How Small Businesses Commonly Get Into Trouble with the Fair Labor Standards Act

How Small Businesses Commonly Get Into Trouble with the Fair Labor Standards Act

Hunter was recently published in the Florida Bar Journal for his column on Labor And Employment Law, “Mistakes Were Made: How Small Businesses Commonly Get Into Trouble with the Fair Labor Standards Act” read the article here

Florida Supreme Court Change Has Huge Implications for Criminal Defendants.

Florida Supreme Court

Hunter Chamberlin was on the committee that proposed the change reflected in the supreme court opinion, and it has huge implications for criminal defendants. The Court issued its opinion in SC17-2004 that amends Rule 3.220 and addresses the issues raised in the Kidder case. The Court adopted the proposal. View the supreme court change here: Supreme Court Opinion

Myth Buster! What To Do If You Receive A Traffic Ticket (In Florida)

Just because you have been driving for years or you just got out of a driving school doesn’t mean that you understand all the traffic rules. There are several misconceptions about traffic rules, and you need to know them to avoid getting yourself in any trouble with the law. They include:

If an officer doesn’t show up in court, you don’t get an automatic pass

This is probably the biggest misconception people have. Even though this is possible, the judge may decide to reschedule the hearing. The officers also work closely with court clerks and can schedule a citation – as many as necessary to avoid no-shows.  Relying on this as your main defense mechanism, could be your biggest mistake.

All mistakes are equal

When you are issued with a ticket, make sure that all the information given is correct. If you are unsure of the weight of the mistake, contact an attorney immediately. An officer may mistake the offense committed, and this can cost you in court. Additionally, some mistakes carry heavier fines and punishments than others.

Tickets don’t follow you across state lines

The digital era has enabled states to share information. Therefore, you can’t avoid a ticket by going to another state. The Driver’s License Compact guarantees info-sharing between states, and therefore, offenses committed in other states can be forwarded to your home state and become part of your driving record.

Giving excuses can help you win a case

You’ve heard the popular line ‘whatever you say can and will be used you against you in a court of law.’ So, don’t bother giving explanations as to why you committed a traffic offense to an officer. This might harm you more than it can save you.

Signing/not signing a ticket is proof of guilt

Signing a ticket doesn’t mean that you have admitted to having committed an offense; it just shows that you have received the ticket. In fact, refusing to sign the ticket may land you in further trouble.

Radar inaccuracy automatically dismisses your case

Radar guns, just like any other machine, can malfunction. In such cases, it’s not automatic that your case will be dismissed. You will have to prove that scenario before a judge. Finding such solid evidence can prove impossible, costly, and time-consuming.

Driving with the flow of traffic is a valid excuse for over-speeding

When you are forced to speed by the drivers around you, you can still get a ticket. When you are caught, you are punished alone regardless of how many other drivers made the same offense and got away with it.

Mistakes in a ticket can help you win a case

Human beings are prone to errors. So, if an officer makes a mistake on your ticket, including misspellings, wrong numbers, and any other minor clerical errors, it won’t give you a pass in court. Even if these mistakes are large enough to win your case, it’s still in your best interest to appear in court and present your case.

Rules and regulations keep changing. So, fact or myth, you need the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney to help you avoid those traffic punishments that may affect you in future. Contact Chamberlin Law Firm for your free case consultation.

Employment Law: Labor Regulations in the U.S. and Florida

Employment law and labor regulations mainly cover the rights and the obligations between an employer and an employee. Employment relationships can be complicated. That’s why employment laws have been put in place to protect an employee against discrimination, workplace safety, and wrongful termination, just to mention a few. Whether you are a current employee, former employee, or in the process of job search, it’s important to know the employment laws in your state to protect your rights. In Florida, some of these laws include:

Wage & Hour Laws

This includes the minimum wage, overtime wage, and hour protections that an employer is required to give an employee. All employers must comply with the federal minimum wage pay which is currently at $7.25 an hour, but in Florida, it’s currently at $8.25 an hour. Employers in Florida must also follow the overtime pay regulations as stipulated by the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act).

Workplace Safety Laws

Employers are expected to provide a safe and healthy workplace that is free from any dangers. They should also perform safety training that is necessary for the industry to the employees. Most of these safety and health standards are regulated by Occupational Safety and Health (OSH). To make sure all safety rules are followed, an OSH administrator can make inspectional visits to workplaces at any time. If an employee notices any safety issues that have not been addressed by the employer, he/she should contact an OSH administrator. Such an employee is protected by law against employer’s retaliatory actions. Employers must also have insurance for their employees to provide protection in case of workplace injuries.

Discrimination Laws

Discrimination at the workplace occurs when one receives unfair treatment due to their race, age, religion, sex, nationality, and disabilities. Discrimination is illegal, whether it’s during job listing, interview, hiring, promotions or even termination. Harassment is also prohibited at the workplace. This includes any unwelcomed actions such as sexual harassments that can create a hostile working environment for an employee.

Leaving Your Job/Termination Laws

Employees have the right to work at will. This means you can quit anytime you feel like. Employers are also allowed to fire an employee at any time as long as it’s not illegal – not discriminatory or retaliatory. Should you be fired for reasons that don’t amount to serious misconduct, you are eligible for the unemployment benefits.

