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DUI and the Drill Hole Issue – A Recent Discovery About Florida’s Breath Machine

Stuart Florida DUI

The Intoxilyzer 8000 is Under Fire Again

Recently, DUI experts and dedicated attorneys have discovered another potential issue with the the Intoxilyzer 8000 – the Breath testing machine used in Florida’s Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches.  It is a technical legal argument, but it comes down to a simple premise.  Someone decided to drill a hole in the machine in an effort to make it more reliable.  However, the hole was not disclosed to anyone, including the Department of Transportation.Florida Law sets forth certain requirements for how a breath testing machine can be certified so that the scientific predicate behind it does not need to be introduced into evidence in every single trial.  The law requires that the machine be approved by the Department of Transportation and sets forth the manner in which approval can be obtained.  Part of… Continue reading

The Probation Trap

Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney

Always speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney before agreeing to a criminal sentence

Martin County Judge Steele often says that probation is like having one foot in jail, one foot out of jail.  If you complete all of the conditions and stay out of trouble, you will have no problems.  If you don’t, the consequences will be severe.Everybody who takes a deal to go on probation on the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches believes that they can successfully complete the probation without any problems.  Most are wrong.

Completing all of the conditions and staying out of trouble is often much harder than the probationer first anticipated.  Most find themselves dealing with a violation of probation.

A violation of probation occurs when a probationer breaks a rule of probation, does not complete a special condition within the specified time, or gets… Continue reading

Substantial Assistance – Working Off Charges

Palm Beach Treasure Coast Criminal Defense

Is becoming a confidential informant the right decision for you?

Substantial Assistance is a Legal Reason for a Downward Departure

Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code mandates certain minimum sentences in felony cases based on a mathematical equation that considers the seriousness of the crime (as determined by the legislature), criminal history, and aggravating or mitigating circumstances.  There are few legal reasons to depart from the Criminal Punishment Code Score.

One of the most common reasons for a downward departure is due to the Defendant’s “Substantial Assistance.”  Substantial Assistance occurs when the Defendant cooperates with the State to resolve the current offense or any other offense.  The Substantial Assistance  downward departure is one of the most widely used tools at law enforcement’s disposal – especially in the areas of drug trafficking, sale and possession.  In certain circumstances, it is also a… Continue reading

Downward Departure from the Criminal Punishment Code

Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney

RJ Ferraro is Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney ready to put his experience to work for you.

Since 2008, Florida Judges have used the Criminal Punishment Code to determine the appropriate sentence for felony offenses.  The Florida Legislature has laid out a detailed blue print for minimum and maximum sentences that individual criminal defendants may receive based on the charges they are accused of, their prior record, and certain aggravating or mitigating circumstances like whether someone was injured.  Each factor will increase the defendant’s score.  If the defendant scores less than 22 points, the judge cannot sentence the defendant to prison without making aggravating findings on the record.  Likewise, if the defendant scores 44 points or more, the defendant must receive a prison sentence unless the judge finds a legal reason for a downward departure.

Statutory Reasons For A Downward Departure… Continue reading

Silence is a Virtue (Even on Social Media)

Treasure Coast Criminal Defense Lawyer

Think Before You Speak!

I think the guy that first said that silence is a virtue was probably serving out a term at the Martin County Jail. The fact is, we all know by now that we have the right to remain silent. We hear it on every cop and lawyer show on television, which is OFTEN! Unfortunately, most of us just can’t help ourselves.In Florida, anything said by a Defendant may come into court during trial or pre-trial proceedings – whether it was said to a police officer, a friend, or a random witness on the street. There are some exceptions for when a privilege attaches and statements can’t be used, such as when you tell your lawyer about past acts; but for the most part, our words often speak much louder than our actions.

THIS INCLUDES FACEBOOK AND TWITTER POSTS!!! There has been… Continue reading

Enforcing a Divorce Judgment with a QDRO: Tips from a Stuart, Florida Divorce Lawyer

Josh2.ashxIn an ideal world, once a divorce judgment was entered both parties would dutifully abide by its terms and fulfill each of their duties and obligations. Of course, in an ideal world there wouldn’t be any divorce in the first place so it would be a moot point. In the real world, the entry of a divorce judgment is often just the first step in a party’s long journey to obtain all that he or she is entitled to.

When a party defaults on his or her obligations with regard to the property division portions of divorce judgment, the compliant party is limited to the remedies that would be available to other creditors (i.e. credit card companies and banks). For an explanation of those remedies and tips on how to secure assets awarded in a property settlement agreement, refer to Enforcing a Divorce Judgment.… Continue reading

What to look for in a Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney

Stuart Criminal Defense and DUI Attorney

RJ Ferraro is Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney ready to put his experience to work for you.

What are you looking for in a Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney?  Everybody has their own ideas and parameters as far as what they are looking for when shopping for a Defense Attorney in Stuart, Florida.  But when your freedom and hard earned money are on the line, I would suggest that in addition to your own ideas, you consider the following:

Does The Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney have Trial Experience?

There is no substitute for experience.  And when your liberty is on the line, you want a Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney who is willing to go the distance to aggressively fight for you.  As important, you need someone who has been in the trenches and can tell you what to… Continue reading

Enforcing a Divorce Judgment

Josh2.ashxOnce a divorce decree has been entered, the judges close their file and the lawyers generally conclude their representation. There might be some housekeeping items (transfer the properties, close some accounts) but these are generally handled between the parties. All in all, it is presumed (at least in the beginning) that each party will comply with whatever terms the divorce judgment (or the Marital Settlement Agreement) contains. However, in practice things don’t always work out this cleanly and neatly.

As a result, every divorce decree contains some language toward the end which indicates that the Judge will retain jurisdiction for purposes of enforcement. But when it comes to the property division portions of a divorce judgment, the courts can only do so much because a former spouse is limited to the remedies available to general creditors.

Therefore, it is important to understand the remedies… Continue reading

3 Ways to find the right Stuart, Florida Divorce Lawyer

Josh2.ashxIn today’s world, there are any number of ways to find an lawyer who practices divorce law in Stuart, Florida. From advertising to social media campaigns, lawyer marketing seems to be everywhere these days. However, there are few tried and true ways to find an experienced and professional Stuart, Florida divorce lawyer who will best fit your particular needs.


In a world full of rating services and referral networks, Martindale-Hubbell is recognized as the authority with regard to lawyer ratings. This site relies upon confidential peer ratings to assess ratings ranging from AV to CV. Not all lawyers or firms are rated, so the lack of a rating shouldn’t be held against an attorney, but an AV rating is a clear indication that the lawyer has the experience, skill and ability (as judged by his peers) to handle complex divorce cases.

The senior partner… Continue reading

Five Questions to Ask your Stuart Divorce Lawyer

Josh2.ashxWhat percentage of your practice is devoted to divorce and family law?

There are a great deal of lawyers who will take on a divorce case with just enough knowledge to go through the motions. These lawyers understand that there are generally four issues in divorce (property division, alimony, child-centric issues and attorneys fees) and they know the basics with regard to each one of them. Therefore, they will take on an occasional case that walks in the door even if they have very little actual divorce experience or in-depth knowledge of the issues that matter.

However, while it is true that most divorces revolve around these four issues; divorce law can be incredibly technical and the laws are often complex and nuanced. At the same time, the outcome of your case will affect your life, your children and your livelihood for many years to… Continue reading