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As a U.S. citizen, you have what is known as Miranda Rights. The term Miranda Rights has its origins in a 1966 U.S. Supreme Court Case known as Miranda v. Arizona. The court’s ruling on this matter gives anyone in police custody or facing potential criminal charges to be advised of their right against self-incrimination. This is also an element of the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

2240909776_a1097c87ca_zIf you are taken into police custody for any reason, you are required to be given a Miranda warning briefing you on your rights. The Miranda warning must include the following information:

  1. You have the right to remain silent
  2. Anything you say may later be used against you
  3. You are legally entitled to speak with an attorney
  4. If you are unable to afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at no cost

The main purpose of a Miranda warning is to let the person in police custody understand that they have the right to remain silent. This must be communicated clearly to the person detained before any questioning by law enforcement.

What Does It Mean for You if You Were Not Given a Miranda Warning?

If law enforcement fails to properly advise or “mirandize” an individual in custody, the case could be dismissed, but this all depends on the evidence available. If the case has been established mostly on statements that the individual gave without a proper notice of Miranda warnings then those statements could be deemed inadmissible, which would likely lead to a dismissal. If the case has been built based on other evidence, then it is unlikely that the case will hinge on the lack of proper notice of Miranda Rights, but depending on specifics, the case could still possibly be dismissed.

What To Do If You Are Arrested

If you have been arrested and read your Miranda warnings, it is important to ask to speak to your lawyer immediately. Despite what law enforcement may tell you while you are in their custody, police investigators are not looking out for your best interests.

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Alachua County sheriff’s deputies arrested a mother Sunday night after they allegedly found a home inhabited by a toddler that was full of ingredients used to cook methamphetamine.

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office was called to a residence in the Hidden Oaks Mobile Home Park around 10 p.m., where they claim they found the front door open and a 2-year-old boy toddling about.

Deputies said a woman identified herself as the boy’s grandmother. They allege she appeared disoriented and told deputies she knew nothing of the reported disturbance.

The woman was not aware she was the only one there to watch the child, according to police.

A short time later, deputies allege a woman arrived and told deputies she was the boy’s mother. Deputies claim the 41-year-old mom also appeared disoriented and said she knew nothing of a disturbance.

Deputies searched the home for anyone else who may have called, and claim they found a trash bag filled with ingredients and tools used to cook methamphetamine using what is called the “one-pot” method.

The woman was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of the drug with intent to distribute. She was booked into the Alachua County jail early Monday morning and was still awaiting a bond hearing.

Alachua County court records show Cannon was convicted in 2013 on a petty theft charge.

The boy is in relatives’ care and undergoing medical treatments monitored by the Florida Department of Children and Families, according to police.

DCF has launched its own investigation.

Meth manufacturing charges are very serious. Additionally, the presence of children can only increase the penalties you may face. After being charged with trafficking methamphetamine you need to seek legal help immediately. In order to provide you with the most effective defense of these charges, a criminal defense lawyer must understand the different methods used to make methamphetamine, including one-pot, shake and bake, anhydrous, and others, as well as the proper procedure law enforcement must follow at the scene.

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A New Port Richey woman has been sentenced to prison for trafficking in counterfeit cosmetics.

The 45-year-old woman was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison. A money judgment was also issued against her for nearly $1 million. She pleaded guilty to the charges against her in September 2014.

According to court documents, the woman sold more than $1 million worth of counterfeit Make-up Art Cosmetics, Inc., otherwise known as MAC cosmetics, between March 2012 and March 2014. Investigators claim she purchased bulk quantities of counterfeit MAC cosmetics from a source in China, then sold the cosmetics as legitimate products at significantly higher prices.

Investigators believe she sold the cosmetics across the country using a website for her company through eBay and directly to some wholesale customers.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Intentionally trafficking or attempting to traffic in goods that are counterfeit is a felony. Trafficking usually translates to mean the repackaging of goods or services with the intent to deceive or confuse.

Under federal law, any individual who knowingly distributes, wholesales, or sells counterfeit merchandise faces severe penalties:

  • Imprisonment
  • Fines
  • Seizure and destruction of counterfeit merchandise the wholesaler or distributor has in their possession.
  • Civil lawsuits  to recover damages, profit loses, attorneys’ fees, and other injunctive relief.

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An Illinois man is accused of trying to use a fake debit card at a SunTrust bank, according to Boca Raton police.

An email was apparently sent to bank employees warning them of the 23-year-old man after he allegedly attempted to use the card at other branches, according to a Boca Raton police arrest report.

Reports indicate that a card scanner was placed at the back of the bank, so when the man tried to add more than $1,000 on one of his fake debit cards, an employee could easily call police.

