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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  • 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.

     

  • Will My Domestic Violence (Battery) Charges be Dropped if the Victim Doesn’t Want to Press Charges?

    You’d be amazed how many people come to me wondering this very thing.  It is logical to assume that if the alleged victim in a domestic violence case does not want to prosecute that the case will be dismissed by the State Attorney’s Office.

    However, the prosecutor does not have to drop your case simply because the victim does not want to cooperate.  Therefore, the simple answer is: No. Your case will not automatically be dropped because the alleged victim says so.

    Domestic violence cases are prosecuted very aggressively in Florida, and Miami is no exception.  The prosecutor (and the prosecutor alone) determines whether to file formal charges against you and later determines whether your case should be dismissed.

    If you have recently been arrested for domestic violence, please do not think that everything will simply go away and your case will be dismissed because the alleged victim does not want to prosecute.  As you can imagine, domestic violence cases are very emotional. 

    What one day may seem like everything is back to normal can turn into a living hell the next.  Letting your guard down simply because you have reason to believe that the alleged victim does not want to press charges is a surefire way to get yourself in a lot of trouble.  You can end up with a permanent criminal record and even end up in jail. 

    What NOT to Do

    Under no circumstances should you attempt to contact the alleged victim to ask that they drop the case, nor should you intimidate or threaten the alleged victim in any way.  Doing this will be a violation of the court’s stay away order or no contact order.  This is not only another criminal charge that you will have to defend but they can also revoke your bond and put you back in jail.

    Taking matters into your own hands by attempting to contact the alleged victim or simply assuming that everything will get dropped is not the strategy that you should employ when facing these serious charges.

    What Should You Do If the Victim Doesn’t Want to Prosecute?

    If you have reason to believe that the alleged victim in your case does not want to prosecute (or press charges), then you should seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you through this emotional court case.  An attorney that handles domestic violence cases will be able to help you navigate this tricky area of law in order to resolve this in the best possible way. 

    If you have questions about your Domestic Violence charge and would like more information, you can download a FREE copy of Daniel Izquierdo's special report, He Said, She Said: Three Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Domestic Violence Case in Florida from our website.  If you are here today because you feel frustrated about a domestic violence battery charge and it is disrupting your life, we should talk.  You can also contact us to set up a Free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session with me.

    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.

     

  • What Happens if the Victim Doesn’t Want to Prosecute in a Domestic Violence (Battery) Case?

    You may be thinking that if the alleged victim in your domestic violence case doesn’t want to press charges (or prosecute) that you’ll be in the clear.  That is a very common misconception in domestic battery cases and one that could put you at risk of severe and long-lasting consequences.  See, once a battery case enters the domestic violence division, it is up to the State Attorney’s Office whether to pursue criminal charges.  Meaning it’s the prosecutor and not the alleged victim that decides what happens to the case once an arrest has been made.

    In Miami, the State Attorney’s Office is very aggressive in pursuing domestic violence charges in criminal court with or without a victim.  One can see that if a victim is not cooperating it could very well mean that they have no interest in pressing charges or having the case prosecuted.  It could also mean that the incident was blown out of proportion and things may not have transpired the way they were initially reported. Or the parties have reconciled now that everyone has calmed down.

    However, from a policy standpoint the prosecutor is cautious as it could also mean that the victim is scared to cooperate by helping them move the case forward or, even worse, is being threatened or intimidated by the defendant to “drop the charges.”

    Victim’s Influence

    Even though the prosecutor is the one that files charges and decides whether to dismiss a battery case, the victim does still have an impact on the case.  In domestic violence cases the prosecutor will attempt to contact the victim in order to get a statement from them and also to discuss how the victim would like the case to be resolved. 

    Common sense would tell you that it is more difficult for the State to prove its case and move forward if the victim is not cooperating than if the victim is 100% on board.  However, many domestic violence cases can go from bad to worse because of the mistaken belief that all will be fine simply because the victim is “not pressing charges.” Prosecutors can go forward with or without a victim and oftentimes continue to push cases where other evidence (i.e. reports, statements, 911 calls or photographs) supports the charge. Meaning that a victim's lack of cooperation does not mean that the State will drop the charges against you. 

