Criminal Defense Lawyers in Clay County, Florida
Overview of Florida Criminal Laws, Offenses, Defenses, Penalties, and Defense Attorneys
In 2019, approximately 16 people were arrested each day in Clay County, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which is a relatively low crime rate. Although Clay County is not the most populous county in Florida, the population of more than 215,000 people is still considered large. Regardless of the low crime rate in Clay County, prosecutors are still extremely aggressive when pressing criminal charges and seeking convictions in the courtroom. When faced with criminal charges in Clay County, you need to have a superior Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer on your side from the beginning. With the assistance of a truly qualified trial lawyer, you are in a good position to fight your criminal charges and reach the best outcome possible given the facts of your situation.
Musca Law is a well-known criminal defense law firm that provides legal representation to clients charged with crimes throughout the state of Florida. With offices across the state, Musca Law can reach clients from anywhere within the state. The Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law have a reputation for success in achieving positive outcomes for clients. When choosing the right lawyer for your legal matter, experience, dedication, reputation, and positive results are all qualities to look for. If you would like to discuss a criminal matter with one of our Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers, contact Musca Law today by calling (888) 484-5057. Our legal team is ready to help you 24/7.
The Spectrum of Criminal Charges in Clay County, Florida
Florida laws identify numerous categories of conduct that are considered illegal with penalties of substantial jail time, fines, the loss of constitutional rights, and a long life of additional challenges. No matter how serious a criminal charge may seem to be, an accused person needs and deserves to have an advocate standing by to fight the prosecution in Clay County. Under Florida law, crimes are categorized as misdemeanors and felonies, and both categories of crimes have numerous degrees. The lower the degree, the more serious the crime, as demonstrated in the table below:
CLASSIFICATION OF CRIME
MAXIMUM MONETARY FINES
Consequence Aside from Jail Times and Fines in Clay County, Florida – What You Should Know
Avoiding jail time in any criminal case is a great result when a criminal matter cannot be dismissed. However, there are numerous consequences associated with criminal convictions that have nothing to do with spending time in jail or facing court-mandated fees in the hundreds or thousands. The best outcome for any criminal matter is dismissal on legal grounds. If dismissal cannot be achieved, a Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer can seek to negotiate an outcome that is fair given the undisputed evidence associated with a criminal case. Examples of consequences that any convicted person can face – regardless of whether the person had to spend time in jail or face fines, include, but are certainly not limited to, the following:
- Probation, which can last for a very long time, such as more than one year, depending on the crime;
- Loss of constitutional rights, such as the right to vote and/or own or possess a firearm;
- Mandatory counseling for mental health issues, anger management, and/or substance abuse;
- Mandatory attendance at educational programs;
- Mandatory drug and alcohol testing, much of which may be random;
- Tarnished reputation that results from having a criminal record; and
- Trouble keeping or getting a job, applying for credit, attending college, or even renting a home.
Many individuals facing criminal charges in Clay County who proceeding without the assistance of a highly-qualified Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer are spending time in jail when jail time and other consequences may have been avoidable with the right lawyer. As such, if you are facing ANY criminal charge in Clay County, you have limited time to find a lawyer who can help you reach a fair result.
At Musca Law, Our Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers Handle All Criminal Matters
The Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law handle a wide range of criminal matters for clients, ranging from a minor misdemeanor to a felony that carries a penalty of decades in jail or even life. At Musca Law, we can help clients charged with any crime, which fall under the following categories:
- Drug Crimes;
- Domestic Violence Crimes;
- Sex Crimes;
- DUI Crimes;
- Theft Crimes;
- Violent Crimes;
- Internet Crimes;
- White-Collar Crimes;
- Juvenile Crimes; and
- Protective Injunctions/Restraining Orders.
If you are facing criminal charges in Clay County and are unsure what category your criminal matter falls under, contact Musca Law and our lawyers can provide you with a thorough evaluation of your situation and the penalties associated with the criminal charges against you.
