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Articles and Published Works Written by J. Andrew Crawford, Esquire

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SHOULD I SPEAK TO THE POLICE?

Posted on October 9, 2018 at 2:50 PM

      After there has been an allegation or report of a criminal offense, law enforcement officers will respond to the scene, investigate, and speak to various witnesses, including the person who they suspect of committing the crime. If you are suspected of a crime, the responding officers may try to question you at the scene or detectives assigned to the case may attempt to question you at a later time. When law enforcement suspects you of a crime, i...

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WHAT HAPPENS AFTER AN ARREST-THE CHARGING DECISION

Posted on October 3, 2018 at 2:10 PM

      If you are arrested in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, or Sarasota county, the case is then transferred to the State Attorney's Office to make a decision on whether formal charges will be filed. A few weeks to a month after your arrest, a prosecutor is assigned to your case.  He or she will conduct an investigation into the allegations and may even call in witnesses to testify under oath. Frequently, people who are arrested for an alleged cr...

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Cyberstalking Injunctions and the First Amendment

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 3:20 PM

      In the age of email, electronic communications, and social media, the Florida Legislature now allows an individual to petition for protection against cyberstalking. Florida Statutes § 784.048(1)(d) defines cyberstalking as “engaging in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing...

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Immigration Consequenses of a Criminal Conviction-A Real Life Problem

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 2:35 PM

        Attorneys practicing criminal law should be extremely careful when representing foreign citizens in criminal cases, even minor misdemeanors. Even if your client has been a legal permanent resident for decades, a conviction for a specified offense could pose serious immigration problems. Once a conviction becomes final, it is extremely difficult to get it vacated. The following article details the unique procedural hurdles that a fa...

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Domestic Violence, Repeat Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Injunctions in Pinellas County

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 2:30 PM


      Florida law provides that any citizen can petition the circuit court for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, dating violence, sexual violence, repeat violence, and stalking. If an injunction is granted, the implications for a respondent can be severe, including, but not limited to: the loss of firearms, the use of the injunction during a custody or timesharing dispute , and an arrest without a...

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Child Abuse Hearsay for the Family Law Practitioner

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Florida Statutes § 90.803(23) provides a hearsay exception for statements of children with a mental, developmental, or emotional level of 11 or less describing any act of child abuse or neglect. This includes, any act of sexual abuse against a child, the offense of aggravated child abuse, the offense of child abuse, or any offense involving the unlawful sexual act, contact, intrusion, or penetration performed in the presence of, with, or on the declarant child. These statements are admis...

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Recording Conversations Can Be Illegal

Posted on January 23, 2013 at 7:45 AM

Have you ever had a client come to you with the idea of secretly recording a conversation? Or worse yet, bring you a tape they surreptitiously made? Florida Security of Communications Act, Chapter 934 of the Florida Statutes, recognizes that oral, electronic, and wire communications are private, unless both parties consent, and cannot be recorded, absent a specific statutory exception. The legislative intent behind this statute is to safeguard the privacy of innocent people to prevent unauth...

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