Criminal Defense Lawyers in Lake County, Florida

An Overview of Florida Criminal Law, Legal Strategies Defenses, and Penalties

Lake County is located in the centra part of Florida just north of Orlando. According to U.S. Census data form 2010, Lake County has a population of approximately 297,000 residents. The county seat of Lake County is the City of Tavares. The most populous city in Lake County, Florida is Clermont. Lake County is included in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford. The Lake County Courthouse is located at 550 W. Main St., 2nd Floor Tavares, FL 32778.

In 2019, law enforcement made a total of 7,478 arrests in Lake County, which is about 20 arrests per day. This is a decrease of nearly 4% over 2018. This decrease in arrests is due, in part, to a significant drop in both burglary and larceny crimes in 2019. The total value of property stolen in 2019 was just under $19,000,000. Larceny crimes are the most frequent crime that occurs in Lake County. In 2019, there were over 4,800 people charged with larceny. Larceny crimes are crimes such as purse snatching, pocket picking, theft from motor vehicles, shoplifting, theft of motor vehicle parts, theft from buildings, theft of bicycles and coin operated device thefts.

If you or a loved one have been arrested or if the police are asking you or a loved one to come to the police station to answer some question, you need a lawyer. Be respectful, remain clam, and tell the police that you will be glad to answer questions with your lawyer present. Then contact Musca Law at (888) 484-5057 for your free consultation. Never let highly trained investigators trick you or your loved one into saying anything that will damage your case or your potential defense. Even if you are innocent. Psychologists confirm that innocent people often manipulated by law enforcement into making false confessions. When a serious crime is committed, law enforcement are under a lot of pressure to find and prosecute a perpetrator. In many public cases, we have all seen the lengths law enforcement go to create evidence in order to gain a conviction regardless if the accused is the actual perpetrator or an innocent person. Any encounter with the local police, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, U.S. Customs, FBI, or any other law enforcement agency must be taken very seriously. If you are being questioned, you are either a possible witness or you are their suspect. Either way, when you or a loved one are arrested or being questioned by law enforcement officers, it is cructial that you discuss your legal situation with Musca Law and protect your legal rights.

The Lake County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Musca Law represent clients in all types of criminal charges in Lake County and through the State of Florida. Our firm is experienced is defending clients in cases ranging from misdemeanor larceny offenses to serious felonies, such as murder, rape, and others. In Lake County, there are dozens of law firms offering a wide range of legal services in over 80 areas of the law. However, criminal cases are serious, life-changing matters, and not all law firm only focus their law practice solely on criminal law. Musca Law has the reputation, workforce, resources, and determination to fight for the best possible result in your criminal case. If you or a family member is charged with a crime in Lake County, Florida, do not delay. Speak with one of our Lake County Criminal Defense Attorneys by calling (888) 484-5057. Our friendly, hardworking Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys are available 24/7 to listen to you and explain your legal options.

Classification of Criminal Offenses in Lake County, Florida

The State of Florida has criminal statutes that detail each offense, associated penalties, and provides legal definitions for clarity purposes. These criminal statutes also categorize each crime as a felony or a misdemeanor. Each county in the State of Florida adhere to the same Florida criminal laws. However, each county may prosecute some crimes more aggressively than other crimes. For example, Lake County may not prosecute marijuana possession cases as aggressively as another Florida county might.

When choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney in Lake County, Florida, it is critical that you find a lawyer who maintains a good reputation and working relationship with judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement agencies in Lake County, Florida. Also, you want to have an attorney who has established himself or herself as having integrity and aggressive. When you and your attorney are respectful of the Justice Courts, Lake County Prosecutor's Office, and everyone involved in your criminal matter, you will increase your chances of pleading down charges or defending yourself in court.

Lake County Misdemeanors and Felonies Under Florida Law

Under Florida criminal code, felonies and misdemeanors are classified from the least egregious misdemeanor to the most serious felony. The following is the order of the levels of criminal offenses in the State of Florida from least severe to most severe:

  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor;
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor;
  • Third-Degree Felony;
  • Second-Degree Felony;
  • First-Degree Felony;
  • Life Felony; and
  • Capital Felony.

