Criminal Defense Lawyers Monroe County, Florida
How to Beat a Criminal Charge in Florida
With a population of 76,212 people (2019), Monroe County is in the southwestern portion of the state and has a relatively high rate of arrests (6,843 arrests in 2019), according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Note that not every arrest amounts to criminal charges.
Given the above, prosecutors in the county pursue criminal matters very aggressively in an attempt to keep the public safe from harm. Because most crimes in Florida carry potential jail sentences and other consequences, criminal charges should never be taken lightly in Monroe County. As such, those facing criminal charges should always assume that the prosecutor will pursue the maximum penalties possible, regardless of whether a person has a criminal record. To have a fighting chance in challenging criminal charges in Monroe County, it is vital to be armed with aggressive legal representation. Only a skilled Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney can protect your legal rights and interests, as well as discuss with you your legal options and potential defenses.
The Classification of Criminal Charges in Florida
In Florida, serious crimes are identified as misdemeanors and felonies. Keep in mind that most traffic-related offenses do not amount to misdemeanors or felonies and are typically known as infractions. While some traffic offenses can result in misdemeanor and felony charges, the vast majority of them are not governed by Florida’s most serious criminal laws that are discussed more fully herein.
The classification of criminal sanctions associated with misdemeanors and felonies in Florida are as follows:
CLASSIFICATION OF CRIME
MAXIMUM MONETARY FINES
Whether a person in Monroe County will be subject to criminal sanctions depends upon numerous factors. In some instances, prosecutors may not consider certain positive attributes such as a clean criminal history. In other instances, the prosecutor may consider these and be aggregable in seeking less serious repercussions. This can be a possibility in one’s case if he or she has a strong Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney to negotiate on his or her behalf. Even with aggressive prosecutors, many alleged offenders in Monroe County have been able to obtain a positive outcome such as a dismissal or reduction of the criminal charges, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. Having a skilled Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney by one’s side can ensure that all measures are taken to achieve a favorable outcome in one’s case.
Additional Sanctions Associated with a Monroe County Criminal Conviction
The most positive outcome a person can achieve in one’s case is to have a Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney obtain a complete dismissal of the criminal charges. When a dismissal cannot be obtained, an experienced Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney will apply his or her resources to fight for the best outcome possible, depending upon the facts and circumstances of the case. For instance, if an individual is being charged with grand theft, a successful negotiation to plead guilty to a less serious crime may help the defendant to avoid a conviction, jail time, and monetary penalties.
Even when a favorable outcome is achieved (i.e., like the avoidance of jail time), the defendant will still face certain consequences. These collateral consequences may also be imposed on a person who is sentenced to jail, and are as follows:
- Permanent criminal record;
- Random drug and alcohol testing;
- Loss of the right to vote;
- Mandatory mental health and/or substance abuse treatment;
- The loss of Second Amendment rights; and
Given that a person facing criminal charges is most likely to be subject to some or all of the above, it is vital to find a Monroe County Criminal Defense attorney who has a track record of success both inside and outside of the courtroom.
Musca Law Handles Even the Most Challenging Criminal Charges
Criminal law includes a wide range of conduct that is deemed illegal under both Florida and federal law. A well-versed criminal defense law firm represents clients facing all types of criminal charges. The crimes that Musca Law handles include, among others, the following:
- Domestic violence crimes;
- DUI crimes;
- Sex crimes;
- Drug crimes;
- Violent crimes;
- White-collar crimes;
- Internet crimes;
- Juvenile crimes;
- Protective injunctions/restraining orders; and
- Theft crimes.
If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Monroe County, you should immediately seek the counsel of a Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney.
Drug-Related Offenses in Monroe County, Florida (F.S. § 893.13)
Drug offenses are commonly charges in Florida, with Monroe County being no exception. Examples of these commonly charges drug offenses, include, without limitation, the following:
- Conspiracy to commit drug offenses;
- Drug trafficking;
- Possession of drugs with the intention to distribute and/or sell;
- Possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Felony possession of drugs such as methamphetamine, crack cocaine, ecstasy, LSD, cocaine, and heroin; and
- Misdemeanor possession of drugs such as cannabis and hashish.
