Criminal Defense Lawyers in Flagler County, Florida
How to Beat a Florida Criminal Charge
Prosecutors in Flagler County aggressively pursue criminal charges against suspects. The state views the prosecution of crimes as their way of keeping the public safe from harm. Even if you are facing seemingly minor charges, the consequences can have severe impacts on your life. Specifically, to act as if the charges will just go away or that the sentence will be minor is a major mistake.
When the state is pursuing criminal charges against a person, they have plenty of resources to use to investigate and develop a case. It is vital that you are able to develop a strategy to defend against the charges. While defendants in Florida have the right to represent themselves, the court system is complicated and not easily navigated. By choosing to represent yourself, you could put your future in jeopardy. Hiring a Flagler County, Florida criminal defense attorney will help you build a defense strategy.
Even when charged with a misdemeanor, the penalties can still include jail time and expensive fines. Other potential consequences of even minor offenses include the loss of a professional license, the loss of a driver's license, and a criminal record. Having the documented criminal history can lead to long term impacts on your personal and professional life.
In the event that you are facing serious felony charges, the sentencing can include years in prison and possibly even decades behind bars. While it can be frightening to face such serious charges, it is important to understand that you do not have to handle your defense on your own. It is also crucial to realize that even in the event of serious allegations, there are likely defenses that can be used to reduce the charges against you, or even to get those charges entirely dismissed.
If you were charged with any crime in Flagler County, Florida, you need to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the court system, judges, and prosecutors in your jurisdiction.
Call Musca Law today to learn how our experienced team of Flagler County, Florida criminal defense attorneys can work with you to defend against the charges you are facing.
Crime Categories in Flagler County, Florida
The Florida legislature developed a code to categorize various crimes in the state. First, there are broad categories of misdemeanors on felonies. Next, those offenses are broken into different degrees. The different categories come with sentencing guidelines that range from 60 days to life imprisonment and even the death penalty. Of course, not every criminal offense will result in any jail time at all. However, other crimes have minimal mandatory sentencing that a judge must impose in the event of a conviction. The consequences that a suspect can anticipate facing can range a great deal and will depend on whether there are mitigating or aggregating aggravating factors related to the charges. Below is a basic summary of the categories and penalties associated with Flagler County, Florida criminal offenses:
Maximum Incarceration Periods
Maximum Monetary Penalties
Jail Term of 60 Days
Jail Term of One Year
Prison Sentence of Five Years
Prison Sentence of 15 Years
Prison Sentence of 30 Years
Life in Prison without Parole
Florida has what is termed a Sentencing Scoresheet. This document provides guidelines the judges must follow when imposing a sentence. As mentioned, in some situations, a judge will be bound to sentence a convict to a minimum term in prison. Other times, the sentencing Scoresheet will provide guidelines, but the judge will have some discretion in determining the sentence. The idea of the Scoresheet is to ensure some continuity between different counties in Florida. If a defendant is facing charges in Flagler County, Florida, the Scoresheet should ensure that that defendant will face similar consequences as will a defendant in another County who is facing the same charges. Judges do have some leeway, which works to make the system fair as well, because each case will have nuances depending on the independent facts. As a result, judges have some discretion, but defendants are not left to the whims of biases that individual judges hold.
The fact that judges do have some discretion means that an experienced attorney may be able to sway that judge and afford you lesser consequences or a more favorable outcome. In many cases, your attorney will also work to negotiate with the Flagler County prosecutors to have the charges filed against you reduced. A reduction in charges will mean that you will face lesser penalties based on the Scoresheet.
If you have questions about your options for defending against the charges that were filed against you, contact a Flagler County, Florida, criminal defense attorney.
Common Criminal Charges Files in Flagler County, Florida
Drugs and Controlled Substances in Flagler County, Florida
Prosecutors in Flagler County take drug-related crimes very seriously. In fact, across the state of Florida, controlled substance-related crimes will lead to aggressive prosecution. Even minimal offenses can come with severe sentencing terms.
