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Using a Fake ID? One Night of Fun Could Lead to Years in Jail

OSULLVIAN - Fake IDJust about every teen wishes they were old enough to go to a new local club or buy a bottle of liquor, but what most do not realize is that using a fake ID, even just once, could lead to serious legal trouble. Most people justify the use of fake IDs by claiming it is a victimless crime, but they aren’t.

Before you set out to use a fake ID card this Saturday night, you may want to familiarize yourself with the consequences.

Read: 3 Most Common Crimes in Miami

You Could be Convicted of a Felony

Depending on the state you’re arrested in, even possessing a fake ID (without using it), could result in a felony. In Florida, any unauthorized possession of a person’s identification could be charged as a third degree felony.

Fraud Charges Could be Applied

It’s not only illegal to be in possession of a fake ID or someone else’s ID, but you may be charged with fraud – even if you did not use the ID. Also, any crimes youcommitted while in possession of the fake identification card, such as purchasing alcohol, could be held against you in addition to the fraud charges.

Your License Could be Revoked or Postponed

If you already have a driver’s license, the courts make revoke it for possessing a fake ID. Also, if you have not yet obtained a driver’s license (because you are not of age), the courts may postpone the year at which you could get one. For example, the courts may require that you wait until you are 18 instead of 16.

A Criminal Record Follows You for Life

If you are a minor, your criminal record could be expunged or sealed – not affecting your future. But, if you are over 18 and caught with a fake identification, you could have a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life. You may find it difficult to get a job, obtain housing or even join the military. If charged with fraud, you could be seen as dishonest and untrustworthy the rest of your life.

Also, you could face parole or probation, which means you may have to report to a probation officer for an extended period of time – and if you violate probation, you could spend time in jail.

Read: Probation: What Is It, and How Can You End It Early in Florida?

Identity Theft

When you buy or having someone fabricatea fake ID, you provide them with some of your personal information. By doing so, you put yourself at risk for someone else creating a fake ID in your name or worse, stealing your identity.

Caught with a Fake ID? Call a Lawyer Right Away

If you are caught using or in possession of a fake ID, contact a criminal attorney Miami right away. You cannot risk being charged with a felony nor having a criminal record ruin your life. Contact the attorneys at Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates today for a free consultation by calling 305-379-8688.

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3 Easy Ways to Violate Your Probation – Don’t Do It

3 Easy Ways to Violate Your ProbationProbation is not a right; it is something you earn. Violating your probation can result it in being quickly taken away – and you spending not only your initial sentence back in jail, but possibly more time for violating your probation. While you may think it is difficult to violate probation, you may be surprised at just how easy it is to find yourself back in jail for one mistake.

Whether you are new to probation (read these facts on probation in Florida) or you have been on probation for a few months, make sure you don’t commit one of these three very easy and common probation violations.

Three Easy Ways to Violate Probation

 

  1. Not Reporting to Your Probation OfficerThe easiest and fastest way to find yourself back in jail is not reporting to your probation officer. When on probation, you have designated meetings (whether once a week or once a month) to check in, discuss what you are doing, etc. Missing a meeting for any reason could result in a violation.If for some reason you cannot make your scheduled meeting, contact your probation officer right away – never wait until after the appointment to contact him or her. Even if you miss it, contact him or her right away to discuss it. Not keeping in touch with your probation officer means they are less likely to let one missed appointment slide.
  1. Vising Certain People, Places or Going Out of Town Just because you are on probation does not mean you can do what you want. Your probation orders may specifically state where you cannot go, who you cannot see, etc. For example, if you are convicted of a drug crime, you may be prohibited from going to a drug neighborhood, associating with fellow drug criminals, or even certain friends.You may also be prohibited from going out of town or even leaving the city. Often if you need to travel, for good reason, your probation officer will work with you as long as you provide itinerary and contact information. But, if you leave town without notifying your probation officer and you are arrested, you may find yourself back in jail.
  1. Not Paying Court Ordered Fines or Restitution If you are released on probation, but still have court fines or restitution to pay to the victims, you still must pay them. Missing a payment or even being late may result in your probation being revoked.

