In Florida, once you’ve been arrested, booked (i.e., administrative and procedural processing that takes place at a police station, such as fingerprinting, record search on one’s criminal history, personal search, property confiscation, mug shots, etc.), and either put into police custody or released from custody, you should be given notice of an arraignment proceeding that will take place within 24 hours.
If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, then — in all likelihood — you’re concerned about the progression of your case and what strategies the prosecution might employ so as to find you guilty. Though many Americans are at least vaguely familiar with the basics of criminal litigation thanks to the popularity of entertainment media on such cases (i.e., police procedurals and shows about State prosecutors), character evidence issues are still relatively unknown to the general populace.
If you’ve been accused or charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you may be feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of litigation. Unlike many civil disputes, prosecution for a criminal offense is fundamentally high-stakes — you could not only be subject to various fines and other regulatory penalties (i.e., loss of professional licensing, etc.), but could also be facing a term of imprisonment.
Have you been accused of (or charged with) the crime of theft? In Florida, theft is a felony offense in some circumstances, and convicted offenders could face significant penalties that include a term of imprisonment, fines, and more. Further, a conviction could have a negative influence on how you are perceived in your community, which could seriously affect how easy it is for you to integrate socially and secure a thriving career.
The general public often perceives drug trafficking as an offense that is premised on the act of selling, distributing, or marketing illegal substances, but drug trafficking laws are broader than many realize. In the state of Florida, those who possess a significant amount of a given substance may be found criminally liable for drug trafficking and subjected to a minimum mandatory sentence, even if there is no evidence that they intended to distribute the substance to others.
In Florida, and throughout the country, jury selection is a critical process in criminal litigation. If done properly, favorable jury selection will maximize your ability to avoid criminal liability and will position you advantageously in negotiating a potential compromise solution without having to continue to trial.
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.