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CriminalDefense

PCP, Embalming Fluid, or Both

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Our Miami drug crimes defense lawyer explains how PCP got one of the least appealing drug nicknames, namely embalming fluid, as well as the legal trouble that you can get into for smoking actual embalming fluid. PCP, Another Rejected Pharmaceutical Drug From the Trippy 50s Phencyclidine (PCP) was first synthesized in Germany in 1926. … Read More »

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The Miranda Warnings and Florida Criminal Cases

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Almost everyone has heard a police officer say, “You have the right to remain silent” in a movie or TV show about a criminal case, but they usually don’t show what happens next.  Fictional dramas use that phrase, which is part of the Miranda warnings to show that things are getting serious; the police… Read More »

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What To Know About Opening Statements

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Imagine the opening sequences from the most iconic movies set in Miami.  From Scarface to The Birdcage and from One Night in Miami to the Bad Boys series, the first impression the audience gets is that of the beauty and peril of South Florida.  The images tell you where the story that is about… Read More »

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Jury Instructions – What You Should Know

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

If you think that competitive eating is impressive, try watching a competitive memorization tournament.  It’s amazing that competitive eaters can fit so much food in their stomachs, but it is equally impressive that competitive memorizers can fit so much information in their brains.  Competitive memorizers do not have a superhuman ability to memorize; being… Read More »

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CriminalLaw

Questions of Law and Questions of Fact in Florida Criminal Trials

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

As Florida is an equitable distribution state, where judges at divorce trials can decide on an individual basis the fairest way to divide a couple’s marital property and debts, many Floridians who have survived divorces so acrimonious that they went to trial balk at the judges’ interpretations of justice.  In criminal cases, though, there… Read More »

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Apartment Rental Fraud and Other Internet Real Estate Crimes

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Lack of transparency is the name of the game in most real estate transactions.  Case in point, the National Association of Realtors, an organization which lists more than 90 percent of the real estate properties that get sold in the United States, just agreed to pay a multimillion-dollar settlement in a lawsuit.  As part… Read More »

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How Does Your Criminal Case Affect Your Career?

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Every so often, you will hear stories about people whose career prospects improved after they got convicted of a crime.  In today’s gossip-hungry world, you can probably make money after you get out of prison by granting interviews to journalists and YouTubers and talking about the crime to which you pleaded guilty, if the… Read More »

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Gavel

Right Here in South Florida, an LSD-Like Drug Gets One Step Closer to Becoming Legal

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Ever since the days of Geocities, mothers have been taking to the Internet to tell strangers, from behind a wall of pseudonyms, about the substances that help them get through their day.  Blogs were where you could sing the praises of your own Mother’s Little Helper without fear of judgment.  Sometime during the George… Read More »

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Florida’s Year of Uncertainty Regarding Cannabis Laws

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Cannabis laws have changed a lot in the last decade, to say the least.  Ten years ago, if you insinuated that the state or federal government was about to legalize marijuana, your friends would just congratulate you on how high you were and pass you the bong.  Smoke shops bore signs that stated in… Read More »

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CrimLaw11

Pill Presses Are Not Your Grandpa’s Drug Paraphernalia

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Facing drug charges is no laughing matter, but the story of Gal Vallerius has all the hallmarks of a Miami New Times grade tall tale; even though the story spans the globe, it could only take place in Florida.  You have to admit that OxyMonster is a fun screen name, almost as much fun… Read More »

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Meet Dimethylpentylone, Florida’s Newest Designer Drug

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The idea of designer drugs is nothing new, but drugs come and go from the drug supply so quickly that to trace their prevalence in South Florida from the time of the 60s counterculture through the disco age, the “Just Say No” era, the heyday of shady strip mall pain clinics and the hideous… Read More »

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Brady Disclosures and Florida Criminal Cases

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The rights of defendants in criminal cases have been part of United States law since the Bill of Rights was codified, but several Supreme Court decisions in the 1960s made the rules clearer about what constitutes a violation of a defendant’s rights.  In a Dick Tracy comic strip from the 1960s, the cartoon detective… Read More »

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What Does It Mean When the Prosecution Terminates Your Charges

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Judges in criminal court look plenty scary with their black robes, their gavels, and their somber expressions, but so much of the outcome of a criminal case is not up to them.  Yes, they get to decide which evidence is admissible, and they have the final decision about which jurors will get to participate… Read More »

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Don’t Fall for the Reid Technique

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Somewhere in your nightmares, a scary monster tells you about something bad that has happened.  Your mind starts to race with worries, but the monster’s affect remains neutral; somehow, this makes the situation even scarier.  The monster leaves the room for a few minutes, but then he comes back and starts talking to you… Read More »

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Probable Cause Hearings

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Police sometimes arrest people for no good reason.  Unfortunately, protesting in the moment that you did not do anything wrong and the officer had no reason to arrest you does not make things better and usually makes them even worse.  The good news is that you do not always have to go all the… Read More »

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CrimJustice

Lack of Criminal Intent

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

The alibi defense is a nifty defense if you are being accused of a crime that requires you to be physically present.  If eyewitnesses claim that they saw you stealing or vandalizing property or selling drugs, but there are no photos to back up their claims, you can argue that the person they saw… Read More »

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How Attorney-Client Privilege Can Help You in Your Criminal Case

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

You value your privacy, whether you realize this or not.  Many decisions have the underlying motivation of wanting to protect your privacy.  You think carefully about what you post publicly online, if anything.  Data privacy is a factor in many of your online behaviors, from your choice of software to the cookie settings you… Read More »

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A Good Old-Fashioned Alibi Is Sometimes Your Best Defense

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

In a dinner theater murder mystery, all of the characters have a motive to commit the crime, and only some of them have an alibi.  Likewise, when you play parlor games on rainy afternoons at summer camp, one of them often involves coming up with creative alibis to explain why you did not commit… Read More »

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CrimDef13

Confidential Informants: How to Be One, and What to Do If One Testifies Against You

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

Confidential informants add exciting twists to movies about crime and criminal investigations; depending on whether the story is told from the point of view of a defendant or a prosecutor, informants are either low down, rotten snitches or underdog heroes.  Police often rely on tips from confidential informants in drug trafficking investigations, and sometimes… Read More »

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Counter Arguments Are Possible for Almost Every Piece of Evidence

By Ratzan & Faccidomo LLC |

When you enter a plea of not guilty, you are claiming that you did not commit the crime of which you are being accused.  Your next step is to find ways to persuade the jury that there is reasonable doubt about your guilt; remember that, if the jury is not sure whether you committed… Read More »

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