Inverness Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you or a loved one learns that there are DUI or other criminal charges pending against you in Inverness, Florida, it is essential that you remain silent, and ask to have an attorney present with you. Choose an Inverness Criminal Defense Attorney from Musca Law because we will stand up for your legal rights and your best interests. Our attoneys have an established track record of positive results and well-satisfied clients. Selecting the right attorney in your case can nean the difference between paying an excessive legal fees and fines and serving more time in prison or having your criminal charges reduced or maybe even dismissed.
The Inverness criminal defense team at Musca Law is committed to protecting your freedom and reputation. Our Inverness Criminal Defense Attorneys are highly trained and aggressive. When you or a member of your family have been arrested or are the center of a criminal investigation, call us for a free, no-obligation consultation. By acting fast, you can help improve the outcome of your case.
Speak with Our Best Inverness Criminal Defense Lawyers
People who hire a lawyer at the pre-charge stage of a DUI or criminal case have an advantage. The criminal defense attorney can find and exploit weaknesses in the prosecuting attorny's case, show there is a lack of evidence to prove charges, and/or question the admissibility of evidence at this time. Effective negotiations are based on these techniques and can lead to the decision not to proceeed with criminal charges, an agreement to diversion, or lessor charges. The initial charges also set the parameters for a plea agreement in a criminal case, and so successfully influencing the initial charging decision can mean the parameters for a future plea agreement will be set at a lower level.
Criminal charges will threaten the accused's job stability, liberty, reputation, family, and finances. However, our Inverness Criminal Defense Attorneys have a combined 150 years+ of combined criminal defense experience in a full range of criminal offenses, such as:
- Violent Criminal Offenses
- Federal Crimes
- Boating Under The Influence (BUI)
- Injunctions (Restraining Orders)
- Domestic Violence Injunction
- Stalking Injunction
- Sexual Violence Injunction
- Dating Violence Injunction
- Repeat Violence Injunction
- Narcotics Crimes
- Weapons Crimes
- Domestic Violence Offenses
- Financial Crimes
- DUI Manslaughter
- Sexual Offenses
- Child Pornography
- DUI (Driving Under The Influence)
- Theft Crimes
- Violent Crimes
- Criminal Enterprise Crimes
- Public Corruption
- Juvenile Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Resisting Arrest
- Possession of Stolen Property
- Probation Violation
- Obstruction of Justice
- Disorderly Conduct
- Concealed Weapons
- Crimes Against Children
- Traffic Violations
- Other State and Federal Offenses
Sex Crime Lawyers in Inverness
Although most people would be hesitant to condemn a high school senior who engaged in consensual sex with his sophomore girlfriend, Florida’s sex crimes penalties have harsh consequences. While misdemeanor or felony offenses often result in undesirable types of punishment, most sex offense convictions include a requirement to register as a sex predator or sex offender. This can affect pursuing employment, obtaining housing, and harm close, personal relationships if convicted. Moreover, a sex offender registrant will face long prison sentences, heafty fines, mandated counseling, and lenghty probationary periods following prison.
Inverness Sex Offender Attorneys
When someone is convicted of a sex crime in Florida, they are ordered to register as either a sexual predator or sexual offender. Sexual predator designation is reserved for people who are convicted of violent sex crimes. Florida law does not permit those designated as sexual predators to be removed from the sex offender registry. If the alleged victim is under the age of 16, the registered sex offender cannot live within a thousand feet of a park, school, or playground facility. Several county and city ordinances impose more restrictions on housing that make it extremely difficult for a registrant to find housing.
