Articles Posted in Miami

Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Key West draw in millions of visitors every year. Some come to shop, take in the bustling nightlife, relax on the beautiful beaches, dine at renowned restaurants, or even take in a Marlins or Dolphins game. South Florida can offer up a little piece of paradise to everyone that chooses to vacation here.

Common South Florida Tourist Injuries

Whether it’s business or pleasure that has taken you to South Florida, you can always face dangers. While no one expects to be injured on vacation, the reality is that it can happen. South Florida tourists may be involved in:

  • Car accidents
  • Hotel assaults
  • Boat accidents
  • Bus accidents
  • Taxi-cab crashes
  • Pedestrian injuries
  • Slip and fall or trip and fall accidents
  • Swimming or water-related injuries
  • Cruise ship accidents

Tourist Attractions in South Florida

Yes, it is true that accidents can really happen anywhere. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in South Florida include the Miami Seaquarium, snorkeling at the first undersea park in the US as they explore John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Jungle Island, Miami Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design, Miami Children’s Museum, Museum of Discovery and Science, the Bonnet House Museum and Gardens, the Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park, NSU Art Museum, the Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum, the Pérez Art Museum, the Stonewall National Museum and Archives, the Stranahan House, the Bass, the Kampong, the Wolfsonian, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, Everglades National Park, Bayside Marketplace, Little Havana and Calle Ocho, American Airlines Arena, Zoo Miami, Coral Castle, Key Biscayne and Crandon Park, and many more.

Whether you are a sports fan coming to take in a Miami Marlins baseball game or a Miami Dolphins football game, or are attending a concert, or attending a museum or beaches, suffering a serious injury can land you in the hospital in an unfamiliar place. If your injuries are severe, you will not be able to return home for work or school and you will need immediate legal help to make sure you recover full and fair financial compensation for your suffering.

Call Us If You Are Injured As A Tourist in South Florida

If you, a family member or friend is injured while on vacation, you may not know what to do. You are away from home and unfamiliar with the city and state you are in. In order to file a personal injury claim, you need to secure local legal representation, as your injury lawyer must be admitted in the state of Florida.

Our South Florida Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are happy to serve Florida residents and tourists alike hold any negligent parties responsible for causing your injuries. If you were injured in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or any other city in Florida, we can help advise you of your legal rights and options to pursue your case. We offer completely free consultations, and will never collect any upfront fees. We work on a strict contingency basis, and only get paid when your case is resolved.

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A Miami-Dade County doctor was arrested Tuesday after state prosecutors said she illegally prescribed opioid drugs to a patient, resulting in the woman’s death.

The 48-year-old doctor faces charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone and delivery of oxycodone.

In March, Monroe County sheriff’s deputies found a 35-year-old woman dead at her home in Key Largo. Her body was found next to a bottle of oxycodone and the doctor had written the prescription the day before. A toxicology report determined that the woman died of an overdose of oxycodone and alprazolam, a sedative sold under the brand name Xanax.

After an investigation involving the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, authorities allege they discovered that the deceased and the doctor conspired to traffic narcotics. Prosecutors claim that text messages between the two showed that the doctor provided prescriptions at the woman’s request, even delivering the prescription to her home.

The doctor received a portion of the medications after she prescribed them to the woman, prosecutors allege.

On Tuesday afternoon, the doctor was held on $100,000 bond at Miami-Dade County’s Turner Guilford Knight Correction Center. She appeared in bond court Wednesday morning, at which time a Miami-Dade County judge ordered that she be placed on house arrest with a GPS monitor if she posts bail.  

When you think of drug crimes, prescription pills are not usually the first to come to mind. Prescription drugs are considered controlled substances under Florida law, so if you have been arrested for a prescription drug offense, it is important that you have an experienced South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton representing you from the start.

We have extensive experience with doctors being involved in prescription drug offenses, and we have a built a strong track record of achieving successful outcomes for our clients. Our experience includes the resolution of drug crimes cases involving all types of prescription drugs, including Vicodin, OxyContin, oxycodone, Percocet, Valium, Hydrocodone and others.

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Rapper Kodak Black pleaded not guilty Wednesday to federal weapons charges that prevented him from performing last weekend at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival, around which several violent incidents occurred.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Edwin Torres also granted the 21-year-old Black release on $550,000 bond with house arrest, although he faces other criminal cases that could keep him locked up.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Brown said Black was out on bail awaiting trial in a South Carolina sexual assault case — and that bail is likely to be revoked with these new charges.

In the weapons case, an indictment claims Black on two occasions falsely filled out federal forms to buy weapons at Lou’s Police Distributors in Hialeah, Florida. He apparently received three of those — a 9mm handgun, a .380-caliber handgun and a semi automatic Mini Draco weapon — one of which was left at the scene of a recent shooting in nearby Pompano Beach, Brown said.

