Protecting Your Constitutional Rights By Stephan Lopez, Esq. The Constitution and Bill of Rights serve as the bedrock to our democracy. Among the most cherished of the first ten Amendments are our rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the right to bear arms. Yet, among the most heavily litigated are…

Supervisory Liability in Municipal Litigation Stephan Lopez, Esq., Supervisory liability in municipal litigation…Looking the other way can make you liable. Supervisory liability in municipal actions under §1983 cannot be based on the theory of respondeat superior, which is a theory that imposes liability on employers for the acts of the employees. See Monell v. Department of Social Services,…

Just Cause in Police Officer Discharge Cases By Stephan Lopez, Esq. Being Fired is Not the Same as Staying Fired. Police Officer discharge cases are often the most difficult cases for Police Departments to win at arbitration, in great part, thanks to the time-honored seven pronged “for just cause,” test set forth by Arbitrator Carroll R….

DUI Defense By Stephan Lopez, Esq., The Importance of a DUI Defense Lawyer An Arrest for DUI is a very serious matter that must not be ignored. REASONS NOT TO IGNORE A DUI ARREST: -A DUI in Florida is a mandatory conviction! -A conviction means that you were found guilty of a crime and your DUI…

Career Criminal – A Label You DON’T Want By Stephan Lopez Esq.,   Career Criminal Enhanced Sentencing—the past can truly come back to haunt you. Under Florida Law, a “career criminal” can be punished more severely than a person who is not.[1]Many family members have asked me, “why is my family member being punished for their…

The Reasonable Hypothesis of Innocence By Stephan Lopez Esq., Proven innocence took him from death row and life in prison to freedom. In Florida, in order for the prosecution to convict a person charged with a crime through circumstantial evidence, the state must present legally sufficient evidence that the person charged with the crime – and…

Juvenile Offenders By Stephan Lopez Esq., Juvenile Offenders in Florida—a different set of rules In Florida, as in most states, there is a separate court system that deals with juvenile offenders.  Who are juvenile offenders? Juvenile offenders are children, under the age of 18, who are alleged to have committed a delinquent act or violated…

By Stephan Lopez Esq., Constructive Possession: Even Without Actual Possession…You Could Be in Trouble! The old adage “possession is nine tenths of the law” means someone in actual possession of drugs is presumed to be in possession.  By contrast that should mean that those not in actual possession of drugs, i.e., the remaining “one-tenth” are not…

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