Criminal Defense and Family Law Firm in St. Augustine, Florida
Law Office of Shorstein & Lee305 Kingsley Lake Drive
St. Augustine, Florida 32092
Contact Mr. Bryan Shorstein
Law Firm Overview FREE CONSULTATIONThe Law Office of Shorstein & Lee has an excellent reputation for honest, fair, and competent representation of our clients. With more than 30 years combined experience as prosecutors and in private practice, we have the experience to handle your case. We exclusively handle criminal law and family law matters. The continuing success of our practice is due to our commitment to simple principles: being completely honest with our clients, working hard on their behalf, and gaining the best possible results in each and every case.
In the courtroom, our lawyers have had great success. We have obtained "not guilty" verdicts or dismissals on a long list of criminal cases, including homicide, sexual assault, drug distribution, battery, and a variety of traffic offenses, including driving under the influence. If your case goes to trial our experience and reputation will guide you. We consult closely with our clients if they wish to avoid the stress of a trial, we will work toward a favorable settlement through negotiation.
Our office is in St. Johns County, and we practice primarily in St. Johns and surrounding counties such as, Duval, Clay, Putnam, and Flagler. We have also represented clients in Alachua, Nassau, Volusia, Brevard, Orange, Bradford, Madison, Marion, Leon, Martin, and Columbia counties. Our office offers payment plans and accepts all major credit cards. We also offer evening and weekend appointments for your convenience.
Areas of Law
Areas of Law Description
The Law Office of Shorstein & Lee offers legal services on the following areas of practice:
- Criminal Defense
* DUI Defense
We are committed to defending the rights of individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Our lawyers have the experience and knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome for you or your loved one. We believe it is important for our clients to understand the charges against them, as well as the implications of the charges. We have defended hundreds of clients charged with DUI in Florida. Our experienced DUI attorneys have a unique perspective when it comes to criminal defense cases such as drunk driving.
* Drug Offenses
Drug offenses can be basically be broken down into 3 types of drug charges, trafficking, selling, and possession. The most serious of the drug crimes are the trafficking crimes. The biggest misconception about trafficking drugs is that most clients think that in order to be charged with trafficking, you have to be selling it. In Florida, trafficking is defined as selling, manufacturing, delivering, purchasing, OR simply possessing the drug.
* Domestic Violence
In the State of Florida, Battery is defined by "actually and intentionally striking another person against their will; OR intentionally causing bodily harm to another person". Domestic battery is when it involved a spouse, former spouse, relative, people who live together or formally lived together as well as people with children together. In Florida, the 1st Domestic Battery charge is a misdemeanor. The 2nd, and subsequent Battery charges (of any kind, domestic or not) is a felony and is frequently charged that way.
* Sex Offenses
Even being charged with a sex crime is often very damaging to someone because of the damage it does to a defendant's reputation, regardless of the eventual outcome. It is important to talk to an attorney as soon as you become aware that you are being investigated for such a crime. Sex crimes are the most important crimes to have confident representation due to their very serious nature and consequences. Unfortunately, these are crimes where people are sometimes falsely accused due to the one-on-one, no witness, nature of crime.
* Juvenile Offenses
Juvenile cases are those where the person charged is under the age of 18. The penalties in the Juvenile system are significantly different than the penalties in the Adult system. If the child has never been in trouble, there are a few different types of diversionary programs that would allow the child to keep the charge(s) off his/her record. A diversion is similar to a probation in that the child will be given certain conditions to complete in a period of time, and if they are successfully completed without the child getting in anymore trouble, the State will dismiss the charges.
* Violent Offenses
Although there is no specific definition for the term "violent crime," these (and sex crimes) are generally the most serious crimes. Other than misdemeanor battery charges, all violent crimes are felonies. Below is a list of violent crimes and their corresponding sentences:
Aggravated Battery Or Aggravated Assault
* Theft Related Offenses
In Florida, a person commits theft if he or she knowingly obtains or uses, or endeavors to obtain or use, the property of another with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property. Theft cases can be felonies or misdemeanors depending on the amount taken. Like in every case, the goal is always to keep the person from being convicted. Most of the time in the theft cases, the main issue is restitution. If the defendant is able to fully or at least partially compensate the victim, they are in much better shape.
* Probation Violations
A Violation of Probation (VOP) occurs when a person is on probation and he/she either gets another charge (a new arrest) and/or a 'technical violation". Examples of technical violations include failed drug tests, not reporting to the probation officer on time, moving residences without notifying the probation officer, not attending classes, etc. If a person commits a crime while on probation OR gets a technical violation, the probation officer will send a VOP warrant to the Judge. The Judge will almost always sign this warrant and frequently do so with no bond. Thus, the person gets arrested and must sit in the jail on no bond until the court date set by the Judge, or until an attorney files a motion for bond hearing.
* Sealing Criminal Records
If you have never been adjudicated (convicted) of a crime, you are likely eligible to have your case sealed. There are certain crimes (such as many sex crimes) that cannot be sealed from your record. If you were arrested and the charge was dropped, you will be eligible to have your case expunged. If you were arrested and you got a withhold of adjudication, you will likely be eligible to have your case sealed. The physical difference between having a case expunged vs. sealed is that expunged means the records are destroyed while sealed means they ordered to be kept under seal. For your purposes, there isn't much of a difference; they still cannot be seen by employers, schools, etc.
