Gainesville Criminal Lawyers
When you are subjected to a traffic stop after you have been drinking or you are questioned as part of a law enforcement investigation, you need to be aware that you wield significant legal protections. Although you might have seen the police read suspects the Miranda warning on television, law enforcement officers have a strong incentive to discourage individuals from fully exercising their legal rights. In fact, law enforcement investigators often use lies and deception to trick people into answering questions based on the dishonest representation that “cooperation” constitutes the best option for improving their situation. To the contrary, the best defense when confronted by law enforcement is to forcibly and unambiguously assert your right to remain silent until your Gainesville criminal defense lawyers are present to protect you from overzealous and unlawful police practices.
Alachua County Criminal Defense Attorneys
Whether you face the potential of misdemeanor or felony charges, effective legal representation can help you avoid a criminal record, incarceration, and damage to your reputation. If you have been accused of a serious traffic violation, misdemeanor, or felony, our experienced and dedicated Gainesville criminal defense attorneys will tenaciously protect your rights and passionately defend your freedom and reputation. We tenacious defense against the full litany of criminal offenses, such as:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- DUI Manslaughter
- Sex Crimes
- Child Pornography
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
- Injunction and Protective Orders
- Juvenile Crimes
- Stalking (Including aggravated offense)
- Drug Crimes
- Injunctions (Restraining Orders)
- Drug Trafficking
- Possession with Intent
- Marijuana Possession
- Drug Manufactuing
- Drug Distribution
- Federal Drug Crimes
- Concealed Weapons
- Disorderly Conduct
- Obstructing Justice
- Fraud Crimes
- Insurance Fraud
- Theft Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- White-Collar Crimes
Sex Crime Lawyers in Gainesville
Despite the generally held belief that people deserve a second chance once they have “done their time,” sex crime convictions can have lifelong implications. Whether you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony sexual offense, Florida has some of the toughest sex crime laws. After a period of incarceration and satisfaction of the terms of probation or parole, most sex offense convictions result in the additional hardship of inclusion on the Florida sex offender registry. This harsh condition even applies in cases of isolated mistakes by relatively young offenders like a high school student who sleeps with his underage high school girlfriend.
- Sex Crimes
- Rape / Date Rape / Spousal Rape
- Sexual Assault / Sexual Battery
- Exploitation or Molestation of a Child
- Pimping & Pandering / Solicitation
- Lewd & Lascivious
- Sexual Tourism / Traveling to Meet a Minor
- Child Pornography Offenses
- Statutory Rape / Sexual Activity with a 16 or 17-Year-Old
Gainesville, Florida Sex Offender Registration
If a person is required to register as a sex offender (or sexual predator for violent offenses), he or she frequently will face serious restrictions on residential choices, career opportunities, and even travel options. Many counties impose even more stringent restrictions than state law, making it virtually impossible for a registered sex offender to obtain housing or hold a job. Inclusion on the registry also can result in ongoing harassment and difficulty pursuing and maintaining a relationship because your conviction will be open to the public. A family member, friend, employer, or landlord can see the specific crimes and the registrant’s home address. Skilled sex crime lawyers in Gainesville can analyze the government’s evidence, identify and interview witnesses, and assert defenses that might include consent, self-defense, suppression of evidence, fabricated allegations, or incriminating statements obtained in unlawful interrogations.
Gainesville DUI Lawyers - DUI Florida Statute §316.193
Florida law defines the offense of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) to include being in control or driving a vehicle if (1) you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or higher or (2) your mental or physical faculties are impaired. See Florida Statute §316.193. If you are convicted, the penalties could include jail/prison time, revocation of your driver’s license, DUI school, use of an ignition interlock device, significant fines & costs, probation, and/or other consequences depending on the circumstances.
- DUI with Manslaughter
- DUI Drugs
- Disorderly Intoxication
- DUI with a Child Passenger
- Felony DUI
- DUI Accidents Causing Injury or Death
- Boating Under the Influence
Drunk Driving Attorneys in Gainesville
Although no one wants to be stopped and subjected to a DUI investigation by a police officer, the way a motorist handles such a scenario might greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome. We suggest the following steps to improve your prospects of avoiding a DUI conviction:
- When pulled over hold your license, registration, and proof of insurance in your hands, which should be in plain view on the steering wheel.
- While you should be courteous to the police officer, you should not be drawn into a conversation. Indicate that you are uncomfortable answering questions without talking to your attorney. When the officer does not grant you the opportunity to do so, you should ask if you are free to leave.
- If the officer asks you to breathe into a breathalyzer while you are stopped, you should politely decline such a request. One approach would be to ask the officer if the results are 100 percent accurate. When he cannot confirm this fact, you have a reason to decline.
- The officer probably will ask you to perform “divided attention” exercises referred to as “standardized field sobriety tests” (SFSTs). Again, you can ask if the tests are 100 percent accurate as a pretext for your refusal. These tests like the portable breathalyzer should be declined unless you are CERTAIN you will pass.
- At this point, you might ask again if you are free to leave or whether you are under arrest.
While these steps will probably not prevent a DUI arrest, they limit the evidence prosecutors can introduce when attempting to prove guilt in a DUI prosecution. Further, the police officer will have less evidence to support “probable cause” for an arrest, which might make the breath test following a formal arrest subject to suppression. When you take these steps and promptly retain experienced Gainesville DUI lawyers, the law firm will investigate police procedures along with chemical and SFST results and protocols to identify the most appropriate defense tactics.
Domestic Violence Lawyers in Gainesville
The issue of domestic violence has become a major subject of focus for media, politicians, and law enforcement in recent decades. While this is a positive development in many respects, the intense pressure to obtain “justice” for “victims” has opened the door to potential abuse. Allegations of domestic violence often are raised for the first time during family law disputes like divorce or child custody proceedings. Because allegations of this type create a basis to obtain a domestic violence injunction, an accusation of family violence can function as an effective weapon rather than a protective shield. The judge can impose the following restrictions when imposing this type of injunction:
- Awarding the alleged victim temporary exclusive possession of a shared residence
- Prohibition on owning a firearm or carrying a concealed weapon
- Imposing a parenting plan and child time-sharing schedule that can deny any access to the restrained party or require supervision visits [See Florida Statutes, Section 741.30].
The judge can even make these orders on an “ex parte” basis for a temporary period with virtually no notice.
Florida law defines domestic violence as crimes involving injury or loss of life between people in designated household or family relationships. Pursuant to Florida Statutes, Section 741.28], the relevant relationships include:
- Parents of a child
- People currently or formerly cohabitating as a family
- Married or formerly married parties
- Other individuals related by blood or marriage