Miami Dade County’s Pretrial Intervention Program Can Prevent a Criminal Conviction

In most counties throughout the State of Florida, prosecuting attorneys have discretion to offer the accused Pretrial Intervention, also known as The Pretrial Diversion Program, in lieu of a plea offer or a conviction. This can be a great opportunity for the client. If they successfully complete the program they can have the record sealed or expunged, thus removing any evidence that that arrest or the criminal case ever occurred.

What is more, this arrest cannot be used in the future to increase a client’s offense incident score in Florida State Court. In Miami, unlike many other counties in the State of Florida, a criminal Defendant is not asked to attest to a factual basis for his or her plea. This is beneficial because without a plea or a record of the facts upon which punishment is based, this event can not be used to negatively impact a client’s immigration status. In addition, there is no record which can be used later as a basis to increase a defendant’s offense incident score in Federal Court or another State.

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Miami Aliens with Old Criminal Convictions Have Another Chance to Set Those Convictions Aside to Avoid Immigration Consequences

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla has changed the law as it relates to setting aside a criminal conviction based upon the ineffective assistance of a criminal defense attorney. Every lawyer is required to advise their client of the potential immigration consequences that may result from their taking a plea. Prior to Padilla an alien had to prove that their criminal defense lawyer gave them affirmatively bad advice to have their conviction set aside. Now if the accused can demonstrate that their attorney gave them no advice at all, that can be sufficient to set aside the conviction.

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Mental health clinics face criminal charges for health care fraud in Miami federal court

The owners of a chain of mental health clinics are the latest to faces criminal health care fraud charges in Miami.

The Miami Herald reported that the owners are accused of spending $84 million in Medicare payments made to the clinic chain. The Justice Department reports finding just $150,000 in the couple’s bank accounts.

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Four arrested on charges of marijuana trafficking in Miami

Four men are facing criminal drug charges in Miami after authorities say they were attempting to smuggle 800 pounds of pot ashore, NBC News reported.

It will be critical in this case for the defendants to consult a Miami criminal defense lawyer experienced with handling federal drug charges. The Drug Enforcement Administration guidelines call for the maximum penalty available for defendants charged with marijuana trafficking in Miami when the weight exceeds about 500 pounds. In this case, the defendants face a penalty of up to life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. Fines of up to $10 million are possible. A 20-year minimum sentence is called for if a defendant has a previous conviction.

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Whether juvenile or adult, robbery and burglary are serious criminal charges in Miami

Several defendants are in custody this week after being charged with armed robbery in Miami.
Under Florida Law (812.13) armed robbery is extremely serious because a firearm enhances the potential penalty to life in prison.

A robbery charge in which no deadly weapon is used is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The great concern in a juvenile case is the potential to have the defendant charged as an adult. That would subject the child to the full sentence possible under the law. Robbery is much more serious than burglary, which alleges the theft of property without the physical intimidation, threat of violence or violence against the victim.

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