Many drug-related offenses involve the possession of a small amount of drugs intended for personal use. In some instances, the subject drug is cannabis, which is now legal to consume for medicinal purposes. For those who choose to possess cannabis for non-medicinal uses, they can face serious penalties, in addition to those accused of possession felony-related drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine. This may be shocking to those caught with a small amount of controlled substances. As such, it is vital that a person charged with drug possession or other drug-related offenses to contact a skilled Monroe County Drug Crime Defense Attorney as soon as possible to safeguard his or her legal rights and interests.
Domestic Violence-Related Offenses in Monroe County, Florida (F.S. § 741.28)
Domestic violence-related offenses in Monroe County include a variety of different conduct. Nearly every criminal offense that involves death or physical injury that is committed by a household or family member towards another household or family member is considered domestic violence in Florida. As such, crimes such as battery, assault, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, sexual battery, sexual assault, kidnapping, aggravated stalking, stalking, false imprisonment, or any crime that causes death or physical injury. The following persons qualify as household or family members in Florida:
- Parents of a child or children in common, regardless of whether they were or are married;
- Those who currently or in the past resided together as a family;
- Those related by marriage or blood;
- Former spouses; and
Except for those who share a child or children in common, the household or family members must currently or in the past have resided together in the same dwelling.
Sex-Based Crimes in Monroe County, Florida
Sex-based offenses are taken very seriously along with other violence crimes committed in Monroe County. Akin to domestic violence, numerous offenses qualify as sex-based crimes in Florida, with many that are considered felony-level crimes. Examples of sex-based offenses in Monroe County include, without limitation, the following:
- Failing to register as a sex offender;
- Sex-related crimes involving minors (such as possession of child pornography);
- Lewd and lascivious acts;
- Human trafficking;
- Soliciting a prostitute;
- Statutory Rape;
- Attempted rape; and
Sex-based offense include the added element of the sex offender registry. Many individuals convicted of a sex-based offense, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, must be included on the sex offender registry under Florida law. This means that it does not matter whether a person committed forcible or statutory rape; both offenses require a person to register as a sex offender. If a person fails to register on the sex offender registry will face additional criminal penalties, including jail time.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Offenses in Monroe County, Florida (F.S. § 316.193)
DUI-related offenses in Florida are similar to most other states across the U.S. The legal limit in Florida is a blood-alcohol concentration, or BAC, of 0.08%, and for those that are under the age of 21, the BAC is much lower at 0.02%. While DUI matters are typically straightforward, there is room for challenging a Monroe County Prosecutor’s case. A DUI case that does not meet all of the elements of the applicable law should be subject to dismissal. A person may be deemed guilty of DUI in Monroe County if the prosecution establishes the following:
- The accused’s normal faculties were impaired by drugs or alcohol;
- The accused’s breath-alcohol level is 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 210 liters of breath; or
- The accused’s blood-alcohol level is 0.08 grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.
Minor DUI crimes are deemed misdemeanors in Florida, which may or may not result in jail time. The most serious DUI related crimes in Florida involve aggravating factors such as property damage, physical harm, and death, all of which may constitute felonies that are associated with an extended prison sentence that could last up to thirty years. Most DUI matters that are not dismissed are associated with various consequences, including the loss of one’s driving privileges, vehicle impoundment, the mandatory installation of a ignition interlock device, and mandatory drug and alcohol counseling/treatment, among others.
Theft -Related Crimes in Monroe County, Florida (F.S. § 812.014)
Theft-related offenses are extremely common in Florida, especially those involving internet-based transactions. Even though many theft crimes do not involve violence, they still qualify as felonies that can lead to an extended prison term. Examples of theft-based offenses in Monroe County, Florida include, without limitation, the following:
- Identity Theft (F.S. § 817.568);
- Grand theft;
- Petit theft;
- Robbery (F.S. § 812.13); and
Violence-Based Criminal Offenses in Monroe County, Florida
Without question, violence-based offenses, especially those that result in death, are without question the most serious offenses in Florida which are associated with harsh consequences ranging from jail time to life imprisonment, or even the death penalty. Given the fact that violent crimes are severe, anyone facing accusations of committing a violent offense should contact a skilled Monroe County Violent Crime Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Examples of violent offenses include, without limitation, the following:
- Robbery (F.S. § 812.13).