Many defendants facing drug-related charges are addicted to controlled substances and are struggling because of drug-related diseases. These defendants often sell small amounts of drugs in order to support their own habits. Prosecutors will still seek to have those defendants serve terms in prison. However, at Musca Law, we know that our clients would do better if they received treatment for their addiction. Imprisoning these individuals fails to prevent them from continuing to suffer from drug addiction and the related legal consequences. We will work to get our clients into treatment programs and to try to avoid sending individuals in need of help into the prison system.
In Flagler County, Florida Statutes Chapter 893 codifies drug-related offenses. The statute provides a mandatory minimum sentence for some of these crimes.
Musca Law's experienced team of criminal defense attorneys try to arrange alternative sentences is for our clients. The following list includes some possible alternatives to prison:
- Drug counseling (this could be either in-patient or out-patient, depending on the facts of your case)
- Placement in a dual diagnosis program
- Drug court
- Detoxification and addiction treatment
Contact your attorney to learn if you might be eligible for a sentence that is focused and treatment and rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
Musca Law's team of criminal defense attorneys regularly work with clients facing the following serious drug-related charges:
- Drug trafficking
- Distribution and possession of drugs
- Possession of cocaine, heroin, meth, opioids, stimulants, and fentanyl, and other controlled substances
- Possession with intent to sell, distribute, or gift
Domestic Violence Charges in Flagler County, Florida
When an alleged victim accuses another person of domestic violence, the police in Flagler County, Florida, will have no choice but to place the accused individual under arrest. This obligation is in place to protect Floridians from physical violence. Individuals facing charges for domestic violence in Flagler County, Florida, will find that prosecutors take such allegations very seriously. Unfortunately, many people are wrongly or falsely accused of domestic violence. During highly contested custody battles and divorce cases, people frequently accuse their adversary of domestic violence as a way to gain leverage in their domestic relations case. In such situations, the charges are exaggerated if not fully fabricated.
Not every type of violence Is considered domestic. Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes defines domestic violence-related crimes. In order to qualify as domestic violence, the relationship between the parties must include the sharing of a residence, the past sharing of a residence, sharing one or more children in common, or the parties must be parent and child or siblings. If the relationship does not qualify as domestic, the charges will be governed by a different area of law.
In Florida, domestic-related offenses often have mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. Probation terms related to these crimes are also burdensome and can have severe impacts on the defendant's life. If convicted of a domestic violence-related crime, the defendant will also likely lose his or her right to bear arms.
Sex-Related Offenses in Flagler County, Florida
Defending against sex-related offenses in Flagler County, Florida, is complicated. It is important for the accused to remember that you must be considered innocent until such time as you are proven guilty in a court of law.
Musca Law's experienced criminal defense attorneys defend against the following sex-related offenses:
- Lewd or lascivious acts
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Human trafficking
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Possession of child pornography
- Violations of sex offender registration
Defending against these allegations takes time, hard work, and plenty of resources. Even if you are facing false allegations, you must defend against those charges aggressively. If you are convicted of a sex-related offense, the consequences are long-lasting. In addition to a prison sentence and expensive fines, you will have to list yourself as a sex offender on the state's registry. The impacts, therefore, extend far beyond the actual sentence an include negative effects on your personal and professional life and your relationships with family and friends.
Defending Against a DUI in Flagler County, Florida
Most DUI charges are categorized as misdemeanors. Still, the consequences of even lesser DUI related offenses are serious. Jail time, hefty fines, and the loss of a driver's license are just a few of the possible outcomes of even a first-time DUI offense. In the case of more serious DUI-related crimes, the defendant may face lengthy prison terms amounting to even decades of incarceration. Other consequences will follow even after the defendant is released. For instance, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car, have your vehicle impounded, and must perform mandatory community service.
