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Case Results

The attorneys of Albaugh Law Firm have achieved a long list of results for clients in St. Augustine and Jacksonville over the years, and we have proven our ability to achieve favorable outcomes for people facing a variety of different types of legal situations. Choose an area of law from the dropdown menu below to view examples of cases we have won for our clients, and then contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your own case and find out how we may be able to help you!

Categories

Consumer Law

Bankruptcy

Discharge of over $50,000 in Debt – 3/19/2015
Jurisdiction: Middle District of Florida – Jacksonville Division

Results: Discharge of over $50,000 in Debt through Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

L.P. lost her job about 2 years ago and had been struggling financially ever since. The further she got behind on her bills the more often the debt collectors started calling. L.P. attempted to explain her situation to the debt collectors but all they wanted was a lump sum payment that L.P. simply did not have. The harassing phone calls finally got so bad that L.P. called the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Attorney Ryan Albaugh has experience helping people who are facing debt collection lawsuits and harassing phone calls from creditors. He took the time to talk to L.P. about her entire financial situation and offered L.P. several different options. The strategy L.P. felt was best for her was to file for relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. L.P. had numerous debts to credit card companies as well as some delinquent medical bills. In total, L.P.’s credit report revealed she had over $50,000 in unsecured debt.

Having years of experience helping people file for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, attorney Albaugh carefully went through and detailed L.P.’s debts and assets in her Bankruptcy Petition. He attended the 341 Meeting of the Creditors with L.P. and assured that the trustee had all the information they needed to move L.P.’s case forward. Approximately 90 days after calling the Albaugh Law Firm for help, debt collectors had stopped calling, over $50,000 in debt had been erased, and L.P. had hope again for her financial future.

If you are someone you know is facing harassing phone calls from creditors or simply cannot figure out how to get financially ahead, call the Albaugh Law Firm today for a free consultation. We are here to help get you back on financial track.


Foreclosure Sale of Home / Bankruptcy

2/17/2015
Jurisdiction: Middle District of Florida – Jacksonville Division

Results: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Prevented Sale of Home

K.C. was self employed, having her own business in Jacksonville, Florida. The recent downturn in the economy cut K.C.’s monthly income almost in half. The problem was, K.C.’s bills remained the same and her 3 sons were actually costing more and more as they got older. K.C. sought assistance from a debt consolidation company that sent her an advertisement. They told her to ignore the Foreclosure Lawsuit that the bank had filed against her, that they would handle everything. Unfortunately, the company was a fraud. They took K.C.’s limited money and allowed a default judgment to be entered against her in the Foreclosure case. When K.C. finally figured out what had happened, her and her 3 sons were 4 four days from having their home sold at auction. K.C. called the Albaugh Law Firm for help and met with attorney Ryan Albaugh, who is experienced in handling both Foreclosure Defense and Bankruptcy in Jacksonville. Mr. Albaugh reviewed the case file and discussed options with K.C. They both determined that the best option for K.C. and her family was to file for Bankruptcy Protection under Chapter 13. Mr. Albaugh and his firm acted quickly to get the Bankruptcy filed for K.C., and the sale of her home was stopped. K.C. now has a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy plan to get back on financial track over the next 5 years. If you have been the victim of consolidation fraud or your house is set for auction due to a Foreclosure Lawsuit in St. Johns or Duval County, Florida, contact an experienced consumer law attorney at the Albaugh Law Firm today for a free consultation.


Debt Lawsuit

1/30/2015
Jurisdiction: Duval County Florida, Circuit Court

Result: Client Paid Only 50% of Debt

R.O. had lost her job and was unable to pay her credit card debt. R.O. tried to negotiate a payment plan on her own, but the credit card company refused and demanded full payment. The credit card company then filed a Debt Lawsuit against R.O. She contacted the Albaugh Law Firm and met with Debt Defense attorney Ryan Albaugh. Mr. Albaugh, knowing that credit card companies often sell their debts for less than 100%, he contacted the attorney for the credit card company and started negotiating. Mr. Albaugh was ultimately able to negotiate a settlement where R.O. would pay 50% of the debt in a lum sum payment and the lawsuit would be dismissed. This meant that even after paying her attorney fees, R.O. saved over $7,000. If a debt lawsuit has been filed against you contact an experienced Jacksonville debt defense attorney at the Albaugh Law Firm today to talk about your case.


Foreclosure Sale of Home / Bankruptcy

1/7/2015
Jurisdiction: Middle District of Florida – Jacksonville Division

Results: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Prevented Sale of Home

G.M. and K.M. were unable to keep up with their mortgage payments when G.M. experienced medical issues. They had attempted to work with their mortgage company to modify their loan, but the bank filed a Foreclosure Lawsuit against them anyway. G.M. started to get better and he and K.M. hoped they could catch up their payments. However, the bank moved forward with the Foreclosure Lawsuit and obtained a Judgment of Foreclosure against them. G.M. and K.M. were aware of this, but were still talking to the bank trying to save their home. What G.M. and K.M. didn’t know was that the bank had set their house for Auction Sale. G.M. and K.M. learned that their house was to be sold in 2 days. They immediately contacted the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Mr. Albaugh met with G.M. and K.M. to learn all he could about their overall financial situation. At the end of the meeting, it became clear that if G.M. and K.M. wanted to save their home the only way to do so was to file for protection under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. Mr. Albaugh acted immediately to get the Chapter 13 filed on behalf of G.M. and K.M. Once filed, Mr. Albaugh notified the Duval Circuit Court Judge handling the foreclosure matter and the sale of G.M. and K.M.’s home was stopped, 3 hours before it was to go to auction. As part of the Chapter 13 bankruptcy plan calculated by Mr. Albaugh, G.M. and K.M. were able to keep their home, and catch up their mortgage over 5 years. If your house is set to be sold at auction after as the result of a foreclosure lawsuit, contact a knowledgeable Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney at the Albaugh Law Firm today to discuss how to save your home.


