Criminal Defense Lawyers in Marion County, Florida
How to Beat a Marion County Criminal Charge
No one becomes a hardened criminal overnight simply because he or she was charged with a crime. However, anyone who appears in a Marion County courtroom charged with a criminal offense must understand the possible direct and indirect, or collateral, consequences of a conviction. The person accused of committing a crime must understand what could happen. The potential outcome frequently determines how the accused will fight the charges.
The person accused of a crime in Marion County, Florida, must also understand the rights he or she has as well as understanding what is possibly at stake. Everyone in Florida has the right to counsel, has the right to be informed of the charges they face, confront their accusers, cross-examine witnesses, put on a defense by compelling the attendance of witnesses, and take the stand or not. These rights do not change; they are guaranteed by the Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the state constitution of Florida.
Experience dictates that there is no such thing as a minor criminal charge in Marion County, Florida. Many awful and unforeseen consequences can spring forth from a conviction even for a misdemeanor charge. The person accused of a crime in Marion County, Florida faces a period of incarceration in either the county jail or the Florida state prison, depending on the severity of the charge for which the person was convicted, along with large fines, and probationary periods with special conditions that the judge could impose at sentencing.
Most people understand the direct consequences of pleading guilty or being convicted of a crime after trial but lack a sufficient understanding of the pitfalls that await them, which indirectly result from a conviction for a criminal offense in Marion County, Florida. Immigration difficulties, deportation or removal proceedings, job loss, revocation of driver’s license, revocation of a professional license, loss of parenting rights, finding employment, or finding sufficient housing could naturally flow from a conviction. Moreover, even one conviction for a misdemeanor in Marion County, Florida, creates a criminal record. Although first-time offenders in Florida could receive a sentence that is an alternative to incarceration, prosecutors will be looking for harsher sanctions that include jail or prison for additional offenses.
These legal and social problems are incredibly stressful and fill a person with dread about an uncertain future. Seeking the advice of a Marion County criminal defense law firm with over 150 years of experience could resolve your questions and help you feel more confident about your future. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers have over 150 years of combined legal experience fighting for the rights of their clients in Marion County and all across Florida.
Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys passionately pursue justice for their clients. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers treat all of their clients with respect and dignity. They understand the difficulties people face and try to resolve their cases quickly and efficiently while placing their clients’ needs before their own.
Throughout the firm’s history, Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers have proven time and time again that they never shy away from a legal battle, no matter how difficult the case might be. Musca Law’s Florida criminal defense lawyers have developed a reputation across the state for excellence in their skills as lawyers as well as their unparalleled commitment to protecting their clients’ rights.
Whether you are facing DUI charges, theft charges, drug charges, violent crimes, or a sex crime, Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys promise to protect you against the might of the government and force the police, prosecutors, and judges to abide by the law of Florida as well as the laws of the United States. Find out how Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers could protect your rights by calling 888-484-5057 today. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys are available 24/7 to deliver justice when it is needed most.
Musca Law is a Complete Marion County Criminal Defense Law Firm
Criminal Charges in Marion County, Florida
Florida, like every other state and the federal government, breaks down criminal charges into misdemeanors and felonies. Essentially, misdemeanors are charges that are comparatively minor offenses and have no more than one year in the county jail as the maximum punishment.
Misdemeanors in Florida, like felonies, are divided into degrees. The degree assigned to the charge determines the maximum prison sentence and fine allowed under Florida law. Florida’s criminal laws are clearly defined as follows:
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
Sentencing judges must also follow the Florida sentencing scoresheet when assessing the sentence a convicted offender must serve. Florida’s sentencing scoresheet allows a judge to calculate the points an offender scores based on the severity of the crime, the type of injury to the victim, and the criminal history of the accused. Moreover, the judge has the discretion to increase the score of the offender because of aggravating factors. Conversely, the sentencing judge can reduce the sentence called for by the sentencing scoresheet if the judge determines that a lighter sentence than called for by the scoresheet is appropriate.
A seasoned and aggressive Marion County, Florida criminal defense lawyer understands that the sentencing phase of a case is another opportunity to advocate for the client. Convincing a judge to order a reduced sentence or persuade the judge to order the defendant to complete probation rather than a term of incarceration requires skillful advocacy and a thorough understanding of Florida’s Criminal Procedure Code.
