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Michael A. Gottlieb, P.A.
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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Law Blog

Probation is a good alternative to a jail sentence

You have been defending yourself, but it's clear that it's possible for a guilty verdict to be reached. Your attorney's job isn't just to get you acquitted, though. He or she fought to make sure you get the lowest possible sentence for your actions in the event of a conviction. In this case, one of the best things you can hope for is probation.

Probation is the suspension of a jail sentence, which allows you to stay in the community with a few additional rules. Essentially, your life doesn't have to change much at all, and you have avoided prison. Under the court-ordered rules, you may need to check in with your probation officer regularly or refrain from committing similar crimes.

Man faces DUI after driving his lawn mower while intoxicated

When you think of a drunk driver, you probably think of someone in a car or truck. You don't think of people riding their bikes, using a skateboard or riding on a lawn mower. In fact, you might even think someone drinking a beer is fairly common while they mow their lawns.

As true as that is, driving a lawn mower while intoxicated can still get you into trouble with the law. A man has found that out in Florida after driving recklessly on his lawn mower while driving with a case of beers.

Sharing prescription medications: A violation of the law

When you get a medication by prescription, that medication has been specifically designated for your use. By giving it away, you're actually hurting the person you give it to by allowing him or her to avoid going to the doctor and potentially allowing him or her to use a medication that isn't safe.

Even if there is no cash involved when you trade medications or give yours away, it's still illegal to give a prescription medication to a person who doesn't have a prescription. A prescription is what makes it legal for you to obtain and use a medication. If your friend takes one without a prescription, he or she could face a drug charge. Without a valid prescription, the police have a right to arrest your friend. In fact, even with a prescription in his or her name, it's not legal to obtain additional medications, even of the same type, from a friend or family member.

What elements are necessary to prove a murder charge?

First degree murder is the most serious criminal offense you can be charged with because it can result in the death penalty, or a lifetime sentence in prison. As such, those accused of this crime will want to review the evidence and information being brought against them carefully to illuminate any flaws in the prosecution's presentation of the facts.

One of the most important points first degree murder defendants should consider is whether the prosecution can prove that the two elements of first degree murder in Florida are present in your case. Those two elements are:

  1. Willfulness: The prosecution needs to show that the accused intended to kill a person -- any person -- on purpose. Even if the accused wanted to kill someone else, and a different person died as a result, the intentional willfulness is present to satisfy this element.
  2. Deliberation or Premeditation: The other vital element involves the preplanning of the murder, or simply the chance to reconsider one's actions. If the person had enough time to deliberate and second guess his or her decision, and murdered in spite of this deliberation, then it is sufficient to satisfy this component.

What is a pill mill?

Law enforcement has begun cracking down on pill mills throughout Florida. The definition of a pill mill is a practice where a pharmacist or doctor dispenses prescription medication in an inappropriate and illegal manner. 

Doctors should be wary of becoming involved in a pill mill. Provided here is all the basic information you need to know about this illegal practice.

Is fibbing on an insurance claim fraud?

Insurance fraud is a type of fraud that occurs when a person makes exaggerated or false claims to an insurance provider. The individual seeks compensation for losses or injuries that weren't suffered, which takes advantage of the insurance company's policy.

A good example of insurance fraud would be if you wrecked your vehicle intentionally but claim it was a hit-and-run crash. You may also claim that you have injuries, like whiplash or ongoing headaches, that make it hard to work -- even though you don't. The insurance company would likely offer a settlement believing that the crash was an accident, when in fact, it should not cover the incident at all.

Man arrested after offering prescription medications for payment

If someone is going to commit a drug-related offense, it's usually a good idea to do so in a way that isn't obvious. Unfortunately, some people make serious mistakes in judgment that land them in the path of the police.

Take for example this 30-year-old man who is accused of trying to exchange his prescription medications for a cup of coffee at a local Dunkin' Donuts. The man allegedly attempted to pay for his cup of coffee with prescription-grade muscle relaxants. When the employee refused them, he walked out of the store with the coffee in tow.

Governor calls for restrictions on opioids to eliminate epidemic

In an effort to combat the opioid epidemic spreading throughout the state, Governor Rick Scott has decided to seek time limits on opioid prescriptions. The new requirements would place a three-day limit on prescription opioids, unless there could be strict conditions for week-long supplies.

The requirements would also require health care professionals who give out opiates to participate in the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. This is a program with a statewide database that tracks the number of controlled substance prescriptions issued in the state.

What is probable cause? Why is it important?

To arrest you, search your home or vehicle or to take away your property, the police must have probable cause. Probable cause means that the police must have an adequate reason to perform an action. If they do not, then you could have the case dismissed and potentially file a claim against the police for their mistreatment and errors.

Probable cause is a requirement in U.S. law. It is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, which states that people have the right to be secure in the fact that they won't be violated, won't be exposed to unreasonable searches or seizures and won't have warrants issued against them without just cause.

Theft defenses: Avoiding a conviction

As someone who has been accused of stealing from another person, your first instinct may be to try to defend yourself. It's important that you take a step back and talk to your attorney before you do so. There is no urgency for you to try to explain yourself, and doing so could actually hurt your case.

In cases of theft, it's the responsibility of the prosecution to determine if you are guilty of the crime. The prosecution has to convince the court that you're responsible for a criminal act based on the evidence. If the prosecution doesn't have the evidence to present to the court or can't present it in a convincing way, you may never have to say anything in your defense and be able to walk away without a conviction.

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