Please Note: Izquerido Law Firm remains open and available to serve you and meet your criminal defense, DUI defense and Federal Crimes attorney needs during the COVID-19 crisis. We can meet with clients, existing or new, in person, over the phone or with your preferred video-chat application. Please call our office at 305-707-7345 to discuss your options.

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 the police pull me over for no reason?

    Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Daniel IzquierdoYou hear the siren and see the dreaded flashing lights behind you, but you are sure you haven’t done anything wrong. Can the police pull you over even if you haven’t broken the law? Technically, no—they cannot. But they have an arsenal of justifications for making a traffic stop, so you may just have to cooperate and deal with the possible fallout later.

    Legal Reasons for a Traffic Stop

    While law enforcement must have a valid reason for pulling you over, you might not be aware of what that reason is when you hear the siren and see the lights. That’s why it is important that you pull over and follow instructions. Police can pull you over if they believe any of the following:

    You have violated a traffic law.

    This is obvious. If you were speeding, ran a red light, failed to yield, or broke any other traffic law, you can be pulled over. You might not be aware that you broke the law, but if a police officer believes you did, he can stop you.

    Your vehicle is out of compliance with Florida motor vehicle regulations.

    You might have a tail light with a burned-out bulb, an expired license plate, or a malfunctioning turn signal. These are legitimate reasons for a traffic stop.

    You or your car matches the description of a suspect.

    If the police are looking for someone who committed a crime and your car is a similar make and model, or they think you resemble the suspect, they can pull you over to question you.

    As you can see, these reasons can be applied to a variety of situations. In other words, the police can pull you over for almost anything—or even for nothing. However, once you have been stopped, you would be smart to follow the officer’s instructions.

    Your Rights During a Traffic Stop

    We’ve all seen the horrible consequences of traffic stops gone wrong. You do have rights when you are pulled over, but it is important to protect your own safety first. You can do this by giving the officer your driver’s license and registration if he asks for them and answering his questions—within reason. Be aware that you have the following rights:

    You have the right to remain silent.

    If you would incriminate yourself by answering the officer’s questions honestly, you do not have to answer them.

    You can call an attorney.

    If you are being accused of something beyond a traffic violation, you should call an attorney immediately and let him answer questions on your behalf.

    You do not have to grant permission for a search of your vehicle.

    Officers can search your vehicle if you allow them to. They can also search without your permission if they see something suspicious or have reason to believe your car contains evidence of a crime.

    The most important thing you can do is remain calm and avoid confrontation. If you have been pulled over by an aggressive cop who is determined to cause trouble, your best bet is to follow his instructions and contact an attorney as soon as you can afterward. If the officer violated your rights with an illegal traffic stop, search of your vehicle, or physical assault, he could be held accountable and evidence could be excluded after the fact if you have strong legal representation.

    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.

     

  • Who can carry a concealed weapon in Florida?

    Miami Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Izquierdo Law FirmIf the Covid-19 pandemic and other troubling recent events have put you on edge, you might be considering carrying your gun around with you. However, we must warn you that it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon in Florida unless you have a permit to do so. Understand the law regarding concealed weapons and the consequences you face for breaking it.

    Who Can Get a Concealed Weapon Permit?

    The state of Florida will issue a license to carry a concealed firearm to anyone who meets the state’s legal requirements and applies for a permit for legal self-defense. That person will be required to carry the concealed weapon license and an additional photo ID with them whenever they are carrying the weapon. In addition, the applicant must:

    • Be a citizen or permanent resident alien of the United States
    • Be 21 years old or older
    • Be free of physical infirmity that prevents them from safely handling the weapon
    • Demonstrate competence with a firearm by completing a firearms safety course or through other approved means

    The applicant must also be legally eligible to own a firearm. Convicted felons, drug offenders, and alcohol abusers are not eligible for a permit. In Florida, the only times you can legally carry a weapon that is concealed from ordinary sight without a permit are when you are traveling to or from a fishing, camping, or hunting event and are traveling to or from a gun show.

    Contact Izquierdo Law Firm If You Are Facing Weapons Charges

    Violations of Florida’s gun laws are serious offenses. If owning a gun is important to you, you do not want to jeopardize your rights by being convicted of illegally carrying a concealed weapon. If you are facing these charges, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your defense options. Putting your life in the hands of a public defender is a big risk. Protect your future by contacting Danny Izquierdo in Miami to set up a Free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session. In these uncertain times, one thing you can be sure of is that Danny will fight to protect your rights and your freedom.

     

  • I'm Innocent And Have Nothing To Hide. Should I Speak With The Police?

    While you may be thinking there’s no harm in doing so, you need to realize that you can actually get yourself in a lot of trouble by speaking with police. The reason is that you don’t know exactly what they are investigating.  They may be investigating you directly, or investigating a crime in the neighborhood or at your job.  There’s no way to truly know what they are investigating and, besides the fact they are trained in interrogation tactics, they can lie to you in order to get you to talk.
      
