Where Do You Turn When Accused of a White-Collar Crime?

Financially motivated, nonviolent crimes often fall under the umbrella of being classified as “white-collar crimes.” Typically, white-collar crimes are committed by businesses or government entities and can be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the charges. Naturally, the penalty for these crimes can also be as minor as a slap on the wrist or as serious as a lengthy prison sentence. 

In this brief article, a felony defense attorney in Tampa will discuss several of the most common types of white-collar crimes. We will also discuss the benefits of accused parties working with an experienced attorney in Tampa on their case. Remember, if you have been accused of a white-collar crime, you require an excellent defense strategy. Consult the criminal defense lawyers with The Rickman Law Firm today. 

Types of White-Collar Crimes

As we discussed above, white-collar crimes can vary greatly. Here are some examples of white-collar crimes that require the attention of an attorney:

  • Wage Theft: Whether an employer refuses to pay overtime or is paying their employees below minimum wage, any form of wage theft is considered a white-collar crime and requires the attention of a defense lawyer.
  • Fraud: Any person that obtains property or any other type of value (money, services, etc.) through deceit may be charged with fraud. Criminal fraud is a serious crime that can result in excessive fines and even a prison sentence.
  • Embezzlement: For professionals that work in a field that allows them access to a client’s finances, any act of removing or reallocating those funds from the client’s trust accounts into a personal account is a serious financial crime.
  • Cybercrimes: One of the most rapidly growing areas of crime, cybercrimes include everything from identity theft, bank fraud, or other financial crimes to a variety of other crimes like hacking, copyright infringement, or possessing child pornography.
  • Insider Trading: When investors utilize nonpublic information to trade a public company’s stocks or other securities, this competitive edge offered to the investor is illegal and considered insider trading.
  • Money Laundering and Racketeering: Any attempt to conceal the origins of money by transferring it through some indirect means is considered money laundering. Similarly, if a business regularly earns money from a criminal act, this is considered racketeering.     

Consult an Attorney

As any of the above white-collar crimes can result in very complex cases, individuals or businesses accused of violating the law require criminal defense. As a former prosecutor, Anthony Rickman has a unique perspective of the criminal legal system and has the skill and experience to aggressively defend clients accused of white-collar crimes. At The Rickman Law Firm, you can work with a felony defense lawyer in Tampa that has helped clients achieve successful outcomes in both state and federal court. If you have been accused of a white-collar crime, never settle for inferior defense. Consult Anthony Rickman and his legal team today. 

For a free consultation with a felony defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

Domestic Violence Statistics in Florida

According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV), there were 104,914 cases of domestic violence reported to law enforcement in Florida in 2018. Of this number, 64,573 resulted in arrests. Domestic violence is a pervasive issue that affects countless families in the Sunshine State, but not every case being reported is substantive. You can’t afford to let yourself be convicted of a crime you didn’t commit. If you have been accused of domestic violence, consult a domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa from The Rickman Law Firm.

Breaking Down the Statistics

Domestic violence relief services have been pushed to their limits by the high volume of cases in Florida. During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, certified domestic violence centers in Florida facilitated 669,785 nights of emergency shelter for domestic violence survivors and their children. They helped provide vital shelter and recovery services for 15,937 survivors, which breaks down to an average of 237 victims per county. 

These services are intended to not only provide short-term solutions but long-term solutions, too. This is why advocates from these shelters developed 167,867 customized safety plans for victims. They also contributed a total of 336,737 hours of their time counseling victims and manned a domestic violence hotline to ensure that all 85,588 victims seeking emergency services received the information and safety planning assistance they needed. 

Unfortunately, for every victim that reports abuse, another victim suffers in silence. Domestic violence is actually underreported, and it’s not hard to see why. Instances of abuse aren’t always handled correctly due to the complex family dynamics underlying each of these cases. Men and women alike fear that their families will be split up if internal conflict is publicized. On the other hand, some “victims” falsify claims to gain an upper hand on their partner. If this happens to you, it’s vital that you consult a domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa.

What to Do When You’re Accused of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases are complicated in Florida. You will typically receive a “No Bond” status until you see a judge, who will likely tell you to cease all contact with the plaintiff. To make matters worse, domestic violence arrests cannot be sealed or expunged until you have secured an acquittal or your charges have been dismissed. This is one of the main reasons why the accused should consult a domestic violence defense lawyer in Tampa. A lawyer can help you navigate this process throughout every stage of your case. Your lawyer will not only stay in contact with the prosecutor but also negotiate a solution to help you maintain your innocence or reduce the severity of your conviction. With an intelligent orator on your side to fortify your case, you can overcome this troubling time.

