Understanding Identity Theft Crimes

Technology has changed the nature of crime in Miami over the past few decades. For example, according to the Miami FBI chief, identity theft has grown exponentially in recent years. Considering the increased prevalence of these crimes, one can expect many more Miami residents to face ID theft related charges than ever before.

Miami Leading the Nation in ID Theft

Miami has the highest rate of identity theft of any metropolitan area in the nation. In 2012, there were over 35,000 complaints about ID theft, which doubled from 2011, according to the Federal Trade Commission. The same year there were over 12 million reported incidents of identity theft across the United States. The number of incidents of identity theft is predicted to continue to rise in Florida. The state also leads the nation in the number of theft of government benefits, including theft of tax returns. There were 69,000 reported complaints of theft of government benefits in 2012.

Observers believe that Florida is a hot-bed for these crimes because of the demographics of the state. The large elderly population and the high number of individuals on Medicare make area residents a prime target for these offenses.

Identity Theft Charges in Miami

Local residents may face any number of different criminal charges stemming from identity theft. In virtually all of the cases, however, the potential penalties for conviction are stiff. Some of the most common ID theft related crimes include:

– Obtaining Property by False Pretense – Otherwise known as “larceny,” this crime refers to using another’s identification to obtain property. Filling out information on applications using another’s information can lead to these charges.

– Criminal Use of Personal Identification Information – A similar crime, the state statute specifically lists the identifying information that can lead to these charges, including using another’s name, date of birth, driver licenses number, or even mother’s maiden name. There are different degrees of this crime, with more severe penalties when the information is used to obtain large amount of property or involves a larger numbers of people.

Defending Against ID Theft Charges

Considering the recognition of the Miami area as a problematic spot for these crimes, state and federal officials will undoubtedly be cracking down on suspected ID thieves. Unfortunately, lawmakers often overreach when dealing with suspected criminals–violating constitutional rights and otherwise failing to treat suspects fairly. At other times, innocent parties can be arrested. It is not uncommon to make mistakes on applications or not know when using information from others breaks the law.

For these reasons, if you or someone you know is facing ID theft charges, be sure to seek out experienced legal help immediately. An attorney can analyze the specifics of your case to determine if authorities acted properly when collecting evidence against you. If so, the information obtained may not be used against you. At other times, advocates can work with prosecutors to obtain favorable plea bargains to avoid the harsher penalties and allow you to move on with you life as quickly as possible.

Injury Lawyers and Legal Information (Car Accidents, Slip and Falls, Etc)

Ajax and Whitby are communities that have grown dramatically in recent times. While some injury lawyers have opened offices in the area, there is not the same presence of injury lawyers as there is in larger financial centers like Toronto, Ontario. While you may ultimately choose to retain a lawyer that practices in Ajax or Whitby, it can be a good idea to meet with at least one lawyer in Toronto or the surrounding area to see a contrast between the available law firms and the available resources to invest in your case. Injury cases often require significant financial investments by the law firm, and it can often be important to know whether the law firm has the financial resources necessary to represent you to the conclusion of the lawsuit.  

However, you do want to ensure that you hire a lawyer who is willing to come to Ajax or Whitby as necessary. Some lawyers in Toronto will commence your lawsuit in Toronto, which will mean that you will have to make a number of trips into Toronto. However, others who have a number of cases in Ajax/Whitby, are happy to start the lawsuit in Ajax/Whitby, have the discoveries in Ajax/Whitby (ie: at Durham reporting) and to have the trial there. This is an important question to ask. Some Toronto lawyers are quite willing to hold some meetings in Ajax/Whitby when necessary.

Ideally, you do not want a Toronto lawyer who thinks of themselves as a “big city lawyer”. Ajax/Whitby are still relatively small communities, and a lawyer may need to eat a “slice of humble pie” before getting up to address a jury made up of members of the community. You may well need to consider that and to consider how to strike a balance between the need for a firm with financial resources and a lawyer that a jury will listen to.

When you first speak with the lawyer, ask them whether they have cases in Ajax and Whitby. You should also ask them what types of cases they have handled (ie: car accident, slip and fall). Ask them to send you some decisions in cases that they have argued.

Legal Information About the Real Estate Contract

The conclusion of final agreement between a seller and a buyer is the Agreement of Purchase and Sale. We know it as the real estate contract.

