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Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 29, 2015 – Among the many factors that go into determining a convicted offender’s sentence is mental capacity. A defendant’s mental incapacity, once proven, may result in delayed sentencing until the individual is deemed better or may result in a reduced sentence under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines. Judges decide each case on its merits, as no two cases are ever the same. Diminished capacity is not applicable as a defense if the defendant’s mental incapacity was the result of voluntary ingestion of drugs or alcohol. State laws tend to vary on this issue. Also it […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 28, 2015 – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced new efforts to combat drowsy driving, which it said causes more car accidents than most people realize. Mark Rosekind, the head of the NHTSA, said that the problem of driving while fatigued is not receiving as much attention as those of driving while drunk or distracted. The agency, he promised, will add to its research and public awareness efforts to change that. “Drowsy driving is undeniably the cause of many car accidents that result in serious injury or death,” said Robert Joyce, […]


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Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 22, 2015 – T.V. crime shows have made many familiar with the part of the Miranda warning stating that if the offender cannot afford an attorney, the court may appoint one for them. The U.S. constitution guarantees the right of an accused to speak to an attorney. Public defenders came into being in the United States in 1963, as a result of a decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court in Gideon v. Wainwright. It stated the Sixth Amendment mandates that the government provide free legal counsel to indigent defendants in criminal cases. […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 21, 2015 – The operators of a Tampa pill mill are now testifying against others involved in its operations, revealing the extent of what authorities have called the most active pill mill in the United States. Marco Beltran, the former owner of the Tampa Bay Wellness Centre, was initially sentenced to 15 years in prison. Now, he may have his sentence reduced in exchange for his testimony at trials against others, which has drawn back the curtain on what has been called the “ground zero” of pill mills in the United States. Federal authorities […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 17, 2015 – Photographs depict patient as elf who begs for tranquilizers, tries to commit suicide. Following a scandal-plagued 2014 that saw its chief’s resignation, the Department of Veterans Affairs was probably looking forward to a less tumultuous first quarter of the new year. But unflattering news followed the VA into March, when news surfaced of a VA hospital manager’s suspension over a December 18 email. The holiday missive contained photographs of several questionable scenes, including one that depicted a toy Christmas elf as a patient pleading for tranquilizers and another showing the toy […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) April 10, 2015 – In an interview on March 12, David Walker, former comptroller general of the United States, warned that rising costs for Social Security, public pensions and healthcare could jeopardize the nation’s safety net for workers. Walker was the comptroller general of the United States from 1998 to 2008. He served as head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) during the same period. Now, his comments support a recent Social Security Administration (SSA) warning that the Disability Insurance Trust Fund, in particular, could run out of money as early as next year. Walker […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 26, 2015 – In February 2015, a Florida pain clinic was raided by several law enforcement agencies, and five people were arrested. Authorities said that evidence indicated that the clinic was operating as an illegal pill mill. Evidence was seized from the Winter Park Pain and Wellness Clinic; owner Eric Emerson, Dr. Roland Brutus and three staff members were arrested. “If the allegations are borne out by the evidence, then the law enforcement agencies and officers are to be commended for shutting down this pill mill,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa pharmaceutical negligence attorney […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 20, 2015 – Obama’s call to redirect money from the Social Security retirement fund to its disability fund is facing resistance in Congress. On February 2, President Obama unveiled his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. The $4 trillion budget includes more than $1 trillion in proposed new tax measures. Prominent among the president’s fiscal proposals is an increase in the Social Security Disability Trust Fund’s share of funding from payroll taxes – an attempt to shore up the finances of an entitlement program that is facing a major shortfall. Under the president’s […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 19, 2015 – Florida law enforcement officials have noted an alarming increase in hit-and-run car accidents. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there were more than 80,000 hit-and-run accidents in the state during 2014. Between 2013 and 2014, a 23 percent increase in fatal hit-and-run collisions appeared. Almost half of the victims were pedestrians. “Hit-and-run accidents are bad for everyone involved,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa car accident attorney with Joyce & Reyes. “The victims left behind may have injuries that need immediate medical attention, and the perpetrators face serious criminal charges when they […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 13, 2015 – Reformed suicide-specific programs and services at VA will focus the department on mental health. On February 12, President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, a measure designed to combat a longstanding, serious problem in the United States. The president’s signature quickly followed unanimous support for the legislation in both the House and Senate earlier in the month. The new law was named in honor of Clay Hunt, a Marine from Texas whose combat service overseas was followed by a long struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder after […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 11, 2015 – The 2014 election was barely over before all thoughts turned to the 2016 election. Many new voting faces, and perhaps a new perspective, will be involved for both parties. The increased presence of voters of color could very visibly change the face of the nation in the next election. While the recent midterm elections did select many more Republicans than perhaps expected, the party’s success is not necessarily maintainable for the 2016 election. Midterms usually have lower voter turnouts in general, and the racial and cultural demographics of those voters are […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) March 4, 2015 – Capitol Hill is constantly gripped by infighting over current policy, from Obamacare to immigration reform. But from an optimistic angle, Republicans’ obstructive defiance and confrontational attitude actually empowered Obama to partially achieve his reform goals. Work permits have been extended, undocumented immigrants have been sheltered from deportation and high-tech visas have been expanded. Restrictions have been relaxed for highly educated, skilled foreign workers, and law enforcement officials have been ordered to focus on undocumented immigrants with histories of violence and/or criminal records. “Recent history relating to immigration reform mostly speaks for […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 25, 2015 – The United States would not be the global power it is today without the presence and contributions of immigrants. “Many Americans do not realize where the term the ‘American Dream’ came from,” says Miami immigration attorney, Larry Rifkin, “and what it means.” First appearing in James Adams’ 1931 book “The Epic of America,” the expression described the complexity of social expectations, beliefs, political expectations, and religious promises held by Americans at the time of the Great Depression. The term itself represented a melting pot of meanings, and over time the connotation […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 23, 2015 – A multi-million dollar settlement has been reached in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a teenager who died at the Clay County Jail in Florida. Daniel Linsinbigler, 19, asphyxiated and died while strapped into a restraint chair at the jail in March 2013. The family agreed to drop their lawsuit in exchange for $2.2 million. “While a monetary settlement cannot ever make up for losing a loved one, a wrongful death lawsuit can help provide some compensation for a grieving family,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa wrongful death […]


