Criminal Defense Lawyers in St. Lucie County, Florida
How to Beat a St. Lucie County Criminal Charge
Law enforcement officers and prosecutors in St. Lucie County, Florida, take a hard stance on criminal infractions. Policeand the state’s attorney’s office work closely together to investigate crimes, win convictions, and then recommend tough prison sentences that could last decades. These agencies use all of their resources at their disposal in the interest ofprotecting the public.
The temptation to take on the prosecution and police after you have been arrested could be overwhelming. No one knows or understands your case better than you. However, it would help if you resisted the urge to represent yourself. Self-representation can lead to unintended and unforeseen consequences. By contrast, and experienced, skillful, and dedicated St. Lucie County criminal defense attorney will anticipate all of the consequences a person might suffer and then plan a defense that protects their clients’ rights.
Even misdemeanor offenses in St. Lucie County, Florida, could wreak havoc upon a person’s life. Although misdemeanor offenses are generally less serious crimes, chargers like driving under the influence can cause tremendous disruption in an individual’s life. Criminal sanctions are universally understood as incarceration, payment of fines, and even a period of probation. However, collateral consequences such as immigration shoes, even if the person accused is in the United States lawfully, loss of driver’s license, suspension of a professional license, and adverse employment consequences could flow from a misdemeanor conviction. As a result, no case is insignificant and must be handled with care and expertise to limit the disruption a criminal charge might cause in a person’s life.
Criminal Offenses in St. Lucie, County, Florida
Florida divides crimes between misdemeanors and felonies, and then further separates each class of crime into degrees. The foremost difference between a felony and a misdemeanor in Florida is where the convicted offender must serve time. A person convicted of a misdemeanor in Florida may only be sentenced to the county jail. Moreover, the jail sentence cannot exceed one year. Conversely, a person convicted of a felony in Florida must serve a sentence in the state prison system. The maximum length of incarceration will depend on the degree of the offense.
The maximum penalties for crimes in St. Lucie Country, Florida are 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
Judges must also abide by the Florida sentencing scoresheet before pronouncing a sentence. Florida’s sentencing guidelines were issued as a method of ensuring that crimes in the various counties in Florida will be punished similarly. Thus, a person charged with assault in St. Lucie County should receive a similar sentence as a person in Polk County, assuming all other conditions are the same. The judge could impose a sentence less severe than dictated by the score on the sentencing scoresheet if the court finds that the accused deserves consideration. Similarly, the judge could increase the sentence if the facts and circumstances dictate that the offender should serve a longer prison term than indicated by the sentencing scoresheet.
An experienced and savvy St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyer understands that the sentencing phase of a trial presents another opportunity to advocate aggressively. Accomplished criminal defense lawyers from St. Lucie County argue feverishly for a reduced sentence for a client because everyone deserves another chance and should not be locked away forever without another chance at redemption. Arguing vigorously for a client at sentencing could lessen the impact a conviction has on the individual.
Criminal Offenses Commonly Charged in St. Lucie County
Controlled Substance Laws
Florida is well known for its tough laws on drug crimes. People who live outside of Florida are often dismayed to learn that they face felony charges for trafficking in narcotics because they possessed as little as four grams of a substance or a large amount of marijuana. Drug investigators and prosecutors work hard to break drug rings. To do that, however, the police often arrest small-time dealers who sell narcotics to feed a personal habit or arrest people who are trapped in a cycle of drug misuse and work their way to the center of the operation. Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense attorneys diligently work to persuade a judge to order people to enter and complete drug treatment rather than simply throwing people in jail. They never learn how to cope with their substance misuse disorder if they are sent to jail or prison without building a foundation upon which they could stand when they eventually get out.
Florida Statutes Chapter 893 codified Florida’s drug laws. Chapter 893 provides the schedule for the classification of narcotics, prohibited acts, and the punishments associated with drug crimes. Many convictions for drug offenses in St. Lucie County require the offender to serve a minimum mandatory sentence.
Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyers have represented numerous individuals charged with drug offenses such as:
- Possession of narcotics such as marijuana, Crystal Methamphetamine, morphine, opioids, heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, prescription drugs, and synthetic narcotics;
- Selling, distributing, or possessing with the specific intent to sell, distribute, or gift narcotics;
- Narcotics trafficking;
- Conspiracy; and
- Possessing or distributing drug paraphernalia.
There is much at stake in a drug case for the accused. However, the issue of drug dealing and consumption is much more complicated than guilty or not guilty. There are highly complex socio-economic, race, and public health problems that make narcotics offenses into a murky legal issue. With that understanding in mind, Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense attorneys fight to avoid incarceration for their clients charged with drug offenses and advocate for sentencing alternatives such as:
- Drug Court and probation;
- Drug treatment and detoxification if necessary;
- Inpatient or outpatient drug counseling; and
- Placement in dual-diagnosis programs.
Domestic Violence Charges in St. Lucie County, Florida
Domestic violence crimes are considered very serious offenses in St. Lucie County, Florida. Unfortunately, allegations of domestic violence can be overstated, often intentionally, by the alleged victim that gives the police an impression that a terrible event has occurred. The police have no discretion to refuse to arrest a person accused of domestic violence. As a result, people get arrested and accused of felony offenses. Once arrested, the Florida Legislature specifically cautions judges and magistrates to consider the safety of the victims and any children when deciding to release the person accused of domestic violence.
Section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes is the state’s domestic violence law. Not every relationship between two individuals is considered to be a domestic incident, according to §741.28. Spouses, former spouses, children, siblings, people who have a child in common, and people who live in the same housing unit have domestic relationships. The designation of a domestic relationship is important because it triggers rights and remedies for the victim and obligations for the accused.
The consequences of a conviction under Florida’s domestic violence laws are severe. The offender faces minimum-mandatory jail time for certain offenses. Additionally, the judge could impose conditions of probation that are very difficult to honor, such as staying away from coupled with having no contact with the victims, children, and other family members. Also, the person must attend batterer’s programming, lose parental rights, and must surrender all firearms and ammunition.
Sex Offenses in St. Lucie County, Florida
Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyers never shy away from a challenge. Allegations of sexual misconduct are extremely challenging cases. However, each sex case commences with allegations, and the accused is presumed innocent, just like every other defendant in every other criminal case. The prosecution must rebut the presumption with evidence that convinces a jury that the allegations are true beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden on the prosecution is heavy, and the bar is exceedingly high.
Having tough, aggressive, and fearless defense lawyers from Musca Law defend allegations of sexual misconduct may give the accused an advantage in court over the prosecution. Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense attorneys have tremendous experience defending sex crimes such as:
- Sexual assault;
- Sexual battery;
- Possession of child pornography;
- Solicitation of prostitution;
- Aggravated sexual assault and sexual battery;
- Human trafficking;
- Sex offender registration crimes; and
- Acts of a lewd or lascivious nature.
Sexual crimes require disciplined preparation and a thorough investigation to devise the best strategy for a successful defense. The stakes are extremely high. A person convicted of a sexually-motivated crime in St. Lucie County faces a lengthy prison term, registration as a sexual offender, and potential incarceration in the state treatment center for an indeterminate amount of time as a sexual predictor or dangerous person.
St. Lucie County DUI Defense
DUI charges are serious criminal offenses that have the possibility of creating turmoil in a person’s life for a long time. As a result, DUI charges must be regarded as serious criminal offenses. A DUI conviction could lead to incarceration, depending on the charges and the offender’s prior criminal record. Florida’s DUI law, found at Florida Statutes §316.193, mandates suspension of the offender’s driver’s license, mandatory community service, probation, driver’s education, installation of an ignition interlocking device, and impound of the motor vehicle used to commit the offense. Moreover, car insurance rates will skyrocket, and the record of conviction will follow the offender permanently. Therefore, it is imperative that a person charged with any DUI offense in St. Lucie County contact a seasoned and skilled St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to mount a winning defense.
Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyers have experience defending clients facing allegations of:
- Aggravated DUI;
- DUI Manslaughter;
- Subsequent offense DUI;
- Commercial truck DUI;
- Serious bodily injury DUI; and
- Property damage DUI.
