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Category Archives: Criminal Defense

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What Is The Sentence For “Aggravated Identity Theft” Under Federal Law?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Identity theft broadly refers to the illegal use of someone else’s personal identifying information. One common form of identity theft is using false or stolen information to obtain legal identification, such as a passport or driver’s license. Oftentimes, the people who commit such crimes are not doing so for any nefarious reason. They may… Read More »

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Can The Police Arrest And Search You for Violating A Municipal Ordinance?

By The Baez Law Firm |

Not every action that violates the law is a crime. If you run a red light, for example, you have committed a non-criminal traffic infraction. A police officer can briefly stop you and issue you a ticket. But they cannot handcuff you or otherwise detain you any longer than is necessary to write the… Read More »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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What Is Money Laundering?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The phrase money laundering is commonly associated with large-scale organized crime. But anyone can face a money laundering charge, even when the underlying criminal activity is relatively small. Indeed, many people are not even aware of what activities qualify as money laundering until they are actually charged. Transforming Criminal Process Into “Clean” Money The… Read More »

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds Tribal Police May Detain Non-Tribal Suspects For Apparent Violations Of Federal And State Laws

By The Baez Law Firm |

Florida is home to a number of federally recognized Native American tribes and Indian reservations. As the U.S. Supreme Court has explained, Native American tribes are considered “distinct, independent communities” that exercise “limited” sovereignty within their respective reservations. This includes the ability to regulate their own domestic affairs and maintain their own police forces…. Read More »

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When Can You Raise an Entrapment Defense to a Criminal Charge?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The police often use undercover officers to catch criminals “in the act.” Consider a scenario where a suspect is accused of selling illegal drugs to someone who turns out to be an undercover officer. Can the suspect then argue they were a victim of police “entrapment”? Entrapment is a legal term that applies when… Read More »

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Understanding the Florida Clemency Process

By The Baez Law Firm |

Clemency is a process that allows the chief executive officer of a government to set aside a resident’s criminal conviction or penalty. Clemency is sometimes referred to as a “pardon,” although, at least as it applies to Florida law, a pardon is just one type of clemency. The Florida Constitution actually recognizes the following… Read More »

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Florida Appeals Court Rejects “Bump Stock” Lawsuit

By The Baez Law Firm |

Following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, the Florida legislature banned individuals from buying or possessing “bump-fire stocks.” These are devices that make it possible to convert semi-automatic firearms into automatic weapons by altering the rate of fire. The bump-fire stock ban took effect in March 2018. The… Read More »

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Does the Fourth Amendment Apply to Private Individuals?

By The Baez Law Firm |

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. In broad terms, this means that an agent of the government cannot search or seize your property without either first obtaining your consent or a warrant from a judge. Any evidence seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment is inadmissible… Read More »

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How the Florida 10-20-Life Law Works in Criminal Cases

By The Baez Law Firm |

Politicians are eager to show they are “tough on crime” by passing harsh minimum sentencing laws. One famous example here in Florida is the so-called 10-20-Life law. Spearheaded by former Gov. Jeb Bush, this is a minimum sentencing law that requires a judge to impose minimum sentences of 10 years, 20 years, or life… Read More »

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Lost Transcript Leads to New Hearing for Defendant in Florida Drug Case

By The Baez Law Firm |

“The dog ate my homework” is a classic excuse that no teacher would accept. Similarly, when a trial court loses the transcript of a criminal case, an appellate court is not going accept that either. A transcript provides an official record for the appellate court to review. Without such a record, it is impossible… Read More »

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How Does Restitution Work in a Florida Criminal Case?

By The Baez Law Firm |

If you are convicted of a crime in Florida, you may be required to pay restitution to your victims. This is separate from any jail time or probation you may be required to serve. Florida law separately permits the judge to order restitution for any “damage or loss caused directly or indirectly by the… Read More »

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Can the Government Deport a Legal Immigrant for a Vehicular Homicide Conviction?

By The Baez Law Firm |

A criminal conviction can place your immigration status in jeopardy. Even if you have entered the United States lawfully, federal law allows the government to deport you if you are convicted of “two or more crimes of moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct.” This includes both federal and… Read More »

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Florida Appeals Court Orders New Trial in Sexual Battery Case After Judge Excludes Key Witness Testimony

By The Baez Law Firm |

In any criminal trial, the defendant has a constitutional right to “confront” the witnesses against them. This includes not just the right to cross-examine one’s accuser, but also to present evidence that may call into question the accuser’s motives, or offer the jury an alternative explanation for what transpired. While judges have the discretion… Read More »

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Florida Case & All Criminal Charges Dropped Against Robert Kraft

By The Baez Law Firm |

In late September, Florida prosecutors officially dropped all criminal charges of solicited prostitution against Robert Kraft in connection with the case brought against him last year, alleging that he engaged in these acts at the Orchids of Asia Day spa. The case fell apart earlier in August when the Florida appeals court upheld the… Read More »

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11th Circuit Rules That All Ex-Felons Must Pay Fines Before Voting, But with Caveats

By The Baez Law Firm |

In a huge blow to civil rights, in September, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned federal Judge Robert L. Hinkle’s previous decision that would have restored voting rights to most former felons here in Florida, regardless of whether they still had unpaid court fees or fines. Specifically, the 11th Circuit ruled that the… Read More »

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US Supreme Court to Hear Crucial Free Speech Case, Where Student Was Charged for Speaking About His Religion

By The Baez Law Firm |

Free speech is a crucial First Amendment right that police and government frequently infringe upon when they choose to criminalize or otherwise target our right to express our opinions without censorship or restraint. This can often be seen when protesters are arrested for disorderly conduct or unlawful assembly, or even assault, battery, or hate… Read More »

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Florida Appeals Court Upholds Decision That Videos Recording Robert Kraft Violated Fourth Amendment Protections

By The Baez Law Firm |

In a salient case for Fourth Amendment constitutional rights, in August, a Florida appeals court unanimously upheld a district court ruling that the police violated the rights of the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others last year when they secretly set up ongoing recordings in a massage parlor in order to capture… Read More »

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Murder Charges Over Stillbirth Raise Concerns Everywhere

By The Baez Law Firm |

A current prosecution in the state of California could set a dangerous precedent around the country in terms of criminalizing choices women make while pregnant, including here in Florida, where there is also a state law on fetal homicide. The case involves a defendant, Chelsea Becker, who is being charged with murder after her… Read More »

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