Home Foreclosure

12/15/2014
Jurisdiction: Duval County, Florida

Result: Cash for Keys (clients given $5,000 and 90 days to surrender home)

D.S. & C.S. had fallen behind in their mortgage payments to the point that the mortgage company had filed a Foreclosure lawsuit against them in the Circuit Court in and for Duval County, Florida. They contacted the Albaugh Law Firm to discuss their goals and options once they were served with the lawsuit. Attorney Ryan Albaugh met with D.S. and C.S. to determine what defenses to the foreclosure lawsuit they may have and to discuss their overall goal with respect to the house. That meeting revealed that D.S. and C.S. felt that the house was worth so much less than their mortgage that it made sense for them to give it back to the bank. Rather than just tell the bank this right away and request a deed in lieu of foreclosure, Mr. Albaugh started negotiating with the bank. Through his negotiations, Mr. Albaugh was able to get the bank to give D.S. and C.S. 90 days to move out and surrender the house. More importantly to D.S. and C.S., however, was the fact Mr. Albaugh was able to get the bank to give D.S. and C.S. $5,000 for doing so. This is what is commonly referred to as a Cash for Keys settlement. Not only were D.S. and C.S. able to give the house back to the bank, but they received a cash payment to pay for moving and finding a new place to live in St. Augustine. If you are behind on your mortgage or have had a foreclosure lawsuit filed against you in St. Johns or Duval County, contact an experienced Foreclosure Defense lawyer at the Albaugh Law Firm today to discuss your options.


Collateral Source

5/5/2010
Ingenix v. Ham

Section 768.76(4), Fla. Stat., limits a collateral source provider’s right of reimbursement from a claimant’s recovery from a tortfeasor. It provides that the collateral source provider’s recovery: shall be limited to the actual amount of collateral sources recovered by the claimant from a tortfeasor, minus its pro rata share of costs and attorney’s fees incurred by the claimant in recovering such collateral sources from the tortfeasor. In determining the provider’s pro rata share of those costs and attorney’s fees, the provider shall have deducted from its recovery a percentage amount equal to the percentage of the judgment or settlement or settlement which is for costs and attorney’s fees.

The Second DCA holds that this provision controls over any provision to the contrary in a health insurance policy.

The health insurer was not entitled to reimbursement of the full amount of medical bills it had paid, even though the policy stated that it was. The insurer’s reimbursement had to be reduced by its pro rata share of costs and attorney’s fees.


Compulsory Medical Examination

4/23/2010
Gaskins v. Canty

In two recent decisions, the Fifth and Second Districts have clarified some of the parameters for compulsory medical examinations. While these examinations commonly arise under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.360, they also occur in other situations, for example, at the behest of an insurance company in a PIP case, or in a worker’s comp case pursuant to 440.25(7), Fla. Stat. The Supreme Court has applied the same analysis to all of these contexts. See U.S. Security Ins. Co. v. Cimino, 754 So.2d 697 (Fla. 2000) (holding that the person examined has the right to have their own attorney and a video camera or court reporter present). The Court has also recognized that the examining doctor is not “independent” and that the term “compulsory examination” may be more realistic. See Allstate Ins. Co. v. Boecher, 733 So.2d 993, 995 n.4 (Fla. 1999) (noting that Rule 1.360 “specifically provides that the witness ‘shall not be identified as being appointed by the court.’”)

In Gaskins, following the Court’s “liberal view” in Cimino, the court stated that the party being examined is generally entitled to have their attorney, videographer or court reporter present unless the other party establishes a case-specific reason why such attendance would disrupt it, and that no other examiner in the area woud conduct an examination with a third party present. The Gaskins court, like the Cimino court, quashed an order prohibiting the plaintiff from having their attorney or videographer at the examination.

In Prince, the court held that the defendant could not have its own videographer at the CME. It pointed out that the examination is “‘adversarial’and the plaintiff is entitled to protection.” The plaintiff is generally unsophisticated and is “placed in the awkward position of being physically examined by someone not of his or her choosing, who has no interest in the plaintiff’s well-being and not for medical treatment.”

The examining physician is an expert witness for the opposing party. The plaintiff must be protected from improper questioning about liability issues by the defendant’s doctor, and the plaintiff’s privacy must be protected. “The defendant has no such right and needs no such protection.”
The defendant’s attorney is not allowed to attend the examination, see Chavez v. J&L Drywall, 858 So.2d 1266 Fla. 1st DCA 2003), and, the court held in Prince, is not permitted to attend by proxy through a videographer. “If the examination is recorded by her own attorney, she has control of it. To allow a stranger into the examining room to record the examination on behalf of one’s opponent, to be viewed and used as the opponent sees fit, is completely outside the operation of the rule.”