- Rape/Sexual Battery (F.S. § 794.011);
- Vehicular Manslaughter (F.S. § 782.071);
- Manslaughter (F.S. § 782.07);
- Murder (F.S. § 782.04);
- Attempted Murder (F.S. § 782.051);
- Arson (F.S. § 806.01);
- Aggravated Battery (F.S. § 784.045); and
- Assault and Battery (F.S. § 784.011 and F.S. § 784.03).
Given how important it is to present an aggressive defense to serious criminal charges including violent crimes, no alleged offender should ever try to represent himself or herself.
Internet-Based Crimes in Monroe County, Florida
Most individuals count on the internet to manage their daily lives, especially many businesses where use of the internet is essential. Without the internet, society would likely be lost. Notwithstanding, the internet is sometimes used to commit crimes. Internet-based offenses have become more prevalent since the 1990s. Examples of internet-based offenses, some of which are felonies, include, without limitation, the following:
- Solicitation and/or enticement of a child for sexual purposes;
- Sex trafficking;
- Child pornography;
- Identity theft;
- Credit card fraud/theft;
- Illegal financial transactions; and
White-Collar-Based Criminal Offenses in Monroe County, Florida (F.S. § 775.0844)
White-collar-based offenses, are often non-violent in nature and involve items of value or money, are very serious under both federal and state law. Many white collar offenses fall into the categories of internet crimes and theft-based offenses. Examples of white-collar crimes in Monroe County include, without limitation, the following:
- Non-violent theft-based crimes;
- Conspiracy to commit fraud;
- Exploitation of certain individuals such as the disabled and elderly;
- Credit card fraud/theft;
- Illegal financial transactions; and
Juvenile Crimes in Monroe County, Florida
The juvenile criminal justice system differs from that of adults, and the repercussions associated with juvenile criminal charges and convictions are often not as severe as those that an adult may face. Notwithstanding, a juvenile criminal proceeding in Monroe County should seek the services of a Monroe County Juvenile Defense Attorney who is experienced and skilled at successfully handling juvenile criminal proceedings. There are instances where a juvenile will be tried as an adult, however (such as violent crimes like homicide). Except in crimes involving violence, juveniles who are facing criminal charges are likely to face the following repercussions if convicted:
- Placement in a group home/Halfway House;
- Alcohol and drug testing;
- Community service;
- Probation; and
- Incarceration in a juvenile jail for cases that are more severe.
Protective Injunctions/Restraining Orders in Monroe County, Florida
In Florida, orders of protection or restraining orders are also referred to as protective injunctions or injunctions, which are orders issued by a civil court. Injunctions include an area of law that does not involve a jury or prosecutor. Rather, a victim of violence or abuse can pursue an injunction in certain cases that if granted, compels another individual to stay away. While injunctions are handled by a civil court, if they are violated, the offender will be faced with criminal sanctions. In Monroe County, there are five types of injunctions that a person can seek, which include the following:
- Stalking Injunctions (F.S. § 784.0485);
- Sexual Violence Injunctions (F.S. § 784.046);
- Repeat Violence Injunctions (F.S. § 784.046);
- Domestic Violence Injunctions (F.S. § 741.30); and
- Dating Violence Injunctions (F.S. § 784.046).
One mistake that some people make is to ignore the severity of a protective injunction matter in Monroe County. Once a person becomes subject to an injunction, his or her rights are greatly impacted. Due to the fact that injunctions pertain to claims of criminal behavior, only a seasoned Monroe County Criminal and Protective Injunction Defense Lawyer should represent the accused. Seeking qualified representation enables the accused to have a fighting chance to obtain a dismissal of the case. By failing to hire a skilled advocate, an accused may face serious consequences, including a stay away order, loss of child custody, loss of one’s Second Amendment Rights; loss of the ability to go where he or she pleases, and more.
Contact the Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Musca Law Today!
If you are being charged with a crime in Monroe County, it is critical that you hire a strong legal advocate who is well-versed at handling all types of criminal cases. At Musca Law, we have a nationally-recognized team of Key West Criminal Defense Attorney that has over 150 years of collective experience assisting clients to obtain positive outcomes in their case. To speak with a Monroe County Criminal Defense Attorney about your case, contact Musca Law 24/7 by calling (888) 484-5057. We look forward to making a difference for you.