4 Ways to Beat a Drug Trafficking Charge

Drug trafficking charges are fairly common in the state of Florida, but the penalties are steep. If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you may be facing years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines — not to mention the damage these charges can do to your reputation, family, and future livelihood. If you’re facing drug trafficking charges for any substance, you’re probably wondering what the best method is to beat these charges.

In this brief article, a drug defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares four ways to beat drug trafficking charges. It is important to remember, every situation is unique and these defenses might not be a good fit for your specific case, which is why it is so important to contact a skilled, experienced drug trafficking defense attorney in Tampa.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

Without a search warrant, there is little that a police officer can actually do to have the right to search your property. This matters because any illegally obtained evidence gathered by a police officer can’t be used against you in a court of law.

But what if you were in a car? Can’t an officer search your vehicle with reasonable cause? If the so-called evidence was obtained in an illegal traffic stop, an illegal search of your home or other property, or an invalid warrant, it is not permissible in court. If the officer did not have probable causes to search you or your possessions, you can challenge this in court.

Entrapment and Drug Trafficking

Sometimes, an undercover officer might be involved in setting up “sting” operations. In these cases, people might feel coerced or “set up” to commit a crime that they may not have normally committed. In this case, the person facing charges was entrapped and can argue this in court. A drug trafficking defense attorney in Tampa will help you understand how to claim entrapment and if this defense is relatable to your case.

Rights Were Violated or Not Clearly Stated

When you are arrested, it is the law that you must be read your Miranda Rights. By law, when you are arrested by an officer in any department, your Miranda Rights must be read to you before they commence questioning. If they’re not, any statements you give may be thrown out.

You may also face other violations of rights. For example, if you’ve been tricked into an admission of guilt, or if you are not given the right to have an attorney present, your case might be thrown out. You should call a drug defense lawyer in Tampa as soon as possible to determine if this applies to your case and if your rights were violated.

Insufficient Evidence

The burden of proof rests on the police when you have been arrested. The fact is, sometimes just being near the drug gives them reason to believe you were involved. But, there may be insufficient evidence to prove you had knowledge of, or possessed, the drug in question. Being near a drug isn’t proof of possession. If the court can’t prove that you had “constructive possession” of the drug, you can’t be charged with drug possession.

If you are facing any drug charges, a drug defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm can help. The skilled legal team at The Rickman Law Firm will help you understand the best defense for your specific case and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome.

For a free consultation with a drug trafficking 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.

Common Types of Medicaid & Medicare Fraud

Medicare and Medicaid fraud accounts for a major financial burden on the government, and as such there has been a crackdown on offenders accused of defrauding the system. In fact, in 2019 alone, improper Medicare and Medicaid payments accounted for a loss of over $105 billion, according to CMS.gov. Of course, this number is not completely comprised of fraud and there are certainly instances of mistakes made in good faith, however, because of the large number there have been an increasing number of investigations into allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud year over year.

In this brief article, a fraud defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares the most common types of Medicare and Medicaid fraud. We will also discuss what to do if you have been accused or are being investigated for Medicare or Medicaid fraud.

Billing Fraud

Billing fraud is arguably the most common type of Medicare or Medicaid fraud. Billing fraud is not necessarily committed by one single person, but is rather committed by several people who are involved in the scheme, all of whom may be criminally charged. For example, you might bill for services that were never rendered, either by entering genuine patient information, or through means of identity theft, including real claims with false information, or simply by entering completely false claims altogether.

Ping-Ponging

Ping-ponging refers to the act of sending a patient for unnecessary tests, or referring them to specialists unnecessarily so that all may bill Medicare or Medicaid. Usually, this occurs when multiple people are committing the fraud together, and is a very serious problem. This not only complicates and worries the patient, but can create a complicated billing trail for investigators to follow.

“Un-bundling”

In many cases, services are bundled and charged together for a lower rate. For example, you might bundle several panels of blood work into one charge. But, if you un-bundle these charges and instead charge line-by-line, you might be paid more by Medicare and Medicaid. This can leave fewer funds to cover the actual problem and diagnosis.

Falsification of Patient Diagnosis Information

Medicare and Medicaid pay varied rates depending on patient diagnosis information. Therefore, it is important that only accurate diagnosis information is entered. For example, if a nursing home has entered that a patient is completely dependent for all Activities of Daily Life (ADLs), the nursing home will be entitled to a higher rate of payment because a higher level of care is needed. However, if the patient is not actually totally dependent for ADLs, the nursing home might still say they are and pocket the additional money. In a more serious case, patient diagnosis forms that have been falsified might lead later to unnecessary surgeries and procedures, and even death.

