Articles Posted in Criminal Defense Attorney

Florida domestic violence cases are typically handled at the state level by local police and state attorneys’ offices. However, as our Fort Lauderdale defense lawyers can explain, there are some circumstances under which one can be charged federally.domestic violence criminal defense Fort Lauderdale

Some circumstances under which Florida domestic violence may be pursued by federal authorities include:

  • Crossing a state line to physically injure an intimate partner. An intimate partner can be someone like a spouse, former spouse, someone with whom you share a child, or a person who lives or used to live with you.
  • Crossing a state line to stalk or harass an intimate partner.
  • Crossing a state line to violate a qualifying protection order.

As noted by the U.S. Department of Justice, these are all federal crimes that fall under the regulations of the Violence Against Women Act. One may also be found guilty of a federal crime under the Gun Control Act if they possess a firearm or ammunition while subject to a qualifying protection order OR they possess a firearm/ammunition after conviction of a qualifying misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

All federal domestic violence crimes are felonies. Some may be more serious than others if there are aggravating circumstances (i.e., a deadly weapon or minor involved). But if your domestic violence case is being handled by federal authorities, you should take note that you’re facing very serious charges and consequences. It is imperative that you hire an experienced Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer who has a track record of successfully defending other clients accused of the same offenses in the same jurisdiction.

Recently, a Florida woman was sentenced to 16 years in federal prison for a conviction of interstate domestic violence involving both a weapon and a minor. Continue reading

Florida law imposes minimum mandatory sentences for certain serious or violent offenses. However, even someone who is convicted of a less serious offense may face severe penalties – if they had a prior conviction. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney

In fact, the state legislature imposes several categories of sentencing enhancements for repeat offenders, which include:

  • Habitual felony offender
  • Habitual violent felony offender
  • Violent career criminal
  • Prison releasee reoffender

As our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys can explain, anyone previously convicted of a crime who now stands newly accused must take the potential consequences seriously. Investing in quality legal representation is an imperative when the stakes are so high for your freedom and future. Continue reading

Navigating the Florida criminal case process is overwhelming for anyone arrested in the Fort Lauderdale area. Working with a dedicated Broward defense lawyer who knows the law, the local players, and the legal strategy most likely to help you prevail is essential. Broward defense lawyer

That said, we do like our clients and their families to have a basic understanding of how the case is going to proceed from start to finish. It’s worth noting that this process is applicable to state-level cases, not federal. Further, every case is different. One thing they all have in common, though, is that studies show the sooner you hire an experienced criminal defense team, the more favorable the outcome. (One analysis found that criminal defense attorneys in one large city helped reduce the murder conviction rate of their clients by 19 percent and reduced the probability of their client receiving a life sentence by 62 percent. Overall time served in prison was reduced by 24 percent.)

Our battle-tested criminal defense team is prepared to go to bat for each and every one of our clients, whether they’re facing felony or misdemeanor charges.

Arrest and Notice to Appear

This marks the start of your Florida criminal case. If an office of the law (typically a police officer or sheriff’s deputy) has probable cause to reasonably believe you committed a crime, they can make an arrest. Sometimes, this is predicated on the basis of an arrest warrant that has been written and signed by a judge. Other times, it stems from evidence gathered while officers are patrolling or responding to specific calls for assistance. Continue reading

If you’re searching Broward criminal defense attorneys for hire, you’re likely wondering how much it’s going to cost. You’ve probably heard at least one attorney advertisement with the phrase, “We only get paid if you win.” Important to note: This does NOT apply to criminal defense lawyers – and for good reasons, which we’ll explain more later.Broward criminal defense attorneys

However, those with limited financial resources still have options.

If you’ve been arrested in Fort Lauderdale, it’s important to both carefully plan your next move and try your best to stay within budget. The right attorney can help you do that. Attorneys are ethically bound to only charge “reasonable” fees for their services. If their charges are excessive, they could face action from the state Bar Association.

Here, we’re going to break down how payments to Florida criminal defense lawyers work and what you can expect when hiring an attorney.

Your Right to Free Counsel

Most people have heard the phrase, “You have the right to an attorney… If you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you at no cost…”

This is part of the “Miranda Warning,” a required statement made prior to custodial interrogations (questioning that occurs after police have arrested or detained someone). However, people mistakenly assume that this right to free legal counsel applies to all criminal defendants. It does not.