Finally, the court in Prince held that the video is entitled to work product protection unless the plaintiff decides to use it at trial.


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Family Law

Our Client’s Motion for Contempt / Enforcement

Motion GRANTED – 3/2/2015
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County, Florida

In C.T. v. B.T., the parties filed for and were divorced in St. Johns County in 2013. At the time of the divorce, C.T. was suffering from severe mental illness. Despite her requests to have an attorney, B.T. took advantage of the situation and hired an attorney only to represent him. C.T. was unable to protect herself and the result was a divorce “agreement” drafted by B.T.’s attorney which was completely one sided and made very few concessions to C.T. Worse yet, the agreement claimed to allow B.T. to stop alimony payments whenever B.T wanted and to do so without penalty. As you may expect, B.T. stopped paying C.T. alimony after about 10 months. C.T. was left with no money, mounting bills and a marital settlement agreement that appeared to provide her with no protection. With so much at stake, C.T. turned to the Albaugh Law Firm for help.

Family law attorney Bill Arnau met with C.T. and discussed the issues. He also reviewed the original marital settlement agreement and started to formulate a strategy for getting around the no-penalty clause. Confident that he had a winning argument, Mr. Arnau filed a Motion for Contempt / Enforcement on behalf of C.T. and set the motion for hearing. At hearing, B.T. argued that the court could not enforce the alimony provision because the settlement agreement stated no penalty was available. Mr. Arnau argued otherwise and the court ultimately agreed. B.T. was ordered to pay nearly $3,000 in back alimony to C.T. Moreover, the Court ordered B.T. to continue to making alimony payments until C.T. passes away or remarries, extending the time period beyond the original agreement.

Contempt and Alimony are complex legal issues that require an experienced family law attorney who knows the way St. Augustine judges approach them. If you or someone you know is dealing with an alimony or contempt issue call the Albaugh Law Firm today to ensure you have the representation you need.


Defense of Motion for Contempt and Enforcement

Motion Denied – 2/11/2015

In T.W. v. S.W., the parties were divorced in St. Johns County over 15 years ago. Recently, Former Wife, S.W., filed a Motion for Contempt claiming that Former Husband, T.W., had failed to comply with the payment agreement in the original divorce documents. Former Wife’s claim was for over $6,000. Blindsided by this Motion and facing a judgment that could be financially devastating, T.W. retained attorney Bill Arnau of The Albaugh Law Firm to defend him against these allegations. Mr. Arnau went right to work preparing for the upcoming hearing by reviewing the original divorce documents, motion filed by Former Wife, and the supporting documents Former Wife filed with her motion. At the hearing, Mr. Arnau effectively cross examined Former Wife and argued that she had breached at least three material provisions of the original divorce agreement she was seeking to have enforced. This breach, argued Mr. Arnau, should prevent Former Wife from receiving the $6,000 she was seeking. The Court agreed, and Denied Former Wife’s motion. As a result, T.W. was not required to pay Former Wife anything. Being faced with Contempt is a serious matter. If a motion for contempt has been filed against you or you want to file a contempt motion against your ex-spouse, contact an experienced Family Law Attorney at The Albaugh Law Firm today for a free consultation.


Type of Case : Our Client’s Motion to Dismiss Petition for Domestication

Motion GRANTED – Case Dismissed – 4/3/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County Circuit Court

In P.P v. L.M., L.M., Former Wife / Mother, filed a Petition for Domestication of a Foreign Judgment. Mother, who had moved to Florida with the children filed her Petition to try and get our Court here in Florida to modify the time-sharing award in her Tennessee divorce case. P.P., Former Husband / Father, still lived in Tennessee, and called our office for help when he was served. Ms. McCray spoke to father at length and determined that he had no connection to Florida other than his children and ex-wife live here. Ms. McCray was concerned over the additional travel and cost to father if he was required to come to court in Florida. She also believed that mother may be trying to forum shop (change courts) to get an advantage. Ms. McCray carefully researched the issue and filed a Motion to Dismiss mother’s Petition on the grounds that only the Tennessee court had the authority to modify the Order. At the hearing, Ms. McCray argued that Tennessee has continuing exclusive jurisdiction, and provided the Judge with several cases to support her argument. The mother was unable to refute Ms. McCray’s case law and arguments. The Judge agreed with Ms. McCray and dismissed mother’s case. Not only did Ms. McCray win the case for father, but she did so without father ever having to leave Tennessee and come to Florida.


Type of Case: Our Client’s Emergency Supplemental Petition for Sole (Full) Custody

Petition GRANTED – 4/2/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County Circuit Court

