FAQ Videos

The first thing we do is talk to the client. We have to sit down with the client and get an unvarnished and truthful opinion as to what happened or what didn’t happen. After we talk to the client and we get those initial input, we utilize an investigator to get witness statements as quick as possible, obtain police reports as quick as possible. If the client is in custody, we seek to get a bond placed and have them bonded out as quick as possible. Once those initial things are done, then we go through it with a fine tooth comb. Every document, every report, every statement, every allegation is tested, broken down to its basic level, and we think about this the way the prosecution would think about it. We attack it from their view, so when a case is complete, we have a complete story as to what our narrative is and how we’re going to defend our case.

Our experience, our preparation, and our results. For over 10 years I’ve been practicing criminal defense in state and federal courts in south Florida. My record speaks for itself. I have learned in those years of practicing how to prepare cases. We take a case and we break it down to its simplest level and prepare it back up. Through the investigator that I utilize, the forensic accountants, and other professionals that assist me in the case, we really get to the meat and the bones of your case, and know how to better attack it. We look at it as a prosecutor would look at it. The reason is our results. They just speak for themselves. We have represented hundreds of clients, had in upwards of 50 jury trials, countless depositions, and were able to demonstrate to our clients, from what we’ve done to past clients, how we can better serve them. That’s why you should consider hiring our firm.

Yes, it’s become very common in the last five to 10 years for prosecutors and for detectives or different law enforcement agents to troll the social media pages of people that they suspect are in a gang, who they suspect are involved in criminal activity, or just basically looking for evidence for someone who may be a suspect. It could be something as simple as seeing whether the shoes that were alleged to have been stolen from a house, you have the same shoes on in a social media post, maybe something as simple as whether you were in the same location at the time that a crime was alleged. Social media is extremely useful to law enforcement, and you can be assured that if you’re suspected of committing a crime, they are going to go through your social media history.

Absolutely. It’s one of the easiest ways in which they prove threatening conduct by someone suspected of doing so. The most simple way they do is that the person or the alleged victim that makes the complaint simply takes their phone and the police officer screenshot those messages to show that the threats were made, that the communication happened. If it’s a domestic violence injunction in which a person is accused of stalking or threatening an ex, they’re going to be looking at those social media posts and those Facebook messages. They are absolutely evidence of intent. What they’re considered are admissions. They’re introduced as an admission against the person that they’re either prosecuting for the crime or seeking that domestic violence injunction against.

Yes. There are a few ways in which they can conduct a search without a warrant. One is they obtain consent. They get the consent of the vehicle or the property owner to do a search of the property. The second way that they do it frequently is what’s called an inventory search. They have an odor of marijuana or some substance coming from the vehicle. They arrest the occupant and pursuant to that arrest, they do an inventory search of the vehicle or they do a search of the person in which they find additional contraband or items. The third way that they do searches are [inaudible] and circumstances. Basically, they get a call of a person needing help in a house or someone was shot or hurt. They’re going in there under the impression that they have to save or help someone in danger and they can do what’s called a protective search at that point. Those are the usual ways that they conduct a search without a warrant.

Yes. There are a few ways in which they can conduct a search without a warrant. One is they obtain consent. They get the consent of the vehicle or the property owner to do a search of the property. The second way that they do it frequently is what’s called an inventory search. They have an odor of marijuana or some substance coming from the vehicle. They arrest the occupant and pursuant to that arrest, they do an inventory search of the vehicle or they do a search of the person in which they find additional contraband or items. The third way that they do searches are [inaudible] and circumstances. Basically, they get a call of a person needing help in a house or someone was shot or hurt. They’re going in there under the impression that they have to save or help someone in danger and they can do what’s called a protective search at that point. Those are the usual ways that they conduct a search without a warrant.

Yes, police officers frequently take statements from multiple witnesses, and they make a judgment call. They believe who they believe, and they make an arrest decision based upon that. A good police officer is gonna look for additional evidence. They are gonna look for physical injuries for example if it was a domestic fight. If somebody is claiming they were hit and they were stabbed, and there is no bleeding, there is no wounds, there is no swelling. It kind of makes their statement less credible. To the contrary, if someone says that they didn’t hit another person, and there is bleeding, there is swelling, there is damage, it collaborates that person’s statement. Yes, a police can make an arrest decision based on his or her word. What they should do however is look for collaborating evidence to support that allegation.

That all depends on the kind of investigation and preparation that was done in your case. Before agreeing to any plea bargain, the lawyer that you have representing you should have tested the evidence, reviewed the discovery with you, taken depositions if it’s a felony, and presented you with your options, your legal options, your factual options. The decision to take a plea deal really only can be made after you’ve properly evaluated the case and know what the strengths or weaknesses are.

