If you were involved in a high-conflict incident with another person, but did not engage with that individual in a physically violent manner, then you may be surprised to find that you could be held criminally liable for misdemeanor (simple) battery. Florida — like many other state jurisdictions — imposes criminal liability in a variety of assault and battery scenarios, including those that do not necessarily involve violent or injury-causing behavior.
In Florida, as in other states, criminal defendants may be able to reduce their sentence if there are mitigating factors surrounding the case at issue.
In Florida, possession of a controlled substance (i.e., “illegal drugs”) could subject you to significant criminal penalties, even if you have only a minimal amount of the drugs at-issue in your direct possession. Florida has extremely strict drug possession laws, even when compared to other states — though you may have no demonstrated intent to distribute the drugs, simple possession could still expose you to penalties of up to five years imprisonment (as well as fines and other restrictions).
If you’re being investigated, accused, or even charged with a criminal offense, then you have to be careful not to interfere with any stage of the legal process. This prohibition on conduct includes interfering with witnesses, victims, and informants.
Mandatory minimum sentences have been widely criticized by the media in Florida and throughout the United States, particularly as the adoption of marijuana legalization and a softening approach to drug enforcement has increasingly become a topic of serious conversation. In fact, many activists view criminal justice reform as fundamentally linked to mandatory minimums.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Florida after being pulled over by an officer, then you may be able to secure a dismissal of the DUI case on the basis that the officer lacked “reasonable suspicion” to initiate a traffic stop.
In television shows and movies centered around the practice of criminal law, the victim’s choice of whether to press charges is portrayed as a matter of fundamental significance. Reality is quite a bit different. Though the victim’s decision not to press charges could be quite beneficial for a criminal defendant, it is not the end-all-be-all that it is so often construed to be in media portrayals.
In Florida, and elsewhere in the United States, the battle over what evidence is admissible and inadmissible is central to the vast majority of criminal disputes. Though — thanks to the popularity of police procedural shows and court dramas — many criminal defendants are at least vaguely aware that their statements can be used against them in a court of law, the complexities are not well understood by those who lack legal training.
Though probation can be quite difficult — particularly in situations where the probate court imposed excessive, unreasonable, and otherwise unjustified probationary conditions that limit your freedoms — it’s certainly better than a term of imprisonment.
When many people think of drug violations, they generally think of the more obvious criminal charges — possession of illegal substances, drug trafficking, drug use, and others. Many fail to properly consider (or simply forget about) the possession of drug paraphernalia.