In C.B. v. T.J., C.B., the father, contacted our office to help him file for full custody after T.J., the mother, was arrested for a felony. Ms. McCray investigated what C.B. had heard and determined that the mother had been arrested for Aggravated Battery, and that the incident happened while the children were in her care. Knowing that time was of the essence, Ms. McCray quickly filed a Supplemental Petition requesting that father be awarded 100% time sharing and parental responsibility for the children. Ms. McCray then set an emergency hearing so that her petition for a change in custody could be heard immediately by the Judge. At the hearing Ms. McCray pointed out the potential danger of allowing the children to be with the mother and that it was in the children’s best interest to be with father 100% of the time. The Judge agreed and entered a temporary order giving father sole custody of the children. At the final hearing the mother claimed she was not a danger to the children and denied using drugs. By making such claims under oath the mother underestimated Ms. McCray’s ability to prove the truth, and on cross examination Ms. McCray produced numerous photographs from social media sites of the mother using drugs. Ms. McCray also got mother to admit that she had recently left the children alone and asleep at home to go confront a neighbor she had a dispute with. Faced with the police report from that incident that Ms. McCray had, mother also had to admit that she got into a fight with the neighbor. To ensure the Judge had no doubts about keeping the children away from mother, Ms. McCray also called the counselor of the oldest child. The counselor testified as a witness that the child was extremely frightened by recent events in the mother’s home and mother’s comments to him that she would take him away so that he would never see his father again. The counselor recommended that the mother only see the children in a supervised setting. The Judge entered an order giving father sole custody of the children and required mother to have only supervised visits with them. Thanks to father’s quick thinking and Ms. McCray’s aggressive handling of the case, the children are safe in the care of their father.


Type of Case: Opposition to Modification of Time Sharing

Motion DENIED – 3/27/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County Circuit Court

In J. D. and J.D., mother was the majority time sharing parent and the other parent had time sharing every other weekend from Saturday to Sunday and one other night per week as agreed by the parents. After the divorce, both parties changed employment so that both were working traditional 9-5 jobs. Father filed a Supplemental Petition requesting a change in custody, seeking he be the majority time sharing parent. Mother called our office when she was served with father’s Petition. She was understandably upset that father was trying to take the children from her. Ms. McCray listened to mother describe the situation and formulated a strategy to defeat father’s motion. Attempts to mediate the issue and avoid a trial failed. At the trial, father argued it was in the children’s best interest to be with him the additional time and that he could take the children to school in the mornings. Ms. McCray was prepared for that claim and got father to admit on cross examination that it would actually be his new wife taking the children to school, not him. Ms. McCray then went further and called an administrator from the children’s school as a witness. The administrator testified that when father had brought the children to school in the past they were often late, not wearing their required uniforms, and were emotionally upset. Ms. McCray argued to the Judge that father was not in a position to have the children more, and a change in custody was not appropriate. The Court agreed and denied father’s attempt to get custody of the children. As a result, the children remain with mother where they belong.


Other Parent’s Motion to Dismiss Petition for Modification

Motion DENIED – 3/7/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County Circuit Court

In L.B v. J.B., Former Wife / Mother contacted our office because she wanted to file a motion to increase child support. The divorce had happened in Nevada, but mother and the child now live in California and father lives here in Florida. Ms. McCray evaluated the jurisdictional aspects of the situation and agreed that jurisdiction was properly here in Florida. She then filed a Petition for Modification of Child Support in Florida on mother’s behalf. Father hired another local attorney who believed Ms. McCray was wrong about jurisdiction. That attorney filed a motion to dismiss mother’s motion claiming that Nevada remained the proper place to file. At the hearing, Ms. McCray argued that Nevada no longer has authority to rule on child support issues because both parents and the child have left that state. Ms. McCray further argued that Florida is the proper State for jurisdiction since this is where father lives, and mother could not properly drag him into court in California. The Judge agreed with Ms. McCray and found that Florida was the proper place to litigate mother’s motion. As such, the Judge denied father’s motion to dismiss. Ms. McCray is now helping mother fight to increase her child support.


Injunction for Protection Against Domestic Violence

Injunction Dismissed – 2/28/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County Circuit Court

In L.H. v. D.H., Former Wife / Mother filed an Injunction for Protection against Domestic Violence on behalf of her minor children against Former Husband / Father. The filing of the injunction stopped Father’s timesharing with his children. Mother alleged that Father was plotting to kill her and that he was a danger to the children. Mother had the children fill out affidavits which were almost as identical as the twins themselves. Mr. Albaugh deposed the children (age 10) and was able to get them to admit that Father had never committed any act of domestic violence (assault, battery, stalking, etc.) against them and that they were not even personally afraid of Father. At the injunction hearing, Mr. Albaugh cross examined Mother and established that she was the only person who felt or told the children that Father was a danger to them. The Court concluded that Mother’s claim that the children’s awareness of Father’s desire to kill her was insufficient to support the issuance of a permanent injunction for protection against domestic violence protecting the children. Father’s time-sharing rights were immediately restored.


Injunction for Protection Against Stalking

Injunction Dismissed – 2/27/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County Circuit Court

In L.H v. C.H., Mother filed an Injunction for Protection against Stalking on behalf of her minor children against her former Father-in-law. Mother alleged that the Grandfather was stalking the children by showing up at their school, attending sporting events, and trying to call and text them. Mother further claimed that the Grandfather was mentally unstable and a danger to be around the children. Through testimony of the Grandfather and other witnesses at trial, Mr. Albaugh showed that Mother had been very close to the Grandfather and relied on him for childcare as recently as 2011. He also established that Mother’s change in attitude coincided with the Grandfather testifying on behalf of the Father at a relocation trial. In addition, Mr. Albaugh argued to the Court that the behavior complained of DID have a legitimate purpose, as it was designed to foster a relationship between the Grandfather and his grandchildren. Thus, a legal defense existed. Finally, he argued that if the Court found this behavior supportive of a stalking injunction that most grandparents, extended family, and family friends were at risk statewide. The Court agreed with Mr. Albaugh and dismissed the injunction.


