probation | Ferraro Law Group, PL | Page 9


An Update On A Judge Charged With DUI

justice scalesThe law of driving while under the influence is certainly changing. With statistics showing more and more accidents being caused by texting and driving, that may be the next type of “DUI” to surface. But for now, another form of the charge includes more than being under the influence of alcohol. Drugs, whether prescription or not, are substances that can lead to a charge of DUI.

A Florida Judge learned this lesson when she was arrested a few months ago on charges of DUI. The catch? The substance was Xanax. The case has now reached a conclusion:

● Judge Lynn Rosenthal of Broward County was arrested two months ago on suspicion of DUI.

● Rosenthal attributed her erratic driving to use of Xanax.

● The Judge has now entered a plea to the charge of reckless driving.

Pleas are a common way to resolve a DUI case. In some instances if you agree to plea to a lesser charge, like reckless driving, you will be placed on probation and upon successful completion the charges will be dismissed. It takes skillful negotiating and persuasion to reach agreements with the prosecution that are satisfactory. The prosecution’s interest is in obtaining convictions, but when a bargain makes sense for the facts of the case you can resolve your matter by entering a plea and keeping your nose clean. The attorneys at our office have years of experience negotiating cases as well as trying cases and develop solutions that fit your case and needs.

If you have been arrested for DUI, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer a free initial consultation and create a defense strategy tailored to your individual case.

Common Probation Violations

stack of papersThe best advice you can get when starting off on a term of probation is to stay out of trouble! Sometimes it is hard to know what is and isn’t a probation violation and other times the offender knows that their actions are a violation. Any new arrest is always a violation of probation, and causes new charges to be filed against the accused. And, any arrest counts.

Crime Stoppers publishes a list of violators. A common act that violates probation is failing to appear back in Court to face the charges against you:

●A man believed to be living in Naples is wanted for sex crimes, and when he is finally found and apprehended he will be held without bond.

● A Lee County man being searched for on similar charges is believed to be in the care of family, but no one is talking. When he is arrested, he too will be held without bond.

● A registered convicted felon believed to be living in Dunbar is wanted for drug related charges, and has not shown up for his Court appearance.

Failing to show up in Court is a probation violation, and if you then flee in an attempt to outrun the consequences the charges start to stack up. You can see from the very few examples above that when probation is violated and you are found and arrested, this time around you are held without bond. This means you await your court date from jail. It is much better to take responsibility for your actions and appear before the Judge on your case. Adding a probation violation to an already serious criminal charge only works against you. Call one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys for help.

If you need help with a probation violation, call a competent criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer aggressive representation for the charges against you. The first visit is a free initial consultation. Call today to schedule an appointment.

Wal-Mart “Shopper” Rolls Back To Jail

heavy chainIf you are on probation for a crime, it is critical you follow the rules of the probation and keep out of trouble. Any new offense while you are on probation for another charge is a probation violation and can have serious consequences. If you violate probation, you will be charged with the new crime and also the offense of violating your probation. This leaves you in the situation of defending old and new charges at the same time.

A man in Jackson County was recently arrested for theft from retail giant Wal-Mart. The news reports that the man was in the store with a female companion who had paid for her purchases when he “added” some things to the cart:

● A rechargeable boom box was grabbed by the man as he tried to exit the store with his friend.

● Loss prevention employees stopped the pair, but the man and woman refused to cooperate and left the store.

● Police deputies later caught and arrested the man.

When the arrest was made the authorities learned the man was currently on probation for another theft case, also from a Wal-Mart. Charges were filed and now the man faces a probation violation. When you violate your probation, the terms are revoked and you must answer for the violation as well as the original charges. Many times, Courts seek to impose sentence immediately on the previous crime and also charge you with the violation. Building a solid defense is necessary if you wish to have a lenient sentence imposed. A competent criminal defense attorney will analyze your case and answer your questions about what is likely to happen next. We know you have questions about your future and how the charges will impact your life, and we give honest answers to your concerns.

If you’ve been charged with violation of probation or parole, call an experienced criminal defense attorney. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help. Your first visit is a free initial consultation; call us today to schedule your appointment.

Olympic Star’s Brother Violates Probation

gavelProbation is a common result for criminal misdemeanor cases. Being on probation allows the accused to live somewhat of a normal life, by going to school and work, and remaining out of jail. Typical terms of probation include regularly checking in with a supervisor, and keeping your nose clean during the probationary period. This means you cannot have any further arrests, for anything. It might even be a good idea to steer clear of minor violations like parking tickets. If you do something that violates your probation terms, you will face new charges.

Probation violations are faced by all sorts of people, for all sorts of actions. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s younger brother, Devon, faced charges of probation violation earlier this year. The case involved:

● Lochte’s younger brother was arrested in 2012 on charges of possession of marijuana, with the intent to sell.

● Devon Lochte was sentenced to 2 years of drug offender probation.

● In February 2014 Devon tested positive for marijuana, and was arrested for a probation violation.

No doubt Lochte’s probation terms included a prohibition against being in possession of, or taking illegal substances. The drug test result, which revealed the existence of the substance, was cause for new charges, which include a charge of violating probation. Criminal defense attorneys are helpful when defending probation violations, because they can present your case in your favor. Often times there are extenuating circumstances, and the new charges may or may not be valid. If the underlying reason for the violation and subsequent arrest is found to be invalid, the charge of a violation is much more easily defended.

If you’ve been charged with violation probation or parole, call an experienced criminal defense attorney. Seasoned criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help. Your first visit is a free initial consultation, call today to schedule your appointment.

