Get Answers to Common Questions Now

Our clients have many of the same fears and concerns. To get started, we’ve compiled answers to many of the most frequently asked questions about Federal, Florida DUI and criminal law, covering a wide range of topics to help each client understand the potential implications and options of many legal situations.

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  • Can I be charged with DUI if I have a prescription for medical marijuana?

    Miami DUI Marijuana Defense Lawyer Izquierdo Law FirmThe fact that marijuana is now legal for some people in Florida might cloud the issue of driving under the influence, but it shouldn’t. The reality is that if a police officer believes your ability to safely operate a vehicle has been impaired by any substance—legal or not—you can be charged with driving under the influence. However, it can be more difficult for a prosecutor to make his case against you if you have been smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, so you should contact a DUI defense attorney when you are arrested.

    Marijuana Laws in Florida

    In March of 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation to make the use of marijuana for medical purposes legal, two years after voters approved a constitutional amendment. In January of 2020, legislation was introduced in the Florida House and Senate to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults over the age of 21, so it’s possible that marijuana will be legal for everyone in the next few years. However, even if marijuana becomes legal for recreational use, you would still be breaking the law if you drive after smoking it. While some states have set legal limits for the amount of THC you can have in your blood—similar to alcohol BAC—Florida has not. The legal standard here is that you are “under the influence or affected” by THC.

    Defending a DUI for Medical Marijuana

    If you were charged with DUI, tested positive for any amount of THC, and have a prescription for medical marijuana, an experienced DUI defense attorney might be able to defend you against the charge. If we can make the case that your ability to operate your vehicle was not impaired, you could avoid a DUI conviction. To make the case, we would seek evidence from traffic cameras or eyewitnesses that you were not driving erratically.

    However, if your use of marijuana was not legal, it will be much harder to fight the charge. Much like a driver under the age of 21 who has a small amount of alcohol in his system, you could be charged with a DUI even if your driving ability was not impaired.

    Do You Need A Miami DUI Defense Laywer?

    If you find yourself charged with DUI in Miami you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Please contact me online or call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You should also download my free book "A Six Pack Of Questions That Can Cause A Hangover After A DUI Arrest". This free download provides valuable information and answers to questions about DUI charges that can give you the best chance at winning your case.

     

  • Will I be charged in state or federal court for an internet crime?

    Cyber Crime Coding  Federal Crimes Attorney Izquierdo Law FirmWhich court you end up in to face cybercrime charges will all depend on who arrested you. If you were arrested by the FBI, for example, you will appear in federal court. If you were arrested by the Miami-Dade police, you will appear in a local court. Either way, you want a criminal defense attorney with experience in that court who can protect your right to due process. Attorney Daniel Izquierdo represents clients in both federal and state courts and is experienced in a range of cybercrime defenses.

    When a Cybercrime Is Likely to Be Charged by a Federal Agency

    Most states, including Florida, have laws against certain activities on the internet that mirror federal law. Therefore, if you break state law, you are likely also in violation of federal law. Common cybercrimes include:

    Child Pornography 

    Using the internet to transmit explicit images of children is a crime in Florida and at the federal level, although federal law takes a more conservative view of what constitutes pornography.

    Phishing

    Sending multiple emails with the intent to deceive recipients—also known as spam—is often a federal crime because it targets people all over the country.

    Hacking 

    Officially known as accessing stored communication, this becomes a more serious crime when the perpetrator has gained financially from the offense or has maliciously destroyed property.

    Fraud 

    Using a computer to commit any kind of fraud is illegal. If the fraud crosses state lines, you will likely face federal charges.

    Harassment 

    Cyberbullying may remain under local jurisdiction if both the bully and the victim are local.

    In general, the more serious or widespread the criminal activity is, the more likely it is that a federal agency will be involved. If the activity crosses state lines—for example, soliciting a minor to travel to Florida—it will likely be transferred to a federal agency, even if it began as a local investigation.

    Do You Find Yourself In Need Of A Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer?

    If you've recently found yourself in need of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami you should contact me as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me online or to call my Coral Gables office directly at 305.707.7345. You can also request my free book "The Ultimate Guide To Fighting Criminal Charges In Florida", a detailed download discussing the myths, rumors and hearsay often associated with criminal charges, what to expect from your criminal court proceedings and important steps you must take to battle your charges.

