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May 2015 Archives

Issue of fraudulent intent an important one in criminal defense

Health care fraud, as Florida readers are aware, is a big business across the United States and here in Florida. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, tens of billions of public tax dollars are lost to health care fraud every year, and that number is increasing. Because the threat is so great, federal authorities have been increasing efforts to target health care fraud in recent years. Florida is a significant hot spot for fraud of all kinds, including health care fraud.

Florida eye surgeon faces difficult strategic decisions in federal cases

Back in April, we wrote about the indictment of Senator Robert Menendez on corruption charges stemming from his friendship with Florida eye surgeon Salomon Melgen. As we noted, Menendez is accused of giving the eye surgeon gifts in exchange for political favors. Menendez maintains his innocence, and is set to head to trial on the charges.

DUI case raises questions about the way prosecutors handle charges, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about the DUI case of Kenneth Williams, particularly the reasons behind the dismissal of his case. As we noted, prosecution’s decision to not pursue the case was somewhat controversial, and this raises the question of how prosecutors decide when to pursue a case and when not to do so.

DUI case raises questions about the way prosecutors handle charges.

Tampa readers may have heard that Kenneth Williams, former cornerback for Florida State University, was arrested by university police officers last month in Tallahassee on suspicion of drunk driving. According to legal documents in Williams’ case, officers reported that he had been swerving in his lane, stopped at a green light and hit a curb, and that he had red, watery eyes and spoke with slurred speech.

Advocating for reduced sentence requires strong advocacy and ethical sensibility

In our last post, we briefly touched on the topic of downward departures, which are deviations from the federal sentencing guidelines favoring an individual convicted of a crime. Downward departures, when appropriate, reduce an offender’s sentence, thus minimizing the penalty associated with conviction. Judges have discretion to deviate from sentencing guidelines under certain circumstances, and both prosecutors and defense attorneys are able to provide their input regarding the propriety of a downward departure.

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