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Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 18, 2015 – Homeland Security wants to track immigrant families who have illegally crossed the border and entered the U.S. with ankle bracelets employing GPS tracking. “In the never ending war to keep borders secure, a virtually impossible task, Homeland Security is tracking illegals captured and released with ankle bracelets that use GPS,” says Larry Rifkin, a Miami attorney specializing in immigration law. The intention of the program is to snap ankle bracelets on some of the parents caught crossing the border in Rio Grande Valley with their children. Along with the bracelet, Immigration […]


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Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 17, 2015 – Everyone charged with a criminal offense has the right to ask for a lawyer. If they do not want one, they may appear pro se or pro per, meaning “on one’s own behalf.” Some individuals choose to go it on their own for several reasons. One may feel that he or she knows the facts of the case better than an attorney, may not trust lawyers, may not qualify for a court-appointed lawyer or may not want to pay for legal counsel on their own. The Sixth Amendment states that all […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 11, 2015 – Charges against the head of a Phoenix hospital came amid swirl of reports on poor care for vets. When Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald fired Sharon Helman from her duties as the director of VA’s healthcare system in Phoenix in late November, charges that Helman was involved with the falsification of the hospital’s waiting lists for care were cited as the reason for the dismissal. But a federal administrative judge has now ruled that Helman’s acceptance of gifts from a healthcare industry consultant and other ethical violations, not the earlier […]


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Lakeland, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 10, 2015 – The U.S. justice system not only entitles anyone charged with a criminal offense within the country to an attorney to defend the case, but also does not automatically consider those charged to be guilty Although exculpatory defenses used in criminal cases differ from state to state, many of the basic concepts involved in a defense are the same. One defense that tends to get a lot of media play is the plea of insanity. If a defendant was clinically insane at the time the crime took place, the court may find […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 26, 2015 – Coupled with a presidential hopeful’s remarks, the surprise move elevated Social Security as an issue. Republican lawmakers — fresh from midterm elections that delivered the Senate to GOP control and expanded the party’s majority in the House — returned to Capitol Hill in January, energized and eager to forward conservative legislation. And based on an opening day rules change that House Republicans sprung on their Democratic colleagues, it is clear that Social Security will be a major point of contention for the new session. House Republicans signaled their intent to focus […]


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Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 2, 2015 – A federal grand jury has charged a Tampa Bay area pain management doctor with dispensing drugs that led to the deaths of three people. Dr. Edward Feldman could face life in prison if convicted. Feldman’s wife is also named in the indictment. “If the allegations are true, this is an egregious example of a pill mill doctor causing horrendous harm,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa attorney with Joyce & Reyes who handles pharmaceutical negligence cases. “Doctors and pharmacists who improperly dispense drugs that cause harm to patients can be held liable […]


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