Crimes Often Charged in Marion County, Florida
Controlled Substance Offenses in Marion County, Florida
Drug crimes are serious offenses in Marion County. Drug interdiction officers conduct investigations to try to stop the flow of narcotics into the area. They use a variety of tools to infiltrate and disrupt the deadly scourge. However, many people who suffer from substance misuse disorder find themselves behind bars when they deserve a chance to change their lives through rehabilitation rather than forced abstinence through incarceration.
Florida’s drug law is §893 of the Florida Statutes. Chapter 893 is a comprehensive legal scheme that classifies substances into schedules, establishes certain crimes relating to the possession, distribution, and trafficking of narcotics, and also sets out the minimum-mandatory prison sentences a person convicted of certain drug crimes must serve. Florida’s drug laws are tough. Travelers from out-of-state are often shocked to learn that possessing only four grams of fentanyl or a large quantity of marijuana could result in a long prison sentence with a minimum-mandatory period of incarceration.
Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers have represented clients charged with drug-related crimes such as:
- Simple possession of narcotics (rather than distribution or trafficking) like morphine, heroin, prescription medications, fentanyl, cocaine, marijuana, crystal meth, and synthetic drugs;
- Possession of drugs or narcotics with the specific intent to distribute, gift, or sell;
- Trafficking in substances such as marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and other drugs;
- Drug Conspiracies; and
- Possessing drug paraphernalia.
The Marion County criminal defense attorneys with Musca Law know that drug addiction is a complex social, health, and legal issue that is never resolved with incarceration. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers fight tirelessly to obtain alternative sentences for drug offenders, especially people who have no prior criminal history. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers fight for alternatives to jail such as:
- Probation as an alternative to imprisonment with conditions that the client remain drug-free and submit to chemical screening tests to confirm compliance with conditions;
- Drug Court, which works in conjunction with probation to monitor compliance;
- Referrals to out-patient or in-patient drug counseling; and
- Mental health referrals focusing on dual-diagnosis clients.
Domestic Violence Charges in Marion County, Florida
Florida Statutes §741.28 defines the crime of domestic violence and establishes minimum-mandatory sentences as well as other conditions of release for anyone charged under the statute. Section 741.28 defines violence as crimes that include the following: assault, battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, sexual assault, and sexual battery kidnapping, and false imprisonment. Also, §741.28 defines domestic violence as any violent act that might cause serious physical harm or death.
Section 741.28 also defines a domestic relationship. Domestic relationships include spouses, parents, and children, parents of children even if the parents have never lived together, as well as former spouses, any group of people who hold themselves out as a family, or people who also live in the same residential unit.
Severe consequences accompany convictions for domestic violence offenses in Marion County. A lengthy jail or prison sentence is common for a person convicted of domestic violence. Additionally, the judge will place the offender on probation and impose conditions of batterer’s counseling, anger management programs, and order the offender to remain drug and alcohol-free if substance abuse influenced the criminal conduct. Additionally, the convicted offender could lose parental rights and will be ordered to surrender all firearms and ammunition to the local law enforcement authorities.
Sex Offenses in Marion County, Florida
Every person charged with a crime in the United States is presumed innocent, despite the gruesome and sickening allegations that sometimes arise in sex offenses. Public opinion is not confined by the rules of court of law in Florida. The public, because of the nature of the charge, assumes that the person is guilty. Far too many people are wrongfully indicted for sex offenses. Mounting a successful defense to sexually-motivated crimes in Marion County requires representation from tough, passionate, and skilled Marion County criminal defense lawyers with a reputation for excellence.
Musca Law has defended numerous sexual offense charges for clients in Marion County, including:
- Sexual battery;
- Sexual assault;
- Sexually-motivated crimes against children, including possessing, creating, or distributing child pornography;
- Refusing to enter the sex offender registry;
- Human Trafficking;
- Solicitation of prostitution; and
- Perpetrating lewd and lascivious acts.
Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys devise pre-trial and trial defense strategies to meet the needs of the client. Individuals facing sexual violence charges in Marion County could receive extremely long prison sentences, probation, ordered to register as a sex offender. Moreover, a convicted sex offender could be sent to a treatment center as a sexual predator.
Marion County DUI Offenses
DUI offenses are distinct from other criminal offenses in Florida because the person charged with DUI has no intent to drive drunk. Instead, people think they could safely drive, or nothing bad will happen because they often fail to understand how alcohol affects the body and mind, especially judgment.
DUI charges in Marion County include:
- Driving under the influence,
- DUI as a subsequent offender,
- DUI causing property damage or personal injury,
- DUI manslaughter,
- DUI causing serious bodily injury,
- Driving, or having control over a vehicle, with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or above,
- Driving with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or above,
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle while DUI, and
- Driving under the influence with a child younger than eighteen in the vehicle.
