Gainesville Archives - The Law Offices of Travis Koon, PLLC

Criminal Defense Attorney-Arrested for Battery

Posted by | Attorney, Battery, Criminal Defense | One Comment

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Principle Office

291 NW Main Blvd.

Lake City, Florida 32055

 

Gainesville Office

105 SE 1st Avenue, Suite 2B-1

Gainesville, Florida 32601

 

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney to defend your criminal case?

 

When push comes to shove – it becomes battery.

 

Battery can be defined as;

Actually and intentionally touching or striking another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causing bodily harm to another person.

 

Battery can be a misdemeanor (simple battery) or a more severe case is aggravated battery and has more harsh consequences.   A simple battery charge may carry penalties of up to 1 year in jail or 1 year of probation, along with fines up to $1,000. Injury is not required for a battery charge to be levied against a person. In fact, touching is not necessary to be charged with battery in the state of Florida; a purse being snatched or an object thrown at another is enough to be considered battery. This is not a charge to be taken lightly! If you have a history of battery with prior criminal convictions, you could face felony charges.

 

A person’s past history of violence, run-ins with the law, and the relationship between the defendant and victim will all be assessed when the penalty is decided. Aggravated battery involves intentional infliction of great bodily harm, use of a deadly weapon, or battering of a pregnant person. Aggravated battery carries penalties of up to 15 years in jail or 15 years’ probation, and fines up to $10,000.

 

The levels of seriousness of the charges are Assault – Battery – Aggravated Assault – Aggregated Battery. As you can see, being charged with battery is a serious charge and one that definitely needs an attorney to help argue the defendants case.

 

The testimony of the alleged victim is not always needed to be charged with battery. If eye witnesses see a person be hit as they back away and cry, battery can be charged. If 911 is called and the caller tells who hit them, and when they police arrive and see a red mark left by the hit – battery can be charged. Even if the victim wants to drop the charges, the state can arrest the defendant and build a case around what they believe occurred.

 

But battery is a highly defendable case, there are many questions the criminal defense attorney will ask, and the state must answer these questions and prove these charges. Some question asked might be:

  • What is the history of the relationship between the two people?
  • Are there injuries?
  • Were photos taken, when and by whom?
  • Was 911 called?
  • Does the defendant have a history of violence?
  • Was there motive?
  • Are there any inconsistencies of the statements?

These questions show why a skilled criminal defense attorney is needed to help defend against charges. A criminal Defense Attorney such as Travis Koon can analyze the facts of your case to determine if you have a valid self defense claim.

 

Koonlegal is made up of skilled Florida criminal defense attorneys that have successfully defended battery cases in the past, and can speak with you about your case. We have offices throughout central Florida and can help you fight for your freedom.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

 

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney at Bond Hearings?

Posted by | Criminal Defense | No Comments

DO YOU NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT BOND HEARINGS? 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Principle Office

291 NW Main Blvd.

Lake City, Florida 32055

 

Gainesville Office

105 SE 1st Avenue, Suite 2B-1

Gainesville, Florida 32601

 WHY USE A CRIMINAL ATTORNEY AT BOND HEARINGS? 

Do you need a Criminal Defense Attorney? Attorney Travis Koon provides legal services in Lake City, Live Oak, and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon can assist with Bail and Bond Hearings on behalf of people that have been arrested.

In Florida we have a saying about the turn of events for Spring Breakers… “Come on vacation, leave on probation”. While it is catchy to say, it really is a problem for some visitors and locals alike.

 

Once a person is arrested and detained in Florida, they have the right to go before a judge within 24 hours; this is called First Appearance. This is a critical time to have an attorney by your side, it is when the judge decides if there is enough evidence to establish probable cause and continue with the charges brought against you, it is also the time when bail will be set. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, such as those at Koonlegal and criminal defense Attorney Travis Koon, can address both issues on your behalf.

