Monday, November 30, 2009

Tips from Criminal Attorneys: Can They Search Me?

Most US citizens are compliant with the law, to a very large degree. There are odd parking violations, speeding tickets, sometimes instances of petty vandalism or theft, and so-called victimless crimes like taking soft drugs. Many people have no idea about their rights when it comes to police interactions, apart from the fact that they have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Here Florida criminal attorneys help you take your rights into your own hands, possibly helping you present the facts more clearly to a jury in the case of any run-ins with the law. We're looking specifically at on-the-street search situations here.

The Basics
The overarching guideline for fairness is that police can search you and your property, and also seize your property with or without a warrant, if the circumstances justify their actions. They need to have probably cause, and stay within constitutional limitations. However, in a situation where they feel it would be your word against theirs the lines can become blurred. Your criminal attorney can help retrospectively, but you can help yourself proactively.

Tip #1: Draw attention to yourself
If police feel that there are witnesses around (especially witness that aren’t related to you), they are more likely to act fairly to begin with. Shout "Hello! Can you come over here please?" to a stranger passing by, and if you have friends around, make sure they are with you.

Tip #2: Cellphone savers
An easy way to keep a record of what is said is to call your home phone from your cell, and put your cell on loudspeaker. While police don’t necessarily have the power to stop you doing this, it would be wise not to call attention to it. Your criminal attorney may be able to use the conversation in court, if necessary.

Tip #3: Consider the implications of false denials
If you are found to have something illegal in your possession, your best bet is to remain silent, as the movies and television have taught us so well. If you deny that something is yours, it raises the question of who it belongs to - and may start trouble for your family and friends.

Tip #4: Resist verbally, not physically
If you state verbally, loudly, that you do not agree to be searched, the police cannot "accidentally" slip their hand in your pocket while doing a (legal) patdown, and find anything you would rather not have to explain. They must have probable cause to search you -- if you don’t believe they do, then object to the search so that everyone around you can hear. Never physically resist, or your criminal attorney will have much more work to do for little gain by you.

Naked Short-Selling - Stock Counterfeiting

When most people think of counterfeiting, printing off your own money comes to mind and handing it over to an unsuspecting bank teller comes to mind. In reality, all sorts of things are subject to counterfeiting law, and money is involved in only a small part of the counterfeiting charges laid. Naked short-selling is also known as stock counterfeiting - today we explore the stock practices that may require the services of a criminal lawyer.

In decades past, stock counterfeiting had to be done with paper and ink, and a dab hand at forging signatures. Now that electronic means of administering the stock market dominate, it is actually much easier to counterfeit stock. This is a common method that Florida criminal lawyers see.

Naked Short Selling
There is a three-day leeway between the payment of a stock by the buyer, and its delivery by the broker. The money is paid, a Securities Entitlement for the amount of stocks purchased is put into the buyer's account, and the broker collects his commission. However if the stocks aren’t available, on day 3 the broker is supposed to remove the Securities Entitlement from the buyer's account and refund the commission and the purchase price. Simply failing to do this, and acting as if the Securities Entitlement is real and valid, is known as naked short selling.

Relatively common -- but illegal
Obviously, this is a form of fraud and theft, and as such is illegal practice. However, many brokers continue to do it, because if the buyer wants to onsell those stocks, they can hardly be told at the point of sale that they aren’t real. Another unwitting buyer is dragged into the loop, and while there is no loss on the broker/trader side of the fence, there is plenty on the investor side.

Investors protecting themselves
Investors would become subject to criminal charges also if they onsold this stock - a situation that most would consider extremely unfair. However, in some cases courts have determined that the original buyer (and attempted seller) is at fault, because of a lack of due diligence on their part. To avoid needing a Florida criminal attorney for an act you had no idea was wrong, always check for a corresponding book-entry share in the DTC's ledger.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

There When You Need Them

My son and four of his friends spent spring break in Miami and while they were there they got into some trouble with the law. He was arrested and was being held in a Miami jail. The first thing I did was contact a criminal lawyer to take the case and get my son out of jail while he waits for trail. Thankfully the criminal attorney I picked was very wise and very helpful. I wired him the retainer and within four hours of getting the case my son was out on bail.

By the time I got to Miami, this wonderful attorney had already gotten the charges reduced from felony to misdemeanor charges. I had visions of having to spend thousands of dollars and months in trial before this whole mess would be over but they had it pretty well over with by the time I got to Florida. Because of the efforts of the Miami criminal attorney that we hired, this incident will not be on my son’s record for the rest of his life. Because of a plea bargain, the charges were dropped completely and he just had to pay for damages. Something that could have haunted him the rest of his life was now just a bad memory.

All four of his friends used the same criminal attorney we used and they all got the same deal as my son did. All five of them had to pay a total of $8,000 in damages to the hotel where they were staying. Apparently they had decided to have a party in their room which got way out of hand and a fight broke out. There was a great deal of damage done to the room and the lobby of the hotel. It could have been much worse for them; they were lucky to have such a good lawyer on their side.

After it was all said and done and the boys were back home and out of danger I sent a very nice thank you letter to the office of the Miami criminal attorney that we used. I wanted to make sure he knew how thankful I was for the work he did for the boys and how he really made a difference in their lives. They could have been living with felony charges for the rest of their life but he made it possible for them to get past this mistake they made without it ruining the lives forever.

Monday, November 2, 2009

When You Need a Criminal Lawyer

Here's a scenario we hope no one reading this will ever experience: a highly respected professional, perhaps an accountant, finds himself suddenly in need of a criminal attorney. He's been arrested for a white-collar crime and has no idea what's at stake. Let's look at the ways, without representation by an experienced criminal lawyer, the life of a respected professional can be devastated.