The Maximum Penalties for Offenses According to Florida Law (F.S. § 775.082; F.S. § 775.083)

A highly-trained Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida fights hard on behalf of their clients to help their client avoid lengthy prison sentences and expensive fines. A criminal defense attorney fights to have their client’s criminal charges dismissed or win at trial. However, when significant fines and/or jail time cannot be avoided, a person convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony could receive the following maximum penalties:




Second-Degree Misdemeanor

6 Months


First-Degree Misdemeanor

1 Year


Third-Degree Felony

5 Years


Second-Degree Felony

15 Years


First-Degree Felony

30 Years


Life Felony



Capital Felony

Death Penalty



Additional Penalties Associated with Criminal Convictions in Lake County, Florida

Whether or not a defendant received prison time and/or fines, a defendant will be punished in other ways that are just as life-changing when found guilty of a criminal offense. In some circumstances, if the defendant is found guilty, he or she could be subjected to one or more of the following punishments instead of or in addition to jail time and fines.

  • A Criminal Record;
  • Difficulty in Securing Credit;
  • Loss of Second Amendment Rights;
  • Loss of Voting Rights;
  • Difficulty in Renting or Buying a Home;
  • Trouble in Obtaining Employment;
  • Probation;
  • Public Humiliation;
  • Loss of a Professional License, and
  • Damage to Relationships with Family and Friends.

In some criminal cases, the defendant´s criminal record could be expunged or sealed. If you or a member of your family has been arrested and charged with a crime in Lake County, Florida, speak with our experienced Lake County Criminal Defense Attorneys. Our firm works hard to help clients have pending criminal charges dropped or reduce the severity of a probably conviction.

Musca Law is a client-focused criminal defense law firm with offices in Lake County, Florida and throughout the State of Florida.

Drug Crimes in Lake County, Florida (F.S. § 893.13)

Florida Drug crimes range from small crimes of simple possession to serious felonies such as murder or drug trafficking. In some drug offenses, federal laws may have been violated, and the federal criminal justice system may assume jurisdiction or work with state, county, and local justice courts. The following are some examples of the types of criminal offenses our firm handles:

  • Conspiracy to commit any drug crime;
  • Drug Possession (including cocaine, crack, DMT, ecstasy/MDMA, fentanyl, hashish, heroin, LCD/acid, marijuana, methamphetamine, morphine, PCP, peyote, steroids, psychedelic mushrooms, and all types of unlawfully possessed prescription drugs such as opioids, stimulants, Adderall, and anti-anxiety medications.);
  • Drug Possession with the Intent to Sell/Distribute;
  • Drug Trafficking (transporting drugs across state lines or across the State of Florida); and
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The Florida state legislature is developing new laws that will eventually legalize marijuana for recreational use for individuals 21 or older. However, until marijuana is legalized in the State of Florida, it is a criminal offense to distribute, possess, grow, manufacture, or sell marijuana in the State of Florida in most circumstances. A few local municipalities have reduced minor possession of marijuana to a lesser offense and a $100 fine. Florida still has harsh marijuana penalties. So, if you have been arrested on any marijuana charge, contact our law firm to discuss your case. Medical marijuana is legal in Florida. However, a person must have a valid Florida medical marijuana license to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The severity of penalties handed down on a drug possession conviction will depend on the type of drug and the quantity of the drug the defendant was in possession of at the time of his or her arrest. For example, possessing hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, or meth will be punished more severely than a marijuana joint. Regardless of what drug crime is committed, a conviction will bring lifelong consequences. Possession of drug paraphernalia is not as serious a drug crime as possession of an illegal drug. However, a criminal history that has any drug-related offense on it will cause problems in terms of obtaining credit, seeking employment, or dealing with a future offense.

Florida drug offenses that involve "the intent to distribute or sell, to traffic drugs, and conspiracy to commit drug crimes" are the most serious drug offenses. In some circumstances, drug offenses such as drug dealing, drug trafficking, drug manufacturing, or drug distribution could be punished with life in prison. If you are facing any drug-related offense, it is important that you discuss your case with our hardworking, and knowledgeable Lake County Criminal Defense Lawyers. At Musca Law, our legal professionals will examine your legal matter and help you understand your legal options.

Domestic Violence Offenses in Lake County, Florida (F.S. § 741.28)

Domestic violence is one of the most serious criminal offenses in the State of Florida. A domestic violence allegation may block a parent from visiting with their children, enjoying the use of a home, and damage their divorce or child custody case. When a spouse, or child asserts domestic violence or domestic abuse, the accused is arrested and charged even if the accuser's has a change of heart. One impulsive decision to contact the police will often ruin the accused's life without justification or cause. In fact, state prosecutors will fully prosecute the accused even if the accuser will not testify or admits that they overreact. For these reasons alone, if you are being accused of any domestic crime, you must immediately break contact with your accuser, remain calm, remain silent, and call Musca Law for a free consultation.