 

It is during the First Appearance that the attorney may ask to have bail reduced. If the judge denies this request, they can then file a Motion to Modify Conditions of Bond or request a Bond Hearing or Pre-Trial Release.   These are a couple situations in which one of our attorneys can help reduce your time in prison.

 

Lake City & Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney

 

Bail is money that is paid by the defendant to the courts to ensure their appearance at subsequent proceedings. The severity of the crime, history of the defendant, and other factors determine how much bail the judge decides to set. Other considerations are:

  • The weight of evidence against the defendant
  • Personal information such as family ties, length of residency, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition
  • Past history of flight or failure to appear
  • Probability of danger posed if released into the community
  • If defendant is already on parole or probation
  • Probability of committing a new crime while released on bail
  • Any other factors the court views a being relevant

 

Being released on bail is not a right; it is a privilege that the court allows for the defendant to continue their lives through the pre-trial process. There are times that the judge will rule that the individual is to remain in custody until trial. If the court feels the defendant is a danger to society, or will not return to stand trial, then bail can be denied. Contacting a criminal defense Attorney at Koonlegal such as Attorney Travis Koon can assist in seeking a proper bond amount.

 

Lake City & Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney

 

The full amount of bail is paid to the jail depository, usually via a certified check. This amount will be returned in full after all court dates have been met. If the defendant cannot pay the full amount, they may hire a bail bonds company to pay the jail, and the individual will make payments to the bail bonds company (plus an additional fee). If the defendant fails to appear for their court dates, the bail bond company will seek to capture the individual and return them to the courts.

 

Allow one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys to assist you in having your bail set, reduced, or modified. Having legal representation can help ensure all options have been pursued and your legal rights and interests are protected. We handle criminal cases in Central Florida, including Miami, Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Lake City. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida and Georgia Bar.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Entrapment

Posted by | Attorney, Criminal Defense | No Comments

Every so often a case comes to one of our offices that just does not seem right, the facts don’t add up. We have seen instances of arrest being made, and our correct defense is entrapment. This defense is based on the universally accepted fact that it is unjust for law enforcement to encourage an individual to perform a criminal activity for the basis of arresting that individual.

Florida statute 777.201 defines entrapment as:

(1) A law enforcement officer, … induces or encourages and, as a direct result, causes another person to engage in conduct constituting such crime by employing methods of persuasion or inducement which create a substantial risk that such crime will be committed by a person other than one who is ready to commit it.

Basically, this says that law enforcement is not allowed to encourage or induce an individual into committing a crime.

Once the defense of entrapment has been shown, it is up to the prosecutors to prove entrapment did not occur. The prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual was predisposed to commit the particular crime.

There are several questions that need to be answered to determine if entrapment tactics were utilized:

• Was the individual ready to commit the crime they are being charged with?
• Was it a law enforcement officer or agent that inducted the individual to commit the crime?
• Did the individual engage in criminal conduct as a direct result of law enforcement engagement?
• Was the individual encouraged by law enforcement to engage in criminal conduct in order to obtain evidence?
• Did law enforcement provide the individual with the opportunity or means to facilitate the crime?

In Jacobson v. United States (1991) The Supreme Court of the United States found that Jacobson was induced into the crime due to entrapment. In 1985 government agencies became interested in Jacobson’s interest in child pornography and over the next 2 ½ years sent him mailings for fictitious organizations and one non-existent pen pal, all promoting sexual liberation and challenging censorship. Once Jacobson begin to show interest, they began to offer child pornography material, which he eventually purchased – for which he was arrested.

The prosecution was unable to prove that Jacobson would have committed this crime without their direct involvement, and Jacobson’s charges were reversed due to entrapment.

It is illegal for law enforcement or their agents (undercover, informants…) to induce or engage an individual to commit a crime for the sole purpose of arresting them; they cannot create criminals.

At The Law Office of Travis Koon, we understand that there are times when an individual is persuaded to do something they wouldn’t normally do, and we are here to protect those people. As Florida criminal defense attorneys, we will make sure your rights are not infringed upon. Call any one of our offices today (Miami, Lake City, and Gainesville) today to set up a meeting with one of our dedicated attorneys.

