Criminal Defense Lawyers in Nassau County, Florida
How to Beat a Criminal Charge in Florida
In Nassau County, Florida, and throughout the state, prosecutors take an aggressive approach to trying criminal defendants. Even in cases of minor charges, such as drug offenses, defendants should expect that the state will take those charges very seriously. If you are facing any type of criminal charges in Nassau County, Florida, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Being charged with a crime is frightening, and it is important that you have professional help from someone who understands the Nassau County criminal justice system.
Prosecutors will use all of the state's resources in their attempt to convict defendants. It is your legal right to have an attorney who will defend against those charges. Hiring a dedicated Nassau County criminal defense attorney is vital for the protection of your future. Criminal convictions can result in a wide variety of consequences, and prison time is only one of the many serious penalties those convicted of crimes will face in Nassau County, Florida. Minor charges, such as misdemeanors, can also include time in jail. In the case of felony offenses, convicts face the possibility of lengthy prison terms, including life imprisonment, and in the case of capital offenses, the death penalty. With so much at stake for criminal defendants in Nassau County, Florida, it is imperative that you find an experienced and dedicated attorney who will tailor the defense to fit the facts of your case. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Every case is different, and there will be ways to defend against charges or to negotiate for a lesser sentence. Even for defendants who can avoid jail time, there are many other possible consequences that may result from criminal charges. The ramifications of a conviction can follow a person throughout his or her life. It is important that you understand your legal options and the likely outcomes of any defense strategies or plea deals that you employ or negotiate in your case. Contact the experienced Nassau County criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law today to discuss your case.
Categories of Crimes in Nassau County, Florida
The Criminal Code for the state of Florida breaks down categories of crimes and provides sentencing guidelines for those offenses. In addition to dividing those crimes into felonies and misdemeanors, offenses are further categorized into degrees, which indicate how severe each offense is according to state law. The minimum jail terms provided in the guidelines include 60-day incarceration periods. On the other end of the spectrum, certain crimes can result in life imprisonment. As previously mentioned, the death penalty is also legal in Florida. There are a wide variety of sentences within that range as well. Some crimes come with mandatory minimum terms, which means that once a person is convicted of that offense, the judge will not be able to reduce the sentence below the statutory minimum. Even within certain types of crimes, there can be factors that lead to more severe or lenient consequences. Mitigating factors and aggravating factors will lead to variances in some cases. The chart below provides an overview of crimes and penalties in Nassau County, Florida:
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
Judges within the state of Florida refer to what is called a Sentencing Scoresheet. Florida's Sentencing Scoresheet is designed to encourage fair sentencing terms throughout the entire state. The Sentencing Scoresheet works to inform judges of what sentences should be applied for various criminal charges. If judges are following the Sentencing Scoresheet, then a criminal defendant in Nassau County and one in another county in the state who are facing similar charges should also receive similar sentences. Without such guidelines, the particular whims of individual judges could lead to drastically disparate sentences for similar crimes. However, it is important to also remember that the guidelines allow for some discretion on the part of the judge. Even crimes that are categorized as the same may have subtle differences that could warrant more leniency or harsher consequences.
When you discuss your case with your attorney, he or she will work to develop a defense based on the best possible outcome for you. If it is possible, your attorney will look to have the charges against you dismissed. In other cases, he or she may choose to negotiate for reduced charges. If the charges can be reduced, the resulting sentence will also be less severe. As such, negotiations for lesser charges are sometimes beneficial and help defendants avoid some of the more severe consequences that might apply in their case. There may also be possible ways to sway a judge in order to obtain favorable terms. Each case will have unique factors, and your attorney will need to review all of the facts carefully before coming up with a strategy to defend you. Contact a Nassau County, Florida criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and to learn how that professional can help protect you and your future.
