Legal Principles Archives > Page 3 of 14 > Ferraro Law Group, PL

Legal Principles

Important Changes To Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Upon being arrested a criminal defendant’s most pressing concern is the range of punishment. Knowing what to expect by way of fines and possible incarceration helps to prepare you for what lies ahead and can also help aid you when deciding on a defense strategy. When the offense is in federal court rather than state court the Judge is required to adhere to strict sentencing guidelines. Over the years these guidelines have changed. This Fall, criminal defendants in federal matters will see another change. It is important to know what’s in store for the future, even if your case is not a federal case. This is because some prosecutors in state court try to draw parallels to these rules, so understanding the rationale behind them is key to understanding how the criminal judicial system works.… Continue reading

An Explanation Of The Two Types Of Probation Violations

Entering a plea in exchange for a term of probation in a criminal case is a popular way to resolve the charges against you. However, it is critical to fully understand the terms of your probation and the possible types of violations. This is because if you violate your probationary terms you will face not only the new charge of the violation, but be made to answer for the original charges. This combination of criminal charges against you can lead to jail time and hefty financial penalties. Therefore, taking care to stay out of trouble while on probation is key to a successful term.

Probation violations fall into certain categories. The Court does not differentiate between the types of violation when imposing punishment, but that does not mean ignoring the type of violation will make the problem go away. The two types of probation… Continue reading

Three Strikes, You’re Out! Three Ways To Probation Is Violated

When you agree to go on probation in order to avoid going to jail for a criminal charge, it is critical that you fully understand the terms of your probation. If you are not clear on what is expected it will be near impossible to follow the rules. And, if you are not following the rules you can face being charged with a probation violation as well as being punished for the origi8nal criminal charge. Some of the terms of your probation will be easily understood, but others are less clear. Make sure you know what is expected of you prior to entering any agreement by having a qualified criminal defense attorney help you.

When probationary terms are set you can count on the state giving you a list that contains the terms and conditions of probation. While every case is unique and has… Continue reading

Get Out Of Jail Free: A Lesson In The Requirements Of Bail

When you are arrested for a crime it is desirable to get out of jail as soon as possible, and stay out of jail during the pendency of your case. The way to accomplish this is by posting bail. Bail is set by the judicial system, and is usually in an amount too high for the average worker. Luckily there are options. A bail bondsman can help you post bail, so you can get out of jail and get back to your life. It is a much less difficult task to defend a criminal case if you are out of jail and have the freedom to meet with your attorney on a regular basis.

When deciding on a bondsman, make sure the person or company you use is reputable and licensed. Dealing with an experienced company will make the experience less cumbersome… Continue reading

Florida House Bill Stiffens Texting and Driving Law

police officerFlorida House Bill 1 is on the agenda for this year’s legislative session.  It stiffens penalties for texting and driving and also carves out exceptions for emergency personnel  and navigation among others.  This bill would change a ticket for texting and driving to a non-moving violation which would have substantially higher fines than the current law.  It would also double those fines if the infraction is committed in a school zone.  Most importantly, it does not require that this ticket be issued as a secondary action.  In other words, if this Bill passes you can be pulled over for texting and driving.  And of course, once you are stopped, an officer may look to see what else is in plain view in your vehicle or ask you for consent to look around.  While there are certain exceptions… Continue reading

That’s News To Me: New Laws

At the beginning of the year a host of new legislators took office across the country, and most of their constituents expect some major changes. From areas of taxes to security, and immigration the likelihood we will see significant changes to policy is high. In Florida, some important changes have already taken place though, and the list below is a sampling of what’s new.

Changes to criminal law, as it pertains to the obligations of law enforcement personnel include the following:

● Sex offender laws: college campuses are now required to notify students when a registered offender is on campus, and the range of punishment for sex offenses involving minors has been increased.

● Traffic laws: the penalties for leaving the scene of an auto accident have also been increased.

  • BWI (boating while intoxicated): there are now provisions that allow for those persons accused… Continue reading

I Said I’m “Not Guilty”

If you have been arrested for a crime, a million questions go through your mind. Your first order of business is getting out of jail, which will usually include the need to find a bail bondsman. Once you are out of jail and trying to get back to your regular life while defending serious criminal charges, you will need to figure out what to do next. This means you have to determine what type of defense will work for your case, and how much you might pay in fines and penalties. Coming up with an effective defense strategy includes deciding whether you want to enter a plea and possibly go on probation, or enter a not guilty plea and set your case for trial.

For DUI cases your first order of business is to request an administrative hearing to keep your driver’s license, or obtain… Continue reading

“You Put Your Weed In There”

Drug charges are serious offenses, but there are varying degrees of seriousness. It all depends on the type of drug, and your level of involvement. For instance, possession is a less serious charge than distribution, and possession of marijuana is not as severe a charge as possession of a substance like cocaine or methamphetamine. The range of punishment will also vary depending on whether this is your first, or a subsequent offense.

The best thing you can do is to arm yourself with information, which includes knowing possible outcomes of your case under the relevant law. Here are common questions, with possible outcomes for drug related charges:

  • What will happen to me if I am a first time offender? The range of punishment for first time offenders is much less than for repeat offenders, but could still include jail time.

● Does the type… Continue reading

I Can Finally Breathe Again!

Having a criminal record can interfere with your ability to obtain employment and certain other privileges. Without a job it will be difficult to support yourself and your family. The weight of the knowledge that your past follows you around can cause undue stress and anxiety, leading you to settle for less than you deserve. In certain circumstances though, you can get a fresh start and breathe again. If you are eligible to have charges against you erased from your record (expunged), you can face your future with confidence.

The law in Florida that allows a person to wipe the slate clean contains certain requirements. To expunge a criminal record, you must show one of the following:

● An arrest was made, but no charges were ever filed.

● The case against you was dismissed.

● A not guilty verdict was entered.

If you… Continue reading

Do Not Pass Go, Go Directly To Jail!

Being placed on probation can be the best way to avoid serving time in jail, but it can also be the best way to land yourself in jail. If you fail to abide by the terms of your probation, the likelihood you will be required to serve time is very real. In order to avoid this possibility, consult a skilled criminal defense attorney for help.

Florida law treats probation violations seriously, and so should you. The basics of probation are that you do not receive any other tickets, that you check in with your probation officer as scheduled, and that you pay your fines on time. Failure to do any of these things could result in a new arrest and new charges, not to mention the revocation of your probationary term. When that happens, the prosecution will seek to have the punishment for your… Continue reading