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Walton County, Florida Basic Child Support Calculation

In Walton County  family law cases where minor children are involved, one of the most  litigated issues is the calculation  of child support to be paid on behalf of the minor child(ren).  In Florida, the legislature has passed a child support guideline that presumptively establishes the amount due based on the combined monthly net income of the parents (See: Section 61.30, Florida Statutes).   Each parent’s percentage share of child support shall be determined by dividing each parent’s net monthly income by the combined net monthly income. (The dollar value shall be determined by multiplying the child support amount by each parent’s percentage share of the combined net monthly income.)   The gross monthly income for each parents shall be determined by:

– Salary or Wages;

– Bonuses, Commissions, Allowances or Tips;

– Business income from sources such as self-employment, partnership, close corporations, or independent contracts;

– Disability Benefits;

– Workers’ Compensation Benefits or Settlements;

– Unemployment Compensation;

– Pension, Retirement, or Annuity Payments;

– Social Security Benefits;

– Spousal Support received in a previous marriage or the marriage before the court;

– Rental Income;

– Income from Royalties, Trusts, or Estates;

– Reimbursed Expenses or In Kind Expenses;

– Gains from Property Dealings

Generally, child care costs and health care costs that are prepaid by a parent shall be deducted from that parent’s percentage share of child support.  Retroactive child support may be ordered for a period not to exceed twenty-four months where the parents were not residing together witht he child.

This demonstrates the basic formula used to calculate child support in Walton County, Florida.  As with any legal issues, there are exceptions and/or variances that for the basic child support calculation that will be discussed in greater detail in a later post, which are laid out in Florida Statute 31.30.

Jeremy S. Keich is a Walton County Divorce Attorney  representing clients in matters involving divorce, child custody, child support and paternity issues.  None of the information contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice nor shall the communication be construed as forming an attorney-client relationship.  For more information about Jeremy S. Keich or to contact him about a Walton County or Okaloosa County Family Law Matter please visit www.keichlaw.com or call (850) 460-2989.

Walton County, Florida Spring Break Offenses

Destin, Florida has become a hub for college students from the southeast, midwest and beyond as a favorite spring break destination.  Each year the month of March earmarks the beginning of the busy season for the hospitality industry and  local law enforcement agencies.  For the Okaloosa Sheriff’s Office and Walton County Sheriff’s Office, the arrival of college students for spring break  means a dramatic increase in alcohol related offenses including minors in possession (MIP), DUI, open container and disorderly intoxication.

The most common offense for college students is “Possession of Alcoholic Beverages by Persons under the age 21″  (Minor in Possession) – Florida Statute 562.111.  In fact, earlier today I learned that just this weekend alone, nearly two hundred notices to appear were issued by the Walton County Sheriff’s Office Beach Patrol Division for this offense.

For an individual who has received a citation for minor in possession(MIP), the law reads in pertinent part: ” It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years…to have in his or her possession alcoholic beverages.”

Law enforcement travel on foot and on ATV looking for unsuspecting college students who may be in possession of a beer can, bottle , or mixed drink and whom they believe to be underage.  See: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/articles/spring-48251-beach-breaker.html

A first violation of this law is punishable as a second degree misdemeanor and could result in the suspension or revocation of the individual’s driver’s license.  In some counties, subsequent convictions may result in jail time.

If an individual receives a Notice to Appear for Minor in Possession or is Arrested for Minor in Possession while in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach or anywhere in Okaloosa or Walton County, Florida, I recommend that person consult with a Destin criminal defense lawyer.  An attorney may be able to assist the individual in obtaining pretrial diversion or a deferred prosecution so the student may be able to avoid a conviction.

Jeremy S. Keich is a Destin criminal defense attorney with offices in Destin(Okaloosa County) and DeFuniak Springs(Walton County).  As a Destin criminal defense lawyer, I have helped clients resolve these spring break offenses and alcohol related offenses.

If you have been charged with minor in possession, driving under the influence or any other criminal offense while in Destin, Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Northwest Florida  during spring break, feel free to contact this Destin Criminal Defense Lawyer at (850) 460-2989 or visit http://www.keichlaw.com for  more information.

WARNING: Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice nor should it be construed as an attorney-client relationship.

Destin/Fort Walton Beach Assault and Battery

As a criminal defense attorney I often have clients from Okaloosa or Walton County who have been arrested for assault or battery.  Both of these offenses are misdemeanors.  Each however has a felony counter part (i.e. aggravated assault, felony battery, battery by strangulation, and aggravated battery).

In Florida an assault is defined as: “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.”  ( See Section 784.011, Florida Statutes).

A Battery occurs when a person actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other or intentionally causes bodily harm. (See Section 784.03, Florida Statutes).

In Florida a battery constitutes a first degree misdemeanor which is punishable by up to  no more than a year in jail or twelve months probation.  While jail time may not be required, the prosecutor will likely ask for probation,  fines/court costs and attend anger management if convicted in Okaloosa or Walton County as charged.  A domestic violence battery may entail more severe punishment.

Further, a person who is convicted of battery may face further implications as it is considered a violent criminal offense and could impact his or her employment status.

One of the most common defenses to a charge of battery is self-defense or justifiable use of non-deadly force.  Often the person who is arrested for battery may not be the initial aggressor but simply the person who caused the most injury or “threw the last punch”.

If you have been charged with battery in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, DeFuniank Springs, Crestview or anywhere else in Okaloosa County or Walton County I recommend that you consult with a criminal defense attorney about your case.

About the author: Jeremy S. Keich is a practicing criminal defense lawyer with offices in Destin and DeFuniak Springs who has handled assault and battery cases during his tenure as a criminal defense lawyer.  To contact Mr. Keich please call (850) 460-2989 or visit his  professional website at http://www.keichlaw.com for more information.

WARNING: No information in this blog should be construed as legal advise nor as an attorney-client relationship.

Destin/Fort Walton Beach Driving Under the Influence(DUI) Penalties

Image If you live in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area (or are visiting the area for Spring Break) and are arrested for DUI, you should be aware that a conviction for DUI carries mandatory penalties as established by the Florida Legislature.  In addition to  those mandatory penalties, the local courts may also impose other penalties as a result of your conviction for DUI.

For persons convicted of DUI in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach those Penalties Include:

1. Pay Fines and Court Costs

2. Probation

3. Suspension of Driver’s License

4. Vehicle Impound

5. Community Service Hours

6. DUI School

7. Ignition Interlock

8. Jail Time

9. Vehicle Impact Panel

All of these examples are either  required, or common examples of penalties associated with a DUI conviction in the Destin/Fort Walton Beach area.  However, additional penalties or enhancement of the aforementioned penalties may occur when one of the following facts exists in your case:

– Children are in the Car

– BAC (breath/blood alcohol content) above 0.15

– damage to person or property (if serious bodily injury occurs to the other party then the charge of DUI could become a felony)

I first and foremost recommend and urge all to abstain from operating a motor vehicle after consumption of alcohol.  However, if you have been charged with DUI in the Destin/ Fort Walton Beach Area I  also recommend you speak with an attorney about your case prior to entering a plea to this charge.

Jeremy S. Keich is a Destin criminal defense attorney with offices in Destin(Okaloosa County) and DeFuniak Springs(Walton County).  As a Destin criminal defense lawyer, I have helped clients resolve DUI and alcohol related offenses.

If you have been charged with  driving under the influence or any other criminal offense while in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach, DeFuniak Springs  or anywhere in Northwest Florida  , feel free to contact this Destin Criminal Defense Lawyer at (850) 460-2989 or visit http://www.keichlaw.com for  more information.

WARNING: Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice nor should it be construed as an attorney-client relationship.

Destin/Fort Walton Beach Spring Break and Minor’s in Possession of Alcohol

Well, we are about three weeks away from the official start of the 2012 College Spring Break period.  With the start of spring break, we will see an increased presence of law enforcement officers patrolling the sugar white sands of our Destin/Fort walton Beaches looking for unlawful, criminal activity..

Spring Break sees a spike in criminal charges of driving under the influence and other alcohol related crimes.  One of the most common criminal offenses in Okaloosa County and Walton County for the college spring break population is “Possession of Alcoholic Beverages by Persons under the age 21″  (Minor in Possession) – Florida Statute 562.111.

The law reads in pertinent part: ” It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 years…to have in his or her possession alcoholic beverages.”

Law enforcement travel on foot and on ATV looking for unsuspecting college students who may be in possession of a beer can, bottle , or mixed drink and whom they believe to be underage

A first violation of this law is punishable as a second degree misdemeanor and could result in the suspension or revocation of the individual’s driver’s license.In some counties, subsequent convictions may result in jail time.

If an individual receives a Notice to Appear for Minor in Possession or is Arrested for Minor in Possession while in Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Santa Rosa Beach or anywhere in Okaloosa or Walton County, Florida, I recommend that person consult with a Destin criminal defense lawyer.

Jeremy S. Keich is a Destin criminal defense attorney with offices in Destin(Okaloosa County) and DeFuniak Springs(Walton County).  As a Destin criminal defense lawyer, I have helped clients resolve these spring break offenses and alcohol related offenses.

If you have been charged with minor in possession, driving under the influence or any other criminal offense while in Destin, Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Northwest Florida  during spring break, feel free to contact this Destin Criminal Defense Lawyer at (850) 460-2989 or visit http://www.keichlaw.com for  more information.

WARNING: Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice nor should it be construed as an attorney-client relationship.

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