The rapper, whose current legal name is Bill Kapri and who was born Dieuson Octave, was arrested before his scheduled festival performance. Authorities are investigating three unrelated shootings in the Miami area with possible connections to Rolling Loud, two of them fatal. No arrests have been made.

Besides the South Carolina sexual assault allegations, Black’s lengthy rap sheet includes a recent arrest in New York on drug and weapons charges as he crossed the U.S. border from Canada. That case is still pending as well.

In Florida, he has been charged at different times with drug and weapons possession, armed robbery, sexual assault, probation violations and fleeing from officers, but Black has never done significant prison time.

Law enforcement can be extremely overzealous when it comes what constitutes a valid weapons charge in their fight against crime. Many weapons charges are the result of police performing an illegal search of a person, home or vehicle. If you have been charged with a gun crime, you need to seek legal help as soon as possible. In certain cases, weapons charges can be dismissed entirely if an effective argument can be made that that the evidence obtained and subsequent arrest was based on an illegal search and seizure.

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A Florida man was convicted Friday of running an 18-year, $1.3 billion health-care fraud that prosecutors called the largest scheme of its kind ever charged by the Justice Department.

The 50-year-old Miami Beach resident apparently used a network of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in South Florida to defraud U.S. government healthcare programs while providing inadequate and unnecessary care to patients, prosecutors said.

The man is apparently made off with at least $37 million for himself from 1998 to 2016, according to prosecutors, using the money to finance a lavish lifestyle of fancy cars and a $360,000 watch.

The man also used some of the proceeds from the fraud to bribe the University of Pennsylvania basketball coach to help get his son into the school, prosecutors allege. The coach pleaded guilty to money laundering last year in connection with the case.

Prosecutors said the man bribed doctors to admit patients to the facilities he operated. The patients didn’t get appropriate care and sometimes received unnecessary services for which the man then billed the U.S. government.

The man also bribed a Florida state regulator to learn about surprise inspections of company facilities ahead of time, prosecutors said.

The total value of fraudulent claims that the man’s companies submitted to Medicare and Medicaid exceeded $1.3 billion, according to prosecutors.

A jury found the man guilty on 20 counts in U.S. district court in the Southern District of Florida. Charges included conspiracy to defraud the United States, receiving kickbacks, money laundering and conspiracy to commit bribery. Two co-conspirators pleaded guilty. Sentencing hasn’t been scheduled.

Health care fraud is a very serious crime that the federal government and the state of Florida will pour countless resources into to uncover alleged fraud. Anyone from an individual doctor to a billing company to an entire hospital system can be the target of a lengthy investigation.

The government is aggressive when it comes to investigating these claims. You need an equally aggressive attorney fighting on your side to protect you from health care fraud charges. Our South Florida Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton understand how to defend these health care fraud charges and will work tirelessly to protect you from the government’s powerful grasp. We will provide you with an honest assessment of your situation and help you understand the possible defenses that may be available. We want to minimize any damage to you and your reputation.

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South Florida rapper Kodak Black was arrested Wednesday at the U.S. border in upstate New York on drug and weapons charges.

The rapper was with two other men in his vehicle trying to enter the country from Canada when they were detained. Four others were traveling in a separate car with Kodak.

During a search of the group’s Cadillac Escalade, which Kodak was driving, police found marijuana on the rapper and a gun inside the vehicle.

The Glock 9mm pistol had allegedly not been declared.

In the other vehicle, police claim they found two other weapons and more marijuana in the trunk.

Kodak Black was arrested for criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful possession of marijuana. Two others were also arrested on weapons charges.

The driver of the other car was also arrested.

Black was released on bond Thursday.

Due to strict and complicated gun laws, it is very easy to end up on the wrong side of the law. Fortunately, our

South Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are here to help. We can explain the charges you face and then help you resolve them as quickly as possible.

We understand Florida’s gun and weapon laws in detail, and we can help you build the strongest possible defense to whatever the charges you face. This includes gun charges as well as any other charges allegedly committed. If it is not possible to get the evidence against you thrown out, we will do whatever we can to negotiate a favorable resolution. We will fight aggressively to keep you out of jail whenever possible.

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A former Miami police officer has been sentenced to 15 ½ years in prison for her apparent involvement in a drug trafficking conspiracy.

Court records show that the woman was sentenced Wednesday in Miami federal court. She previously pleaded guilty to conspiring with other officers to possess cocaine.

Investigators say the woman provided police protection for what she believed were large shipments of cocaine on three occasions last September and October. She received a cash payment of $17,000. The deliveries were arranged by undercover FBI agents.

Cases are still pending against two other former Miami officers.

Drug trafficking charges can lead to serious consequences if convicted. Not only are you looking at a permanent criminal record, but you can also face serious prison time and hefty fines.

