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Author Archives: Jay Butchko

Jail5

Palm Beach County Physician Gets Prison Time For Healthcare Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Native Floridians are a rare breed.  Most of the adults you meet in South Florida will tell you that they moved here either from another state or from another country; the families who have been in Florida for more than two generations are even rarer.  Likewise, an enormous variety of plant and animal species… Read More »

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Mushrooms

As Awesome As It May Be, Florida’s Own Philosopher’s Stone Mushroom Is A Schedule I Controlled Substance

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

An ancestor of modern medicine and chemistry was alchemy, which had as its goal the search for a substance that could cure all diseases, restore the elderly to youth, and transform ordinary metals into precious metals like gold and silver.  Alchemists writing in Arabic, Latin, and other languages used to call this substance the… Read More »

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Juvenile4

New Report Argues That Juvenile Detention Does Not Help Young People Stay Out Of Trouble

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Whether you are 26 or 76, you probably would not want to meet your 15-year-old self face to face.  Compared to adults, young people are impulsive and impressionable; they lack perspective, and compared to their elders, many of them lack self-control.  It stands to reason that the state’s response should be different when a… Read More »

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CriminalDefense2

How Does A Diagnosis Of Mental Illness Affect Your Criminal Case?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

It seems like everyone is talking about mental health and mental illness these days, but the relationship between the criminal justice system and defendants’ mental health remains poorly understood.  Initiatives that treat substance use disorder as an illness rather than a predisposition toward criminal behavior help people charged with drug crimes achieve sobriety and… Read More »

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CrimDef9

Lawmakers Seek To Reduce Or Eliminate Sentencing Disparities Between Crack Cocaine And Powder Cocaine Cases

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

If you are younger than the oldest millennials, “crack cocaine” sounds more like a punchline than a drug of which you have a reasonable fear.  The younger generations think of crack as a MacGuffin in action movies rather than a drug that causes fatal overdoses.  Who is afraid of crack when there is heroin,… Read More »

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CrimLegal

Expungement Of Criminal Records In Florida

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

In a court of law, defendants in criminal cases are presumed innocent until proven guilty, and they have the right to discuss the prosecution’s case against them and to prepare defenses and present them in court.  In the court of public opinion, things are very different.  How many times have people judged you, and… Read More »

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Arrested8

On Facing Criminal Charges During The Holiday Season

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

South Florida is an ideal place to spend the holidays; here, you can avoid most of the holiday stress that plagues the rest of the country.  In South Florida, no one has to spend the morning shoveling snow in order to get to work, and you don’t have to rearrange your closets to make… Read More »

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CrimLawyer2

What Does It Take For Prosecutors To Drop The Charges Against A Defendant?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Movies about defendants in criminal cases often portray a long ordeal where the main character gets acquitted at trial after months of preparing for the trial with his or her defense lawyer.  This is not how most criminal cases go, even though all defendants have the constitutional right to a jury trial.  You may… Read More »

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GunCharges

Is It A Crime To Bring A Gun To An Airport?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

There are plenty of ways to get criminal charges for actions involving guns, even if you do not shoot anyone, and even if the weapon is unloaded.  For example, you can get charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon if you point a gun at someone for any reason other than self-defense, even… Read More »

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BooksGavel

Florida Court Sentences Man To 21 Years In Prison For Multistate Sex Trafficking Of Minor

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

At first glance, the idea of a man getting criminal charges for transporting a woman across state lines for immoral purposes seems like it belongs to a bygone decade or to the realm of far-fetched fiction.  Every day, unmarried couples take road trips to Florida from points north and stay in hotel rooms together,… Read More »

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Jail4

Delray Beach Man Faces Prison Sentence After Operating Sex Trafficking Ring For 20 Years

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The old saying may be true that there is no sex in the champagne room, but plenty of illegal business deals transpire there, and plenty of incriminating secrets are exchanged under the cover of strobe lights and blaring music.  One of the most disturbing scenes in The Big Short is when a stripper tells… Read More »

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Marijuana5

Executive Order Pardons Thousands Of Defendants Convicted Of Cannabis Possession In Federal Cases

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

According to Florida law, possession of 20 grams or less of cannabis (that is, up to three quarters of an ounce) is a misdemeanor; the penalties can include a $1,000 fine, driver’s license suspension, and up to a year in jail.  The passage of Amendment 2 in 2016 marked the beginning of Florida’s medical… Read More »

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HandcuffsMoney2

Meet The Inchoate Offenses: Attempt, Conspiracy, And Solicitation

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Sometimes a criminal court can find you guilty even if you didn’t do it.  One instance where this happens is with crimes of omission, such as failure to report child abuse; failing to file an income tax return can also count against you in tax evasion cases.  Another time when you can get a… Read More »

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Arrested11

When Are You Immune From Drug Charges?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

If it seems like some people openly use illegal drugs and don’t face any legal consequences, it is not just your imagination.  When was the last time a police officer asked to search the backpack of a student from Pine Crest or Ransom Everglades who was hanging out at a mall after school just… Read More »

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handcuffs

South Florida Caretaker Gets 51 Months In Prison For Stealing $300,000 From Elderly Couple

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

If you steal money from your employer, including but not limited to by diverting funds from the company account to your personal bank accounts, you can get criminal charges for embezzlement.  If your job is to manage the finances of elderly people who are not well enough to make their own financial transactions, and… Read More »

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Opioid_pills

Florida Doctor Allegedly Sold Prescriptions For $2 Million In Opioids To Patients She Never Met

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Healthcare is big business in the United States, and perhaps nowhere more so than Florida.  For various reasons, the Sunshine State attracts people who are in a fragile state of health, such as elderly retirees and people who undergo treatment in Florida’s numerous inpatient addiction treatment centers and then get caught up in the… Read More »

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AirTag

Apple AirTags Solve Theft Crimes In Florida

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Partisans of the iPhone and related Apple products will tell you at length about the problems that their devices have helped them solve.  For example, the Apple Watch enables them to locate their phones when they have misplaced them nearby and to answer calls when the phone is out of reach.  Apple CarPlay enables… Read More »

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Jail3

Miami Doctor Gets Five Years In Prison For Healthcare Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

More than 100 people have a student loan balance of more than $1 million, and a substantial portion of these unfortunate borrowers are graduates of medical schools.  Being a physician is a noble calling, and despite that it is one of the most in-demand professions, it is not always an automatic road to riches. … Read More »

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CrimLaw7

Reality TV Star Will Face Criminal Charges If She Violates Restraining Order And Contacts Estranged Husband’s Girlfriend

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

High net worth divorce has always been ugly, but it is even uglier in the age of social media.  Instagram brings out the worst in everyone, from vanity to vindictiveness to impulsiveness.  Perhaps social media only amplifies the unsavory impulses that reality TV excites; now everyone is famous for no discernible reason.  When combined… Read More »

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LadyJustice2

Boca Raton Registered Sex Offender Arrested For Traveling To Dominican Republic Without Permission

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

South Florida is such a delightful place that it feels like you are on vacation even when you are at home not doing much of anything.  If that were not enough of a reason to move to the Gold Coast of Florida, then consider that so many other vacation destinations are only a hop,… Read More »

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