Criminal Defense Representation in
Brevard County, Florida
Florida prosecutors take crime seriously, and it is stressful to be arrested or charged. You may feel understandably anxious about the possibility of a conviction and the penalties that may be imposed. However, defendants in criminal cases have important rights and protections. Asserting them properly can make all the difference in your case. If you need a Brevard County criminal defense lawyer to fight fiercely on your behalf, you should call me. I have years of experience providing strategic defenses to people accused of crimes. I have handled all types of misdemeanors and felonies, in addition to traffic violations, and I have helped people pursue the sealing or expungement of a criminal record.
Under Florida Revised Statutes section 316.193, you can face DUI charges if you are caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you have a blood alcohol content of .08. Although a first-offense DUI is usually charged as a misdemeanor, you should take the charges seriously. Repeat DUI offenses, as well as certain aggravating circumstances, can result in harsher punishments.
Drug crimes may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies. Types of activities that are prohibited include possession, possession with intent to sell or distribute, manufacturing, delivering, and selling. You can be charged with trafficking if you are caught with a threshold amount of a controlled substance. Drug trafficking charges are especially serious because they carry mandatory minimum sentences, over which judges have no discretion. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I can help Brevard County residents fight these charges.
Domestic violence is criminalized under Florida Statutes section 741.28. In Florida, domestic violence includes a range of different crimes, such as battery and aggravated battery, when they are perpetrated by one family or household member against another. Family or household members include spouses, former spouses, people related by marriage or blood, people who are presently living together as though they are a family or who have resided together in the past as though they were a family, and people who are parents of a child in common, regardless of whether they have been married.
There are two types of traffic violations in Florida: moving violations and criminal traffic violations. Moving violations include speeding, traffic sign violations, traffic control device violations, and careless driving. Criminal traffic violations include DUI, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident. Criminal traffic violations can result in jail time, higher fines, and other penalties.
Generally, misdemeanor charges are brought when relatively minor crimes are involved. Misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable by up to a year in jail. They are subdivided into first- and second-degree misdemeanors, with first-degree misdemeanors being more serious. They include first-offense DUI, first-offense prostitution, battery, driving on a suspended license, domestic violence battery, and disorderly conduct.
Felonies are taken very seriously in Florida, so it is critical to retain a Brevard County criminal defense attorney if you are facing this type of charge. Felonies can be punished by incarceration for over a year, and sometimes up to life. Felonies are classified in several degrees, with the most serious being capital felonies and the least serious being third-degree felonies. A first-degree felony, for example, may be punished with a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Probation is a type of community supervision that requires you to follow certain court-ordered terms and conditions in lieu of being incarcerated. You may be required to submit to alcohol or drug testing and to meet with your probation officer, among other terms and conditions. Probation is a privilege, rather than a right, and it can be taken away if you violate terms and conditions or commit a new crime. Violations may be technical or substantive.
Under Florida Statutes section 903.046, the goal of a bail determination in criminal proceedings is to protect the community against unreasonable danger and to make sure that you appear at subsequent proceedings. If you are arrested in Florida and cannot post the original bond set when you were arrested, under most circumstances you will be entitled to a bond reduction hearing. The amount of bond is generally decided by a uniform bond schedule set by the jail in the jurisdiction where the arrest occurred. However, the court will also take other factors into consideration, such as the nature of the offense charged, prior criminal history, and ties to the community in determining a reasonable bond amount
Florida defendants may be eligible to enter a diversion program that leads to the dismissal of criminal charges. Some of the benefits include resolving the charges more quickly, avoiding trial costs, avoiding a criminal conviction, avoiding jail time, avoiding a permanent criminal record, and obtaining access to treatment or therapy. Under Florida Statutes section 948.08, you may be eligible for a diversion program if you are a first-time offender, you are charged with a third-degree felony or a misdemeanor, or you have received approval from the program administrator and the consent of any victims. The most common diversion programs include veterans treatment court, mental health court, and drug court.
Various types of expungement and sealing of criminal records are available under Florida law. These include administrative expungement, juvenile diversion expungement, court-ordered sealing, court-ordered expungement, lawful self-defense expungement, human trafficking expungement, automatic juvenile expungement, early juvenile expungement, and automatic sealing. Court-ordered sealing or expungement requires you to first apply to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) for a certificate of eligibility. The FDLE will determine whether you meet the statutory criteria to have your criminal record expunged or sealed.
If you need advice or representation related to a criminal charge or investigation, I am ready to help you. I represent defendants in communities throughout Brevard County, including Melbourne, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Merritt Island, Rockledge, Cape Canaveral, Titusville, Palm Bay, Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, West Melbourne, Melbourne Village, Melbourne Beach, Indialantic, Palm Shores, Grant-Valkaria, and Mims. Call me at (321) 254-3455 or complete our online form.
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