     

  • Can strict parenting be considered domestic violence in Florida?

    Child Being Yelled at By Her Parents Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Izquierdo LawThe short answer to this question is yes—any action can be misconstrued by law enforcement or prosecutors, especially when an estranged or former spouse makes an accusation. Florida allows for corporal punishment of children, but the law is left open to interpretation to some degree. If you have been accused of domestic or family violence for disciplining your child, your first move should be to call a defense attorney. You may be confident that you didn’t cross a line with your child, but that doesn’t mean the state will agree. Domestic violence defense attorney Daniel Izquierdo will fight for your right to discipline your child appropriately without facing criminal charges.

    What Does Florida Law Say About Appropriate Discipline?

    In defining child abuse, Florida statute 39.01(2) states, “Corporal discipline of a child by a parent or legal custodian for disciplinary purposes does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.” The key phrase here is “harm to the child.” This is where interpretation can play a role. Florida law defines harm as “physical, mental, or emotional injury,” so even if your child’s spanking did not cause physical injury, you could be accused of causing a mental or emotional injury. Generally speaking, corporal punishment should be limited to using the hand to spank the buttocks and should not cause any of the following:

    • Bruises
    • Lacerations
    • Sprains or dislocations
    • Fractures
    • Scalds or burns
    • Internal hemorrhage
    • Scarring or disfigurement
    • Emotional effects such as fear, anxiety, or withdrawal

    In Florida, domestic violence is defined as “assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery…or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” It’s easy to see how corporal punishment of a child could be seen as abuse or domestic violence. Slapping, punching, shoving, or grabbing a child—even a teenager—could be charged as abuse.

    Have You Been Accused Of Domestic Violence In Florida?

    You and your partner may not be at a good point in your relationship right now, but if your partner takes that a step further by accusing you of domestic violence, you need to fight back to protect your freedom. If you are frustrated about a domestic violence charge that is disrupting your life you need to speak with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.

    I also recommend that you download a free copy of our special report "He Said, She Said: Three Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Domestic Violence Case In Florida".  The sooner we talk, the sooner we will be able to help you fight the charges that could change your life forever.

     

  • Can an accuser prove a domestic violence charge without evidence?

    Evidence Puzzle Piece Izquierdo Law FirmAs with any criminal charge, it will be up to the prosecutor in a domestic violence case to prove in court that a crime was committed and that the defendant is guilty. They do this by presenting evidence. If your partner has accused you of domestic violence, you may believe that there could not be evidence that proves your guilt. However, you might be surprised by what the state presents at trial.

    What the State of Florida Will Have to Prove to Convict You

    In order to prove a domestic battery case, the state will have to provide evidence that shows one of the following:

    • The defendant actually and intentionally touched or struck another person against the will of the other.
    • The defendant intentionally caused bodily harm to another person.

    Photographic and medical evidence that the accuser was injured is not enough to prove that the defendant caused the injuries and did so intentionally. The prosecutor will have to present evidence that corroborates the accuser’s story and establishes intent.

    Evidence That May Be Used to Prove Your Guilt

    You might be confident that no such evidence exists, but prosecutors are very resourceful when it comes to gathering evidence to support a domestic violence charge. A key piece of evidence will be the accuser’s statements and testimony in court but, even if the accuser has changed his or her mind about testifying, the state may still have enough evidence to convict you. Potential sources of evidence include:

    Cell Phone Records 

    Tech experts can pull text messages, voicemail messages, and emails from your cell phone and computer. If any of the communication can be viewed as threatening or angry, this could establish a motive for the alleged attack.

    Witness Testimony 

    Investigators will talk to neighbors and others in the area at the time of the alleged abuse. They may have overheard a fight—either on the day of the alleged incident or on another occasion—that could make you look guilty.

    Security Camera Images

    Traffic, security, and porch cameras may have captured images of you coming or going from the accuser’s home. Bystanders’ cell phone videos may also provide evidence of your whereabouts and verbal or physical altercations between you and the accuser.

    Medical Evidence

    The police will photograph the accuser’s injuries when they respond to the call. Further medical exams could provide evidence of how the injuries occurred. Could the bruise have been caused by a fall, or did someone clearly grab the victim’s wrists? Medical experts will answer these questions in court.

    You cannot refute all of this evidence on your own.

