Criminal Defense Lawyers in Escambia County, Florida
Florida Criminal Defense Law Overview
Florida's criminal law is one of the toughest in the country. Not only do police and prosecutors fight hard for convictions, but judges are also ready to handout long, harsh prison sentences — which they do with great regularity. Judges look to wield a heavy hammer every chance they get, and not solely for felony charges but misdemeanor charges as well.
Even an arrest for a relatively minor crime could have significant consequences if the arrest leads to a conviction. Not only is the accused facing jail time, probation, and a large fine after conviction, the collateral consequences of a conviction also compound the disastrous effect an arrest could have on an individual. Collateral consequences for an arrest such as job loss, loss of driver's license, loss of parental rights, and difficulty maintaining or finding employment or housing are just a few of the many potential problems that accompany an arrest in Escambia County, Florida.
There is another consequence of pleading to relatively minor offenses: accumulating a criminal record. Even pleading guilty to one minor offense creates a permanent criminal history. After that, every time the person appears in court, the judge will see that the individual is a recidivist or repeat offender. Judges rarely, if ever, pronounce lesser sentences than the sentence for the preceding charge.
Turning to Escambia County criminal defense attorneys with over 150 years of collective experience safeguarding the rights of all people charged with a crime could help you avoid the harsh effects of Florida's criminal law. When you speak with an Escambia County criminal defense lawyer from Musca Law, you are giving yourself the best chance of winning a not guilty verdict or receiving a lesser sentence for your Escambia County criminal charges.
Musca Law's approach to defending cases separates their firm from others. They defend the rights granted to every person who faces a criminal charge in Escambia County vigorously. Musca Law's Escambia County criminal defense attorneys fight for justice for their clients by holding the government to its burden of proof. Musca Law uses the firm's considerable resources to investigate their clients' sides of the story.
The Escambia County, criminal defense lawyers from Musca Law, are available 24/7 to fight for you. Call them today at 888-484-5057 to learn how their experience, knowledge, and dedication to protecting the rights of the accused could develop a defense strategy designed to give you the best chance to defend your Escambia County criminal charges successfully.
Musca Law is a Complete Escambia County Criminal Defense Law Firm
Musca Law's founder chose to open their practice to anyone who is charged with a crime in Escambia County, Florida. Instead of defending DUI or drug cases exclusively, nor does the firm limit itself to practicing in one geographic area. Musca Law accepts the responsibility to defend any crime. Musca Law does not turn down cases because the charge might be unpopular, or the case might be difficult to defend. Additionally, defending cases all across Florida gives Musca Law an advantage over firms that practice locally. By spreading out to all parts of Florida, Musca Law has won the respect of prosecutors and judges statewide as accomplished advocates with a high level of skill and professionalism.
Musca Law's Escambia County criminal defense lawyers understand everyone charged with a crime deserves the best defense possible. While no one could guarantee success, the Escambia County criminal defense lawyers with Musca Law assure their clients that they will receive their undivided attention and devotion to protecting their clients' rights. Musca Law's Escambia County criminal defense attorneys understand the damage and disruption a criminal charge could cause in a person's life. As a result, the firm's lawyers battle each and every day to make sure their clients are protected, and no one is unjustly convicted.
By calling 888-484-5057, you could learn more about our individualized approach to defending criminal cases in Escambia County and why you should put your freedom in their hands.
Criminal Offenses in Escambia County, Florida
Criminal charges in Escambia County defined by their seriousness, along with other relevant factors. The relevant statutes that create the crime indicate the general severity level, such as a first-degree misdemeanor, or establishes penalties particular to the crime like Florida's DUI statute. Some statutes establish minimum-mandatory prison sentences as well. Generally, the maximum sentences, along with the maximum fines for most offenses, are outlined in Chapter 775 of the Florida Statutes, as detailed in the table below:
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 handing down sentences in Escambia County must impose a sentence on a convicted offender as determined by Florida's sentencing scoresheet. Judges review the offender's sentencing scoresheet to arrive at the appropriate length of sentence. The scoresheet was designed to provide uniformity to sentencing across Florida and purports to treat each person identically based on the offender's score. That way, an offender with one score in Escambia County receives the same treatment as a person with the same score in Hillsborough County. Judges have some discretion to give a lesser sentence than the scoresheet dictates based on individual differences. The trial judge could hand down a sentence that is longer than dictated by the scoresheet if aggravating factors are present.
