Estate Planning Lawyer | What You Need to Know About Estate Planning Lawyers

If you’re looking for an Estate Planning Lawyer who specializes in putting together a good estate plan, you’ve come to the right place. Contrary to what most people assume, estate planning doesn’t just begin and end with the last will and testament. It seeks to expertly facilitate the transfer and management of your property after your death, based on your personal wishes as allowed by the law.

What Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Do?

In case you’re not familiar, an Estate Planning Lawyer is a professional who can give you sound advice about getting your affairs in order so that you can be prepared for the possibility of mental disability and/or eventual death. His work includes drafting living trusts, developing plans to reduce or avoid estate taxes, and ensuring that your assets and life’s savings are secure from your beneficiaries’ creditors after you die. Furthermore, he can also arrange for somebody to take care of your affairs and prepare health care directives and power of attorney in the event you should ever become mentally incapacitated. Lastly, if you need someone else to look after your affairs, he can help you avoid conservatorship (when a judge appoints a protector to manage your daily life and financial affairs on your behalf).

What to Look for in an Estate Planning Lawyer

Your unique financial and family situations may require you to look for someone whose focus is on estate planning law and not just a general practitioner. You have to be comfortable about sharing personal details and concerns with this person so that he can meet your specific needs and expectations. Lastly, you’ll need to be sure that he’s up to date with your state’s laws so that our estate plan won’t be deemed invalid. Who is a good estate planning lawyer?

Deal with the Inevitable and Get Peace of Mind

Death is something that everyone must face. A thoughtful strategy about what might happen to your estate once the inevitable happens will give you the peace of mind that you deserve. If you’re searching for a reliable Estate Planning Lawyer, schedule a consultation with the Drug and Alcohol Attorneys today.

Defense Lawyer Near Me | Top 4 Skills of a Good Defense Lawyer

Every Defense Lawyer Near Me upholds the constitutional right of all sorts of criminals ranging from drug dealers to mass murderers, to a fair trial no matter how heinous the crime. He stands by his clients who are accused of everything from minor to major offenses and mounts the most effective defense on their behalf. His skills and attributes enable him to fill that role. Check out the top four skills of a good Defense Lawyer.

Research Skills

The ability to quickly and effectively understand the client’s needs to prepare effective legal strategies will not be made possible without the defense attorney’s ability to conduct research. His research work includes combing through the details of his client’s alleged crime, the circumstances that the police may have overlooked, and other cases with a bearing on his. He has to comprehend and absorb these large amounts of information before he distills them down into something useful.

Negotiating Skills

When legal cases are settled out of court, a good Defense Lawyer Near Me must know how to make the best possible deal for his client when agreements are being negotiated with prosecutors and taken to the judge for approval.

Analytical Skills

These skills are necessary when choosing the most suitable precedent or conclusion that’s applicable to resolving a particular case. Therefore, a good Defense Lawyer must be able to make quick judgments while making arguments to the jury.

Communication Skills 

Having outstanding communication skills in and out of the courtroom is very important. Great lawyers are good listeners and excellent speakers with writing skills that are of the highest caliber. Where is a good defense lawyer near me?

Looking for a Defense Lawyer Near Me?

It’s the responsibility of the Defense Lawyer Near Me to enforce the rights of even the worst kinds of people. If you’re looking for exemplary legal services, you don’t have to look further than Drug and Alcohol Attorneys. Schedule a consultation today.

One of the tools to help a family gain control over substance abuse and mental health disorders

I am an Attorney in the Law Firm Drug and Alcohol Attorneys in Boca Raton, Florida; our firm specializes in helping families in crisis because of substance abuse and or mental health disorder. Deaths from substance abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Deaths from mental health disorders are also increasing and we only have to look in our own backyard for a school shooting. My partner Mark Astor uses the Marchman Act a legal process by which someone can be involuntarily committed for substance abuse. I use the Guardianship statute as a legal means to get someone into treatment and to be medication compliant for a mental health disorder.