    This Is Why You Need a Miami Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible

    If you have been arrested and charged with domestic violence, you need to call an attorney right away. Believing in your own innocence and being confident that there is no evidence to prove your guilt will not be enough to protect your reputation and your freedom if your case goes to trial. 

    Have You Been Accused Of Domestic Violence In Florida?

    You and your partner may not be at a good point in your relationship right now, but if your partner takes that a step further by accusing you of domestic violence, you need to fight back to protect your freedom. If you are frustrated about a domestic violence charge that is disrupting your life you need to speak with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.

    I also recommend that you download a free copy of our special report "He Said, She Said: Three Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Domestic Violence Case In Florida".  The sooner we talk, the sooner we will be able to help you fight the charges that could change your life forever.

     

  • I have been charged with a sex crime in Florida—should I use a public defender or hire a private attorney?

    Lawyer Shaking Hands at the First Attorney-Client Meeting Izquiredo Law FirmAs the saying goes, you get what you pay for. The more money you invest in a phone, car, or new suit, the better the quality you will get, and the happier you are going to be with it. Unfortunately, this is also true of our criminal justice system. When you are charged with something as serious as a sex crime, you want to hire the best attorney you can afford.

    If You Cannot Afford an Attorney, One Will Be Provided for You

    You should have heard these words as part of your Miranda rights when you were arrested. What it means is that the state will provide you with a defense attorney—known as a public defender—if you do not have the money to hire one yourself. This is an important right and one you should fully exercise if you do not have the money to hire an attorney. However, if you do have personal resources, you will not have the option of using a public defender. You will have to hire a private attorney.

    Advantages of Hiring a Private Attorney

    Public defenders are hard-working attorneys who do their best for their clients—there is no question about it. However, their caseloads are big and they are not able to spend a lot of time on each case. While they do often have good relationships with judges and prosecutors and may be able to secure quick plea deals, they simply don’t have the resources private attorneys have to build a strong defense. When you hire a private defense attorney, on the other hand, you will find that he is:

    Available When You Need Him 

    Private attorneys build their businesses on being responsive to clients, so they will make an effort to answer your phone calls and meet with you when you request it.

    Backed Up By Staff For Additional Support 

    Private criminal defense law firms have the resources to hire office staff who can answer questions and help clients when the attorney is not available.

    Free To Limit His Caseload 

    Unlike public defenders who have no say in how many cases they get, a private attorney will only take as many cases as he can manage. This way, he can devote more time to each client.

    Concerned About Outcomes 

    Private attorneys get new clients primarily by word of mouth. If they continually plead cases out and rarely get acquittals, they will not get new clients. Winning for his clients is essential to a successful practice.

    Unlike a public defender, who is simply assigned to you, you have options when choosing a private attorney. Ask people you trust for recommendations and take the time to ask potential attorneys questions about their firm.

    Are You Need Of A Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorney?

    If you've been accused of a sex crime in Florida you need to speak with an experienced sex crime defense lawyer as soon as possible. Contact me online or call my Miami office at 305.707.7345 today. We will discuss options for your defense and do everything we can to protect your rights and fight the charges.

     

  • If my partner decides to drop the domestic violence charges against me, am I off the hook?

    Domestic Violence Accuser With Hand Up in the Air Izquierdo Law FirmMaybe a fight got out of hand, and a neighbor called the cops. Or maybe your partner thought you were a threat and called the police. Whatever led to the police getting involved, if they believe the accuser, and you are arrested and charged with domestic violence, it will not be easy to get out of it—even if the accuser takes their story back. That is why you must call an attorney as soon as you are arrested, even if you believe it is all a misunderstanding that will be cleared up.

    Accusers Do Not Have the Power to Drop Charges

    In the moments after an incident, the accuser holds all the power. You may be able to explain what happened and talk him or her out of calling the police, but once the call is made, it is out of the accuser’s hands. If you are arrested, it is up to the prosecutor to decide whether to pursue charges or not. Even if the accuser withdraws the complaint and refuses to testify against you, the charges could stand, and you could be facing a trial and jail time. Without an accuser, prosecutors could use the following to support their case against you:

    Evidence Collected At The Scene 

    If there are signs of a struggle or your partner is obviously injured, the police will take pictures and present this evidence to the prosecutor. Even if the accuser later explains away the evidence, the prosecutor may not believe the story.

