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Drugs3

Large Drug Bust Reported in Southwest Florida

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

On May 4th, 2018, WFLA News Channel 8 reported that 77 people have been arrested in a massive drug trafficking bust in Sarasota County, Florida. The Sheriff’s Office labeled the arrest a part of ‘Operation Spring Cleaning’. According to law enforcement officials, this operation was focused on breaking up the manufacturing and trafficking of… Read More »

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Arrested

Supreme Court of Florida Clarifies State Criminal Procedure on Statute of Limitations Defenses

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

On April 12th, 2018, the Supreme Court of Florida issued a decision in the case of State of Florida v. Earvin Smith. The primary issue at stake in this case was: Must criminal defendants raise the possibility of a statute of limitations defense at their initial trial in order to preserve that issue for… Read More »

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Justice3

Americans are Increasingly Concerned About Over-Incarceration

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The United States has a higher rate of incarceration than any other country on earth. The Prison Policy Initiative reports that the American incarceration rate is approximately 693 per 100,000 residents. Not only is this far above the global average, it is far above the second highest rate. The only other countries that have… Read More »

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Fraud2

Former Florida Football Star Sentenced to More Than 20 Years in Prison for Healthcare Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

On April 16th, 2018, the Miami Herald reported that Monty Grow, a former football star who played at the University of Florida and for the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for his role in leading a complex healthcare fraud scheme. The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that… Read More »

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CellPhone

Know Your Rights: Can Florida Police Search Your Cell Phone?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Your smartphone carries an enormous amount of sensitive information about you and your life. If you have been arrested or detained by a Florida police officer, they may want to look through your phone. However, you have a legal right to keep your phone and its contents free from an unreasonable search. Florida police… Read More »

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DUI2

Were You Arrested for DUI in Miami, Florida? You Have Ten Days to Save Your License

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The state of Florida has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the entire country. If you are arrested for a DUI in South Florida, you could face serious penalties. Among other things, you may lose your driving privileges. In fact, though many people do not know it, after a DUI arrest your… Read More »

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Juvenile

Why You Should Not Just “Plead Guilty” to Underage Drinking Charges

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

We all understand that alcohol is a common presence on college campuses throughout South Florida. Yet, under Florida law (Florida Statutes 562.111), it is a criminal act for a person who is under the age of 21 to be in possession of alcohol. If you or your college student has received an underage drinking… Read More »

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DefRights

Florida Mother Wrongfully Held for Five Months Due to Botched Field Drug Test

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

On March 10th, 2018, the Miami Herald reported on a stunning, heartbreaking story out of Pasco County, Florida. According to an investigation, a Tampa mother was arrested and held in jail for five months after a police officer’s botched field test incorrectly identified her vitamins as oxycodone pills. Sadly, this mistake is far from… Read More »

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WhiteC3

Florida Doctor Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison for Medicare Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

According to reporting from the Miami Herald, Salomon Melgen, an eye doctor from West Palm Beach, FL, is now facing 17 years in jail for his role in a complex Medicare fraud scheme. This sentence comes after a Palm Beach County jury had found Mr. Melgen guilty on 67 different counts of Medicare and… Read More »

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Drugs4

Florida Bill to Ease Drug Trafficking Mandatory Minimums is Making Progress

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The state of Florida has some of the toughest drug trafficking laws in the entire country. Many lawmakers have noticed that the harsh drug trafficking laws that originally were designed to take on some of the world’s most dangerous drug cartels are not working in the modern era. First time-offenders and non-dangerous drug addicts… Read More »

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Fraud5

South Florida Man Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for $20 Million Mortgage Fraud

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

In early February, the Miami Herald reported that Marco Laureti, a 46-year-old man from South Florida had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in perpetrating a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme. Late last year, Mr. Laureti was convicted of several counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to… Read More »

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Advocate

What are the Age of Consent Laws in Florida?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

In order to lawfully engage in sexual activity, a person must be old enough to give their consent. In Florida, the age of consent is 18 years old. Any person who is under the age of 18 does not have full authority to consent to sexual conduct. If you violate Florida’s age of consent… Read More »

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CrimLaw6

What is Entrapment?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Entrapment is the act of law enforcement or another government authority pushing an individual into committing a criminal offense with the intention of arresting him or her and charging the individual with a crime. It is illegal, and when it occurs, it can cause an innocent individual to be convicted of a crime. If… Read More »

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DUI3

What is a Wet Reckless?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

A “wet reckless” is a charge that an individual can face after accepting a plea bargain to reduce a DUI charge. Basically, the DUI is reduced to a reckless driving charge and the individual faces the penalties associated with reckless driving, rather than the steeper penalties that accompany a DUI conviction. This type of… Read More »

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DUIAccident

Handling a Felony DUI Charge

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Under certain circumstances, a DUI can be charged as a felony. If you are facing this type of felony charge, you should handle it exactly the same way as you would handle a non-felony DUI charge – by contacting an experienced DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to start working on an effective… Read More »

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Marijuana

Medical Marijuana User? Make Sure What’s in your Possession is Legal

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Florida is one of the 29 states that have a medical marijuana program in place. Under this program, qualifying patients can possess a small amount of cannabis to relieve the symptoms of certain conditions, including Crohn’s Disease, HIV/AIDs, cancer, and glaucoma. Without a valid prescription, it is illegal to possess any amount of marijuana… Read More »

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Crime

Hate Crimes on College Campuses

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Recently, stories of a white-on-black hate crime on a Connecticut campus made headlines. A female student was charged with third degree criminal mischief and second degree breach of peace after she allegedly posted content on social media detailing harmful actions she took against her former roommate. These actions included tampering with the roommate’s personal… Read More »

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DUI8

Is It Worth my Time to Fight a First Time DUI Charge?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Yes. There is no other way to put it – it is absolutely, always worth your while to fight a DUI charge. Although there is some credibility to the idea that it can be worthwhile to simply accept a traffic violation charge and pay the fine because you will use more time and money… Read More »

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Arrest_Bars

South Florida Couple Arrested for Alleged Trafficking of Chinese Fentanyl

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

In late October 2017, authorities arrested a South Florida couple allegedly involved with an international drug smuggling ring that brought fentanyl and other, similar drugs from China to the United States. The couple was allegedly involved in the money laundering and distribution portion of the drug trafficking operation, which directly resulted in four American… Read More »

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Theft

Criminal Penalties for a Petit Theft Conviction in Florida

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

In Florida, petit theft is defined as the theft or use of property worth less than $300 with the intent to deprive the property’s rightful owner of the benefits of owning or using the property. As with other theft offenses, petit theft is charged according to the value of the items allegedly stolen. Details… Read More »

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