For a free consultation with a domestic violence defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

Common Defense Strategies for Child Abuse Allegations

If you have been charged with a crime like child abuse, it can be challenging to navigate your way through the legal system. As child abuse cases are very sensitive in nature, the accused can face public scrutiny and their personal life can be impacted in a variety of ways, including a damaged reputation and loss of income, among other serious concerns, like prison time. If you have been wrongfully accused of child abuse, you require an experienced child abuse defense attorney in Tampa that can assist you with deploying an effective defense strategy. 

In this brief article, a criminal defense attorney with The Rickman Law Firm will discuss some of the most common defense strategies utilized against child abuse allegations. Remember, when you have been accused of a serious crime, you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney that can offer you effective legal counsel. 

The Allegations Are Entirely False

Unfortunately, if you are having problems with your spouse or ex, they may create false allegations of child abuse or even coerce a child into participating in a testimony. This is especially common in child custody battles between parents. When false allegations are presented to a court, an experienced child abuse defense lawyer in Tampa can closely evualate the allegations. In some cases, the attorney may find inconsistencies in the allegations or prove through an investigation process that the allegations presented are entirely false.

The Injury Didn’t Stem From Child Abuse

As long as the defendant wasn’t neglectful in their actions, any injury a child experiences that isn’t a form of child maltreatment (physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation) is not considered child abuse and shouldn’t result in a criminal accusation. In other words, accidents happen, and if a child is injured accidentally, this is not against the law. For example, a scraped knee under your supervision is not a form of child abuse as the accused did not cause this to happen nor was their any malice involved in their role with the injury. 

The Right to Parent Your Child

Although not everyone agrees on the ways a child can be disciplined, a parent has a right to discipline their child as they see fit as long as the discipline is within the confines of the law, meaning that the punishment is considered reasonable and didn’t result in an injury to the child. The verdict for many child abuse cases is determined by what exactly is considered “reasonable” in the eyes of the law. To learn more about this concept, consult an attorney.   

As we discussed above, allegations of child abuse can encompass everything from physical abuse to verbal abuse to emotional abuse or sexual abuse of a child. If you have been accused of a child abuse, your case requires the attention of the best child abuse defense attorney in Tampa.   

For a free consultation with a child abuse defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

When Kidnapping Becomes a Federal Crime

The State of Florida defines “kidnapping” as “forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will and without lawful authority.” Normally, a kidnapping case would be prosecuted at the state level. Under certain circumstances, however, a kidnapping case falls under federal jurisdiction, where penalties vary to reflect the severity of the crime. 

Below, we discuss these penalties as well as the remaining options for anyone charged with kidnapping. If you have been accused of kidnapping, you will be facing an uphill struggle to prove your innocence and safeguard your freedom. Consult a federal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg from the Rickman Law Firm who can build a successful defense around your case. 

The Extent of Federal Jurisdiction 

In the State of Florida, there were 776 arrests for kidnapping and abduction in 2018. Kidnapping is a first-degree felony in Florida and punishable by up to life in prison. The specific circumstances under which kidnapping becomes a federal crime involve the following instances where the victim is: 

  • Deliberately taken across state lines or outside U.S. territory
  • A foreign official or otherwise internationally protected person
  • A federal officer or employee
  • Under the age of 16 and taken by a parent out of the U.S. 

Federal jurisdiction also extends to kidnappings that occur within U.S. special maritime and territorial jurisdiction or U.S. special aircraft jurisdiction. Those who are convicted of kidnapping can be imprisoned for up to 20 years — that is, unless the victim is an unrelated minor, in which case, the penalties are far more severe. 

The Kidnapping of Children

Generally, kidnapping doesn’t apply to minors who have been taken by a parent. But that doesn’t mean that federal laws don’t protect children. Commonly known as the Lindbergh Law, the Federal Kidnapping Act was designed to allow federal authorities to pursue kidnappers across state lines. Named after the famous kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., this law provides special rules for cases that involve the abduction of minors. 

Under federal law, a person found guilty of kidnapping will be imprisoned for no less than 20 years. This is not something to take lightly. If you’ve been charged with federal kidnapping, you could easily be sentenced to life in prison.

Consult an Attorney 

If accused of kidnapping, you could be facing imprisonment for the remainder of your life, regardless of if it’s a state or federal crime. An experienced attorney can deploy tried-and-true defenses to secure your freedom. Depending on the specifics of your case, it can be argued that the victim gave their consent or that you were forced against your will to carry out the act. In many instances, the kidnapping resulted from a mere misunderstanding — a common occurrence when families are splitting custody of a child. 

Under the leadership of Anthony Rickman, the Rickman Law Firm has successfully handled a wide array of cases involving state and federal felony offenses. When searching for a federal defense attorney in St. Petersburg to take on your case and fight to have your charges dismissed or dropped, look no further than the Rickman Law Firm. 