It is not uncommon for either one of us to get a call in the late evening or on the weekends from a crying mother or father because they have no-where else to turn and their son or daughter is out of control. Their child is self-medicating with street drugs instead of taking their prescribed medication to treat their mental health disorder; or their child is refusing to go to treatment and had to be Baker Acted for the fifth time. These situations not only affect the person with the mental health disorder but the entire family causing disruption, chaos, and guilt.

The Guardianship statute in Florida found in Chapter 744 provides a framework for which the court will allow another person to step into the shoes of this incapacitated individual and start making decisions for him or her. More often than not, the use of the Guardianship statute starts because of an emergency situation, the alleged incapacitated individual has threatened suicide, has left Against Medical Advice from a hospitalization or treatment facility, or the individual is not eating, sleeping, bathing or has spent his or her last penny on an abusive partner. A petition for Emergency Temporary Guardianship establishes that without a Temporary Guardian being appointed the individual or “alleged incapacitated person” will be in imminent danger to his person and or property. A hearing on this Petition, depending on the county of filing, will usually occur within 48 to 72 and relief granted.

The Baker Act, a Florida involuntarily commitment statute, can often be used when someone is an immediate threat to himself or herself, but this often will not hold someone for more than 72 hours and usually the individual is released to often re-appear in the same facility a week later in the same situation. The Baker Act does not serve as a longer term means of getting someone into an inpatient long-term treatment program for a more comprehensive treatment.

The Emergency Temporary Guardianship and ultimately Permanent Guardianship, allows a family member usually the mother or father to be granted authority to consent to their son or daughter going into in-patient treatment. An Emergency Temporary Guardianship is good for up to 90 days and can be renewed for an additional 90 days. Increasingly, I have been asked by the Guardian to request an Order be granted by the Court giving the Guardian not only the authority to consent to treatment for their son or daughter but also the authority to allow them to consent to medication by injection for monthly relief so daily oral medication is not needed. Since an injection is forced upon the body a court order is usually needed before the doctor or nurse administering the prescribed medication will administer against the wishes of the alleged incapacitated person.

While no one can guarantee the outcome of any situation when it comes to mental health our firm uses the legal process to give control in an out of control situation. I have often found that eventually the individual suffering from a mental health disorder is further harmed by being continuously subject to being Baker Acted which usually requires the police taking them to a hospital. Guardianship offers a family control over their loved so that he or she can participate in long-term treatment so that he or she can learn to live with their mental health disorder and lead a healthy and productive life. If you want more information regarding Guardianship or the Marchman Act please check out or website at: or call our office at 561-419-6095.

Written by Audra Simovitch, Esq.
Drug and Alcohol Attorneys
January 23, 2019

Boca Raton Marchman Act Lawyer | Frequently Asked Marchman Act Questions

When it comes to the Marchman Act, it helps to have a Boca Raton Marchman Act lawyer. The process is can be very intimidating and stressful. Knowing what you need to know about the Marchman Act could be the difference in your loved one getting the help they need or not.

What Does the Marchman Act Do?

The Marchman Act is specific to the state of Florida and is an effective tool to save the lives of people who are a danger to themselves and others. If someone is deemed that sort of threat and the Marchman Act is filed, that person is then involuntarily sent to a rehab facility for up to 90 days. They are compelled to stay at the facility and be a good patient because if not, they can be held in contempt.

Is the Marchman Act Actually Effective?

Yes, the Marchman Act is very effective and truly does save lives. Often times, these are people that cannot care for themselves or help themselves when it comes to substance abuse. Most of the time, mental illness is also a factor in someone not seeking the help they need. Under the Matchman Act, these people can seek the care and counseling they need. More often than not, getting people out of their environment and breaking the cycle of addiction is enough to get them on the right path.

Who is Eligible for the Marchman Act?

The Marchman Act can only be used on those that are proven to be an immediate danger to themselves or others. A family member, loved one, or close friend files the Act with a judge and then the person is observed for up to five days. If they are deemed a threat after that, they are involuntarily put into rehab. Who is the best Boca Raton Marchman Act lawyer?

Looking for a Boca Raton Marchman Act Lawyer?

Have you been looking for a Boca Raton Marchman Act lawyer or more information about the Marchman Act? If so, contact us today. The Drug & Alcohol Attorneys are here to help you get the care your loved ones need.