Criminal Case? Adjudication Withheld?

Posted by | Criminal Defense | No Comments

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

WHAT DOES ADJUDICATION WITHHELD MEAN? 

As sad and unfair as it may seem, a momentary lapse in judgment can have ripple effects for the rest of your life.  Having an open container of alcohol while on a Florida beach or a loud and frustrating argument in public that results in a disturbance or altercation can get you arrested in the state of Florida.

 

It seems all laws have a side note; one interesting fact is that it is possible that a person can be found guilty of a crime, but not convicted of committing that crime.

 

Once a person is arrested, the following sequence of events normally happens.  You would be formally charged, in which case you should hire a skilled Florida criminal defense attorney like The Law Offices of Travis Koon, PLLC. Thereafter, the judge will preside over your case and may have to make a ruling of either adjudicated guilty (found guilty), you plea bargain to a lesser sentence, the case is dropped or dismissed, or the judge withholds adjudication (depending on the crime).

 

Not all states follow this chain of events, but Florida is a state in which the judge is has the authority to withhold adjudication.

 

Basically, withholding adjudication is an interesting option that gives first time offenders, and sometimes those with a minimal history of prior convictions a second chance.  This is done by avoiding a formal conviction of the crime.  There are some crimes in which adjudication cannot be withheld, but hiring a strong Florida criminal defense attorney may help you understand if this is an option in your case.

 

Having a felony (or even a misdemeanor) conviction on your records can haunt you for life.  With a felony conviction, you may:

  • Lose your right to vote
  • Lose your right to possess a firearm
  • Never serve on a jury
  • Incur foreign travel restrictions (put in place by other countries)
  • Potential employers and housing authorities may conduct background searches and withhold employment or housing based on your past criminal record
  • Hold the social stigma of being a convicted felon

 

If the judge rules that adjudication is withheld, this normally means that if the person can pay any fines levied and successfully complete the terms of probation with no subsequent offense, no further action will be taken in the case and there will be no formal conviction of the crime.  Also, this offense is normally not considered a prior conviction in future cases.

 

But if the terms of the probation are not successfully met, a finding of guilty may be entered and the person may be sentenced according to the punishments defined for the offense.  So if the person had adjudication withheld for a 3rd degree felony, and failed the terms of probation, they could then face up to 5 years in prison and fines up to $5,000.00.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Arrested for Possession of a Concealed Weapon?

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HAVE YOU BEEN ARREST FOR A CONCEALED WEAPON CHARGE AND IN NEED OF A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY? 

In the state of Florida it is illegal to knowingly carry a concealed firearm without having a valid license and concealed weapons permit.  In fact, it is a 3rd degree felony to do so, which is punishable by up to 5 years in jail and carries hefty fines.   This makes it a serious crime, even for first time offenders.

There are many questions surrounding carrying a concealed weapon, this article in no way covers all instances, nor does it completely answer every question… it is here to give you a broad overview of the topic.  If you are arrested for carrying a concealed weapon (either in your car or on your body), please call an attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Travis Koon, PLLC have highly experienced attorneys that may be able to help you If you are charged with such a crime, with offices in Lake City, Gainesville and Miami.

Questions

If I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon, do I still need to go through a background check to buy a firearm?

Yes, each person in the state of Florida must always abide by the 3 day wait period and background check before purchasing a firearm.  You will need the permit and license to carry your newly purchased firearm.

What is needed to obtain a permit?

There are several stipulations that are required to obtain a permit to carry a firearm, and there are several stipulations that will usually cause your request to be rejected.

Must:

  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Demonstrate competency with a firearm
  • Reside in the US or be a US Citizen

Reasons that could reject your request:

  • Prior felony conviction
  • Misdemeanor crime of violence within the last 3 years
  • 2 or more DUI’s within the last 3 years
  • A record of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Dishonorable discharge from the US Armed Forces
  • Physical inability to safely handle a firearm

Again, this list is does not include all requirements or limitations.