Criminal Defense Strategies for Sex Offenses in Inverness
Nobody wants to be accused of rape, child molestation, child pornography, sexual assault, or any other sexual offense. The sex crimes defense attorneys in Inverness at Musca Law use forensic experts and private investigators to interview witnesses and analyze forensic evidence. Depending on the circumstances of the sex crimes case, legal defenses could include:
- Consensual encounter
- Lack of knowledge or specific intent
- Suppression of illegally obtained statements or confessions
- Attacking the credibility of the government’s witnesses
- Tainted testimony of a child skewed by a biased or suggestive interview
Citurs County DUI Defense Lawyers
When people think about their chances of beating a DUI criminal charge in Inverness, they think their chances aree virtually non-existent because of the “science” of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) chemical testing. However, our experienced Inverness DUI Lawyers have represented hundreds of tourists and resident in Florida who were facing DUI charges. Our Inverness DUI Attorneys have the expertise and background necessary to challenge the prosecutor’s case based on Constitutional, administrative, and/or legal grounds.
DUI Laws in Inverness, Florida
Driving under the influence (DUI) is defined in Florida Statutes, Section 316.193 as driving a vehicle or exercising actual physical control over a vehicle when your “normal faculties” are diminished by drugs or alcohol or you have a BAC of .08% or more. Conviction under this provision can result in imprisonment, fines, and other penalties. If a person has prior convictions or was transporting a minor in the vehicle, they could face harsher penalties even for a first offense.
Defense Strategies in DUI Cases Used by Florida Criminal Lawyers
Illegal Stop: Police officers cannot pull someone over based on a mere “hunch,” they must have “reasonable suspicion” that a person is committing a traffic offense or “probable cause” someone is committing a crime. This “reasonable suspicion” must be based on articulable facts rather than mere speculation or guesswork. Contesting Field Sobriety Test Results: These “divided attention” tasks must be conducted according to very specific procedures and evaluation guidelines. Many officers lack the required training to administer the tests properly. Even if properly trained, the officer might deviate from these protocols. In other cases, physical disability, illness, or injury might impair a motorist’s ability to perform these tests properly. Challenge Chemical Tests: Breath tests are only admissible if the test complies with strict regulations and mandatory maintenance procedures are followed. The results can be thrown out for noncompliance with these procedural and maintenance requirements. Exclusion of Damaging Statements: When the officer pulls a person over, he or she will likely ask questions like the following:
Have you been drinking?
- How much have you had to drink?
- Where are you coming from?
Because Florida law does not require motorists to answer these questions, a person should politely indicate they want legal advice before answering any questions. The officer will not allow a person to call a lawyer, but this provides a convenient rationale for refusal. If a person did answer those questions, their responses may still be subject to suppression if the officer violated the Miranda rights or compelled an “involuntary” confession.
Criminal Lawyers for Domestic Violence in Inverness
The national attention focused on domestic violence allegations has never been more intense. Despite the good intentions of those applying pressure to “believe victims” and “punish abusers,” domestic violence allegations can be a devastating tool in the hands of those with improper motives. A person might already know this if they are a party to a divorce and child custody proceedings. Allegations by the partner can get a person removed from the shared home with virtually no notice. The judge also might temporarily bar the person from seeing the children or require a third-party supervisor to be present. The issuing of a domestic violence restraining order also might damage a person’s career by limiting their ability to pass a background check, obtain a security clearance, and own or carry a concealed weapon.
Domestic Violence Battery Laws in Inverness
Domestic violence refers to a category of crimes under Florida law that generally involves threats or acts of violence between parties in certain designated relationships under Florida Statutes Section 741.28. The relevant relationships include:
- Married or formally married partners
- Parties related by either marriage or blood
- Parties who live or have lived together as a family
- Parents of a child
The statutory provision provides a non-exclusive list of offenses that merit a domestic violence charge:
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- False Imprisonment
- Aggravated Stalking
- Other crimes resulting in injury between parties in the relationships indicated above
Domestic Violence Lawyers in Inverness
Criminal defense lawyers in Inverness at Musca Law have experience handling domestic violence cases. We conduct a thorough evaluation of medical records, law enforcement records, witness statements, and other evidence to determine the best defense strategy, such as fabricated allegations or self-defense.
Statutory Penalties for Misdemeanor Crimes
Misdemeanor crimes are criminal offenses that are punishable by as long as one year in county jail. As long as the defendant has not been charged with additional felony offenses, misdemeanors will be managed by a county judge and are deemed a less severe class of crimes than felony offenses. Misdemeanors are classified as either first-degree or second-degree misdemeanors.
