Criminal Defense Lawyers in Citrus County, Florida
How to Beat a Criminal Charge in Citrus County, Florida
Whenever a person is arrested or subjected to criminal process in Citrus County, Florida, that individual’s life could be turned upside down. The consequences, both direct and indirect that naturally flow from a conviction for any criminal offense in Citrus County, Florida, has the potential to ruin someone’s life. As a result, stress is likely to rise, relationships could be strained, jobs could be lost, educational opportunities could be lost, and suitable living arrangements might be difficult to find. With all of those stressors pressing down on the person accused of a crime, it is exceedingly important to consult an aggressive Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyer who will stand up and fight for the person charged with a crime.
First-time offenders in Citrus County are not given an automatic break because they have had a clean record. Depending on allegations, anyone who is convicted of a crime in Citrus County, Florida, could potentially go to jail or prison, be saddled with large fines, and have to serve a long probationary sentence as well. Additionally, a guilty plea or a verdict of guilt after trial might have an adverse effect on the immigration status of the offender. Concerning the severity of the charge, the individual might face exclusion from the United States, denial of naturalization, or lead to deportation.
The person facing criminal charges in Citrus County, Florida, is protected by inalienable rights bestowed by the Constitution of the United States and the Florida State Constitution. Together, these two documents provide a blanket of protection from the long and powerful arm of the government that has the authority to take away freedoms every individual living in the United States enjoys.
Turning over the defense of criminal charges in Citrus County, Florida, to the public defender’s office, which is highly overworked, or an unqualified attorney is taking an unnecessary risk with that person’s future. Without exception, a person facing imprisonment has the right to choose a Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyer who will work extremely hard to protect the rights of the accused and devise a strategy to avoid prosecution entirely or achieve the best result possible.
Selecting the right Citrus County Criminal Defense Attorney is critical to protecting the future. Without the best Citrus County, Florida, Criminal Defense Lawyer engaged in the case, there stands a chance that the accused will not understand what is at stake with his or her charges. Even misdemeanor charges such as petit theft or driving under the influence could have massive implications on a person’s life after a conviction. Being convicted of felony charges could be disastrous. Therefore, the safest course of action is to take every precaution and select representation from Musca Law for Citrus County criminal charges.
The Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyers with Musca Law are available 24/7 to protect the rights of the accused. Call them now at 888-484-5057 to put them to work for you. Musca Law’s Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyers have extensive experience defending a wide variety of criminal offenses in Citrus County and all across Florida. Consequently, Musca Law’s Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys have developed relationships and a presence in each court in Florida. Their reputation as vigorous advocates for justice precedes them wherever they go, especially in Citrus County, Florida.
Overview of the Florida Penal System
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and the state attorney for the Fifth Judicial District of Florida work cooperatively to bring criminal charges for offenses in Citrus County. The charges sought after an arrest must be based on probable cause. Probable cause is a very low threshold of proof, and meeting that burden of proof requires less evidence than required for a conviction after a criminal trial, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. As a result, police, and prosecutors can bring a litany of charges with barely any evidence.
In Florida, the maximum sentence for each category of a crime depends on the degree of the offense. Florida law divides misdemeanors into the first and second degrees. In comparison, felonies in Florida are ranked third, second, first, life, and capital. Each degree of crime has a maximum period of incarceration, as well as a maximum fine. Some charges, such as DUI, do not fall into degrees unless the charge is a felony. It must be noted that some offenses carry minimum-mandatory offenses, drug trafficking offenses and some domestic violence offenses have minimum-mandatory periods of incarceration associated with a conviction for that offense.
With the exceptions described above, a criminal offense in Florida may be categorized according to the following table:
Category of Offense
Maximum Period of Incarceration
Maximum Allowable Fine
Sixty-Days in County Jail
One-Year in County Jail
Five-Year Prison Sentence
Fifteen-Year Prison Sentence
Thirty-Year Prison Sentence
Incarceration for Life without Parole
Judges have the authority to pronounce a sentence up to the maximum penalty allowed by Florida law. However, Florida judges are guided by the Florida sentencing scoresheet. Florida’s sentencing scoresheet helps judges assess the appropriate sentence after a conviction. Judges can levy a harsher sentence than called for by the sentencing scoresheet. Also, judges have the authority to issue a lesser sentence than indicated by the sentencing scoresheet. The judge should announce the reasons for departure, either upwards or downwards.
Citrus County Criminal Defense Attorneys with significant and meaningful experience understand how to advocate for their clients at sentencing. Sentencing is a critical juncture of a criminal case and requires diligent preparation along with artful persuasion to convince a judge that justice is served by imposing a lighter sentence than indicated by Florida’s sentencing scoresheet.
Criminal Charges Frequently Brought in Citrus County, Florida
Drug Charges in Citrus County, Florida
Everywhere in Florida, law enforcement officers continue to pursue drug offenders to save people from drug addiction. Law enforcement efforts have failed to stop the flow of drugs into the state, despite the exhaustive efforts of the federal, state, and local authorities. In contrast, some law enforcement investigations net the seizure of a large amount of narcotics, firearms, money, and other contraband, the vast majority of investigations yield small-time drug dealers, usually people who are dealing drugs to help them buy drugs to support their drug habit or are drug purchasers.
