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 is wire fraud?

    Wire fraud is fraud that utilizes a form of telecommunication or the internet to defraud someone out of money or property. It is a felony offense.

    Elements of wire fraud

    To be charged with wire fraud, these elements must be present. The defendant must have intentionally devised a scheme to defraud someone out of money. There was intent to defraud.
    It was reasonably foreseeable that interstate wire communications would be used to carry out the scheme. And finally, interstate wire communications were indeed used to carry out the scheme. 

    What is the punishment? 

    For individuals who commit wire fraud, it is punishable by up to 20 years in prison with a $250,000 fine. For organizations that commit wire fraud, it jumps up to $500,000. 
    There are also circumstances in which the punishment could be greater, with the penalty being up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. 

    Forms of wire fraud

    Internet scams, telemarketing fraud, phishing, anything that uses a television, telephone, email radio or internet are all forms of wire fraud. 

    Insurance fraud, tax fraud and bank fraud are often carried out via wire, resulting in additional wire fraud charges. 

    Mail fraud is often connected to wire fraud since communications are usually done with the use of several mediums. 

    Securities fraud involves fraudulent behavior with investment securities. Because it is a state and federal crime, the punishment can be great. While the jail time is only up to 5 years, the fines can reach up to $10 million. Federal securities fraud can be up to 20 years in jail. 

    Every act of wire fraud is its own separate offense. So, sending 5 emails that promise property that doesn’t exist, means 5 counts of wire fraud. 

    Defenses for wire fraud

    If the defendant believed that the promises made to the individual were true statements, they could be found not guilty of wire fraud charges. Additionally, if someone uses exaggeration when trying to get someone to buy something on the phone or through the television, that could be a way to win the case. 

    There is also an argument your lawyer can make that proves that you had no intent to commit fraud. If the prosecution cannot prove intent, there can be no conviction. 

    Innocence is not the only way for the defendant to get out of a wire fraud charge. Often times, the prosecution will offer reduced sentencing if the defendant offers assistance in the arrest of another person involved in the wire fraud scheme. 

    Another way to get the case dismissed is by illegal search and seizure. If law enforcement officers searched a home or car without a warrant or arrested someone without probable cause, there is a possibility of a dismissal.

    There is also a statute of limitations of 5 years. If the scheme affects a financial institution, the statute of limitation is 10 years. 

    Attempt or conspiracy to commit wire fraud

    If you have attempted to commit wire fraud, you can be charged whether your fraudulent scheme was successful or not. Hefty fines and prison time are on the table when charged with this crime. 

    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 Mail Fraud?

    Mail fraud occurs when a person steals or defrauds and uses the mail to carry out their scheme. Although mail fraud is common, there are many defenses your lawyer can use to keep a mail fraud conviction off of your record. 

    What did I do wrong? 

    To convict a defendant of mail fraud, different elements must be present. First, the defendant must have engaged in a scheme to defraud, with intent to commit fraud. Then, the defendant must have used the mail to carry out the scheme.

    A scheme to defraud is depriving someone of tangible or intangible property by dishonest means. However, even if there is intent to defraud, the defendant could still be convicted. A victim needn’t be present. Even if the scheme fails; if there was intent to defraud, you can still be found guilty of mail fraud. 

    What is the punishment for mail fraud? 

    Mail fraud conviction comes with a hefty sentence. If a financial institution is involved, the prison time could be up to 30 years and the fine up to $1 million. 

    Committing mail fraud does not just involve the United States Postal Service. If you have committed fraud that travels across state lines using Fed Ex or UPS, you can also be charged with mail fraud. 

    I am charged with federal mail fraud. Help!

    To be convicted, it must be proven that the defendant acted with an intent to defraud. If there is reasonable doubt that the fraud was committed intentionally, that is sufficient defense. In addition, if the mail was used, but not to further the fraudulent scheme, that can also be reason for dismissal. 

    Do you need a Miami criminal defense lawyer if you were charged with mail fraud? 

