As Broward criminal defense lawyers, we have successfully handled a broad range of Florida criminal case types – from serious felonies to minor misdemeanors. There is no single defense strategy that’s going to work in every situation. That said, there are some approaches more commonly employed than others. If you’re arrested in Fort Lauderdale on a misdemeanor charge, it’s important to seek out a defense attorney who can discuss those that might work best given the facts and realities of your case. Note: Not every misdemeanor defendant is entitled to an attorney (even if you can’t afford one), despite the potential consequences of conviction being substantial and long-lasting. Hiring a defense lawyer – even for seemingly minor issues – is the best way to lessen the blow this whole episode will have on your life long-term.
What Prosecutors Must Prove in Florida Misdemeanors
The exact criteria of what must be established to secure a conviction in a Florida misdemeanor case depends on the charge. Yet in all cases, prosecutors are tasked with showing guilt of the crime alleged beyond a reasonable doubt – which is the highest proof burden their is in Florida law.
As a criminal defendant, one is entitled to the presumption of innocence. However, without an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate on their behalf, odds of that person walking away with zero consequences or a slap on the wrist aren’t great.
It’s unlikely your case will go to trial, simply because most these days don’t. Roughly 90 percent of criminal convictions are secured via plea bargains. Prosecutors routinely offer plea bargains to defendants. However, just because it’s a lesser charge than what you initially faced or the consequences are less than the max doesn’t mean that a guilty or no contest plea is wise or in your best interest. You’re far better off if you have a defense attorney who can push back on the prosecution’s case. We can help explain the long-term impact of certain types of convictions, and whether the state’s case is all that strong to start (prosecutors are unlikely to cop to case weaknesses without prodding from the defense). If you’re inclined to accept a plea bargain, it’s still best to have a defense lawyer who can fully assess the particulars and actively negotiate terms most favorable to you.
Criminal Defense Strategies in Broward Misdemeanor Cases
Generally speaking, the goal of a Broward criminal defense attorney is to poke holes in the prosecution’s case, arguing things like lack of evidence, lack of intention/willful violation, or a legal justification for the action. Exactly how we do that will depend on the charge and specific facts.
That said, here are some of the most common defenses we use in Broward misdemeanor cases: Continue reading