What to Do if You Violate Probation

If you violate probation, contact a criminal defense attorney right away. While you should also speak to your probation officer, you will need a defense attorney who can represent you during the hearings as these hearing determine whether or not you will return to jail.

The probation violations Attorney team at Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates can help you with your probation violations. Contact us today for a free consultation by calling 305-379-8688 now.

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What Happens if You’re Charged with Drug Possession?

Drug Crime LawyerDrug possession is a very broad criminal charge that could involve multiple violations and possible punishments. If you have been arrested for drug possession and you’re facing drug possession charges, then the potential penalties depend on specific circumstances surrounding that crime, including the amount you are carrying, the type of drug in your possession at the time of arrest, and more.

The Amount in Your Possession

The amount of drugs allegedly found in your possession is critical. A small amount is usually classified as “simple possession” and considered personal or recreational use. A larger amount, however, could lead to not only drug possession charges, but intent to distribute charges as well, which comes with much harsher penalties.

Just because you have a large amount of drugs in your possession does not mean you’ll automatically be charged with intent to distribute charge. In fact, law enforcement is required to present additional evidence beyond just how much you were carrying. Some additional evidence they may use against you includes, but is not limited to:

  • Packing Materials – Small baggies, twist ties, etc. could be perceived as “packaging” for distributing drugs (even if they were not intended for that use).
  • Scales and other measuring equipment
  • Large Amounts of Cash – A large amount of cash could result in police claiming that you had just finished a drug deal; therefore, you were carrying your earnings.

The Type of Drug

The type of drug found in your possession will also determine the penalty. Marijuana, for example, will not carry as harsh of a punishment as heroin, crack or cocaine.

Other Circumstances

While drug possession is a serious charge, other circumstances surrounding your arrest may determine the penalty. Some things that could result in harsher penalties include:

  • Previous criminal history;
  • Prior drug possession convictions;
  • Circumstances around the arrest, such as being also arrested for a DUI or attempted robbery and the drugs were discovered during that arrest.

What Penalties Will You Face If Convicted?

The penalties for drug possession can vary immensely. In some cases you may only pay a small fine of $100, whereas in other cases you could face several years in Florida State’s prisons. For first time, minor offenses, you may be able to get off with nothing more than probation or a court-mandated rehabilitation program.

Because the penalties for drug possession can vary, it is in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced drug crime attorney. Every drug possession case is different and the circumstances around your arrest could mean harsher punishments if convicted. The attorneys at Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates can represent you during your criminal proceedings and ensure a more favorable outcome. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.

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They Hit Me First: Is It Legal to Fight Back?

assault-and-batteryYou may have not been looking for a fight, but a fight found you. Physical confrontations happen and when you are the victim of an assault, you may be inclined to defend yourself. But, can defending yourself turn into a criminal charge? There have been numerous cases where an individual attempts to defend him or herself only to find that they are arrested and prosecuted. So, it is legal to fight back if someone hits you first? Will you be arrested for fighting back?

Understanding Self-Defense

As long as your use of force was classified as self-defense, it may be excused. But, it is your responsibility to prove that there was imminent threat of physical violence, which then resulted in your actions.

You must have a reasonable suspicion the person is going to harm you in order for you to claim self-defense. While cases where you attack first in defense are questionable, if the individual does hit you first, then it is easier to prove self-defense, especially if that individual attempts to hit you for a second time.

But, there is a fine line as to what is and isn’t classified as self-defense. If you continue to hit or invoke further harm toward that individual and the threat is over, you may not have a case for self-defense and you instead could face serious criminal charges yourself.

