for one suspect.

According to witnesses, the suspect entered the restaurant at about 9:20 p.m. and jumped over the service counter. He allegedly pointed a pistol at the manager and demanded cash. The manager complied, and the suspect took the money and fled on foot. Police were called while the robbery was in progress, and they responded at about 9:30 p.m.

Modifying an order for alimony after a divorce in Florida

Once a divorce is concluded, either by agreement of the parties or a court order, the parties often believe that the process is finished. Unfortunately, life can be uncertain, and the circumstances of one or both spouses can change in unforeseen ways after a divorce becomes final. The Florida legislature has established a procedure for modifying the terms of a marital termination agreement or order for divorce with respect to alimony if the party seeking change can meet the evidentiary requirements of the statute.

If the ex-spouses cannot reach agreement on how an order granting alimony should be changed, one or both must file a motion with the court specifying the kind of change that is requested and the reasons for the change. The motion must be filed with the court that granted the divorce or with the court in the judicial district where the moving party lives. The party seeking the change must allege and then prove that circumstances have changed and that a modification of the judgment is required. After considering the evidence, the court may make such modifications as, in the court's opinion, are required by equity.

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