    You may think you are innocent and have nothing to hide, but speaking with them can implicate you in a crime and before you know it you’re in handcuffs facing criminal charges.  There are two examples I can give you to show why this is a bad idea. 
     
    The first example is one where you may have been close to some type of criminal conduct or wrongdoing (say through a friend or at work) but didn’t know that it’s a crime or that a crime occurred.  By talking with them you have just given them more evidence to use against you, or even worse, you have given them enough to arrest you.
      
    The second example is one where they are simply asking around the neighborhood about a particular person.  You have no idea why and have nothing to hide in this scenario.  As a result you start talking about your neighborhood and neighbors.  When you get to your neighbor, John, you start venting about your relationship with him and why you don’t particularly like him.  Little did you know they are investigating a crime where John is the victim and there’s no physical evidence linking anyone to the crime at the moment.  Your words are then used by the police to develop motive and justification for the crime that was committed against John.  Plus, while you were home watching Netflix, you live by yourself and do not have anyone to provide an alibi defense for you.  You are now arrested and charged with this crime and your words are being used against you as evidence of guilt. 

    Police Can Lie to You

    The police are trained to make small talk in order to make you feel comfortable and begin speaking with them.  They are trained in interrogation tactics that can make you confess to a crime you didn’t commit.  You’ll never quite know where police are trying to take you and while you might think you’re answering one-percent truthfully and innocently, they are slowly building a case against you. 

    They Cannot Offer Anything

    Oftentimes police will say things like “we just want your side of the story,” or “talk to us and we’ll make sure nothing happens to you.”  This is not true.  Police cannot offer you anything.  They do not control the outcome of a case, the prosecutor does. Any threat of “talk to us or else” is just that, a threat.  

    Remain Silent and Get an Attorney

    You cannot get into more trouble because you decide to not speak with police.  It is your constitutional right to remain silent or have an attorney present before answering any questions. Think of it this way: they already have enough to arrest you and talking will just give them more evidence to use against you or they do not have enough to arrest you and speaking with them will give them what they need.  You gain nothing by speaking with police.  Especially not before consulting an experienced criminal defense attorney. 

    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.

  • Will I Look Guilty If I Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

    It is perfectly normal to think this way and this is a question that almost every client that is under investigation asks during our initial strategy session.  Learning that you are under criminal investigation or that the police want to speak with you is nerve-racking and downright scary. You may even think that it’s best to just go ahead and speak with police so that this nightmare can end.  To be honest, there may even be some truth to the fact that police or a prosecutor may think twice about you wanting to have an attorney present before you speak with them. However, you can get yourself into trouble (or even more trouble) if you go ahead and speak with them without having an attorney in your corner.
      
    I know, you’re probably wondering, ‘what if I’m innocent?’ or ‘won’t they know I’m guilty?’ Keep in mind that if they want to talk to you, they already think you’re guilty or may be involved somehow. Ask yourself this question: “Would I rather have them think I’m guilty and make sure my rights are protected or do I gamble and give them evidence they can use against me?”
     

    It’s Your Constitutional Right

    All of us have the constitutional right to not be forced to be a witness against ourselves (right against self-incrimination) and the right to counsel, meaning you can refuse to speak to police altogether or have an attorney present while speaking with police.  The police officers, detectives or agents that contact you and the prosecutor involved in the case know this and most will not hold your desire to speak with a lawyer against you.  If you end up getting arrested and become the subject of a case, they cannot use your silence against you.  And I’d be willing to bet that most police officers and prosecutors that found themselves in your shoes would opt for a lawyer before speaking.
      

    Police Interrogation Tactics

    Remember, police are trained in interrogation tactics and know how to get you to say certain things that could help their case.  They can also lie to you in order to get you to say certain things.  Basically, only they know where they’re trying to take an investigation or what their ultimate conclusion is.  This means they can get you there by getting you to say certain things without you even knowing and all while you think you’re answering in a way that will make you look 100% innocent.
      
    Every search you consent to, or every statement you give police before protecting yourself by hiring a criminal defense attorney that will protect your rights makes your case that much more difficult.  It’s more difficult to get rid of evidence the police have already obtained because you cooperated with them before hiring a criminal defense lawyer than it is to not give them additional evidence in the first place. 

    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 you lie to the police?

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander doesn’t apply here.  You cannot lie to police even if they can lie to you.  Like a lot of things in the law, especially criminal law, this doesn’t seem fair. The truth of the matter is that lying to police can land you in serious trouble.  If you already have charges pending, this can be an additional charge (even a felony!).  It can also bring about very serious charges such as obstruction of justice.
      
