Criminal Defense Lawyers in Jacksonville, Florida (FL)

How to Beat a Criminal Charge in Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (FL)


Have you or someone you care about been placed under arrest and are facing criminal charges in Jacksonville, Florida?  If so, it is critical that you are aware of the fact that in Jacksonville and across the State of Florida, criminal charges are taken very seriously and as such, are pursued aggressively by Jacksonville prosecutors and law enforcement.

At Musca Law, Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys Are Highly Experienced at Defending Those Accused of Criminal Offenses in Florida 

The Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys at Musca Law represent clients charged with a multitude of different charges, such as misdemeanor and felonies that involve penalties such as life imprisonment and even death.  At Musca Law, our attorneys handle the following types of criminal matters:

If you are facing criminal charges in Jacksonville, Florida, it is imperative that you hire competent legal counsel to preserve your legal rights and interests.  Only a skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL, has the time and resources to effectively represent you and your interests.  

Steps You Should Take if You are Being Questioned by Law Enforcement - Remain Calm, Respectful, and Remember to Keep Silent!

If you or someone you love has been placed under arrest, or if the Jacksonville police or Duval County Sheriff’s Office is asking you or your loved one to answer certain questions, it is important that you hire a criminal defense attorney.  Act, now, as there is no time to waste!  Always be sure to remain calm, act respectfully, and indicate to law enforcement that you will only answer questions in the presence of your attorney. Then contact Musca Law at (904) 610-6545. Our law firm is available 24/7 to take your call.

Do not allow interrogators to lure you or your loved one into making statements that will negatively impact your potential defense strategy.  This is especially true when you are innocent of the crime of which you have been accused.  According to psychological research, it confirms the fact that innocent individuals can be tricked by police into giving false confessions. Keep in mind that when a crime has been committed, law enforcement is under a significant amount of pressure to arrest and quickly prosecute a person accused of committing a criminal offense.

In many high-profile criminal matters, we have all witnessed the tactics used by law enforcement to fabricate evidence in order to obtain a conviction, despite whether or not the defendant is the actual perpetrator or completely innocent.  Keep in mind that any contact with Jacksonville law enforcement, the Duval County Sheriff’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, U.S. Customs, or any other law enforcement agency needs to be taken very seriously.  If law enforcement is interrogating you or a loved one, you are either a suspect or potential witness.  Either way, it is critical to contact Musca Law to safeguard your legal rights and learn about a potential defense strategy.  To schedule your free consultation, call Musca Law 24/7 at (904) 610-6545.

The Value of a Thorough Investigation Conducted by a Private Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney

In any criminal matter, the prosecution must bring forth evidence that sufficiently establishes every element of their case beyond a reasonable doubt.  The defense need not prove anything unless they advance an affirmative defense.

Notwithstanding, this does not mean that a criminal defense lawyer can sit back and take it easy.  If you or someone you love has been accused of committing a criminal offense, your attorney must take all measures to attack the prosecutor’s case. Leaving no stone unturned to create a reasonable doubt requires an in-depth investigation of all of the facts of the case, including details about the arrest and the evidence presented against you or your loved one.

A meticulous examination of the facts may also shed light on errors made by law enforcement.  For instance, during the criminal investigation, law enforcement may have violated your Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.  In some instances, our criminal defense attorneys have found during our investigation of a case that police mishandled evidence.  Furthermore, we have also been able to uncover the fact that our clients have been arrested without sufficient cause.  If any misstep occurred, your criminal defense lawyer to make all attempts to try to exclude evidence or file a motion to suppress.  These tactics could result in the reduction or dismissal of charges long before you or a loved one ever gets to the trial phase of their cases.

