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Clearwater Criminal Defense Law Blog

When does a mistake on your taxes rise to fraud?

The government uses federal taxes to help fund programs and pay employees. Within the first quarter of a new year, people report income and file a tax return for the prior year to see if they paid according to the laws. The IRS is in charge of federal income tax. When a filer does not put the proper information on a tax return, the IRS must decide if that person made an error or blatantly lied. The two have very different consequences. Tax fraud basics Tax fraud occurs when a person lies or omits facts to come out ahead on a yearly tax return. This may involve paying less money, avoiding...

Make Sure You’re Up To Snuff On Florida’s Cocaine Trafficking Laws

Make Sure You’re Up To Snuff On Florida’s Cocaine Trafficking Laws

Thanks to Florida’s unique geography, the state has long been an integral part of the international drug trade. While many varieties of illegal drugs have passed through Florida over the years, none are more prevalent than cocaine. Here’s what you need to know about the laws in Florida prohibiting the possession of cocaine. Background South American tribes are believed to have chewed the leaves of the coca plant for at least a millennium, as mummies have been found with the leaves as part of burial offerings. Spaniards arriving on the continent initially made the practice of chewing coca...

3 actions that may trigger an IRS audit

IRS audits are rare, and the majority of Florida residents may never find themselves at the center of one. However, there are certain actions you might take that may attract the attention of the IRS, and in some cases, these actions may trigger an audit. Per NerdWallet, the IRS may audit you completely at random, meaning nothing you reported on your taxes raised suspicions. However, the IRS may also decide to audit you if you do one or more of the following when filing your taxes. 1.  Fail to report income Failing to report income is a common way to trigger an audit. Keep in mind that the...

It’s Time To Learn About The Statute Of Limitations In Florida!

It’s Time To Learn About The Statute Of Limitations In Florida!

For many crimes there is a time period after which the state cannot prosecute a person suspected of it. These statutes of limitations vary widely from one crime to another in Florida, and several different events may extend the time during which prosecution is allowable. Timing The Florida statute of limitations begins counting at a very specific time. For these purposes, Florida law considers a crime to have been committed when every element has occurred, or the course of conduct prohibited by the law ends The Florida statute of limitations begins to run the day after one of those...

Don’t Get Beat Up By Florida’s Assault And Battery Laws

Don’t Get Beat Up By Florida’s Assault And Battery Laws

Florida’s laws concerning assault and battery frequently come into play in criminal trials, and they are not as straightforward as they may seem. Though they are frequently charged together, assault and battery are distinct crimes with distinct definitions. Following is a few words on assault and battery in Florida. Basics In Florida, assault is defined as threatening harm to another that leads to that person’s fear of imminent harm, but it does not include physical contact between the defendant and the victim. In order to sustain a conviction of assault in Florida, the prosecutor must show...

Possess All The Facts About Florida’s Drug Possession Laws

Possess All The Facts About Florida’s Drug Possession Laws

Drug possession is a major area of interest for law enforcement in Florida, and the laws governing the possession of drugs are somewhat intricate. Here’s what you need to know about drug possession laws in Florida. Basics Florida drug laws specify that possessing certain drugs that you did not manufacture, distribute, or sell is a crime. Florida law specifies five categories, or “schedules,” of drugs that are illegal to possess, and each schedule has its own set of penalties for those convicted of possessing any of the drugs on it. Elements Florida’s laws on drug possession specify three...

Are there different kinds of white-collar crime?

White-collar crime is a surprisingly broad area and may take place across a range of businesses, no matter their size. The motivation for these types of crimes is often financial, and according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, white-collar crimes may operate in smaller communities to global chains that involve many different people and business entities. Some types of white-collar crime may result in state or federal charges, depending on their circumstances and the type of theft or fraud involved. Financial fraud This is one of the most common types of white-collar crime and designed...

What You Need To Know About Kidnapping Laws In Florida

What You Need To Know About Kidnapping Laws In Florida

  As in most places, kidnapping is a serious crime in the state of Florida. Originally an offense under the common law of England and Wales, the laws of kidnapping in Florida mirror similar laws in other states. Following is what you need to know about Florida’s kidnapping laws. Basics In Florida, statute sets out that kidnapping is confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority. In addition to the above, the defendant must have the intent to do four specific acts in order to be convicted of kidnapping. Intent Florida law says...

What You Need To Know About Capital Punishment In Florida

What You Need To Know About Capital Punishment In Florida

Florida has a long and checkered history with capital punishment, and the current laws surrounding it are complex. Here’s a few things you should know about capital punishment in Florida. Basics Capital punishment has a long history in human society, stretching back to Biblical references that informed the English common law. The death penalty in American law is a descendant of the practice in Europe, and was carried out in many states for decades after the colonies in America broke away to form the United States. The death penalty was a staple in Florida law since the beginning of its...

What are some facts about federal mandatory minimum drug sentences?

Federal mandatory minimum sentences are in place for many drug charges. If you face a charge with this type of sentence, it means the judge has to leeway and must hand down at least this sentence. For example, if the minimum mandatory sentence is 10 years in prison, the judge must give you at least 10 years in prison. He or she could give you a harsher sentence but cannot be more lenient. Relief from penalty The United States Sentencing Commission does explain that there are ways to get relief from a mandatory minimum sentence. For example, in 2016, there were almost 40% of offenders who...

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