What Is a Ponzi Scheme?

Since 2008, Floridians have lost as much as $5 billion in Ponzi schemes, coming in second only to New York in the total number lost to the schemes, according to a Forbes analysis. During the period studied, between 2008 and 2013, 54 Ponzi schemes were identified in Florida. What Is a Ponzi Scheme? A Ponzi […]

What is Withholding of Adjudication?

In Florida criminal cases, a judge has the ability to use a method called “withheld/withhold adjudication” to help reduce the severity of sentences. This process allows a defendant to avoid an actual conviction on criminal charges. The court withholds imposition of a sentence and then at times places the defendant on a probation with specific […]

What Is Money Laundering?

The term “money laundering” derives from organized crime use of legitimate businesses, such as laundromats, to hide income from illegal activities. Laundromat income was used to mask cash-generating illegal activities such as gambling, drugs, weapons sales, or prostitution. Money laundering includes a variety of methods practiced to obscure the origin of money obtained from illegal […]

What Is Restitution?

Consider this scenario: the defendant has stolen an expensive watch from an individual. The individual wants the watch back, but the defendant has already sold the watch and can no longer locate it. Since the court cannot order the defendant to return the stolen watch, the court instead orders the defendant to pay the the […]

What Is Duress?

Have you ever heard of the term “duress”? Duress refers to a situation in which a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat or some other pressure from an individual. Often, the act one is being pressured to do is unlawful. A defendant may use duress as a defense in court. In […]

When Is a Pardon Granted?

A pardon is an act of mercy that absolves a person from all or part of punishment they have been sentenced to by law. The governor is the only person who can grant a pardon and at least two state cabinet members must be in agreement. Learn more about the pardons and when they are […]

What Is Compassionate Release?

Former American attorney, Lynne Stewart, was known for representing controversial and unpopular defendants. She garnered more attention after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted on charges of conspiracy and terrorism support. Although Stewart should have served until 2020, she was granted compassionate release at the end of 2013 after being […]

What Is Disorderly Conduct?

In most jurisdictions within the United States, disorderly conduct is a criminal charge. There are various actions that are considered disorderly conduct, including being intoxicated in public, disturbing the peace, loitering, and general acts of unruliness. Because there are many actions that can be classified as “unruly behavior,” disorderly conduct is considered a “catch-all” charge. […]

Punitive Damages: What You Need to Know

The goal of any civil lawsuit is to return a plaintiff to the position he or she was in prior to an accident or situation. In order for a plaintiff to return to their “normal” life, the defendant is responsible for compensatory damages. For example, if you were in a car accident at the fault […]

Definition of the Week: Due Process

As American citizens, we have the right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness. These rights cannot be taken away from us by the government or any other entity without due process. This is a fundamental principle on which our country was founded. It is important to understand what the due process is […]