    Witness Testimony

    Police may also talk to neighbors. If they report that they have heard shouting or seen signs of fighting at your home, this will be strong evidence against you, even without a statement from your partner.

    Criminal Record 

    If you have previous arrests on your record or have had complaints filed against you in the past for any violent crime, prosecutors will assume that you are capable of domestic violence, regardless of your partner recanting the complaint.

    Without an experienced Florida domestic violence defense attorney on your case, you won’t have a prayer of getting the charges reduced or dropped.

    Have You Been Accused Of Domestic Violence In Florida?

    You and your partner may not be at a good point in your relationship right now, but if your partner takes that a step further by accusing you of domestic violence, you need to fight back to protect your freedom. If you are frustrated about a domestic violence charge that is disrupting your life you need to speak with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.

    I also recommend that you download a free copy of our special report "He Said, She Said: Three Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Domestic Violence Case In Florida".  The sooner we talk, the sooner we will be able to help you fight the charges that could change your life forever.

     

  • What should I do if federal agents come to my Miami home with a search warrant?

    An unexpected visit to your Miami home from FBI or DEA agents is not usually a welcome surprise. Whether you were aware of a federal investigation involving you or not, understanding your rights and obligations when agents come to your home or office is key to avoiding more trouble than you may already be in.

    Do They Have a Warrant to Search Your Home?

    When you answer a knock on the door and find federal agents standing there, the first thing you should do is confirm that they are who they say they are and find out why they are there. You are well within your rights to ask to see identification if it is not offered. Also, ask for a business card—your attorney will need this later. If they do not have a search warrant Numerous Search Warrant Signs Izquierdo Law Firmand are just there to gather information, step outside and close the door. Be calm, polite, and respectful, but do not answer any questions beyond identifying yourself. You have a right to refuse to answer questions without an attorney present, and you would be smart to exercise this right at this time.

    If the agents do have a warrant to search your home, you will be obligated to allow them to enter. However, you should take the following steps to protect yourself:

    • Read the warrant and understand the parameters. Agents cannot overstep what is covered in the warrant. Does it cover the whole house or just your home office? Does it include computers and other electronic devices?
    • Do not interfere with the search or allow family members to interfere or you could be charged with obstruction of justice. Remain calm, keep your hands visible, and do not make sudden movements or leave the room without permission.
    • If the agents have an arrest warrant, be cooperative and follow their instructions.
    • Ask permission to call your attorney before the search. If they do not grant permission, wait until the search has been completed.

    If you do not already have a federal criminal defense attorney representing you, now is the time to find one.

    Contact Danny Izquierdo as Soon as Possible If You've Been Presented With A Federal Search Warrant

    If you live in the Miami area, contact Izquierdo Law Firm immediately if you have been served with a federal search warrant. You can schedule our free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session by calling (305) 707-7345. In this day and age, even innocent people need a strong defense attorney. Do not take chances with your freedom. Call us as soon as possible.

     

  • When do I need to hire a lawyer if I’m facing federal charges?

    When to Hire a Federal Defense Attorney in Florida Izquierdo Law FirmWhen faced with a federal investigation—or even after they are arrested—people have a lot of reasons for not calling an attorney right away. Often, they are so sure that their innocence is clear, and the charges will be dropped, they think they don’t need an attorney. Sometimes, people think hiring an attorney will make them look guilty. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be more wrong. The reality is, the earlier in the process you call a federal defense attorney, the better off you will be.

    How Do You Know When You Need an Attorney?

    As soon as you know—or even suspect—that you are the target of a federal investigation, you should talk to an attorney. Working with a federal defense attorney from the very beginning could save you a world of trouble, including:

    Saying Or Doing The Wrong Thing

    When you are under investigation for a federal crime, the smart move is to have an attorney speak for you, even if you are completely innocent. Without legal advice, you could say something that hurts your defense without realizing it.

    Going To Jail

    If you are charged with a violent crime or serious drug offense, you may be denied bond and held in pretrial detention. You do not want to go to a detention hearing without legal representation. In some cases, your defense attorney may be able to get you released on bond.

    Giving Up Your Rights

    Defendants who are not aware of their legal rights often give them up inadvertently. An experienced federal defense attorney will understand your rights and do everything he can to protect them throughout the criminal process.