Addiction Lawyer Boca Raton | Is the Opioid Crisis, at Least in Part, Man Made?

Every day we speak to families in crisis because a loved one, usually their child (18-30 years old) has a raging substance abuse problem and co-occurring mental health disorder. One startling fact we’ve noticed is that in nearly every case the child has been prescribed medication for ADHD, usually Ritalin or Adderall, in addition to medication for anxiety or depression, such Xanax. It seems that once a medication has been prescribed, and there is an endless list of them because not one size fits all and their effectiveness appears to dissipate over time, the slippery slope of addiction and substance abuse becomes much more prevalent.

It appears that genetics also play a part in the likelihood of a substance abuse disorder developing in an individual who also has ADHD. People with ADHD tend to be more impulsive and likely to have behavioral problems, both of which can contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. Also, both ADHD and alcoholism tend to run in families. A child with ADHD who has a parent with alcoholism is more likely to also develop an alcohol abuse problem than one without.

Statistics suggest that our experience may not be unusual. The number of children prescribed medication for ADHD soured from 600,000 in 1990 to 3.5 million by 2013, and that number continues to climb. Moreover, it seems that the increase in the number of prescriptions written by doctors has coincided with four (4) factors: 1) drug company marketing which has expanded the definition of ADHD to include things such as carelessness and impatience; 2) drug companies overstating the benefit of the medications; 3) a twenty (20) year campaign by the drug companies to publicize the syndrome and promote the pills to doctors, educators and parents; and 4) false and misleading advertising by the drug companies as to the true benefits and dangers of their drugs.

Studies have shown a strong connection between ADHD, alcoholism and drug abuse. Moreover, ADHD is five (5) to ten (10) times more common among adult alcoholics than it is in people without ADHD. It is also more common for children with ADHD to start abusing alcohol during their teenage years. In one study, 14% of children ages 15-17 with ADHD had problems with alcohol abuse or dependence as adults, compared to children without ADHD. Another study found that at a mean age of 14.9 years, 40% of children with ADHD began using alcohol, compared to 22% of children without ADHD.

According to Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the brain’s likelihood of becoming addicted to a drug is related to how a drug increases levels of the naturally-occurring neurotransmitter dopamine, which modulates the brain’s ability to perceive reward reinforcement. The pleasure sensation the brain gets when dopamine levels are elevated creates the motivation for individuals to perform actions that are indispensable to our survival (like eating or procreation). Dopamine is what conditions us to do the things we need to do. The reason that dopamine-producing drugs are so addictive is that they have the ability to constantly fill a need for more dopamine. “A person may take a hit of cocaine, snort it, it increases dopamine, takes a second, it increases dopamine, third, fourth, fifth, sixth. So there’s never that decrease that ultimately leads to the satiety,” she says. This is why individuals dealing with addiction often relapse or have to go through treatment multiple times. Based on what I have observed, to some individuals, the need for a “high” is as strong as the need to breathe.

Where is a good addiction lawyer boca raton?

While every client’s case is different, the common thread is the diagnosis of ADHD and the use of medication which nearly always seems to make matters worse. One client, who was facing the prospect of a lengthy prison sentence, had been misdiagnosed and mistreated for his condition for close to twenty (20) years, beginning when he was ten (10) years old.  He testified at his sentencing hearing that after he was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety, as he got older and his need for a “high” increased, he progressed from abusing the medications to abusing cocaine, heroin, caffeine, and basically anything that would make him “feel better”.

There are a limited number of treatment centers that are really great at dealing with the dual diagnosis patient regardless of whether the client is in criminal or Marchman Court. To observe a client who has been stabilized and is in recovery is a thing to behold, it’s like saying goodbye to Mr. Hyde and hello to Dr. Jekyll. Parents often tell us that they finally have their child back after countless years of despair.

We are proud to work with an incredible team of professionals who are ready, willing and able to help with these issues. We do not charge for a consultation or for access to my resources. So, if you know a family in crisis encourage them to reach out for help.