The Stages of a Florida Criminal Case

From a charge of simple possession to a felony prosecution, all federal and Florida criminal matters must adhere to specific procedures instituted by the United States Constitution as well as state and federal laws.  These procedures provide a defendant with the legal right to seek the help from a criminal defense lawyer.  While the criminal justice system in the United States has its flaws, including overly aggressive prosecutors and overburdened courts, our skills and experience in handling matters before criminal courts in Florida enables us to fight for our clients’ legal rights and interests.  There are several stages of a criminal case that a criminal defendant must understand.  These are as follows:

  1. Initiation of Charges: State prosecutors must file formal charges in order to open a criminal matter.  Specifically, prosecutors might make an appearance before a judge in order to establish probable cause during a criminal investigation, and they may need to secure an indictment from a grand jury during in a felony-related case.  If the person accused is in jail, the prosecution must have a hearing within 24 to 48 hours following his or her arrest in order to bring forth criminal charges.  If the prosecution does not follow this step, this could result in the defendant receiving an unconditional release from jail.
  2. Arraignment: once all formal charges have been brought against the defendant, the court must schedule an initial hearing known as an arraignment.  In essence, this notifies the defendant that criminal charges have been brought against him or her, and the accused must enter in his or her plea of guilty or not guilty.  At this stage, the court may prohibit the accused from having contact with the alleged victim(s) and impose other restrictions. The arraignment occurs shortly after a person has been placed under arrest and before criminal charges are filed. As such, the accused, at this stage, will likely not have yet retained a lawyer or prepared a defense on his or her own behalf.  So, the accused typically enters a plea of not guilty, regardless of whether he or she chooses to change their plea to no contest or guilty.
  3. Pretrial Hearings:  The criminal court may hold a number of pretrial hearings to address such matters as scheduling as well as to observe the process of any conditions or duties that are imposed upon the accused.  The criminal court may also hold hearings to supervise the plea negotiation process and to review matters such as access to certain witnesses or evidence presented during the pretrial phase of a case.  In the event of a plea deal, the criminal court will hold a separate hearing to review the agreement as well as the plea brought forth by the defendant.
  4. Pretrial Motions:  Several motions may be filed during the pretrial stage of a case.  For instance, defense counsel may choose to file a motion to suppress evidence in order to dismiss some or all of the outstanding charges, as well as motions to limit trial testimony.  The court will then examine and consider these motions during the pretrial hearings in the case, or the criminal court may tackle these issues before the criminal trial is held.
  5. Readiness Hearings:  the criminal court will hold a readiness hearing, also referred to as an omnibus hearing, between a few weeks to a few days before the trial date.  This hearing is meant to review or resolve pretrial motions, complete any pretrial matters, and review discovery.
  6. Trial:  Defendants may request a trial by jury or waive this right and have a judge hear and rule on this case.  A trial by jury consists of “voir dire,” or jury selection, opening statements, witness examination, the presentation of evidence, jury instructions, closing arguments, and then the court’s ruling.  The jury or the judge may render a verdict of guilty, referred to as a conviction, or not guilty, known as an acquittal.  If procedural errors were committed during the trial phase of the case, this may result in what is called a “mistrial.”  In a mistrial, the criminal trial ends, and the prosecution may decide to start the case all over again.
  7. Sentencing:  Criminal judges in Florida criminal cases are responsible for sentencing defendants in criminal cases, even in jury trials.   Under Florida law, judges must adhere to sentencing guidelines and impose a mandatory minimum sentence related to certain criminal offenses.  A defendant is afforded the chance to testify before the judge to urge him or her to impose a lenient sentence in his or her case.

At Musca Law, Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys Handle All Types of Criminal Matters

The Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys strive to develop the best criminal defenses to our clients in a variety of different criminal offenses ranging from low-level misdemeanor charges to felony charges involving the potential for life imprisonment or even death.  At Musca Law, our team of criminal defense attorneys represent clients facing any type of criminal charges, and these crimes can be categorized as follows:

  • White-Collar Crimes;
  • Violent Crimes;
  • Theft Crimes;
  • Sex Crimes;
  • Protective Injunctions/Restraining Orders;
  • Juvenile Crimes;
  • Internet Crimes;
  • DUI/BUI Crimes;
  • Drug Crimes;
  • Domestic Violence Crimes;
  • Burglary; and
  • Assault and Battery.

If you or someone you love has been charged with one or more crimes in Jacksonville, Duval County, or anywhere else in the State of Florida, contact Musca Law today.  Our criminal defense lawyers will provide you with a complete evaluation of your case as well as explain in detail the penalties associated with the charges you or a loved one is facing.