Florida Statutes §316.193 defines the crimes associated with DUI and the range of penalties a judge could impose after a conviction. Even a first-time offender charged with DUI could face up to six months or even nine months in jail, depending on the person’s blood-or-breath-alcohol level. Additionally, more serious DUI crimes like DUI manslaughter carry minimum-mandatory prison terms, driver’s license suspension, ignition interlock devices installed on a primary vehicle, vehicle impoundment, and other sanctions.
The possible consequences of a DUI arrest in Marion County, Florida, are difficult and possibly life-altering. However, a Marion County criminal defense lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience will level the playing field for the accused.
Marion County Theft Crimes
Florida Statutes §812.014 describes theft as the willful and knowing taking of property while having the intent to deprive the right or true owner of the property of the permanent benefit of the stolen property. Theft crimes in Florida are serious criminal offenses that could land a person in jail or prison, contingent on the value of the goods stolen. A judge will also consider the impact the theft had on the victim when determining an appropriate criminal sanction, which could include restitution to be paid while on probation.
Theft offenses in Escambia County include:
- Grand Theft;
- Embezzlement; Burglary (See, F.S. §810.02);
- (See, F.S. §812.13);
- Petit Theft; and
- Identity Theft (See, F.S. §817.568).
Violent Crimes in Marion County
Defense of crimes involving violence will always depend on the facts of the case. However, Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys have experience arguing self-defense, mutual combat, and other defenses on behalf of their clients charged with violent crimes. Musca Law vigorously represents individuals charged with:
- Murder (F.S. §782.04);
- Attempted Murder (F.S. §782.051);
- Assault and Battery (F.S. §784.011, See Also F.S. §784.03).
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071);
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07);
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045);
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13); and
- Arson (F.S. §806.01).
Marion County White-Collar and Cyber Crimes
Crimes like embezzlement, perjury, bribery, gambling, racketeering, identity theft, and fraud are many examples of white-collar crimes. White-collar crimes are not easily discovered because they often involve extensive planning as well as technical knowledge. Both state and federal law enforcement bureaus investigate white-collar crimes.
Cyber crimes are criminal acts perpetrated via the internet. Examples of cyber crimes include sex trafficking, human trafficking, drug trafficking, possession and distribution of child pornography, identity theft, fraud, and other crimes. Law enforcement officers were once at an extreme disadvantage, uncovering and investigating cyber crimes. The dependence on modern technology in today’s culture forced law enforcement to learn new investigative techniques. Accordingly, defense lawyers have to learn how to defend cases involving an emerging technology. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys have the resources to investigate the case from the defense perspective and not the law enforcement’s view.
Marion County Juvenile Justice
Juvenile justice is becoming increasingly complicated as new developments in child psychology emerge. Recent studies have shown that the brains of adolescents are not fully developed at eighteen, like once believed. Now, researchers understand that adolescents are not emotionally and mentally developed until their early-20s.
Those breakthroughs have forced judges, probation officers, and prosecutors to re-think their perspective on juvenile justice. Musca Law’s Marion County criminal defense lawyers had advocated for alternative sentencing for juveniles long before courts understood how damaging throwing a child in juvenile detention is for a young man or woman. Musca Law fights to give children a second chance, while still holding the government to its burden of proof.
Marion County Protective Injunctions
Florida Statutes §784.0485 permits a Marion County judge to issue a protective injunction when a person is in fear of imminent harm from another. Many protective injunctions arise out of alleged criminal activity. Consequently, Musa Law’s Marion County criminal defense attorneys devote significant time and resources into defending their clients against injunctions for protection, including:
- Sexual Violence;
- Dating Violence;
- Domestic Violence; and
- Repeat Violence.
An injunction is more than a piece of paper. Violating an injunction could result in a lengthy-term of incarceration. Moreover, the person facing an injunction may be ordered to surrender valuable rights like speaking with their children and other family members, finding a new place to live, and surrendering all firearms. Injunctions for protection are serious legal matters that must be given the utmost respect and attention.
Musca Law is Dedicated to Delivering Justice
Contact Musca Law’s Marion County defense lawyers today at 888-484-5057 to seek the advice of a law firm that has represented people charged with crimes in Florida for a combined 150 years. Few other law firms could offer the experience, resources, and passion for delivering justice like Musca Law.