FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I'm a student at the University of Florida and I was arrested. Can I be suspended or kicked out of school?
The University of Florida Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (SCCR) handles student discipline. They have really good online resources for students to review. See this page. You are entitled to an advisor during any proceedings, including the initial informational meeting with a member of SCCR staff. For minor offenses [MIP (minor in possession), Fake ID, misdemeanor possession of cannabis], you shouldn't expect to be suspended or kicked out. Those sanctions are typically reserved for more egregious offenses posing serious threat to students. Mr. Hutson is available to act as your advisor through that proceeding.
The police left a message with my roommate for me to call them, but I'm unsure if I should. What will happen if I don't?
Police investigations involve interviewing different categories of people: victims/accusers, witnesses, and suspects. Each of those persons may have a lawyer present when speaking with police. If you don't know why the police want to speak with you (and especially if you do), you should always speak with a lawyer before volunteering to be interviewed. Mr. Hutson will always take your call to discuss this type of situation, and help you determine whether it makes sense for you to lawyer up.
My business is being sued for an alleged breach of contract. I don't feel like we ever had a contract. What can I do?
If you or your business has been sued, you generally have 20 days to file a written response (an "Answer"), together with legal defenses, or you may be in default. That is, you may not be able to defend the claim. You should set a consultation with Mr. Hutson immediately. He will want you to email a copy of the lawsuit and all attachments served along with it. There may be defenses not only to the issue of whether a contract was formed, but also procedural defenses.
I was rear-ended in a car crash, and I went to the hospital. An investigator for the insurance company wants to talk to me. If I don't speak with her, will insurance still pay my claim?
Insurance investigators are professionals paid by the insurance company to (1) investigate claims on behalf of the insured to determine fault and potential exposure, and (2) reduce the potential exposure (money paid out by the insurance company). Simply, that person does not work for you. You should speak with a lawyer before engaging with an investigator or insurance professional. Mr. Hutson will gladly answer your questions for no charge.
My mugshot is on a few internet sites, and it's preventing me from getting a job. Can I get these removed or taken down?
Governor Rick Scott signed SB 118, which will take effect July 1, 2018, provides some relief in this regard. The new law provides that no person or entity may charge a fee for removing the mugshot from their website. Also, if the person or their representative sends by registered mail a letter to the person or entity who posted the mugshot requesting removal, the person or entity has 10 days to remove it or face possible injunction, $1,000 per day civil penalty and payment of the requestor's attorney fees.
I hit a parked car with my car, panicked and left the scene. Now the police want to talk to me. What should I do?
Before you contact or speak with the police, you should contact Mr. Hutson to discuss your rights and legal obligations. While you have a duty under Florida law to report the crash and provide certain information, you shouldn't do so in a way that unnecessarily implicates you in a crime.
If I enroll in drug/alcohol counseling, does that make me look guilty?
No. If you think you might need substance abuse counseling, you should be evaluated by a professional who can help you decide the type of counseling you need. Most of the time, the fact that a person sought treatment remains private if they wish. If and when the fact of treatment comes to light, most courts correctly view a person's entry into treatment as acceptance of a problem and willingness to take steps to deal with it. In almost 25 years of doing this, I've never seen counseling or treatment damage my client's case.