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Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz, P.A.
Sophisticated defense from
a former federal prosecutor
rightAttorney Mark Horwitz is Board
Certified in Criminal Trial Law
by the Florida Bar

Criminal Defense Blog

How the IRS differentiates between taxpayer fraud and taxpayer negligence

Even though most people haven't thought about their federal income taxes for months and won't do so for at least another six months, memories of their most recent filing are likely still incredibly vivid. Indeed, they may have visions of a not-so-distant past in which they pored over Internal Revenue Service publications, searched online for answers and spent hours filling out their return.

Given the degree of difficulty the average person encounters when completing their tax return -- and the mistakes they potentially make -- its understandable how they might start to feel concerned as to whether they could inadvertently become the subject of an IRS investigation into possible income tax fraud.

Why counterfeit goods are always a priority for the federal government

Those companies that have gone to great lengths to cultivate an image, as well as a reputation for creating highly desirable and durable goods will register their trademark -- i.e., their legally recognized logo and/or name -- with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. By way of example, you needn't look further than the shoes on your feet, the cell phone in your pocket or the shoulder bag sitting under your desk.

The purpose in taking this step is to provide the company with the exclusive right to use the mark, such that customers can readily identify their products in the marketplace and, perhaps more significantly, protect their reputation. Specifically, registering a trademark enables the company to legally prevent other companies from creating products using a similar mark that could cause consumer confusion.

SCOTUS makes major decision concerning evidence from illegal stops

While the majority of the news coverage relating to the Supreme Court of the United States has understandably been focused on the controversial decision handed down by a divided bench in United States v. Texas and its implications going forward, it's important not to overlook some of the other significant decisions reached by the nation's high court during the current term.    

By way of example, consider the Supreme Court's decision in Utah v. Strieff, a case examining the scope of the exclusionary rule, the longstanding legal imperative dictating that any evidence secured by law enforcement officials in violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures cannot be admitted into evidence.

Is the IRS changing its approach to civil asset forfeiture?

Multiple states, including Florida, have recently taken steps to either eliminate or restrict the universally reviled practice of civil asset forfeiture, which essentially provides law enforcement officials with carte blanche to confiscate any property that they believe is connected to a crime regardless of whether an arrest has been made, charges leveled or a conviction handed down.

Despite this progress at the state level, the practice has continued largely unabated among federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, which ironically enough introduced a policy designed to curtail its use just two years ago. 

Will discoveries in Panama Papers finally spur the DOJ to take action?

Our blog spent some time a few months back discussing the release of the Panama Papers, meaning the massive leak of files from the Panamanian-based law firm Mossack Fonseca to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.  

These files, which are still being painstakingly scrutinized by media outlets around the globe, have shed light on strategies employed by Mossack Fonseca on behalf of the world's rich and powerful. Indeed, The New York Times recently completed its own analysis of the number of U.S.-based clients utilizing these services and its findings were truly fascinating.

Officials starting to see value of non-punitive approach to Rx drug crisis

In a post recently, our blog relayed some of the shocking findings of a report by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission outlining the number of drug-related fatalities across the state's 67 counties. Indeed, the report found that the situation is particularly dire here in Orange County, where abuse of prescription opioids and heroin continues to take an immense toll on public health.  

As truly disconcerting as this, the good news is that officials at both the state and federal level have recently taken steps to help combat the opioid and heroin epidemic that are decidedly non-punitive. 

Law Offices of Mark L. Horwitz, P.A.
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Orlando, FL 32801

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