Criminal Defense Lawyers in Santa Rosa County, Florida
How to Beat a Criminal Charge in Florida
In Santa Rosa County, Florida, police, and prosecutors will aggressively pursue charges against criminal suspects. Prosecutors work closely with law enforcement to seek the harshest punishment possible, including jail time and hefty monetary fines. Specifically, these agencies use all of their resources in order to protect the public from those viewed as likely to cause harm.
While it may be tempting to represent oneself, it is not recommended, as self-representation can have life-altering negative impacts. We strongly urge you to consider working with an experienced and knowledgeable Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Lawyer who is familiar with the law, the court system, the prosecutor, and the judge.
Even a misdemeanor-level crime in Santa Rosa can have devastating consequences. While they are less serious than felonies, misdemeanor crimes can still amount to time in jail, monetary fines, probation, the loss of the person’s drivers’ license, the loss of the ability to possess firearms and ammunition, a suspended professional license, and adverse employment consequences, among other serious consequences.
If you were charged with a crime in Santa Rosa County, contact Musca Law today to speak to a skilled Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Attorney. We can be reached 24/7 at (888) 484-5057. Don’t wait, as your freedom and livelihood depend upon it.
An Overview of Crimes in Santa Rosa County, Florida
The Florida Legislature defines crimes as either misdemeanors or felonies and breaks down those classes into degrees. Those convicted of misdemeanors may face up to one year in jail or more. Conversely, when a person faces a felony conviction, the results can include lengthy prison sentences. The amount of time a person will serve depends on several factors, including the crime with which the person was charged.
In Santa Rosa Country, Florida, the maximum sentences are as follows:
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 must follow the terms provided within the Florida sentencing scoresheet. These guidelines were drafted in order to make sure that crimes across the state of Florida have consistent penalties. As a result, any individual who has been convicted of petit theft in Santa Rosa County will be sentenced similarly to anyone convicted of petit theft in another county, assuming that all of the underlying facts and circumstances are similar.
Keep in mind that within the confines of the scoresheet, the judge may sentence an individual to less severe punishment if that judge is convinced that the circumstances justify more leniency. On the other hand, there are circumstances that may lead to an offense being considered aggravating, and therefore the defendant can face charges greater than those included in the scoresheet.
A diligent and skilled Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Lawyer fully understands what is at stake in criminal matters, and as such, advocates on behalf of his or her client in an aggressive fashion. In fact, experienced Santa Rosa County criminal defense attorneys strive to obtain a reduction of the charges or work to have the charges entirely dismissed.
Common Charges Filed in Santa Rosa County
The Laws Governing Controlled Substances in Santa Rosa County, Florida
In the U.S., Florida has a reputation for aggressively prosecuting drug-related crimes. Many who are facing charges for possession are shocked by the severe sentences that prosecutors seek, even in cases where the charges are for just small amounts of controlled substances. For instance, police frequently place a person under arrest who sells drugs to feed their own habit or arrest an individual who is stuck in a negative cycle of drug misuse. At Musca Law, our Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Lawyers strive to influence the judge to rule that the offender attend a drug treatment program rather than be sent to prison. If a person is sent to prison, they are not able to have their drug problem effectively treated.
Florida Statutes Chapter 893 codified the state’s drug-related laws. This chapter provides the schedule that classifies drugs, related sentences, and the acts that are specifically prohibited. Many convictions for drug-related crimes in Santa Rosa County mandate that the defendant must serve a minimum mandatory jail term.
The dedicated Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Lawyers at Musca Law have represented countless people who are facing drug-related charges such as:
- Drug trafficking;
- Distribution or possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Possession of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, meth, opioids, stimulants, and fentanyl;
- Conspiracy; and
- The distribution, sale, or possession of controlled substances with the intent to distribute, gift, or sell them.
At Musca Law, our skilled team of legal advocates fights hard to prevent our clients who are charged with drug-related offenses from having to serve time in jail and advocate for the following sentencing alternatives:
- Drug court;
- Drug counseling programs (possibly in-patient or out-patient depending on the circumstances);
- Placement in dual-diagnosis programs; and
- Drug detoxification or treatment for addiction.