    Here’s the catch, and another reason to never lie to police: You don’t know where they’re going with something or what they want you to say.  Therefore, anything you say (even if you believe it to be true) can be seen as a lie.  Let me give you an example: Let’s say I ask you “what color is the sky?”  You will likely respond confidently that the sky is “blue.”  The problem starts when I was asking you about something that happened at night and the answer I really want is that it’s nighttime, or dusk.  Now, you’ve “lied” to me and I can take that and run with it.  I can discredit anything you say to continue building a case against you, or I can charge you with additional crimes.
      
    It might seem like you can simply go speak with them and “talk your way out of it” or “give them your side of the story” but the reality is that you will almost always make it worse. The only way to protect yourself is to never speak with police without first consulting with a lawyer and having that lawyer present to make sure your rights are protected. 

    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 the police lie to me?

    Unfortunately, the answer is ‘yes.’  Police can say whatever they feel they need to say in order to get a statement or confession out of you. I know, this is shocking, disturbing and just seems downright wrong. But, police can lie to you in order to get you to confess or say what they want you to say, and they can influence that statement out of you by lying.  That’s right, they can—and will—manipulate the facts or a story so you tell them what they want to hear.
     
    Given that they can lie to you in order to get you to say things that are not true (i.e. confess to something you didn’t do), what are you to do?  The best advice I can give you is to remain silent and never speak with police about your case (or anything for that matter) without having an attorney present.  See, it’s your constitutional right to remain silent (Miranda rights) and have an attorney present for questioning.
     
    Long ago, the Supreme Court decided this would protect everyone’s constitutional rights and it’s our only way to level the playing field.  Remember, they can say whatever they want to get a certain statement (or confession) out of you.  The only way to protect yourself (and not give them any more evidence to use against you), is to not say anything unless you have a lawyer present.
      
    Now, I know you may thinking: If they can lie to me, can I lie to them? Click here for my response to that question.

    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.

  • The cops didn’t read me my rights, will my case get dismissed?

    One of the most common questions I’m asked when meeting with people for the first time or speaking with them on the phone is whether their case will get dismissed because the arresting officer didn’t read them their rights.  The rights we’re discussing are your Miranda rights.  You’ve probably heard them on cop shows or true-crime dramas (which are very popular these days).

    What Is Included In Your Miranda Rights?

    Right to remain silent  

    Anything you say can be used against you  

    You have the right to have an attorney present  

    If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided  

    Knowing this, are you still willing to speak with police  

    The answer to this questions is ‘no’, your case will not be dismissed simply because the arresting officer didn’t read you your rights.  I know, you’re probably thinking that’s unfair and not correct. 
     
    Let me explain, Miranda rights apply to “custodial interrogations,” and only come into play when police officers are asking you questions.  So, if they’re simply placing you under arrest and taking you in, they don’t have to read you your rights. 
     
    Now, if they are asking you questions about the case (and you are considered to be in custody), Miranda rights do apply.  If law enforcement officers violate your rights by asking you questions without informing you of your constitutional right to remain silent, we will challenge any statements or confession(s) made.  We will ask the judge to throw out (suppress) any statements made by—and obtained by police—in violation of your rights.  If the judge agrees with us, the prosecutor will not be allowed to use those statements at trial.
      
    One way police and prosecutors try to get around this legal requirement is by using your words against you and saying they are sudden or spontaneous statements.  Meaning you volunteered the information without being asked. 
     
    The best way to avoid this from happening to you and hurting your case, is to remain silent and NEVER discuss your case or the facts with law enforcement unless an attorney is present.

    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.

  • How should I prepare for my virtual hearing?

    Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Izquierdo LawWhen the coronavirus pandemic hit Southern Florida, courts closed and hearings and trials were postponed. To get things moving again, courts turned to remote hearings held on the meeting platform Zoom. This has proven to be an efficient way to take care of certain kinds of court proceedings, so it is likely that remote hearings could continue for the foreseeable future. However, just because you are tuning in to your hearing from home on a computer or cell phone, that doesn’t mean you should not take the process seriously.

    Zoom Court Has the Same Power as In-Person Court

    If your hearing has been scheduled to take place on Zoom, you need to realize that this is the actual hearing—not a warm-up or practice. The information presented by attorneys and decisions made by the judge are just as they would be in an in-person courtroom. As a defendant, you need to take this virtual appearance as seriously as you would an actual court appearance.

    How to Prepare for a Zoom Hearing

    As your defense attorney, I will make sure you have the technology and internet access you need to join the hearing at the right time. However, since you will be in your own space, the rest of the appearance will be up to you. Here are some tips for a successful Zoom court session:

    Dress appropriately.

    Wear a clean, collared shirt or a nice sweater. Do not wear a shirt with images or writing on it. Also, WEAR PANTS! Even if you don’t think you will be seen below the waist, you never know what could happen. Judges have reported seeing defendants in pajamas, bathrobes, shirtless, and in the bathroom! Don’t let that be you.