* State Crimes
Our office handles all types of crime at the State level. Even if the crime you have been charged with is not specifically listed on this site, there is a very good chance that both Mr. Shorstein and Mr. Lee have prosecuted and defended that crime. We also handle cases that are prosecuted by the Statewide Prosecutors Office. These are cases that usually involve multiple co-defendants and/or multiple jurisdictions. These cases are usually felonies and are often very serious.
* Federal Crimes
If you are charged with a Federal crime, the rules are much different than they are in State courts. Mr. Lee has been an active member of the Middle District of Florida for many years. Both Mr. Shorstein and Mr. Lee have defended Federal cases in the past. Federal cases are always initiated by Grand Jury Indictment which is very good for the prosecutor in making the case against you. The Federal Prosecutors almost always have very solid cases. The discovery process in the federal system is different as are the sentencing guidelines.
- Family Law
Florida is a "no fault" divorce state, if either party wants a divorce and claims that the marriage is "irretrievably broken," then the Court will dissolve the marriage. The parties must be Florida residents for at least six months prior to filing. An uncontested divorce does not require any waiting period; however, all issues must be resolved prior to filing. A contested divorce usually takes at least a few months to reach a resolution. Divorce is a difficult time when many issues arise, both emotional and financial. Our family law attorneys provide excellent legal representation, we can guide you through the process and help you work toward an amicable resolution.
* Child Custody
When couples with children divorce or separate a determination must be made regarding parental responsibility and time-sharing (whether parties were married or not). In Florida the standard is "shared parental responsibility," which means both parents have decision-making power. The Court considers many factors in determining the appropriate "parenting plan" for the child(ren), including, but not limited to: who is more likely to allow access to the children and foster a relationship between the children and the other parent, and who can provide the children with the most stability.
* Child Support
When a couple has a child together, they are legally bound to support that child until he or she reaches the age of majority. The amount of child support to be paid is determined by a formula based on the parties' combined incomes and is shared between the parties based on their income relative to each other. Neither party can waive the support of a minor child; and if a party does not pay child support, they may face a suspension of their driver's license and possibly jail. There have been recent changes to the child support statute which substantially affect the outcome of many cases.
In Florida the Court considers several factors when determining whether to award a party alimony in a dissolution of marriage, including length of marriage. The alimony statute has recently changed, creating bright-line distinctions regarding length of marriage and presumptions of what type of alimony should be awarded (i.e. temporary or permanent).
Due to recent changes in Florida law, the term "visitation" is no longer used, the proper term is now "time-sharing." The Court considers many factors in making a determination regarding time-sharing and creation of a "parenting plan." Time-sharing is a complicated issue with many emotions involved; however, the best interest of the children is always the Court's priority and ours.
When a child is born outside of marriage paternity is legally established through a legal action by either parent. The father may acknowledge paternity or a DNA test can be performed. A birth certificate alone does not legally establish paternity. The Court must also make determinations regarding child support, parental responsibility, and time-sharing.
* Prenuptial Agreements
Prior to getting married some couples prefer to enter into a written agreement regarding their assets and liabilities in the event that they should ever decide to end their marriage. A solid prenuptial agreement can avoid much of the expense involved in divorce litigation by expressly stating the parties' intentions and providing for disposal of their assets. In Florida, a prenuptial agreement will only be held valid if the parties have made full financial disclosure prior to entering the agreement; both parties should also consult with an attorney prior to entering an agreement of this nature.
* Modification of Judgements
Often times, after a Final Judgment is entered by the Court in a family law case new issues will arise that need to be addressed by the Court. In order for the Court to consider modifying its previous judgment, the party making the request must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since entry of the Final Judgment. Once a substantial change in circumstances has been established the Court will make a determination based on the child's best interest. A Supplemental Petition reopens a case for new findings, and has similar legal requirements as the original proceedings.
* Motions for Contempt/Enforcement
When a party fails to comply with an order or judgment of the Court, most often when a party fails to pay child support, the non-offending party must file a motion with the Court to hold the offending party in contempt and request that the Court enforce the order or judgment. Passively waiting for the offending party to fulfill their duty could potentially prevent recovery by the non-offending party.
* Parental Relocation
In the event a custodial parent wants to relocate farther than 50 miles as part of a divorce, or after a determination regarding time-sharing has been made, they must comply with certain legal requirements. Under Florida Statute 61.13001 the parents must agree to relocation in writing or the Court will make a determination based on the best interest of the child(ren). The relocating parent has the burden of preparing and filing the necessary documentation, if they do not go through the proper channels the parent (and children) may be required to return to their previous hometown.
Mr. Bryan Shorstein
Criminal Defense, Traffic Ticket
Mr. Sung H. Lee
Criminal Defense, Family Law
Ms. Virginia Snyder Morgan
Criminal Defense, Family Law
More Information on Law Office of Shorstein & LeeFamily Attorneys in St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, FL Criminal Defense Lawyer
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DUI Defense Attorneys in St. Augustine, FL
St. Augustine, Florida Child Support Lawyer
Child Custody Law Firm in St. Augustine, FL
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