Panama City Criminal Lawyers
Despite the inherent anxiety associated with either alternative, many people who are stopped by the police or arrested do not suffer any negative consequences. Although every situation is unique, several factors often dictate whether an encounter with law enforcement results in a criminal conviction. Individuals with a basic understanding of their legal rights who do not hesitate in asserting their right to counsel and their right against self-incrimination tend to fare much better than those who attempt to talk their way out of trouble.
Criminal charges can threaten a person’s job, family stability, liberty, reputation, and financial well-being, but our Navarre criminal defense attorneys with over 150 years of combined experience provide aggressive opposition to the full range of criminal offenses, such as:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
- DUI Manslaughter
- Sexual Crimes
- Domestic Violence
- Child Pornography
- Theft Offenses
- Serious Traffic Offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Violent Crimes
- White Collar Crimes
- Concealed Weapons
- Public Corruption
- Federal Crimes
- Possession of Stolen Property
- Juvenile Crimes
- Probation Violation
- Disorderly Conduct
- Obstruction of Justice
Domestic Violence Lawyers in Panama City
In Florida, domestic violence cases, If one becomes involved in an altercation with a spouse, ex-spouse, co-parent, current or former live-in companion, or another person related by marriage or blood, the police are required to make an arrest if the other party is injured. Even though the other party may have been the aggressor, this scenario often results in the injured party being labeled as the victim while the non-injured party is arrested for domestic violence. The offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on its severity. Domestic violence cases pose a serious concern because defendants will likely face multiple charges. If one is arrested for allegedly locking the door and blocking the other party from leaving your home, for example, that person may be charged with both domestic violence and false imprisonment. Examples of crimes that can serve as a basis for a domestic violence charge include assault or aggravated assault, battery or aggravated battery, stalking or aggravated stalking, false imprisonment, and other offenses that result in injury or death. The covered relationships include parents of a child, spouses, divorced parties, marital and blood relations, and parties who currently or in the past cohabited as a family. See Florida Statutes, Section 741.28.
A Team of Domestic Violence Lawyers in Panama City FL
Our domestic violence lawyers in Panama City recognize that many accusations in these cases are based on the uncorroborated claims of the purported victim. These accusations often arise out of a complex or contentious relationship where the complaining witness has a motivation to distort or exaggerate the truth. Claims of domestic violence can be designed to exact revenge against a former spouse or paramour or to gain an advantage in a child custody case or divorce. We examine motivations to misrepresent this type of allegation while also examining police reports, alleged photos of injuries, and other evidence to craft an effective defense.
Misdemeanors vs Felonies
Another critical aspect of Florida law of which you need to be aware is the distinction between the two classifications of criminal offenses: felonies and misdemeanors. If you lack even a basic understanding of the type of offense that you’ve been charged with, it will be very challenging to comprehend the potential penalties you may be facing.
In the state of Florida, crimes are categorized as either a felony or a misdemeanor offense. A misdemeanor offense is regarded as a less severe crime than a felony offense. Being charged with a misdemeanor crime carries with it a maximum jail sentence of one year. Serious drug crimes, violent crimes, and the majority of sex crimes are usually classified as felonies. They come with prison sentences of as long as life in prison.
Some crimes, such as assaults and DUIs, have the ability to be tried as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances surrounding the event. For instance, a first-time offender DUI is a misdemeanor charge that is punishable by as much as a year in jail. Additional offenses, however, could very well be felony DUI charges.
Assault is mainly classified as a misdemeanor, but when the charge is for aggravated assault it is now considered to be a felony. Other crimes such as disorderly conduct and reckless driving are safely housed in the misdemeanor family.
If you or someone you love has been charged with committing a crime in the state of Florida, it is critical that you retain an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney who is able to help you get through these complex and damaging legal issues. Knowledge and skill are paramount when it comes to dealing with serious criminal problems.
You don’t want to gamble with luck when your personal liberty is on the chopping block. Our criminal defense attorneys here at Musca Law understand how daunting the criminal justice system can be and are here to help you throughout this ordeal. If you or someone you know has been arrested and needs to retain the legal counsel of a Panama City criminal defense attorney, be sure to reach out to our legal defense team to schedule a free, no-obligation, and confidential case review as soon as possible.
When a defendant is stopped and arrested based on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI), the outcome of the case can impact many facets of the life of the accused. The immediate impact of a DUI will be the automatic suspension of the accused’s driver’s license and the impounding of their vehicle. The loss of driving privileges could impact the defendant’s job, education, and their ability to shop and take their children to school. When a police officer is considering an arrest or a prosecutor considers charges in a DUI case, they will examine the defendant’s driving prior to the stop, physical signs of intoxication during the stop, chemical testing results, and field sobriety exercise performance. These types of evidence often are subject to multiple interpretations and other legal challenges.
