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GavelBooks

How Can An Arthur Hearing Help Me Get Bail?

By The Baez Law Firm |

In many criminal cases, a defendant has the right to bail. This is typically an amount of money that must be posted with the court as a deposit to ensure the defendant’s appearance at trial. Bail allows a defendant to remain free–i.e., not in jail–while their criminal case is still pending. When it comes… Read More »

TrafficStop

Could I Go To Jail For Driving With A Suspended License?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Traffic violations typically do not result in jail time. One exception, however, is driving with a suspended license (DWLS). If your driving privileges have been previously suspended, revoked, or canceled, and you are caught behind the wheel of a vehicle, you may actually face some amount of jail time. Indeed, in some cases jail… Read More »

Drug4

Entrapment As A Defense To Drug Charges

By The Baez Law Firm |

When the police improperly induce a defendant to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed, that is considered entrapment. Under Florida law, both objective and subjective entrapment are possible affirmative defenses to a criminal charge. Objective entrapment focuses on egregious conduct by law enforcement. Subjective entrapment, in contrast, involves an assessment of… Read More »

Imforment

Can The Police Stop You Based On An “Anonymous” Tip?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Before the police can detain you, they need “reasonable suspicion” to suspect you of a crime. For instance, if an officer observes you breaking a traffic law, that in and of itself is usually enough to create reasonable suspicion to initiate a stop. But the officer may also rely on information supplied by someone… Read More »

Legal7

Federal Court Denies Epstein Victims Lawsuit Against Government

By The Baez Law Firm |

One of the biggest criminal justice stories in recent years involved the now-deceased Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein. According to federal prosecutors, Epstein conspired with a number of people to sexually traffic and abuse over 30 young girls. Epstein allegedly paid his own employees to “deliver” the girls to him, some of whom were barely… Read More »

Fraud2

How Lying To Your Car Insurance Company Can Lead To Felony Charges

By The Baez Law Firm |

Filing a false insurance claim is a crime in Florida. Indeed, insurance fraud is considered a felony. This means that if caught and convicted, a defendant could face decades in prison. Florida Appeals Court Revives Insurance Fraud Prosecution A recent decision from a Florida appeals court, State v. Delprete, provided an important clarification as… Read More »

FoodLine

Federal Court Strikes Down Fort Lauderdale’s Ban On Distributing Food To Homeless Persons In City Park

By The Baez Law Firm |

The First Amendment is well known for protecting freedom of speech. In this context, “speech” is not just public speaking or commentary on political issues. It also includes a wide range of expressive conduct that is meant to convey a social message of some sort. Such expression is also protected under the First Amendment,… Read More »

PPP

Federal Prosecutors Charge Florida Court With Wrongfully Obtaining COVID-19 Relief Funds

By The Baez Law Firm |

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress authorized unprecedented forms of economic relief to help struggling individuals and businesses stay afloat. Under the CARES Act, passed by Congress in March 2020, eligible small businesses could apply for “forgivable loans” to cover payroll and other authorized expenses. This is known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)…. Read More »

ProstituteCar

Is “Consent” A Valid Defense To A Federal Sex Trafficking Charge?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Sex crimes do not just include direct offenses against individuals, such as sexual assault. It also includes “commercial” activities like child sex trafficking. Federal law states a person is guilty of sex trafficking if they “knowingly recruit, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain a minor” to engage in any “commercial sexual act.” In… Read More »

Jail4

Can I Go To Jail For A “Technical Violation” Of My Probation?

By The Baez Law Firm |

When someone is placed on probation following a criminal conviction, they are required to follow a number of terms and conditions. If there is any violation, no matter how small or technical, the defendant can be brought before a judge. Now, this does not necessarily mean the judge will revoke probation and send the… Read More »

Music_Drugs

Are Rap Videos Posted To YouTube Admissible As Evidence In A Drug Case?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Social media makes it easy for anyone to produce, distribute, and even monetize their creative talents. Of course, anything that you share with the world via the Internet can also be found by law enforcement. In some cases, “creative” prosecutors might even try and use a defendant’s online videos as evidence against them. But… Read More »

Legal1

What Are Considered “Mitigating Factors” In Florida Criminal Sentencing?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Every criminal offense in Florida carries a minimum permissible sentence. But a judge can take into account certain “mitigating circumstances” and impose a sentence beyond the statutory minimum. For example, if the defendant negotiates a plea bargain with the prosecution for a lower sentence, the court can accept that. Another common ground for granting… Read More »

RentPastDue

How Skipping Out On Your Rent–Or Defrauding A Charitable Beneficiary–Can Lead To Serious Criminal Charges

By The Baez Law Firm |

Financial crimes are not always the result of some elaborate organized criminal conspiracy. Oftentimes it is just a case of people struggling to make ends meet. Perhaps they take some money from their employer without asking to help pay a bill. From a legal standpoint, however, such acts are still considered theft. And if… Read More »

