- Attorney at Law
Michael D. Weinstock, P.A. is a multi-faceted law practice of several areas: criminal law, DUI defense, divorce, family law, child support and custody, civil and commercial litigation, personal injury, corporate law, probate, and wills.
The lawyers and the certified legal assistants in the Firm are committed to render to our clients the very best legal services possible. Our staff possesses high academic credentials and are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, both in court and out of court. We communicate effectively and strive to keep our clients fully informed of our activities. We practice the strictest personal and professional ethics as well as the utmost concern for our clients.
Our staff specifically focuses on each client's background, needs, and goals, and we are committed to keeping you informed regularly and to minimize and eliminate risk by informing you of significant changes in the law.
We work hard defending the rights of clients accused of criminal offenses at every stage of the case from initial accusation or arrest through and including trial and appeal. Our firm has experience dealing with law enforcement investigations, bond hearings, and pre-trial motions. We keep abreast of current legal developments so that we can draft persuasive motions to suppress evidence and other pre trial motions. We are skilled negotiators who will attempt to negotiate a settlement of your case before trial if it is in your best interest and after we obtain your informed consent. However, we are prepared to go to trial and vigorously defend you when that is in your best interest. The firm represents clients in the following areas:
Criminal Defense Crimes Against Persons including aggravated battery, aggravated assault, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, kidnapping, carjacking, robbery, burglary, firearm offenses, arson, domestic violence, battery and assault.
Criminal Defense White Collar including embezzlement, perjury, money laundering, larceny, wire fraud, mail fraud, bank fraud, insurance fraud, tax fraud, theft, forgery, credit card fraud, counterfeiting, extortion, environmental crimes, identity theft, computer crimes, and computer fraud.
Criminal Defense Sex Offenses including sexual battery, rape, child molestation, indecent exposure, possession or distribution of child pornography, lewd conduct, sexual activity with a child, internet sex offenses, prostitution and solicitation, sex offender registration and Jimmy Ryce Act proceedings,
Criminal Defense Drug/Controlled Substance Offenses including trafficking, fraudulent prescription cases, sale, distribution, possession, delivery, importation, smuggling, possession for sale, cultivation or manufacturing of ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine, designer drugs, marijuana.
Criminal Defense Juvenile Crimes including delinquency, driving offenses, false identification offenses, trespass and underage drinking.
Criminal Defense Felony and Misdemeanor Traffic Offenses including leaving the scene of an accident, driving while license suspended and reckless driving.
Sealing / Expungement of Criminal History Records
Violation of Probation /Community Control
If you have been arrested for DUI and your breath test result was .08 or higher, or you refused to take the breath test, the officer probably took your driver's license from you.
Note: You have 10 days to request a formal review hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles to contest that suspension and attempt to get your license back. It is important to contact an attorney within that 10 day period. If you do not request the hearing, or do not prevail at the hearing, there are certain periods of time in which you will not be able to drive or obtain a hardship license. We will be glad to speak with you about your particular case and what options you have available to you.
What You Are Facing
The following are the penalties that could be levied against you by the State ofFlorida :
6 Months in Jail
Loss of Driving Privileges
9 Months in Jail
Loss of Driving Privileges
1 Year in Jail
Loss of Driving Privileges
Also: Minimum of 50 Hours of Community Service, AND
Impounding of Your Car For 10 Days to 90 Days (not to be concurrent with imprisonment).
Victim Impact Panel.
Additionally, you may be required to pay for the following:
Monthly Reporting Probation Cost for One Year
Substance Abuse Classes
Increased Insurance Rates
NOTICE: *** You have only 10 Days from the date of your arrest to have us request an Administrative Hearing to prevent your license from being automatically suspended for up to 18 months. ***
What You Can Do About It
You have the right to hire an attorney to fight for YOUR legal rights!
You have the right to contest the charges against you!
You have the right to question all the evidence and witnesses against you!
You have the right to demand that the state prove all charges against you BEYOND AND TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERY REASONABLE DOUBT!
