Criminal Defense Lawyers in Seminole County, Florida

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

Seminole County is a centrally located county in State of Florida. According to U.S. Census data, Seminole County has a total population exceeding 471,000 residents. The county seat of Seminole County is the City of Stanford, which is also the county´s largest metropolitan city. Seminole County is part of the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The Seminole County Criminal Justice Courthouse is located at 101 Eslinger Way, Sanford, Florida, 32773.

In 2019, law enforcement made a total of 13,135 arrests in Seminole County, which is about 35 arrests per day. This is a decrease of 8.6% total arrests over 2018. The substantial decrease in arrests is due to a 66% drop in violent crimes in 2019. The total value of property stolen in 2019 was just under $15,000,000. Larceny is the most common type of crime that was committed in 2019. There were over 6,600 Larceny arrests in 2019. Larceny crimes include pocket picking, purse snatching, shoplifting, theft from motor vehicles, theft of motor vehicle parts, theft of bicycles, theft from buildings, and thefts from coin operated devices.

If you or someone you love has been arrested or if law enforcement is wanting to bring you or your loved one in for questioning, contact Musca Law at (888) 484-5057 for your free consultation. Don´t let highly trained interrogators trick you or your loved one into making damaging statements. Any encounter with the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, local police, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, FBI, U.S. Customs, or any other law enforcement agency should be taken seriously. If arrested or questioned by law enforcement, it is essential that you speak to Musca Law to protect your legal rights.

The Seminole County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Musca Law routinely represent clients a broad range of criminal charges in Seminole County ranging from simple larceny offenses to serious felonies, such as rape or murder, and others. In Seminole County, there are 100s of law firms that offer a wide range of legal services in many areas of the law. However, criminal cases are life-changing circumstances, and not every law firm focuses its law practice exclusively to criminal law. Musca Law has a reputation, workforce, resources, and dedication to attain the best result in your case. If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in Seminole County, Florida, do not delay and speak with the Seminole County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law by calling (888) 484-5057. Our friendly, hardworking Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys are here 24/7 to discuss your legal options.

Classification of Criminal Offenses in Seminole County, Florida

Criminal offenses in the State of Florida are based on Florida's statutes. These statutes categorize crimes as felonies and misdemeanors. Although all Florida counties utilize the same Florida criminal laws, each county might prosecute certain crimes more aggressively than other criminal offenses. By way of example only, Seminole County may not prosecute petty theft cases as aggressively a larger Florida county might.

When picking a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Seminole County, Florida, it is important to find an attorney who maintains a good working relationship with Seminole County law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors. Also, an experienced defense attorney who is known for being hardworking, aggressive, and respectful of the Seminole County Prosecutor's Office gives a defendant a better possibility of successfully defending themselves against criminal charges in court.

Seminole County Misdemeanors and Felonies Under Florida Law

According to Florida criminal code, misdemeanors and felonies are categorized as the following (from the least egregious misdemeanor to the most serious type of felony:

  • 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-skilled Florida Criminal Defense Attorney works hard to help their clients dodge hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences if the defendant's criminal charges can't be dismissed. However, when substantial fines and/or jail time may not be avoided, an individual convicted of either a felony or a misdemeanor under Florida law, the defendant might be facing 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 Seminole County, Florida

Regardless of whether or not a defendant faces prison time and/or hefty fines, the defendant will endure punishments that are usually life-changing if found guilty of a criminal offense. Unless a defendant´s criminal charges are dismissed, the sentenced person might be subjected to the following punishments either instead of prison time and hefty fines or in addition to fines and jail time.

The following are a list of penalties associated with criminal convictions in Seminole County and these penalties could be in conjunction with other punishments during sentencing:

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

In a few criminal cases, a defendant´s criminal record may be sealed or expunged. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Seminole County, Florida, it is essential that you or your loved one speaks with an experienced Seminole County Criminal Defense Attorney who has the skill of helping clients reduce the severity of a criminal charge or work to have pending charges dropped.

Musca Law is a client-focused, full-service criminal defense law firm with offices in Seminole County, Florida (FL).

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

Drug crimes in Florida range from the lesser crime of simple possession to serious felonies such as drug trafficking. In some drug crimes cases, federal crimes may have also been committed, and therefore the federal criminal justice system will either assume jurisdiction or work concurrently with state and local justice courts. This especially true if the drug crime is a felony, and the drug crime was committed while crossing state lines. However, most drug crimes in Florida are overseen by state law and incorporate the following types of criminal offenses:

  • 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.

