“Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.” – Edmund Burke
We at Hatcher Law Firm know our history. An undergraduate and graduate history major, the firm’s owner went on to earn his law degree from Mississippi College School of Law in 2005. Since then, the firm has sixteen years of experience as a public defender, in the state’s attorney’s office prosecuting felony cases, and in the areas of criminal defense and family law. The Hatcher Law Firm knows the past to live and succeed in the present.
While history matters, experience matters more. The Hatcher Law Firm specializes in criminal law, family law, and personal injury law.
What to do today if you are seeking a divorce.
Today, if you wish to get a divorce in Florida, you must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. You do need to state one of two reasons even though
Florida is a no-fault state:
Irreconcilable Differences: In Florida, the petition only needs to say the marriage is “irrevocably broken.”
Mental Incapacity: In Florida, you may also divorce due to mental incapacity, which requires the incapacitated party to be legally found so a minimum of three years before filing for divorce.
Our Practice Areas
Criminal defense law was always a quest for right over wrong. We take our criminal defense laws from 18th-century English Common Law, which came to differentiate between civil laws and criminal laws. What we have today in the United States is America’s interpretation of English Common Law.
While even 16th-century laws aimed to protect those who were mentally impaired and committed a criminal offense, not until 1843 when Daniel M’Naghten, shot and killed Edward Drummond, under the delusion that Drummond was the British Prime Minister Robert Pell. The trial resulted in the not guilty by reason of insanity ruling.
If you have been arrested for a crime and need representation in a criminal matter, Experience Matters! Contact Wes Hatcher, criminal defense lawyer, at The Hatcher Law Firm in Panama City, Florida by calling (850) 724-4901.
Dissolution of Marriage: Before the 20th century, divorce was an infrequent event. The Colony of Massachusetts Bay, pre-1776, created a judicial tribunal that granted divorces because of bigamy, desertion, adultery, and even impotence. Even though laws were in place, the colonies in the south did all they could to prevent divorce.
As of 1776, divorce laws were less restrictive but women, not recognized as a person, could not easily claim ownership of land and money until The Married Women’s Property Act in 1848. By the end of the 18th century, a person could get a divorce in states such as the Dakotas, Indiana, and Utah.
In the 50s, divorce required a court appearance and proving fault like adultery. In the 1970s, divorce law changed to no-fault divorces.
Industrialization’s move to machines increased the number and severity of injuries among workers. Thus, workers began to sue employers for injuries and deaths. The 1913 National Safety Council was tasked to study injury-related problems and reduce the number of accidents.
The most famous personal injury case was in 1992 when an elderly lady spilled McDonald’s very hot coffee on her lap. While many conversations today make light of her $20,000 lawsuit, the woman suffered from third-degree burns and more than a week's stay in the hospital. Her injury compensation lawyer helped her win the personal injury lawsuit. She was awarded almost $3,000,000.
Contrary to pop culture’s complaints about personal injury lawyers, today the specialization seeks to protect individuals, keep them safe, and provide for them while they recover from their injuries.
When you need representation in a personal injury matter, Experience Matters! Contact Wes Hatcher, personal injury lawyer, at The Hatcher Law Firm in Panama, Florida to set up a consultation by calling (850) 724-4901.
The term “domestic violence” did not exist before the 20th century. Before this time United State laws turned a blind eye to a husband’s violence against his wife. In the 1950s, police did intervene in domestic situations, but the abuser rarely was charged and convicted. In the 1970s the Women’s Movement demanded change. In the past domestic abuse was thought to be the man in the relationship abusing the female, but these definitions have expanded to include any type of abuse and any person. Abuse also includes sexual, financial, and emotional.
If you find yourself a victim of domestic violence, your first call should be to the authorities. Then, after you are safe and when you need representation, Experience Matters! Contact Wes Hatcher, domestic violence victim attorney, at the Hatcher Law Firm in Panama City, Florida by calling (850) 724-4901.
Driving Under the Influence
While laws governing driving under the influence date back to the early 1900s, the more substantial changes in the laws were made between 1960 and 1990. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) was the engine of change. Candy Lightner’s teenage daughter, walking home from school, was struck by a drunk driver who had had previous DUI convictions, plural. MADD successfully change the legal blood alcohol level from 0.15% to 0.10% to 0.08%. They also raised the drinking age to 21.
In the early 1980s, Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) also became an engine of change on the middle school, high school, and college campuses.
If you are 21 or younger, any measurable amount of alcohol in your blood will label you as being under the influence. If this is your first DUI arrest and your alcohol blood level is 0.02% or greater, your driver’s license will be suspended for six months. Your license can be suspended for one year if you refuse to take the blood alcohol test. A second DUI offense results in a one-year suspension of your driver’s license, and your license can be suspended for 18 months if you refuse to take the blood alcohol test.
Regardless of your age, if you have been arrested for a DUI, Experience Matters! Contact Wes Hatcher, DUI defense lawyer, at The Hatcher Law Firm in Panama City, Florida by calling (850) 724-4901.
“Mr. Hatcher was very prompt in his responses, professional, and I could tell he was experienced and he knew what he was talking about. He's not going to be intimidated by other attorneys and will fight for you in the Courtroom. I consulted with him regarding a family law matter and he answered all the questions I had.”
Florida’s Child Custody Laws
Unlike today’s focus on “the best interest of the child,” in colonial American fathers had custody of children in a divorce. This was because fathers were responsible to support, train, and educated them. Not until after the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention did such laws change. The industrial revolution played its part, moving fathers from the farm to the factory and bestowing on women the central role of homemaker, especially in the younger years.
But then came the 1960s and the Women’s Movement. Today, “in the best interest of the child,” does not favor the mother or the father.
Unless parents reach an agreement regarding custody of the children, the judge considers what is in the best interest of the child when deciding who gets custody of the child or children. The parents will be asked to create a parenting plan that will aim to set a schedule for who will pick the child up from school and what schedule works best for the child. The judge will take into consideration such things as each parent’s willingness to prioritize goals based on the needs of the child, the moral fitness of each parent, the child’s environment (home, school, community), each parent’s capacity, and each parent’s ability to foster the parent-child relationship.
When you need representation in a child custody case, Experience Matters! Contact Wes Hatcher, family law attorney, at The Hatcher Law Firm in Panama City, Florida by calling (850) 724-4901.