Criminal Defense Lawyers in Indian River County, Florida
How to Beat a Florida Criminal Charge
Facing criminal charges is a frightening experience. Regardless of the crime that the person is accused of, that person should take the matter very seriously. The reality is that the government will also take the crime seriously, and the penalties can be extensive. Government agencies view the prosecution of criminal acts as their way of keeping the public safe.
In Indian River County, a person facing a misdemeanor can find that even a relatively minor offense may result in devastating impacts on his or her life. It is also important to remember that while felonies can result in lengthy prison sentences, a person can end up in jail even for a misdemeanor. Other consequences also follow, including the loss of driving privileges, the loss of a person's second amendment right to bear arms, probation, and impacts on a person's job. Those convicted of crimes will also have a permanent criminal record as a result.
If you are facing criminal charges in Indian River County, contact an attorney today to discuss your legal options. The Indian River County defense attorneys at Musca Law can help you learn your rights and can work to protect those rights and your future. Contact us today at (888) 484- 5057 to speak to an experienced attorney.
Indian River County Criminal Offenses
Criminal offenses in Indian River County will be divided into felonies and misdemeanors, and they are further categorized as different levels of misdemeanors and felonies. Being convicted of a misdemeanor can lead to a sentence of at most one year, along with monetary penalties and other consequences. A person facing felony charges can be sentenced to years behind bars, along with fines and other penalties. In Indian River County, jail time ranges from 60 days to life without parole. In the case of a capital felony, the Indian River County courts can sentence the convict to death.
Judges are not entirely left to their own discretion when it comes to sentencing people for crimes. In Indian River County, the judges must follow the Florida sentencing scoresheet, which provides guidance on sentencing for various crimes. The point of this scoresheet is to ensure a certain degree of fairness. The guidelines ensure that people convicted of similar crimes in different counties across the state will receive similar sentences. Of course, even if two people are charged with battery, they can face different sentences if the circumstances are not entirely similar. For instance, the use of a weapon or a vulnerable victim can mean a harsher sentence than another person may face for another type of battery-related crime.
While there are aggravating factors that can increase the penalties for a person, there are other factors that can influence a judge to use leniency. While the guidelines are important and lead to some consistency, the results of a criminal case can vary, and judges can be swayed one way or another.
At Musca Law, our Indian River County Criminal Defense Attorneys understand how much is riding on your criminal case. A skilled Bay County Criminal Attorney will work with you to develop a strong defense against the charges that you are facing. Our lawyers will review and analyze the facts of your case to find ways to fight or challenge the allegations. In some cases, a reduction in charges or a complete dismissal is possible. It is impossible to predict the outcome, but with a skilled attorney at your side, you will be prepared to navigate the system and to develop a defense strategy that is best suited for your case.
Common Criminal Charges in Indian River County, Florida
Drug Crimes in Indian River County
In Florida, controlled substances lead to many criminal cases. Even those individuals facing charges for possession of small amounts of drugs will often find that the prosecutors are aggressively seeking maximum possible penalties. This is true in Indian River County, even if the drug is marijuana or a stimulant medication such as Adderall. Of course, many people are using drugs and even selling small amounts of controlled substances because they suffer from severe addiction. In many cases, these people would benefit from treatment programs rather than prison time.
At Musca Law, our Indian River County Attorneys will seek to have the court send our clients to treatment programs rather than sentencing them to serve time. Time in a medical facility can help a person struggling with addiction move forward, where prison time rarely yields such benefits.
Controlled substances are defined under Florida Statutes Chapter 893. Drugs are categorized within this statute, and the penalties for possession or sale of those substances are outlined as well. Some drug-related crimes will come with mandatory minimum sentences. What this means is that if the defendant is convicted of those charges, the judge cannot sentence the person to less than the mandatory prison time, even if that judge would like to be more lenient.
At Musca Law, we represent people charged with the following Indian River County drug offenses:
- Possession of controlled substances or paraphernalia;
- Possession with intent to sell.
Our attorneys find that the following alternative sentences may be available in a drug-offense related case:
- Drug detoxification;
- Drug counseling or treatment (this may be inpatient or outpatient care depending on the case);
- Drug court; and
- Dual-diagnosis programs.