The Categories of Criminal Offenses in Jacksonville, Florida 

The Florida Legislature classifies crimes as either a misdemeanor or felony.  Each crime is then broken down into degrees, which is based upon the severity of the crime.  Some minor offenses do not result in jail.  Specifically, in Duval County, the guidelines of sentencing start at 60 days, and, in the most severe of cases, could result in the imposition of the death penalty.  The Florida criminal code provides the sentencing guidelines as well as penalties for each criminal offense in the State of Florida.

In Florida, those who face misdemeanor charges may be sentenced to up to one year in jail or more.  However, a person facing felony charges may be sentenced to prison and be forced to pay exorbitant monetary fines.  The amount of jail/prison time imposed upon a defendant depends on several factors, including the crime of which the accused was charged.

Keep in mind that there are certain crimes that are associated with a “mandatory minimum sentence.”  This indicates that the defendant, if convicted, must be sent to jail or prison, and the prosecutor or judge cannot reduce the punishment in these cases.  Note that while certain criminal offenses may fall within the same category, they nonetheless could also include very different levels of punishment. Specifically, the penalties associated with a certain crime depend upon whether the criminal court determines that there are aggravating or mitigating factors.

The following is a chart that provides the specific punishments associated with criminal offenses in Jacksonville and Duval County, Florida: 

Florida Criminal Offense Penalties & Punishments Chart

Offense Categories

Maximum Incarceration Periods 

(F.S. §775.082)

Maximum Monetary Penalties

(F.S. §775.083)

Second-Degree Misdemeanor

Jail Term of 60 Days

$500.00

First-Degree Misdemeanor

Jail Term of One Year

$1,000.00

Third-Degree Felony

Prison Sentence of Five Years

$5,000.00

Second-Degree Felony

Prison Sentence of 15 Years

$10,000.00

Third-Degree Felony

Prison Sentence of 30 Years

$10,000.00

Life Felony

Life in Prison without Parole

$15,000.00

Capital Felony

Death Penalty

N/A

In the State of Florida, criminal judges utilize the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet to ascertain the terms of a convicted individual’s sentence.  This scoresheet is meant to create some level of equity when defendants are issues penalties throughout the State of Florida.  Otherwise stated, criminal defendants who face similar charges in different Florida counties will receive the same level of punishment.  Overall, Florida’s criminal justice system is meant to create equity while still giving judges the power to consider case-specific elements that could result in a lesser or more severe punishment.  Without this level of equity, the punishments issued by juries or judges would hinge upon their emotions or preferences.

Should You Challenge Your Jacksonville, FL, Criminal Charges?

Your criminal defense attorney at Musca Law will help you to understand and determine whether it would be fruitful to pursue a dismissal or reduction of your charges or to try and persuade the judge to issue a more lenient punishment that is within the control of the judge.  Oftentimes, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will negotiate with the prosecution in seeking to reduce the criminal charges, which in turn would lessen the penalties that a defendant would otherwise face applying the guidelines of the Florida Sentencing Scoresheet.  Deciding what the best options are for defending a person against any criminal charges is contingent upon the facts of each case.  As such, you should contact Musca Law and speak with one of our criminal defense attorneys in Duval County, Florida as soon as possible in order to begin the process of preserving evidence and developing a strong defense strategy.

The Other Penalties and Consequences You Should Know Aside From Fines and Jail or Prison Sentences

All criminal defendants are undoubtedly worried about having to serve time in a county jail or a state or federal penitentiary.  At Musca Law, we strive to obtain the most favorable outcome possible for our clients, which is a dismissal of their criminal charges.  If a dismissal is not possible, Musca Law will work to negotiate a better outcome that is fair and just.

