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Florida Criminal Defense Blog

Defense casts doubt on witnesses in Medicare fraud trial

Federal prosecutors have launched their trial against a health care executive accused of fraudulently billing Medicare and Medicaid for approximately $1 billion. The 50-year-old defendant ran over 20 nursing or assisted living homes in Florida. Prosecutors have built their case on secret recordings of conversations between the defendant and two co-conspirators who cooperated with the FBI after entering guilty pleas on criminal charges. The defense attorney warned jurors to remain skeptical of statements from witnesses with criminal backgrounds who might wish to redirect blame onto the defendant.

The defendant's attorney framed criminal accusations of fraud as business disputes over billings to government health programs. The defendant was focused on running his businesses and the treatments described on billings came from doctors.

Thousands of Florida doctors skipped mandatory opioid training

Every state in the U.S. currently faces a devastating opioid crisis. The addictive prescription drugs have caused 1700 deaths by overdose in Florida alone. Many factors contribute to the widespread abuse of opiates, including the over-prescription of these drugs by physicians.

To combat over-prescription, the state of Florida mandated all doctors and dentists take a two-hour continued education course on prescribing opioids. However, according the Florida Department of Health, 25 percent of Florida’s physicians did not participate in the mandatory training.

FWhat is the penalty for using stolen credit cards in Florida?

Because of the vast number of visitors to Central Florida each year, the area is a haven for stolen credit cards.

However, what constitutes the usage of a stolen credit card is more broad that most people think. You can be guilty of credit card theft if you:

Drug Charges - Mandatory Minimum Sentences - Can I Get A Downward Departure?

So often my clients ask me if they qualify for a downward departure when facing a drug trafficking charge or drug charges where the quantity is high enough that it qualifies as a "trafficking" charge.  This is one of the most devastating effects of our current laws regarding drug trafficking -- A judge has NO discretion to downward depart on a drug trafficking charge UNLESS the State attorney (the prosecutor) agrees.  Otherwise, the Judge, regardless of it being a first offense or that the person was not selling drugs, but merely possessed over X amount of a certain drug, unfortunately that automatically triggers these harsh penalties.  

What does a drug trafficking charge mean in Florida?

Florida takes drug crimes very seriously. If you're caught with a controlled substance and charged with drug possession, you're facing hefty fines and penalties. But if it can be proven that you were trafficking the drugs in your possession, the consequences you face are much more severe.

A drug trafficking conviction means a court can prove that you knowingly possessed a large amount of an illegal substance with the intent to distribute and sell the drug or that you knowingly brought the drug into the state. It must also be proven that the substances you were found with were in fact, banned substances, which may involve testing them in a lab.

Charged with a crime while on vacation in Florida?

Over 60 million tourists visited the beaches of Florida in just the first half of 2017. As this number has continued to grow more and more each year, it's no surprise that some vacationers run into issues with the law during their care-free visit.

If your Florida fun led to unexpected charges, you may be unsure how to handle proceedings. Here are a few key things to help you deal with an out-of-state charge.

Getting rid of a black spot on your criminal record

Expungement is a vital part of the Florida criminal process that allows ex-convicts and people who were arrested in the past to put their crimes and alleged crimes behind them to start their lives fresh and new. This article will review what the benefits of expungement are and why you might want to try and apply for one.

Technically, expungement causes an individual's convictions and arrests to be erased from the criminal record or "sealed" from view. The lasting effect of expungement is that the individual who had his records expunged will no longer need to disclose the fact that he or she was convicted or arrested in the past - or at least as it relates to the particular records that were expunged. This means that job applications, apartment applications, school loan/scholarship applications and other applications will no longer need to be marred by a blank spot on one's criminal recorded that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, if an employer searches the individual's criminal background, the issue simply won't show up. Expungement is that powerful.

Drug trafficking defense in Florida

State, federal and local law enforcement agencies are constantly on the lookout for people violating drug laws in Florida. Because we are a costal state, drug trafficking activities are indeed quite common in our state. However, just because an individual has been arrested accused of drug trafficking and other crimes does not mean that he or she is guilty of the offense. Every Florida resident accused of a crime will have the opportunity to defend him or herself against the charges

At the Figueroa Law Firm, we are passionate defendants of people accused of drug crimes in both state and federal courts, and we have extensive experience in all manner of drug-related accusations. Here are some of the most common types of cases we handle:

Man arrested after donut glaze confused with methamphetamine

An Orlando man, who was arrested and accused of crystal meth possession, has filed a legal action against the city for damages related to his inappropriate arrest. Another defendant has also been named for negligence in the manufacture of a faulty drug test kit intended for use in the field. The man alleges that he was wrongly arrested for meth possession when a police officer confused crumbs of Krispy Kreme doughnut glaze on the floor of his car for methamphetamine residue.

The man is asking for damages of $15,000 in his lawsuit relating to the arrest, which happened last December. If he is successful in the litigation, a judgment award of $15,000 would allow him to purchase approximately 15,151 99-cent doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.

Woman accused of drug crimes after caught digging up cash in yard

Federal agents approached a 39-year-old woman earlier this month to ask her what she was doing in the backyard of her residence in Boynton Beach. She responded that she was in the process of burying an urn. However, the federal agents kept digging and allegedly found that the woman was digging up $20,000 cash from the hole.

The agents proceeded to arrest the woman and charge her with the federal crimes of giving a false statement and attempting to remove property to evade seizure. If the woman is convicted of the crimes, she could be sentenced to up to five years in jail and up to $250,000 in fines for each criminal count. The arrested woman is a mother of four, she works in the medical industry, and she does not have a prior criminal history.

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