Domestic Violence Crimes in Indian River County, Florida
In Indian River County, the prosecutors will aggressively pursue charges related to any domestic-violence allegations. It is important to remember that allegations of domestic violence are not always true and that in many cases, such allegations are misleading, exaggerated, or entirely false.
In family law cases, parties frequently accuse the other person of domestic violence as a way to gain the upper hand in a custody battle or other proceeding. These situations can, unfortunately, become bitter and ugly, and lead to some fairly shocking allegations. For those who are wrongfully accused, the charges can be devastating.
In Indian River County, the laws pertaining to domestic violence are listed in Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes. It is important to note that not all violence is domestic violence. In fact, these charges are only applicable when the parties involved are part of a specific type of relationship. In order to be considered a domestic violence case, the accused and the alleged victim must:
- Share a child or children in common (regardless of whether they ever lived in the same home)
- Be members of the same household;
- Have a parent/child relationship;
- Spouses; and
- Former spouses.
In Indian River County, there are mandatory minimum sentences for certain domestic violence crimes. In addition to prison time, a person convicted of these crimes could face a loss of his or her second amendment rights, harsh probation requirements, or be required to attend a batterer's intervention program, along with other potential penalties.
Indian River County Sex-based Crimes
Being accused of a sex-based crime is a very serious matter, and the consequences can last a lifetime. These cases can be challenging to defend against. Of course, remember that you are always innocent until proven guilty. The standard by which the prosecutor must prove the charges is "beyond a reasonable doubt." This is a high standard to meet.
At Musca Law, we frequently defend against some of the most serious sex-based crimes, such as the following:
- Sexual assault;
- Sexual battery;
- Human trafficking;
- Soliciting a prostitute;
- Aggravated sexual battery or aggravated sexual assault;
- Child pornography charges;
- Violations of sex offender registration; and
- Lewd and Lascivious conduct.
Defending against allegations of a sex-based crime requires a significant amount of time and resources. The consequences for the accused can be devastating, and Musca Law's Indian River County criminal defense attorneys work tirelessly to defend our clients against such allegations. In addition to prison sentencing, a person convicted of a sex-based crime in Indian River County will face time in a treatment center, probation, and must register as a sex offender. If you are facing such charges in Indian River County, you must contact an attorney right away, as your future and livelihood depend on the actions you take now.
DUI Charges in Indian River County
In Florida, and in Indian River County, DUIs are considered serious criminal offenses. Prosecutors will pursue these charges and seek harsh penalties against the suspect. In some cases, jail time, fines, and other consequences will likely result from DUI charges. The penalties for DUIs are outlined in Florida Statutes §316.193. Penalties include community service, loss of a driver's license, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, impoundment of the person's vehicle, and required attendance in a driver's education course.
Musca Laws dedicated criminal defense attorneys represent individuals facing the following DUI related charges:
- Aggravated DUI;
- DUI with property damage;
- DUI with serious bodily injury;
- DUI manslaughter;
- Commercial DUI; and
- DUI with hit-and-run or failure to render aid charges.
While a DUI is a serious enough offense, some crimes related to DUIs can be upgraded, for instance, for a BAC that is especially elevated or is a child is in the car. Any of these charges should be addressed as soon as possible. Contact an Indian River County criminal defense attorney today to learn your options.
Theft-Related Crimes in Indian River County, Florida
Theft-based crimes are defined under Florida Statutes §812.014. Theft can be an aspect of many different crimes, but in essence, these are criminal acts that involve one person taking the property of another person without that person's consent and with the intent to deprive the other person of that property.
The Indian River Criminal Defense Attorneys at Musca Law defend against the following charges:
- Petit theft;
- Grand theft;
- Identity theft;
- Burglary; and
Each of these crimes has elements that differentiate it from the others, and each will have varying degrees of penalties. Contact an attorney to discuss your charges and to develop a plan to defend against those charges.