The following list provides examples of the repercussions a defendant could face if he or she is convicted of a criminal offense, regardless of whether he or she is required to serve time in jail/prison and/or pay a monetary fine.  If a defendant is found guilty of one or more criminal offenses, may also be subject to the following criminal penalties:

  • Difficulties in finding or keeping a job, attending college, renting an apartment or a home, or applying for credit;
  • A tarnished reputation due to having a permanent criminal record;
  • Mandatory drug and/or alcohol testing;
  • Mandatory educational programs;
  • Loss of constitutional rights, such as the right to vote or possess a firearm; and
  • Probation, which can last over a year, depending upon the criminal offense committed.
  •  
  • Many defendants in Duval County, Florida who choose not to work with an attorney are likely in jail/prison and are facing additional repercussions of a criminal conviction.  As such, if you or someone you love has been charged with a criminal offense in Jacksonville, Duval County, or anywhere else in Florida, the time to act is now.  Contact Musca Law 24/7 to schedule your free and completely confidential case consultation. 

Drug Crimes, Offenses and Charges in Jacksonville, Florida

Florida is known throughout the country as aggressively prosecuting drug-related offenses.  It is important to realize that even minor offenses such as simple possession may have serious consequences.  For instance, Jacksonville police often arrest an individual for having a small amount of drugs in their possession which was used to feed their own addition.  

At Musca Law, we understand that these individuals require treatment rather than incarceration in order to stop consuming drugs and lead a much healthier lifestyle.  As such, our Jacksonville Drug Crime Defense Attorneys strive to persuade the judge to send our clients to a drug treatment facility rather than face incarceration.  When an individual is sent to prison, he or she will not be afforded the opportunity to obtain the drug treatment that they desperately need.

Florida Statutes Section 893 provides an overview of Florida’s drug laws.  This section includes the schedules classifying illegal narcotics, the crimes that are prohibited, and the associated repercussions and related sentencing.  Many convictions for drug-related offenses in Jacksonville are associated with a mandatory minimum term in jail.

The attorneys at Musca Law handle all types of drug-related offenses, including, without limitation, the following:

  • Drug manufacturing;
  • Drug trafficking;
  • Simple possession and regular possession of illegal narcotics such as methamphetamine, synthetic drugs, heroin, morphine, fentanyl, cocaine, stimulants, and marijuana;
  • Prescription drug-related crimes;
  • Possession of illegal narcotics with the intention to distribute or sell them; and
  • Possession or distribution of drug paraphernalia used to ingest or distribute illegal narcotics.

Musca Law represents clients charged with a variety of different drug offenses to help them avoid prison and many other serious consequences associated therewith.  As such, we fight hard to have our clients face alternatives to sentencing such as:

  • Drug treatment or detoxification;
  • Probation;
  • Placement in a dual-diagnosis program; 
  • Drug counseling; and
  • Drug court.

It is important to keep in mind that those facing drug-related charges who have no prior criminal history or who are non-violent offenders may be able to avoid prison if they demonstrate to the court that they are willing to seek treatment for their drug habit.  At Musca Law, we fight hard to have drug-related charges dismissed or for our client to be subject to deferred adjudication, which will allow him or her to seek the drug treatment that he or she desperately needs.

Those who face drug-related charges who have no prior criminal history or who are not violent offenders may be able to avoid being sent to prison if they demonstrate to the court that they are willing to obtain substance abuse treatment in order to kick their drug habit.  

Domestic Violence-Related Offenses in Jacksonville, Florida

In Jacksonville, Florida, domestic violence cases are taken very seriously, and as such, as often prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  While there are cases where allegations of domestic violence are true, there are others where the accuser tries to exact revenge on the accused or to obtain the upper hand in a legal matter such as a custody battle.  Even a case without merit, Jacksonville police do not have the discretion to refuse to arrest a person suspected of committing acts of domestic violence.  

Florida Statutes Section 741.28 provides an overview of Florida’s domestic violence laws.  Under this statutory section, it is important to realize that not every type of relationship constitutes a domestic relationship for purposes of the law.  Specifically, Florida Satatutes Section 741.28 provides that a domestic relationship is one that includes spouses, former spouses, those who live in the same dwelling, children, common parents to a child or children, and siblings.