    Mail fraud cases are complex and the sentencing guidelines are amended frequently. If you have been charged with mail fraud, you may need a criminal defense attorney with experience handling such cases. 

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

     

  • I was charged with email phishing. What does that mean?

    Phishing Information on a Hook federal crimes defense lawyer Izquierdo LawYou might be trying to build your business by sending emails to lots of people, but if you ask for the wrong kind of information, you could be accused of a form of internet fraud and identity theft known as phishing. Because the fraud uses the internet and has the potential for inter-state crime, it is often pursued as a federal charge. Federal fraud charges should always be taken seriously. If you have been charged with internet phishing, contact our experienced Miami federal defense attorney to represent you.

    What Is Illegal About Email Marketing?

    It is perfectly legal to email people to try to solicit business. Think of all the emails you get from businesses every day with special deals, sales, and free offers. People might find it annoying, but there is nothing illegal about it. What pushes internet marketing across the line to become illegal phishing, however, is the content of the email and what it is asking the recipient to do. The following are illegal:

    • Forging an email to make it appear as if it is coming from another sender, such as a government entity or a bank
    • Asking the recipient to divulge sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, passwords, and bank account information
    • Directing the recipient to a phony website to collect sensitive information

    If you were charged with phishing, you will need to hire a defense attorney who understands the seriousness of the charge.

    Defending Phishing Charges

    The key to any fraud charge is intent. The prosecutor has to prove that you intended to defraud when you sent the emails. They will also have to prove that you actually sent the emails. Defense approaches we will consider include:

    Proving the emails were not sent by you.

    There is always an electronic trail that computer forensics experts can follow to figure out the origin of an email. If the prosecutor’s expert is wrong and the phishing emails were not sent by you, our experts will prove it.

    Proving you had no intent to defraud.

    You might have asked email recipients for information, not knowing it was illegal to do so. If a recipient misunderstood the email and later regretted a purchase, they might go to the police to accuse you of fraud, but those charges should not stand.

    Showing the evidence against you was obtained illegally.

    Law enforcement officers have to follow certain protocols when investigating a suspicion of fraud, even when it involves computers. If your rights were violated during the investigation, the evidence cannot be used against you.

    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 federal mortgage fraud?

    Mortgage Fraud Paper With a Gavel Federal Crimes Defense Lawyer Izquierdo LawAny form of intentional misrepresentation or deception for gain is considered fraud, and it is illegal. Where mortgages are concerned, fraud can be committed by individuals in obtaining a single mortgage, or by an organization in the form of predatory lending, foreclosure rescue scams, and mortgage reduction scams. While the FBI tends to focus on the fraud committed against borrowers by institutions and their employees, you could be charged with mortgage fraud as an individual as well. We take a look at how consumers get caught up in mortgage fraud to help you avoid unknowingly committing a serious crime.

    Lying on an Application Is Fraud

    You probably already know that it’s not right to lie on a mortgage application, but maybe you just need to tweak some numbers to make sure you qualify. You know you’ll be able to make payments, so what’s the harm? You might even be encouraged by your real estate agent or loan officer to fudge some numbers. After all, everyone benefits when the sale goes through. However, when you knowingly lie on an application, you are committing fraud, even if no one else is harmed by the crime. You could also face federal charges for forgery.

    The more common form of individual mortgage fraud—one that is more frequently pursued by the FBI—is fraud through identity theft. If you attempt to obtain financing using someone else’s financial information, you are committing mortgage fraud. This is a serious offense.

    Defending Mortgage Fraud Charges

    Federal prosecutors have to prove that you intentionally set out to defraud the mortgage lender in order to make fraud charges stick. If you did not commit fraud intentionally—perhaps you made a mistake or were given misinformation—we will build a case to prove that. If others were involved in coercing you to commit fraud, that could be your defense.

    Under federal law, mortgage fraud can result in up to 30 years in federal prison and up to $1 million in fines. It is important that you take these charges seriously and that you hire the best federal defense attorney you can afford. 

    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.