No, you should not return the phone call to any detective or any police officer that’s seeking to talk with you about a crime that you’re suspected of committing. What you should be doing is contacting a lawyer immediately, getting representation so that person can contact the detective or the police officer and inform them that you are invoking your fifth amendment rights, and that you will not speak with without the presence of an attorney.

No. The first thing you should do is contact an attorney and get the proper advice and representation. Typically, if an attorney agrees with you giving a statement, it’s gonna be a written statement prepared by the attorney that you sign and notarize after the fact that will be submitted, but generally speaking, giving a statement to the police is a bad idea.

The most important right that you have upon being accused of a crime is the right to remain silent. You do not have to give a statement. You do not have to speak to the police. You do not have to tell your side of the story. In fact, it’s in your best interest to exercise that right and remain silent. You have the right to speak to a lawyer. You have the right to consult with a lawyer, which is another right that you have, which is advice and consent to counsel. You have a right to representation. If you’re formally charged you have a right to enter a plea of not guilty and demand trial by jury. You have a right to review and inspect the evidence in discovery and documents against you. You have a right to confront the witnesses that are accusing you of this crime. If you were to be convicted you have the right to an appeal. Those are the basic rights that you have in the state of Florida. The first right that you’re always gonna be confronted with is the right to remain silent. Use it.

The first step is arrest. So typically what’s going to happen is a police officer, whether a county sheriff or a municipal police officer is going to arrest you based upon probable cause that you committed a crime. You’d be booked in the county jail and within 24 hours you’ll see a magistrate judge who’d set a bond. If a bond is not set or a bond is not posted, regardless, you’re going to have an arraignment date which is the date that the State decides whether they’re going to file formal charges. They will either choose to do so via information which is a written document which makes the allegations against you or they’ll seek an indictment from the grand jury. Once you’ve been formally arraigned, then you go into a trial posture which means that the discovery process begins, the inspection of the evidence, the depositions of the witnesses where you get to also produce your own witnesses. Then you go to a trial. If you are acquitted at the trial, then the case is over. If you are convicted, the next step would be an appeal.

In Florida courts criminal cases are broken down into degrees. So there are capital first degree felonies, there are first degree felonies punishable by life, which are called PBLs. First degree felonies, second degree felonies, third degree felonies, first degree misdemeanors, or second degree misdemeanors. A second degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days. A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in the county jail. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to five years. Second degree felonies are punishable by up to 15 years. Third degree felonies are punishable by up to 30 years. PBLs, first degree felonies punishable by life, are punishable up to life in prison, and capital first degree felonies are a mandatory life sentence if convicted. Like a first degree murder or a capital sexual battery.

The basic answer is because your freedom is on the line. Any you’re in an investigative process, whether you’re suspected of committed a crime, or you’ve been arrested and accused of committing a crime, your freedom is at stake, even if it’s a misdemeanor. If it’s a first degree felony, it doesn’t matter, you could be put in jail. So the first reason why you should higher a criminal defense lawyer is to protect your liberty interests. Also you have somebody who’s working on you side. You want to have a professional that has your best interest at heart, that’s gonna look at this case from your point of view, and do what’s possible to get you the best possible result. Whether that’s a jury trial and seeking an acquittal from a jury, whether it’s a plead deal, whether it’s a diversion program, or whether it’s to getting the charges dismissed outright, you have somebody on your side that’s working on your behalf. That’s why you should higher a criminal defense lawyer.

The easy answer is because the police believed that person and not you. And when they made that initial arrest decision to arrest you versus the other person, the presumption that they made carried with it to the state attorney’s office, and the state attorney’s office then filed charges based upon what their officer is telling them and what the reports say. So, you know, that’s the simple reason why. The officer just makes a judgment call, and then you now find yourself as being the defendant. That doesn’t mean that you’re going to be convicted though. That doesn’t mean that you’re guilty, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t fight back. You just simply need to get the right representation, put the pieces in place, and fight for your freedom.

Yes, but self defense is an affirmative defense. What that means is you have to raise it either during trial or pretrial in what’s called the stand your ground hearing. If you were struck first and you responded to either defend yourself or it was a mutual combatant situation, you can raise in pretrial in the stand your ground hearing, in which the court will consider the evidence and determine whether the state has met their burden. Even if the judge denies the stand your ground immunity, you can still go to trial and raise self defense in trial. But it is an affirmative defense, which means that the burden is on you to show that you acted in self defense.