Let’s start with the fact that the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is what gives criminal defendants the right to counsel – regardless of whether they can afford it – in federal prosecutions. However, most criminal prosecutions in Florida occur at the state level, pursued by state-level prosecutors, who are referred to as state attorneys. The right to counsel was not applied to state prosecutions for felony offenses until the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Gideon v. Wainwright. The incorporation doctrine applied this right to state felony cases, but it does not apply for certain misdemeanors.

In Florida state-level prosecutions, you do have the right to a state-appointed criminal defense lawyer if:

  • You are facing jail time AND
  • You cannot afford one on your own.

If you can afford to hire your own lawyer, it’s a good idea to do so. We have known excellent criminal defense lawyers working for the Florida Public Defender’s Office. However, they are often carrying heavy caseloads, and may not have a great deal of time to dedicate to your case. Hiring a private criminal defense lawyer is typically to your advantage.

It’s a common misconception that because you aren’t appointed a criminal defense lawyer that you don’t need one. While lower-level misdemeanors may not involve jail time, a conviction can often have a significant impact on your life – one that a qualified criminal defense lawyer can work to substantially mitigate. It is typically to your advantage – financially and otherwise – to hire a Broward criminal defense lawyer even for misdemeanor cases.

Why Can’t Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers Be Paid on a Contingency Fee Basis?

The phrase, “We don’t get paid unless you win” refers to a contingency fee arrangement with an attorney. Continue reading

December is best known for all its holidays, but it’s also associated with a spike in certain types of crime. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, crimes that see an uptick during “the most wonderful time of the year”:Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney

  • Robbery
  • Personal larceny
  • Domestic violence
  • DUI

The seasonality of crime trends has been studied for decades, with some studies finding clear patterns and others finding the link more ambiguous. Theft crimes in particular shoot up right around the holidays, climbing in some regions by a full 20 percent. Violent crimes, such as murder and sexual assault, tend not to follow this same pattern. Incidents of domestic violence, however, do slightly increase, probably because folks are spending more time at home.

As our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers can explain, several of these crimes could be charged as felonies, depending on the individual facts of the case and the degree to which alleged victims are affected. Even misdemeanor crimes, though, can have a substantial impact on your future, potentially limiting your housing and employment options. Further, because criminal convictions and other history are public, such charges may impact your personal life, including personal relationships, child custody, and immigration status. Investing in the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help minimize the affect is not just about the short-term concerns of impending jail time, but what that conviction could mean for you years down the road.

Here, we take a closer look at the crimes most common in December, and possible defense tactics that can minimize the impact of such charges on your life. Continue reading

Domestic violence allegations are taken very seriously by authorities in South Florida. If you’re arrested for domestic violence battery, you must take the charges seriously and quickly “lawyer up” if you hope to avoid the most significant penalties and long-term consequences. Hiring a lawyer is not an indicator of guilt, but rather can help mitigate the impact of the charges on your life – particularly your job and future opportunities, as well as your right to bear arms. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

Those accused may not be inclined to concern themselves much about unfounded accusations, presuming it’ll all be sorted out fairly in court. But as our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers can explain, cultural forces have imposed increasing pressure on law enforcement agencies and prosecutors increasingly to make arrests and secure convictions in domestic violence cases. The truth may not be enough to set you free. What will is immediate legal advice from a knowledgeable, experienced South Florida domestic violence attorney.

What is Domestic Violence Battery in Florida? 

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were approximately 105,000 reported Florida domestic violence arrests in a single recent year. Per F.S. 741.49, officers responding to an alleged report of domestic violence who decide not to arrest anyone are required to provide reasons why they chose not to arrest anyone.

State law defines domestic violence as any means of assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any other criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family member, household member, former romantic partner, or co-parent against another. Domestic violence battery involves the intentional and actual touching or striking of another individual without their consent or the intentional infliction of bodily harm. It is typically charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, which is the highest level of misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or 12 months of probation, as well as a maximum fine of $1,000. The law further stipulates that if injury resulted, there is a five day minimum mandatory jail term, plus a mandatory 29-week batterer’s intervention program. It’s considered a deportable offense by immigration services. It will result in the revocation of any concealed weapons permits, and the forfeiture of any guns while on probation – even for misdemeanor battery charges. No contact orders or injunctions may be imposed. There could be adverse impacts on the child custody/parenting time order. Community service may also be ordered. You may be barred from certain types of employment and housing in the future, as your record will always be visible; domestic violence charges can never be expunged or sealed, even if adjudication is withheld. You may be barred from obtaining certain types of loans and security clearance if you’re convicted. Continue reading