The penalties associated with a conviction for domestic violence in Jacksonville or Duval County may have life-altering consequences. In fact, a domestic violence conviction means that the offender will be subject to a minimum jail sentence. Moreover, the offender may have to surrender firearms and ammunition to police, as well as be subject to highly strict probation terms that are challenging to satisfy.  The offender may also be sent to a batterers’ intervention program.

The Jacksonville Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers at Musca Law help clients facing all types of domestic violence-related matters, including, without limitation, the following:

  • Domestic violence allegations;
  • Temporary restraining orders;
  • Dating violence injunctions;
  • Repeat violence injunctions;
  • Sexual violence injunctions; and
  • Stalking injunctions.

BUI & DUI Charges and Offenses in Jacksonville, Florida

When law enforcement officers pull you over and request that you perform standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), you need to know your legal rights.  Even if you have not been arrested, legal advice from top Jacksonville Driving Under the Influence Defense Lawyers can help you defend your rights and future. The decision to retain an attorney when an investigation is pending before formal charges have been filed can result in a far better disposition.

If you have representation at the pre-charge stage of a criminal case, your attorneys can expose weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, questions about the admissibility of evidence, and a paucity of evidence to prove specific charges.  Effective negotiation based on these strategies can lead to a decision not to file charges, an agreement to diversion, or fewer and/or less serious charges. Since the initial charges usually set the parameters for a plea agreement in the case, success in influencing the initial charging decision usually will mean the parameters for a plea agreement will be set at a lower level. 

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as well as Boating Under the Influence (BUI) are criminal offenses that are heavily prosecuted in Duval County by both prosecutors and law enforcement. DUI/BUI charges are often misdemeanors however, that does not mean that a person will not face serious consequences.  For example, a person who faces a DUI conviction may be subject to several severe penalties, including jail time, community service, the mandatory installing of an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle, license suspension, probation, and the required attendance at a driver’s education course.  The legal repercussions of a BUI conviction are just as severe and are similar in many regards.

At Musca Law, our DUI/BUI Defense Lawyers understand that a lot is at stake in DUI/BUI cases.  As such, we assist clients facing several types of DUI/BUI charges in Jacksonville and throughout the State of Florida, which include, without limitation, the following:

  • DUI;
  • BUI;
  • Aggravated DUI/BUI;
  • Chemical test refusals;
  • Property damage DUI/BUI;
  • Felony DUI/BUI;
  • Commercial driver DUI;
  • DUI/BUI manslaughter;
  • Multiple DUIs/BUIs;
  • Hit-and-run DUI/BUI/refusal to render aid; and
  • Serious bodily injury DUI/BUI.
  •  
  • It is important to understand that even if a person has no prior criminal record, he or she may still be subjected to the above-listed criminal penalties.  

Many people think their chances of beating a DUI charge are virtually non-existent because of the “science” of screening procedures like chemical tests of blood alcohol concentration (BAC).  However, our experienced Jacksonville DUI lawyers have represented hundreds of people facing DUI charges, so we have the expertise and background to challenge the prosecutor’s case based on Constitutional, administrative, and/or legal grounds.  An effective challenge to the basis for the stop of your vehicle, for example, could result in all the evidence against you being thrown out by the judge. 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 higher.  Conviction under this provision can result in imprisonment, fines, and other penalties. If you have prior convictions or were transporting a minor in the vehicle, you could face harsher penalties even for a first offense.

Some common defense strategies in DUI cases include:

Illegal Stop:  Police officers cannot pull you over based on a mere “hunch,” they must have “reasonable suspicion” that you are committing a traffic offense or “probable cause” you are 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 you 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?

Florida law does not require motorists to answer these questions, so you should politely indicate you want legal advice before answering any questions.  The officer will not allow you to call your lawyer, but this provides a convenient rationale for your refusal. If you did answer questions, those statements may still be subject to suppression if the officer violated your Miranda rights or compelled an “involuntary” confession.