Pro Athletes Continue To Face Legal Problems

erasing mistakeThere’s something about being a celebrity or professional athlete that includes tangles with the law. Perhaps it’s too much too soon, and lacking maturity many superstars find themselves on the wrong side of the law. From DUI’s, to domestic violence, to probation violations there nearly always seems to be a report of a high profile criminal defense matter.

An ESPN report tells how former Florida State football star Greg Reid is facing legal problems, again. The troubles started in 2012 with an arrest for possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license. Now, Reid faces new charges:

● In March 2014 the future St. Louis Rams player was arrested for violating his probation.

● Reid was held without bond for several days prior to being released.

A probation violation is a serious offense. It is a new charge, separate and apart from the charges that got you put on probation initially. Because violation of probation is a new offense, a new defense has to be presented. Many times, the Court can revoke your probation and immediately sentence you up to the full extent available for the underlying crime. And as was a concern in Reid’s case, employment prospects can be placed in jeopardy with a probation violation. Add to the mix the likelihood of high financial fines and penalties and it quickly becomes apparent why a strong defense is necessary. Our team of criminal defense attorneys has years of experience defending people on probation violations. Put our skill to work for you!

For more information about probation violations, call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer a free initial consultation and are experienced in cases where probation has been revoked or is in jeopardy.

Football Star Violates Probation

footballPlea bargains are a common way to resolve criminal cases. Often times, part of the agreement is that the accused stays out of trouble for a certain period of time, and in exchange does not go to jail. This type of arrangement is called probation, or parole and it gives the person charged with a crime the chance to show they are not a threat to society and should be given a second chance. So, when a probation violation happens, the State takes it seriously and may try to impose the maximum punishment available. The best thing you can do is seek legal representation immediately and keep out of further trouble while untangling the new charge of probation violation.

Sometimes, it can be hard to tell what the terms of probation allow. Confusion over probationary terms can lead to a violation unknowingly. That was the situation in the case of former NFL player Jerramy Stevens. Reports state the former tight end was arrested for violating probation:

● Stevens was on probation for possession of marijuana while a player for the Buccaneers.

● Stevens claims he believed the terms of his probation allowed him to travel to the state of Washington as long as he did not get arrested.

● While in Seattle, Stevens was arrested for a domestic disturbance.

● If there were witnesses, make a list of their names and contact information.

The case was ultimately dropped for lack of evidence, and Stevens married soccer star Hope Solo the same night. This case demonstrates how misunderstanding the terms of your probation can lead to additional charges. This case also demonstrates why it is vital you have superior criminal defense representation at every stage of a criminal case. Competent criminal defense attorneys make sure you are crystal clear on all aspects of your case, and fully understand the consequences. The attorneys at The Ferraro Law Group have experience representing those accused of crimes, and enjoy a high level of client satisfaction and success. Call us today for more information about probation violations.

For answers to your criminal defense questions, including probation violations, call a criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. We offer aggressive representation while fighting for your rights. The first visit is a free initial consultation. Call today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.

Thin Mints Mean More Than Extra Pounds

upset womanOne of the most common outcomes of misdemeanor cases is that the accused is placed on probation. During probation, you have to abide by all the rules set forth by the Court, and upon successful completion of probationary terms the charges are generally reduced or dismissed. However, if you fail to follow the rules of probation, the probation can be revoked and you will face sentencing for your crime.

This is exactly what is happening to a lady referred to as the “cookie monster”. The convicted once bragged about how easy it was to take money from a girl scout selling cookies, is now facing some serious time. The news report tells the story of a woman who violated her probation for charges of weapons related robbery, and a kidnapping:


● Stefanie Woods has been returned to Palm Beach County to faces charges she violated probation.

● The prosecutor is requesting Ms. Woods be held without bond given the violent nature of the crime.

Probation violations are serious offenses. If convicted, you can have your probation revoked and face immediate jail time. This means you must put forth a strong defense to charges of violating your probation or parole. Possible defenses include challenging the Court’s jurisdiction, which requires an examination of whether the violation warrant was signed prior to expiration of you probationary period. You might also explore whether the alleged violation was a technical violation for something minor such as paying a fine late, or if a new crime was committed. If a new crime was committed the defense you raise will be quite different than for a technical violation. Experienced criminal defense attorneys are skilled at identifying which type of violation has occurred.

If you’ve been charged with violation probation or parole, call an experienced criminal defense attorney. Seasoned criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help. Your first visit is a free initial consultation, call today to schedule your appointment.

The Pitfalls of Probation

lady in handcuffsIn the world of criminal law, any good news for an accused is always welcome. So knowing that following the rules of probation may give you good cause to seek a shortened probationary term is important to know. It is also important to know not every request may be honored. There are many pitfalls on the probation road, and protecting your rights by using a competent attorney is essential to avoiding a stumble. The attorneys at Ferraro Law Group are accomplished in criminal law matters and have experience in probation issues.

A probation case in the spotlight, nationally and locally is that of Debra LaFave. In that case, the teacher accused of an inappropriate relationship with an underage student:

● Successfully argued for a shortened probationary term, and enjoyed a short period of time of freedom

● The Court later reversed that decision, deciding that Debra LaFave must complete the term of probation as originally ordered

The case is currently on appeal, and the result of the Florida State Supreme Court is likely to have far reaching effects on probation cases statewide. The law is fluid and ever changing and it is critical to assemble a legal team that is up to date and knowledgeable about changes in the law. The legal professionals at Ferraro Law Group make it a part of their daily tasks to keep on top of new rules and Court rulings that affect you. We analyze the rationale used by Courts when making their decisions, so we can apply them to the facts of your case accurately.

If you have questions about the terms of your probation, call our office to schedule a free initial consultation. Make an appointment with a skilled criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast to make sure your case is handled properly.