Domestic Violence-Related Offenses in Santa Rosa County, Florida
Domestic violence is a serious crime in Santa Rosa County. Notwithstanding, many people raise false allegations against another individual in order to gain an advantage in a family law matter such as a custody battle. Police are obligated to arrest anyone who has been accused of domestic violence. Officers do not have the discretion to refuse to do so.
Domestic violence laws are governed by Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes. Pursuant to this statute, not every relationship is considered domestic. Former spouses, children, spouses, those who are common parents to a child or children, siblings, and those who live in the same home qualify as domestic relationships under Section 741.28.
There are serious penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction in Santa Rosa County. Specifically, minimum mandatory sentences may apply in domestic violence cases. A judge can also rule that an offender undergoes strict requirements of probation that are difficult to satisfy. The convicted offender will also be ordered to surrender ammunition and firearms to law enforcement, as well as attend a batterer’s intervention program.
Sex Offenses in Santa Rosa County, Florida
Sex offense cases are highly complex in Santa Rosa County. Each sex offense matter starts with allegations. Of course, as with every criminal accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The prosecution must submit evidence during the trial that convinces a jury that the claims are true beyond a reasonable doubt.
At Musca Law, our Santa Rosa Sex Offense Defense Lawyers are experienced at handling such sex offense cases as:
- Sexual assault;
- Sexual battery;
- Human trafficking;
- Lewd or lascivious acts;
- Aggravated sexual assault;
- Aggravated sexual battery;
- Possession of child pornography; and
- Sex offender registration-related offenses.
Sex offense matters require a significant amount of resources to prepare one’s case. An individual who is being convicted of a sex-based offense in Santa Rosa County may face extremely harsh consequences, including incarceration, registration as a sex offender, and incarceration in a state treatment center. For those facing sex offense charges in Santa Rosa County, contact an experienced Santa Rosa County Defense Lawyer at Musca Law is the best way to protect your rights.
Santa Rosa County, Florida DUI-Related Offenses
DUI cases in Santa Rosa County are taken very seriously. Although most charges related to DUIs qualify as misdemeanors, they may result in severe consequences such as harsh monetary fines and jail time. DUI laws for the state, which are published in Florida Statutes §316.193, impose certain penalties on those convicted, such as impoundment of the subject vehicle, the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on one’s car, probation, community service, license suspensions, and attendance at a driver’s education course.
At Musca Law, we know that a lot is at stake in DUI-related cases, and as such, we handle the following offenses:
- Aggravated DUI;
- Property damage DUI;
- DUI manslaughter;
- Commercial vehicle DUI;
- Hit-and-run DUI/failure to render aid DUI; and
- Serious bodily injury DUI.
Santa Rosa County, Florida Theft-Based Offenses
Florida Statutes §812.014 details the state’s laws relevant to theft. The word theft connotes various crimes in which the primary claim alleged involves the taking of another person’s property without his or her consent with the intention of depriving him or her thereof.
Musca Law’s team of skilled Santa Rosa County Theft Defense Lawyers represent clients facing a wide array of theft-based crimes, including:
- Petit theft;
- Grand theft;
- Identify theft (See, F.S.§817.568);
- Robbery (See, F.S. §812.13); and
- Burglary (See, F.S.§810.02).
Violent Crimes in Santa Rosa County, Florida
Skilled Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Lawyers, who have worked in the state’s court system, know how to best handle allegations pertaining to violence in Santa Rosa County. When defending clients facing violence-based criminal offenses, a skilled Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Attorney must engage in a detailed evaluation of the case in developing the strongest defense strategy possible. There are several issues that arise in violence-based offense cases, including self-defense, third-party culprit defense, and defense of another, to name a few.
At Musca Law, our skilled Santa Rosa County Violent Crimes Defense Attorneys aggressively handle the following cases:
- Attempted Murder (F.S. §782.051);
- Manslaughter (F.S. §782.07);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. §784.045);
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. §782.071);
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011);
- Assault and Battery (F.S. §784.011, See also F.S. §784.03);
- Murder (F.S. §782.04);
- Robbery (F.S. §812.13); and
- Arson (F.S. §806.01).
If you are being charged with a violent crime, you are likely facing serious penalties, including life imprisonment and even the death penalty. As such, if a person is the subject of a criminal investigation or is being charged with a violence-based crime, he or she must contact Musca Law immediately in order to present the strongest defense strategy possible.