Juvenile Justice Matters in Jacksonville, Florida

Those who are minors (less than eighteen years of age) who are charged with a criminal offense are typically prosecuted in what is referred to as juvenile court.  Juveniles that commit crimes in Florida are referred to as juvenile offenders, youth offenders, and juvenile delinquents. It is critical to be aware of the fact that the juvenile justice system intends to rehabilitate rather than punish minor offenders.  The following provides some examples of the consequence a juvenile offender may face if he or she is convicted of a crime in Jacksonville:

  • Incarceration in a juvenile detention center;
  • Mental health counseling;
  • Random alcohol and drug testing;
  • Probation; 
  • Mandatory community service; and 
  • Placement in a group home or halfway house.

In Florida, juvenile records are placed under seal. Notwithstanding, parents or guardians of a minor child must still reach out to an experienced Jacksonville Juvenile Crime Defense Lawyer for help, especially if the child is being charged as an adult.

It is important to realize that research has found that children’s brains do not fully mature until they reach their mid-twenties.  As such, this is why the juvenile criminal justice system seeks to impose alternatives to criminal repercussions such as incarceration and more. These alternatives are vital to the wellbeing of a child, as those who are sent to a detention center are likely to commit further crimes in the future. 

Sex-Based Offenses & Charges in Jacksonville, Florida

Sex-based offenses in Jacksonville, Florida are often highly complex and heavily prosecuted by law enforcement and Duval County courts.  Even if a person is accused of committing a sex crime, the criminal justice system presumes that he or she is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  It is important to understand that sex offenses are some of the most stigmatized crimes in the United States, and often subject an accused to public ridicule and scorn. 

At Musca Law, our tean Jacksonville Sexual Offense Defense Lawyers handle the following offenses, which include, without limitation:

  • Cyberstalking;
  • Sexual assault;
  • Sexual battery;
  • Aggravated sexual battery;
  • Aggravated sexual assault;
  • Child molestation;
  • “Pimping;”
  • Prostitution;
  • Human sex trafficking;
  • Lewd or lascivious acts;
  • Stalking; and
  • Sex offender registration-related offenses.

A strong defense case involving a sex-related offense requires a great deal of resources and time to develop.  It is important to note that the repercussions of a sex crime conviction are serious, and include imprisonment, incarceration in a state treatment center; harsh monetary fines; and mandatory registration as a sex offender.

To determine the best possible sex crime defense strategy, our attorneys conduct a thorough evaluation of all factors involved in the case. Depending on the facts of your case, defenses that might be relevant include:

  • Lack of knowledge or specific intent
  • Consensual encounter
  • 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
  • Jacksonville Sex Offender Registration

When you are convicted of many sex crimes in Florida, you must register as either a sexual predator or sexual offender.  The sexual predator designation is reserved for those who engage in violent sexual offenses. Florida law does not provide a process for those designated as sexual predators to be removed from the registry.  When the alleged victim of a sex crime is under the age of 16, the registered sex offender usually will not be able to live within a thousand feet of a school, park or playground facility under state law. Many county and city ordinances impose even stricter restrictions that can make it virtually impossible for a registrant to find housing.

Theft Crimes, Offenses, and Charges in Jacksonville, Florida

Florida’s list of theft laws, penalties, and related offenses are found at Florida Statutes Section 812.014.  It is important to note that theft in Florida means the taking of another’s property without consent with the intention of depriving him or her thereof.  

Musca Law represents clients facing a multitude of different theft-based charges, which include, without limitation, the following:

  • Petit theft;
  • Grand theft;
  • Larceny;
  • Robbery;
  • Burglary;
  • Possession of stolen property;
  • Identity theft; and 
  • Embezzlement.  

In many theft cases, those who are often targeted are the elderly, as they are often vulnerable to scams and may be able to defend themselves.  Accordingly, a judge presiding over a theft crime matter will consider the effects of the crime upon its victims when ascertaining which punishment to impose on the offender.  

Violence-Based Crimes in Jacksonville, Florida

Criminal offenses related to violence are prosecuted heavily in Jacksonville, Florida.  There are a multitude of issues that come up in a criminal case involving acts of violence.  As such, at Musca Law, our team of Jacksonville Violent Crime Defense Lawyers fight hard to develop the strongest defense case possible.  Such defenses include third party culprit defense, self-defense, and the defense of another.