Musca Law – Criminal Law Areas of Practice
Drug Crimes in Clay County, Florida (F.S. § 893.13)
Common drug crimes charged in Clay County, Florida involve personal use of controlled substances, but some drug crimes are severe felonies, and in some cases, drug crimes may be charged at the federal level. At Musca Law, we represent clients who face drug crimes that include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Possession of a small quantity of drugs for personal use (such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, acid/LCD, peyote, PCP, and unprescribed opioids, such as fentanyl, among others);
- Possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Possession of a larger quantity of drugs with the intent to sell/distribute;
- Drug trafficking; and
- Conspiracy to commit drug crimes.
Drug crimes that involve personal use may seem relatively minor, but possession of some drugs, like cocaine, even in a small quantity, is considered a third-degree misdemeanor. As such, no drug charge should be taken lightly, even those involving marijuana. While marijuana is legal for medicinal use under Florida law, possession of marijuana for recreational use is still illegal. Until the laws change, prosecutors will continue to press charges for possession of marijuana when the accused person does not have a valid authorization to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Domestic Violence Crimes in Clay County, Florida (F.S. § 741.28)
In Clay County, Florida, domestic violence crimes are commonly charged, and many domestic crimes are considered felonies under Florida law. Domestic violence is defined under Florida law as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
Family or household members, for purposes of Florida’s domestic violence statute, are considered:
- former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.”
Facing domestic violence charges in Clay County not only have severe potential criminal consequences, but an accused person may also be facing an injunction/restraining order. Moreover, facing domestic violence charges may mean an accused person cannot have contact with a child or other family member, even if the charges at issue are not based on valid evidence. Given that domestic violence crimes can lead to decades in jail, only a seasoned Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer should be representing a client regarding a domestic violence matter in the courtroom. Inexperience is dangerous to a defendant’s legal rights.
Sex Crimes in Clay County, Florida
Sex crimes are categorized as some of Florida’s more severe crimes and the stigma associated with sex crimes is especially harsh, even if a person is only facing accusations without proof. All allegations of sex crimes must be taken seriously, but defendants deserve to be heard with the legal representation of a strong advocate. At Musca Law, we represent clients charged with a variety of sex crimes that include, among others, the following:
- Attempted Rape;
- Statutory Rape;
- Solicitation of Prostitution;
- Human Trafficking;
- Lewd and Lascivious Acts;
- Sex-Related Crimes Involving a Child (such as child pornography crimes);
- Stalking; and
- Failing to register as a sex offender.
The requirement to register as a sex offender can be emotionally painful for a convicted person, especially when the crime at issue does not involve an issue of consent (such as statutory rape). As such, to increase the chances of achieving a better result in the courtroom, anyone facing charges of sex crimes in Clay County, Florida needs to seek the advice of a Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer right away.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Crimes in Clay County, Florida (F.S. § 316.193)
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Clay County, Florida can lead to serious criminal charges even though many DUI matters can be resolved without jail time. Depending on the severity of the DUI offense, a person could be facing an unclassified misdemeanor or a first-degree felony. Under Florida law, a person may be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs if he or she (1) is in actual physical control of a vehicle at the time of being stopped or pulled over, and one of the following is true:
- The person’s “normal faculties” are impaired by intoxication of alcohol or drugs; or
- The person’s blood-alcohol level of .08 or greater grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; or
- The person’s breath-alcohol level of .08 or greater grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
Many DUI cases are defensible with the right lawyer. At Musca Law, our Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers routinely handle DUI cases and have successfully helped clients avoid jail time and other harsh penalties.
Theft Crimes in Clay County, Florida (F.S. § 812.014)
Theft-related crimes are common throughout the state of Florida, and often involve non-violent crimes. However, some theft-related crimes can be intertwined with violent crimes. At Musca Law, we handle a variety of theft crimes, some of which include the following:
- Burglary (F.S. § 810.02);
- Robbery (F.S. § 812.13);
- Petit theft;
- Grand Theft;
- Identity Theft (F.S. § 817.568);
- Larceny; and
Whether you are facing charges of petit theft or robbery, you need a strong Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer to build the best possible defense for your case.