Time off Work Laws

Most of the employers offer paid leaves to their employees. This can be in the form of vacation time, sick days, holidays, and time off. The state also requires employers to offer medical leave, domestic violence leave, military leave, and jury duty.

Child Labor Laws

These laws regulate youth employment. They dictate minimum working age, the working time, and the type of job.

Other employment laws include compensation laws, hiring laws, work break laws, and many more. Should you feel that your employer is violating any of your workplace rights, get in touch with a local experienced attorney. Contact Chamberlin Law Firm in Tampa, Florida and get a free consultation on employment laws, civil laws, and criminal laws.

In The Courtroom – The Difference Between Legal and Factual Guilt

In law, you are either deemed as being factually guilty, or legally guilty depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest and subsequent prosecution in court. One is found to be legally guilty if there exist concrete facts that may incriminate you, say some exhibit or forensics. On the other hand, one may be deemed as being factually guilty if he committed the crime.
Essentially, factual guilt refers to what the defendant did while legal guilt is what the prosecutor can prove. For example, someone can be factually guilty, but if there is no sufficient evidence, the person cannot be legally guilty.

How We Can Help

  • Examining the evidence against you: For one to be deemed legally guilty, there must be evidence directly linking you to the felony. When approached by such a case, we carefully examine the evidence linking you with the alleged offense. We aim at ensuring that you are not wrongly sentenced for a felony you did not commit.
  • Sound legal advice: Everyday, we advise our clients on the status of their cases based on the facts. If you decide to proceed with your case, we will assign you our competent attorney to represent you.
  • Legal representation: When we take up your case, you can be assured of our absolute commitment to litigate for you. We believe that you are innocent until proven guilty. We also believe that for one to be guilty, there must be direct evidence linking them to a felony.
  • Appeals and compensation: If you feel that you have been sentenced wrongly or the court hasn’t paid attention to some facts, we are ready to go the full length and file an appeal for you. If proven innocent and compensation are due, we shall do our best to ensure you are compensated.

Attorney Services In Tampa, Florida
Located in Tampa, Florida the Chamberlain Law Firm provides quality legal services centered on the client. Led by Hunter H. Chamberlin, we ensure that you are well represented in court and compensated where due. We broadly focus on all matters litigation and further specialize in criminal defense law that includes but is however not limited to the following:

  •  Civil litigation
  • Robbery
  • Expunging records
  • Drug Offenses
  •  DUI’S
  •  Firearm charges

At Chamberlin Law Firm, we are the industry leader in criminal defense. We work with a team of experienced attorneys who can represent efficiently in court. We work with the presumption of you are innocent until proven guilty. Based on this we build a formidable defense for you. Wondering if you are legally guilty? Contact Hunter at 813-444-477 for a free consultation.

Chamberlin Law Firm Featured on Centurion Strategies Podcast

Hunter Chamberlin recently had the opportunity to sit down with Michael Bilello of Centurion Strategies. The two discussed the challenges and mistakes one can encounter when starting a new law firm, and how to avoid those issues. Check it out! The link is here:

Scotus Opinion Further Erodes Whats Left of the Fourth Amendment

In Whren v. U.S., 517 US 806 (1996), the Supreme Court held that a police officer could stop a vehicle for any traffic infraction that officer observed, regardless of how insignificant that infraction was or the actual motivation for stopping the vehicle. A police officer who wanted to stop a vehicle to determine whether an occupant was under the influence, transporting narcotics, or engaged in any other criminal activity but did not have reasonable suspicion to justify a stop merely had to follow the vehicle until the officer observed an infraction at which time he could lawfully detain the vehicle for further investigation. In other words, as long as the officer has observed an actual infraction, a stop will be deemed lawful regardless of the officer’s true motivation for the stop. In fact, the officer can even admit that stopping the vehicle because of an infraction was completely pretextual and not the true motivation for the stop, and the stop will still be legally justified and not subject to suppression. That is a pretty low bar for an officer to overcome, and as such as long as an officer could articulate some traffic infraction as the basis for the stop, the stop will be upheld.

Unfortunately, as low as that bar is, the Supreme Court just lowered it even further. The bar has now been so low as to be almost nonexistent. In Heien v. North Carolina, the United States Supreme Court held that an officer does not even have to observe an actual infraction. The officer in that case observed what he incorrectly believed was an infraction, and for that reason effectuated a traffic stop. Heien moved to suppress the evidence found subsequent to the stop on the grounds that what the officer believed was an infraction, and was the basis for the stop, was not actually an infraction and as such the stop was unlawful. The Supreme Court ruled that the stop was in fact lawful notwithstanding that it was not based on an actual traffic infraction. The Court held that an officer merely has to have “an objectively reasonable belief” that what he observed was an infraction. In other words, an officer can now stop a vehicle for any reason and justify that stop on the grounds that the officer believed he observed an infraction, irrespective of whether it actually was or not.

As a result of this holding, the Supreme Court has essentially done away with any Fourth Amendment protections for Americans driving their cars. The erosion of our Constitutional rights continues apace. A link to the opinion is here: