It does not matter how old you are or your situation in life, sometimes bad things happen. Just because you were arrested does not mean that your life is over. The act of being arrested does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of anything and it certainly does not mean that you will be convicted of any crime. As if being arrested is not bad enough, the side effects of an arrest can be even worse. Most first time offenders are either students or business professionals that got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. Depending on the type of offense charged, you could lose your driver license or your job. My job is to soften the impact of your arrest and to help resolve your criminal charge quickly and efficiently.
If this is your first contact with the criminal justice system I certainly understand the pressure and stress you are feeling. Many of my clients are panicked when I first meet with them either in my Hollywood, Florida office or on a free phone consultation. While this may be your first run in with the law, I have likely worked on cases just like yours hundreds or even thousands of times in some cases. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows the system from both the state and defense side is the first step towards understanding the process you are about to participate in. I will be able to help you work through this difficult time in your life and explain the different ways I can help you.
In the criminal system, there are many different types of outcomes and even more ways to get there. The best way to ensure that your rights are protected is to hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately after your arrest. This way, your attorney can contact the State Attorney’s Office and make contact with the prosecution before the case is even filed. Many times, I have contacted the State Attorneys Office and provided mitigation information or evidence that conflicts with the police reports. Getting involved and providing information to the state at this early stage in combination with your status as a first time defendant, this sometimes leads to an abandonment of formal charges.
STATE STILL FILES CHARGES:
While abandonment of charges is a fantastic result, it is not always available. Sometimes no matter what information we provide to the prosecution, they will still file a charge. In this situation, hope is not lost. As a first time offender in either misdemeanor or felony court, you have several options to choose from when facing most any criminal charge. One of the most popular ways that first time offenders resolve their cases is through the different types of Pre-Trial Diversion (PTD) or Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) programs offered by the court or the state attorney. These programs provide a way have your charges dismissed in exchange for staying out of trouble for a specified period of time, providing negative drug tests, performing community service hours or completing various educational courses designed to correct your previous criminal behavior. These programs give you the opportunity to have your record sealed or expunged in a relatively short amount of time.
PROGRAM NOT AVAILABLE – TO PLEA OR NOT TO PLEA?
Even though you are a first time offender, not all criminal cases are allowed to enter a program. In these situations your status as a first time offender can be used to help achieve a minimum sentence for your specific crime. If you are not interested in going to trial on your case, most times I am able to resolve a case which results in no conviction and no probation for your case.
TRIAL – JURY OR NON JURY?
If you are not permitted to enter a program, we have investigated your case fully and have found no legal justification for your charge to be dismissed without a trial, and the state attorney or the judge are not willing to negotiate and resolve your case, you are left with no other option but a trial. As a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, I have been to trial on traffic, misdemeanor and felony cases. I have the real courtroom experience necessary to defend your rights and present your case to the jury.
If you are facing any criminal charges in Florida or simply have questions regarding any issues in criminal law, call 954-620-8320 to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney today. Attorneys are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for a free consultation.
Never speak to police or go to court without first speaking with a criminal defense attorney.
Remember, even fish would not get caught if they kept their mouth shut.