Initially, no. Typically, there is going to be some reunification with the biological children through the process. Typically, if the child was present or the child themselves was the victim of the domestic violence, then it becomes more difficult. The state sometimes seeks to terminate parental rights as a result. But if the child was not there or the child was not a victim but merely present, then typically courts are going to allow a process for the parents to be reunified with their children, at least visitation at some level.

Yes. The most minor of drug offenses is going to be marijuana. Misdemeanor under 20 grams of marijuana. The most serious drug offenses are going to be possession of prescription pills, like Oxycodone or Percocet. A lot of people believe it’s cocaine or heroin, but the amount of cocaine or heroin that you need to possess typically needs to be in the kilo level, whereas with prescription drugs, a bottle can be a first degree felony, and a bottle can be a 25 year minimum mandatory. So it depends on the substance, it depends on the amount that you’re possessing.

Yes. In every criminal case you need an attorney. But especially in a situation like this. When drugs are found in someone’s car the way that the police, or the prosecution’s going to try to prove that they were your drugs is with a statement. They’re going to ask you. “Who’s are those? How did they get there? Did you know it was there?” If you give any kind of incriminating statement to imply that you either knew they were there, or you should have known they were there, they’re going to use that as the link to prove that the drugs were yours. If you make no statement, or if you simply say, “I have no knowledge of this substance,” than they can’t connect you to the drugs. Obviously they could fingerprint it, they could DNA swab it, but that’s highly unlikely that they’re going to do that in a drug case for a possession. What you’re going to want to do is get a lawyer. You’re going to want to simply not make a statement. And then you’re going to want to deal with the case after the fact. And there are very, very good defenses that are available in situations such as drugs being found in your car.

Drug crimes or drug offenses are broken down typically into the possession level, the sale level, and the trafficking level. Depending upon what substance it is determines what degree of felony or misdemeanor. Marijuana is typically going to be a first degree. Misdemeanor if it’s under 20 grams. If it’s over 20 grams, then it’s a felony possession of marijuana. If it’s over 28 grams and there’s some other evidence that indicate that it’s being packaged or used for sale, then it could be possession with the intent to sell. Over a pound, it’s going to be trafficking, and so on. If it’s prescription medication, however, a simple pill bottle could be trafficking. One pill could be a third-degree felony. If it’s cocaine or heroin, it could be a gram or two, so it just all depends upon the weight, the manner in which it’s packaged, and how it’s being used by the person. Typically, it’s going to be possession. Could be trafficking. It could be sale.

This largely depends upon the amount and the type substance of which you allegedly possessed. If it is a possession amount, even if it is cocaine, heroin, marijuana, a lot of the jurisdictions offer drug court. If you’ve never been in trouble before, you’ve never had any problems. If it’s a larger amount or if it’s packaged for sale then you’re looking at a prison sentence as being the possible result, up to 15 years or up to 30 years depending upon the amount. If it’s cocaine or heroin and it’s a larger amount more than an ounce, or more than a kilo you could have a three year minimum mandatory. You could have a 7 year minimum mandatory. You could have up to a 15 year minimum mandatory. When it becomes possession of prescription pills like narcotics, Percocet, hydrocodone, those can be upwards of 25 years minimum mandatory. So it largely depends on the substance and the amount that was possessed at the time.

The two typical defenses are going to be that you weren’t driving or you weren’t impaired. In any DUI case, the police and the prosecution have to prove that you were in actual physical control of a motor vehicle at the time that you were impaired. If they can’t prove that you were driving, then they can’t meet the first element. The second thing they’re going to have to prove is that you were impaired, that your normal faculties were impaired. Typically, a 0.08 reading of a breath test is going to give a presumption that you were impaired, but it’s a rebuttable presumption in which you can prove that you didn’t have a flushed face, that you were walking fine, that your speech wasn’t slurred, that your eyes weren’t red, that your driving pattern was good. It’s not a slam dunk just to say that you had a 0.08. There has to be additional evidence in which the State can illicit to prove that your normal faculties were impaired. One of the other things to consider in a DUI case is did they have reason to stop you? If they stopped you illegally, you can also challenge that stop.

The first thing you should do is not make a statement. The second thing you should do is contact an experienced lawyer immediately. When police officers do reverse stings, there’s certain typical MO, modus operandi, that they do. There’s going to be communications through text messages, or some kind of online medium like Craigslist, or something along those lines. And there is going to be an offer to meet you at a hotel or an undisclosed location in which they’re going to have people present there to record you and to arrest you. So by making a statement, by implying that you knew what they were doing, that’s going to be the biggest piece of evidence against you. The other thing is: Be smart. If somebody on the other line, or somebody in the other ad is saying that they’re going to meet you at this hotel, and they’re beautiful, and it’s the prettiest woman you’ve ever seen in your life, and the price is a hundred bucks, then you should know or you should have an idea that something’s going on here. So, simply to do not make a statement. If you are arrested, there’s nothing you can do to stop that from happening, but by getting the proper representation you can go ahead and fight the case and have a good result.