Chapter 893 of the Florida Statutes is Florida’s drug law. The chapter contains the state’s drug schedule, which is a classification of substances based on the relative danger of the drug, the likelihood that someone would become addicted, and whether the substance has any indicated medical uses. Additionally, chapter 893 criminalizes certain behaviors related to drug possession, distribution, and trafficking, such as:
- Possession of narcotics, examples of which are cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, morphine, marijuana, prescription pills, crystal methamphetamine, and synthetic drugs;
- Possessing narcotics with the specific intent to sell, deliver, or gift;
- Trafficking in various narcotics such as morphine, fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other drugs,
- Conspiracies related to drug offenses, and
- Possession of paraphernalia designed to ingest narcotics.
Musca Law’s Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyers understand the struggle people have with narcotics addictions. They work exceedingly hard to convince Citrus County judges to give their clients alternative dispositions so their clients could obtain the help they need in drug court and probation instead of prison.
Florida’s drug laws are unyielding. People who live in other states are often dismayed and shocked to learn that possession of a small quantity of drugs, four grams in some cases, allows the police to seek drug trafficking charges that carry minimum-mandatory sentences, even if the offender has no record.
Additionally, Musca Law’s Citrus County Criminal Defense Attorneys are well-versed in constitutional law. They know how to win motions to suppress evidence after police violated their clients’ rights to be free from unlawful searches and seizures. Drug cases, like trafficking cases, can often be won by convincing a judge that the police violated, either willfully or negligently, the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, resulting in suppressing all contraband.
Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges are extremely common in Citrus County, Florida. An incident is defined as domestic violence when a violent act erupts between two people who are either related by blood or marriage (in-laws) or reside in the same household and holds themselves out as family members. Common offenses that qualify as domestic violence cases under Florida Statutes §741.28 include numerous violent crimes like assault, battery, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, kidnapping, stalking, aggravated stalking, sexual battery, or sexual assault. Numerous charges in Florida’s penal statutes encompass domestic crimes in addition to those listed because the crime could result in physical injury or death if perpetrated by one family or household member against another.
The definition in Florida of family or household member under §741.28 includes spouses, former spouses, anyone related by blood or as in-laws by marriage, people who live together in the same family unit as a family even though not related, and both who parented a child even if the parents never cohabitated.
Convictions for crimes of domestic violence in Florida carry significant consequences. Convictions for domestic violence acts would carry minimum-mandatory sentences if physical harm occurred and long probation terms with numerous special requirements of probation. Additionally, a person convicted of a domestic violence crime could lose their right to possess a firearm and ammunition.
Citrus County Sex Offenses
Sex offenses are attention-getters. Unfortunately, the general public assumes that a person charged with a sex offense is automatically guilty. Nothing is further from the truth. False allegations of sexual misconduct are used by some people to seek revenge or obtain a legal advantage over another. Therefore, aligning with a seasoned Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyer immediately could make the difference between spending decades in prison or dismissal of all charges.
Musca Law’s Citrus County Criminal Defense Attorneys have represented clients facing investigations or charges alleging;
- Human Trafficking;
- Sexual battery;
- Refusing to enter the sex offender registry;
- Sexual assault;
- Perpetrating lewd and lascivious acts.
- Sexually-motivated crimes against children, including possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography;
- Prostitution; and
- Solicitation of prostitution.
Convictions for sexual offenses in Florida will ruin a person’s life. Not only could they face a long prison term, but the individual will be required to register as a convicted sex offender, and the government could pursue imprisonment as a sexual predator. Musca Law’s Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyers work closely with their clients to investigate the allegations thoroughly and pursue all avenues of defense.
Citrus County DUI Offenses
DUI is a crime that knows no socio-economic boundaries, and people from all walks of life could get charged with DUI despite having a clean criminal record. Unlike most other crimes which include an intent element in the crime, DUI charges in Florida do not obligate the government to prove intent when charging a person with DUI, which is one of the various reasons why so many people get stopped for DUI. Common DUI charges in Citrus County, in addition to DUI, include DUI-subsequent offenses, DUI causing property damage or injury, DUI with serious bodily injuries, DUI manslaughter, DUI with a BAL of 0.15 or greater, DUI with a minor in the vehicle, and commercial vehicle DUI.
Florida’s DUI statute, found at §316.193 of the Florida Statutes, penalizes people who either drive while their normal faculties, such as sight, hearing, depth perception, and balance, were impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both, or drive with a blood- or breath-alcohol level of 0.08, which is the per se, or “legal limit” in Florida. A person guilty of a first offense DUI faces up to six months in jail, fines, probation, driver’s education classes, vehicle impound, ignition interlock devices, and loss of driver’s license.
