J. Melanie Slaughter, P.A.

Ocala Criminal Defense And Family Law Blog

Establishing paternity an important part of parenting

Preparing for the birth of a child can be one if the most exciting life experiences a person may have. As the due date grows closer, mothers and fathers might make arrangements to get everything ready ahead of time. Florida parents should be aware, however, that even after a child is born, there are still some important steps to take. One of these is establishing paternity.

Establishing the paternity of a child is a necessary task. This important step helps to ensure that a child can be legally claimed by both biological parents. In Florida, if a couple is married, the husband is presumed to be the father. If the parents are not married, paternity can be established voluntarily or through a court order. 

How you can receive a DUI charge for prescription drugs

As an Ocala area motorist, you are probably aware of how driving while under the influence of alcohol can lead to DUI charges. What you might not realize is how the use of prescription drugs can lead to criminal charges.

Many people do not realize that some prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines can impair their driving skills. It is not uncommon for individuals to use a combination of medications to manage their health conditions. If you currently take medication for a health condition or to ease the symptoms of allergies, you should consider how they can affect you and your driving performance before you get in the driver’s seat. 

Birthday celebration ends with DUI charges

Florida drivers are likely aware that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is against the law and can result in serious charges. Sometimes, drivers may not be thinking clearly because they have something else on their mind. Recently, a young man was excited to be out with friends celebrating his birthday when an accident left him facing charges of DUI

Police allege that the Florida man had been enjoying an evening with friends to celebrate his 27th birthday. At some point in the evening, the young man and his friend decided to leave the party. The driver was involved in an accident when his car went off the road. 

Deputy to be fired amid DUI allegations

Florida residents may be familiar with a popular television series that gives viewers a first-person view of police officers on duty. Viewers tune in each week to see officers respond to calls, enforce the law and help people in need. Though certainly, police officers are often the first representatives of law enforcement, officers themselves are not immune from prosecution. One officer who appears on such a show is being fired amid allegations of DUI

The trouble began when the Florida officer wrecked his vehicle into a parked car. No injuries were reported. It is not known if he was on duty at the time of the crash. He was charged with several DUI offenses, including DUI with property damage. 

Biological father charged for violating child custody order

Florida parents may understand the heartache that can come when parents who do not share a household argue over custody. Sometimes, it can be difficult for a parent to obey a child custody order that limits or prohibits the individual from spending time with his or her children. Parents should be aware, however, that when it comes to matters of child custody, it is against the law to take matters into one's own hands, and if such an order is found to have been violated, a parent can face serious criminal charges. 

Last spring, a Florida boy was reported missing. His disappearance was reported to authorities. The child's biological father lived in another state, but authorities had trouble locating the man to question him about the possible whereabouts of his son. 

Should you refuse a field sobriety test in Florida?

Most Floridians are well aware of the serious consequences associated with a DUI conviction. One Florida resident went so far as to jump into the ocean to escape from law enforcement although the police eventually apprehended him. 

In the event police officers pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they may ask you to perform various field sobriety tests to determine if you drank alcohol that evening. Many people do not realize they can actually refuse such tests. There may be circumstances where refusing can actually work against you, but it is an option to consider. 

NFL star's son charged with DUI

Florida drivers would probably agree that it is a good idea to make an effort to avoid drinking and driving. DUI laws vary from state to state, and it can sometimes be difficult to gauge how close a driver is to the legal limit. Many times, drivers may feel as if they are perfectly capable of operating a vehicle, and they do not suspect they are intoxicated by legal standard. 

Recently, a Florida man, who happens to be the son of NFL legend Dan Marino, was charged with DUI. He complied when police signaled for him to pull over after they allegedly witnessed him run a stop sign. When they approaches his vehicle, they claim his eyes looked unusual and they could smell alcohol. They asked him to take a voluntary breathalyzer test, which he refused. 

Babysitter involved in deaths had personal child custody issue

When Florida parents are looking for a babysitter to care for their children in their absence, they may seek a fellow parent who is used to caring for kids. Parents may feel as if someone who is currently raising his or her own brood is more understanding and informed of common situations that can arise when caring for little ones. Unfortunately, one cannot assume that a sitter with children is a good choice on that fact alone. Recently, after two children died on her watch, it was revealed that one woman was in a child custody battle of her own. 

The Florida woman was caring for two children when they died in her care. The daycare she ran from her home had a pool, and the children -- twins -- both drowned in the pool. Upon investigation into the deaths, it was revealed that the woman's own family had been so concerned about her questionable ability to care for children that they were fighting for custody of the woman's adopted sons. 

Driver misunderstood DUI laws

Florida drivers are likely aware that it is against the law to drink and drive. Though this is considered to be basic knowledge, many drivers may not truly understand the meaning of DUI laws. Even those who are not aware they are breaking the law can still be charged with a crime if law enforcement alleges they have violated the law. 

Recently, a Florida man was charged with DUI after police were called to a local drive-thru. A woman alleged he had tapped her bumper with his vehicle. Police claim that the man had an open alcoholic beverage while he was behind the wheel, and they arrested him for DUI. 

No contact orders help protect locals

Florida residents may be able to relate to situations in which a specific person makes them feel threatened. In many cases, these people choose to seek no contact orders. This type of court order prohibits a person from making contact with a person or family, and usually also prevents them from entering the property where the victim lives.. 

When a no contact order is put into place on behalf of a victim, it becomes legally binding. If a person violates a standing order, he or she is subject to immediate criminal prosecution. Law enforcement is able to act quickly to prevent further contact, and the penalty for violating a no contact order can include a jail sentence. 

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J. Melanie Slaughter, P.A.
2337 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
Ocala, FL 34470

Phone: 352-414-5945
Phone: 352-414-5945
Fax: 352-789-6969
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