When law enforcement and prosecutors believe someone's life or safety is at risk, they are quick in charging the accused with the criminal charges. As is the case with all criminal charges, domestic violence allegations does not prove the allegations are true. The accused will often feel as if they were already found guilty long before defending themselves in a courtroom. This often causes the accused to make statements out of emotion or react in such a way that the accused hurts their case. If you are accused of domestic assault, abuse, or violence in Lake County, Florida, you do not have time to waste. Contact Musca Law and receive your free consultation.

The Florida criminal statutes defines "domestic violence” 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."

One of the key elements necessary in proving allegations of domestic violence in the State of Florida is by establishing the alleged victim is a household member or family member. Florida statutes define household or family members as:

"Spouses, 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."

If the prosecutor cannot satisfy this element, the result could be a dismissal of the domestic violence charges. To obtain an acquittal, your Criminal Defense Attorney must also show that the prosecution did not satisfied its burden of (1) showing an act of domestic violence has occurred, and (2) that the victim at issue is a family or household member, as outlined under Florida law.

Sex Crimes in Lake County, Florida

Sex crimes are acts of a sexual nature that cause emotional and physical injury to a victim. However, even if the accusations are undeniable, the defendant has a Constitutional Right to a fair trial. According to Florida’s criminal statutes, crimes of a sexual nature include, but are not be limited to:

  • Child pornography;
  • Computer-related sex crimes;
  • Failure to Register as a Sex Offender;
  • Human Trafficking;
  • Lewd and Lascivious Acts (i.e., exposure of the genital area to others, including minors.);
  • Prostitution;
  • Rape;
  • Sex Crimes Involving Children (including possession and/or distribution of child pornography);
  • Sexual battery;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Solicitation of Prostitution;
  • Stalking; and
  • Statutory Rape.

Should the defendant be convicted of a sex crime in Lake County, Florida, the defendant will receive a lengthy prison sentence, stiff fines, strict probation, is obligated to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their natural life. In a lot of sex crimes cases, these life-long punishments do not fit the crime.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Crimes in Lake County, Florida (F.S. § 316.193)

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Lake County, Florida, is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. If someone is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she could face one or more of the following DUI charges with penalties:





First DUI
(BAC of .08 or More)

Unclassified Misdemeanor

Six Months


First DUI with Minor Under 18 in Vehicle

Unclassified Misdemeanor

Nine Months


First DUI
(BAC of .15 or More)

Unclassified Misdemeanor

Nine Months


Second DUI
(BAC of .08 or More)

Unclassified Misdemeanor

Nine Months


DUI Involving Damage to Property

First-Degree Misdemeanor

One Year


Second DUI
(BAC of .15 or More)

Unclassified Misdemeanor

One Year


Third DUI (More than 10 Years Later)

Unclassified Misdemeanor

One Year


Third DUI
(Within 10 Years)

Third-Degree Felony

Five Years


Fourth DUI
(Whether Within or More Than 10 Years After Prior DUI)

Third-Degree Felony

Five Years


DUI Involving Bodily Injury

Third-Degree Felony

Five Years


DUI Manslaughter (Death of Another Person or Unborn Child)

Second-Degree Felony

Fifteen Years


DUI Manslaughter with Failure to Render Aid

First-Degree Felony

Thirty Years


For the Lake County prosecutors to obtain a guilty verdict or plea agreement in a DUI criminal trial, the prosecutor must prove:

The DUI defendant was in actual physical control of the vehicle at issue; AND

(1) The defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that his/her “normal faculties” were impaired; OR

(2) The defendant had a blood-alcohol level of .08 or greater grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; OR

(3) The defendant had a breath-alcohol level of .08 or greater grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

Most DUI charges in Lake County are classified as misdemeanors. A DUI becomes a felony charges when an "aggravated conduct” occurs even if the defendant has a clean criminal record. If you or a famly member is charged with a DUI in Lake County, Florida, it is important that you stay calm, stay silent, and handle the arrest-detention process with the utmost respect. Then speak one of our hardworking DUI Defense Attorneys for your free case review. Our law firm and our firm has decades of experience defending clients charged with DUIs throughout the State of Florida.

Theft Crimes in Lake County, Florida (F.S. § 812.014)

The two most common criminal offenses in Lake County are larceny and burglary. As in the case of other criminal charges, theft crimes may quickly become felonies. Florida theft laws define the term “theft” as “knowingly obtains or use, or endeavor to use, the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently” (1) “deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property,” or (2) “appropriate the property to his or her own use or to the use of any person not entitled to the use of the property.”