As a
Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer, my office has seen some very difficult circumstances surrounding white collar prosecution. Whether or not they're convicted, professionals such as corporate executives, physicians and accountants can find their reputations ruined and assets seized long-term without the proper representation.

Not the least of the potential damage is to one's professional reputation. Consider for a moment the news-hungry, 24-hour-a-day environment in which today's media operates. Even local media outlets are fed by international news sources, making news of an alleged crime widely accessible. It's easy to see why having a highly-competent criminal attorney, well-versed in white collar criminal defense, is essential to help protect your public image.

Another huge factor that impacts professionals accused of financial crimes is seizure of assets. Each state has its own statutes pertaining to seizure of assets believed to be gained by the commission of a crime, with underlying federal law supporting them. And it may surprise you to know that it's quite simple for a law enforcement agency in most states to obtain the legal documents necessary to seize assets such as homes, vehicles and cash they believe were the result of your alleged criminal activity.

Experience as a
Miami criminal attorney has made me privy to cases in which law enforcement personnel far overreached the legal boundaries of asset forfeiture or seizure, however, and the civil process by which those assets are returned can move slowly.

The biggest risk in such a situation is, of course, the possibility of imprisonment and financial penalty. Whether or not you actually committed the crime of which you might, hypothetically, be accused, you would be guaranteed by our country's founding documents a "vigorous defense" before being penalized.

Here in Florida, that would mean being represented by a West Palm Beach criminal lawyer, for example, who knows how to make sure your rights are protected. No matter what your location, finding that type of representation is essential.

I hope you never experience any of the above, but if you do, don't hesitate to secure the services of a criminal attorney experienced in the defense of white collar crimes prosecution. Having an experienced advocate to ensure your rights are upheld and damage to your reputation mitigated can make all the difference in whether your life as a respected professional is devastated or restored.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Money Laundering Case Study: Eddie Antar

Money laundering is most often associated with drug dealers, illegal gambling and prostitution, and arms dealing. However, the majority of money laundering crimes handled by the experienced Miami criminal attorneys are more of the white-collar kind. Today we are looking at one of the most famous case studies in white collar money laundering, Eddie Antar.
Eddie Antar began the electronics chain that was to become known as Crazy Eddie's as ERS Electronics in 1971, and the famous radio commercial associated with the chain started in 1972. At the peak, the chain earned over $300 million in sales, with 43 stores in the chain.
Antar was the director of the company, and from the beginning was involved in illegal business practices. His criminal lawyers defended him against IRS violations including paying employees off the books; but his main white-collar crime was skimming money off the sales. It has been reported that around 1 in every 6 dollars was skimmed off the top of the chain. This reduced the amount of income tax the business had to pay, and Antar concocted an even more intricate money-making scheme later.
In 1987, Antar's criminal lawyers had to defend him against charges of violating federal securities laws, and the federal grand jury conducted an investigation into the warranty billing practices of the company. Apart from the income tax evasion, Eddie Antar also used the money he had skimmed off the chain's profits to feed back into the business under the guise of revenue. This would increase the company's stock price, which Eddie could then cash out in real money. The scheme is said to have netted him $40 million -- which of course he is now completely unable to spend.
For the major fraud he enlisted the help of his nephew, Sammy Antar, who had a degree in accounting. Various falsified paperwork items and other shady accounting practices helped artificially inflate revenue, and a network of offshore bank accounts helped initially disguise the profits.
This clear-cut case of enormous tax fraud, securities fraud and other assorted crimes was no match for Antar's criminal attorneys, who represented him to the best of their ability. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, and has $1 billion in judgements against him from various civil suits as well as $150 million in fines.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Effective Legal Representation from David J. Joffe

When a person gets into legal trouble, many negative things result which can ruin someone’s life, reputation, business or family and help is needed. It is never easy to find reputable and expert legal representation unless you know someone who works in the legal field. For those who do not have this advantage, finding a good attorney can be frustrating.

The person who represents themselves in court has a fool for client, or so the saying goes. An attorney like David J. Joffe gets results whenever the need for expert legal representation is needed. He is an attorney well versed in dealing with a wide array of legal issues such as white collar crime or federal criminal issues and has the experience to get the job done.

As a Miami criminal lawyer, Mr. Joffe has represented clients from various professions and walks of life. He has handled serious business matters in both state and the United States federal court system. Mr. Joffe has personally handled more than 200 federal criminal cases which makes him an asset when the chips are down and a skilled legal representative is needed.

Other types of cases this Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney has handled include tax related crimes, fraud, money laundering, public corruption, criminal extradition, conspiracy, SEC violations, asset forfeiture, drug possession, theft, racketeering and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He is licensed, knowledgeable and an expert in his field, bringing a level of professionalism unsurpassed and a reputation built on getting results for clients.

Mr. Jofee is ranked as an “AV” by Martindale Hubbell Bar Register which is one of the most prestigious rankings an attorney can have. His AV rating is a career accomplishment and a testimony to the fact that he is well-respected and adept in his field of profession. Having such a skilled attorney working hard on your side gives his clients peace of mind and reassurance of his capability and expertise.

From his past history of representing doctors, stockbrokers, trade professionals, bank officers, CEOs and other attorneys, David J. Joffe is a name that can be trusted to provide each client with the best possible outcome. Bringing a wealth of skill and expert representation allows Mr. Joffe to represent each client to the best of his ability and proves he can help in most any type of difficult and complex legal problem. When looking for a good Miami criminal attorney, look no further than David J. Joffe.