Hire the Best Criminal Lawyers in Tampa If You Stand Accused of Medicare or Medicaid Fraud

If you’ve been accused of committing, or taking part in conspiracy to commit, Medicare or Medicaid fraud, these are serious charges. You will need the top legal minds in your corner, criminal lawyers in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm can help. The skilled legal team at The Rickman Law Firm will help you understand the best defense for your specific case and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome. Your reputation is at stake when you are accused of fraud of any type. Contact The Rickman Firm today to protect your rights and your reputation.

For a free consultation with a fraud 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.

Here’s What You Can Do If You’ve Been Falsely Accused of Robbery

Being falsely accused of any crime is frustrating and challenging. If you have been accused of robbery, you might feel like there is no way to defend yourself from the “he-said, she-said.” But, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself if you have been falsely and wrongfully accused of robbery in Florida.

In this brief article, the top criminal attorneys in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm share what you can do if you’ve been falsely accused of robbery. It is important to act quickly if you have been accused of any crime so that you have time to properly defend yourself.

Understand the Charges of Robbery

Robbery is defined under Florida Statutes 812.13 as what happens when an individual or group of people take property (or money) from another person through fear, force, or violence with the intent to either temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of their own property.

Robbery charges are felonies with the classifications:

  • First Degree: Robbery committed with a firearm or any deadly weapon.
  • Second Degree: Robbery committed without a firearm or any deadly weapon.
  • Sudden Snatching: Taking a person’s property while the victim is aware of the act.
  • Home-Invasion: Entering someone’s home while occupants are present with the intention and the actual committing of a robbery with or without a firearm or deadly weapon.
  • Carjacking: Taking a vehicle from someone by force, fear, violence, or assault. Whether or not a firearm or deadly weapon is used, this could lead to a first-degree felony conviction.

Of course, you are not expected to know robbery charges by memory. However, understanding what the charges you face might be is the first step in defending yourself. The next step is to hire a robbery defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm.

Hire the Top Robbery Defense Attorney in Tampa

The most important thing to do if you have been falsely accused of robbery, or any crime for that matter, is to contact one of the top criminal attorneys in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm. Hiring a criminal attorney does not mean that you are admitting guilt — rather, it is a way to protect yourself against unjust charges.

The skilled legal team at The Rickman Law Firm will help you understand the best defense for your specific case and will investigate the case on your behalf. We have years of experience working with cases just like yours and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome. Our attorneys will not only look into the event, but will also examine the arrest to determine if your rights were violated.

For a free consultation with a robbery 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.

How to Defend Against False Accusations of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence often feels like a game of “he said, she said” and when tempers are flared and tension is high, accusations of domestic violence may create major issues. As frustrating as false accusations of domestic violence are, they are unfortunately not uncommon. It is estimated that every year in the U.S., 1.5 million restraining orders are issued based on false or phony domestic violence accusations.

A domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares in this short article what to do if you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, and how to safeguard your reputation while mounting a defense.

Call a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Tampa Immediately

Hiring a domestic violence defense lawyer is not an admission of guilt. It is simply the best and most important step to take to defend yourself against false accusations. There will likely be a lot of hearsay, and it is important to remember that your attorney will gather evidence from the alleged event and obtain experts to testify on your behalf.

Gather Character Witnesses (and Witnesses of the Event)

Following an accusation of any kind, your character is likely being questioned. Your attorney will want to speak with anyone who knows your nature and who would speak to who you are as a person. Your attorney will also want to gather information for any witnesses of the event. This might include children or other family members. They should be prepared and understand that they might be contacted as a witness throughout the court case.

Do NOT Contact Your Accuser

This can often be the hardest part for many who stand accused. After all, it is likely that you love the other person and still care deeply for them. But, if they have falsely accused you of domestic violence, they might use anything you say against you later on. It is best to refrain from contacting your accuser as much as possible to prevent further fights and words that can be misconstrued or used to hurt your case.

Do Not Answer Questions Without An Attorney Present

It is likely that the police will want to question you regarding the events of the night of the alleged violence. Remember, Florida law stipulates, “It is the intent of the Legislature that domestic violence be treated as a criminal act rather than a private matter.” Essentially, the prosecution can pursue a more severe charge, such as an aggravated assault charge, as it will result in a felony and more severe penalty. For this reason, it’s vital that you refrain from speaking to police until you have an attorney present. You have the right to legal defense.