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Traffic Law

Unlawful Speed Clocked by Airplane

Citation / Ticket DISMISSED – 2/25/2015
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County, Florida

Like many travelers heading north or south through St. Johns County, Florida, on Interstate 95, J.A. was stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol for speeding. He was cited for unlawful speed (allegedly going 93mph in a 70mph zone). J.A.’s case was different in that his speed was allegedly observed by a State Trooper patrolling in an airplane. The State Trooper in the aircraft used a stopwatch and pre-marked measuring points to determine J.A.’s speed and then coordinated with another State Trooper on the ground to stop J.A. and issue the citation. Concerned with the impact the ticket would have on his driving record and insurance rates, J.A. turned to the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Attorney Bill Arnau has successfully defended thousands of traffic tickets in St. Johns and Flagler Counties during his career as a defense lawyer, and ultimately added J.A. to his list of success stories. Mr. Arnau consulted with J.A. and reviewed the evidence in the case. Calling upon his extensive knowledge of Florida traffic law, Mr. Arnau knew that cases involving aircraft and multiple law enforcement officers present additional evidentiary proof issues at trial. As such, he set J.A.’s ticket for hearing. At the hearing, both State Troopers were present with the documentation necessary to prove the Trooper who observed J.A.’s vehicle was properly trained to estimate speed and was using a stopwatch that had been properly calibrated and testified to the effect. This typically means the ticket / citation will be validated by the court. However, Mr. Arnau wasn’t ready to submit just yet, and at the close of the State’s case he moved the court to dismiss the case citing a technical deficiency in the evidence presented. The court agreed and granted Mr. Arnau’s motion, which resulted in dismissal of the ticket. As a result, J.A. was not required to pay a fine or attend driving school and no points were assessed against his driving record. Traffic tickets can do serious harm to your driving record and significantly increase your insurance premiums. If you or someone you know has received any type of traffic ticket / citation in St. Johns or Flagler County, call the Albaugh Law Firm right away to discuss how we fight to defend our client’s rights.


Causing Accident With Serious Bodily Injury

Citation / Ticket Dismissed – 2/9/2015
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. D.S., our client was involved in an accident during which the other driver suffered severe injuries. Facing a three month driver’s license suspension and a substantial fine if convicted, D.S. contacted the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Attorney William Arnau spoke to D.S. at length about the accident and reviewed the evidence. He then set the case for trial and prepared to defend D.S. in court. The State Trooper who issued D.S. the citation and the other driver came to court and testified against D.S. However, Mr. Arnau cross-examined those witnesses and presented evidence that left the court with no option other than to dismiss the ticket given to D.S. As a result, D.S. avoided a driver’s license suspension, points being assessed against his driving record, and was not required to pay a fine. Accidents, especially those involving injury, are serious matters. If you have been cited for an accident contact the Albaugh Law Firm to learn how we can help protect you and your driving privilege.


Speeding Citation – 110 in a 70

Citation / Ticket Dismissed – 1/12/2015
Jurisdiction : Flagler County

In State of Florida v. D.A. our client was cited for allegedly driving 110 mph in a 70 mph zone by a State Trooper from the Florida Highway Patrol. Facing serious repercussions to his driver’s license and insurance premiums, D.A. contacted the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Attorney Bill Arnau spoke to D.A. about the facts of his case and reviewed the documents from law enforcement. During his investigation Mr. Arnau discovered that the Trooper had failed to properly complete the citation. Knowing he had a solid defense to the citation, Mr. Arnau set D.A.’s matter for hearing.

At the hearing, the Trooper testified that he observed D.A. speeding and that he was able to confirm D.A.’s speed with a speed measuring device that had been properly calibrated and maintained. Mr. Arnau waited for the Trooper to close his case and then moved for dismissal based on the technical defect in the citation. Directing the Hearing Officer to the applicable rules of traffic court and Florida law, Mr. Arnau argued that dismissal of the citation was required; the Hearing Officer agreed.

Mr. Arnau’s superior knowledge of the traffic laws resulted in D.A.’s speeding citation being dismissed. D.A. avoided paying any fines, fees, or having to attend a driving school. He also avoided any points on his driving record and his insurance and license were unaffected. Call Mr. Arnau today to discuss any driving related issue you may have.


Careless Driving

Citation / Ticket Dismissed – 10/28/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. E.D., our Client was cited for Careless Driving after a serious traffic accident involving two tractor-trailers and a passenger vehicle. Given that E.D. was the driver cited for the crash and a holder of a commercial driver’s license, E.D.’s ability to drive a commercial vehicle and earn a living was placed in jeopardy. With his employment and family’s well-being at stake, E.D. turned to the Albaugh Law Firm for help. After meeting with E.D. and reviewing the allegations Mr. Arnau set the case for trial. At trial the State presented the State Trooper who investigated the crash, two independent witnesses and a substantial amount of photographic evidence which implied our client may have been at fault, however Mr. Arnau was able to point out a fatal flaw in the State’s case which resulted in dismissal of the citation.