Second Degree Misdemeanor - A second-degree misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by as long as sixty days in county jail, six months of supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $500.
First Degree Misdemeanor - A first-degree misdemeanor is a crime that is punishable by as long as one year in jail, one year of supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $1,000.
Statutory Penalties for Felony Crimes
Felony crimes are overseen by judges in circuit court and can be punished with a sentence of longer than one year in state prison. Felony crimes are sentenced according to guidelines that are given in Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code. Under the Criminal Punishment Code, also known as a “scoresheet”, every felony is assigned a particular number of points that are derived from a legal ranking of the seriousness of each crime. This legal ranking is calculated by the Florida state government and does not take into account a crime’s statutory degree. The higher a given felony is ranked, the more points that will be tallied on your Criminal Punishment Code “scoresheet.” If you total a score of higher than 44 points, you will be susceptible to a minimum term of incarceration. If you total a score of fewer than 44 points, the presiding judge is not obligated to sentence you to prison but does retain the option to do so.
Third Degree Felony - A third-degree felony is a crime that is punishable by as long as five years in state prison, five years of supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $5,000.
Second Degree Felony - A second-degree felony is a crime that is punishable by as long as fifteen years in state prison, fifteen years of supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $10,000.
First Degree Felony - A first-degree felony is a crime that is punishable by as long as thirty years in state prison, thirty years of supervised probation, and a fine of as much as $10,000.
Life Felony - A life felony is a crime that is punishable by life in state prison without the possibility of parole, or probation for the rest of your life, and a $15,000 fine.
Capital Felony - A capital felony is a crime that is punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Clearing Your Criminal Record
Contingent on the outcome of your criminal case, Florida state law enables you to have your criminal record either expunged or sealed. If an expungement of your criminal record is granted, it will result in the physical elimination of all but a single copy of your criminal record, which is maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. A sealed record is one that is hidden from public records and unobtainable for public review but still physically obtainable by law enforcement officials. Neither an expunged criminal record nor a sealed criminal record is made accessible to any private employer, landlord or discoverable via any type of background search.
You could be qualified to have your criminal record sealed if:
- You plead guilty or no contest to the charges
- The judge granted you a withhold of adjudication
- You have never been found guilty of committing any other crime
When a criminal record is sealed, law enforcement officials and courts are both forbidden to acknowledge the record’s existence or disclosing its details to the public.
You may be eligible to have your criminal record expunged if:
- Charges were dismissed and
- You have never been adjudicated guilty of any other crime.
When a record is expunged, courts and law enforcement agencies physically destroy the records related to your arrest. This makes it impossible for the allegations to be accidentally divulged. However, one copy is confidentiality maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement forever. If you or a loved one face any of the above charges, it is in your best interest to contact the Inverness Musca Law firm, in order to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
Criminal Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
What should I do if I think I have an outstanding arrest warrant?
If you believe that there may be an outstanding warrant for your arrest, you can search the Florida Department of law enforcement's arrest warrant website. However, the website may not be current. The best option is to speak with an attorney to conduct a search on your behalf and to help you resolve the issue.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Felony crimes are more serious crimes and carry much harsher penalties than misdemeanors. Typically a misdemeanor offense carries a prison sentence of up to one year in jail.
What happens after a person has been placed under arrest?
Ordinarily, when someone has been placed under arrest by local police officers or the county Sheriff's department, The suspect is brought into the local county jail for processing. At this time, the suspect's information is entered into the computer system, and the police will search to see if there are any open warrants on the suspect, and they will also review the suspect's criminal history.
In many cases, when an individual has been arrested for a misdemeanor, the officer or deputy may just issue a notice to appear rather than process you into the county jail.
If the suspect was arrested and put in jail on a felony criminal charge, here, she would be processed. Depending on the criminal charges, the defendant will either have to appear before a judge the next morning or be able to bond out.
Musca Law, P.A.
111 West Main Street, Suite 303
Inverness, Florida 34450
Phone: (352) 605-7877