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

What Is A Notice To Appear In Criminal Cases?

by Whitney Lonker 21. June 2014 16:26

So the police came up and hassled you at wherever you were hanging out with your friends and for whatever reasons such as trespassing, loitering, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, etc., the police issued you a piece of paper entitled, "Notice To Appear."  So what does this mean?  Legally speaking, a notice to appear acts the same as an actual arrest except the police do not take you into formal custody and book you into jail.  By providing you a Notice To Appear, the document itself acts as the "arrest," and you have ten (10) days to call the clerk of court and set a court date in accordance with the instructions on the notice to appear.  Many people think they do not need a lawyer when they are issued a notice to appear because they do not realize that they have actually been arrested because they didn't go to jail.  That could not be farther from the truth.  I would not go into traffic court without an attorney if I want to ensure my legal rights are protected.  The same is true with a notice to appear.  However, the police only issue the notice to appear on less serious charges.  So, if you or someone you know has been issued a notice to appear for any type of charge, you should contact an attorney to help you with the case.  It is very likely that an attorney can attack the notice to appear before the case even hits the light of day in a court room, and the criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville may be able to get the case dismissed in its entirety.  Please call me for a free consultation if you've been issued a notice to appear in Florida, and I will help you.  While not the worst case scenario in the world, it is something that needs to be addressed immediately by an attorney with good, solid legal knowledge who can possibly put the case to bed without you losing any further sleep over the issue.  Please call Whitney R. Lonker at Lonker Law Group, 904-868-LONKER (5665) to guide you through the process
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Should Fifth Graders Be Tried In Court As Adults In Any Scenario?

by Administrator 16. May 2013 17:15

While practicing as a criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, I often run across a case or cases that peak my legal interest more than others.  We recently had a juvenile criminal case here in Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida, regarding an 11 year old boy who had allegedly killed his younger brother.  The Government chose to prosecute the child as an adult.  Now, I have just learned that two fifth graders in the state of Washington allegedly had a plan to assassinate a female classmate and took a semi-automatic gun with semi-automatic clips and a knife to school.  The boys are 10 and 11 years of age.   The State of Washington plans to prosecute these children as adults.  Do children have the mental capacity to commit a crime?  If so, is life in prison at the age of 11 justice?

Each one of us has been a child.  Each one of us understands that when we were 11, we certainly didn’t think of ramifications much less the complicated and adult legal ramifications of our actions.  Sure, most of us didn’t take semi-automatic guns to school but if we had, we wouldn’t be facing the rest of our young lives in prison.  In today’s modern world, there must be a better way to punish and to rehabilitate these at risk children.  Mental health counseling should be the first resource in the criminal juvenile court system as many of the crimes committed by juveniles are due to child abuse in the home, child neglect in the home, domestic violence between parents and many other factors.  Many times, a mental health evaluation and treatment can shield these child offenders from a state prison incarceration for life and many of these children have excelled after completing mental health counseling and have gone on to be upstanding, law abiding citizens.  Please, if you have a child who has been arrested or charged with a crime, please call the Jacksonville Juvenile Lawyer to help you and your child through this process.

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Consequences Of Divorce In Florida

by Administrator 16. May 2013 16:49

In 1971, a woman by the name of Judy Wallerstein conducted the very first study of children of divorce and the consequences thereof.  In her study, she interviewed 60 families with 131 children among them.  She interviewed them every five years over a quarter of a century.  The families were all middle class families and well educated, and the children had been well cared for.  Out of this intensive study, Ms. Wallerstein found the following:

1.  The effects of divorce on children are not brief.  Most of the effects on children of divorce follow them well into adulthood.

2.  The quality of the family after the divorce is crucial.  Parents are told by courts not to fight in front of the children or not to say derogatory remarks about the other parent in front of the children but sadly, most do not follow this order to the detriment of the children.  Beyond time-sharing plans, parents need to be supportive of their children and need to put their selfish emotions about the other party aside for the sake of the child.  Children need to feel supported, not put in the middle of parental bashing.

3.  Age matters. Little ones, ages 2 to 6, are terrified of abandonment. Children aged  7 to 11, tend to be angry and act out when they feel they’ve been deprived of opportunities they may have had if the parents had remained married.  Many times this feeling is provoked by a parent making comments such as, “well, if your mother/father would pay child support on time, you could have had those new shoes.”

4.  Pre-teens ages 11 and 12, can be easily peer pressured to fall into the wrong group because the parents are not working together to coordinate that the pre-teen has a place to go after school or is involved in post school activities.

5.  Many teenagers, taking on the role of parent, become overburdened.

Although Ms. Wallerstein was lambasted for the findings in her study, the same results remain true today.  I have seen them in my practice as a family law lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida.  Parents absolutely do not want to believe it.  If you are going through a divorce in Florida, you need a family law attorney who has the know how to put together a post marriage plan for your family.  If you have children, you will always be connected.  A plan must be put into place that will allow for the transition your family must take.  An experienced Jacksonville divorce lawyer and Jacksonville custody attorney will help you put that plan into action in an effort to avoid any of the effects mentioned above.  Please call the Lonker Law Group today to get you started.

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