Alachua County Criminal Defense
There are few events in life that can be more frightening than being accused of committing a crime. If this is your first encounter with Florida’s criminal justice system, you know that it can be an overwhelming, confusing and emotional experience. Residents of Alachua County who are facing criminal charges, no matter how minor, would be well advised to take their situation seriously. Alachua County prosecutors are well known for their aggressive approach when it comes to cracking down on all types of criminal activities. Even a first-time offender, who has been charged with a misdemeanor, can face up to a year in jail.
The knowledgeable and experienced defense lawyers of Musca Law can help protect your rights and precious reputation. If the firm is retained early enough to represent you, we may be able to intercede of your behalf right away, before the prosecutor files charges, and convince them not to do so. Also, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, we may be able to have evidence excluded, charges reduced, or your case dismissed completely.
The Types of Cases We Handle
At Musca Law, our Alachua County criminal defense lawyers handle all state and federal crime cases, and all felonies and misdemeanors, including DUI offenses of any kind — from DUI first offense to DUI manslaughter. Moreover, the firm handles all traffic offenses, domestic violence cases, sex crimes, drug offenses, theft crimes and violent crimes. The firm’s attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience in criminal defense. We stand ready to work hard for you during this difficult time.
Know Alachua County
Alachua County is known for its diverse culture and history. The county was incorporated in 1824 with Newnansville as the county seat. By 1854, Gainesville was made the county seat because it was located near the new railroad that connected Fernandina Beach to Cedar Key. Alachua County is home to the University of Florida, the Florida Gators, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Payne’s Prairie Reserve and the Auto Plus Raceway. About 245,336 people call Alachua County home, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Having legal counsel who truly knows Alachua County, its government and politics, and who has experience working with prosecutors daily in the Alachua County State Attorney’s Office, is invaluable.
Crime Rates in Alachua County
The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office is located on SE Hawthorne Road in Gainesville. According to the department’s 2012 Annual Report, both property crime and violent crime rates have decreased countywide in recent years. In the year 2008, there were 30 property crimes and eight violent crimes for every 1,000 residents. In the year 2011, those rates dropped to 23 property crimes and five violent crimes for every 1,000 residents. In the year 2011, there were 430,900 emergency and non-emergency calls from citizens in Alachua County. In the year 2011, the Sheriff’s Department’s Detective Bureau was assigned 1,179 new cases, filed 337 sworn complaints and made 209 arrests.
The Alachua County Drug Task Force
The University of Florida Police Department, the Gainesville Police Department and the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office work together to crack down on drug crimes countywide. If you are under investigation for manufacturing, distributing or possessing drugs in Alachua County, you could face serious criminal penalties. In the year 2011, the Alachua County Drug Task Force handled 618 drug-related incidents including 182 traffic stops, 49 search warrants, 42 knock and talk cases, 22 cannabis growing operations, 178 controlled buys and 22 drug trafficking cases. Many of the individuals arrested in these incidents faced the possibility of elaborate jail and prison sentences, as well as substantial fines and fees.
Alachua County Sheriff’s Child Sexual Predator Task Force
The Alachua County Sheriff’s Department secured about $500,000 in funding in 2011 to launch the Child Sexual Predator Program. The department is utilizing this funding to hire more officers to man a special task force whose main goal is to monitor sex offenders and prevent child sex crimes. This task force, comprising one sergeant and two detectives, particularly targets convicted sex offenders living in Alachua County, who are required to register with the department. The task force also manages those sex offenders in the community who are labeled “high-risk” in addition to locating, arresting and prosecuting known sex offenders.
DUI Enforcement in Alachua County
Sobriety checkpoints are common in Alachua County, especially during the holidays and on game nights. Recently, a DUI checkpoint in the 2500 block of Southwest 13th Street in Gainesville netted 10 arrests. In that checkpoint, officials checked 1,131 vehicles and issued traffic citations to more than 100 drivers.
Law enforcement departments through Alachua County including the University Police Department, Gainesville Police Department and Alachua County Sheriff’s Office coordinate their efforts on such special days when a higher incidence of impaired driving is likely. Officers assigned to DUI patrol will focus their efforts on watching for drunk drivers. They will also deal with other issues such as alcohol possession by minors and open container violations. DUI convictions in Alachua County can result in serious consequences including jail time, fines, alcohol education programs, court fees and installation of an ignition interlock device.
Warrants Issued in Alachua County
If you are under investigation for a crime in Alachua County, you have the right to privacy. As a general rule, you do not have to allow officers to inspect your vehicle, business or residence without a proper warrant. The Alachua County Sheriff’s Warrants Bureau issued 7,456 warrants in the year 2011, of which 5,882 were served. Over half of the warrants served in Alachua County that year were for felony cases.
Protecting Your Rights
It is important to be proactive when it comes to building a solid defense. The earlier you contact a skilled criminal defense attorney, the better your chances are for a positive outcome. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will fight to protect your rights and best interests every step of the way. Call Musca Law today to discuss your case at absolutely no cost.
Alachua County Office
19 Southwest 2nd Street, Suite 201
Gainesville, Florida 32601
Latest Alachua County Crime News
Our law firm strives to keep the public updated on the latest crime-related news in Alachua County. Local media outlets extensively cover most crimes and crime-related news. We stay abreast of not only recent criminal activity, but also the latest high-profile criminal cases in the county, latest verdicts, interesting legal issues facing the criminal justice system and crime trends. Please continue to visit us here for the latest on crime-related news and issues in Alachua County.
Alachua County Criminal Defense Resources
- County of Alachua
- Alachua city guide
- Alachua County information
- Alachua County Sheriff’s Office
- Map of Alachua County
- Alachua Sheriff annual report
For help with criminal charges in Alachua County, contact a Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorney at Musca Law!