Stuart Criminal Defense Attorney
It would be nice if we all carried around a little card that said “get out of jail free”, like when you were a kid playing Monopoly. But real life isn’t a game, and there are no freebies. However, in certain circumstances, you may be eligible for an early release from your jail sentence. A successful case for reducing your sentence results in a shorter amount of jail time to serve.
In January 2014, the White House announced plans for early release of nonviolent prisoners. To be eligible, the prisoner must:
● Serving a federal sentence that would be less due to a change in law or policy.
● Have served 10 years of the original sentence term.
● Be free of ties to organized crime, including gang affiliations.
● Have a small amount of… Continue reading
The use of social media is on the rise, with no end in sight. But did you know what you post to your Facebook or Instagram can have an impact on how a criminal case is decided? Photos, quotes and other stories you post reflect on your attitude and reputation. That reflection is not always positive. For example, if you are charged with a DUI and frequently post photos and other information where alcohol is involved, your fight for a lesser sentence could be compromised. Likewise, if you routinely “check in” at bars or nightclubs while on probation you may risk losing probation depending on the terms.
More and more law enforcement are utilizing social media in their investigations into criminal activity. While most sites offer privacy safeguards, those controls are not always failsafe and what you post online could contribute to how the Judge… Continue reading
Florida consistently ranks among the states with the highest number of death row inmates. Our judicial system allows for the legal execution of criminals convicted of the most atrocious crimes. Most often you will find those convicted of brutal murders sitting on death row. But what happens when the evidence is tainted, or just plain wrong? In recent years, scientific developments in the area of DNA testing has led to the exoneration of some inmates condemned to death. It seems unbelievable a person could lose their life due to faulty test results, perjured testimony, or other fails in the criminal justice system.
Perhaps the most horrifying tale of a death row inmate is that of an Oklahoma man sentenced to death, but who suffered a botched execution. To be clear, this is not a case of perjured testimony, or faulty scientific testing. The conviction… Continue reading
To serve and protect. That’s the motto of law enforcement. But what can you do when wrongfully accused, and the reason is due to police error? You can and should take a strong stand for your rights. Fighting back when procedures are disregarded, or evidence tainted puts the authorities on notice that people charged with crimes won’t roll over.
It is just this type of activity that was recently uncovered. A crime lab chemist in Tampa has put thousands of cases at risk. The chemist, who handled evidence for different agencies across the state has been relieved of duty pending an investigation. The claims are:
● The chemist swapped over the counter medications for prescription drugs.
● Investigators discovered the missing pills from an evidence locker.
● Further investigation revealed the cases involving missing pills were all handled by the same chemist.
This revelation… Continue reading
With laws like the Make My Day Law, and cases like the Treyvon Martin case making headlines, now more than ever the government is cracking down on gun ownership. We see this tightening of guidelines at both the state and federal level, and are prepared to fight for your right to bear arms. We believe in responsible gun ownership, but understand instances do arise when weapons fall into the wrong hands or a charge is lodged against someone for a weapons related crime. Our talented team of criminal defense lawyers aggressively protects your rights in cases involving guns and other weapons.
To illustrate an incident of gun ownership that went awry, we need to look no further than Polk County. There, a pastor and his wife participated in the purchase of over 40 firearms, some of which ended up in the hands of a… Continue reading
Nowhere more than in Florida is the spotlight on self-defense. Time and again defendants are claiming they’ve acted out of self-defense. But with high profile cases, media frenzy and attention given to nearly every move made, being successful when claiming self-defense is an increasingly difficult task. The legal professionals at the Ferraro Law Group are skilled at clearing the hurdles in place when advancing a defense of self-defense.
A recent story shows using the stand your ground law is being used with more frequency. While the Treyvon Martin case may have put the spotlight on the law, there are others availing themselves of the right to self-defense. Marissa Alexander recently learned her ability to claim self-defense will soon be decided. Alexander’s case includes:
● Three counts of aggravated assault.
● Alexander’s claim that she was simply firing a warning shot during an incident with her… Continue reading
For offenders under the age of 18 facing criminal charges, the likely forum to defend your case is in Florida’s juvenile justice system. We take a careful approach when defending underage offenders, because we understand the impact a conviction can have on your record at such a young age. Our goal is to help rehabilitate the accused so they can go on to a bright future.
There are certain preconceived notions about the juvenile justice system. We work hard to dispel any misunderstandings about the process and teach young offenders throughout the process. Some common misconceptions are:
● Summer is the time when the highest number of incidents occur: this is not accurate, statistics show incidents of delinquency actually decline in December and also in the summer.
● “Scared straight” programs are effective: studies show these types of programs can actually do more harm… Continue reading
Your driving record affects your life in more ways than just your ability to drive. A good record can mean lower insurance rates, and a higher credit score. Drivers with an accumulation of points on their records pay more for insurance and can face suspension of their driving privileges. In a mobile society, the ability to drive is a necessity. Going to and from work, taking the kids to Church and school, and being able to visit family and friends are all a part of well-rounded, happy life. Safeguard your right to drive by contacting one of the attorneys at Ferraro Law Group specializing in traffic violations.
Information about points on your driving record can obtained from the Florida Department of Highway and Safety and Motor Vehicles. For example:
● Various driving offenses are assigned a certain point value
● Once a certain number… Continue reading
Some cases of battery are more obvious than others. An all-out bar brawl, resulting in broken bones and hospital stays is much easier to identify as battery than a simple shove. But both of these examples demonstrate cases of battery. The seasoned lawyers at Ferraro Law Group have experience in battery cases of all degrees. Put this experience to work for you, and fight for a case result in your favor.
Battery is legally defined as:
● An intentional or unwanted touching
● That results in bodily injury
Keep in mind the bodily injury caused by the touching does not necessarily have to be visible. It can be enough for an alleged victim to state they were touched, or the touching hurt them. Unfortunately, it can be enough for the victim to give testimony about the incident, and not provide any physical evidence, to… Continue reading
Some things always seem to go together. Batman and Robin, salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, and assault and battery, right? Except just like soap and water are two different things; assault and battery are two components of a common crime often lumped together. Competent criminal defense attorneys are quick not to assume where there is smoke, there is fire, and are capable of crafting aggressive defenses for charges of assault.
An assault is legally defined as an act that includes an intentional threat of:
● An act of violence
● By one with the ability to assert violence
● Accompanied by an act that creates a fear that the action will be carried out
A conviction for assault is a second degree misdemeanor conviction. As with any criminal conviction, your record is affected and casts a negative light on you in your… Continue reading