Below is a list of the more common theft crimes, which range from misdemeanors to serious felony charges:

Violent Crimes in Lake County, Florida

Violent crimes include allegations of domestic violence, as a significant number of violent crimes are perpetrated against a family or household member. In the State of Florida, violent crimes – whether connected with a domestic relationship or not – include the following:

When the defendant is found guilty of a violent crime in Lake County, Florida, the penalties will often include a jail sentence, especially if the victim was injured or murdered, and substantial fines. The defendant may also receive additional penalties such as a criminal record, damage to one´s reputation, probation, paying restitution, and other life consequences.

If you or family member are charged with a violent crime, a highly-trained Criminal Defense Attorney experienced with defending violent crimes should be representing a client inside a courtroom. Call Musca Law for your free case review and to protect your legal rights.

Internet Crimes in Lake County, Florida

Most crimes committed online don’t involve physical contact with the victim, and there is usually no physical harm perpetrated on another (except for some Internet sex crimes). The penalties of an Internet crime conviction are severe. The most common types of Internet crimes involve theft and sex crimes.

Some examples of Internet crimes include, among others, the following:

  • Credit Card Fraud/Theft;
  • Distribution of Child Pornography;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Identity Theft;
  • Illegal Financial Transactions;
  • Possession of Child Pornography;
  • Production of Child Pornography;
  • Sex Trafficking; and
  • Solicitation and/or Enticement of a Child for Sexual Purposes.

White-Collar Crimes in Lake County, Florida (F.S. § 775.0844)

Most white-collar crimes are Internet-related. A few examples of white-collar crimes committed in Florida include:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Fraud; and
  • Credit Card Fraud/Theft;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Exploitation of Certain Groups of People (such as the elderly and disabled);
  • Illegal Financial Transactions;
  • Non-Violent Theft Crimes;
  • And Racketeering.

When a defendant has been convicted of committing a white-collar offense, which is often a felony, he or she will face a lengthy prison sentence. Florida and Federal laws punish financial crimes as harshly crimes that involve bodily harm. White-collar criminal defense law is a practice area that few Criminal Defense Lawyers actually practice. Musca Law represents clients who are charged with white-collar criminal charges.

Juvenile Crimes in Lake County, Florida

Juvenile offenders often commit the same criminal offenses that adults commit. However, juvenile criminal issues are handled in Juvenile Courts in Lake County, Florida. Whether a juvenile will face jail time depends on the age of the juvenile, the juvenile’s criminal history, and the severity of the alleged crime. In many cases, juvenile offenders are able avoid jail time and fines if they undergo court-approved counseling, or live in a group home. In cases where a juvenile offender is close to the age of 18 and the crime was substantial, the juvenile defendant might be tried as an adult in the State of Florida. In the most severe of criminal offenses, such as murder, a child that is several years under the age of 18 could be tried as an adult.

Protective Injunctions in Lake County, Florida (F.S. § 784.0485)

Protective injunctions, also known as restraining orders, protection orders, and no-contact orders are usually part of a pending criminal cases involving similar, alleged violent conduct. Florida law allows alleged victims of violence or abuse to petition the court for one of the following protective injunctions:

  • Dating Violence Injunctions;
  • Domestic Violence Injunctions;
  • Stalking Injunctions;
  • Repeat Violence Injunctions; and
  • Sexual Violence Injunctions.

In many protective injunction cases, the alleged perpetrator is served with a protective injunction but doe not receive any criminal charges. Protective injunctions are designed to protect victims and courts often err on the side of caution by granting a temporary protective order without a hearing. Obtaining a temporary protective injunction (or restraining order) does not necessitate the same burden of proof as a criminal case. Protective orders must be defended against or the respondent with suffer life-long damaging effects and consequences. If you or a member of your family was served with any types of protective injunction, or if you believe the courts have issued a protective order against your, you must to speak with one of our Lake County Criminal Defense Lawyers as soon as possible.

Contact the Lake County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today

If you or a family member are facing any misdemeanor or felony criminal charges in Lake County, Florida, your freedoms are at risk. You or your loved one deserves a powerful legal advocate to defend you or your loved one against overzealous prosecutors. At Musca Law, our legal team of Criminal Defense Lawyers have over 150 years of combined criminal law experience. We work hard to help our clients avoid harsh penalties. To learn how Musca Law may be able to help you, contact our law office today by calling (888) 484-5057.

Get your case started by calling us at (888) 484-5057 today!