There are substantial rules and regulations which govern breath test machines, their maintenance, and the certification of the operator. Failure to comply with any of these regulations could result in the breath test reading not being allowed in court. Whether you have taken a breath test or declined to take a breath test, you may still be able to retain your driving privilege.
Penalties for DUI can increase if a person has any prior convictions for driving under the influence. The number of convictions and when they occurred can have dramatic affects on your license and penalties.
Penalties may also be different for minors (under the age of 21). A breath alcohol limit of only .02 could be applicable in some of those cases.
If a person is seriously injured or killed, a DUI can result in the increased charge of felony DUI or manslaughter, each of which can carry a potential prison sentence if convicted. These cases must be addressed as soon as possible, and we urge you to act promptly.
A conviction for DUI stays on a persons record for many years in the State of Florida. Almost all states are connected by computer and honor other State's suspensions. Because of the strict legal requirements on proof in a DUI case, it is extremely beneficial to consult with an attorney about your case. There is no fee for an office consultation, and the time is well spent talking about the particular aspects of your case, the different alternatives, and defenses which may be available to you.
DUI is a large part of our practice and we have a great deal of experience in motions, negotiation, and trial of these cases.
Our firm handles a full range of domestic relations matters, including premarital agreements, divorce, child support and child custody and visitation, paternity, temporary orders, no contact orders, and temporary protection orders.
Florida is a "no fault" state, which eliminates the necessity to prove cruelty, adultery, etc, in order to obtain a divorce. As a result the most common ground for a divorce is the phrase "irretrievably broken". This phrase is used to describe a relationship that has no possible expectation of being put back together as a result of conflict between the parties. You must have a fundamental belief that your marriage is beyond help, and be able to tell us factually why that is. In certain cases it may also be helpful to allege other grounds. We will discuss with you what these grounds are and if they are relevant to your case prior to the filing of your Petition.
Our first step will be the preparation and filing of your Petition or other documents, or responding to a Petition or other pleading which has been filed by your spouse. A Petition is a legal document, which begins the divorce process by creating a case and giving certain details about your marriage and how you wish for it to be dissolved. The Petition states the names and ages of the Husband, Wife, and all children born or adopted during the marriage; when and where you were married and when you separated; that the residence requirement has been satisfied; and that your marriage should be dissolved. It may request custody of any minor children of this marriage and a determination of visitation rights, and an award of alimony and child support, property division, attorney's fees and court costs. If your spouse has already filed, be sure to bring a copy of the Petition, especially if the sheriff has served you.
As part of a dissolution of marriage proceeding, the court will often make a determination as to the parent or parent's rights and obligations regarding the minor children. There are at least three significant issues here: 1. Primary residence, 2. Shared parental responsibility, and 3. Visitation/ contact rights. The courts now refer to custody as "primary residential care", i.e. who the minor child or children will live with most of the time. The other parent is sometimes referred to as the "non residential" or "secondary parent." There are many variations to these arrangements such as "shared" or "rotating primary care". Shared parental responsibility generally means that each parent will have an equal say in the major decisions affecting the welfare of the minor children. Sole parental responsibility is awarded to one parent in limited situations. Visitation is now more appropriately referred to as "contact", i.e. the time the non residential parent spends with the minor child or children. There are many variations and arrangements here also.
The Court determines the basic child support obligation based on set guidelines. The Court, at its discretion, may raise or lower the guideline support amount based upon the schedule that you and your ex spouse share, or under other situations that we can discuss. Additional adjustments may be made under exceptional circumstances. The Court can require support of a normal healthy child only until the age of 18 or graduation from high school with provisions for college only available under mutual agreement. If you have a child with mental or physical disability, be sure to let us know, as it may be possible to have support continue after this child becomes 18.
There is no fixed way to determine how you or the Court should divide the property. One thing is clear: Liabilities as well as assets must be considered. Other factors include the nature and extent of the property and the duration of the marriage; the economic circumstances of each spouse. In some cases, gross misconduct by a spouse (such as supporting a mistress) can be considered. If you and your spouse can agree, and if your agreement is reasonable, it will be approved by the Court. If you cannot agree, the Court will divide the property. It is always best to settle between the parties as long as the settlement is fair.
