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Tallahassee Florida Legal Blog

Millennials and medical debt

Medical debt is a common source of financial struggles for Americans. This may especially be the case for younger Americans, according to a recent study.

Among the data the report looked at was data from the anonymized credit records of millions of Americans. The study looked at how common it was to have past-due medical bills on a credit report. The study found that around one-sixth of Americans had such marks on their credit reports.

The use of digital evidence in a criminal case

Evidence in a criminal trial includes all potentially relevant information from both sides of the case. Prosecutors and defense attorneys gather evidence to corroborate their arguments and have a growing number of sources from which to draw.

Digital sources in particular have grown in popularity, bringing with them added complications to the evidence-gathering process. Not only is digital evidence useful in alleged electronic crimes like identity theft and phishing, but it’s also relevant to establishing a case for other alleged crimes committed offline.

Is burglary a felony in Florida?

Here in Florida, going into in a vehicle, building or home without authorization with the intent to commit a crime is burglary. The state's definition of burglary also covers certain instances of remaining on such premises with the intent to commit a crime. Under state law, burglary is a felony offense.

However, burglary crimes vary in how severe of felonies they are. This is because, in Florida, there are three felony degrees burglary crimes can fall under: third, second and first.

Having debt during your retirement years

There are many things people may want their retirement to include. Debt is generally not one of them. However, having debt is an increasingly common reality for retirees here in the United States.

This can be seen in statistics from a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Reportedly, in 1998, a little over half (53 percent) of households ages 55 and over held debt. In 2016, the portion of households in this age group that had debt jumped to over two out of three (68 percent).

Planning concerns for single seniors

It is not uncommon for people to live alone in their later years. According to federal data, here in the U.S., around 19.5 million individuals age 65 and over were unmarried in 2016. Special concerns can arise for elderly individuals who live by themselves.

This includes concerns over long-term care. These concerns can be particularly strong for single seniors without kids. Elderly individuals with a spouse or kids may be able to get care support from these family members, including family caregiving. However, single seniors often don’t have these types of support structures to fall back on when big long-term care needs come up.

What is wire fraud?

Federal fraud charges could result in major consequences. This is certainly the case for wire fraud charges.

For one, a conviction of this federal offense can lead to a major prison sentence. The general maximum prison sentence for wire fraud is 20 years. However, it can be even higher under certain circumstances. For example, when wire fraud affects a financial institution, the maximum sentence rises to 30 years.

Lower foreclosure rate makes those occurring more painful

A look at the trends in data over the course of the last 10 years suggests the worst pains of the Great Recession are over. A widely available graph of new foreclosure filings shows that they spiked in 2010 in Leon County, but have steadily declined since then. As we work through 2018, however, some real estate watchers observe that filings are starting to creep up again.

That, of course, does not a trend make. And what is more important to acknowledge is that while the numbers are low, the trauma that foreclosure represents to a family doesn't diminish. If anything, one could argue that having fewer people in the same boat only makes foreclosure harder. If you are facing foreclosure, you deserve to be heard and have your options for defense explained.

Why teenagers might shoplift

Shoplifting is often perceived as a minor crime, but there are approximately 27 million shoplifters in the United States alone. Shoplifting impacts more than the shoplifter. It contributes heavily in security costs for stores, prices for merchandise, lost dollars in sales taxes that go to local communities and the overburdened court room.

Many teenagers are aware of the damages shoplifting causes, but a few still continue to participate anyways. Most people assume teens shoplift out of rebellion; however there can be several reasons why a teenager chooses to shoplift.

How the new tax law could affect your estate plan

When President Trump signed the Tax Cut and Jobs Act last December, many people understood that their taxes were likely to change significantly. Tax planners and CPAs are currently working with their clients to prepare for all the changes to tax law.

What has received less attention is how the tax law changed certain elements of some individuals' estate plans. Depending on your specific circumstances, you may need to modify your estate plan to better accomplish your goals.

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