Port Charlotte Criminal Lawyers
Most encounters with law enforcement are intimidating by design. Anxiety discourages individuals from confidently asserting their legal rights and motivates people to answer questions and agree to field sobriety tests, a roadside breath test, or a search. The probability of a favorable outcome in a criminal case shifts significantly in the direction of law enforcement and prosecutors when arrestees or targets of an investigation do not assert their constitutional rights. If you are asked to participate in an interview with law enforcement or you have been arrested, your first lines of defense are to exercise your right against self-incrimination (right to remain silent) as well as your right to counsel. Law enforcement officers are not concerned with some abstract search for the “objective truth,” they are interested in contradictory statements, confessions, and assertions that lead to evidence indicating your guilt.
The best way to protect your rights and lay the foundation for an effective criminal defense strategy is to clearly assert your rights and to wait to speak to police until your Port Charlotte criminal defense lawyer is by your side. Once you have asserted your rights, your attorneys can help guide you through interrogations, object to suggestive lineups, challenge unlawful search and seizures, and otherwise defend you. Our Port Charlotte criminal defense attorneys represent individuals charged with virtually every state, federal, and juvenile offense, such as:
- Sexual Offenses (e.g. child molestation, rape, lewd and lascivious, pimping and pandering, child pornography, child exploitation, solicitation, sexual battery, sexual assault, prostitution, and other sex crimes)
- Violent Criminal Offenses (e.g. murder, robbery, manslaughter, battery, aggravated battery)
- Process Crimes (e.g. perjury, obstruction of justice)
- Drug Offenses (e.g. possession, trafficking, distribution, forged prescriptions, drug conspiracy, federal drug crimes, manufacturing, marijuana possession)
- Property/Theft Crimes (e.g. burglary, possession of stolen property)
- Domestic Violence Crimes (e.g. battery/aggravated battery, kidnapping, , assault/aggravated assault)
- Stalking/Aggravated Stalking
- Drunk Driving Offenses (e.g. DUI, DUI with a child passenger, DUI with priors, DUI accidents, vehicular manslaughter, felony DUI)
- Criminal Enterprises (e.g. RICO, organized fraud)
- Financial Crimes (e.g. counterfeiting, fraud, forgery, bad checks, embezzlement, insurance fraud)
- Public Corruption/Bribery
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
- DUI Manslaughter
Domestic Violence Lawyers in Port Charlotte
When you are accused of domestic violence, you must overcome more than law enforcement and prosecutors, you must confront the inherent bias in favor of alleged domestic violence victims. Prosecutors and police face intense scrutiny from politicians and the media to be tough on spousal abuse and other forms of family and dating violence. The false notion that “victims must be believed” turns the presumption of innocence on its head by suggesting a premature determination of the victim and perpetrator. Because these accusations frequently arise after a relationship has soured between marital partners, parents of a child, or a boyfriend-girlfriend, the motivation behind these allegations can be getting revenge or securing an advantage in a family court case over a dissolution of marriage or parental timeshare arrangements.
Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic violence charges pose an exceptionally serious threat to an individual’s future because these cases usually involve multiple charges. Domestic violence will be charged as a separate offense along with stalking, battery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault or other offenses involving injury or death between parties in a relationship covered by Florida Statutes, Section 741.28. These relationships include parties with a child in common, marriage partners, former spouses, parties related by blood or marriage, and parties who have lived together as a family.
Port Charlotte Domestic Violence Defense Strategy
If you have been accused of domestic violence, experienced domestic violence lawyers in Port Charlotte can provide a tenacious defense to avoid a sentence that could include incarceration, but also many other negative consequences, such as:
- Assault/Aggravated Assault
- Battery/Aggravated Battery
- Stalking/Aggravated Stalking
- False Imprisonment
- Criminal Offenses Resulting in Injury or Death
Seasoned Port Charlotte domestic violence attorneys can investigate the credibility of the alleged victim or other witnesses and review documents from hospitals, doctors, and law enforcement to build an effective defense.