    What Should You Do?

    First, you SHOULD NOT try to contact (or influence) the alleged victim in any way.  Your Stay Away Order prohibits you from not only coming within 500 feet of their residence, job, school, etc. but it also prevents you from having any type of contact (direct or indirect).  Contacting the alleged victim could lead to your bond being revoked and being thrown in jail.  It can also bring more criminal charges such as violating an injunction or no contact order or witness tampering.

    If you are charged with domestic violence and you have a reason to believe that the alleged victim does not want to prosecute, press charges or cooperate with the prosecutor, consult an attorney.  An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Miami will be able to handle this on your behalf and knows how to proceed when the victim doesn’t want to.

    If you have questions about your Domestic Violence charge and would like more information, you can download a FREE copy of Daniel Izquierdo's special report, He Said, She Said: Three Mistakes That Can Destroy Your Domestic Violence Case in Florida from our website.  If you are here today because you feel frustrated about a domestic violence battery charge and it is disrupting your life, we should talk.  You can also contact us to set up a Free 4-Point Case Evaluation and Defense Strategy Session with me.

    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.

  • What to Expect During Your Initial Appearance in Federal Court?

    After you surrender or are arrested by federal law enforcement, you will immediately (usually within 24 hours) be brought before a United States Magistrate Judge for your initial appearance (this may also be referred to as 'first appearance'). You should note that initial appearances occur before a Magistrate Judge and take place the business day after the arrest or surrender. At this hearing the judge will read, explain, or list the offense(s) that you are being charged with.  You will be informed of your rights and the judge will ask whether you are able to hire a lawyer to represent you or if you would need a court-appointed lawyer.  In order to have a lawyer appointed by the court, you will have to qualify for one based on your responses to the court’s questions and by demonstrating a need given a lack of financial resources to retain counsel.

    If you have already hired a federal criminal defense attorney to represent you, they will likely appear on your behalf at the initial appearance and inform the court as to the scope of representation (i.e. whether they’re representing you for the initial appearance and bond purposes or if they are entering a permanent appearance to be your lawyer through the end of the case).

    In addition to sorting out that you are the person named on the criminal charging document as well as who your legal counsel will be, the court will then address the issue of bond.  At the initial appearance you can either receive a bond and be released (either one set by the Magistrate Judge or as part of an agreement between your lawyer and the government), or the government may ask for pretrial detention.  In this case, a detention hearing will usually be set no later than five (5) days from the date of your initial appearance.

    If you are here today because you feel frustrated about an upcoming initial appearance in federal court or issues having to do with bond and pretrial release and it is disrupting your life, 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.

     

  • Target, Subject and Witness, what does it all mean?

    One of things of incredible importance when you are under federal criminal investigation is your status in the investigation.  The federal government classifies people in three ways: Targets, Witnesses and Subjects.

    Let’s talk about the different statuses and what each means for you.

    • Target – The status you most have to worry about is that of the ‘target’.  This means that the prosecution has its sights set on you as the target of the investigation.  If the prosecutor feels as though a crime was committed and you are the person they feel committed the crime, they will work their investigation with the primary objective of being to build a case against you.
    • Witness – The witness in a federal investigation typically has very little exposure to facing formal charges.  Being a witness is the preferred place to be if you must be enveloped in a federal investigation in the first place.  Federal prosecutors may believe that you have information that can help them.  You may have seen something take place or you may have documents relating to their case that can help them.
    • Subject – This status falls in-between the previously discussed statuses of a witness or target.  Being a subject is delicate because, while prosecutors may not be gunning for you, your status as a subject likely means that you may have done something wrong in their eyes.   