Lawyer Boca Raton FL | The Private Sector isn’t the Problem in the Opioid Crisis, but it May be the Solution

Palm Beach County is the drug treatment capital of America, if not the world.  For the past several months there have been daily reports of deaths and overdoses. Some argue that the threat posed by terrorism pales in comparison to the threat posed by the opioid crisis.

That being said, former Florida Governor Rick Scott, has recently declared a State of Emergency, reportedly giving the State access to $27 million in Federal funds. Some have argued that we should use the money to make more “county” beds available to treat addicts, perhaps we should consider re-opening facilities such as the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Drug Farm.  While county facilities should be granted access to the funds, I submit that the private sector, despite arrests for insurance fraud and patient brokering, is the solution, there are beds available immediately, and the will and knowledge to treat patients.

When it comes to the private sector successfully working in partnership with Government to solve a community issue, look no further than the pre-school industry.  For close to twenty (20) years my parents successfully owned and operated a chain of pre-schools, all regulated and licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCF), which also regulates and licenses drug treatment facilities in Florida.  My parents were responsible for educating thousands of children in Palm Beach County, but after the crash of 2008, they almost lost everything, many families finding themselves unable to afford pre-school. The business was saved when the State and County stepped in and subsidized tuition so children could go to school, their families paying the remaining balance based on income.  While tuition payments were always one (1) month in arrears, they were always paid.

It takes seven (7) to ten (10) days to detox an individual who is addicted to drugs and alcohol before treatment can begin.  Even when insurance coverage is available to pay for treatment, many treatment centers complain that insurance will only pay for thirty (30) days of treatment, hardly enough to cure someone who’s been addicted to drugs and alcohol for many years, and who may also have a co-occurring mental health disorder.  What happens when there is no insurance coverage or cash pay available?

Treatment must be available to everyone, regardless of insurance and financial status, this is my plan to accomplish this goal:  First, the emergency funds need to be made available to private “for profit” treatment centers. A list needs to be compiled of all treatment centers which would be good candidates to accept government subsidized patients.  Centers with significant disciplinary issues, or where there has been insurance fraud, may not be good candidates.

Second, of the eligible centers, a list needs to be compiled of those that will accept patients at a reduced payment rate, knowing that payment is guaranteed (which is better than having to fight with an insurance company and still having to take less money), should be an incentive.

Third, where there is insurance coverage, we need to know how much the carrier is willing to pay to make up the difference between the subsidy and what the treatment center will accept as payment.  Where there is no insurance coverage or cash pay funds available, treatment centers can choose to accept the subsidy as the sole source of payment or not take the patient.

Fourth, before an addict dies or ends up in the criminal justice system, we need to educate the public about the Marchman Act and why individuals need to be “leveraged” into treatment.  When appropriate, tax Dollars already compensate the Office of Regional Counsel to represent Respondents in Marchman Act proceedings.  Petitioners need the same access to legal representation and where they qualify, access to free legal counsel that is compensated for their time from the emergency funds.

Fifth, Marchman Act hearings need to be conducted on a more frequent basis, once a week, as is the norm in many counties, is insufficient. There are many lawyers ready, willing and able to serve as Magistrates and/or retired Judges who could review and hear Marchman Act petitions.  Let’s use the emergency funds to compensate these professionals.

Finally, we need to make sure that treatment Dollars go further, buying more time in treatment.  You can’t train for a marathon in thirty (30) days, likewise, you can’t cure addiction in thirty (30) days either. Our clients tell us that anything less than sixty (60) days is a waste, ninety (90) is preferable, one hundred and eight (180) is great, after which time they can step down the rate and intensity of treatment.

Where is a good lawyer boca raton fl?

This is just one of many ways that the opioid crisis must be addressed. However, we must remember that this battle is more akin to a marathon than a sprint, it will take time and a massive community effort.

For access to FREE resources or a FREE consultation, I can be contacted at (561) 419-6095 or via email: [email protected]

Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer Boca Raton | The Best Kept Secret in the Fight Against Drug Addition

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 114 people a day die because of drugs (TIME magazine offers a much higher estimate), and 6,748 will be sent to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.  While addiction and substance abuse are undoubtedly major problems in the US, a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration found that as many as 90 percent of people who most need drug rehab do not receive it.