    When you are facing federal charges—whether it’s a white collar crime or a drug offense—the odds are stacked against you. An investigation and arrest should be taken very seriously. Hiring the best attorney you can afford as soon as possible is the best way to protect your rights and get a shot at a fair trial. If you are facing a criminal charge in federal court, we should talk. 

    Have You Been Charged With A Federal Crime?

    If you've been charged with a federal crime you need to speak with an experienced federal crime attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call me at my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.

     

  • How much does it cost to hire a federal criminal defense attorney?

    First Meeting With A Federal Crimes Defense Attorney Izquierdo Law FirmWhat is the price of freedom? You may be willing to pay anything to avoid federal prison, but you have to be smart about hiring the best federal defense attorney you can afford. We take a look at what you can expect to pay an attorney when you have been charged with a federal criminal offense in Florida.

    If You Can’t Afford an Attorney, One Will Be Provided for You

    You should have been informed of this right at the time of your arrest, but what does it mean? If you meet the income qualifications established by the jurisdiction in which you have been charged, you will get a court-appointed attorney at no charge to you. Federal public defenders are often some of the most qualified attorneys in a district, and will definitely be better than the cheap, inexperienced lawyer your brother-in-law finds for you. If your income does not qualify for free assistance, you will have to shop around for an attorney you can afford. Some factors that will affect the cost of an attorney include the following:

    Complexity of the Case 

    If your attorney hires investigators and experts to support your defense, you can expect to pay more. Likewise, the more time a case takes to resolve, the more expensive it is going to be.

    Skill and Experience of the Attorney 

    In other words, you get what you pay for. However, you can’t assume that just because an attorney is expensive, he is good. You still need to do your research and ask important questions to find the best attorney for you.

    Whether the Case Goes to Trial 

    If your case goes to trial, the attorney and his team will be putting in many additional hours, and you will have to pay for those hours.

    The bottom line is, you should hire the best attorney you can afford, and you will have to put in some time to find the right match for you.

    We Are Always Up Front About Our Fees

    At the Izquierdo Law Firm, we won’t quote a fee until we look at the unique facts and circumstances of your case and determine what stage of the proceedings your case is in. We try to be fair when quoting fees and take into account how much time will be required, given the nature and circumstances of your case. 

    Have You Been Charged With a Federal Crime?

    If you've been charged with a federal crime you need to speak with an experienced federal crime attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call me at my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.

     

  • What is the difference between a state white collar crime and a federal white collar crime?

    White Collar Crime Defense Lawyer Izquierdo Law FirmThe term “white collar crime” applies to a variety of non-violent financial crimes committed by professionals who are often positioned inside the institution from which they are stealing. These crimes include embezzlement, identity theft, money laundering, insider trading, mail and wire fraud, and tax evasion. Investigations into these crimes can be conducted by local or state authorities—resulting in state charges—or by federal authorities such as the FBI—resulting in federal charges. It is important to understand who is charging you because the consequences you face could be dramatically different.

    When Does a White Collar Crime Come Under Federal Jurisdiction?

    The perpetrator of a white collar crime has often broken both state and federal laws. Whether state or federal prosecutors pursue the charges depends on the specific situation. If the criminal activity takes place in more than one state, the charges will likely come from federal authorities. For example, wire or mail fraud could be charged as a federal crime if the defendant has targeted victims outside of Florida. Investigations into suspected white collar criminal activity can be initiated by either local or state police or by the FBI and could be passed from one authority to the other at any point. A white collar crime that involves a great deal of money or many victims could be upgraded to a federal charge even if it does not cross state lines.

    Does it Matter Whether I am Charged in State or Federal Court?

    Because the consequences for federal crimes can be much more severe than the consequences for the same crime at the state level, it does matter which court is charging you. In addition, not all criminal defense attorneys take federal cases. If you are being investigated for a white collar crime in Florida, you should be working with an attorney who handles both state and federal cases. When you meet with Attorney Daniel Izquierdo for a free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session, he will help you understand the differences between state and federal charges and will be prepared to defend you in either court. If possible, he will fight to keep your charges in state court to avoid harsh federal sentencing requirements. 

    Have You Been Charged With a Federal Crime?

    If you've been charged with a federal crime you need to speak with an experienced federal crime attorney as soon as possible. Contact me online or call me at my Miami office directly at 305.707.7345.