Criminal Defense In Miami
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Recent Successes

For over 20 years, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Paul D. Petruzzi, P.A. have successfully defended hundreds of federal cases in courtrooms throughout the United States. Our founding attorney is rated AV Preeminent ® by Martindale-Hubbell ® and has a Superb Rating on Avvo. His experience in federal criminal law makes us extremely well equipped to defend you against whatever type of federal offense you may be facing. Here are some of our recent success stories.
    • 3 Counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana Not Guilty

      United States v. M.L. - Our client was charges with three counts of conspiracy to possess 1,000 kilos or more of marijuana with the intent to distribute. If convicted, our client was facing ten years imprisonment. The case proceeded to trial in Key West, Florida. However, after a two week trial the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict and a mistrial was declared. Subsequently, our client was retried on the same charges and was not found guilty of all counts.

    • Abandoned by Attorneys Reduced Sentence

      United States v. P.C. - Our client retained our firm for Rule 35 purposes after being abandoned by his attorneys. After obtaining a 50% reduction in our client's sentence, we sought the return of unearned legal fees and the imposition of sanctions of our client's former lawyers as a result of their illegal and unethical conduct. After several hearings conducted by Judge Turnoff, the motion was granted and the former attorneys were sanctioned. When the attorneys refused to comply with the sanctions order, further contempt proceedings were held and the attorneys were again sanctioned. The most recent sanctions order is pending appeal before the Eleventh Circuit.

    • Aggravated Identity Theft Reduced Sentence

      United States v. J.W. - Our client was charges with aggravated identity theft as a result of participating in a scheme to steal credit card information from patrons at South Florida restaurants. At the time, our client was a full- time student with near perfect grades at Florida Atlantic University. She became involved in the scheme while working as a waitress trying to put herself through college. Our client had also begun to apply to medical schools. I first negotiated a cooperation agreement with the United States while attempting to convince the United States Attorney's office to permit her to participate in pretrial diversion. Ultimately, the United States Attorney's office disagreed so our client plead guilty to one count of the Indictment. The client was facing a maximum of fifteen years imprisonment. At sentencing, because of the arguments made by our firm about our client's cooperation and her background, the court sentenced her to home confinement and supervised release.

    • Bulk Currency Smuggling & Failure to Declare Currency Dismissal

      United States v. Y.A. - Our client was charged with bulk currency smuggling and failure to declare currency as a result of his attempt to smuggle over $80,000.00 into the United States. He was facing a maximum of five years imprisonment. We negotiated a resolution that included the government's dismissal of the bulk currency smuggling offense and the return of the majority of the seized funds. At sentencing, we were able to obtain a further downward variance in our client's sentence.

    • Conspiracy Against Rights of Citizens Not Guilty

      United States v. C.W. - Our client was charged with conspiracy against rights of citizens. If convicted, he was facing ten years imprisonment. This matter proceeded to trial and our client was found not guilty of all counts.

    • Possession of Child Pornography Reduced Sentence

      United States v. M.K. - Our client was charged with possession of child pornography and was facing twenty years imprisonment. We first negotiated an agreement to avoid the likely susperseding indictment that would change the mandatory minimum of five years. We then began preparing for sentencing by interviewing neighbors, having the client undergo testing and therapy, and preparing background concerning his wife's illness and chemotherapy treatments. We further canvassed local and national sentencing trends with respect to child pornography offenses. Our client's low end guideline sentence established by the Presentence Investigation Report was 97 months. At sentencing, the government conceded the inapplicability of one 2-level enhancement and we argued for a variance regarding the remaining enhancements. The Court sentenced our client to 36 months.

    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine Dismissed

      United States v. A.R. - The United States charged our client with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession with the intent to distribute cocaine. Our client's son-in-law and his friend were also charged. Our client faced twenty years in federal prision and deportation if convicted. Even though his son in law and friend agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with the government our client proceeded to trial. While the jury did not find our client not guilty of the possession charge, they were unable to reach a verdict on the conspiracy and a mistrial was declared on that count. Prior to the second trial, we filed a motion to dismiss on double jeopardy and collateral estoppel grounds. Ultimately, the government agreed to dismiss the conspiracy count altogether and our client entered a plea to misprision of a felony. We then obtained a sentence of time-served and he was released from custody with no pending immigration issues.