Indian River County Violence-Based Crimes
If you are facing allegations of a violence-based crime, you will need an experienced Indian River County attorney. Navigating the court system when it comes to these serious offenses is challenging, and the stakes are high in these types of cases. There are numerous ways to defend against charges for a violent crime. Third-party culprit, defense of others, and self-defense are just a few common defenses used in such cases. Of course, the right defense will be heavily dependent on the facts of your case.
The Indian River County criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law defend against the following charges:
- Attempted murder;
- Vehicular manslaughter;
- Aggravated battery;
- Rape and Sexual battery; and
- Assault and battery.
Violent crimes can result in decades in prison, if not life sentences or the death penalty. If you are facing any of these charges, contact an Indian River County attorney today.
Indian River County White Collar Crimes and Cyber Crimes
White-collar crimes include several offenses, such as embezzlement, identity theft, perjury, and racketeering. In general, crimes termed "white-collar" are those that include an element of secrecy and attempts to exert influence over another individual. This is in contrast to crimes such as burglary, where the threats are physical.
Cybercrimes are closely related to white-collar crimes and are often considered part of the same category. These offenses involve the sale of drugs or child pornography, solicitation of minors for sex, organized prostitution rings, and other related criminal acts. The sentencing can be harsh for any of these penalties, and the crimes are often complicated matters. It is vital that you hire an experienced attorney to represent you in such claims.
Juvenile Crimes in Indian River County, Florida
Juvenile justice is complicated in part because the system is constantly changing. Attitudes towards young offenders are changing along with the science that suggests that the human brain takes longer than previously believed in order to mature. Understanding that juveniles are still developing into their twenties can influence the approach of judges presiding over these cases.
At Musca Law, our criminal defense attorneys work to find solutions that help juveniles undergo rehabilitation rather than having them incarcerated in a juvenile detention center. Research indicates that juvenile offenders who are sent to detention centers have a high chance of committing further crimes upon their release. Our attorneys fight to protect these young individuals from a system that will only cause them more harm.
Indian River County, Florida Protective Injunctions
The law endeavors to protect people from repeated acts of violence. As such, people who claim that they are victims of violence or are at risk of harm from another person have the ability to file a petition for a protective injunction. This is accomplished by filing sworn documents with the court. The allegations made must be adequate to qualify for the protection of the court, assuming that they are true. The person filing the documents, who is referred to as the petitioner, must sign in front of a notary and swear that the contents of the petition are true and accurate. If that person lies on those documents, he or she can be charged with perjury.
Once the petition is filed, a judge will review the allegations and determine whether or not to enter a temporary protective injunction. In many cases, the judge will enter such an order out of caution and a desire to prevent the person from being harmed. The judge will also set a date for a final hearing on the matter, which will typically be held fifteen days from the day when the order was filed. The judge does have the right to schedule a hearing even if he or she denies the temporary order.
After the order is entered, the sheriff will serve the accused, referred to as the respondent, with the petition and information about the hearing. At this point in time, it is important that the respondent find an attorney. That attorney will often request to postpone the hearing so that he or she can develop a strong defense.
At the final hearing, both the petitioner and the respondent will be present, and they will each have the opportunity to submit evidence in support of his or her case. Such evidence will often include emails, text messages, and other documents, and might involve witnesses who will testify on behalf of the respective parties. The petitioner will testify, and the respondent will have the opportunity to testify. However, the decision to testify as the respondent is not one to take lightly. After all, the respondent can put his or her fifth amendment right against self-incrimination at risk by choosing to testify. Your attorney can work with you to determine whether you should testify or not.
If you are facing an injunction, it is important that you contact an attorney as soon as you are served. The consequences of an injunction can be far-reaching and have serious effects on your life. While these matters are civil and not criminal, they can be filed in conjunction with criminal charges. Musca Law's experienced attorneys know how important it is to defend against these injunctions. Contact us to discuss your case.
Musca Law: Indian River County Criminal Defense Attorneys
No criminal charges should ever be treated lightly. If you were charged with a crime in Indian River County, Florida, contact Musca Law today for a consultation. Your future and freedom are at stake. Call us anytime, 24/7 at (888) 484-5057, to speak with an experienced Vero Beach criminal defense attorney.