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Criminal Defense

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Reduced to Reckless Driving – 3/23/2015

A.A. had been at a local sports bar enjoying the game and having a few beers. Feeling like he was safe to drive, he got on his motorcycle and headed home. About 2 miles from home, A.A. was pulled over for speeding. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Deputy that stopped A.A. claimed he observed symptoms of intoxication. Specifically, the smell of alcohol on A.A.’s breath, bloodshot watery eyes, and slight difficulty with balance. A.A. performed the Field Sobriety Exercises as requested, but was placed under arrest for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) when the Deputy decided A.A. had failed. A.A. continued to cooperate and submitted to a breath test. The results of that test were .12, or 150% of the legal limit.

What made this arrest even more serious for A.A. was that he held a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Knowing that his career was at stake, A.A. turned to the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Attorney Ryan Albaugh has been handling DUI cases for over 15 years. This experience gave him the knowledge necessary to evaluate A.A.’s case from every angle and put together a strategy to defend A.A.

Attorney Albaugh met with the prosecutor assigned to the case. He pointed out that on the in-car dash video from the patrol car A.A. was seen committing no traffic offenses other than speeding up to pass another car. A.A. even used his turn signals appropriately and came to a safe stop immediately after the Deputy turned on his lights. Mr. Albaugh also pointed out that A.A. appeared steady on his feet, obeyed the commands of the Deputy, and was cooperative the entire time he was on camera. Interestingly, A.A. had been taken off camera for the Field Sobriety Exercises so they were not captured. On these facts, had A.A. not consented to the breath test, Mr. Albaugh would have requested a dismissal and immediately set the case for trial. However, with the breath test result so high, and the fact a conviction would end A.A.’s career, Mr. Albaugh approached the prosecutor for a reduction of the charge to reckless driving.

The State Attorney reviewed A.A.’s criminal history and driving record and ultimately agreed to reduce the charge. A.A. was given a withhold of adjudication (not convicted) of the reduced charge, and will qualify to seal this matter from his record. Most importantly, A.A. was able to keep his job.

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI charge it is important to hire an experienced attorney to aggressively defend your rights. Call the Albaugh Law Firm today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we fight for the people who hire us.


Violation of Probation

Probation Terminated – 3/4/2015
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

S.L. was placed on drug offender probation by Judge Berger clear back in 2003. However, rather than being released to comply with probation he had been taken to Georgia to face similar charges. During the next 10 years S.L. was in and out of jail in Georgia until he was finally able to complete his probation there. At various times over the years, Florida was notified that S.L. was in custody in Georgia, but Florida never came to get S.L.

By the time S.L. finished his probation in Georgia, the last thing he wanted to do was come back to Florida and face a 10 year old probation violation allegation. So he didn’t. Instead, he started a successful business, remained clean and sober, and got engaged. Then, in December 2014, S.L. was stopped for a traffic violation and arrested on a Florida warrant.

S.L.’s fiancée called the Albaugh Law Firm in a panic. She was aware of S.L.’s past, but couldn’t bear to think about S.L. being sent to prison in Florida given all he had going for him. Attorney Ryan Albaugh went to the St. Johns County jail and met with S.L. He got the information from S.L.’s Georgia case and the names and numbers of his business partner and friends who could speak to his recent success.

Mr. Albaugh gathered the documents from S.L.’s Georgia case and found that S.L. had actually completed much of the same terms as he was required to complete for his Florida probation. This, Mr. Albaugh argued, was why the probation officer and prosecutor should not want to send S.L. to prison and disrupt the life he had built. It took several meetings, but Mr. Albaugh was ultimately successful in getting both the probation officer and prosecutor to agree that S.L. had not done things correctly, but had gotten them done.

Without having to face a prosecutor asking for prison, Mr. Albaugh only needed to get Judge Traynor to agree that S.L. had paid his debt and terminate his probation. Several of S.L.’s friends as well as his fiancée came to the hearing in support. Mr. Albaugh was able to get Judge Traynor to agree, and S.L.’s Florida probation was terminated.

S.L. was released that afternoon and returned to his life in Georgia. If you or a friend or family is facing a probation violation, especially if many years have passed since they were in court, they must have an experienced criminal defense attorney capable of protecting their rights and future. Call the Albaugh Law Firm today for a free consultation and to hear more about how we protect our clients.


Violation of Probation and New Case

Probation Reinstated Without Jail Sanction – 2/27/2015
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County and Volusia County

Having been placed on criminal probation in Volusia County, Florida, only two months earlier, E.S. was very concerned he would be spending a considerable amount of time in jail when he was arrested again in St. Johns County, Florida. E.S. was right to be concerned, especially because his new arrest was for the same crime he was on probation for. Facing an extremely difficult and complex situation, E.S. called the Albaugh Law Firm for help.

E.S. described his situation to Criminal Defense Attorney Bill Arnau. Mr. Arnau asked questions not only about the accusations against E.S., but also about his background and who he was as a person. Mr. Arnau recognized the importance of having an experienced attorney represent E.S. in both cases to ensure that the best overall result could be achieved.

Mr. Arnau contacted the prosecutor in St. Johns County and the prosecutor in Volusia County and started to negotiate a combined settlement. Both prosecutors, unimpressed with E.S. being arrested again for the same crime so soon after being placed on probation, stated that they felt jail was the only option. Why would they give E.S. another chance at probation, they asked. Mr. Arnau had the answer. He told both prosecutors more about E.S., his history, and the positive aspects of his life. Mr. Arnau suggested that there were more appropriate and productive alternatives for E.S. than to simply throw him in jail.