There are five mandatory requirements for a contract under contract law:

1. The name, address and contact data for the seller(s) and buyer(s).

2. A clear description of the property. We prefer the tax map and parcel number but a street address, or other clear description will do. Such as “parcel known as Hudson Farm, being 456 acres more or less fronting on west side of US Route One and County Rd. 264, being about 9 miles north of Rehoboth in Sussex County Delaware. The final description on the deed at settlement will contain the Book and Page number where it was purchased, a survey description and tax map ID. For the contract any clear description that could ONLY be the property being sold is sufficient. This can be the Tax I.D. number.

3. The price and terms of payment. For instance: cash at settlement in thirty days from the date of this contract. Here should also be noted the deposit or consideration which may be as little as one dollar BUT is normally 10% of the purchase price.

4. The date of the contract.

5. Signatures of all sellers and buyers.

Although the contract need not be written on the form provided by the Realtor, it is customary to do so. On larger properties a simple note is often written which include the above 5 items and says that a full contract will follow. Then, the short contract is followed by another formalized contract drawn up by the attorney for the buyer or the seller. That is then reviewed and usually changed to some degree by the attorneys for the other side of the transaction.

On larger and more complicated properties the contract can go to dozens or even hundreds of pages. The five items here must be included but hundreds or thousands of other items may need to be included for some properties.

Most contracts today, for residential homes, are written on the standard contract form authorized by the County Board of Realtors and provided by the purchaser’s Realtor. The deposit money, or earnest money as it is sometimes called, is usually deposited in the escrow account of the selling Realtor.

Until all of the items above are included and ratified by all parties there is not a contract but only a “contract in progress” or an “offer” as we call it. This can be an offer to sell or an offer to buy and there may be several counter offers going back and forth as negotiations continue.

When everything is finalized the fully written and agreed upon document is said to be ratified. Even then the contract is not fully enforceable until it is conveyed, and received, in writing to all parties. THEN and only then can it be said to be a full and complete and enforcable contract.

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Miami Dui and Florida DUI Legal Information

You’ve Been Arrested for DUI in Florida – Now What?

Being arrested and charged with a DUI is a terrifying experience, and perhaps the worst part of the situation aside from the consequences you face is that you have no time to deal with the problem. You need to act fast and decisively if you are arrested for DUI in Miami, and below is a brief look at how to proceed in furtherance of the defense you and your Miami DUI lawyer will build on your behalf.

Be Polite with the Officer

The worst thing you can do if you are pulled over for a suspected DUI is to become antagonistic or abrasive with the officer. Do not act in a confrontational manner, and do not do or say anything that the officer doesn’t specifically ask you to do or say. You will only arouse suspicion of you act that way, so treat the officer with respect.

Gather the Facts

If you are arrested for DUI, you do have the Constitutional right to speak to a Miami DUI attorney while you are being questioned. However, many DUI arrests do not involve any sort of interrogation at the precinct, and basically they’ll write you the citation and send you on your way. When this is complete, make sure that you immediately write down everything that happened that led to your arrest, as it will be much easier to recall certain facts if they’re in writing. Do not edit yourself – you never know what fact will become crucial to your defense.

Administrative Proceeding

One of the most overlooked, but critical, components of every DUI proceeding is the administrative hearing that occurs with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This hearing will generally occur within a few days of your arrest, and you are required to be present at this hearing, which will determine whether or not your driving privileges will continue. Failure to respond or appear at this hearing will result in an automatic revocation of your driver’s license.

Legal Proceeding

Even with the administrative hearing in place, you obviously still need to work with your West Palm Beach drunk driving lawyer to make sure that you mount as strong a defense as possible. You and your attorney will look for problems with your arrest, your questioning, your field sobriety test or any other reason that the arrest could be seen as problematic in terms of the Constitution. These are only a few examples of what could be done to bolster your case, and the specific strategies you’ll use will depend on the facts of your case.

Regardless of what happened or how it happened, one thing that you need to understand is that if you have been arrested for DUI in Florida, you need to act immediately and aggressively to protect your rights.

Contact a DUI Lawyer

When you’ve gathered your facts, contact an attorney immediately. He or she will be able to help you organize and analyze the facts that led to your arrest, and he or she will also be able to help you identify the issues you face. You will need an attorney to fight for your rights in every respect, and this is definitely not a situation in which you should attempt to fight your own battle – you need legal representation to make sure that none of the rights available to you go unenforced.