Stephen G. Cobb - Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer

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What Is The Purpose Of A Closing Argument In A Criminal Jury Trial?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments. A closing argument is a time to summarize each side’s case for the jury. The judge will state to the jury before closing arguments, “The attorneys will now present their final arguments. Please remember that what the attorney say is not evidence or your instruction on the law. However, do listen closely to their arguments. They are attempting to aid you in understanding the case.”… Read More

What Is The Williams Rule In Florida?

Similar Fact Evidence Rule Many states, including Florida, have what is known as a similar fact evidence rule. This allows a party, if they have given proper notice to the other party (and the other party has had an opportunity to file any pretrial motions objecting to the use of similar fact evidence) to admit similar fact evidence. If similar fact evidence is allowed to be admitted, other acts of a similar nature committed by the defendant will be revealed to the jury. The defense, of course, opposes this. How Similar Fact Evidence is Presented It is important to remember… Read More

Are Jurors Allowed To Take Notes During Criminal Cases In Florida?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments. Jurors are allowed to take notes when they are in court. The court will provide a series of pens and paper with pads so that the jurors can take notes. There are some very specific instructions about how to take notes in a criminal case. The judge will tell the jury, “If you would like to take notes during the trial, you may do so.… Read More

What Type Of Jury Instructions Are Given By The Judge Prior To Trial?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments. Jury instructions in criminal cases in Florida are broken up in different sections. There are instructions before trial, during trial, prior to the deliberation to determine a verdict, and after the jury has delivered the verdict. One of the newer instructions involves the use of electronic devices: “Many of you have cell phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Even though you have not yet been… Read More

What Are The Updates To Coping With Stress During Criminal Prosecution?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments. The first update is video and reading material. Coping with stress during criminal prosecution is one of our most important systems when it comes to defending any type of criminal case. We use this material for both misdemeanors and felonies. It is more difficult to use if someone is incarcerated, but family members can use it, and this reduces a lot of stress across the… Read More

Should I Accept A Diversion Program For MIP Charges In Florida?

Call an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately for MIP charges. I cannot stress this enough. The state attorney’s office is waiting for you. They know that you’ve never tried a case in your life. They know that when it comes to actually posing real defenses and kicking up a serious legal fight that you simply lack the skill or knowledge to even know where to begin. If I were to say 562.111 Florida statutes, the only way you would know that that is minor in possession is if you got charged and you looked it up online. Short of that,… Read More

What Are The Consequences Of A Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Conviction?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments. The first consequence of a minor in possession of alcohol conviction is wage loss. People are often stunned as to how much damage something as seemingly minor as a minor in possession of alcohol charge can cause. Because it involves alcohol, it is considered a substance abuse charge. Employers, graduate schools and licensing boards don’t look at underage drinking from a minor in possession charge… Read More

Can Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Charges Affect Jobs And Job Applications?

Minors with Alcohol One of the most damaging aspects of minor in possession of alcohol is specific to further education as well as employment and business creation. Many people are shocked to find out that a minor in possession charge they had 15 years ago will prevent their licensure in a regulated business, whether it’s insurance adjusting, real estate, law or even a general contractor’s license in some states. Certainly, healthcare workers are affected. The big problem with minor in possession of alcohol is that when employers or prospective employers find out about it, they don’t see underage drinking in… Read More

Are People Taken Straight To Jail On Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Charges?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments. Up until a few years ago, people were routinely given a criminal summons notice to appear when it came to minor in possession charges. Quite often, these summons to appear and criminal summons with citation would have a plea agreement on the back of the citation itself which, aside from being poorly drafted in terms of the legal document, also leaves out several important facts… Read More

What Are Penalties For Minor In Possession Of Alcohol Charges In Florida?

Minor in possession of alcohol or MIP, whether it’s in Destin-Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Florida, is going to have the same maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. What people also don’t realize is that this can be conditioned upon completion of a probationary sentence as well. For example, someone could be sentenced for six months of probation with the special condition of 10, 20, 30 or more days in jail as well as fines or court costs. The consequence of minor in possession is far more serious than it would appear. Who is… Read More