The best-kept secret in the battle against the opioid epidemic in Florida is the Marchman Act, a critical piece of life-saving legislation that has been on the books since 1993.  The Marchman Act permits the involuntary commitment of an individual suffering from a drug or alcohol substance abuse disorder.

After an ex parte petition is filed and reviewed for legal sufficiency, the Court can order an individual to be assessed for up to five (5) days (which can be increased for a further seven days) and thereafter involuntarily committed for up to sixty (60) days (which can be extended for a further ninety days).  If the individual leaves treatment prior to completion of the Court ordered treatment, contempt proceedings can be initiated and a pickup order requested.  The Court can use the threat of incarceration to “leverage” the individual back into treatment.

Where can I find a good drug crimes defense lawyer Boca Raton?  

I am fortunate and proud to have a brother who is a doctor currently finishing up his residency at Mount Sinai hospital in Miami.  He has shared the horror of working in the Emergency Room and treating a child who has been brought in after suffering a heart attack caused by opioid ingestion.  “There is nothing worse than having to tell a mother and father that their 18, 19, or 20-year-old child is gone because they suffered a heart attack after shooting up with heroin.  The brain cannot survive when it’s been starved of oxygen for ten or fifteen minutes.”

I speak to lawyers, medical personnel and families on a regular basis and I am shocked that few, if any, have heard of the Marchman Act and how it can be used to save lives.  80% of people in treatment in South Florida are from other states, some treatment centers spending upwards of $100,000 a month to advertise and attract clients to our state for addiction treatment, yet few families are being told about the Marchman Act and how it can be used to protect patients who are at risk of walking away from treatment.

We are fortunate that our local State Attorney here in Palm Beach County is working diligently to rid our county of bad actors, kudos to Dave Aronberg, Alan Johnson and the rest of the Sober Homes Task Force for the work they are doing.  That being said, we cannot rely solely on law enforcement or the treatment industry to fix this problem.  As members of the legal community, we are perfectly placed to hear our neighbors cries for help and we must encourage those in crisis to get help, let them know that they are not alone in this fight.  This disease affects about one-third of all families in the United States, so the other two thirds cannot sit idly by while people suffer.

I work with an incredible team of professionals who are ready, willing and able to help.  I do not charge for a consultation or for access to my resources.  So, if you know a family in crisis encourage them to reach out for help.

Boca Raton DUI Lawyer | To Blow or Not To Blow, That is the Question

As a Drug and Alcohol attorney who helps individuals and families navigate the legal system to take advantage of the Marchman Act (Florida’s involuntary commitment statute for drug and alcohol disorders), I also represent people that have been arrested for drug or alcohol-related offenses.

One of the offenses that I most frequently get retained on is DUI.  As such, the question I get asked more often than any is whether or not the client should or should not have taken the breath test.  Based on my twenty-two years of experience handling these cases this is my personal opinion, other attorneys may have a different opinion.  This only applies to Florida DUI cases, the laws may be different in other states.

Before I share my thoughts with you, let me say that you should never drink and drive, period.  There is no excuse for having a drink, even one drink, and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.  With the advent of Uber and Lyft, a safe ride home is just a click away.  There is no excuse for endangering your life or the lives of others when you’ve had a drink and plan to get behind the wheel.  Ditto if you’re under the influence of drugs or medication that affect your ability to drive a motor vehicle (most prescription meds warn about the dangers of mixing meds and alcohol).  As someone who’s had a family member killed by a drunk driver, I say this in the strongest terms possible.  Nevertheless, I take my oath of attorney very seriously and we always do the best job possible for our clients.

If you are stopped by the police you have an absolute right to remain silent and not answer any questions about how much you’ve had to drink or where you’ve come from.  This applies even though the officer will likely not tell you that you have the right to remain silent (the US Supreme Court has ruled that a person stopped for an “ordinary” traffic stop is not in custody for purposes of Miranda).  So, be polite, tell the officer(s) you intend to remain silent on the advice of counsel and produce your documents when asked to do so.

