Change Your Name Legally

How to Legally Change Your Name

There are many reasons why you may want to change your name. According to Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, the most common motivations behind legal name changes are marriage, divorce, adoption, and custody change. Perhaps you simply want a new name! Here’s how to successfully navigate the legal name changing process:

  1. The first and most important step of a legal name change is choosing what you would like your new name to be. If you’re getting married or divorced, this choice is probably very simple. However, if you choosing a brand new name there are a few rules you must follow. Your new name cannot be generally offensive, violent, or racially charged. You are also not permitted to choose the name of a celebrity, like Brad Pitt or Taylor Swift.
  2. Find all necessary materials and documents. This will differ slightly depending on what state you live in, but in general you will need a petition for Change of Name, your social security card, your birth certificate, a valid photo ID, and an order to show the reason behind your Change of Name.
  3. Once you have gathered all your forms and materials you must file them with the correct court. You will be asked to sign and date all forms at your local court, as well as pay a fee of $100-$200.
  4. The next step is a court hearing. During the hearing, the judge will review your documents and petition and will decide whether or not to grant you a legal change of name. Most name change hearings are quite short and simple.
  5. Lastly, begin the transition into your new name. This includes informing all governmental, financial, and business institutions of your new name. Some necessary institutions to notify include your school, bank, post office and place of work.

Florida Marijuana Possession

Arrested for marijuana possession in Florida?

Marijuana possession is one of the most common crimes faced by citizens in Florida. The intricacies of marijuana possession law make it extremely defendable, and with the right lawyer a charge such as this can be dismissed. According to the criminal defense lawyers at Flaherty Defense Firm, law enforcement can be especially overzealous when prosecuting marijuana possession cases, looking to make an example of those accused.

In Florida, the amount of marijuana you are arrested with is extremely important in deciding the legal classification of your case. Less than twenty grams is a first degree misdemeanor, and may result in one of several punishments. These include up to one year in jail, up to one thousand dollars in fines, and up to one year of driver’s license suspension. Smaller quantities such as this can often be plead out to a smaller sentence, but this type of deal requires the expertise and connection of a trained legal professional. Alternatively, possession of over twenty grams carries more extreme consequences. The potential prison time increases to five years, and the fines increase to five thousand dollars. A skilled lawyer is even more necessary in these cases, as they can reduce the penalties drastically.

Possession in Florida comes in two varieties, “Actual” and “Constructive”. Actual Possession means the marijuana is in the directly in possession of the person. This includes inside pockets or within reach, such as inside the glove compartment. Constructive Possession has a slightly different definition. The marijuana must be in a place the defendant has control over, or the defendant must have attempted to conceal it. Florida is somewhat unique in the fact that multiple people may be charged with “joint possession” of a substance. In this case, each person is considered to be in possession.

Dog Bite Injuries

Dog Bite Injuries – The Basics

Dogs are known as man’s best friend, but unfortunately, not all dogs are the sweet and cuddly pets that we know and love. In fact, dog bites account for about 90% of all animal bites in the United States. There are currently around 70 million dogs living in the US and an estimated 4.5 million dog bite incidents occur each year. In 2013 alone, 31 people died from causes related to a dog bite.

According to Spiros Law, P.C., some of the most common injuries and complications that come from dog bites include severe lacerations and puncture wounds, fractured bones, disfiguring scars, life-threatening infections, severe contusions, and nerve damage. About 27,000 dog bite victims undergo reconstructive surgery each year.

There are a few ways to avoid dog bite incidents. For example, stay away from dogs you don’t know and never leave a young child alone with a dog, whether it is familiar or not. When approaching a dog, it is best to do so slowly and give the dog a chance to approach you. Also, never approach or try to play with a dog that is eating or a female dog that is feeding her puppies. If you find yourself in a situation with an aggressive dog, do not panic or run and scream. The best thing to do here is back away slowly and avoid eye contact with the angry canine.

If you have been bitten by a dog and your injuries are not severe, you may feel like you can treat yourself at home and avoid the emergency room. However, it is always best to seek medical attention after a dog bite, especially if the dog was unfamiliar to you. If the bite is deep, you cannot stop the bleeding, or there are any signs of infection, seek medical help right away.

Drinking and Boating

The Danger of Drinking and Boating

Throughout the years there have been many high profile boating accidents. Miami Marlin’s pitcher José Fernández died in a boating accident off Miami Beach on February 25, 2016, joining thousands of other victims in 2016. Many of these accidents are the result of rough water conditions, but others are caused by driver recklessness or operator inattention. In order to avoid tragic consequences, it is important to stay informed on the risks and rules associated with open water boating.

First, the risks. Open motorboats are most frequently involved in accidents, with forty seven percent of all reported accidents occurring in these vessels. Additionally, causalities in open motorboats last year totaled sixteen hundred and seventy two. Common risk factors vary depending on the location and type of body of water. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous, and laws prohibiting this behavior are enforced just as strictly as drunk driving laws. Unfortunately, the nature of these crimes makes them hard to enforce. Driving too close to other boats is another common cause of accidents. In order to properly prepare and keep you and your loved ones safe, the lawyers at Clawson and Staubes, LLC: Injury Group recommend acquiring a nationally approved boating safety certificate.

Laws associated with boating are similar to rules of the road. In North Carolina, any person younger than fourteen years old may not operate a boat legally. If the driver is fourteen or fifteen years old, they must be accompanied by someone eighteen years or older. North Carolina law enforcement patrols the water to keep conditions safe, so it is crucial that you carry your boater education card. Not carrying this card could result in a hefty fine.

Do not get caught off guard when boating. Prepare and be safe.