Cops can be intimidating. It’s fully intentional on their part. After all, it can be quite effective in terms of compelling suspects or persons of interest in criminal cases to talk freely during the investigation. But failure to exercise the right to remain silent until there’s a South Florida defense lawyer at your side can quickly cost your freedom. That’s not to say you won’t spend the night in jail if you stay mum. However, defendants almost always benefit long-term when they wait for defense attorney advice and advocacy. Fort Lauderdale defense lawyer

You are probably familiar with the term “Miranda Rights” and “Miranda Warnings” and the paragraph that starts, “You have the right to remain silent…” They’re derived from the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. If an officer reads them to you, you are considered “Mirandized.” It stems from the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, and the purpose is to ensure you are made aware that you do have the Constitutional right not to speak to the officer and to have your own attorney present on your behalf before you answer any questions.

What occurs only belated to a lot of criminal defendants is that these rights are in place before they are ever read aloud- or even if they are never read at all. Miranda is only applicable in custodial interrogations, meaning police don’t have to recite those rights every time they talk to or question someone. In fact, much of the evidence used against defendants in Florida courts are statements they made to authorities prior to formal detention or interrogation by police. It’s important to understand that voluntarily opting not to speak to police about a criminal matter is not a crime – no matter how much pressure you might feel. Continue reading

You can take video of police officers in public without risking a Florida arrest, an appellate court ruled this month. The decision pertains to a 2009 case of a woman who filmed officers detaining her son outside a Boynton Beach movie theater. As our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyers recognize, however, it has particular relevance in the post-George Floyd era.Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer

The ruling in Ford v. City of Boynton Beach reversed an earlier trial court decision that found police had an expectation of privacy when they were filmed outside the movie theater. In sworn testimony, she indicated she took a digital camera with her when she went to get her son, who had been stopped by police for allegedly trying to sneak into a movie theater. Her intent, she said, was to ensure the police would be honest and truthful during the encounter.

When police demanded she stopped filming, she refused. Although it was undisputed that she never tried to physically obstruct or in any way impede the officers’ detention of her son, she was arrested on charges of intercepting oral communications and obstruction without violence – both misdemeanors. The officers argued she had invaded their privacy, justifying the charges. The State Attorney’s Office, however, declined to pursue the charges ages ago. The ruling in this case stems from a civil lawsuit she later filed against the department. Continue reading

Misdemeanors are criminal charges that categorized as less serious than felony charges, with lesser penalties and lower fines. For this reason, many people choose to forego hiring a defense lawyer and take their chances. However, there are many reasons this is inadvisable. Hiring a defense lawyer for a Miami misdemeanor can often help to significantly reduce the lasting consequences of a permanent criminal record.Miami misdemeanor defense lawyer

Our goal as your lawyer is to work toward a resolution that is going to leave you with as few longstanding ramifications as possible. What we will first do is look for any way to have the charges dismissed outright. If that isn’t likely, our strategy is to minimize the damage, possibly negotiating a plea to lesser charges and arguing for the minimum incarceration and fines.

Examples of misdemeanor crimes in Florida include:

  • Shoplifting.
  • Trespassing.
  • DUI.
  • Solicitation for prostitution.
  • Disorderly conduct.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Criminal mischief.
  • Simple battery.
  • Underage possession of alcohol.

What many people don’t understand is that just because a charge is a misdemeanor doesn’t mean a conviction will have a minor impact on your life. Never assume that this will be a “slap on the wrist” that you can easily move past. Continue reading

If you’re visiting South Florida this spring break, the last souvenir you want to bring back is a DUI charge. If this is the situation in which you find yourself, our longtime Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyers can help. Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer

Last spring was fairly abysmal for an annual spring break season in Florida, but this year is looking up. Some hotels are reporting 75-80 percent capacity, as many folks venture out for the first time in more than a year. Florida is especially popular right now because it hasn’t been as rigorous in its enforcement of health and safety measures as other states, and people from all over the country are looking for a more relaxed change of scenery.

South Beach, Fort Lauderdale and the Florida Keys remain a top spring break destination in the U.S. If you are arrested for DUI here, you could be facing substantial penalties, so it’s important to work with a local criminal defense attorney  well-versed in state law and local processes and who has successfully represented numerous people arrested while visiting from out-of-town. Continue reading

Contact Information