Florida’s DUI law is very strict. Therefore, having a skilled advocate fight for you is the key to avoiding the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction.
Theft Offenses in St. Lucie County
Florida Statutes §812.014 is Florida’s theft statute. Theft is a term that applies to various crimes where the primary allegation revolves around one person taking the property of another without justification and while having the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Florida’s theft crimes laws stratify its various crimes depending on the amount of money stolen, the value of the property taken, and whether special circumstances such as theft from a person 65 years-of-age or older were victimized.
Musca Law’s St. Lucie criminal defense attorneys have defended clients charged with a variety of theft offenses such as:
- Petit Theft,
- Grand theft;
- Burglary (See, F.S.§810.02);
- Robbery (See, F.S. §812.13); and
- Identify theft (See, F.S.§817.568).
Violent Crimes in St. Lucie County, Florida
Skilled criminal defense lawyers with substantial trial experience understand how best to attack allegations involving violent crimes. Unlike a lawyer who practices only DUI defense and uses a cookie-cutter approach to defending each client, defense of violent crimes requires a thorough investigation from the defense perspective and a complete analysis of the factual and legal issues present in the case. Some issues that come up often in defense of violent crimes are claims of self-defense or defense of another, misidentification, third-party culprit defense, and alibi, to name but a few.
Musca Law’s St. Lucie County criminal defense lawyers know how to attack cases aggressively when representing clients 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).
A person accused of perpetrating a violent act faces a very long prison sentence, perhaps life in prison without early release or the death penalty in some cases. Therefore, the person facing a violent crime in St. Lucie County, Florida, or believes he or she is under suspicion for committing a violent crime, must contact Musca Law right away for appropriate legal advice and safeguarding of constitutional rights.
St. Lucie County While-Collar and Cyber Crime Defense
White-collar criminal defense often involves defending crimes such as embezzlement, identify theft, perjury, bribery, and racketeering. White-collar implies that the crimes alleged were perpetrated through the use of secrecy or exerting influence over another rather than a strong arm crime like robbery.
Cyber crimes may include white-collar crimes, as well. However, cyber crimes involve the use of the internet to exploit people or sell illegal goods, run a prosecution a ring, deal narcotics, solicit minors for sex, or distribute child pornography.
Defending white-collar crimes and cyber crimes requires an attorney to possess a solid understanding of the technology used to perpetrate the act. Understanding the technology well often leads to developing winning defense strategies.
St. Lucie County Juvenile Justice
Juvenile criminal law and punishment are evolving. Child psychologists recently discovered that adolescent’s brains do not fully develop until much later in life than once believed. An adolescent male’s brain might not develop completely until he is in his mid-20s. Female adolescent brains mature more quickly but still slower than once thought. This revaluation altered the way people think about juvenile criminal justice.
Musca Law’s St. Lucie criminal defense attorneys advocate strongly for a child to receive rehabilitation, treatment, and education rather than detention at a juvenile facility. Children sent to a juvenile lockup often commit criminal offenses as an adult. It is imperative for the future of any child; therefore, to have a skilled advocate argue on his or her behalf and avoid incarceration in a juvenile detention center.
St. Lucie County Protective Orders
Section 784.046 of the Florida Statutes and Section 784.0485 of the Florida Statutes create a remedy for individuals who are in fear of another person. These sections allow for a person in fear of becoming a crime victim to petition the court for a protective order. Protective orders are available for individuals in fear of:
- Domestic violence;
- Repeat violence;
- Dieting violence; and
- Sexual Violence.
Protective injunctions can be used as weapons to gain an advantage in family court or to exact revenge against another person. Although a protective injunction is a civil remedy, a violation of the order is a criminal offense. Additionally, the allegations contained in a petition for a protective injunction frequently describe criminal behavior. Therefore, enlisting a seasoned criminal defense attorney to combat allegations of abuse contained in a petition for a protective injunction is vital to protecting your rights.
Musca Law: Aggressive Criminal Defense in St. Lucie, Florida
Call Musca Law at 888-484-5057 to speak with a St. Lucie criminal defense lawyer now. Counsel are available 24/7 to help you when you and your family need it most.