For a free consultation with a federal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

What to Do When a Criminal Attempt Leads to an Aggravated Assault Charge

When people think of aggravated assault, they likely think of a terrifying threat to someone’s life that involves the use of a deadly weapon. While that certainly does constitute the makings of a felony, it doesn’t account for every instance in which a person can be charged with aggravated assault. Below, we discuss how a failed attempt to commit a felony can actually lead to a felony conviction of aggravated assault. If you’ve been charged with aggravated assault, consult an aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg.  

The Intent to Commit a Felony

If you commit assault while attempting to commit a felony, you can be charged with and convicted of aggravated assault. Remember, assault and battery, while similar, are not the same. Assault is the threat of violence, not the act itself. 

Aggravated assault contains two elements: an assault with a deadly weapon or an assault with the intent to commit a felony. The first element is fairly self-explanatory; however, there are numerous felonies that could elevate assault to aggravated assault. Murder, burglary, kidnapping, arson, and drug distribution are all examples of felonies. Theft is another offense that can easily lead to a felony — the taking of property valued at only $750 or more is considered grand theft in Florida

Imagine a confrontation in the middle of a drug deal, car theft, or mugging where tempers flare and a threat is issued. Suddenly, someone is arrested and charged with aggravated assault. You can see how easily a minor crime attempt can escalate to an aggravated assault, a third-degree felony in Florida. Those convicted can be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $5,000. 

Partner With a St. Petersburg Attorney 

Ask yourself, can I really afford to lose five years of my life? You didn’t commit battery, and you didn’t go through with a felony crime. Why should you be convicted of a crime that can come down to one person’s word against another’s? 

If you have been blindsided by an aggravated assault charge, you are not without options. Depending on the specifics of your case, an aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg can build a strong defense that includes proving your innocence, showing that your constitutional rights were violated, or arguing that the case lacks evidence or a reliable witness, among other strategies. Don’t put your freedom at risk. Contact Anthony Rickman, the best aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg

For a free consultation with the best aggravated assault attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

Second-Offense DUI in Florida

Facing a driving under the influence (DUI) charge? If it’s not your first, the administrative and criminal consequences and penalties will differ from your first experience. Repeat offenders face stricter penalties than those who only get arrested for DUI once. Consequences can include everything from fines and license suspension to vehicle impoundment or installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. When you are charged with DUI for a second time, you should consult a DUI attorney in Tampa for help getting your charges reduced or dropped.

Is Jail Time Mandatory for Repeat Offenders?

If you are convicted of a second DUI within five years of your first DUI, you will face mandatory jail time. These penalties escalate with your blood alcohol concentration ((BAC) — .15% or more and you will face enhanced consequences. The same is true for DUI-related accidents involving property damage, personal injury, or a passenger under the age of 18.

The “Look-Back” Period

The amount of time that a prior DUI conviction affects future consequences for a DUI is referred to as the “look-back” period. This is used to determine the ceiling for fines and jail sentences. If your second offense falls outside of the “look-back” period, the consequences for your mishap will be less severe. However, if your second offense falls within this period, it will be treated as a third offense, resulting in steeper penalties. In Florida, the “look-back” period is five years.

Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalties differ from criminal penalties, but they can be equally frustrating. Mainly, you can expect to have your license suspended following a DUI conviction. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is in charge of license suspensions. If your BAC exceeds .08% and you’re a repeat offender, you can count on a one-year suspension at minimum. Under Florida’s “implied consent” laws, you will forfeit your license for one year if you refuse to take a breathalyzer (even if you’re never been convicted of DUI before). In some cases, a DUI defense lawyer in Tampa can help you get a “restricted” or “hardship” license allowing you to drive to and from work, school, church, and medical appointments.

Criminal Penalties

As we mentioned above, if you are convicted of a second DUI within a five-year period, you will go to jail. Although the minimum sentence is a mere ten days, the maximum will depend on your specific situation. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Standard second DUI: 9 months
  • Second DUI (BAC of .015% or more): 1 year
  • Second DUI (with child passenger): 1 year
  • Second DUI (with property damage, minor injury, etc.): 1 year
  • Second DUI (with serious bodily injury): 5 years

Repeat offenders typically face fines, too. A standard second-offense DUI will cost you an average of $1,000 to $2,000. These fines increase to between $2,000 and $4,000 for situations involving high BAC, child passengers, or property damage. If a person suffered serious bodily injury as a result of your DUI, you could be fined up to $5,000. Other criminal penalties include license revocation, ignition interlock device installation, and vehicle impoundment. Consult a DUI attorney in Tampa for more information on the consequences you face for a second-offense DUI.

For a free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation. 

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