Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

Blog


Handling a Walton County Minor In Possession (MIP) Charge The Hard Way

Why would anyone get arrested and then handle their criminal case the hardest way possible, dong the things most likely to cause increased suffering? They wouldn’t. Unless they did not know any better. The MIP Do It Yourselfers Mistake #1: Ignorance of basic and local criminal procedure After release, the Notice to Appear for Plea Day requires the defendant to return to DeFuniak Springs in north Walton County. Do it yourselfers hit the Internet, read as many blogs and articles and statutes as they possibly can as they prepare for their upcoming trial. They budget time and expense money for… Read More

Common Mistakes Made By Walton County MIP First Offenders

There are two mistakes first offenders routinely make in Minor In Possession of Alcohol cases in Walton County: self representation and parental interference. Let’s take them in reverse order since parental/family member interference is so common. Parental interference becomes a problem the moment a negative phrase such as “that isn’t right!” pops into a mother or father’s head. Many parents get so wrapped up in the emotional rightness and wrongness of what is happening to their child, that they often pressure defense attorneys to engage in risky defensive pleadings, strategies and tactics. This can backfire with seriously damaging consequences that… Read More

Arrested For Walton County MIP: Do I Need a Defense Attorney If I’m Guilty?

The short answer is yes, and not just a warm body with a law degree. Given the sneaky, life altering pitfalls of this type of charge, hiring a specialist will save you upset, time and money many times over. A criminal defense specialist can usually handle your entire case without you having to return to Florida as part of a properly litigated and negotiated dismissal Let’s start at the beginning of a typical MIP case. When someone is arrested for being a Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP) in Walton County, one of two things usually happen. The most likely… Read More

Did You Know That It Is Illegal To Use a Firearm While Impaired In Florida?

Florida criminal law1 provides that it is illegal to use a firearm while you are under the influence of alcohol, chemical substances, or drugs to the point that your normal abilities are impaired. This bit of news actually upset some friends and family when I let them know about it. If you are accused of this offense, you can be found guilty of a second degree misdemeanor where penalties include up to sixty days in jail and a fine of up to $500. If you really blow it representing yourself or act up in court, you can actually get six… Read More

Florida Criminal Law: Burglary Of a Structure, Conveyance, Vehicle, Or Dwelling

Under Florida burglary law, burglary charges are felonies that vary in degree based on the facts and circumstances of your case. If you are charged with entering a home, building or vehicle owned by another with the intent to commit a crime, you can be charged with burglary. Burglary is not the same as the charge of “breaking and entering” and does not require the intent or taking of anything. I’ve had burglary cases where someone was charged with burglary to a dwelling, a point based mandatory prison sentence offense, where the crime inside was a battery, criminal mischief, an… Read More

Florida Criminal Law: Can It Really Be Illegal To Possess A Crowbar, Hacksaw, Or Even a Simple Screwdriver Because They Are “Burglary Tools”?

While Florida Burglary law1 punishes those who commit felony burglary offenses and trespass offenses with jail time and fines, Florida also criminalizes the possession of any tools used to commit a burglary or trespass. Under the law, if you possess any implement, tool, or machine with the intent to use the same to commit a burglary or trespass, or even allow the implement, tool, or machine to be used to commit a burglary or trespass, you can be found guilty of a third degree felony. Notice again the issue of intent, in the context of a charge for possession of… Read More

Florida Criminal Law: Underage DUI (Driving Under The Influence)

Florida has no tolerance1 for anyone under the age of twenty-one who is accused of driving a vehicle after consuming alcohol. You actually become a second class citizen if you are under twenty-one: while Florida’s legal blood alcohol concentration limit is 0.08 percent, if you are under twenty-one, you only need a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent to be charged with underage driving under the influence. The penalties for an underage DUI conviction usually depend on the facts and circumstances of your case; however, in most cases, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least six months. Let’s… Read More

An Overview Of Florida’s Sexual Battery Law

Under Florida law, it is a crime to engage in sexual battery, or other sex-related crimes such as indecent assault, rape, or sodomy. You can be convicted of sexual battery if you participate in vaginal, oral, or anal physical penetration or union (a fancy way of saying just touching) with the sexual organ of someone without their consent, or if you engage in vaginal or anal penetration of someone with an object without that person’s consent.  Sexual battery is a felony, but the level of felony is dependent on the facts and circumstances of your case.  The penalties for a… Read More

FSS 800.04: Lewd and Lascivious Acts Involving Children Under The Age Of Sixteen

Just this past November, an elementary school teacher in Bonifay was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a minor, including Lewd and Lascivious Exhibition and Lewd and Lascivious Battery. The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office had received a report that the teacher was allegedly involved in a sexual relationship with a fifteen year old student where they engaged in “sexting” and sexual intercourse. If convicted, this teacher can face serious consequences, including up to fifteen years in prison, up to fifteen years of sex offender probation, and up to $10,000 in fines, not including the effects that a… Read More

How a Domestic Violence Conviction Can Negatively Affect Your Military Career

Domestic violence is a common occurrence among military spouses and people who share a household. The Department of Defense reports that in 2013, there were more than 7,600 domestic abuse complaints. Two-thirds of the purported victims were women, while the remaining third were men. Florida defines domestic violence as any assault, battery, sexual assault, kidnapping, stalking, or other criminal offense that results in the death or physical injury of a family member or household member by another family member or household member. While Florida law provides its own penalties for a conviction of a domestic violence offense, including possible jail… Read More