Crimes Frequently Charged in Escambia County
Defense of Controlled Substance Offenses in Escambia County
America's so-called "War on Drugs" is ongoing. Drug enforcement officers from local, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies are constantly investigating drug crimes in Escambia County. The model of drug enforcement remains punishment over rehabilitation. As a result, law enforcement agents arrest and charge people who possess drugs for personal use with felony offenses merely because of the weight of the drug and nothing more. Additionally, low-level drug users often sell drugs to support their habit. By helping them wean their way off of drugs instead of sending them to jail or prison, the drug-addicted person will not need to sell drugs to help support their drug habit.
Florida's narcotics prohibition statute is §893.13 of the Florida Statutes. As such, chapter 893 spells out the long list of drugs that people cannot possess. Additionally, §893.13 differentiates between simple possession, possession with intent to sell, and drug trafficking. The statute also sets forth the minimum-mandatory incarcerated sentences required to be served for a conviction of a particular drug offense.
Musca Law's Escambia County criminal defense lawyers have represented clients charged with drug-related crimes such as:
- Simple possession of drugs (rather than distribution or trafficking) like heroin, crystal meth, fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, morphine, and prescription medications, along with synthetic drugs;
- Possession of drugs or narcotics with the sole intent to distribute or sell;
- Trafficking in narcotics;
- Conspiracy to violate Florida's drug laws; and
- Possession of paraphernalia designed to facilitate the distribution or consumption of drugs.
Musca Law's Escambia County drug crime defense lawyers will forcefully advocate for their clients to enter into substance rehabilitation programs instead of jail or prison. First-time offenders or offenders with a minimal record have a better chance to avoid jail. However, we fight to get all of our clients into alternative programs like:
- Drug Court,
- Inpatient or outpatient drug counseling,
- Dual-diagnosis referrals, and
- Probation instead of incarceration with conditions that the client remain drug-free and submit to screening tests to ensure abstinence.
Domestic Violence Charges in Escambia County
The phrase "domestic violence" has a specific definition in Florida. According to Florida Statutes §741.28, domestic violence refers to all of the following charges: battery, assault, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, kidnapping, false imprisonment, stalking, aggravated stalking, sexual assault, and sexual battery if the crime occurs between two people involved in a domestic relationship. Additionally, any crime of violence that could cause serious physical injury or death among people who are in a domestic relationship.
A domestic relationship under Florida law is one in which the alleged abuser and the alleged victim or victims are related by blood, by law, hold themselves out as a family, or are household members. Household member encompasses relationships such as people who are married, divorced, separated, live together as a family, or once lived together as a family. Additionally, the parents of a child meet the definition of family or household member even if the couple never lived together.
Domestic violence offenders could suffer long prison sentences, minimum-mandatory sentences, and tough terms of probation. Probationary terms could include batterer's counseling, stay away, and no-contact orders, and other terms of probation, which should protect the victim and help rehabilitate the offender. Additionally, the court can order the offender to surrender firearms, rifles, shotguns, and all ammunition as well.
Sex Offenses in Escambia County
Sex offenses are difficult cases to defend because the public generally recoils when learning about these charges. It is vital to remember that everyone charged with a crime, no matter how serious or repulsive the allegations are, is entitled to defend against the allegations. Sadly, allegations of sexual abuse are often made up or exaggerated by an alleged victim. Having a defense lawyer who could expose those lies and exaggerations through aggressive defense tactics will make the difference in a case where so much is on the line.
Musca Law has defended numerous sexual offense charges for clients in Escambia County, including:
- Perpetrating lewd and lascivious acts;
- Refusing to enter the sex offender registry;
- Human Trafficking;
- Sexual battery;
- Sexual assault;
- Solicitation of prostitution;
- Sexually-motivated crimes against children, including possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography; and
Musca Law will fight for you every step of the way if you face a sexual offense in Escambia County. Not only does the person charged face a long prison sentence, but they could face registering as a sex offender and even incarceration as a sexual predator. Enlisting Musca Law as soon as you learn about allegations of sexual offenses pending against you will help develop the strongest and most persuasive case possible.
DUI Charges in Escambia County
Driving under the influence or DUI is a serious charge in Escambia County. Law enforcement officers are constantly watching for people they believe are intoxicated while driving. The police will use all of their considerable resources to capture as many drunk drivers as possible. Not all of their tactics are constitutionally acceptable. By having an Escambia County DUI lawyer from Musca Law review your DUI case, you can expect that they will home in on the officer's mistakes and hold them accountable.