At Musca Law, we defend against the following DUI related charges:
- Commercial vehicle DUI
- Property damage DUI
- Aggravated DUI
- DUI manslaughter
- Serious bodily injury DUI
- Hit-and-run DUI/failure to render aid DUI
Theft Crimes in Flagler County, Florida
Theft related criminal offenses include a variety of specific charges. All these crimes have the common goal of taking another person's property with the intent to deprive that individual of his or her property. The crimes are defined in Florida Statutes §812.014. Musca defends against the following theft-related criminal charges:
- Petit theft
- Grand theft
- Identify theft (See, F.S.§817.568)
- Burglary (See, F.S.§810.02)
- Robbery (See, F.S. §812.13)
Violent Crimes in Flagler County, Florida
Violent crimes are some of the most serious charges that a person may face in Flagler County, Florida. At Musca Law, we have experience defending against the most severe criminal allegations, including the following:
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07)
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045)
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13)
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071)
- Attempted Murder (F.S. §782.051)
- Murder (F.S. §782.04)
- Arson (F.S. §806.01)
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011)
- Assault and Battery (F.S. §784.011, See also F.S. §784.03)
For those facing allegations of violent criminal activity, hiring an attorney is imperative. Your future depends heavily on the steps you take to protect yourself. The defense is available to you will depend on the facts specific to your case. Common defenses for violent criminal allegations include the defense of another person's self-defense and third-party culprit. Other possible defenses may apply in your case. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced Flagler County criminal defense attorney to defend against these charges. The consequences of convictions for the above crimes can include lengthy prison sentences and, in severe cases, life sentences or the death penalty.
White-Collar and Cybercrimes in Flagler County, Florida
White-collar crimes differ from violent crimes in that they often involve the accused exerting influence over another person rather than physical force. Cybercrimes are also considered white-collar crimes but are those for which the defendant users the Internet to carry out.
White-collar crimes include embezzlement, perjury, identity theft, and racketeering. Cybercrimes can involve the sale of illegal substances, the organization of prostitution rings, the sale or dealing of child pornography, and the solicitation of children for sexual purposes, all over the Internet.
Defending against white-collar crimes requires an attorney with a sophisticated understanding of the technical aspects are the allegations.
Juvenile Cases in Flagler County, Florida
The juvenile justice system has changed a great deal in recent years because researchers are provided a better understanding of how the human brain develops. Humans will not reach their maturity until they are in their mid-20s. Efforts to reflect this in the sentencing of juvenile defendants include a focus on treatment programs and rehabilitation rather than incarceration. In most cases, juvenile offenders who are sent to detention centers end up committing crimes again when they reach adulthood. Juvenile offenders will benefit from an experienced Flagler County criminal defense attorney who understands how important it is to advocate to keep that young defendant out of the detention center.
Protective Injunctions in Flagler County, Florida
Protective injunctions, which are also referred to as restraining orders, are not handled in the Criminal Court. Injunctions are a civil matter, but they are often related to criminal allegations.
In Flagler County, Florida, a person may request that the court enter a protective injunction to protect him or her from alleged abuse and violence at the hands of another person. The person who files the injunction is referred to as the petitioner. The petitioner must file a sworn document referred to as the petition with the court requesting that the judge enter a protective order. If the petitioner lies on such a document, he or she will face potential charges for perjury. Judges will often place a temporary injunction on the record before the accused is notified of the proceedings. At that point in time, the judge will also set a date for a hearing. The Sheriff will then serve the accused, who is referred to as the respondent, with the documents related to the petition. It is vital that anyone who is facing a protective injunction contact an attorney right away. The hearing will be scheduled for fifteen days following the date on which the petition was filed. Your attorney will need time to develop a defense against the charges.
The consequences of having an injunction entered against you might not include criminal sentencing, but they can still have devastating impacts on your life. The terms of the petition can be burdensome, and violations of those terms are considered criminal offenses. Furthermore, if you attend the hearing without an attorney, what happens in that hearing can later be used against you in criminal proceedings. For instance, if you choose to testify, you could damage your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in any related criminal charges. Any decision to testify at such a hearing should be made only for strategic purposes and after a discussion with your legal representative.
Call Musca Law 24/7 to Speak to an Experienced Attorney
At Musca Law, our attorneys have experience fighting aggressively to defend individuals accused of crimes in Flagler County, Florida. Call our office anytime 24/7 at (888) 484-5057 to consult with one of our dedicated criminal defense attorneys.