The possible penalties for DUI charges increase as the crimes become more serious. DUI manslaughter, for example, is a second-degree felony with a maximum term of imprisonment not to exceed 15 years. However, the statute includes a four-year minimum-mandatory prison term coupled with lifetime license revocation.
Musca Law’s Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyers have extensive experience litigating DUI cases. They understand how to contest field sobriety tests, breathalyzer tests, unlawful orders to stop, and other defenses that show the jury that the government lacks sufficient evidence to convict. Additionally, Musca Law’s experienced DUI Defense Lawyers could negotiate a plea bargain to a “wet reckless” in the proper circumstances, helping their clients avoid the potentially life-altering consequences of a DUI conviction.
Theft Crimes in Citrus County
Theft crimes encompass a wide range of criminal acts that involve taking another’s property and converting it to one’s personal use or depriving the owner of the property. As with all crimes in Florida, theft crimes range in severity and potential punishments. When deciding upon an appropriate punishment, a sentencing judge will consider the impact the crime had on the victim and could order the offender to pay restitution as a component of the sentence.
Citrus County theft crimes include:
- Grand Theft;
- Burglary (See, F.S. §810.02);
- Robbery, (See, F.S. §812.13);
- Petit Theft;
- Embezzlement; and
- Identity Theft (See, F.S. §817.568).
Citrus County White Collar and Cyber Crimes
Crimes involving theft or fraud could also be classified as white-collar or cyber crimes and general “theft” crimes. White-collar crimes also include embezzlement, gambling, racketeering, welfare fraud, tax evasion, securities fraud, extortion, and other property crimes that involve taking another’s property without the threat of violence. White-collar crimes are typically clandestine offenses committed by individuals with extensive technical knowledge or intimate knowledge of the inner workings of a business enterprise. White-collar crimes are sometimes associated with organized crime, as well.
Cyber criminals use the internet and technology to perpetrate offenses. Cyber crimes are not limited to embezzlement or theft; they could include drug distribution, gun-running, human trafficking, distribution of child pornography, prostitution, and numerous other criminal conduct. A recent law enforcement sting apprehended almost 200 individuals worldwide operating in the “dark web.” Cyber crimes can also involve using social media and technology to stalk, harass, threaten, or intimidate others.
Law enforcement investigators were once at an enormous disadvantage when investigating internet crimes. Now, they have the resources and training to investigate crimes once believed to be undiscoverable.
Violent Crimes in Citrus County
Some of Florida’s heaviest prison sentences are reserved for violent crimes. Therefore, any person charged with a violent offense must retain experienced legal counsel to protect their rights. A knowledgeable Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyer can analyze the facts and develop a defense strategy that encompasses defenses such as third-party culprit, self-defense, defense of another, “stand your ground,” and mutual combat, which gives the jury a complete understanding of the alleged incident and gives the accused a better opportunity to win the case or incur a reduced sentence.
Examples of violent crimes in Citrus County, Florida, include:
- Murder (F.S. §782.04);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045);
- Assault and Battery (F.S. §784.011, See Also F.S. §784.03).
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07);
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071);
- Attempted Murder (F.S. §782.051);
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011);
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13); and
- Arson (F.S. §806.01).
Juvenile Justice in Citrus County, Florida
The juvenile criminal justice system continues to evolve as people understand how the juvenile’s brain develops. Recent discoveries concerning the maturation of adolescent brains have spawned a new approach to juveniles and criminal law. Sending a child to juvenile hall, although a possibility, is not favored by psychologists. Instead, knowledgeable juvenile defense attorneys advocate for alternative sentences that allow a child the chance to grow into his or her developing brain. Locking the child up will serve to stunt their growth and might lead to increased criminality.
In some instances, juveniles are charged with extremely serious crimes for which they could be tried as an adult. Children facing state prison sentences need the best representation their families could obtain to help prevent a child from growing up in state prison if tried as an adult.
Citrus County Protective Injunctions
Florida law authorizes judges to issue injunctions designed to prevent violence. Under Florida Statutes Chapter 784, the judge could issue an injunction against:
- Dating violence,
- Sexual violence,
- Domestic violence,
- Stalking, and
- Repeat Violence.
Injunctions are serious legal matters that are related to criminal offenses. Therefore, anyone facing an injunction for protection must have the services of a seasoned Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyer who, based on extensive experience and a thorough comprehension of Florida law, understands the interplay between injunctions for protection, which are civil matters, and the underlying crimes that must be alleged for the victim to receive the court’s protection. Not only could the person facing an injunction experience severe restrictions like staying away from certain people or places, not contacting certain individuals, not having access to children and other family members, and losing all rights to keep and bear arms, the person could also face criminal charges for violating an injunction. The best course of conduct, therefore, is to vigorously contest the allegations contained in the pleadings seeking an injunction and convince the judge to deny the relief sought.
Justice for People Who Need it Most
Contact Musca Law to speak with a Citrus County Criminal Defense Lawyer today at (888) 484-5057 about your Citrus County criminal charges. Contact Musca Law today to find out what access to justice truly means.