Common DUI charges in Escambia County include:
- Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or above,
- Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or above,
- Driving under the influence,
- DUI causing serious bodily injury,
- Driving a commercial vehicle under the influence,
- DUI as a subsequent offender,
- DUI causing property damage or personal injury.
- Driving under the influence with a child younger than eighteen in the vehicle, and
- DUI manslaughter.
Florida Statutes §316.193 sets forth the punishments for DUI convictions. Even a first conviction for a DUI charge could land the offender in jail for six months, with probation, and mandatory DUI classes along with driver's license revocation and mandatory community service. DUI felony charges could be brought for someone charged with two previous convictions, DUI manslaughter, and DUI, causing serious bodily injury. Boating under the influence charges carries many of the same penalties as DUI.
Theft Crimes in Escambia County
Theft, according to Florida Statutes §812.014, is the taking of property belonging to another person willfully and knowingly while having the intent to deprive the owner of the property of the permanent benefit of it. Prison sentences or jail sentences will depend upon the amount of money or value of the goods stolen as well as the impact the crime had on the victim. The judge could order the offender to pay restitution as well as serve jail time.
Theft offenses in Escambia County include:
- Robbery (See, F.S. §812.13);
- Petit Theft;
- Grand Theft;
- Burglary (See, F.S. §810.02);
- Embezzlement; and
- Identity Theft (See, F.S. §817.568).
Violent Criminal Offenses in Escambia County
Musca Law has extensive experience defending clients charged with violent crimes. Violent crimes and sex offenses often carry the longest prison sentences handed down by sentencing judges. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors fight hard to convict offenders of violent offenses, including:
- Murder (F.S. §782.04);
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07);
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071);
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13);
- Attempted Murder (F.S. §782.051);
- Rape or Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045);
- Arson (F.S. §806.01); and
- Assault and Battery (F.S. §784.011 and F.S. §784.03).
White Collar Crimes and Cyber Crimes in Escambia County
White-collar crimes typically refer to crimes involving theft, embezzlement, and insider stock trading, bribery, among others, such as gambling and racketeering. White-collar crimes simply refer to non-violent means of stealing money or obtaining a privilege unlawfully. The federal authorities prosecute many white-collar crimes. However, financial crimes committed against the elderly or infirm may be prosecuted by the attorney general or the county state attorney.
Cyber crimes encompass a wide span of criminal activity. Cyber crimes include theft, embezzlement, fraud, possession, and distribution of child pornography, sex trafficking, identity theft, and credit card fraud. Law enforcement must rely on experts to track down the alleged offenders. Therefore, having a defense lawyer who is knowledgeable and has the resources to contest the state's evidence is vital to a successful defense against cyber crime charges.
Juvenile Justice Court Offenses
The juvenile justice system in Florida is under heavy scrutiny. Research has shown recently that young adults and teenagers, especially males, might not appreciate the criminality of their acts because their brains have not matured. Therefore, advocating for rehabilitation rather than incarceration is the goal of juvenile justice. Occasionally, a juvenile might be charged as an adult because of the seriousness of the crime alleged. Even in those circumstances, the juvenile offender has the right to the presumption of innocence and, if guilty, receives a sentence reflecting the individual's needs rather than being tossed in a cell without the benefit of rehabilitation.
Protective Injunctions in Escambia County
The alleged victims of violent crimes or crimes that threaten violence like stalking have the right to apply for an injunction to prevent future violence. Florida Statutes §784.0485 allows a judge to issue an injunction against a person to prevent harm to the alleged victim under the circumstances alleging:
- Domestic Violence;
- Sexual Violence;
- Dating Violence; and
- Repeat Violence.
There are severe repercussions for not obeying an injunction. The court could hold the person in contempt, or the prosecution could take out charges for violating the order. Additionally, the judge could draft the injunction to include orders such as staying away and having no contact with certain people, including family members and children, staying away from particular locations, wearing a GPS device, and surrendering firearm, and ammunition. The best course, in most circumstances, is to defend a petition for injunction and live without the court's restrictions.
Musca Law is Dedicated to Protecting the Accused
Contact Musca Law's Pensacola defense lawyers today at 888-484-5057 to discuss your Escambia County criminal charges. Justice, for you, is only a phone call away.