Archive: October 2021

October 28, 2021

Civil Trials vs Criminal Trials: What’s the Difference?

Legal trials often fall under many categories according to dispute, including civil and criminal. Due to the popularity of crime shows, the vast majority of the population is more familiar with the latter—highly publicized cases that involve catching a criminal and giving them a sentence to serve in jail or prison. However, people are more likely to face civil trials than criminal trials.

If you find yourself facing litigation, it’s vital to understand the difference between civil and criminal trials. Being aware of the distinction will help you know what to expect and how to proceed with the case. It will also help you make the best decision according to the facts and circumstances. However, the two categories sometimes overlap.

Here is a quick guide on the difference between civil trials and criminal trials:

What Is a Civil Trial?

Civil trials are often disputes between individuals or organizations, and these are often not as well-publicized as criminal ones. The lawsuit begins when a plaintiff brings a case to court against a defendant because the defendant did not carry out a legal duty they owe to the plaintiff. 

Both parties (the plaintiff and the defendant) could be a person or an entity (such as a corporation or group), and the suits may be brought in both state and federal courts. In civil cases, the plaintiff will request the court to demand the defendant to carry out the legal duty they owe or pay for the damages they have caused. Other times, they may be asked to do both. 

Violations of federal statutes and constitutional rights can call for civil trials. For instance, an individual or group can sue a local police department for infringing on their rights to a peaceful assembly. 

What Is a Criminal Trial?

Criminal trials occur when a person gets charged in a formal accusation referred to as information (for misdemeanors) or an indictment (for serious crimes or felonies). These involve offensive acts against the city, county, state, or federal government.

Unlike civil cases, the victims do not have to be involved in a criminal trial. In fact, some of these lawsuits do not have a specific victim. For instance, the government can arrest and prosecute a person for driving under the influence, which is a serious offense that can harm other citizens.

If a person is guilty of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, they will receive a sentence, which can come in many forms. They may pay a fine, become subject to supervision in the community, or reside in prison. 

Can Civil and Criminal Trials Overlap?

Civil and criminal trials sometimes overlap, and the defendant may face both cases at once. For instance, a person charged criminally with homicide can also be sued civilly for wrongful death.

Work with Experienced Criminal Lawyers in Jacksonville

Civil and criminal trials are two distinct fields that may confuse many people. The former deals with offenses against private parties, while the latter tackles violations against the state or federal government. Knowing their differences can help you understand how to proceed with your cases and seek the right lawyers for the job, so we hope this guide has helped you differentiate between the two.

If you’re looking for experienced criminal lawyers in Jacksonville, FL, let Dorsey Law JAX assist you. Our seasoned lawyers can help you get the best legal representation you need. Contact us today.   

October 22, 2021

Child Custody According to Florida Family Law: What to Know

In Florida, one of the biggest points of confusion for citizens is the process of divorce. Fortunately, the state’s current family laws provide straightforward insight into it.

If you’ve been contemplating the possibility of separating from your spouse, divorce is undoubtedly one of the best options for you. Whether the separation is because of infidelity, abuse, monetary issues, attitude problems, or other forms of irreconcilable differences, splitting up may be exactly what your family needs. 

Understandably, the prospect of seeking a divorce in the state of Florida can bring various concerns to mind because so much is at stake. And for spouses looking to separate, there’s one particular concern that must be settled: child custody.

Custodial Matters in the Context of Florida Law

Florida has a relatively amenable approach to facilitating custodial matters among spouses seeking divorces in the court of law. 

As one of the most delicate matters in the process of separation, child custody is understandably a priority for many. Fortunately, knowing how things will pan out during your separation doesn’t have to be a matter of guesswork, thanks to the State’s clear-cute guidelines found in the Florida Family Law. 

In any child custody or divorce proceeding in Florida, judges prioritize the children’s best interests as they do not give any preference to either parent. To decide how time-sharing will be allocated between parents, courts will go over each case’s specific facts and circumstances to determine the most appropriate custody arrangement. 

Florida Parenting Plan

Based on what is discussed and analyzed during proceedings (and a judge’s personal insights, observations, and overall judgment), courts will issue something called a parenting plan. This document outlines the specific details, commitments, and child custody arrangements that divorced parents must commit to. 

The best way to define a Florida parenting plan is that it’s a legal reference point that outlines how divorced parents must share the responsibilities and decision-making authority for their children. This document is required to describe the rights and obligations that separated parties have when caring for their kids, such as: 

  • A time-sharing schedule
  • Designations for which parent is responsible for health care
  • Designations for which parent is responsible for extra-curricular activities
  • Designations for which parent is responsible for school-related matters

Understanding Custody Time-Sharing Schedules

When going over the parenting plan you’ll receive upon the settlement of your divorce, one key component that will shed light on the outcome of your child custody is the listed time-sharing schedule. Depending on what you get, the time you spend with your children can vary: 

  • Two-week allocations
  • Weekly exchanges
  • 3-4-4-3 schedules
  • 2-2-5-5 schedules
  • 2-3-2 schedules

Do You Need A Lawyer To Help You Figure All Of This Out?

Legally speaking, a family attorney isn’t required in Florida child custody cases, but their services can be beneficial in terms of arriving at desirable settlements. Through the help of an expert like Dorsey Law JAX, you’ll have someone that can help you navigate the court system and advocate on your behalf in case litigation is required.