Self-Defense and Your Response

Self-defense is only valid if you use a reasonable response to defend yourself. For example, if someone hits you with his or her fist, shooting them in “self-defense” isn’t justified. But, hitting them back could be. Deadly force should only be used in circumstances where the other party is also using deadly force or you have a reasonable fear for your life.

Also, in some cases you may only claim self-defense if you have attempted to avoid the violence before engaging the other party. This is referred to as a “duty to retreat”. Most states have removed this rule, but it is still in your best interest to prove to the court that you attempted to avoid violence before engaging in self-defense.

Why You Should Contact an Attorney

Self-defense claims can be highly complex. Even if you have a valid reason to defend yourself, you may find yourself being accused of battery or worse, manslaughter if the other party dies in attempt to defend yourself. It is in your best interest to have an attorney, even if you were fighting back in self-defense to protect your rights.

The Miami criminal defense attorneys at Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates can represent you in your self-defense case. Contact us today for a no obligation consultation.

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3 Most Common Crimes In Miami

Crime in MiamiEven in the safest neighborhoods in the United States, criminals lurk around every corner. There are good areas and bad areas to every city in the country, but many of the larger cities gain a faster reputation because of the publicity they receive.

The city of Miami, Florida is no different than any other city in the country – there is good and bad; a lot of cultural diversity; and some people who are less accepting than others. Although the city of Miami can be a beautiful place to live, there are several common crimes to know. Knowing what these crimes are can help keep you safe and allow you to take precautions to prevent them.

Burglary

Burglary is the act of entering someone’s home or property without his or her permission or to engage in unlawful activity. In 2012, the U.S. average of burglaries per 100,000 populations was 670. In Miami, it was 1,027. Although burglary can be charged as a first, second or third degree felony, there are many criminals who still engage in these illegal activities.

To prevent your home or property from being burglarized, it is important to keep your doors locked or an enclosure around your home. If you have been convicted of a burglary crime, immediately contact an experienced professional before speaking to anyone about your conviction.

Read: Arrested for Robbery or Burglary in Miami?

Homicide Charges

Murder is a serious offense in any state or country in the world. In the city of Miami, there is a differentiation between homicide and manslaughter. If convicted of homicide, this means you have intentionally taken the life of another person. If you are convicted of manslaughter, this may mean it was done without intent, such as vehicular manslaughter or aggravated manslaughter. In 2012, the murders per 100,000 population for the U.S. was 4.7; in Miami it was 16.6

A homicide or manslaughter conviction can be an overwhelming experience whether you are guilty or innocent. If you have been charged with either of these crimes, it is vital to contact an attorney who can help you get through these convictions with proper defense.

Car Theft

Auto theft, in the state of Florida, can be defined in three different ways: taking someone’s car with the intent of keeping it permanently or temporarily using it, taking the car to prevent the owner from using it or even using the vehicle for your personal needs. There are even convictions of grand theft auto, where a car has cargo valued over $50,000 or if the vehicle is worth more than $100,000; this type of conviction can carry a much higher fine or punishment.

Read Also: Grand Theft Auto- Not a Game in Miami

Many of the charges involving auto theft result in felonies, so if you are convicted of an auto theft crime, do not speak to anyone about your conviction before speaking with an experienced lawyer. To protect your vehicle from being stolen, you should always lock your doors and install an alarm to ensure its safety. Keep any precious cargo inside of your home instead of inside of your vehicle.

Contact a Miami Defense Lawyer

If you have been convicted of any of these common crimes or other criminal acts, contact Anderson, O’Sullivan, and Associates immediately or call us at (305) 379-8688. We are experienced in defending our clients against many charges, including murder, auto theft, and burglary. We will work with you to ensure you get the least amount of punishment possible. Our team will do what is necessary to defend you.

Miami Shop Lifting Arrests Increase by the Numbers

Shop Lifting ArrestsUnder Florida state law, theft includes a charge that involves various offenses such as shoplifting, larceny, unlawful taking, and stealing. Penalties for theft range from misdemeanors to felonies depending upon the value of the allegedly stolen object.

