Lonker Law Group Blog
Jacksonville DUI, Divorce, Criminal Defense & Personal Injury Lawyer. Your Justice is our job.

When can the Police search my property or my body?

by Whitney Lonker 2. June 2016 08:52

As a citizen of the United States your right to deny an unreasonable search of your "persons, houses, papers, and effects" is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution. That being said, generally, Police cannot search anything of yours without probable cause, a warrant, or your consent. Probable cause is loosely defined as, sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime, according to dictionary.com. Additionally, if an Officer sees something through a window or smells something it is then in ‘Plain View’ which constitutes a warrantless search because it gives them probable cause.  During an arrest an Officer may search you and/or the surrounding area in an effort to find anything dangerous or something which would contribute to the arrest. As long as this search can be proven for the Officers safety or in order to receive evidence related to the arrest which was hidden, it is considered reasonable. 

If a warrant has been granted to search your property, or a warrant for your arrest has been issued a cop may legally search any areas specifically discussed in the warrant.  Anything they find which is not outlined in the warrant to be what they are there searching for typically may not be used against you because it was found illegally.

The best way to deal with a situation in which an Officer attempts to search you or your property in a way that you think is illegal is to calmly state that you do not consent to this search.  The officer must prove in court that the search was reasonable or lawful and it is there that you can make your case, never at the time of the search which will only escalate the innocent.





My Spouse filed for Divorce, Now What?

by Whitney Lonker 1. June 2016 11:51

Divorce is never easy for either person involved, and can be even more complicated when children are involved.  There are ways that you can protect yourself to prevent more damage from occurring than necessary.  If you have children it's a good idea to do your best to stay in your home with them rather than leave with them and stay somewhere else. Because your spouse has equal say over what happens to the children and taking them away may cause issues later when trying to gain custody. Additionally, leaving without your kids can also hurt you later when trying to gain custody.  Domestic Violence can be an issue that either precedes or accompanies divorce and if any situation like that occurs you should immediately call the police and seek help. The next step would be to get a lawyer, if your spouse is showing you divorce papers it's likely they already have a lawyer and so the sooner you can speak with one to discuss your options the better.  Until you have contacted legal representation do not sign anything presented to you even if you believe it to be a fair deal, because you may be agreeing to something that cannot be undone later.  These tips can help you set up a good foundation for any legal battle that may occur during the process of the divorce.  For more help on how to best manage your divorce situation please contact us and we will be happy to help! 

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Legal Booster Peter Thiel and Lawsuit Financing

by Whitney Lonker 28. May 2016 13:01

As many know sports teams have boosters, rich alumni and fans who donate money to their favorite team in hopes that it will promise success.  Billionaire co-founder of PayPal Peter Thiel just did the same thing, but instead of a sports team he donated money to help former wrestler Hulk Hogan's law suit against Gawker Media.  The story itself is one full of scandal and intrigue but here we aim to look at the idea of outside funding of law suits.  The idea that a presence outside of a law suit can donate money to one side to help pay legal fees in an attempt to increase their ability to win can be a scary one.  However this idea isn't really a new one, there are loan companies all around the country which specialize in providing funding for people to finance their lawsuits.  So even the average person can fight for the justice they deserve, there is hope for the "little guy" fighting against large entities.  Legal financing is most commonly used in personal injury cases because if you are put out of work due to an accident and don't have the money up front, they will front the cost of the litigation for a percent of the earnings you receive.  Workers' compensation cases are also commonly funded by these types of third party lenders for similar reasons as personal injury cases. You also owe them nothing until after a verdict is reached, which allows the money to be spent to pay your rent as well the lawyers or whatever other needs you have during the trial time. So there should never be any fear that an entity is too large for you to seek justice for, there is always a way!

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