A straw buyer is a person that is used to purchase or acquire some kind of property or something of value that’s not for them. Think of a drug dealer or a person who obtained money by fraud. They can’t purchase that Lamborghini in their own name. They can’t purchase that condo or that home in their own name, so they get their cousin. They get their secretary. They get their friend. They get their girlfriend or their girlfriend’s cousin, and they use that person to purchase and acquire the property which is for them and for their uses, and the property will almost always have been acquired through elicit gains, so through drug money, through fraud or something along those lines. And a straw buyer is a person that allows for them to acquire that property.

Mortgage fraud can take many different shapes. The typical way that a mortgage fraud case develops is someone is approving mortgages for the purposes of making a gain, or proceeds or a kickback for people who either are not real buyers, or straw buyers, or people who don’t qualify so they fudge the numbers. So they will approve all of these homes to be purchased, or these condos to be purchased for people who did not have the resources, did not have the proper paperwork, did not have the money on hand but the loans got approved anyway, and all those loans went into foreclosure. So mortgage fraud is basically acquiring money from the bank for a mortgage based upon fraudulent grounds, fictitious paperwork. But as I said before, it can manifest itself in several ways. It can be the mortgage broker that’s the one that’s committing the fraud; it could be the people that are submitting the applications through straw buyers; it could be the underwriter that knows it’s happening. So it takes many different forms, but that’s typically what it is.

There are typically two defenses. The first defense is the person that’s making the accusation was not robbed and the second defense is that you’ve been mis-identified as the person who committed the robbery. Mis-identification is the most common defense ’cause typically robberies are committed by people who don’t know each other. So, it’s a random person walking on the street that’s robbed by someone they don’t know. Less common is gonna be when someone you know committed the robbery. Then, mis-identification becomes a much more difficult defense because they know you. They seen you before. You went to school with them, you work with them. And then the defense becomes at that time that they weren’t robbed. But those are the typical two defenses.

In plain terms, sexual battery is the unlawful touching, contact, or union with another persons sexual organs. So think of sexual battery in the common term of what we think of as rape; you forcefully placed yourself on someone. But in the more uncommon term, sexual battery can be the person could not consent. They were intoxicated to the point that they didn’t know. The person could be under a certain age. A person under the age of 16, typically, in the state of Florida cannot consent to a person over the person over the age of 18. The person under the age of 12, it would be sexual battery, but capital sexual battery because of their age. The person could be incapacitated because of mental decline and that person was touched or was penetrated in some way, inconsistent with their wishes. That would be a sexual battery. So generally speaking, sexual battery could be a variety of different crimes, but in basic terms it’s the unlawful contact union, with someone’s sexual organs against their will.

Do not make a statement. Do not take phone calls, do not respond to text messages, do not respond to Facebook, Twitter or any other electronic communication. When people are accused of sexual battery before an arrest’s ever made, it’s extremely common for the police department to make control phone calls. So the person who is accusing you, we’ll call you and be on the other line and there’ll be asking to meet up with you or they’ll be asking you questions, trying to get you to implicate yourself or to incriminate yourself. And on that other line they’re simply just recording the phone calls. They’re also going to be scouring social media to see what you post, to see if you’re posting things that would indicate that you did something wrong. So the first thing is don’t make a statement. Don’t take phone calls, don’t respond to any messages. Contact a lawyer immediately. Get in there and get your case going in the right direction.

Violent crimes include a host of allegations that either include actual acts of violence or threats of violence. So something as simple as threatening to punch somebody could be considered a violent crime or actually punching them. Using a weapon in the commission of a crime, if you were to use a weapon to commit a robbery, or if you were to use a knife to commit a sexual battery, that’s considered a violent crime, anything in which a person is attacked or touched against their will. So if they were forcibly raped, if they were unconscious and could not consent, if it was a robbery for an iPhone with a weapon, if it was ripping of handbag off of an a old lady’s shoulder, all of these things are in the category of violent crimes, but the two keys here is that an actual act of violence or the threat of violence in the commission of the crime.

White collar crime is the general term for a host of criminal activity that’s done for monetary gain without violence. Mortgage fraud is white collar crime. Credit card fraud is white collar crime. Stealing people’s tax returns is white collar crime. Bad checks is white collar crime. Forged checks, white collar crime. Anything in which a person obtains the property of another, whether it’s cash or other property without violence through some kind of fraud, deception or misrepresentation are all within the category of white collar crimes.

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