Violent Crimes in Clay County, Florida
Violent crimes are categorized as extremely severe, like sex crimes. However, because some violent crimes cause the death of another person, the penalties for violent crimes are often the harshest under Florida law. Examples of violent crimes Musca Law takes on include, but may not be limited to, the following:
- Assault and Battery (F.S. § 784.011 and F.S. § 784.03);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. § 784.045);
- Arson (F.S. § 806.01);
- Attempted Murder (F.S. § 782.051);
- Murder (F.S. § 782.04);
- Manslaughter (F.S. § 782.07);
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. § 782.071);
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011); and
- Robbery (F.S. § 812.13).
Many criminal matters involving violent crimes go to trial when the potential consequences are decades in jail. A skilled Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer who regularly handles violent crimes will shape the strongest defense possible by identifying a prosecution’s weaknesses. Therefore, when facing charges of violent crimes, accused individuals must retain a Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer who has significant experience in the courtroom.
Internet Crimes in Clay County, Florida
Internet crimes have become more common in Florida over the past couple of decades. Most internet crimes never involve physical contact, but they can involve financial harm or potential physical harm in the context of internet sex crimes. At Musca Law, we represent clients who have faced internet crimes, some of which include the following:
- Illegal Financial Transactions;
- Credit Card Fraud/Theft;
- Identity Theft;
- Child pornography crimes (possession, sale, and/or distribution, among others);
- Sex Trafficking; and
- Solicitation and/or Enticement of a Child for Sexual Purposes.
Many internet crimes are felonies and carry long-lasting consequences. As such, the successful defense of internet crimes requires the assistance of a Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer.
White-Collar Crimes in Clay County, Florida (F.S. § 775.0844)
White-collar crimes, like many internet crimes, do not involve physical confrontation, although there are always exceptions. Numerous white-collar crimes are felonies that can lead to decades in jail. Examples of white-collar crimes under Florida law include the following:
- Illegal Financial Transactions;
- Credit Card Fraud/Theft;
- Exploitation of Certain Groups of People (such as the elderly and disabled);
- Conspiracy to Commit Fraud; and
- Non-Violent Theft Crimes.
White-collar crimes are specialized in that not every lawyer who handles criminal matters will handle white-collar crimes. At Musca Law, however, we take on all crimes, including white-collar criminal matters.
Juvenile Crimes in Clay County, Florida
Minors under the age of eighteen who are charged with crimes in Clay County, Florida are prosecuted in juvenile court. Except in cases where a juvenile minor may be charged as an adult, juveniles should expect to face consequences intended to rehabilitate rather than punish. Examples of consequences juveniles may face if convicted of a crime include, among others, the following:
- Mandatory Community Service;
- Random Drug and Alcohol Testing;
- Placement in a Group Home/Halfway House; and
- Incarceration in Juvenile Jail for more severe cases.
Even though juvenile criminal records are sealed, a minor charged with any crime must retain a qualified Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer right away. If a minor could be charged as an adult, the outcome could be catastrophic without the help of the right lawyer.
Protective Injunctions/Restraining Orders in Clay County, Florida (F.S. § 784.0485)
One sub-area of criminal law that does not, itself, lead to criminal charges, is the area of protective injunctions, commonly known as restraining orders. Protective injunctions, which are civil court orders, can be sought by any person in Clay County who claims to be at imminent risk of suffering harm. The five types of protective injunctions a person can seek under Florida law include the following:
- Dating Violence Injunctions;
- Domestic Violence Injunctions;
- Repeat Violence Injunctions;
- Sexual Violence Injunctions; and
- Stalking Injunctions.
Although protective injunctions are civil court orders, anyone who is served with an injunction faces criminal charges for violating the injunction. A person facing a temporary protective injunction only has fifteen days to appear in court. As such, anyone who has been served with a protective injunction must retain a Clay County Criminal Defense and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer right away.
Contact the Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today!
Being charged with a crime is a very serious matter, even if the criminal charge is a minor misdemeanor that does not result in jail time. The early stages after being arrested and charged with a crime are critical, and you need a Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyer advocating for your rights every step of the way.
At Musca Law, our Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers work day and night to protect the constitutional rights of their clients. If you want to speak with a lawyer who has proven results in the courtroom, contact Musca Law today by calling (888) 484-5057. The Clay County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law understand that criminal matters can arise at any hour. As such, we are available 24/7 to assist you.