Florida's state legislature is working on new laws that will eventually legalize marijuana for individuals 21 years of age or older. Nevertheless, until marijuana is legalized in Florida, it is still a criminal offense to possess, distribute, or sell marijuana in the State of Florida. However, some local municipalities have reduced simple possession of marijuana to a lesser offense with a punishment of a $100 fine. Florida still has some of the harshest marijuana penalties in the United States. So, if you or a loved one have been arrested on a marijuana charge, contact our law office immediately to discuss your case. Medical marijuana is legal in the State of Florida. However, an individual must possess a valid medical marijuana license in order to possess marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The severity of punishments a drug possession charge might carry will depend mostly on the type of drug the defendant was possessing at the time of their arrest. By way of example, the crime of possessing hard drugs such as fentanyl, heroin, or meth is punished more severely than simple possession of marijuana. Regardless of what drug is at issue, a defendant is facing lifelong consequences if found guilty. Possession of drug paraphernalia is not considered as serious an offense as possession of an illegal drug. However, any criminal history will cause problems in a future criminal charge or have long-lasting consequences in terms of seeking employment or obtaining credit. Regardless of your criminal offense, please speak with one of our qualified Seminole County Drug Crime Defense Lawyers to protect your interests and freedoms.

Florida drug offenses involving "the intent to distribute or sell, to traffic drugs, and conspiracy to commit drug crimes" are far more serious than simple drug possession offenses. In some cases, drug charges involving dealing, trafficking, or distribution could be punished with life in prison. If you or a family member is facing any drug-related offense, it is imperative that you speak with one of our friendly, hardworking, and knowledgeable Seminole County Criminal Defense Lawyers. At Musca Law, our legal team will evaluate your legal matter and provide information about your legal options. If we represent you or your loved one, we will work with you to develop the best possible defense and fight hard to reduce your charges or win your case.

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

One of the most serious criminal offenses an individual can be charged with is domestic violence. A charge of domestic violence can prevent a parent from seeing their children, enjoying the use of their home, and hurt their chances of winning a divorce and child custody case. When a child or spouse alleges domestic abuse or domestic violence, the accused is arrested and charged regardless of the accuser's change of heart. In other words, an impulsive decision to call the police can ruin the accused's life without cause or justification. In fact, state attorneys can and will prosecute the accused even if the accuser claims they overreact. That is why the accused needs to break contact with the accuser, remain silent, remain calm, and contact Musca Law for a free consultation.

When someone's life or safety may be at risk, law enforcement and prosecutors are expeditious in charging the accused with the criminal charges. Of course, as with all other criminal charges, domestic violence allegations do not prove the allegations made are true. Due to the nature of domestic abuse offenses, the accused will believe that they are already found guilty of the allegations long before being able to defend themselves against the allegations. This often leads to the accused making statements or acting out in such a way that the accused hurts their case. If you or a loved one are accused of domestic assault, abuse, or violence in Seminole County, Florida, you do not have time to waste. Contact Musca Law and receive your free consultation.

According to Florida criminal statutes, "domestic violence" is defined 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 main elements in proving domestic violence allegations in the State of Florida is establishing the alleged victim is a family member or a household 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 this element in the prosecutor's case is not satisfied, the result could be a dismissal of the domestic violence charges. In addition, for a dismissal, the Criminal Defense Attorney must demonstrate that the prosecution has 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 Seminole County, Florida

Sex crimes are actions that could cause significant injury to a victim if the allegations are truthful. However, even if the allegations are undeniable, the accused has a Constitutional Right to receive a fair trial and receives the best legal representation possible. According to Florida criminal law, crimes of a sexual nature include, and 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;
  • Solicitation of Prostitution;
  • Rape;
  • Sex Crimes Involving Children (including possession and/or distribution of child pornography);
  • Sexual battery;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Stalking; and
  • Statutory Rape.

If the accused is convicted of a sex crime in Seminole County, Florida, the accused will face a lengthy prison sentence, fines, probation, be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life. In many cases, these life-long punishments do not fit the alleged crime.

