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If you are residing or traveling through another state and you have contact with law enforcement, which leads to a warrant showing up, you may be sent back or extradited to Florida. This often occurs on a result of a traffic stop and your driver’s license is checked. So, what started as a potential speeding ticket in, let’s say, Indiana, has now turned into your being arrested for a grand theft arrest warrant in Orange County, Florida and being held in a DeKalb County, Indiana jail. The next step is extradition back to Florida.

Extradition is the transfer of a person from one state to another state (called the demanding state) for crimes committed in the demanding state. That person is called a fugitive. Depending on if Florida is the demanding state or extraditing state, Florida State Attorneys will follow Florida State Statute 941.05 or 941.06, describing extradition protocol. Each state must also follow the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, which says the state must extradite the fugitive to the demanding state, but the implementation of the extradition guidelines is at each state’s discretion. In the example, the fugitive would be extradited to Orange County Police custody from DeKalb County Police custody for the grand theft warrant. By law, the fugitive must be extradited within 30 days of the arrest (except in extenuating circumstances).

In the extraditing state (our example would be Indiana), the fugitive arrested has three options.

Conspiracy does not just revolve around super-secret FBI or CIA government information, such as the movie, “All the President’s Men” (Nixon’s Watergate scandal) or conspiracy theories that Area 51 is holding an alien species. Being arrested for conspiracy to drug trafficking is an actual criminal offense. Florida law states that any person who agrees or conspires with another to commit a drug trafficking act prohibited by law will be committing a 1st degree felony. That felony carries the same punishable outcome as if that person committed the act. Therefore, drug trafficking and conspiracy to drug trafficking carry the same offense weight.
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The United States is currently in an uproar following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. There have been protests and riots across the country; citizens are exercising their rights against police brutality and racism. Some believe that the police are doing their jobs to keep themselves and everyone safe; others believe police officers target black citizens because of their race and they should have more training. As these protest and riots occur, people are getting arrested for violent acts in support of the cause. Still, U.S. citizens are taking action to spark a difference in police tactics and civil rights.

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As a parent or guardian, it can be stressful to see your child in handcuffs or get a phone call that your child is at the police station for allegedly breaking the law. Minors do have specific rights in the juvenile justice system that are important to know if the situation ever arises. A person is considered a minor in Florida if they are under 18 years of age.

If a minor is arrested, the police must read the minor their Miranda Rights, which means they have the right to an attorney and anything they tell the police can be used against them in court. If the minor is not read their Miranda Rights, any conversation between the minor and law enforcement will not be admissible in court as evidence. The minor may also have a parent present. If a minor requests their parents, the police must make a reasonable attempt to contact the parents and share the minor’s location, but police may still question the minor without a parent present. The minor has a right to an attorney, and either the parent may retain one or the minor will be assigned a court-appointed public defender. One exception to police questioning without an attorney is if the child is under 13 years of age and has been arrested for sexual assault or homicide, in which case the child may not be questioned at all without an attorney present.

After the minor is arrested and processed, a Juvenile Probation Officer will perform a risk assessment to determine if the minor is a flight risk. With that assessment, a Department of Juvenile Justice Officer will decide if the child may return home or should be held in a juvenile center before their detention hearing. If the minor’s risk level requires a juvenile center placement, they will be taken to either a Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Center or a Juvenile Assessment Center.

Two men in New England were charged with fraudulently applying for a Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan worth over $500,000. These loans, stemming from the recent CARES Act, were designed to assist small businesses during the CoVid-19 pandemic. David Butziger of Rhode Island and David Staveley of Massachusetts were charged with conspiracy to making false statements on their SBA forms and conspiracy of bank fraud. Staveley was separately charged with identity theft and Butziger was separately charged with bank fraud. They claimed on their applications to have multiple wage-earning employees at four different businesses. The Justice Department stated the employees claimed to work at the businesses were not actually employed. The FBI uncovered emails between the two men, discussing ways to create an application for a federal PPP loan and the supporting documents under false information without getting caught.

Butziger claimed his company, Dock Wireless, had seven workers on the payroll. The Department of Revenue determined, under further investigation, those workers were not employed at Dock Wireless. Records further showed no evidence of any alleged workers except Butziger. Staveley claimed on his application there were dozens of employees unemployed across three restaurants he owned. However, under further investigation, it was determined two of the restaurants were closed before the pandemic hit early March, and the other restaurant had no indication Staveley was involved in the business.

For the men to be charged in a criminal court, they must be proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be guilty of the charges. Fraudulent applications to the PPP must have evidence containing immense wrongdoing in one or more of the four categories needed on the original application: 1) necessity for the loans, 2) size eligibility for the loan- less than 500 employees, 3) amount requested for the loan- under $10 million, or 4) the use of the loan- payroll, mortgage, rent, and/or utilities.

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I would like thank my attorney Thomas Luka. I knew from the beginning I had the right guy in my corner. While celebrating with family and friends at a Public Park in Seminole County, a fight broke out among various people. Myself, and a good friend, broke up the fight and the instigators left. Six months later, I was wrongly accused as the person who started the fight. The first attorney I hired could not even get a response from the State Attorney handling the case. Someone referred me to Tom and I felt comfortable at his demeanor and reactions.

After conversations with Tom, who knew I would settle for nothing less than a FULL DISMISSAL due to my innocence, I hired him. His firm of Adams and Luka did the due diligence by interviewing witnesses and the police who were on the scene, as well as starting a dialogue with the State Attorney. After gathering statements from witnesses, Tom was able to present a strong argument on my behalf to the State Attorney on why the case should be dismissed. If the State Attorney was not willing to dismiss the case, Tom was ready to take the case to trial.

The result by Thomas Luka: Case Dismissed.

I am 53 years old with a spotless record and glad to keep it that way thanks to the time, effort, hard work, and professionalism of the Adams and Luka and Tom Luka.

Earl from Mesquite
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Thomas Luka left a life-long great impression of lawyers. He was always professional, on time, and answered things honestly. From the start and during the 14 months it went on - Tom was very upfront and honest with me about the possible outcomes. The result was better than I had hoped for. Tom really over-delivered. HIGHLY RECCOMEND. Marcela Giorgi
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Adams and Luka were very professional and savvy in the courtroom. When you're in court with Mr. Luka you will think you have the best attorney there. I recommend this law firm. Pioneer Tech
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Rich Adams is an outstanding criminal attorney. I have had the opportunity to refer several friends and clients to his practice for handling of criminal matters, and on every occasion he has produced an excellent result. Rich practices with attention to detail, a thorough knowledge of the law, and a passion to defend his clients. I will continue to refer clients to Rich Adams, and would strongly recommend him for your legal needs. Brian Pink
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