A criminal charge may have severe life consequences. Don’t plead guilty to charges of theft prior to understanding all of your defense choices.

Even if you confessed to stealing something and are now ready accept accountability, it does not mean the punishment ought to be needlessly harsh. A skilled criminal defense attorney might have the ability to get the criminal charges dropped in exchange for some restitution or additional considerations.

Can You Beat a Shoplifting/Theft Charge?

With an experienced lawyer it is possible to beat a shoplifting or theft charge. Said lawyer will be able to challenge a witness’s statement, or challenge an ‘intent’ clause of a statute, as well as argue that it was a misunderstanding or accident.

An experienced lawyer can also move for a restitution dismissal or additional favorable result that avoids a record or harsh penalties.

Legal defense methods vary greatly depending on the case’s facts.

Penalties for Shoplifting/Theft

Such penalties will be categorized by degrees depending on the value of the stolen object.

Grand Theft (First Degree)

If the stolen item is valued at or over $100,000, then the defendant is charged with Grand Theft (First Degree), a Felony (First Degree). A felony (First Degree) has a max penalty of thirty years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.

Grand Theft (Second Degree)

If the stolen item is from $20,000 to $99,999, then the defendant is charged with Grand Theft (Second Degree), a Felony (Second Degree). A felony (Second Degree) has a maximum penalty of fifteen years incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000.

Grand Theft (Third Degree)

If the stolen item is valued from $300 to $19,999, then the defendant is charged with Grand Theft (Third Degree), a Felony (Third Degree). A charge of Grand Theft (Third Degree) additionally will apply if the item taken is a fire extinguisher, car, gun, a quantity of fruit that comprises of at or above 2,000 individual pieces, anhydrous ammonia, construction sign, or a stop sign.

A penalty for a felony (Third Degree) is a max of five years incarceration and a fine of $5,000.

Petit Theft (First Degree)

If the stolen item is valued from $100 to $299, then the defendant is charged with Misdemeanor (First Degree), carrying a max penalty of one year incarceration and a fine of $1,000.

But, if a defendant is convicted two times of any theft, he or she is charged with Felony (Third Degree), carrying a max penalty of five years incarceration and a fine of $5,000.

Petit Theft (Second Degree)

If the stolen item is valued at under $100 or unspecified within any additional theft statute, the defendant is charged with Misdemeanor (Second Degree), a max sentence of sixty days incarceration and fine of $500.

Contact Miami Theft Defense Lawyer

This is a life-changing experience with long-lasting implications. Do not delay getting the legal help you need, contact Anderson, O’Sullivan, and Associates at 305-379-8688.

Marijuana Arrests in Miami: What are the Penalties?

Arrests Attorney in Miami

Faced Such Situation ?

Drug defense lawyers in Miami
We are beginning to see more and more states legalize marijuana.However, Florida is not yet one of them. If you are arrested with marijuana, you could face serious penalties. The extent of those penalties depends on the amount of marijuana in your possession, other items found in your possession, and of course, criminal history. can help lessen the penalties and attempt to get your case dismissed entirely.

The Amount

amountThe amount of marijuana in your possession determines the offense – and these charges come with their own penalties. These include:

  • Less than 20 Grams – Charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. You could face up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • More than 20 Grams – Considered a fourth-degree felony. You could face up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • 25 or More Marijuana Plants – Considered a third-degree felony. You could face up to fifteen years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

If the police determine you were distributing as well as possessing, you could be charged with a felony and face additional jail time.

Other Circumstances

Often marijuana possession is charged in conjunction with another crime – such as a DUI, robbery, or assault. If you are arrested for another crime and are carrying marijuana, you could face more severe penalties than an individual arrested solely for possession.

Criminal History

First-time offenders have a better chance of avoiding serving jail time – as long as they are not charged with distribution. But, individuals may have to participate in court-ordered rehabilitation or other similar programs.

