Criminal Lawyer Florida
If your are accused of a crime, do not speak to Law Enforcement without the presence of a lawyer. In most cases, if Law Enforcement Officer(s) is asking you questions related to a crime, it is because you are a suspect. YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY SHUT UP AND ONLY SPEAK TO REQUEST A LAWYER. Pursuant to the fifth amendment you have the right to remain silent and to not incriminate yourself. Pursuant to the sixth amendment you have the right to counsel. Pursuant to the 4th amendment, if Law Enforcement Officer(s) is seeking consent to search your vehicle or home, your are NOT obligated to give consent, unless they have a warrant signed by a Judge in most cases. YOU HAVE RIGHTS.
In this day of social media videos highlighting police aggression, always remember to be respectful to Law Enforcement Officials. Also remember, the place to enforce your rights is in the courtroom, not on the street.
Arrested or NTA
You can be preliminary charged with a crime by a Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) by being arrested or being issued an Notice to Appear. LEO will provide an “Arrest Affidavit” in the event that you are arrested. Please be sure to keep this document in your possession so that you can provide it to your attorney in the event it is not yet published on the Clerk of Courts. A Notice to Appear (NTA) is often issued for nonviolent and minor offenses. The official charges are typically filed by the Assistant State Attorney by means of a document entitled “Information” or “Indictment.” It is at this point that the official charges are known.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY CASE?
Upon an Arrest or NTA you will be charged with the crime. After an arrest you will be transported to the local jail or federal holding detention center. In most cases, you will be entitled to a bond, and will receive this information soon after arriving at the detention center. If you do not bond out immediately or no bond is set, you will be required to appear before the judge within 24 to 48 hours to determine your eligibility for bond. If your able to post bond, you will be required to appear at arraignment to plea guilty or not guilty within approximately thirty days. After that, you will be required to appear at Pre-Trial Conferences (PTC) approximately every thirty (30) days. Appearances may be waived if you are represented by counsel. In misdemeanor cases you must be brought to trial within ninety (90) days and in felony cases 175 days, unless speedy trial is waived. This time span will be used by your counsel to request and pursue discovery that may exonerate you or mitigate the circumstances of your case. Your attorney may need to take issue subpoenas and take depositions of witnesses to prepare for your trial. The decision to go to trial is ultimately YOURS and should be based on the all the information collected in your case.
A first degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000.00. A second degree misdemeanor is punishable up to sixty (60) days in jail, six months probation, and a fine up to $500.00. DE LA TORRE LAW FIRM handles many misdemeanor cases including but not limited to misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence (DUI with NO bodily harm or property damage), Petite Theft, Possession of Cannabis under 20 grams, Trespassing, Simple Battery or Domestic Violence. The key in many of these cases is early representation, including talking to witnesses and other individuals to collect information and evidence while its still fresh in peoples minds, this may reveal evidence that will effect the outcome of your case. These are the reasons that you need to retain counsel.
First Degree Felonies
First Degree felonies are Punishable by Life (PBL) or in some cases by capital punishment. Capital punishment is reserved for murder cases. Other PBL crimes include but are not limited to kidnapping, burglary (in some cases). robbery (in some cases), sexual battery, trafficking in specific controlled substances and quantities (including but not limited to cocaine (28 grams or more), fentanyl (28 grams or more), heroin (over 4 grams) , hydrocodone, and even cannabis (over 25 pounds). Drug trafficking crimes are also subject to minimum mandatory sentences. For more information please see F.S. 893.135.
Second Degree Felonies
Second Degree felonies are punishable up to fifteen years in prison. Second degree felonies include but are not limited to murder, burglary (in some cases), robbery (in some cases), battery (such as aggravated battery on a pregnant person or with a weapon), grant theft (in specific amounts) and trafficking in controlled substances (in specific quantities).
Third Degree Felonies
Third degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and include but are not limited to DUI with great bodily harm, grant theft, habitual traffic offenders (including 3x defendants charged with driving with suspended license), habitual theft offenses (including 3x defendants for petite theft), and other offenses.