    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana Reduced Sentence

      United States v. M.M. - Our client, M.M., was extradited from the Bahamas to the United States and charged with the following: two counts of Importation of Cocaine, four counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Marijuana, two counts of Importation of Cocaine and Marijuana, Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana, Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana and Conspiracy to Import Cocaine and Marijuana. Prior to being extradited, M.M. was incarcerated at one of the worst prisons in the world: Her Majesty’s Prison, Fox Hill. M.M. faced life imprisonment for these charges due to the quantity of drugs involved. Despite this, Mr. Petruzzi negotiated an agreement with the prosecutor calling for the client to plead guilty to the less serious conduct with the remainder of all the other charges being dismissed. He also secured the ability to argue for an even lower sentence based on the conditions awaiting extradition at Fox Hill of the client’s pretrial confinement. Before sentencing, our office did a great deal of research about the cruel and inhumane conditions at the Fox Hill prison. We interviewed several witnesses that were familiar with the Fox Hill conditions. Lastly, we prepared an extensive sentencing memorandum detailing our findings and attached several exhibits for the court to review. The morning of the client’s sentencing, Mr. Petruzzi was also given evidence of M.M.’s extensive criminal history in the Bahamas. This could have negatively affected M.M.’s sentence. However, during the sentencing, Mr. Petruzzi argued, among other things, that M.M. should receive a lower sentence because of the cruel and inhumane conditions that were present while he was incarcerated at Fox Hill prison in the Bahamas pending extradition. Mr. Petruzzi presented expert testimony during the sentencing and cross examined other witnesses including a Bahamian lawyer and made extensive legal arguments. Because of Mr. Petruzzi’s arguments and presentation to the court, the judge granted M.M. a 48-month variance and he was sentenced to only 87 months of imprisonment. He also received day for day credit for all the time served while he was incarcerated in the Bahamas. M.M. only has 19 months left to serve. M.M.’s co-defendants received higher sentences despite the fact that their cases were identical to our clients. This is a great result given that M.M. was in possession of large quantities of cocaine and marijuana and the fact that the client was facing life imprisonment.

    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine Reduced Sentence

      United States v. N.H. - Our client was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. We first obtained the government's agreement not to file an enhancement pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 851 that would double the client's minimum mandatory sentence. We then negotiated the cooperation agreement of the United States and our client plead guilty to one count of the Indictment. At sentencing, because of our client's cooperation, the court reduced her sentence by 40% as well as an additional 24-month downward variance due to various other sentencing factors.

    • Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine Reduced Sentence

      United States v. A.L. - Our client was arrested in the Southern District of Florida on an Indictment in the Eastern District of New York charging him with intent to distribute methamphetamine and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Our client was facing a maximum of twenty years imprisonment. We obtained our client's release on bonds and the agreement of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York to allow our client to cooperate with DEA Agents in the Southern District of Florida. Our client entered into a plea agreement in the Eastern District of New York, plead guilty, and sentencing was deferred until his cooperation was complete. At sentencing, our client faced a ten year minimum mandatory sentence. However, because our client's cooperation and our arguments regarding his background and the drug guidelines in general, the court granted both a downward departure and variance and sentenced our client to time served (five days) followed by five years of supervised release.