Our attorneys represent clients facing the following crimes, which include, without limitation, the following:

  • Manslaughter;
  • Aggravated battery;
  • Assault and battery;
  • Aggravated assault;
  • Murder;
  • Rape/sexual battery;
  • Weapons charges;
  • Robbery;
  • Attempted murder; and
  • Vehicular manslaughter.

There are harsh penalties associated with the above crimes, which may include life imprisonment or the death penalty.  

Protective Injunctions, Restraining Orders, Orders of Protection in Jacksonville, Florida 

Under Florida Statutes Sections 784.046 and 784.0485, Florida residents may seek a restraining order, also known as an injunction or protective injunction, in order to be protected from future acts of violence.  Specifically, the alleged victim may be able to go to a Jacksonville civil court in order to file what is known as a petition if he or she is fearful of being harmed by stalking, repeat violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, or dating violence.

Specifically, Florida Statutes Section 784.0485 gives judges the authority to issue a protective injunction against an alleged offender in order to prevent further acts of violence.  As such, a judge in Jacksonville may issue one or more of the following restraining orders:

  • Sexual violence injunctions;
  • Repeat violence injunctions;
  • Dating violence injunctions;
  • Stalking injunctions; and 
  • Domestic violence injunctions.

It important to note that there are times where an injunction is being pursued against another person due to a desire to exact revenge or gain the upper hand in a case such as a divorce proceeding. Notwithstanding, it is still critical to understand that without representation, an accused will face serious and life-altering repercussions.

In order to obtain an injunction, the person who files the petition, known as the petitioner, must submit this document with the Duval County court clerk.  The person who is the subject of the injunction case is known as the respondent.  Once the petition is submitted to the court, the judge examines it and decides whether to issue a temporary injunction in order to safeguard the petitioner from further harm until the final hearing is held in the matter.  Even if the judge does not issue a temporary injunction, he or she will then schedule a hearing which is to determine whether a permanent injunction is necessary.  If the judge issues a permanent injunction, the offender must comply with all of its terms or else he or she will face criminal sanctions.

White-Collar Defense Matters in Jacksonville, Florida 

In general, white-collar crimes (offenses that involved the exertion of influence over another individual or a crime that was committed in secrecy) do not involve violence perpetrated against another individual.  Specifically, the majority of white-collar offenses, while not violent, are felonies.  Accordingly, a person convicted of a white-collar crime may be sent to prison for several decades or more.  Example of white-collar criminal offenses include, without limitation, the following:

  • Credit card fraud;
  • Exploitation of certain types of individuals, typically the elderly and disabled;
  • Conspiracy to commit fraud;
  • Racketeering;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Non-violent theft-related offenses;
  • Wire or bank fraud; and
  • Tax evasion.

Due to the fact that white-collar criminal cases are often complicated, many lawyers choose not to handle these types of matters.  At Musca Law, our team of Jacksonville White-Collar Criminal Defense Attorneys represent clients facing all types of white-collar charges.  

Cyber Crimes in Jacksonville, Florida

Criminal offenses that qualify as cyber crimes can also constitute white-collar criminal offenses.  This is due to the fact that the alleged exploitation of another person or persons occurred through the use of the internet.  A few examples of cyber crimes include using the internet for the sale of illegal goods, dealing drugs, distributing child pornography, soliciting minors for sex, and organizing prostitution rings.

Over the past ten years, cyber crimes have dramatically increased both in Florida and in the U.S.  As previously noted, they do not typically involve physical contact with another person.  However, they may include the possibility of harm if the offense is sex-related.

At Musca Law, our Jacksonville Cyber Crime Defense Attorneys regularly represent clients facing all types of internet-based charges, including, without limitation, the following:

  • Identity theft;
  • Credit card fraud/theft;
  • Sex trafficking;
  • Embezzlement;
  • Illegal financial transactions;
  • Solicitation and/or enticement of a minor for sex; and
  • Child pornography-related crimes such as the possession, sale, or distribution of child pornography.

Criminal Defense Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What are my legal rights while I'm being arrested for crimes?