Can I carry a concealed weapon in my car?

Yes, but it must be “securely encased” and kept away from immediate use.  This means that if you have it under your seat it must be in a snapped holster, a zipped bag, or otherwise encased where it cannot accidently discharge.  It can be kept in the glove compartment or enclosed arm rest.  If you are pulled over by police, you must notify them of the weapon in the car.

Where can’t I carry a concealed weapon?

You cannot carry a concealed weapon, even with a license and permit, in government buildings (post office, schools, courtrooms…) or establishments that sell mostly alcohol (bars).  Many private buildings display signs that say to not bring weapons onto their premise.  It is not illegal for you to bring a firearm into these buildings, but if they ask you to leave, you must politely do so, if you do not leave they can cite you for trespassing, and trespassing with a firearm has very harsh penalties.  It is best not to carry a firearm into a building that displays a sign asking you not to do so.

Learn All You Can

Carrying a concealed weapon is a huge responsibility.  It is up to you to take the proper courses, learn how to properly handle a firearm, and learn all the laws that accompany it.  Understand that you are not free to go everywhere with a weapon, and know what buildings you can and cannot enter.

If you are stopped by a law enforcement officer, you must notify them immediately that you have a weapon and a permit to carry it.  If you are arrested always be polite, answer the basic questions of your name and address, but do not say anything that may incriminate you.  Call an attorney to help you through this situation.

The Law Offices of Travis Koon have helped straighten out misunderstood situations with police officers before, and we can talk to you regarding your instance.  We are Florida attorneys with offices in Miami, Lake City, and Gainesville.  Call us today and speak with a top notch attorney.

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

Do you have the right to bear arms in Florida?

Posted by | Attorney, Criminal Defense | No Comments

DO YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS OR OWN A GUN IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA?  DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS AND NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been shortened to be understood as ‘the right to bear arms’.  That is misleading.  As an individual, you do not have the right to legally carry a firearm without some restrictions.  The 2nd Amendment reads:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The meaning of this one sentence has been the topic of many discussions in and out of court.

In 1939 the Supreme Court heard the case United States v. Miller, in which Jack Miller and another person were arrested and indicted for transporting unregistered sawed-off shotguns across state lines.  Miller had several arguments to back his case, one of which was that the National Firearms Act, which regulated the interstate transport of certain firearms, violated the second amendment.  Miller won with the lower district courts, but the case was taken to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court ruled against Miller and upheld that the fact that the second amendment does not guarantee the right to keep and bear such firearms.   Part of the statement was “…in the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession of use of [sawed-off] shotgun… has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument” 307 U.S. at 178[1].  Thus, the Supreme Court interpreted the Second Amendment as preserving the authority of the states to maintain militias.

 

The Supreme Court did not hear a ruling concerning the Second Amendment again until 2007 with the Parker v. District of Columbia case.  Previously, the District of Columbia had laws concerning a ban on carrying a pistol without a license, new registration of handguns, and firearms being kept unloaded an locked.  In the Parker case, the lower D.C. courts ruled against these laws and found that a person has the right to own handguns for their own personal protection and keep them in their homes without placing a trigger lock on them.

The case was appealed by Heller to the Supreme Court (D.C. v. Heller) and the Court agreed with the lower court that the D.C. banning of handguns and requiring firearms in the home to be disassembled or locked did violate the Second Amendment.  The Court stated that although the amendment stated “a well regulated Militia…” that this does not limit the action, or use of, firearms.

 

However, the Court did acknowledge that the right to bear arms is subject to regulations.  Regulations such as licenses, matters concerning concealed weapons, limiting the rights of felons or mentally ill individuals,  and prohibiting of carrying weapons in certain places.

The issues and arguments of the Second Amendment still arise today, and the interpretation of this amendment is constantly being scrutinized.  If you are arrested and charged with any crime regarding carrying or being in possession of a handgun, call an attorney immediately.  In Florida the criminal defense office of The Law Office of Travis Koon has handled cases regarding the issue of handguns, and may be able to handle your case.  Call any one of our offices today (in Gainesville, Lake City, or Miami) to schedule an appointment.  Do not wait until it is too late!  We are Florida criminal defense attorneys that are here to protect your rights.