Get Help from Drug Defense Lawyers in Miami

Drug charges, even possession for marijuana, can turn into a serious offense. You could spend several years in prison, even if you did not intend to distribute to other parties. You need an attorney that can aggressively defend your case, lessen the penalties or even get your charges dismissed. Contact the drug defense lawyers at Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates today by calling 305-379-8688 now.

 

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Have You Committed a Federal Crime?

Committed a Crime in Florida

There are thousands of crimes the federal government could accuse a person of doing. In Miami, federal prosecutors typically focus on those crimes that violate a federal statute. These felony affect the nation and can be tried in a local or federal court.

Did You Commit a Federal Crime?

Commit a Federal CrimeNot all  are considered federal, but sometimes there is a fine line in how these are determined. In Miami, most federal prosecutors focus on a select few types  including:

  • Extortion
  • White Collar
  • Espionage
  • Counterfeiting
  • Money Laundering
  • Drug Trafficking and Other Drug-Related
  • Gun Crimes

Who Investigates a Federal Crime?

Investigates a Federal Crimeit is often worked in conjunction with Miami police officers. But, there are certain government agencies that are given the power to oversee the investigation and arrest. These agencies include the FBI, DEA, ATF, Department of Homeland Security, and even the Secret Service.

In court, these are handled by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, but sometimes the U.S. Department of Justice may send in their own prosecutor.

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What Should I Do If I’m Arrested for a Federal Crime?

Arrested for a Federal CrimeBeing accused , is very serious. Federal sentencing guidelines are harsh and all punishments are done in accordance with those guidelines which means plea bargains are not always a worthwhile option. If you are being accused , innocent or not, you must conduct yourself accordingly.
1. Stay calm. The worst thing you can do is be irrational, become enraged or exhibit any type of negative behavior after being arrested. Whether you are innocent or not, you must stay calm.
2. Do not resist arrest. Resisting arrest could result in more charges against you. Instead, cooperate with the police, allow them to arrest you and even fingerprint you.
3. Do not speak to the police. Even if you know you are innocent, speaking to the police means anything you say can be used against you in court. Facts can easily be misinterpreted, so what you say to prove your innocence could make the officials feel you are guilty. To avoid this, do not speak. The only information you have to provide is your name, address, birthday, and telephone number.
Lastly, hire an attorney. You need an experienced Miami federal crime attorney. Not all lawyers can handle. it require an attorney to be licensed for federal court, but also you want an attorney with experience dealing with federal agencies.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Miami Today

If you have been accused of a federal crime or you have committed one, the criminal defense attorneys at Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates can help. Contact us for a no-obligation review of your case now by dialing 305-379-8688.

What is an Accomplice?

What is an AccompliceTelevision and movies about police dramas often end up with a friend or acquaintance of a suspect being brought into the precinct and questioned by the police. Invariably, the police detectives who are interrogating the friend will say that they need to speak up and tell them what they know about the accused, or they will be charged as an accomplice.

But what exactly is an accomplice? Some people may just be bystanders or witnesses, while other people may be actually be accomplices. Accomplices are sometimes called accessories, depending on the jurisdiction. In Florida, the statutes use the term “accessory” as well, and any individual facing criminal law charges in Miami should be aware of the various legal terms used in Florida courts.

Types of Criminal Defendants

Types of Criminal DefendantsA principal is one who actually commits an offense, whether it is a felony or misdemeanor. Alternatively, a principal may also be the person who forces another person to commit the illegal act.

An accessory after the fact is someone who “,” or gives the principal some type of aid in committing the felony. The accessory must know that the principal has committed a criminal act. And finally, the accessory must have the intent to assist the principal evade capture by the police. The level of each principal felony, whether it is a first or second degree felony, will dictate what the level of accomplice liability will be. Furthermore, there are additional levels of culpability for crimes against children. For instance, the offense of child abuse, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child under 18 years of age, or murder of a child under 18 years of age all count as crimes for which anyone can be an accessory without exception. In many cases, close relatives, such as parents, children, and spouses are not eligible to be accessories.