Keep_Quiet

Florida Court Upholds Murder Conviction, Finds Defendant Made “Unequivocal” Waiver Of Miranda Rights

By The Baez Law Firm |

The police are required to inform you of your Miranda rights before they interrogate you. These rights include the ability to refuse to answer any questions and/or speak with an attorney. It is common practice for the police to ask a suspect if they wish to “voluntarily” waive these rights and answer questions. If… Read More »

MedPrescription

Medical Professionals Face Drug Charges Over Questionable Prescriptions

By The Baez Law Firm |

Although most people associate drug crimes with the distribution of illegal narcotics like cocaine or heroin, in fact a person can also be charged with improperly distributing legal prescription drugs as well. This includes licensed medical providers. If a doctor or other health care professional dispenses a prescription drug to someone without a legitimate… Read More »

Panhandling

Does The First Amendment Protect Panhandling?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The First Amendment broadly protects every person’s freedom of speech. This is not limited to political speech. It also protects speech purely designed to advance one’s own interests–even when that may annoy or inconvenience others. Florida Appeals Court Finds Fort Myers Panhandling Ban Unconstitutional For example, courts have consistently held that asking for money… Read More »

Password

How Stealing Someone Else’s Online Password Can Lead To Federal Criminal Charges

By The Baez Law Firm |

Every day you read stories about computer “hacking.” Some of these stories involve people improperly accessing computer systems to steal money or trade secrets from a large company. But even if you access someone’s personal computer without authorization just to look at their files, even if there is no commercial or profit motive, you… Read More »

LiquorStore

Florida Liquor Store Owner Faces Jail Time For Concealing Cash Receipts From IRS

By The Baez Law Firm |

It is not uncommon for people to fall behind on their taxes or inadvertently miss a filing deadline. These are not crimes as such. But if the government believes that you have “willfully” attempted to “evade or defeat any tax” that you lawfully owe, you can be prosecuted–and if convicted, you could face up… Read More »

Pillars

Supreme Court Unanimously Holds Police Cannot Search Private Homes Under “Community Caretaking” Exception

By The Baez Law Firm |

Police often provide “community caretaking” functions that are not necessarily related to law enforcement. For example, police often respond to calls to assist a person who may be missing or otherwise in distress. As a general rule, a police officer does not require any sort of warrant to perform these caretaking functions. At the… Read More »

OnlineTrap

How Answering A Craigslist Ad Can Land You In Federal Prison For 35 Years

By The Baez Law Firm |

Few crimes, short of those involving homicide, are prosecuted more harshly than child pornography. Law enforcement agencies often go to substantial lengths to ensnare and arrest individuals suspected of viewing, collecting, or distributing sexually explicit images of minors. In some cases, a defendant may have a viable “entrapment” defense, i.e., they would not have… Read More »

PoliceHouse

Can The Police Follow Me Into My House Just Because They Think I Did Something Wrong?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The police normally cannot enter your home without your permission or a warrant. But the courts have long made an exception for certain “exigent” or emergency circumstances. For example, if the police believe someone is about to destroy evidence–e.g., flushing illegal drugs down the toilet–that can justify a warrantless entry into a home. Supreme… Read More »

Psychiatrist

Can A Police Officer Commit Me To A Mental Hospital?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The Baker Act is a Florida law that allows a police officer to order the involuntary commitment of an adult or child for a “mental health examination,” which can last up to 72 hours. The Act was designed to help those who suffer from a genuine mental illness obtain help before they hurt themselves… Read More »

MailPackage

Do Prosecutors Need To Prove I Knew About The Specific Illegal Drugs That I Allegedly Possessed?

By The Baez Law Firm |

There are numerous federal and state laws that prohibit the possession of certain drugs. The federal statute states it is unlawful to “knowingly or intentionally” possess with intent to “manufacture, distribute, or dispense, a controlled substance.” The phrase controlled substance refers to a drug listed in one of five categories (or “schedules”) as having… Read More »

Pool9

How Civil Rights Laws Also Protect Your Contractual Rights

By The Baez Law Firm |

Civil rights laws do not just protect you from racial discrimination by the government. Many of these laws also apply to private parties as well. For example, 42 U.S.C. § 1981 is a federal statute that guarantees the equal rights of all people to “make and enforce contracts.” This means that if an act of… Read More »

Jury

How Do Grand Juries Work In Florida?

By The Baez Law Firm |

There are two legal mechanisms by which a person can be charged with a crime in Florida: information or indictment. An information is a charging document issued by a prosecutor, i.e., a Florida State Attorney. An indictment, on the other hand, is issued by a legal body known as the grand jury. A grand… Read More »

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