    Arrange for privacy.

    Having children or pets running in and out of the room is not conducive to being taken seriously by a judge. Have a neighbor take the kids and leave the pets outside or in another room. Sit at a desk or kitchen table. Do not sit in bed or lounge on a sofa.

    Eliminate other noise.

    Mute your phone, turn off the television, and close other windows on your computer. Put a do not disturb sign on your door to prevent visitors or family members from interrupting the hearing.

    Be aware of Zoom etiquette.

    During the meeting, make sure the lighting and camera are adjusted so that your whole face can be clearly seen. Mute your microphone when you are not speaking, but remember to unmute yourself and look into the camera (not at the screen) when you are speaking.

    Be respectful.

    You should not be doing anything other than participating in the hearing. Your eyes should be on your computer or phone screen the entire time. Speak clearly and say “Yes, ma’am” or “Yes sir” when addressing the judge.

    If you have never participated in a Zoom meeting and are worried about it going well, I can schedule a practice session with you ahead of the hearing date.

    Do You Trust Your Florida Criminal Defense Attorney?

    If you are facing criminal charges in the Miami area, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who cares about the outcome of your case. 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.

     

  • I was charged with unemployment insurance fraud. What should I do?

    Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Izquierdo LawAfter reaching an all-time high of 14.7 percent in April, the unemployment rate across the U.S. dropped to 8.4 percent in August. This means that 13.6 million Americans were still out of work in August as a result of the coronavirus shutdowns last March. In Florida, the unemployment rate was at 11.3 percent in July, higher than the national average, and an increase from June. In an effort to help people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19, the federal government expanded states’ ability to provide unemployment benefits through the CARES Act in March. Almost as soon as these programs rolled out, applicants were being investigated for fraud. If you are one of them, you need to hire a federal defense attorney.

    What Is Unemployment Insurance Fraud?

    Collecting unemployment benefits when you are not entitled to them—or helping someone else get benefits they haven’t earned—is considered a form of fraud and is illegal. Given the expanded coverage provided by the CARES Act, millions of Americans who had never collected unemployment before suddenly found themselves applying. Not all of these people should have applied, and many were approved who shouldn’t have been, but in order to be charged with a crime, you must have:

    • Knowingly provided false or incomplete information when applying for benefits
    • Returned to work while still collecting benefits
    • Failed to report additional income

    Whether you set out to defraud the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) or you are a victim of an overzealous investigator, when you are charged, you need an attorney who will fight for you.

    Possible Defenses to Fraud Charges

    Fraud charges should never be taken lightly. When you work with my defense team, we will build the strongest possible case to achieve the best outcome. Appropriate defenses might include:

    • You did not have a specific intent to defraud the state.
    • The prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence that you committed fraud.
    • Someone filed on your behalf without your knowledge.
    • Law enforcement broke the law in obtaining evidence against you.

    Have You Been Charged With Florida Unemployment Insurance Fraud?

    If you are suspected of unemployment insurance fraud, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami. 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. Don’t leave your freedom or your reputation to chance. Hire a lawyer who will fight for you!

     

  • What is securities fraud?

    You probably didn’t even know you were being investigated for a crime, and now you have been arrested and charged with securities fraud. What does that mean, and what should you do about it? Federal defense attorney Danny Izquierdo explains here.

    Securities Fraud Is an Umbrella Term for Many Crimes

    Securities Fraud Defense Lawyer Izquierdo LawFacing charges for federal financial crimes, like money laundering and securities fraud, can be scary and confusing. There is a misconception that these crimes always involve millions of dollars and high-powered criminals. The reality is that it doesn’t matter how much or how little money is involved. If you knowingly cheat someone out of money, you could be facing federal charges.

    A “security” in this context is any investment vehicle—such as stocks, bonds, options, banknotes, or derivatives. If you knowingly use a phony investment opportunity to cheat someone out of money, you could be charged with securities fraud. Some examples of this crime include:

    Insider trading.

    If you obtain or share non-public information about a company in order to make money on the stock exchange, you could be charged with insider trading.

    Ponzi scheme.

    Duping people into investing in a non-existent company and paying earlier investors with money from newer investors is what’s known as a Ponzi scheme.

    Advance fee scams.

    Requiring investors to pay an up-front fee or tax and then never delivering on the investment is a form of securities fraud.

    High-yield investment fraud.

    Promising high rates of return with little up-front investment, particularly when you are not actually investing the money, is a common form of fraud.

    There is always risk in investing, and sometimes a legitimate investment vehicle loses investors’ money. That is not fraud—that’s bad luck. However, when someone knowingly defrauds a person who believes they are investing in a legitimate opportunity—that is fraud.

    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.