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Clearwater Criminal Defense Law Blog

Comparing drug cases with other federal offenses

If you are facing federal charges, you likely have many concerns, from time behind bars to stiff financial penalties and other repercussions. Many people are taken into custody for drug-related offenses that are handled at the federal level and it is helpful to review statistics on these arrests in comparison to other federal offenses. Approach your case with confidence and have a clear understanding of strategies that help protect your future. Unfortunately, some people become so overwhelmed and hopeless when they are dealing with a federal case that they fail to safeguard their interests...

Coronavirus Quarantines Lead To Spike In Fentanyl Use And Prosecutions

Coronavirus Quarantines Lead To Spike In Fentanyl Use And Prosecutions

Florida officials made several arrests last week that were the result of an 18-month investigation into what authorities say is a large network dedicated to spreading the deadly drug. Authorities say the widespread network is based in Walton county, and it first came to their attention last spring. Walton County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's Panama City Resident Office Task Force began investigating the area couple last May, as they believed they operated a methamphetamine, heroin, and fentanyl distribution operation in Freeport....

Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Prosecution Gains Steam

Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Prosecution Gains Steam

Paycheck Protection Plan fraud has been an area of intense concern by federal investigators almost since the program began in the spring. Authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the program is intended to be a lifeline for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Should companies meet criteria laid down by the Small Business Administration (SBA), they were eligible to receive loans to cover payroll, rent, utilities, and other overhead expenses, with the understanding that use of the funds for those expenses would be forgiven. The massively...

Jury Trials Resume In Florida, But Not Without Challenges

Jury Trials Resume In Florida, But Not Without Challenges

Jury trials resumed in Florida courts on October 19th after a six-month hiatus due to concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though many court functions have been held virtually since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the spring, trials of defendants who requested a jury halted and began stacking up. Since the cessation of jury trials, an estimated 180 cases have languished in limbo due to missing that crucial element. The resumption of jury trials did not come without many changes, however. Prospective jurors will undergo temperature checks, be required to wear facemasks...

What are some possible motivations for white-collar crimes?

White-collar crimes, which include practices such as money laundering, forgery and business fraud, are common in the corporate world. Forbes reports that the cost of these crimes eclipses $500 billion dollars annually, a staggering amount when compared to other crimes. While white-collar crimes vary in their types, there are often common motivations for each and understanding these triggers may help you protect yourself and your company from these actions. Unclear ethical standards When a company’s mission statement fails to address clear ethical standards, this may lead employees to cut...

Understanding Florida’s domestic violence laws

Florida law defines domestic violence as any violent action against a spouse or household member. Examples include but are not limited to aggravated assault, aggravated battery, sexual violence, stalking, kidnapping or false imprisonment. Potential legal penalties for a domestic violence conviction vary based on the circumstances of the case. Aggravated assault and battery Domestic violence charged as aggravated assault typically involves a deadly weapon. Florida categorizes this crime as a third-degree felony when the offender attempts to commit aggravated assault. Penalties for conviction...

Coronavirus Quarantines Lead To Spike In Fentanyl Use And Prosecutions

What You Need To Know About Fentanyl Offenses

Florida law is quite strict when it comes to the possession of fentanyl, making a good defense to those charges critical to avoiding a felony conviction and the loss of rights that come with a conviction. Under Florida statute, Trafficking in Fentanyl is the act of knowingly possessing, selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, or transporting 4 grams or more of fentanyl or any derivative compound. If caught with less than four grams of fentanyl, the charge of possession of fentanyl, which is a third-degree felony, is the usual result. If convicted of this, three tiers of mandatory...

Former executive charged with tax evasion

Federal laws mandate that people report their income to the government every year and pay income taxes as deemed appropriate based on the formulas used in the tax forms and laws. Failure to file an income tax return or to pay mandated income taxes may result in a person being accused of and charged with a federal crime. The penalties for tax evasion or tax fraud may vary based upon the situation of the individual involved. Former executive arrested in Europe According to a report by NPR, a man who founded and once owned a well-known computer software company was recently arrested in Spain...

Wisconsin Pain Clinic To Pay Feds $885,452 To Dismiss Claims Of Illegal Kickbacks

Wisconsin Pain Clinic To Pay Feds $885,452 To Dismiss Claims Of Illegal Kickbacks

A Wisconsin pain clinic has agreed to pay $885,452 to the federal government in exchange for dropping claims that it violated the False Claims Act by paying illegal kickbacks to obtain referrals for procedures covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Federal prosecutors say the defendant gifted shares of incentive stocks to physicians outside of the company for pain procedures carried out in its pain-management centers. They say the stock could not be sold until the company itself was sold, which itself was tied to the profitability of the firm. As the firm depended largely upon outside referrals,...

OFAC Designates Syrian Business Network Supporting Assad Regime

OFAC Designates Syrian Business Network Supporting Assad Regime

The federal government last week announced another slate of sanctions against the Assad regime in Syria in an effort at hastening a peaceful resolution to the conflict there. On Wednesday the United States Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) added three more individuals and a baker's dozen entities to the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List. The additions last week essentially amount to a business network that supplies the Fourth Division of the Syrian Army, which itself is a sanctioned entity as well. According to OFAC, the network is run by a prominent...

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