Bristol Criminal Defense
If you are under investigation for a crime or have been arrested in Bristol, it is important that you understand the consequences you are about to face. There are a number of actions you can take at this time to protect your rights as well as prevent mistakes that could jeopardize your case. Any misstep especially during the critical first stage of the legal proceedings can definitely result in additional charges and potentially severe penalties.
The most important step you can take at this time is to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours. A Bristol criminal defense attorney can guide you through the first appearance, bond hearing, arraignment and your trial if you choose to fight the charges. At Musca Law, our criminal defense lawyers handle all state and federal crimes, felonies and misdemeanors, including, but not limited to:
- DUI or BUI
- Sex Crimes
- Drug Crimes
- Theft Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Federal Crimes
- Traffic Offenses
- Weapons Offenses
- White Collar Crimes
- Probation Violations
Bristol Crime Information
Bristol is the seat of Liberty County. It is a city that is located in the Florida Panhandle and was founded in 1859. At the time, Bristol had one store, a few mills and several churches. Bristol is located over 40 miles from Tallahassee and 154 miles from Montgomery Alabama. It is surrounded by the Apalachicola River, the largest river by volume in all of Florida. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of Bristol is 996.
The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office is located on NW Pogo Street in Bristol. There are 24 registered sex offenders living in Bristol as of April 26, 2013. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were 359 arrests made throughout Liberty County in the year 2011. During that same year, there were no murders, one forcible sex crime, no robberies and six aggravated assaults countywide.
The Criminal Justice System
Not every criminal case resolves in the same way. There are several stages of the legal proceedings and important decisions need to be made at each of them.
- First appearance: You have the right to appear before a judge within 48 hours of being arrested in Bristol. The judge will inform you of he charges if there is sufficient evidence against you. It is at this time that your attorney can help you negotiate for a reduced bond to get you out of jail.
- Formal charges: Being arrested is not the same thing as being charged. Your lawyer may attempt to either persuade the prosecutor’s office not to file formal charges or to reduce the pending charges, based on facts and evidence.
- Arraignment: This is when the defendant enters a plea of guilty or not guilty. The evidence will be presented and your charges will be read to you. In some cases, a Bristol criminal defense attorney can appear on your behalf.
- Building a defense: It is important to carefully consider all of the facts in your specific case. You should not accept a plea deal before your attorney has reviewed the police reports, the witnesses’ statements and the other important details in your case.
- Plea deals: If there is sufficient evidence against you, it may be in your best interest to agree to a plea deal that helps you avoid jail time.
- Trial: If you plead not guilty and your charges are not dismissed, your case could go to trial. It is at this time that the prosecution will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. The verdict may be handed out by a judge or a jury.
Guiding You Every Step of the Way
Facing criminal charges in Bristol can be extremely stressful and overwhelming. Do not take a chance with your future. The stakes are extremely high in criminal cases and the consequences of a criminal conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in Bristol, please contact the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Musca Law for a free and comprehensive consultation.