Our South Florida Drug Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have helped many clients accused of federal drug charges minimize or eliminate penalties. As former prosecutors, our team of trial lawyers understand what it takes to prepare an effective defense. We use our inside knowledge to anticipate the prosecution’s case and formulate aggressive defense strategies for drug trafficking conspiracy charges. We can also negotiate with prosecutors to reach deals or secure reduced penalties.

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On Friday, a federal jury convicted a Florida health care executive on 20 criminal counts in what prosecutors described as a $1 billion Medicare fraud scheme.

Jurors reached a partial verdict after four days of deliberating. This case is one of the biggest in U.S. history. Jurors were undecided on six additional counts, but prosecutors accepted the verdict rather than sending them back for further deliberations.

The Miami Beach businessman operated a network of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in South Florida.

Jurors found him guilty of paying kickbacks and bribes to doctors and administrators so they would refer patients to his businesses. A former Ivy League basketball coach testified that the man bribed him to get his son into school. He was also convicted of charges of obstruction of justice, for plotting to help one of his co-conspirators flee to another country.

The jury could not decide whether the man was guilty of Medicare fraud conspiracy. They found him guilty of money laundering and of bribing a Florida health regulator to warn him when inspectors planned surprise visits to his facilities and when patients made complaints.

The man plans to appeal the decision.

He has been jailed since his 2016 arrest. The charges he was convicted of add up to more than 250 years in prison, but he is likely to get far less than that under federal sentencing guidelines.

The federal government and the state of Florida are quite serious about prosecuting those accused of health care fraud. Police will use any means necessary to uncover any alleged fraud. Individual doctors and even entire hospitals can be the target of a health care fraud investigation.

The government is very aggressive in its approach to investigating health care fraud. Grand jury investigations are likely to occur. It doesn’t matter if you are under investigation or have already been indicted – you need to enlist the help of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible who can defend you from these charges.

Our South Florida Medicare Fraud Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can defend you against health care fraud charges in Florida or elsewhere in the country. We will give you an honest assessment of your case and help you understand the possible defenses that may be available. We want to minimize any damage to you and your reputation.

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A Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas ended tragically for a man in 26-year-old man in February, and he has now filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Miami.

The man was in a bungee trampoline, 20 feet up in the air, when his harness got disconnected. He fell to the 13th deck of the Mariner of the Seas.

According to the lawsuit, the man “has become disabled, has plates and screws in his pelvic area, and has suffered severe orthopedic injuries which will require lifetime medical care and treatment.”

Royal Caribbean released a statement saying the company operates all ships “safely, professionally and responsibly.”

Cruise ships have so much entertainment and excursions to offer passengers, and these nearly constant activities can create a strong potential for serious injuries and even death to occur.

Some of the most common injuries on cruise ships are slip and fall or trip and fall accidents. Depending on the severity of the fall, a passenger may suffer serious and long-lasting injuries, including head and traumatic brain injury (TBI), neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and other serious harm.

If you or a loved one has suffered a fall injury on a cruise ship because of negligence by a cruise line or crew member, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses and other losses connected to your injury. Our South Florida Cruise Ship Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can help you understand what steps to take next and ultimately get you the maximum recovery for your injuries.

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Former Miami Hurricanes football star Mark Walton was arrested recently after police said an argument with a woman turned physical at a Miami parking garage.

The 21-year-old who now plays for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals faces a charge of battery.

A spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department said Walton and the woman began arguing around 4:30 p.m. because Walton was blocking the entrance to the parking garage in the unit block of Southeast Fifth Street.

The woman attempted to record Walton using her mobile phone, but Walton grabbed the phone, causing a brief struggle as the woman tried to get it back.

Walton and the woman had minor scratches, according to reports.

Walton was released on bond the next morning.

A person can be charged with battery if they make actual physical contact with another individual with the intent to injure, provoke, or insult that person. Simple battery is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to one year in jail or 12 months probation, and a $1,000 fine.If you or a loved one faces arrest or prosecution on charges of battery, it is important to contact our Miami Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible. We are zealous legal advocates that understand how the prosecution works and will attack their points to achieve the best possible resolution for our clients.

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The ex-husband of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Cynthia Bailey spent the night in a Miami jail after being arrested for writing fraudulent checks.

Peter Thomas was arrested Friday at Miami International Airport on a fugitive warrant.

The 58-year-old man is from Louisiana where he is accused of writing fraudulent checks.

No bond has been set.

In an official statement, Thomas said the allegations were false. He said he will be “acquitted from any wrongdoing.”

In Florida, check fraud can embody numerous fraudulent activities, such as writing a check from an account holding insufficient funds or a closed account. It is also a crime for someone to possess fraudulently obtained checks. Check fraud carries the potential for a felony conviction and significant prison time, depending on the value of the check.

In order for the State to charge someone with check fraud, they must prove the “bad check” was intentionally tendered to another person or business. This can be in the form of a personal check or a business-related check.

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