Contact a domestic violence defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm as soon as possible. The skilled legal team at The Rickman Law Firm will help you understand the best defense for your specific case and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome.

For a free consultation with a domestic violence 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.

How to Win the DUI Formal Review Hearing

When you have been arrested for a DUI, there are several aspects beyond the criminal court hearings and trial that you must deal with. As if the situation is not stressful enough for you, you may face administrative suspension of your driver’s licence. Administrative suspension occurs following a DUI arrest wherein you either refused a breathalyzer test, or the test reading was above 0.08. However, as outlined in Florida Statute Section 322.2615 and Chapter 15A-6 of the Administrative Code, you have 10 days to request a formal review hearing to contest the administrative suspension of your license.

In this brief article, a DUI defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares a few tips to help you win the DUI formal review hearing, and what you should do if you have been arrested for a DUI.

Why Request a Formal Review Hearing?

You might be wondering why you should add a formal review hearing to your list of business to handle after a DUI. Certainly it is an optional step, but it is one that can give you a way to still drive while your attorney handles the DUI case and official suspensions. Additional benefits include:

  • The opportunity to obtain a 42-day BPO license (a.k.a. the hardship license)
  • The ability to subpoena witnesses, which also means that failure of a witness to appear (such as an arresting officer or test operator) resulting in an automatic win
  • Challenges to the arrest validity if the suspension is invalidated

A DUI attorney in Tampa will be able to discuss other benefits with you and will help you decide if this action is right to take.

Ways to Win a DUI Formal Review Hearing

If you decide to move forward with a formal review hearing, the following are the most common ways to win:

  • Arresting officers or testing administrators fail to appear at the review hearing
  • The BAR does not receive the DUI packet prior to the hearing
  • The stop was invalid, or there is credible reason or proof that the stop was improper
  • There is conflicting or incomplete evidence or test results

Hire an Experienced DUI Attorney in Tampa

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, there are several defenses you may pursue which is why it is so crucial to contact an experienced DUI attorney. Your attorney will help gather evidence and investigate the arrest while working to protect your rights.

As soon as you are arrested for a DUI, a DUI defense attorney in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm can help. The skilled legal team at The Rickman Law Firm will help you understand the best defense for your specific case and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome.

For a free consultation with a DUI 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.

Understanding the Difference Between Sexual Battery, Sexual Assault, & Rape

With the rise of the #MeToo movement and increased allegations of sexual assault, many people have found themselves wondering what the difference is between sexual battery, sexual assault, and rape. These are often incorrectly used interchangeably, but there are important distinctions between them, especially if you are facing accusations in the state of Florida.

If you have been accused of sexual battery, sexual assault, or rape, the consequences may be severe. In this brief article, a battery defense lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm shares the differences between these commonly misunderstood terms, and how to best defend yourself against accusations.

What is Sexual Battery? Is it the Same as Rape?

In Florida, sexual battery and rape are the same thing.

Florida Statute Chapter 794 defines sexual battery as what occurs when one party forces another person to engage in sexual intercourse without consent, in a manner that is against their will. If the victim is mentally incapacitated or passed out and is unable to give consent, it is also classified as sexual battery in Florida.

There are additional penalties and punishments if the victim was or is currently a minor, if there were multiple perpetrators, or if the offender was an officer of the law or in another position of power. These are all felony offenses, and may be punishable by a minimum of 25 years and a fine to all the way up to life in prison.

What is Sexual Assault?

Florida defines sexual assault is when one party makes unwanted sexual contact with another person. Sexual assault does not necessarily need to rise to the level of sexual battery or rape, and can include unwanted touching, oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by another person with a foreign object.

Sexual assault is punishable with thousands of dollars in fines, and if found guilty you may be sentenced anywhere between 15 years and life in prison depending on the accusations. Sexual assault charges may also be included in charges of sexual battery.

What Should You Do if Accused of a Sexual Crime?

If you have been accused of a crime of sexual nature, contact a battery lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm. Accusations of sexual battery or sexual assault are serious and could cost you thousands of dollars in fines and years of your life to serve a prison sentence. It is important to hire an attorney who will help you defend yourself against these accusations.

Further, a battery lawyer in Tampa with The Rickman Law Firm will help you navigate the legal process. We have years of experience working with cases just like yours, a unique understanding of how sexual assault and battery cases are prosecuted, and will be able to pursue all necessary evidence and witnesses to obtain a favorable outcome. Our attorneys will not only look into the event, but will also examine the arrest to determine if your rights were violated.

For a free consultation with a battery 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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