The alleged attempted transaction happened at 11:46 a.m. on Thursday when a teller at a SunTrust Bank reported that the man was in the lobby of the bank trying to use one of the fake debit cards.

The teller had already received several emails from other SunTrust banks, warning her that a man was trying to use fake debit cards at other banks.

The teller told the man there was insufficient funds and they couldn’t give him the money, according to reports. When an officer arrived, she claims the man was walking through the bank’s parking lot and she stopped him for questioning.

The teller told the officer that the man came to her window and handed her a NetSpend Visa debit card and asked for a cash advance on the card of more than $1,000.

A detective apparently called a NetSpend representative who said the numbers didn’t match any of their cards.

The officer who questioned the man said he told her he got the card in Chicago.

5856795621_16ed8e78ce_zPolice allege that the NetSpend card had information stolen from a woman in Utah. Police also claim they also uncovered a Visa NASCAR debit card in the man’s car with information belonging to a person in Texas, according to the report.

The man faces charges of fraud, grand theft, possession of counterfeit credit cards, and forgery of credit cards. He is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on $30,000 bail.

A Counterfeit is a copy or replica of an item, usually legal tender or currency, but can also be associated with clothing, software or other tangible goods. Additionally, counterfeiting may be used in the commission of credit card fraud. This occurs when credit cards are recreated or copied in order to make fraudulent or unauthorized charges. Counterfeiting is considered a white collar crime in which an individual or organization will create counterfeit items, usually with the intention of selling these or passing them off as originals. When it comes to money, a conviction for counterfeiting can result in a prison sentence of up to 15 years, along with hefty fines. Counterfeiting charges are aggressively prosecuted by federal prosecutors.

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A Wesley Chapel doctor and his office manager are accused of defrauding the Florida Medicaid program out of more than $100,000.

The male doctor and his office manager, who is also his ex-wife, were arrested Wednesday. Investigators allege the pair billed the Florida Medicaid program for services that were never performed.

The man is an ear, nose and throat specialist. The officer manager’s arrest report lists her as a registered nurse at Moffitt Cancer Center.

Both are facing one count each of Medicaid provider fraud, one count of first-degree scheming to defraud and one count of second-degree criminal use of personal identification information.

6127243966_e9189f1099_mIf they are convicted, they face up to 30 years in prison. They could also be ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution.

The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.

Medicaid is a federal and state cost-sharing program that provides healthcare to people who are unable to pay for such care. Medicaid Fraud usually targets the providers of services who accept Medicaid and can be prosecuted on the State or Federal jurisdictions.

Common examples of Medicaid fraud can include:

  • Phantom Billing: Billing for medical services not actually performed
  • Upcoding: Billing for a more costly service than was actually rendered or Billing for sessions that are longer than what was actually performed
  • Unbundling: Billing for multiple services that should be combined into one billing
  • Billing twice for the same medical service
  • Dispensing generic drugs and billing for brand-name drugs
  • Kickback: Accepting something in return for medical services
  • Bribery
  • Providing unnecessary services
  • False cost reports
  • Embezzlement of recipient funds

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Miami Beach Police arrested Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless, 26, after they claim he shot his gun into the air early Saturday morning.

He was charged with discharging a firearm in public around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

A parking attendant told police that he saw a black Porsche Panamera with two men and two women inside. According to the arrest report, the two men got out of the Porsche and approached a white vehicle with several women inside.

15264159251_bb125ef477_zThe attendant told police that the discussion soon became hostile and that he then spotted Quarless walk up to the white car with a semi-automatic handgun. The witness then told police that Quarless pointed the gun in the air and fired off two rounds before taking off in the Porsche.

Police put out a “be on the lookout,” or BOLO, alert for the Porsche and eventually caught up with the vehicle parked on the 400 block of Washington Avenue with its lights on.

According to the report, Quarless was allegedly discovered nearby, “attempting to conceal himself and the black firearm in a nearby plant.”

A spokesman for the Green Bay Packers issued the following statement:

“We are aware of the matter involving Andrew Quarless and are in the process of gathering more information. We will withhold further comment.”

Discharging a firearm in public can lead to significant penalties, including prison time if convicted. If you have been arrested for discharging a firearm in public, you should immediately consult with a criminal defense attorney so that you can learn about your rights and the viable defenses that may be available to you.

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In a month and a half-long operation called “Summer Heat,” 42 sex offenders who violated registration laws were arrested.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement released this statement: “Operation Summer Heat should send a strong message to all sex offenders that Florida law enforcement is serious about registration. We are just beginning our work. If you are a sex offender and you violate registration laws, we are looking for you.”

