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The trouble with police informants and sting operations

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

Police departments throughout Florida use confidential informants (CIs) as part of a strategy to enforce drug laws. But this system often means that the prosecution is using someone who has been arrested and is working with the police to avoid being charged with a crime. Consequently, the informant is probably highly motivated to help… Read More »

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Defense narratives: Why primacy and recency matter so much

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

When someone is accused of a violent crime, one of the most critical parts of their defense may be the narrative their attorney conveys to the jury. Why does this matter? Well, mostly because jurors are human beings, and human beings understand facts, figures and other kinds of evidence when those things are presented… Read More »

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What counts as a probation violation? What are my rights?

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

Probation is a common aspect of misdemeanor and felony convictions, and the terms and conditions of probation are specific to each case. You should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away if you have questions about the terms and conditions of your probation. With that said, following are some common probation violations… Read More »

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What are a driver’s rights during a police stop? 

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

Any time you get behind the wheel of your car, you’re taking a risk. In addition to the risk of an accident, there’s always a chance you could be pulled over by a police officer. Knowing your rights during a police stop is a must, as this can help protect you against trouble. What… Read More »

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What makes something a fraud?

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

If a prosecutor accuses you of fraud, what exactly are they saying? Generally speaking, this is what is considered to be fraud: You knowingly misrepresented a material fact to someone who relied on your information. As a result, they lost something. In a criminal case, for a person to be convicted of fraud, the charge… Read More »

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Understanding your right to a jury trial

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

If you are charged with a crime, your right to have a jury decide whether or not you are guilty is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that “The trial for all crimes shall be by jury.” The Sixth Amendment also recognizes the right to a jury trial and adds that jurors must… Read More »

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Police calling? Investigators at your door? Consult an attorney before you talk to anyone.

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

You may have heard it said that, if you are not guilty of a crime, there is no reason to be afraid of talking to police. Maybe that questionable advice even came from the police themselves. But the reality is that you could be making a huge mistake by agreeing to speak with investigators… Read More »

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Understanding the meaning of ‘homicide’ and the degrees of murder in Florida

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

A homicide occurs when one human causes the death of another. Not all homicides involve criminal actions, and not all homicides lead to a criminal charge. For example, a broad definition of homicide might include a state-sanctioned killing, such as capital punishment (the death penalty). A legal homicide might also involve self-defense or a… Read More »

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Is lying about a product or service to sell it really a criminal act?

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

A good salesperson knows how to say what a potential customer wants to hear. They find a way to make a product seem desirable based on someone’s needs or personality. However, while someone closing a sale could exaggerate or even attempt to verbally manipulate a potential buyer, the seller is not supposed to outright… Read More »

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The trouble with eyewitness accounts

By Scott N. Richardson, P.A. |

Even if you don’t know much about the reliability of eyewitness accounts, you’re probably at least familiar with the pivotal role they can play in a criminal investigation. Whether someone is on the witness stand in court or selecting a suspect from a criminal lineup, a witness’s memory is a tool often used by… Read More »

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