Information on DUIs from Our DUI Lawyers in Panama City
For example, a DUI can be based on either impairment of a defendant’s “normal faculties” or a blood alcohol level (BAL) of .08 percent or higher when said person is driving or in actual control of a vehicle. See Florida Statutes §316.193. If the defendant performed poorly during field sobriety tests, we might establish that only your physical faculties were impaired because you were injured, fatigued, or ill while your mental faculties were normal. If a breath test reveals a result above the legal limit, we will explore calibration of the device and factors that could compromise the accuracy of the results. If the officer did not observe the defendant during a waiting period or you suffer from GERD, these factors can make the breath test unreliable. Although the appropriate defenses will depend on the situation, there are many defenses that our experienced Panama City DUI lawyers might utilize to fight for the defendant’s license, freedom, and reputation. We examine the legal basis for the stop, procedures during field sobriety and chemical testing, and the officer’s perception of the accused’s driving and physical condition during the stop.
Sex Crime Lawyers in Panama City
Individuals who are fully convicted of sex crimes in Florida will be required to register as a “sex offender” or a “sex predator.” Sex predator status, which cannot be changed, is reserved for violent sexual offenses. When people are listed on the sex offender registry, a basic search of the web will yield their inclusion on the registry along with their address and their crimes. The defenses that can be effectively pursued in a sex offense case depends on the specific charge and circumstances. Some common defenses include consent, lack of intent or knowledge, suppression of unlawfully obtained statements or physical evidence, and unreliable or coached child testimony, just to name a few examples. Our attorneys represent almost the full spectrum of sex offenses, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Sexual Abuse
- Date Rape
- Child Pornography
- Child Molestation
- Sexual Assault
- Internet Solicitation
- Indecent Exposure
- Sexual Exploitation
A Team of Panama City Defense Lawyers You Can Rely On
If you have been arrested or you have discovered that you are the target of a criminal investigation, our Panama City defense lawyers invite you to contact us so that we can discuss your rights and available defenses.
Child molestation is one of the most egregious and increasingly popular forms of criminal charges. According to the legal definition, child molestation is any form of sexual contact or overture with a minor who is younger than 16 years of age. Just the lone allegation of child molestation will have an extremely negative backlash on the accused that will necessitate a highly skilled and knowledgeable Panama City defense attorney.
In the state of Florida, nannies, babysitters, au pairs, caregivers, and teachers of all kinds are all compelled by law to report any unusual statements or activity that allude to the neglect or the abuse of a child. In the event that a child makes a false statement out of anger at a parent, the outcome from that could still be heavy criminal penalties, even if the false comment is later retracted by the child. If you have been charged with the molestation of a minor, it is in your best interest to find reliable legal counsel with experience in Panama City, Florida child molestation cases.
Our Panama City sex crimes attorneys have successfully defended people who have been accused of child molestation in Florida and will work tirelessly to protect your rights. Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation.
Penalties and Defenses of Child Molestation
Child molestation is a third-degree felony punishable by anywhere from five years in prison to a life sentence with mandatory registration as a sexual predator, offender or both. The time served is all in relation to the severity of the charges being brought against the defendant and if there are any previous charges that need to be considered.
A Panama City child molestation defense attorney at Musca law can successfully fight the charges that you may have pending against you right now. Cases that center around minors can be extremely vicious because of the state’s tendency to use children’s testimony as a way of helping their argument.
We will put our skill and legal know-how to work for you or your loved one by conducting pre-trial examinations to see if we can perhaps have your case dropped before the trial even begins. If a trial is unavoidable, our Panama City sex crime attorneys have proactive defense tactics that they can use to challenge your Florida sex crime charges.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has compiled data that shows that Florida has an average of 115,000 drug-related arrests annually. Most of these arrests deal with lesser drug crimes, such as charges for paraphernalia and charges of possession.
Our Panama City criminal defense attorneys have defended a variety of clients who have been charged with these same infractions and seen very successful outcomes to these cases. Our attorneys employ a wide number of legal tactics that vary from questioning whether or not a police traffic stop or its consequent search and seizure techniques were unlawful to arguing for more favorable terms in your plea bargain.
The penalty that you will endure for a drug crimes charge is based on a wide variety of conditions that may or may not have been present during the event, like whether a supposed sale really even occurred, the type of drug on record, and the amount of the drug they are claiming you sold. If you have any prior criminal charges on your record, those will also factor into the result of your case. Getting a guilty verdict for a charge of drug trafficking could result in 20 years in state prison, but even a conviction for a much lesser crime has the capacity to alter your life completely. A criminal charge, particularly a felony, will not only negatively influence your economic standing and your personal rights, but also the amount of basic life choices that are accessible to you, such as higher education, place of employment, and where you are able to live for the rest of your life. At Musca Law, we work hard in an attempt to lessen the negative consequences that these accusations can have on the remainder of your life.