 

[1] http://www.loc.gov/law/help/second-amendment.php

 

EXPERIENCED GAINESVILLE AND LAKE CITY, FLORIDA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

 

At www.koonlegal.com and Attorney Travis Koon, we know that if found guilty, some of these charges can change your life completely.

 

At www.koonlegal.com , Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon, is a trained and skilled attorney that will assess your situation and argue the best defense for your case. Attorney Travis Koon has represented people charged with crimes his entire career. Criminal Defense Attorney Travis Koon has helped over 1,500 clients avoid jail time and the loss of their freedom. Attorney Travis Koon has conducted over 40 criminal trials and many of those trials were in the immediately area surrounding Live Oak, Florida, Lake City, Florida and Gainesville, Florida. Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Florida Bar and Georgia Bar. In addition, Attorney Travis Koon is a member of the Federal Middle District and Northern District. Attorney Travis Koon is experienced in criminal cases in State and Federal Court.

 

Koonlegal

Travis Koon, Attorney

Criminal Attorney

Live Oak, Lake City & Gainesville, Florida

Live Oak and Lake City-386-597-0000

Gainesville-352-729-1211

traviskoon@koonlegal.com

www.koonlegal.com

 

Talking About Your Case On Social Media

Posted by | Attorney, Criminal Defense | No Comments

If you have an open case, stop posting to social media.

Please believe me when I tell you this… posting on social media will harm your case!  If you are arrested and waiting trial, stop posting on all social media sites.  Never, never, never post anything about your case; I recommend you stop posting all together.

Even if you think you are saying something completely irrelevant, the prosecuting attorneys are watching your sites closely to find anything they can use against you; a picture of you with a drink, a picture of you with a friend, a comment on someone else’s photo… they will find it all.

If you have an open case, stop posting to social media.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that only your friends will see these posts, nothing is private on social media; the entire reason for social media is to share information.  Several courts have ruled that even though the privacy settings are on, social media postings are not private.  Facebook and Twitter even warn users of this in their privacy policies.

Let’s say you are fighting a DUI case, and on your Facebook page there was a picture, taken years ago, of you holding a drink… maybe it’s a good picture and you decide to change it to your profile picture.  The attorney for the other side may see you holding the drink and now he will ask the judge for full access to all you social media accounts.

“A survey of over 1,200 police agencies around the country showed that a whopping 80 percent of officials said they’ve used social media to collect evidence in criminal cases––the majority of which indicating that the information they find there helps them solve crimes faster than they would otherwise.”[1]

Some information that can be obtained from social media is:

  • Background information, witnesses and suspects
  • What the suspect was doing in the weeks, days, or hours before the incident
  • A possible location of a suspect
  • Incriminating photos
  • Information that may support the argument that your actions were planned or thought about prior to the incident
  • Posts or pictures that may incriminate you in a more serious crime or illegal activity

Something so little can have huge ramifications on your case.

If you have an open case, stop posting to social media.

Some real-world universal laws also hold true in social media.  If you post something that may be damaging to your case and then delete it, you can be charged with destruction of evidence, this is a serious charge.

In the case Lester v. Allied Concrete Co., it was argued that Lester and his attorney had removed evidence from Facebook that showed his prior use of anti-depressants and his medical history.  The court granted a warrant for Facebook to release all information, and a complete search was done of Lester’s Facebook account.  A 32-page report was written and presented to the courts.  Imagine a detailed account of everything you have ever put on social media.

So I say to you one last time… If you have an open case, stop posting to social media.

If you need a Florida attorney, call us at The Law Office of Travis Koon.  We deal with criminal defense cases all throughout Florida with offices in Lake City, Gainesville and Miami, and may be able to help you with yours.

