criminal law | Ferraro Law Group, PL | Page 59

criminal law

Crimes Involving Taxes

1040 Form (1)At this time of year, summer vacation is on most peoples’ minds. But for some, the cost of luxuries is just not in the budget. The added pressure of owing Uncle Sam, on an already depressed financial status causes some people to stick their heads in the sand and simply not file returns. This is the worst possible thing you can do! Given the IRS’ willingness to work out payment plans and in the most extreme cases consider an account uncollectible, it is better to face the music than run and hide.

Tax evasion is a crime. The crime of tax evasion involves employing illegal means to avoid payment of taxes. The crime is classified as a felony and upon conviction carries stiff penalties. But it is possible to beat the IRS. A recent article tells the story of a former mayor and his wife being acquitted of charges of tax evasion. The case involved:

● The couples’ attempt to avoid payment of taxes on over $2 million in income.

● The couple maintained their accountant was to blame for mistakes on their return.

● The case was full of political undertones, and the high profile couple maintained their innocence throughout the two week trial.

Facing the IRS alone is not advisable. The IRS is fully staffed with an army of agents and other staff, all dedicated to making sure taxes are paid and prosecuting those that avoid payment. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help with tax issues by negotiating with the IRS on your behalf and presenting your case in a light most favorable to you. To be successful, the IRS first has to prove you owed taxes. From there, the burden is on the agency to show you undertook actions to avoid payment and that your intent was to not pay what was owed. A strong defense attacks the claims made by the IRS in several ways. One way to defend is to show you were not liable for tax payments. You can also defend these cases by proving you lacked the required intent to avoid payment. Intent is a subjective issue, and will depend on the particular facts of your case. Our talented team of legal professionals works with you to develop a defense individually tailored to fit your case.

For more information about defending criminal tax charges, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer a free initial consultation and provide a defense tailor made for your specific needs.

Maintaining Privacy as You Stand Your Ground

business man hand point to virtual business network process diagThe Stand Your Ground Law has made national and local headlines. It is commonly known that the law provides the right to self-defense, but since the spotlight was turned routinely accessing court records in criminal cases where the defense was raised. Efforts to allow defendants who successfully use the defense to seal their records is up for debate by legislators. As with any hot button issue, there are pros and cons and advocates for positions on both sides of the issue. Our job at Ferraro Law Group is to stay on top of the law, its changes, and how new developments affect our clients.

A recent news story explains some of the advantages and pitfalls of changing the way the Stand Your Ground law works:

● Limiting media access to Court records may result in less media frenzy when high profile cases come to trial, or it may cause a lack of information vital to public safety.

● Allowing records to be expunged gives an accused a fresh start; a certain advantage to possible amendments, but may also be overused and cause confusion to the Courts.

To fully understand changes to the law, it is first necessary to understand the requirements for using the defense. The facts of your case must show that you used deadly force in response to a fear of grave bodily harm or death. Also, the person posing the threat to you must be attempting to unlawfully enter a dwelling or car. Once these facts are clear, it becomes less clear as to how media involvement is harmful. Proposed amendments to the law find their roots in the basic right to privacy. Our attorneys are carefully watching legal developments in this area, and remain committed to providing you high quality legal advice. We believe in your right to privacy, and to using the rules of law in the most beneficial way to your case and future.

If you are charged with a crime where you actions were in self-defense, call an attorney knowledgeable about the stand your ground law. Experienced criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help. Call today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Unseen Costs of Criminal Cases

Ahhh...The Scent Of MoneyBeing arrested for a crime is not only an emotionally stressful event, but can also be financially significant. Fines and costs add up quickly in criminal cases. Our goal is to help minimize the financial impact an arrest has on your family, while providing high quality legal representation.

Some of the unseen costs of criminal cases are those passed on to taxpayers. A recent article highlights these costs:

● The cost of jurors: in high profile cases, the cost of feeding and housing the jurors falls to the State

● Court costs: filing or participating in a trial is not free, the Court Clerk charges fees for filing cases and documents

● Security for jurors and witnesses

Costs are the responsibility of the Defendant, and in certain cases like the one mentioned in the above article, some costs are passed on to taxpayers. Every case deserves the best defense possible, but also at a reasonable expense. Our highly trained staff is skilled at providing aggressive representation while keeping costs reasonable. We know when to push for things needed to effectively defend you, and the cost associated with our efforts. Our goal is to provide you with the highest level defense, in a way that doesn’t break the bank. We work with you to develop defensive strategies best suited for your case, and advise you of the likely cost.

For more information about defending criminal charges, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer a free initial consultation and work from there to provide the best defense possible, within an economically workable plan.

Legalizing Medical Marijuana

medical face image with maskNovember brings Thanksgiving and Black Friday, two of America’s favorite days. This year though, November will also bring a vote to Floridians on the issue of medical marijuana. With this vote, there are sure to be more questions than answers. Will we see an increase in claims of medical use, as a defense to possession charges? Will the law be well written so as to avoid confusion over just this issue? Or will we face an onslaught of cases somewhere in the middle, and be left to figure out the intricacies? Regardless of the outcome, the lawyers at the Ferraro Law Group are closely watching this issue so they can be armed with relevant information for their clients.

The proposed law’s history is relatively short. First contemplated at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, the idea was quickly tabled. Now, just over a year later the issue will be put before the voters. Proponents of medical marijuana argue:

● The health benefits for certain illnesses are served by use of medical marijuana over other, more traditional treatments

● The federal government has held the patent on medical marijuana for three decades

● Much needed grant money would become available to colleges and universities wishing to undertake studies were cannabis not illegal

We endeavor to stay on top of all the latest developments in the law, so we can pass on solid advice when our clients need it most. In the arena of medical marijuana, many questions still remain. However, we work tirelessly in our efforts to continually evolve and educated ourselves. Our mission is to provide zealous advocacy for every case.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast fight aggressively for your rights. We offer  free initial consultation and remain up to date on the latest legal developments. Call today to schedule an appointment for criminal defense matters.

Defending Crimes Committed for Financial Gain

Briefcase full of moneyIn a tough economy, it may be difficult to resist the urge to take advantage of the unsuspecting. White collar crimes and crimes such as embezzlement are those types of crimes that are committed for financial gain. And while these types of acts usually make for good stories and Hollywood screenplays, in real life the long term effects of conviction can be devastating. AT the Ferraro Law Group we offer seasoned advice for those facing charges of white collar crimes.

A recent article chronicled a common white collar crime; the Ponzi scheme. In the case of Kim Rothstein, we saw:

● A prison sentence handed down.

● An end to the bankruptcy of former business associates of Rothsetin.

● Payment by Rothstein’s bank of over $500 million with regard to the Ponzi scheme

These types of crimes are prosecuted by the state or federal government, and often times include surveillance and long standing investigations. The government has seemingly unlimited funds at their disposal to prosecute these cases, and will launch an investigation to gather evidence to make sure their case is solid. Being the target of an investigation is stressful and disruptive to your life. Take action to maintain some semblance of normalcy in your life by consulting an excellent defense attorney. A defense attorney will be the point of contact for any investigators, freeing up your time to focus on work and life responsibilities.

If you believe you are the subject of an investigation, or have been charged with a white collar crime, it is crucial to act quickly. Call a criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast for more information. Safeguard your future by scheduling an appointment with one of our qualified attorneys today.