White-Collar and Cyber Crime Defense Cases in Santa Rosa County, Florida
Defending a person accused of a white-collar crime often involves the following offenses: identity theft, perjury, racketeering, and embezzlement. The term “white-collar” means that the crime is typically one involving the exertion of influence over another individual or secrecy (as opposed to strong-arm offenses which include robbery and burglary).
Cyber-based offenses can be considered white-collar crimes as well because they typically involve the exploitation of others through the internet, sales of illegal goods, dealings involving drugs, organization of prostitution rings, distribution of child pornography, and the solicitation of children under eighteen years old for the purpose of sex.
Defending people who are being charged with a white-collar crime requires the attorney to understand the technology used to perpetrate the offense.
Santa Rosa County, Florida Juvenile Justice Cases
Juvenile justice and the associated penalties are constantly being changed and updated. Research reveals that children’s brains do not mature fully until later in life, such as when they are in their mid-twenties. Research further dictates that female brains reach maturity more quickly than do male brains; however, it is still slower than what was once believed. This examination has altered the way in which people think about juvenile justice.
Musca Law’s skilled team of Santa Rosa County Criminal Defense Lawyers fight hard for minor clients to receive treatment, be rehabilitated, and undergo education rather than be confined in juvenile detention centers. Minors who are sent to juvenile detention often commit crimes as adults. Therefore, it is vital that an experienced legal advocate argues on behalf of his or her minor client to avoid being held in a juvenile detention center.
Santa Rosa County Protective Injunctions
Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes and Section 784.0485 of the Florida Statutes allow for a person to seek a protective injunction in order to avoid being subject to additional acts of violence. Specifically, the alleged victim can file what is known as a petition with a civil – not criminal – court if they are in fear of stalking, repeat violence, domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual violence.
Protective injunctions are often sought by a person seeking to exact revenge on another individual. Nonetheless, they are very serious and can have life-altering consequences.
In order to obtain a protective injunction, a person, known under the law as the petitioner, must file a court-approved document, known as a petition, with the court clerk. Once the petition is filed, the presiding judge quickly reviews it in order to determine whether to issue what is referred to as a temporary restraining order. A temporary restraining order is an effective tool to protect the alleged victim up until such time when the final hearing is held in the matter. Keep in mind that the judge may choose not to issue a temporary restraining order and yet still schedule a hearing.
Once the judge issues a temporary injunction, the individual subject to the terms of the injunction, known under Florida law as the respondent, is served with a copy of the injunction order, a copy of the petition, and a notice indicating the date and time of the final hearing. The respondent has fifteen days from the date that the
As soon as the respondent is served, he or she should contact a skilled Santa Rosa County Protective Injunction and Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Hiring an attorney at this stage is critical, as a skilled Santa Rosa Injunction Defense Attorney will likely seek to continue, or delay, the hearing date in order to have enough time to prepare a strong defense strategy.
Once the case is continued, the defense counsel can begin to strategize a viable defense in the case, as well as safeguard the legal rights and interests of the respondent. A defense attorney can also work to ensure that the process runs fairly.
At the final hearing, the respondent and petitioner both have the opportunity to present their respective positions. In so doing, each can submit documentary evidence to the court, including emails, text messages, social media postings, phone logs, handwritten letters, etc. The parties can also call witnesses to the stand to testify on their behalves. Keep in mind that the parties can cross-examine each other (should the respondent choose to take the stand) and each other’s witnesses.
At the conclusion of the final hearing, the judge renders his or her decision as to whether to grant or deny the protective injunction. If the judge approves an injunction, then the respondent must follow all of its terms, or else he or she will face criminal penalties.
If you are facing a protective injunction in Santa Rosa County, Florida, it is crucial that you call a skilled Santa Rosa County Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer at Musca Law as soon as possible. Our lawyers will help you defend against a permanent injunction to the fullest extent of the law.
Musca Law: Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys for Santa Rosa County
Contact Musca Law today at 888-484-5057 to consult with an experienced and knowledgeable Navarre Criminal Defense Attorney. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to advise you of your legal rights, options, and interests. Together our attorneys have more than 150 years of legal experience handling all types of criminal matters throughout Florida. Our lawyers are dedicated, knowledgeable, and experienced, and we also have a track record of success. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options.