Entries by Stephanie Pawuk

Landlord Tenant Basics

Landlord Tenant Basics

I receive dozens of calls each month from individuals who want to know the landlord tenant basics when they are about to get evicted from a home.  The most usual scenario involves the tenant’s failure to pay rent, or receipt of an eviction notice.  Individuals are often surprised that even though they don’t own the home, they can be evicted or given a notice of tenancy termination which forces them to move.  … Read More

Felony Violation of Probation Bond

Felony Violation of Probation Bond

Felony Probation is tough – in fact it sucks.  But you’re not in prison, and you MUST push through it.  If you violate felony probation – you either are in jail – or are about to go.  (Note as of 9/26/16 I’m updating this blog – you may not have to go, if it’s your first violation and you enter into the Alternative Sanctions Program)

CALL any criminal defense Read More

Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense Lawyers

People sometimes ask if Criminal Defense Lawyers are useful in every case?  That is, are some cases just not worth hiring a lawyer for?  The short answer is probably not.

Take for example the recent case of  deranged murderer Austin Harrouff, from Florida State University.  So far, the evidence in that case shows a young man who goes to a family dinner and walks home.  A 911 call from his mother … Read More

Drug Trafficking

Drug Trafficking

When most people hear the words “Drug Trafficking” the immediate image that comes to mind is a shipment of crates, perhaps in the back of a small van, filled with hundreds of pounds of marijuana or cocaine.  Unfortunately, the crime is far more simple than that.  It really just has to do with the amount of drugs a person possesses.  In fact, it never has to be sold or transported anywhere.

In addition, … Read More

Fiance Visa

Fiance Visa

One of the roads to gaining lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. is through a Fiance Visa.  This process begins while your fiance is living in his or her home country and you file an I-129F petition on his or her behalf.  If the petition is ultimately approved, your fiance will be granted a K-1 visa.  This visa allows the fiance to enter the country for a period of 90 days, during … Read More

Permanent Resident Status

Permanent Resident Status

A common way to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident Status (Green Card) is through a family member.  Although there are many family members who can file a petition of support, the fastest way to obtain Lawful Permanent Resident Status is through a spouse.  This means that while you are lawfully here in the U.S., you and your U.S. Citizen spouse get married.  He or she then files a petition of support on … Read More

Update Your Address for Immigration

Update Your Address for Immigration

It may come as a surprise to many Lawful Permanent Residents that you must update your address for immigration records within ten days of moving!  The form used is called the AR-11 and requires no fee.  Some clients come to our office and with their green card in hand for some other service and indicate that they have not updated their address with USCIS in over ten years.  After all, … Read More

Spousal Privilege – Will I have to testify?

Spousal Privilege

Does the Spousal Privilege apply in the case of the Orlando Pulse shooter?  Can the police get the wife’s testimony of what she knew of the shooting?

Maybe.  It depends on whether or not those communications she made with her husband were meant to be confidential.

We often get this question from victims of domestic violence.  They may not want to testify against their husbands in a criminal trial.  They want to … Read More

DUI Blood Test

DUI Blood Tests

The U.S. Supreme Court  decided last week that making it a crime to refuse a DUI Blood Test is unconstitutional.  Does that they can’t give you a DUI blood test?  No.  They can, but they have to get a warrant.  And the states can’t make it a crime to refuse a blood test.

Breath test refusals are still criminalized.  In Florida, a refusal to take the breath test in a DUI investigation … Read More

Can I be convicted of Driving While License Suspended when I never had a Florida Driver’s License?

I Never Had a Florida Driver’s License – Driving While License Suspended or Revoked


DWLSR, or Driving While License Suspended or Revoked, is a common crime.  We handle so many of these cases every year, that we’re on a first name basis with the officer’s in the Department of Administrative Review. That’s where you go to apply for a hardship license when you driver’s license is suspended or revoked.

As most people know, … Read More

Bad Stop – Shouldn’t the evidence be thrown out?

Bad Stop

Is it possible for police to make a bad stop of a person, but find out later that there is an outstanding arrest warrant, to have the evidence thrown out in court?  Maybe.

The police have long been allowed to stop a person if they have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.  IF the police have reason to believe you have committed, or are about to commit a crime, they can frisk you.  That’s … Read More

Tampa crackdown on Boating Under Influence


Boating Under Influence

BUI, or Boating Under Influence, is a misdemeanor crime in Florida.  This weekend, June 24-26, 2016, Florida Fish and Wildlife officers will be cracking down on drunk boating throughout the state.  

Keep in mind that on a boat, any law enforcement officer can stop your boat for any reason. They do not need probable cause as in a DUI.  Types of law enforcement officers we’ve seen while boating in St Petersburg, … Read More

Willful Violation of Probation – What if I Didn’t know I was Violating?

What is a Willful Violation of Probation?


A Violation of Probation must be both “willful” and “substantial”.  That means that you had to:

  1. Know and understand all of the rules of probation.
  2. Purposely break those rules.
  3. Know that the rules were being broken.

Sounds easy right? Not always.

Probation is considered a “matter of grace, than of right.” (Lawson v. State, Florida Supreme Court, 1997).  Judges can always sentence someone to prison … Read More