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

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Seminole County, Florida, is very similar to other crimes because the charges range from a misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. If an individual is arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, he or she may face one or more of the subsequent DUI charges and possible 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


To obtain a guilty verdict by plea agreement or in the DUI criminal trial, Seminole County prosecutors must prove the latter according to Florida DUI law:

The defendant accused of DUI 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.

Even though many DUI charges in Seminole County are classified as misdemeanors, any "aggravated conduct" might instantly turn a minor misdemeanor into a felony charge. Regardless of the defendant's clean criminal record. Therefore, if you or a loved one is charged with a DUI offense in Seminole County, Florida, it is essential that you remain calm, remain silent, handle the arrest and detention process with the utmost respect. Then contact one of our experienced DUI Defense Attorneys in Seminole County, Florida, for your free case review. Our firm and our attorneys have an extraordinary amount of experience representing DUIs throughout the state of Florida.

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

As previously mentioned, the most common type of criminal offense in Seminole County pertains to larceny or theft. As in the case of most criminal charges, theft crimes can quickly turn into felonies. Under Florida theft laws, the term “theft” is defined 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.”

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

Violent Crimes in Seminole County, Florida

Most violent crimes include accusations of domestic violence, as a large number of violent crimes are statistically 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:

If a defendant is convicted of a violent crime in Seminole County, Florida, the punishments will likely include a jail sentence, particularly if the alleged victim is injured or murdered. In addition to a jail sentence, the other penalties might consist of expensive fines, a criminal record, probation, damage to one´s reputation, and other life consequences.

If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, only a highly-skilled Criminal Defense Attorney with experience representing clients in cases involving allegations of violent crimes should be representing a client in the courtroom. Contact Musca Law for your free case review and protect your legal rights.

Internet Crimes in Seminole County, Florida

Although most crimes committed online do not involve physical contact, and there is typically no physical harm perpetrated on another person (except for certain Internet sex crimes), the consequences of an Internet crime conviction can be severe. The most common forms of Internet crimes ordinarily involve sex and theft crimes.

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 Seminole County, Florida (F.S. § 775.0844)

The most common types of 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 an individual is convicted of committing a white-collar crime, the crimes are often felonies, which carry substantial prison sentences. Federal and Florida laws punish financial crimes as severely as many crimes involving bodily harm. White-collar criminal law is an area of practice that few Criminal Defense Lawyers practice. If you or a loved one are facing a white-collar criminal charge, contact Musca Law as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

Juvenile Crimes in Seminole County, Florida

Juvenile offenders often face the same types of criminal charges that adults face. But the way juvenile criminal matters are addressed in Juvenile Courts in Seminole County, Florida will depend on the age of the juvenile, the severity of the alleged crime, and whether the juvenile has a criminal history. Often, juvenile offenders can avoid significant jail time, fines, and a permanent criminal record when they undergo court-approved counseling, live in a group home, or, in some cases, spend time in juvenile jail. However, incarceration is reserved for severe criminal offenses. In cases where a juvenile offender is near the age of 18, and the crime was substantial, the juvenile defendant could be tried as an adult. In the most egregious offenses, such as 1st-degree murder, a child several years under the age of 18 may be tried as an adult.

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

Protective injunctions, also known as no-contact orders, restraining orders, and protection orders, are often part of criminal cases involving the same alleged violent conduct. Under Florida law, victims of alleged abuse or violence can petition the court for the following protective injunctions:

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

In some protective injunction matters, an individual could be served with a protective injunction without criminal charges. The legal system is designed to protect victims and to err on the side of caution. Obtaining a protective injunction (or restraining order) does not necessitate the same burden of proof as a typical criminal case. However, the consequences of a protective order can have life-long damaging effects. If you or a loved one are served with a protective injunction or if you believe a judge has issued a protective order, you need to seek the advice of one of our Seminole County Criminal Defense Lawyers as soon as possible.

Contact the Seminole County Criminal Defense Lawyers of Musca Law Today

Facing criminal charges in Seminole County, Florida? If you are facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges in Seminole County, Florida your freedoms are on the line. You or your loved one deserves a strong legal advocate to represent you and defend against tenacious prosecutors. At Musca Law, our team of Criminal Defense Lawyers have over 150 years of combined criminal law experience helping our clients avoid the harshest of penalties. To learn how Musca Law may be able to help you, contact our office today by calling (888) 484-5057.

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