The inability to be a principal does not prevent someone from being charged as an accessory or accomplice. In certain cases there are individuals who are excluded from liability. Members of a protected class are excluded from accomplice liability. .

Alternatively, if a person completely withdraws from a felony before it is committed, this individual cannot be held guilty as an accomplice. Withdrawal must occur before the felony becomes unstoppable. A potential accessory must repudiate his assistance if all he has done is encourage the principal to act. If the potential accessory has gone beyond just encouragement, then he may have to attempt to neutralize the assistance somehow to avoid liability.

More Questions? Contact Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates

Strong legal representation is important in criminal matters in Miami and every other locality in the country. Should you find yourself facing criminal charges, you will need experienced Miami criminal defense attorneys to represent you in court. Contact Anderson O’Sullivan & Associates for legal advice now.

Probation: What Is It, and How Can You End It Early In Florida?

What is Probation?

Probation Lawyers Miami Well, that depends on who you ask. According to the government and state of Florida, it is a “gift” that they gave you instead of prison. According to your probation officer, it is a powerful tool to “keep tabs” on you. According to the Court, it is a relatively easy way to get you out of your home and into prison. If you are on probation, it is more than just a restriction on your freedom. It is having to disclose to employers and landlords and others your current legal situation. It is a time consuming matter of constantly reporting to a probation officer who may be friendly or simply looking to violate you and recommend a prison sentence. It is expensive and most importantly, it is fear. Fear that any violation, intentional or not, could put you into prison.

Goal of Probation and Good Relationships

If you are on probation, your primary goal is to successfully complete probationthe terms of probation and get off of it as soon as possible. Some common conditions of probation include paying restitution, doing community service hours, staying away from certain people or locations and taking drug and alcohol classes and tests. What many Miami probation lawyers and virtually no Judges will tell you is that a key goal on probation is to have a good relationship with your probation officer. Many of our clients ask us why this is important. They say the probation officer is not their friend, they feel disrespected by the probation officer and the officer is always trying to find a way to violate them. This may all be well and true.

The importance of having a good relationship with your probation officer is two-fold. First, they can violate you based on a single piece of paper, called an affidavit of violation of probation. A violation can lead to a lengthy prison sentence. Secondly, when the time comes to have your attorney file a motion to terminate probation, the Court will often look directly to the probation officer and ask something along the lines of “how is Mr. X doing ”. The Court takes recommendation into heavy consideration. You need that probation officer to tell the Judge you are a model citizen who does not deserve to be on probation any longer.

How Do You Get Off Probation?

First, hire a Miami attorney with extensive knowledge of how get off probationprobation, violations and early termination works. This motion should not be a bare bones request we see in Court so often where an inexperienced lawyer simply begs for early termination. These requests are usually denied in short order. To get off probation in Miami early requires a lot of work on the part of the person on probation and the probation lawyer. First, your lawyer should speak to your probation officer personally and highlight all the good that you have done on probation. Proof that all special conditions have been met should be included in a well written motion that is provided to the Judge well before the date of the motion. A specific list of lost job opportunities because of your probationary status must be included, as well as any missed opportunities on renting a house or apartment. If you are employed, a letter from your boss and a tax return will be helpful in getting you off probation. If probation is really ruining your life, letters or live testimony from family members on how it is affecting them can go a long way in ending probation.

How you conduct yourself on probation is one step in successfully completing and/or terminating early. Hiring an experienced law team to do the legal maneuvering to get you off probation is very important. The probation lawyers at Anderson, O’Sullivan & Associates, Inc. have over 20 years of mastering the probation system and using our vast knowledge of the local laws and customs to terminate your probation. Give us a call and we will discuss our strategy in terminating early. The call is free and you will speak with a named partner in the firm, not just a paralegal or secretary.