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Sarasota, Florida, criminal defense blog

Credit card fraud: Real charges and heavy penalties by law

Using, buying or selling forged or stolen credit cards is known as credit card fraud. If you participate in this kind of fraud, you could face serious consequences.

Any time you use a credit card without authorization, you can be accused of fraud. Sometimes, those accusations are unfounded. For example, if you go to the grocery store and take your spouse's card to pay for food, the cashier might notice the different name and signature and call someone to claim you're acting fraudulently. Usually, a simple call to verify that you had permission to use the card is enough to clear up the situation. If, for some reason, the person who authorized the card's use says that he or she did not, then you could find yourself getting arrested.

How drug charges affect college careers

As a parent, you want the best for the child. You want them to succeed and you know a college education could open up many great opportunities for them. Though it hopefully does not happen, you should make sure your child understands the severity of a drug conviction. This could alter the course of their whole future.

The right to self-defense when you're being attacked

If you're accused of assault or other violent crimes, one of the defenses you can use is the defense of self-defense. It's accepted by most people that if you're being attacked, you have a right to defend yourself. The way you act in defense of yourself may be illegal, but if it's necessary, then the law may not penalize you.

Here's an example. If you're at home when a person breaks in and attacks you, you may try to flee. When you can't get away, you hide. When the person finds you and attempts to injure you, you use the gun you were holding to shoot him or her. At that point, you had attempted to flee, escape and stay away from the attacker, but you had no other option but to attack to protect yourself.

Proposed changes to 'stand your ground' law

Florida state lawmakers have reached an impasse over a proposed piece of legislation that would change the "stand your ground" law. The Florida House and the Florida Senate have voted to approve of separate versions of the bill, which would modify the burden of proof required in "stand your ground" related matters.

Most importantly, the burden of proof would shift from the defendants to the prosecutors during pre-trial hearings. The proposed bill has generated a lot of controversy as the Senate and House are not able to agree on the matter. The House recently approved one version of the measure, which is now under consideration by the Senate, but the Senate prefers its version.

How a DUI will affect your driving privileges

When people think about the consequences of getting a DUI, they often think about the embarrassment, huge fines and possible jail time they are facing. Each of these is indeed a serious repercussion of this type of criminal offense, but there are others that people often overlook.

For instance, you will also lose your driving privileges, at least temporarily, in accordance with state laws. Before you dismiss this penalty as little more than a minor inconvenience, you should understand how a license suspension can actually affect you.

'Doctor shopping' has serious consequences in Florida

People have many misconceptions about drug crimes and the people convicted of drug crimes. Some people think you have to be a hardened criminal involved with elaborate drug rings to wind up facing charges. Or people assume that you have be using or selling drugs like heroin and cocaine to be arrested.

In reality, any person can be arrested and charged with a crime involving any illicit substance, including prescription drugs. And make no mistake about it: The penalties of a conviction can be devastating.

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