If the officer smells booze on your breath, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re taking a ride downtown to the local county jail (you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride).  As such, it is likely that you will be asked to perform roadside sobriety tasks/exercises as part of the officer’s evidence gathering process.  You have an absolute right to refuse to do the tasks although you will not be told that is the case.  Do not perform the roadside tasks, ever, you’re almost certainly being arrested anyway.

Subsequent to your “lawful” arrest you will be asked to submit to a breath test.  The sanction for either blowing over the legal limit or refusing to take the breath test is outlined below.  Keep in mind that this is purely an administrative sanction and is separate and apart from the criminal sanctions you face for a DUI arrest and conviction. If you look at your driving license you will notice that below your signature you’ve already agreed to take the test, it’s a condition precedent to being given a license.  It’s called Implied Consent.

If this is your first DUI and you’ve had more than one drink before being stopped don’t take the test.  If this is your second or subsequent DUI arrest, regardless of how much you’ve had to drink, don’t take the test.  If you refuse to take the test you should be given the following warning:

“If you fail to submit to the test I have requested of you, your privilege to operate a motor vehicle will be suspended for a period of one (1) year for a first refusal, or eighteen (18) months if your privilege has been previously suspended as a result of a refusal to submit to a lawful test of your breath, urine or blood. Additionally, if you refuse to submit to the test I have requested of you and if your driving privilege has been previously suspended for a prior refusal to submit to a lawful test of your breath, urine or blood, you will be committing a misdemeanor. Refusal to submit to the test I have requested of you is admissible into evidence in any criminal proceeding.”

What you are not told is that if you do take the test and are over the legal limit (0.08) your license will be suspended for six (6) months.  If this is your first DUI you have a right to a hardship license once you’ve enrolled in DUI school.  If this is your second or subsequent DUI you will need to challenge the administrative suspension of your driver license within ten (10) days of your arrest or you will be facing thirty (30) days of hard time, which means no driving at all for any reason, if you blew over the legal limit.  If you refused to take the test you will be facing (90) days of hard time.  After the hard time period is over you can apply for a hardship license if you’ve enrolled in DUI school.

Who is the best Boca Raton DUI Lawyer?

That being said, it’s no coincidence that people arrested for these types of offenses are either in recovery or in need of treatment.  If this is not your first time being arrested for DUI please get help.  Statistics suggest that if you’ve had one DUI you’re very likely to get a second DUI within five years of the first.

My team can help you get the help you need, and we never charge for a consultation. My team can handle any criminal offense so please feel free to contact me with any potential referrals or questions you may have. The Drug & Alcohol Attorneys are not only where you can find a Boca Raton DUI lawyer, but a group of people that want to help you and your loved ones.

Marchman Act Florida | Basic Questions About the Marchman Act

When it comes to the Marchman Act Florida, there is a lot you need to know before filing the petition. It is important to have all of the information available to you. It might save someone’s life.

Is the Marchman Act Unique to Florida?

Yes, it is. While there are similar acts in several states, the Marchman Act is something that is enacted only in Florida. The act was passed in 1993 and has proven to be an incredibly effective tool for saving a loved one from their own dangerous habits when they cannot help themselves.

What Does the Marchman Act Do?

The Marchman Act can be filed by someone close to the person in question. This can be a parent, spouse, sibling, or close friend. This is only for extreme cases when you can prove that the person in question is not only a danger to themselves and others but also unwilling to seek the help they need. The courts can order an assessment done of the person for up to five days. This can lead to a maximum of 90 days of involuntary commitment at a certified treatment facility. All treatment remains confidential and if the person attempts to leave the facility before treatment is complete, they can be held in contempt.

Is It Effective?

Yes, the Marchman Act is an incredibly effective way to truly save someone’s life. What you need to keep in mind is that this is strictly for extreme cases only. Instances that involve minors, people struggling with severe mental illness, and cases where someone is an immediate danger to themselves and others are eligible for action under the Marchman Act. What makes the Marchman Act so effective is that it breaks the addict’s daily cycle and gets them out of a certain environment that can be the difference between sobriety or continued intoxication. Who can help me file the marchman act florida?

Looking for More Information About the Marchman Act Florida?

Have you been looking for more information about the Marchman Act Florida? If so, contact us today. Drug & Alcohol Attorneys is here to help you and your family today.