FAQ

Drug Charge FAQs

  • I use drugs, but I have never sold them. The police arrested me and charged me with possession with intent to sell. Can they do that?


    The law does not require the police to prove you DID sell, just that your intent was to sell. This is done by the circumstances of the possession and by expert opinion of the police. Factors such as the way it is packaged (many small bundles — “packaged to sell”), and what is found with it (such as scales) can suggest the person’s likely intentions. In addition, experienced narcotics officers will be allowed to testify that from their experience these factors and the quantity found are consistent with an intent to sell the drugs.

    <a href=”/drug-crimes-tampa”>To learn more about drug possession charges, click here.</a>

  • I got busted with two rocks of cocaine and the first time in court prosecutor offered to let me plead to the possession for one day in jail and probation. Should I take it?


    That depends on a number of factors:

    Why did the prosecution make such an offer off the bat? Is there a problem with his case? Could it get thrown out on legal grounds? What are the consequences of prior convictions in your state? How much time can you serve if you are found in violation of probation? What are the chances of avoiding any conviction at all by trying the case? What effect will this conviction have on your immigration status? Your ability to get a government job? Your ability to get bonded, or to get a professional license? You could even lose your eligibility to receive public assistance or to drive, depending on your jurisdiction’s laws. There may even be programs that allow you to do drug counseling and other things in exchange for an eventual dismissal of the charges.

    In other words, the issue is so complicated and far reaching that even if you want to plead guilty, you still need a lawyer’s advice so you know fully what you are doing.

Record Sealing FAQs

Violent Crime FAQs

  • Is domestic violence a crime punishable under criminal law?


    Whether the domestic violence (DV) is a crime depends upon the particular circumstances, as well as the laws of the state in which the act occurs. In Florida, even a minor argument may be charged as a crime of domestic violence. It is a frequent pattern in DV cases for the victim to be abused, call the police, press charges, then reconcile with the abuser, and seek to have the charges dropped, only to have the entire pattern repeated.

    Because of this, domestic violence is now prosecuted as a crime by the State Attorneys Office, even without charges being brought by the abused person, and even without his or her assistance. In Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, a criminal case may be brought against the person causing the harm without a complaint being made by the victim. In Florida, a victim can file a Request Not to Prosecute (RNP) and the charge may be dropped by the State Attorneys Office, but not always, especially when there is an independent witness to the abuse besides the uncooperative victim.

    <a href=”/fl-state-criminal-charges”>Learn more about Domestic Violence as State Crime here.</a>

White Collar Crime FAQs

  • What is the difference between extortion and blackmail?


    The terms “extortion” and “blackmail” are terms routinely used interchangeably, that is, obtaining property through the use of either oral or written threats. The threats can be of physical harm, or harm to one’s reputation, livelihood, marriage, etc. In some states extortion has only occurred when money or property has actually changed hands as a result of the threat. In other states, just the threat is enough to constitute extortion.

    <a href=”/federal-criminal-charges”>See our page on Federal Criminal Charges for more information.</a>

  • What is the difference between larceny and embezzlement?


    The major difference between larceny and embezzlement is the way in which the property changes hands. With larceny, the property is carried away; it was never in the possession of the perpetrator. With embezzlement, however, the perpetrator has lawfully possessed the property, but then has converted it into his/her own property.

    The following example illustrates the difference. A man walks onto a construction site and takes a hammer and goes home. He has committed larceny, because he has taken someone else’s property away, with the intent never to return it. A construction worker on that same site, who uses the hammer every day, puts it in his pocket at the end of the day and takes it home. He has committed embezzlement, because it was in his possession to use while he worked on the site, but when he took it off the site, he converted it into his own property.

  • What is fraud?


    Fraud is defined to be “an intentional perversion of truth” or a “false misrepresentation of a matter of fact” which induces another person to “part with some valuable thing belonging to him or to surrender a legal right”. In addition to the traditional criminal definition of fraud, there are many regulatory laws that have very specific rules that must be complied with. If you do not follow these rules to the letter, you could be charged with and convicted of frau

    Federal Securities Law cover a broad scope of possible types of fraud. Fraud is not limited to the selling of bogus securities. Securities fraud also involves the sale of legitimate securities for illegal purposes. The laws also make “insider trading” illegal. “Insider trading” generally refers to the purchasing or selling of securities of a company while in possession of material information that has not been generally disclosed in the marketplace.

    <a href=”/federal-criminal-charges”>To learn more about fraud, visit our page on federal criminal charges.</a>

  • What is white collar crime?


    White collar crimes typically refer to a type of crime committed by business people, entrepreneurs, public officials, and professionals through deception, as opposed to street crimes which tend to involve force and violence. Examples of white-collar crimes include bank fraud, wire fraud, (i.e mortgage fraud), embezzlement, bribery, extortion, larceny, fraud (e.g., health care,tax, bankruptcy, telemarketing, insurance, and mail, securities and commodities law violations, environmental violations, price fixing, racketeering, loan sharking, black market operations, obstruction of justice and perjury, and computer fraud).

    Depending on whether federal or state law has been violated, white collar crimes can be prosecuted at the <a href=”/federal-criminal-charges”>federal</a> or <a href=”/fl-state-criminal-charges”>state</a> level. Penalties vary, but in some cases can result in large fines, restitution, and prison or jail time.

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