At Ellis and Bryant, our dedicated and knowledgeable professionals represent North Florida residents in a wide range of legal matters related to family law and criminal defense. For example, we can handle disputes related to child custody and support, spousal support, and property division, as well as helping you fight charges of DUI, drug offenses, theft, assault, or other crimes. Based in Jacksonville, our criminal defense and family law lawyers take a proactive approach to representing clients. We take the time to understand each person’s specific situation and needs, and we hit the ground running to help them build strong arguments to protect their interests. We are dedicated to guiding the people whom we represent through the legal process with experience and personal attention.Representation in Divorce Proceedings
A divorce may be a stressful situation for everyone involved. A couple’s decision to part ways also often raises complicated legal issues about what to do with the family home and other property and how to care for the kids. Our Jacksonville family law lawyers tackle these issues head-on, keeping clients fully informed of their rights at every step of the way.
Florida’s “no fault” system allows either spouse to get a divorce by simply stating that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” This means that divorcing spouses do not need to point fingers at each other about who was to blame. State law also allows some couples to resolve a divorce and related issues through a streamlined “uncontested” process. In order to be eligible for this option, one spouse must have been living in Florida for at least six months leading up to the divorce, and both spouses must agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken. They also cannot have children under the age of 18. Finally, the spouses must agree that neither is seeking alimony (spousal support) and that they have come up with a way to split their property and debt.
Divorcing spouses who do not qualify for the uncontested process still have an opportunity to work out related legal issues collaboratively in a negotiated settlement. When they are unable to resolve some or all of these issues, the case goes before a judge, who will listen to arguments and testimony, review evidence, and make decisions about child custody, support, and property division, among other issues.Fighting for Defendants in DUI Cases
Florida, like other states, makes it illegal for a person to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or more. The state imposes harsh penalties for drinking and driving, including possibly a suspension of your license, thousands of dollars in fines, and even jail time. This is why it is crucial that a person facing a drunk driving charge seek the advice of an experienced DUI attorney.
A police officer must first have a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that you have committed a traffic violation or another crime in order to pull over your car. If the officer then has “probable cause” to believe that you have been drinking, they may ask you to submit to a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. If the police did not have a good reason to pull over your car or ask you to take a test, the result may eventually be excluded from court.Mounting a Strong Criminal Defense
Like DUI cases, many criminal charges carry with them the possibility of significant fines and jail time. The good news is that there are many legal defenses that may be available to people who have been charged with crimes in Florida. The burden is at all times on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime. The reasonable suspicion and probable cause issues that often come up in DUI cases also may protect people charged with other offenses. Defenses may also relate to a lack of intent, self-defense, entrapment, or an alibi, among other examples.Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense, DUI, or Family Law Lawyer in Jacksonville
At Ellis and Bryant, our attorneys have a wealth of experience fighting for clients in court and at the negotiating table. Partner Samantha Ellis is a seasoned Jacksonville family law attorney who has helped clients resolve issues related to divorce on favorable terms. Partner Gary Bryant is a former Assistant State Attorney with an extensive background as a DUI lawyer and in other criminal matters. Our firm is committed to serving people throughout North Florida in their times of need. Call us at (904) 551-4120 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer about your case for free.
Gary T.J. Bryant graduated 4th in his class at the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2009. He served the State of Florida as an Assistant State Attorney from 2009 until 2015. He has extensive felony trial experience including capital sexual battery, attempted murder, child pornography and armed robbery. He has handled numerous high profile cases including the prosecution of an Orange Park High School football player for sexual battery.READ MORE
Samantha Ellis is a founding partner of Ellis and Bryant, P.A. and lifelong resident of North Florida. While only a law student, Ms. Ellis became a Certified Legal Intern and began advocating for indigent clients in divorce and child custody matters. As a Certified Legal Intern, she was able to make court appearances, negotiate mediation agreements with opposing counsel, research applicable laws, and draft court documents and memoranda.READ MORE
She took the time to listen to our concerns and advise us accordingly. She fought for us until the case was done and after the case was complete followed with us. She is one of the few attorneys I have encountered who really care.
After leaving the office I knew I had made the right choice choosing Ellis and Bryant. Their honest and in-depth knowledge gave me a new perspective about my circumstance. Not only were they looking out for me but also my family and things that could play out in the future.
During the entire process I felt safe and secure that my most important matter was just as important to her. She along with her firm worked very diligently to ensure that my rights were met and decision deliberated by the court was the appropriate and fair judicial action in regards to my case. Words can not express my gratitude and thankfulness in having Samantha Valentine Ellis, P.A. represent me through that difficult time.
We had an excellent experience with TJ as our Lawyer. I couldn't be happier with the out come for my daughter's case. He was able to have her new charges along with her violation of probation dropped. I highly recommend TJ to anyone who is looking for an honest & hard working lawyer. Thank you again TJ for your excellent service!
Ms Ellis took advantage of every detail and applicable law in the handling of a very contentious child custody case. Both she and Mr. Bryant were courteous and prompt in all of our correspondence. She communicated effectively with opposing counsel to facilitate a fair and equitable outcome. Highly recommend!