Common Criminal Charges: Nassau County, Florida
Drug-Related Offenses in Nassau County, Florida
Drug-related offenses range from minor crimes to severe felonies in Nassau County, Florida. Sometimes defendants in the Sunshine State are shocked to learn how severe the terms are even for suspects accused of low-level drug-related criminal activity. Of course, many defendants facing drug-related charges are drug addicts who may engage in the sale of small amounts of controlled substances simply as a way to support their own drug habit. Science has shown that addiction is a disease that requires treatment. Prosecutors often seek prison terms for defendants facing drug charges. Time in prison does little to rehabilitate or help a defendant who is suffering from drug addiction. The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law understand that clients facing drug-related charges often will benefit from an alternative sentence. Our lawyers advocate for treatment programs as an alternative to incarceration. It is important, however, to remember that in Nassau County, Florida, some drug crimes come with mandatory minimum sentencing terms. This means that pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 893, the judge will have to apply at least the minimum sentencing term if the defendant is convicted. There are also alternate sentencing options, which will work in some cases. The attorneys at Musca Law work to arrange the following for our clients as an alternative to prison time:
- Drug counseling (either in-patient or out-patient)
- Detoxification and addiction treatment
- Drug court
- Placement in a dual diagnosis program
In order to learn more about these alternative sentencing options, speak to a Nassau County, Florida, criminal defense attorney. One or more of these options could be available in your case. Your attorney will be able to counsel you on the options available for you.
Musca Law’s dedicated Nassau County criminal defense attorneys regularly handle the defense of the following 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 Nassau County, Florida:
Domestic violence charges involve violence between people who are considered to be involved in any domestic relationship as defined by Florida law. Law enforcement in Nassau County, Florida, will take domestic violence accusations very seriously. In fact, Florida police officers will be obligated to place a suspect under arrest once he or she is accused of domestic violence. The priority of the state laws related to domestic violence is to protect alleged victims from further abuse. Unfortunately, the efforts to protect victims of domestic violence can often lead to severe consequences for individuals who face wrongful, false, or exaggerated accusations. Sometimes, especially in the course of highly contested custody battles or divorce cases, one party will make domestic violence allegations against the other. This is sometimes done because the party wishes to gain the upper hand in the litigation. Even if you know that the charges and allegations are false, you must take them seriously and find legal representation in order to protect yourself.
Pursuant to Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes, only certain specified relationships will qualify as domestic. In order to meet the requirements of a domestic relationship for the purposes of domestic violence-related crimes, the parties must be related in one of the following ways:
- parent and child
- former spouses
- parents of one or more children, whether or not those individuals ever lived together
- individuals residing together as a family
- individuals who formally resided together as a family
Other laws might apply for violence between individuals who are not part of a domestic violence relationship. Many charges related to domestic violence will lead to prison time, and certain charges come with statutory mandatory minimum sentences. Remember that you do not have to face the charges alone and that you have the right to an attorney.
Sex Crimes in Nassau County, Florida:
Defending against sex-related crimes can be challenging and complicated. It is important for anyone facing sex-related crimes in Nassau County, Florida, to have skilled and experienced legal representation. Convictions for sex-related crimes come with serious sentencing terms and other consequences that can last a lifetime. The sex offender registry is used to identify individuals convicted of certain sex-related crimes. Once convicted, the defendant will remain on such a registry, which can have severe impacts on his or her life and future. The registry is searchable, and therefore, individuals on that list may find that it impacts their personal and professional life for many years after they served time or completed the other terms of their sentence.
The dedicated, Nassau County, Florida, criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law regularly defend clients against the following sex-related charges:
- Sexual battery
- Human trafficking
- Lewd or lascivious acts
- Sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual assault
- Aggravated sexual battery
- Possession of child pornography
- Violations of sex offender registration
DUI Crimes in Nassau County, Florida:
Many people are charged with DUI's and DUI related crimes every year in the state of Florida. Oftentimes, these crimes will be categorized as misdemeanors. However, there are also felony DUI offenses that can result in decades of imprisonment. Other consequences of a DUI can linger long after prison time is completed. In many cases, those convicted of these crimes will lose their driver's licenses, their vehicles will be impounded, and they may have to install ignition interlock devices in their cars once they are able to drive again. Sometimes DUIs will result in the loss of a license for years. Such terms can have devastating impacts on a person's ability to live independently, and even to get to and from his or her place of work. It is important that you understand the consequences of the charges you are facing, and that you know your options for defending against the allegations.