    If you are under federal investigation, it is important to keep in mind that your status during the course of the investigation may change. As the government investigates its case and gathers evidence you can move from a witness to a subject or from a subject to a target, or even move downward from a target to a subject or subject to a witness.

    Anyone involved in a federal investigation will be well-served by contacting a federal criminal defense lawyer to help protect their interests.  Your lawyer can reach out to the prosecutor and gather information about your status in the investigation and possibly what conduct they are looking into.  It is helpful to know, especially at the beginning, how the government has classified you.

    Learning where you stand can provide some peace of mind.  However, it is important to remember that an investigation is fluid and that your status may change.  An attorney may be able to ensure that your status stays where it is if that is favorable to you and can also work with the prosecutor to convince them that you should not be a target or a subject but merely a witness.

    If you are here today because you feel frustrated about being caught up in a federal investigation and it is disrupting your life, 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.

     

  • Should I accept a pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention program?

    Pretrial diversion programs are great outcomes for most people that have been charged with a crime in the State of Florida.  However, it may not be the best option for you.  Of course you don’t know this until consulting with a knowledgeable defense attorney that can properly advise if this is truly the best outcome for your case.  Some counties throughout Florida make you sign an admission of guilt prior to being accepted into a pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention program.  They make this a condition of being accepted--meaning there's no way around it!  Is this something you want to do without consulting an attorney?

    If you are not a U.S. Citizen this admission of guilt can hurt your ability to obtain status or even Naturalize as a citizen.  Furthermore, accepting a referral to a pretrial diversion program when your case should be dismissed by the State or there are issues with the evidence, may not be in your best interest.  If for whatever reason you are “bounced out” of the program or do not complete it, your case will be set for Trial and you will have to face the original charges.  Not to mention having to deal with the admission of guilt you gave as a condition of being accepted into the pretrial intervention or diversion program.  This can be extremely damaging if you are not properly advised and accept a program when the State could have been pushed to perhaps offer to dismiss the charges.

    You’ll want to be properly advised and have a lawyer that does all the leg work before advising you on your best course of action—not a lawyer that is looking to make a quick buck off of your case and throw you into a pretrial diversion or intervention program.  

    Remember, a criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

    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 the State offer me a plea deal to close my case at arraignment?

    This is a major problem in misdemeanor cases where you’re not guaranteed a public defender.  It is extremely troubling to sit in court on an almost daily basis and watch as defendant after defendant comes forth and accepts pleas to DUI, possession of marijuana, petit theft, disorderly conduct or driving while license suspended.  All of these and many other misdemeanors carry serious and life-altering consequences that can affect parts of your life such as becoming a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, obtaining a professional license or getting a job, being expelled from school, even getting a loan or renting an apartment.

    If you’re charged with a felony, you will get a public defender at arraignment and will probably have a plea offered. The consequences are also extremely severe. Have you had adequate time to think about the evidence?  Have you been able to review the evidence and discuss it with your lawyer? Do you know how the plea will affect you going forward if you have a professional license or are not a citizen?

    More often than not, it is best to listen to any pleas offered at arraignment and then take some time to think about it.  It is not uncommon for the court to set a plea or status hearing shortly after your arraignment for this very reason.  Not to mention, your lawyer will probably receive some, if not all, of the discovery (evidence) the State intends to use against you.  This will give you some time to review the evidence and discuss any potential pleas with your lawyer.  

    An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to properly advise you as to whether the plea offered at arraignment is worth considering given the State's evidence and your ultimate goals when resolving the case. 

    A criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

    If you or someone you love has been arrested in Miami, don’t delay.  You don’t have time to waste!  Call our office, (305) 707-7345, to schedule your 4-Point Case Evaluation and Strategy Session.  

    Our Guarantee to You:

    We guarantee to have you in and out of the office in less than 60 minutes. 

    We guarantee this will be different than what most other lawyers offer when they say “Free Consultation.”  

    We guarantee that we will actually discuss your case in detail rather than try to scare you while we sell our services and brag about ourselves.

    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.