    • Possession with the Intent to Distribute Marijuana & Several Other Offenses Reduced Sentence

      United States v. J.L. - Our client, an organized crime associate from New Jersey, was first charged in Ft. Lauderdale with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana and several other offenses. Our client pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 151 months. Following his sentencing, our client retained our firm to assist him in obtaining a sentence reduction pursuant to Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida was not interested in our client's cooperation. As a result, and after evaluating our client's information, we decided to offer his cooperation to the organized crime task force in the Southern District of New York. As part of his cooperation, our client confessed to his participation in a contract killing of an organized crime figure that had been ordered by a Capo of the Genovese crime family. Our client also agreed to waive the RICO statute of limitations applicable to his conduct, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with this offense, and his sentencing was deferred. In the interim, the government agreed to file a motion to reduce our client's sentence in his Florida case pursuant to Rule 35 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. Our client's sentence was reduced by approximately 65% to what amounted to time-served. Our client was then sentenced in his New York case. Although the low-en of our client's guideline range was determined to be 324 months, as a result of our efforts, he was sentenced to 37 months; a sentence that also amounted to time-served. Our client walked out of the courtroom.

    • Possession with the Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine Reduced Sentence

      United States v. C.B. - Our Client was charged with possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Our client pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with law enforcement. The government agreed no to file an enhancement pursuant to 18 U.S.C § 851 that would double the client's minimum mandatory sentence. At sentencing, our client who had significant criminal history scored a low end guideline sentence of 262 months. We presented argument in mitigation and called several witnesses on his behalf. The court granted a 60-month variance and our client's Rule 35 reduction is likely.

    • Possession with the Tntent to Distribute Cocaine, Use of Firearm, & Robbery Acquitted On All Counts

      United States v A.K. - Our client, his brother, and two friends were charged with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute 15 kilos of cocaine, possession with the intent to distribute 15 kilos of cocaine, using a firearm in connection with a drug offense, and Hobbs Act robbery as a result of an ATF sting operation. If convicted, the Defendants were facing life imprisonment. Our clients, his brother, and one friend proceeded to trial, while the remaining defendant pleaded guilty. Through cross examination of he agent and confidential informant, we were able to show how our client was manipulated and how the tactics used by law enforcement during the investigation were improper amounting to entrapment. Our client was acquitted on all counts.

    • Receiving 2 Shipments of Methylone Reduced Sentence

      United States v. Anonymous - Our client was arrested receiving two shipments of approximately 10 kilograms each of Methylone (Molly) in the Southern District of Florida. Our client was also, at the time, the target of a separate investigation involving similarly sized shipments of Molly into JFK Airport in the Eastern District of New York. Our client was facing a minimum of twenty years imprisonment. We first negotiated a waiver of our client's initial appearance in Miami to allow him to remain in a hotel with government agents and begin his cooperation. We then negotiated agreements with the Eastern District of New York to the Southern District of Florida for consolidation for sentencing purposes. We then began collecting case law from around the country and locally with respect to the appropriate guideline calculations to use for sentencing purposes. As part of this, our firm helped with the effort in this district to ensure uniform treatment of all Molly cases for sentencing using the lower calculation of 250:1 rather than 500:1. Our client was sentenced to a total of 55 months, he remains on bond, and a hearing for further sentence reduction is likely.

    • Scheme to Obtain and Use False US Visas Reduced Sentence

      United States v. L.O - Our client was charged as a result of participating in a scheme to obtain and use false US visas by aliens seeking to obtain Florida drivers licenses. Our client was facing a maximum sentence of ten years. We negotiated a plea agreement for our client that called for him to plead guilty to an offense that would be considered an aggravated felony for deportation purposes. Our client was sentenced to one year probation. Our client, a single father of three, and resident alien with full time employment, was ultimately allowed to stay in the United States. He is now a citizen.

    • Several Counts of Interstate Theft & Re-branding of Pharmaceuticals Reduced Sentence

      United States v. B.V. - Our client was charged with several counts of interstate theft and re branding of pharmaceuticals and was facing a maximum of ten years imprisonment. We first attempted to convince the United States Attorney's Office to authorize pretrial diversion for the defendant. The diversion request was based on our review of the evidence, recognition that at least half of the criminal conduct charged in the Indictment was verifiably untrue and the Defendant's background and character (our client was a decorated Iraq war veteran). Ultimately, the government agreed to allow our client to plead to a lessor included misdemeanor offense of one of the counts of the Indictment with the remaining counts of the Indictment being dismissed. At sentencing, our client was sentenced to one day credit time served.