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Posts by Victoria A McFadyen

I have been arrested…what do I do next?

By on Feb 21, 2015 in Criminal Blog | 0 comments

I have been arrested! What do I do next?Add New You should contact an attorney as soon as possible! Don’t make any statements or talk to anyone about your case while you are detained. A lawyer will review the circumstances with you and help you navigate your release either by bond or through Pretrial Release Services (PTS). What happens next? Within 24 hours of your arrest, the court will hold a first appearance in court. If detained, you will likely appear by video from the detention center. If you are released, you may attend court or, if you have retained an attorney,  your attorney may appear on your behalf.  The purpose of the first appearance hearing is that the court will advise you of the charges and set bond and/or release to pretrial services. . To arrange a bond through a private bondsman, you must contact the bondsman by telephone and arrange to pay the requested bond amount.Or, if you can afford it, you can pay the total amount of the bond to the clerk of the court. This is called a cash bond. The purpose of the bond is to insure that you will return to court and participate in the proceedings to the resolution of the case. Can I be released any other way? In Florida, some counties have a Pretrial Services (PTS) program. PTS interviews persons and reports to the court whether defendants are eligible for pretrial release without paying a bond or cash bond to the clerk of the court. PTS is available in Monroe County, Florida. Prior to the first appearance, a PTS representative will contact you in the detention center and find out whether you meet statutory criteria for release.  If you meet the requirements, which usually includes, nature and circumstances of offense,  ties to the community, employment and  prior criminal history, then the judge may allow you to be released pretrial services without paying a monetary fee. This means that you must report to pretrial services usually by telephone during the month and follow whatever other conditions are placed on your release. After you are released from the detention center then you can meet with your attorney and go from there. What...

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Hiring an Attorney: You Are Only As Good As Your Attorney

By on Jul 23, 2014 in Criminal Blog, Divorce Blog, Personal Injury Blog | 0 comments

“What should I consider when hiring an attorney?” Sometimes prospective clients call and make appointments to meet with me at my office to discuss their cases. But some people call on the phone and hire me without seeing me in person. Often I am hired  to handle personal injury and criminal cases where the client  resides outside of Key West, Florida (or the country) and I may never meet them!  The first thing I do is listen to their recitation of the facts and ask questions. Then I evaluate the case and give my opinion of whether we can accomplish their objectives (or not). But the fundamental thing to remember is that you are only as good as your attorney. This applies to criminal, personal injury (PI) and family law cases. The following are some things to think about when you are getting ready to hire an attorney: “What are you looking for in an attorney?” You want an attorney who cares about you and your case. You do not want an attorney who is going to put your file in the cabinet and forget about it until it is time to do something. You want an attorney who is conscientious and knowledgeable about your field of law such as criminal, PI and family law cases. “Is your lawyer qualified to handle your case?” Look for a qualified, competent  trial attorney and office staff but also look to see if you like the person and the persons you will be having to work with in your case. When I say, “work with” – you are an indispensable part of the equation because you have certain obligations in your case. For instance, I tell all prospective PI clients that you will have to make yourself physically available in Key West at least 3 times during this case: for a deposition, mediation (prior to trial) and at trial. If you are not willing or able to do this then I cannot take your case. You may be in a relationship with your attorney for a long time! If you don’t like your attorney then the litigation process is not going to be pleasant. Then you can follow up on their website...

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Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage

Divorce / Dissolution of Marriage

By on May 1, 2014 in Divorce Blog | 0 comments

The official term for divorce in Florida is “dissolution of marriage.”  Florida is one of the many states that has removed fault as a ground for divorce. In order to get divorced, only one person has to only allege that their marriage is irretrievably broken. The only requirements are as follows; You must prove that a marriage exists  one party has been a Florida resident for six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition and the marriage is irretrievably broken. The courts are generally uninterested in the reasons for the divorce, but sometimes the reasons can be relevant. Fault, may be considered under different situations for the award of alimony, distribution of marital assets and liabilities, and determination of parental accountability. Each divorce case is distinctive and, therefore, consequences are different from case to case. Your case can take as little as 20 days or last as long as it takes to have a trial before the judge. The divorce process can be very emotional and painful for the spouses, but especially the children. Marriage partners often do not know their legal rights and obligations. Court clerks and judges can answer some of your questions but are prevented from giving you legal advice. Only your divorce attorney can provide you the advice you need for your legal proceedings. This why it is so important who you choose to be your lawyer; Divorce Attorney Key West Victoria McFadyen has handled many maritial law cases over the past ten years, and has gained the respect of the judges as well as other legal professionals in the area.  You can be guaranteed, she will handle your case with the utmost of care, and get you what you...

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What a Key West Personal Injury Attorney Does

What a Key West Personal Injury Attorney Does

By on May 1, 2014 in Personal Injury Blog | 0 comments

A Key West personal injury attorney has many things to contend with, the least of which is the opposing attorney. There is all sorts of behind the scenes work required in order for them to do the best job and win you the highest settlement possible for your case. You may be wondering what I am talking about. Well, let’s start with accident reconstruction. An attorney will have to work well the police department, obtaining the police report, and then hiring someone to help them reconstruct the accident, using not only the report, but eyewitness testimony, as well as your testimony about what happened. This can be very time consuming, trying to get it all right, and making sense out of conflicting reports and a pile of twisted metal. It is important that they take into consideration road and weather conditions that may have made a difference in the accident itself, such as a driving rainstorm, high winds or bright blinding sunshine. Sometimes the key to what really happened lies in the way the sun was reflecting off an object, thus obscuring the drivers line of sight and causing an accident to occur. The best Key West personal injury attorney will have a knowledgeable staff, complete with persons who know how to ask the right questions when interviewing potential witnesses. Sometimes it’s the question that doesn’t get asked that leads to trouble down the road in a court case. What you never want to have happen in court is to ask a question you don’t know the answer to. That leaves you wide open for all sorts of things to pop up and wave their ugly head around. Proper interviewing of witnesses prior to the court date is just another one of those behind the scenes things your attorney will be taking care of for you. Filing the proper paperwork at the proper time is another one of those behind the scenes things that people don’t give a thought to. Courts have many deadlines to make, and if one gets missed, then you run the risk of having your case thrown out of court before it ever gets close to a settlement. A good Key West personal injury attorney...

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Why you need a Key West Criminal Attorney

Why you need a Key West Criminal Attorney

By on May 1, 2014 in Criminal Blog | 0 comments

You are going up for criminal charges in court. It doesn’t matter if you really did the crime or if you are just accused of it, you need a Key West criminal attorney to help represent you. Some people think they can represent themselves, and that attorneys are reserved only for major cases. If you are facing jail or prison, fines or any other penalty, then you need a criminal attorney at your side. This post will detail everything an attorney can provide you during a case. Knowledge and Experience A good Key West criminal attorney will know everything about the law that concerns your case. It takes an individual days or even weeks of constant research to understand all of the laws governing their case, but a lawyer will already know the essential information, and thus will be very useful for proving your innocence or decreasing your charges. The attorney will also be knowledgeable about past cases that might be similar to yours. This can help sway the judge and jury to remove or decrease your penalties. Assess Case Variables A large percentage of cases are actually thrown out because police officers, other attorneys or someone else in the proceeding did not follow through with the correct legal procedures. There is no way that an individual will have this specialized knowledge, but a criminal attorney might have all of your charges dropped based on improper proceedings. The attorney also knows how to find people that can help with your case. For example, the attorney can find an expert witness that might be able to remove all of your charges. Reduce Sentences Sometimes there is no way for even the best attorney to make the jury find you innocent, but the attorney can still help. Attorneys know how to reduce sentences and strike bargains that will decrease your jail time or fines by a significant margin. While you might be able to strike these bargains if you represent yourself, the fact is that most prosecutors will not deal with individuals when it comes to bargaining. Conclusion If you are facing any sort of criminal penalty, then you need a Key West criminal attorney. Criminal attorneys are there to help...

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