[1] http://stangllaw.com/facebook-posts-can-hurt-criminal-case-wisconsin/

Self Defense

Posted by | Attorney, Criminal Defense | No Comments

It seems to be a universally accepted fact that a person has the right to defend themselves against the perceived threat of bodily harm or death, even when the force used in defense would normally considered to be crime to do so.

Many laws vary from state to state, this article is giving a general overview, and an attorney should always be consulted in any legal issue.

Findlaw defines the argument of self-defense as:  “The right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence”.  [1]

This may seem like a straight-forward means of defense, but it rarely is.  There are many questions that surround this definition and need to be answered in each case.  What is considered a sufficient level of force?  At what point has the perceived victim gone beyond that point?  Could and/or should the person first attempted to retreat?  What if the victim provoked the attack?  What if the threat wasn’t really there?  This defense is more complicated that it seems on the surface.

The use of self-defense must be similar to the level of threat in question.  In other words, a person can only use as much force as needed to stop or remove the threat.  A victim cannot kill a person for slapping them across the face.

Self-defense justifies the use of force when it is used in response to an immediate threat, but one must stop using force once the threat has ended.  Any use of force by the victim after this point is considered to be retaliation and not self-defense.

Some states say the victim should first make an attempt to avoid the violence before using forces, but many have removed this clause and the “stand your ground” defense can be used.

The state of Florida condones the stand your ground defense and can be found in statute 776.012, which states:

…a person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have the duty to retreat before using or threating to use such force.

A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm…[2]

As stated earlier, the laws have many interpretations to each person and each situation, and an attorney should always be consulted when a person is being charged with a crime.  The Law Offices of Travis Koon are Florida attorneys that understand the ins and outs of Florida law, with offices located in Lake City, Miami, and Gainesville.  Call us today if you need legal consultation or have questions regarding your case.

[1] http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-law-basics/self-defense-overview.html

[2] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/0776.html

New Florida Laws for 2015

Posted by | Attorney, Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes | No Comments

New Florida Laws for 2015

It’s the start of a new year; the time when we make new (or the same) resolutions, and feel that it is the time to get a new and fresh start, a time to try again.  According to law makers, it is also a time to let us all know about the new laws that are being added to the books.

Unfortunately, not knowing about the new laws will not always get you a pardon from the ticket or arrest.  The powers that be feel that we are responsible to pay attention to the news and know that laws that we must abide by.  In a way I agree with this, but at The Law Office of Travis Koon, we know that there are just some laws that our client’s don’t always know exist.  So we want to let you know about some changes that are happening.

Florida Minimum Wage.  Florida businesses and workers should have seen a change that took affect the start of the New Year; the state’s minimum wage increased from $7.93 to $8.05 per hour.  To help off-set this increase, employers should see a 5.2% decrease in workers compensation increase.

Booster Seats.  In the past, children ages 3 and under are required to be in a car seat, while kids 4 and 5 years old could use seat belts… but that has changed.  Now children through ages 5 must be in booster or car seats.  AAA Auto club recommends kids should remain in booster seats until they reach 4 feet 9 inches.  People violating this law may be fined $60 and have 3 points added to their driver’s license.

There were not many laws changed the beginning of this year, but are you aware of the laws that passed last year?  Here are a couple laws that we, The Law Office of Travis Koon, want to make sure you are aware of.

Pain Killers. Increase the amount of being in possession, sale, or manufacture of hydrocodone that is needed to receive the mandatory prison sentence.

Increase Sentences.   The minimum mandatory sentence was increased for dangerous sexual offenders against children to 50 years.

Drivers Leaving the Scene of an Accident.   If a person is involved in accident that results in an injury (a second degree felony) and leaves the scene of the accident, their driver’s license will be revoked for a minimum of 3 years.

These are just a couple of the laws that were passed in 2014.  While you may not be aware of all the new laws, we are.  The Law Office of Travis Koon is aware of the changes to laws and how they can affect you.  We are Florida attorneys with offices in Gainesville, Lake City, and Miami.  Call us immediately if you have had a run-in with the law and need a top notch criminal defense attorney.