Divorce can be a rather complicated matter because of the many details that must be stipulated, especially so when it comes to custodial matters. Through the help of this guide and the key points mentioned above, you now have the necessary insight to act accordingly to attain your ideal custodial circumstances.

When going through legal disputes, it’s essential to have a respected lawyer stand by your side and give you the best legal advice possible. Finding an experienced and knowledgeable trial attorney in Jacksonville will mean that all of your needs are met. Contact our experts at Dorsey Law JAX today!

October 15, 2021

What to Do If You Get Battery Charges for Domestic Violence

Allegations of domestic violence are very serious and can have damning consequences. These days, allegations are treated with more urgency and aggression by law enforcement. This is particularly due to the increasing number of cases involving domestic abuse. On average, statistics show that around 20 people a minute experience such violence. 

As such, this is a grievous charge to be accused of. People accused will need legal assistance. Though someone may not worry over unfounded claims, the possibility of a conviction is still high, and the penalties are severe.

What is Domestic Violence Battery?

Domestic violence battery is defined as intentional and actual infliction of bodily harm to another individual who is a current or former member of your household. In Florida, this means your spouse (present or ex), any blood relations, parents with a shared child, and people who currently or have lived with you as a cohabitating family. 

It is considered in Florida law as a first-degree misdemeanor that incurs both fines and jail time. 

What Are the Consequences Incurred From These Charges?

Should a prosecutor deem you guilty, you will have to serve a mandatory sentence of a minimum of five days if the victim has suffered bodily injury. This can also be extended up to an entirety of a year. You will also receive a fine of up to $1,000, depending on the damages. There will also be a 12-month probation period, a “no contact” injunction, and compulsory attendance and completion of the 6-month Batterer’s Intervention Program.

Additionally, you will also have to perform a set number of community service hours and lose concealed carry rights, and so on. After such a conviction, you would lose rights to child custody, have trouble with future employment, and be blocked from certain loans and claims. 

If the conviction also comes with a sex offense, you will be registered on the sex offender registry. 

What to Do With Charges

If facing charges, speed is essential when it comes to getting a criminal law attorney. They will need as much time as they can get to assess the accusation, build a defense, and create a successful strategy to protect you from a conviction and severe penalties.

At this point, your lawyer should take the lead, and you simply have to comply with their requirements to build up your case. For instance, your lawyer will likely require you to provide evidence that the accuser may create false claims. 

This will all help your lawyer find the best strategy and cover all angles to make the defense. If there are any suspicious ulterior motives or a lack of evidence from the victim, this will all contribute to your case. As such, time will be of the essence in gathering all the necessary information.


If you or anyone you know has been accused of domestic violence battery, make sure to take these considerations into account. The most important step is to get reliable legal criminal law assistance immediately. This way, a defense can be built in a timely fashion.

Dorsey Law JAX has the top Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury. For any legal assistance in Florida, make sure to contact us now and get aggressive and expert representation.

October 15, 2021

A Quick Guide to Personal Injury Damages in Florida

Being in an accident is stressful on so many different levels. This is especially true if the accident has affected multiple aspects of one’s life and has also affected the person psychologically. While it may be easy for an outsider to tell a victim to seek help and treatment, the situation may look strikingly different from the perspective of the victim. 

If you find yourself in this difficult scenario, you may be wondering if you will still be able to recover the financial losses and damages you sustained as a result of the injury. The good news is that you may still be able to file a claim, but the key is to act fast. Knowing what to do will help you act promptly and ensure that you are taking the necessary steps to help secure a favorable result when it comes to your personal injury claim. This blog post will shed some light on the compensatory damages you may be able to claim and how to go about doing it. 

A Quick Guide to Personal Injury Damages in Florida

In truth, there are many types of personal injuries that can be recovered in Florida. However, having knowledge on how to properly file your claim may make all the difference. Below, you will find a quick guide as to how to file your personal injury claim in Florida. 

Compensatory Damages for Personal Injuries

There are two general categories of damages, and it is crucial that you know where your case falls under before you proceed.

1 – Economic Damages

These are damages that result in monetary loss for the victim. These could come in the form of lost wages or medical bills.

2 – Non-Economic Damages

On the other hand, non-economic damages have an effect that falls outside the monetary value that was lost to the victim as a result of the accident. Examples may include loss of limb, mental anguish, and other forms of pain and suffering. 

Steps to Recover Damages

Here are a few quick steps to help you recover as much as you can with your personal injury claim.

1 – Seek Immediate Medical Care

The first step is to seek immediate care after the injury and accident happened. Waiting too long after the injury may have the at-fault party question if you were indeed injured or not.

2 – Keep Good Records and Collect Evidence

Next, you need to remember to document the accident and your injury as much as you can. Take photos of the accident and keep any medical records and other pertinent documents that prove that you did sustain injuries because of the incident.

3 – Consult a Personal Injury Attorney

Lastly, it is crucial that you get into contact with a personal injury attorney to help you with each step of the procedure. 


In a nutshell, should the at-fault party try to low-ball you and present you with an offer, or if you are at a loss at how to begin the process to begin with, it is best to work with an attorney who specializes in dealing with compensation claims. These professionals will ensure that you will get the best counsel and give you solid advice to give you the best chances of garnering a favorable outcome for your case. 

Should you ever be faced with the need to file a personal injury claim, the professionals at Dorsey Law JAX can help! We are home to the top Jacksonville attorneys specializing in family law, criminal law, and personal injury. Contact us at (904) 394-2865 today!

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