Mediation is a process by which both parties and their lawyers meet with an neutral trained mediator to try to resolve issues in the divorce. A mediator is not a judge and cannot decide a case. Mediators are paid by the parties at the time of mediation and are used primarily to help the parties discuss and resolve issues of support, custody, alimony, and property division. Mediation is almost always helpful and will be required prior to any hearing. It can last a few minutes or several hours.
The exact fee we charge will vary with the services you require and is always calculated at an hourly rate. If you have an uncontested divorce your cost will be significantly less than the cost incurred for pleadings, motions, mediation, etc, as required in a contested matter. Our services will take you from your initial consultation through the preparation and filing of your Petition (or Answer); the arranging for the sheriff to serve your spouse with a copy of the Petition (if necessary); obtaining information from your spouse and you concerning your assets, liabilities, income and expenses and making recommendations concerning property income expenses and support; negotiation with your spouse's attorney; preparation or review of Property Settlement and Support Agreement; preparation or review of Divorce Decree; and attending Court hearings to have the case disposed of.
Where one party is secreting assets, there may be additional fees charged for other services that may be necessary depending upon your facts, including: Guardian Ad Litem, Psychologists, Financial Experts and Accountants, and Investigators.
You Should Be Advised That You Are My Client And I will Look To You For Payment. Please read your retainer contract carefully and be prepared to meet its terms.
We handle uncontested divorces in Florida. We can handle an uncontested divorce via email or USPS mail. Please call our office to find out all the details regarding uncontested divorce.
Civil & Commercial Litigation
We emphasize the areas where our business clients need the most support, including commercial contract disputes, problems with distributors, lenders, or partners, employee suits, collections, leasing, real estate contracts, landlord/tenant disputes.
Settlement is not always possible on favorable terms. When trial is necessary, we will try your case and we aim to win.
However, we are very mindful of the high cost of litigation in terms of money, risk, and management of resources. We, therefore, strive to litigate efficiently as well as effectively, working closely with the client to offer options that may streamline or eliminate some motions and procedures.
Our clients evaluate our performance based on both the results we achieve and the containment of costs associated with those results. Thus, we seldom will be recommending last minute settlements on the courthouse steps unless it is favorable to our client. If a matter can be settled, we strive to accomplish that end before permitting undue legal fees. If settlement is not feasible, our adversaries know they face a serious challenge from lawyers who are trained to represent you vigorously at trial.
Probate and Wills
We are able to take care of most estate planning needs. We prepare wills, durable powers of attorney, advance medical directives, living wills, and health care surrogates.
We are able to handle the probate of estates of any person who has a probatable estate and is a resident of Florida at the time of his or her death. We handle all sorts of administration including summary, family and formal.
Estate planning involves the management and disposition of your property during your lifetime and after your death. A proper estate plan will:
- Distribute your assets to your chosen beneficiary.
- Nominate the guardian of your child and your child's assets.
- Provide for the care of your child, your care, and management of your assets in the event of an incapacitating illness or accident.
- Provide for your life support preferences.
- Save your heirs time and money.
We can help. Don't neglect basic legal needs for yourself and your family. The most lasting legacy you can give your child is the security that comes from the decisions only you can make. Don't put off these crucial decisions.
Areas Of Practice
- Criminal Law
- Family Law
- Custody & Visitation
- Civil & Commercial Litigation
- Probate and Wills
- Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
- Central Michigan University
- Major: Management
- A. F. Institute Technology
- Major: Physics
- Brooklyn College
- Major: Physics
- Adjunct Instructor, Troy State University
- Adjunct Instructor, OWCC
- Adjunct Instructor, University West Florida
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Florida Trial Lawyers Association
- Okaloosa/Walton Bar Association
- Escambia/Santa Rosa Bar Association
- The Florida Bar
- American Bar Association
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- National College for DUI Defense
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
Past Employment Positions
- Air Force, Retired