It took considerable effort, but Mr. Arnau remained dedicated to E.S. and keeping him out of jail. His persistence finally paid off, and Mr. Arnau was not only able to persuade the Volusia County prosecutor to reinstate E.S.’s probation, but he was able to persuade the St. Johns County prosecutor to dismiss the new case. By turning to the Albaugh Law Firm for help, E.S. was back on probation, without a new conviction, and most importantly, out of jail.

Probation violations happen for many reasons, but all are extremely serious. If you or someone you know is facing a probation violation call the Albaugh Law Firm immediately for a free consultation. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys work proactively to minimize the impact of a violation and to get our clients back on the right track.


(Second) Violation of Probation

Probation Reinstated – 2/4/2015
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

D.G. had been placed on felony probation by Judge Berger in St. Johns County Circuit Court in 2012. She had performed well on probation until a foot injury caused her to relapse and start using prescription narcotics again. This led to a dirty test and initial violation of probation in 2014. D.G. was given another chance at probation, but was required to submit to community control (house arrest).

Within 2 months of being placed back on probation, D.G. was arrested again for violating her probation by testing positive for narcotics. Fearing that this time she was headed to prison, D.G. contacted criminal defense attorney Ryan Albaugh for help.

Mr. Albaugh spoke to D.G. about her current violation and the circumstances that led to her continuing to use narcotics. He also spoke to friends and family members about D.G. and what support they may be able to offer. Armed with this knowledge, Mr. Albaugh contacted the prosecuting attorney and explained the bigger picture. The prosecutor was reluctant to agree to give D.G. a third chance at probation, but did agree not to ask for an extended prison term as she had intended.

At the sentencing hearing on the probation violation, Mr. Albaugh explained D.G.’s history to Judge Traynor. As importantly, however, Mr. Albaugh called D.G.’s mother as a witness and asked her to speak on D.G.’s behalf. D.G.’s mother made a heart felt plea to Judge Traynor asking him to allow D.G. to complete a residential treatment program and seek mental health assistance. Judge Traynor ultimately agreed, and reinstated D.G. on probation on condition that she complete a residential drug treatment program with a mental health component.

This outcome kept D.G. from going to prison, but more importantly, gave her a chance at a future by giving her the drug and mental health help she needed. If you or a friend or family member is facing a violation of probation, you need an experienced St. Augustine criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact Mr. Albaugh for a free consultation today.


Violation of Felony Probation

Reinstatement to Probation – 11/25/2014
Jurisdiction: Flagler County

In State of Florida v. P.B., our client was arrested for a violation of his probation. The allegation was that his plea to a misdemeanor theft crime in another state violated his felony probation here in Florida. After being brought back to Florida to face this allegation, P.B. was informed that the State Attorney was seeking 8 years in prison for this violation.

Newly married and facing a lengthy prison sentence, P.B. called the Albaugh Law Firm for help.

Mr. Arnau met with P.B. and learned more about him and his case. Mr. Arnau then contacted the prosecutor assigned to the case and P.B.’s probation officer to begin negotiating on P.B.’s behalf. The State Attorney initially stood firm with their 8 year prison offer. However, Mr. Arnau took the time to provide them with information about P.B.’s positive attributes and his new wife. After considerable effort, Mr. Arnau was not only able to convince the State Attorney to not seek any additional jail time, but to agree to reinstate P.B.’s probation. Mr. Arnau was also successful in preventing the State Attorney from requiring P.B. to wear an electronic monitor for the remainder of his probation term.


Driving on Suspended License and Violation of DUI Probation

Charge reduced & probation reinstated, no jail – 6/19/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. R.R., our Client was arrested for Driving While License Suspended. While license violation charges can often lead to severe hardship and sometimes jail, the bigger problem facing R.R. was that she was on probation for DUI at the time of her arrest. The initial offer from the prosecutor to R.R. was thirty (30) days in jail. Facing a jail sentence that would be devastating to her personal and professional life, R.R. turned to the Albaugh Law Firm for help. Albaugh Law attorney Bill Arnau met with R.R. and learned that she had taken several positive steps related to her suspended driver’s license. He also spent the time to learn more about R.R., her family and her career. Without a strong legal or factual defense to use in negotiations with the prosecutor Mr. Arnau started advocating for R.R. with the prosecutor based on her positive character traits. Initially the prosecutor stood firm at thirty (30) days, but after lengthy negotiations Mr. Arnau was able to convince the State to remove the jail sanction and R.R. was reinstated to probation by the Judge. If you or a friend or loved one is facing the loss of a job or jail sentence, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal law attorney from the Albaugh Law Firm to protect what matters most.


Obstructing an Officer, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest

Dismissal of all Charges – 6/19/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. D.L., our Client was arrested and charged with Obstructing an Officer, Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. Upset with how he was treated by law enforcement and facing three criminal charges D.L. hired the Albaugh Law Firm to fight for him. During his initial meeting with D.L., Mr. Arnau learned that several key facts were missing from the police report. D.L. was even able to provide photos he had taken with his cell phone at the time of his arrest. Mr. Arnau then conducted a thorough investigation into what had truly happened that day. When he met with the prosecutor initially, the prosecutor was determined to go forward with the case. This was based largely on the incomplete facts contained in the police report. However, by educating himself and conducting his own investigation, Mr. Arnau was able to establish facts that ultimately led the prosecutor to dismiss all charges against D.L. If you or a friend or family member is facing criminal charges, don’t rely on the police to report your side of the story. Contact an experienced attorney at the Albaugh Law Firm who can fight for you and protect you against these serious allegations.


Domestic Battery

Case Dismissed – 6/2/2014
Jurisdiction : St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. M.M. our client was arrested and charged with domestic battery following a family disturbance. The prosecution sought a conviction and probation; however M.M. had recently completed school and was set to begin a new career which would not permit such a resolution. Concerned about his professional and personal future, M.M. reached out to the Albaugh Law Firm. Upon receiving the case Mr. Arnau conducted a thorough investigation of the incident and all parties involved. At the conclusion of the investigation Mr. Arnau was able to bring issues with the case to the attention of the prosecutor that ultimately resulted in dismissal of the case.


Possession of Marijuana

Case Dismissed – 5/28/2014
Jurisdiction: Flagler County

In State of Florida v. B.F., our client was stopped for a traffic infraction. During the encounter law enforcement searched B.F. and his vehicle and discovered marijuana. B.F. was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. Concerned about the effect a drug conviction would have on his future and facing a two year driver’s license suspension, B.F. contacted the Albaugh Law Firm. Mr. Albaugh convinced the prosecution to allow B.F. to complete a substance abuse course in exchange for dismissal of the charge. While completing the course B.F. had a relapse which threatened the deal that was in place, however Mr. Albaugh was able to persuade the State to keep the offer open. B.F. successfully completed his course shortly after and the case was dismissed.


Careless Driving

Citation / Ticket Dismissed – 3/21/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. C.B., our Client was cited for Careless Driving after a minor traffic accident. At the time of the accident the other driver initially said she was not injured, but then started to claim otherwise. Our Client became concerned with the possible consequences of the ticket and contacted our office. We immediately filed a notice of appearance on our Client’s behalf and demanded a hearing. Mr. Albaugh felt that the circumstances of the accident would not support the citation for careless driving. Mr. Albaugh also believed that the other driver may not show up to the hearing based on their behavior at the accident scene. Just prior to the hearing the officer requested a continuance. Mr. Albaugh learned that the officer was having trouble locating the other driver, so he pressed the officer and court for a dismissal. Upon further difficulty locating the other driver the officer conceded and dismissed the citation against our client.


Formal Review of Driver’s License Suspension for Driving Under the Influence Arrest and Refusal to Submit to a Breath Test

Suspension Invalidated – License Reinstated – 3/18/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. P.C., our Client was stopped for speeding by a deputy from the St. Johns County Sheriffs’ Office. After the Deputy noticed what he believed were several signs of impairment, including a strong smell of alcohol, he initiated a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) investigation. As part of the investigation, the Deputy asked our Client to perform a series of field sobriety exercises. At the conclusion of the field sobriety exercises the Deputy placed our Client under arrest for DUI. The Deputy’s report claimed that he then asked our Client to give a breath sample to determine the level of his breath alcohol content. The Deputy further claimed in his report that our Client refused to provide a breath sample and suspended our Client’s driver’s license for one year. Our Client informed us that contrary to what the Deputy claimed in his report, he had actually asked our Client to provide a breath sample BEFORE he arrested him. This was extremely important because Florida law requires that a person be asked to provide a breath sample AFTER they are placed under arrest for DUI. Based on this information, we demanded a hearing for our Client and subpoenaed the Deputy to come testify. At the hearing, Mr. Arnau cross examined the Deputy about the timeline of events. By finding inconsistencies between the Deputy’s sworn affidavit (DUI Arrest Report) and testimony at the hearing under oath, Mr. Arnau was able to prove that the Deputy had illegally asked our Client to provide a breath sample before he arrested him. As a result, Mr. Arnau got our Client’s one year driver license suspension invalidated and our Client is now legally driving again.


Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Leaving the Scene of a Crash

Reckless Driving – 2/14/2014
Jurisdiction: St. Johns County

In State of Florida v. J.C., Mr. C. was stopped by a Sheriff’s Deputy after several people reported they saw him hit a parked car in the Publix parking lot. During the investigation of the Hit and Run crash, the Deputy smelled a faint odor of alcohol on Mr. C’s breath. Based on that, the Deputy also conducted a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) investigation. After making Mr. C. perform field sobriety tests, the Deputy placed him under arrest for DUI and Leaving the Scene of an Accident. As requested, Mr. C. provided a urine sample. Mr. C. contacted our office immediately after being released and hired Mr. Albaugh to represent him. After hearing what had happened, Mr. Albaugh questioned the ability of the State to prove the DUI charge based on a lack of evidence. Specifically, only a faint odor of alcohol and our Client’s performance on the field sobriety tests being explained by his age (65) and physical limitations. Recognizing that the leaving the scene of an accident charge would be difficult to beat, Mr. Albaugh got Mr. C’s insurance company to pay for the damage to the other car as quickly as possible. This defense strategy paid off, as the owner of the damaged car never became angry or demanded that the State punish Mr. C. Mr. Albaugh then went about convincing the State that there were weaknesses in the DUI case against Mr. C. The State ultimately agreed, and the case was settled as a Reckless Driving. This result saved Mr. C. considerable money and kept him from having a DUI on his record.

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