Criminal Appeal

Do you need a Criminal Appeal Attorney in Florida for a DUI Conviction?

Posted by | Attorney, Criminal Defense, DUI | No Comments

Appealing Your DUI Case from a Conviction in Florida

Have you been convicted of a criminal case and need to appeal your criminal conviction in the state of Florida? The Law Office of Travis Koon appeals cases from all counties in Florida, not just Gainesville, Lake City and/or Miami.  If you have been convicted, speak to an attorney immediately.  You have very specific time requirements after you have been sentenced and the Judge places you in jail, prison and/or on probation to appeal your criminal case in Florida.  You need to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

You have been charged and convicted of a DUI… now what?  If you have read my other blog/articles, you know that a DUI conviction can wreak havoc on your life; but you still have one more chance to fix this… you can appeal your DUI.  I also hope that you have taken my advice and retained the services of a highly qualified DUI attorney.  Our attorneys at The Law Office of Travis Koon have appealed many cases to higher Court to help win our clients cases if there is a legal issue to appeal.  We cannot guarantee a win for you, but we can promise to look closely at your case and zealously fight on your behalf if there is a legal issue to appeal.

After your conviction & sentence, immediately speak with your attorney to discuss the possibilities filing an appeal.  Just because you don’t want a DUI conviction on your record doesn’t mean you can automatically file an appeal; but if you feel that that an error was made, then you need to file one, and quickly.  In most states, your attorney has only 10-30 days to file on your behalf.  In Florida, you have 30 days in most criminal cases but our advice is to immediately consult an attorney as soon as you have been sentenced.

How does the appeal process work in a DUI criminal case in the State of Florida? 

 Your attorney will file a brief to the appeals court arguing that mistakes and/or legal errors were made either during the arrest, during the trial and/or during the sentencing, and you feel these errors negatively affected the outcome of your case.  Your attorney will file a notice of appeal, statement of judicial acts, and write the appellate motion on your behalf.  The appeal process takes hours to complete because the attorney must review all evidence, depositions and trial transcripts.  Next, the attorney will conduct case research regarding any legal issues that the attorney has spotted while reviewing the evidence, testimony, trial transcripts and sentencing documents.  The attorney can many hours of research because the client usually has only one chance to win on appeal.  The attorney must insure that the proper research is conducted prior to the appellate brief being filed because the client must raise all legal issues in the appeal.

The appeals court will not hear any new evidence unless there is newly discovered evidence; they will read the transcripts from your trial and take a close look at the process and facts surrounding your case to determine if a legal error was made. They will then make a ruling on your case.

Your Role in the criminal appeal process in Florida

An appeal trial can take several weeks or months to be heard, you must wait your turn.  During this time you many need to be paying any fines you incurred and even serve your sentenced jail time, speak with your attorney to be sure.  This may be extremely inconvenient to do(to say the least) – but you need to be sure to follow all of the judge’s orders so as not to incur any more fines or problems by not abiding by the orders.    You want to be able to stand in front of the appeals court judge and show that you are cooperating and truly trying.

With all the briefs and paperwork being filed by your attorney and the prosecuting attorney, your DUI paperwork file will start to stack up; be sure you keep everything.  Of course your attorney will have a file for you at their office, but this is something that will affect your life… be sure you stay responsible and keep copies of everything as well.

In the End, what should you do if you want to appeal your criminal case? 

It is horrible to find yourself in the situation of being charged and convicted of a DUI.  Any of the lawyers in our Florida offices (Gainesville, Lake City, or Miami) can help you fight this conviction on appeal. Your knowledgeable attorneys have years of experience with the court systems and know how to best help you.  Most attorneys are good at what they do, but you want to make sure you hire an attorney that practices in criminal defense and has went to trial and appealed many cases.  At The Law Office of Travis Koon, this is what we do… and we are good at what we do.

Travis Koon

www.koonlegal.com

386-597-0000

352-729-1211

305-365-8821

traviskoon@koonlegal.com