In any event that you are arrested and charged with a crime, several constitutional and statutory legal rights protect you. The most important right that you may exercise is your right to remain silent. You can exercise this right at any time during an interaction with the lawn Forssman officer. You do not necessarily have to be placed under arrest to exercise your right to remain silent. At any time, if the lawn Forssman officer should ask you questions regarding an event or a crime, you must exercise your right to remain silent. You can be assured that if you're being questioned about a crime, you could be on the suspect list. 

Another one of your most valuable legal rights is your right to have an attorney present with you while being questioned by the police or during the most important stages of a criminal trial. If police are questioning you, you will not be provided with a free attorney. Therefore you'll have to contact a private criminal defense attorney who can guide you in intercede when necessary to protect your legal rights. Unless you're facing a charge of violation of probation or you're being charged with a crime punishable by life imprisonment or the death penalty, you have the right to have a reasonable bond amount set by the court. If you've been charged with a felony crime, you have the right to depose in question any witnesses that have or will testify against you. In any criminal matter, you have the legal right to see and no about all of the state's evidence they intend to use against you, such as eyewitness statements, scientific evidence, police reports, and all other types of evidence. Lastly, you have the right to a jury trial.

The police are at my house and want to conduct a search. Should I let them in?

If law enforcement has arrived at your home and they have asked to come inside your home and conduct a search, you are not required to permit the law enforcement officers into your home unless they have a search warrant. If law enforcement does have a search warrant, they are required to knock on the door and announce themselves prior to entering your premises. In the event that law enforcement enters into your home without knocking or announcing themselves prior to entering into your premises, this could be the basis to suppress any results obtained in the search. Some people feel they have nothing to hide and therefore will allow law enforcement to conduct a search of their residence. However, there are things that can happen that could cause significant legal problems for people who allow law enforcement to conduct a warrantless search. For example, maybe you had a party the night before, and somebody left a bag of marijuana. Is simple mistake could end up costing you a lot of legal trouble with law enforcement.

Can a police officer or Sheriff's deputy search my vehicle to stop for a traffic violation?

Not unless the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that they will discover evidence of a crime inside your vehicle. For example, suppose the law enforcement officer smells marijuana emanating from your vehicle. In that case, they could call in drug-sniffing dogs to create a probable cause to conduct a search of your motor vehicle. Unless a law enforcement officer has substantial probable cause to conduct a search of your vehicle or provide them with permission to do so, law enforcement does not have the right to search your vehicle. 

There is No Time to Waste, Prosecutors Are Building a Case Against You

In the same way that crimes are different on so many complex levels, so are the various intricate facets of a criminal trial. The federal and state judicial practices are complicated in their demands and in their methodologies. The specific area of the law in which your criminal charges lie also carries with it various scenarios. Every individual charge necessitates a separate defense tactic and technique.

To make the situation even more desperate, strict time constraints are also in place that are ordered by the courts in each charge. Hiring a criminal defense attorney in order to adhere to these strict deadlines is, consequently, in your very best interest. For instance, if you have been charged in the state of Florida with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you only have 10 days in which to demand a hearing, which could possibly prevent your driver’s license from being suspended.

Once you get in touch with our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys at the offices of Musca Law, we will be able to start the task of constructing an efficient and proactive defense strategy for your exact case. In addition, we will conduct an extremely thorough examination of any evidence against you. We will always move swiftly in order to adhere to any deadlines or provide for any discoveries that may be ordered.

At Musca Law, we endeavor to keep our clients apprised of any and all developments as their case progresses, in order to ensure that they get ongoing legal counsel and direction at every step of their legal journey. Furthermore, we recognize the emotional damage that a criminal charge places on you and on your loved ones as well. We engage all of our clients with courtesy, non-judgment, and respect. We are here to help you achieve the best outcome to a bad situation that we possibly can. Please call our Jacksonville office today to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys to determine how our legal services could most benefit you.

Jacksonville Office Location

Musca Law
630 W Adams St #205
Jacksonville, FL 32204
(904) 610-6545
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88HM+PM Downtown, Jacksonville, FL, United States

Get your case started by calling us at (904) 610-6545 today!