Musca Law’s attorneys frequently defend individuals facing the following DUI related charges:
- Commercial vehicle DUI
- Property damage DUI
- Serious bodily injury DUI
- Aggravated DUI
- DUI manslaughter
- Hit-and-run DUI/failure to render aid DUI
Theft Crimes in Nassau County, Florida:
Theft crimes involve the taking of property from another person with the intent to deprive that other individual of said property. There are a variety of criminal offenses which are considered theft crimes pursuant to Florida law. Under Florida Statutes §812.014, the following criminal offenses are considered theft crimes:
- Petit Theft
- Identify theft (See, F.S.§817.568)
- Grand theft
- Burglary (See, F.S.§810.02)
- Robbery (See, F.S. §812.13)
The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law regularly defend against all of the above theft-related crimes.
Violent Crimes in Nassau County, Florida
Charges for violent crimes include some of the harshest penalties available under Florida law. If you are facing charges for any of the below listed violent crimes, it is extremely important that you hire an experienced Nassau County, Florida criminal defense attorney right away:
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07)
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13)
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071)
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045)
- 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)
At Musca Law, our attorneys regularly represent defendants charged with the above violent crimes. Remember that even if you are facing charges for the most serious crimes, there are likely defenses and strategies that can help you fight those charges. Common defenses used to fight against the above charges include self-defense, the defense of another individual, and third party culprit. There are other defenses that could apply in your particular case. With so much riding on the outcome of your case, it is imperative that you find an attorney who has experience handling similar defense cases. Not only can a conviction for violence-related crime result in a life sentence, but in some instances, prosecutors will seek capital punishment. Contact an attorney today to learn more about options for defending against the charges you are facing.
White-Collar Crimes and Cybercrime in Nassau County, Florida
White-collar crimes and cybercrimes often involve a level of sophisticated technical knowledge. It is important to have an attorney who understands the allegations and how to defend against them. While violent crimes typically involved physical force used by one person on another, white-collar crimes involve a person exerting influence on other people as part of a criminal enterprise. Some examples of white-collar crimes include racketeering, embezzlement, identity theft, and perjury. Cybercrimes typically involve a defendant using the Internet to carry out criminal activity. Crime such as the organization of prostitution rings, solicitation of children for sexual purposes, child pornography-related offenses, and the sale of drugs online all fall under the category of cybercrime. These charges can come with serious criminal penalties. Contact an attorney to learn more about your options for defending against such allegations.
Crimes Committed by Juvenile Defendants in Nassau County, Florida:
When it comes to defending juvenile offenders, the attorneys at Musca Law understand that it is important to avoid incarceration. Science indicates that the human brain does not reach its full maturity until a person is in their mid-20s. Based on such research, the criminal justice system is often changing in order to better rehabilitate young criminal offenders. When a juvenile offender is sent to serve time a detention center, that individual will often end up being involved in crime again as an adult. Whenever possible, the dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law will work to find an alternative solution that will not involve incarceration in a juvenile detention center. Treatment programs and other possible options might be available.
Protective Injunctions in Nassau County, Florida
Protective injunctions are used to prevent acts of violence from being carried out at the hands of an alleged abuser on the alleged victim. Individuals who are abused are able to seek injunctions through the civil court by filing a petition. Judges will often enter what is termed a temporary injunction on the day that the alleged victim, termed the petitioner, files the petition. At that point in time, the person against whom the injunction is sought will not have any knowledge of the temporary injunction. A Sheriff will serve the documents on alleged abuser, who is referred to as the respondent, and within those documents will be a date and time for hearing at which the judge will decide whether or not to enter a permanent injunction. If you are facing an injunction, you need to contact an attorney right away. Judges must set a date for a hearing no more than fifteen days following the date on which the petition is filed. Although injunctions are a civil law matter, they frequently overlap with criminal charges. It is important that you hire an experienced Nassau County, Florida criminal defense attorney who could help you develop a defense against the allegations contained within the petition. Having an injunction filed against you can have serious consequences and can limit your rights.
Call Musca Law For Your Free Case Review
At Musca Law, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys know that it is important for every defendant to have an experienced legal advocate. Call us today at (888) 484-5057 to speak to one of our Nassau County criminal defense attorneys.