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Can You Swipe Right for a Criminal Background Check?

You meet a girl on a dating website. She seems nice on the first date so you decide to ask her out again. This time things went terribly wrong as she brought three thugs to rob you. Such is the set of circumstances for Adam Hilarie, who in addition to being robbed was also murdered during the robbery. The woman that Mr. Hilarie met on a dating app had always intended to set him up and rob him. In fact, after their first date, she texted him stating that she wanted to meet up with him again. It was at this point that she showed up to his home with her co-defendants. They robbed him and according to the police report “Hilarie was begging for his life, he was not putting up any kind of fight, and was telling them that he had a 5-year-old daughter.” Tinder, match.com, and Plenty of Fish. All fairly mainstream online dating websites and apps. And all, at least according to their marketing material, very successful at making a match. Success might be measure differently on Tinder than on Christian Mingle, but that’s beside the point. BUT, how do you know that the person you are speaking with, texting, or meeting is truly looking for that special someone. The reality is that in today’s online dating atmosphere people truly need to protect themselves, and unlike in past generations that requires more than a pack of Trojans. So what should you do to protect yourself? Well, I suppose the easiest thing is to google the person that you are meeting up with. See if there is any information on them and if so, does the information match the info you are seeing on their profile. Check social media. Everyone seems to at least have a Facebook account these days. Again, see if the information in their dating profile matches up to their social media account. Check to see if you have any mutual friends. Before inviting them back to your place for dinner or post-date romance, you may consider running a background check. In Florida this can be done at on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website and it costs $24.00. There are also a number of private companies that can do national checks for a fee. It may seem like common sense, but don’t give out your address when you are first meeting the person. Meet at a public place or restaurant. As an attorney, I also think that the companies offering these dating services need to do a better job of protecting their clients. I think that the lack of verification could subject them to liability in the event they knew or should have known of an individual’s prior violent criminal history. The clients enrolling the various website should have to go through some verification process in order to prove they are who they say they are. Verify accounts through email or other social media. Be careful out there in the online dating world. Meeting someone online has become such a part of life as we know it, but everyone must make sure that they are protected.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Self Defense

Self Defense: A Legal Defense in Florida

We all hope for the best for our loved ones and for ourselves. We hope that we are prosperous, fruitful, healthy, and protected throughout our days. What happens when throughout our day, danger sets upon us? What happens when someone is unreasonably forceful? For these matters, you are expected to protect yourself from any unreasonable harm and for those in Florida, you are protected if someone harms or threatens to bring harm to you or your family or property. This justification is called self-defense. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, however, and you were only protecting yourself, you may be justified in your actions. It is in your best interest to seek legal advice from an experienced Florida criminal law attorney. What is Self Defense and How Does it Work? In Florida, self-defense is an affirmative legal defense that is used to cancel the accusation of a violent act, which would generally subject you to criminal liability. A self-defense claim acknowledges that a violent act occurred but that the act was justified because you were reasonably defending yourself from harm from another. According to Florida Statute Section 776.012, a person is justified to use or threaten to use non deadly force against another person when that person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary to defend himself against another’s immediate use of unlawful force. Deadly force may be justified when a person reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent immediate death or great bodily injury. Though in some states there is a duty to retreat before such force is used, in Florida, it is not necessary. For property purposes, Florida Statute Section 776.013 states that it is presumed that a person held a reasonable fear of immediate peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or another to use force if another person was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. However, there is no presumption if the person against whom defensive force is used or threatened has the right to be there. Also, it is important to note that self-defense is not available to a person who is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of a forcible felony such as treason, murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, carjacking, home invasion, arson, kidnapping, and aggravated battery and assault, to name a few. In addition to not being able to use self-defense as a defense for forcible felonies, it is also not available where evidence proves that the defendant initially provoked the violence. If you have been put into any of the above situations, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice so that your rights can be determined. Need Legal Advice? Defending yourself against potential harm should not a second thought for you and you should not be held criminally responsible. That is why it is important that you seek legal representation and advice if you have found yourself in this predicament. Contact Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law at (407) 531-8694 for an initial consultation. Let us help you figure out the best strategies for your case so that you may be able to be successful in your self-defense claim. Contact our office today.

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