The operation resulted in the arrest of 4 sex offenders from Central Florida including Seminole, Orange and Volusia counties. The FDLE’s Enforcement and Investigative Support Unit coordinated the operation along with the U.S. Marshals Service and local law enforcement agencies.

The EIS was created in 2014 to assist local and federal agencies to locate sex offenders who have violated registration laws, many of whom cross jurisdictional lines. The offenders who intentionally avoid registration requirements were arrested.

The arrests were made from warrants as a result of investigations conducted by local sheriffs or police departments.

Florida sex offender registration requires you to give all of your information to the authorities regarding where you live, work or attend school. This information that is required to be given can include personal information, fingerprints, identifying physical information like tattoos and noticeable scars and birthmarks and even information about the crimes for which you were convicted. This information made public and available to everyone in the community. Anyone can get online and view this information, including employers, housing and rental agencies, schools, neighborhood associations and neighbors, as well as police.

Failing to register can result in severe criminal penalties. Our Central Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton represent those who have been charged with failure to register or falsifying their registration.

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A 44-year old Hastings woman was arrested Monday and charged with fraudulent use of personal identification information.

St. Johns County detectives apparently began investigating the woman in March of this year when an Ohio woman reported that her personal information was being used by the woman in St. Johns County.

According to reports, the 44-year-old allegedly accessed the Ohio victim’s Social Security number and, between November 2003 and February of this year, obtained credit from six different creditors to open charge accounts and loans amounting to $19,000 using the the victim’s personal information.

6280517815_e5d397bfd5_zThe was booked into the St. Johns County Jail and released a short time later after posting $10,000 bond.

If you have been charged with identity theft or fraud, you should know that there are serious consequences if convicted. In most cases, people charged with credit card fraud, identity theft and other charges relating to identity fraud have no idea about how much trouble they could be in.

Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Whittel & Melton understand that many good people can make mistakes. One simple mistake does not warrant a state or federal conviction that will haunt you for the rest of your life.

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A retired school principal and 911 dispatcher was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Thursday after admitting he tried to meet two teen boys for sex in Palm Beach County.

The 64-year-old, who recently retired to Delray Beach from southern Indiana, was arrested in January after showing up at a Boynton Beach Mall restaurant for a sexual encounter with what he thought was a 15-year-old boy.

The man apparently did not realize the person he had contacted on the online Grindr service was an undercover city police officer posing as a minor.

After his arrest, agents from Homeland Security Investigations found evidence on his cellphone that allegedly showed he had also tried to meet a real teen, who he thought was 16, for sex in December.

The man and the boy apparently exchanged sexually explicit photographs on their cellphones and arranged to meet. Police also claim that the man wrote a message to the minor declaring there was “too much danger” and he couldn’t risk “getting caught.”

The man showed up at the boy’s Lantana home less than two hours after they started chatting on another online service, according to reports.

When the man showed up at the house, the 15-year-old teen wrote him a message telling him to leave.

The teen apparently told investigators he “chickened out” of having sex with the man.

The man moved to South Florida in August and pleaded guilty to two counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual conduct in March.

A U.S. District Judge ruled that the man must serve 10 years of supervised release after he gets out of prison and register as a sex offender.

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A domestic disturbance led police to discover an alleged marijuana grow operation in the house next door, according to Hillsborough County deputies.

When deputies searched the house a week later, they claim they found 283 pounds of marijuana worth $700,000.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a domestic disturbance at a home on Wilkins Road last Friday. While investigating the disturbance, a deputy claimed he noticed the smell of marijuana coming from the house next door.

4151959139_3d9b8a9b24_zThe deputy then alerted the Marijuana Grow House Task Force, and a search warrant was obtained. On Thursday, deputies searched the house and allegedly found the grow operation in a detached garage. Deputies said they seized 15 mature marijuana plants and 39 small marijuana plants.

Deputies found a 27-year-old Tampa man on the property and took him into custody. He is facing charges of cultivation of marijuana, trafficking in marijuana, owning/leasing/renting for purposes of trafficking marijuana, grand theft of electricity and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Marijuana cultivation is a serious offense in Florida. Depending on the quantity of marijuana involved, if you are convicted you could face the prospect of a very lengthy prison sentence. Whatever the specific circumstances of your case, it is important to obtain legal representation as soon as possible.

Owning and operating a marijuana grow house is a very serious offense. There is a potential for serious time behind bars as this charge often arises from marijuana cultivation, possession and distribution charges. When there is one charge, there are likely many other marijuana-related charges as well.

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