While some people mistakenly assume that driving under the influence amounts to a sort of traffic violation, Port Charlotte DUIs constitute misdemeanors that carry mandatory minimum sentences under Florida law. The judge MUST impose certain terms as part of your punishment if you are convicted. If you are arrested for DUI with a blood alcohol level (BAC) over .15% or you have been involved in an accident causing physical injury, the offense can be charged as a felony. If you have a prior DUI conviction, you also could face the threat of a felony conviction.
What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence in Port Charlotte? Florida Section 316.193
Florida law defines driving under the influence (DUI) as driving or exercising “actual physical control” of a vehicle while a motorist’s “normal faculties” are impaired or his or her blood alcohol level is .08% or higher. See Florida Statutes, Section 316.193. Florida law defines “actual physical control” as presence on or in the vehicle with the ability to operate it. In other words, you do not have to be driving to be convicted of DUI. The judge will impose significant penalties for a DUI conviction even if it is a first offense with no factors meriting a sentence enhancement, including the following:
- Misdemeanor criminal record
- Driver’s license suspension for 6 months
- Submission to substance abuse evaluation and required treatment plan
- Supervised probation of one year
- $500 minimum fine
- Mandatory participation and completion of Victim Awareness Class
- Impounding/immobilization of your vehicle for 10 days
- Mandatory attendance at DUI Counter Attack Class
- Minimum of 50 hours of community service
As if this is not bad enough, you could also face jail time. Despite these harsh penalties, you should not simply accept the offer from the State Attorney because there are many effective defense strategies that can help you avoid a criminal record and these punishments. These defenses include:
- Insufficient facts to support pulling you over
- Officer violation of your constitutional rights
- Not driving nor exercising “actual physical control” of the vehicle
- Lack of officer training or noncompliance with mandatory procedures when conducting field sobriety tests (FSTs)
- No impairment of your “normal faculties” (ability to exercise judgment, see, estimate distances, talk, operate a car, hear, respond to emergencies, walk, perform routine mental and physical functions)
- Improper administration of the chemical test of your breath or blood
Sex Crime Lawyers in Port Charlotte
Although no one wants to be accused of a misdemeanor or felony offense, the public condemnation typically directed toward sex crimes makes this type of accusation particularly damaging. These allegations can harm your marriage, child-parent relationship, career, and housing alternatives. Many sex crimes constitute felonies that carry long terms of imprisonment and other penalties, but mandatory participation in the Florida sex offender registry can do harm that will be felt long after a release from custody.
Port Charlotte Sex Offender Registration – Florida Statutes, Section 943.0435
If you suffer conviction of a sex crime that requires registration, you will either have to register as a “sex offender” [Florida Statutes, Section 943.0435] or a “sex predator” [Florida Statute, Section 775.21]. While either status is undesirable because your name, address, and crimes are a matter of public record, designation as a sex predator subjects you to even greater restrictions and constitutes a label that you cannot petition the court to have eliminated. Even after a person designated as a “sexual predator” under the Florida Sexual Predator Act has been released from prison, he or she could face indefinite civil confinement in the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC). If you are included on the registry with either status, a basic search of the internet will expose you to potential harassment and ostracization by employers, landlords, family, friends, neighbors, and others. Some municipalities and counties in Florida have passed ordinances that impose even more significant restrictions than state law. These draconian measures have relegated many people who have fully served their time and successfully completed treatment programs to virtual homelessness.
Port Charlotte Sex Crime Defense Strategy
Because our sex crime lawyers in Port Charlotte recognize the potentially catastrophic impact of sex crime allegations and inclusion on the sexual offender registry, we carefully investigate to identify defenses, such as:
- Consensual Relationship
- Statute of Limitation
- Fabricated Accusations
- “Tainted” Child Testimony
- Suppression of physical evidence or incriminating statements
When you have been arrested and charged with one or more misdemeanors or felonies, invoking your right to counsel means you can have a skilled and experienced Port Charlotte attorney fighting for your future.
Homicides and Violent Crimes
The violent crimes defense attorneys at Musca Law have a formidable amount of experience in defending the rights and freedoms of those who have been charged with the commission of violent crimes up to and including murder. If you have been charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, felony murder, manslaughter, or any other felony that is associated with a violent crime, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel. A conviction for any one of these charges will have a serious detrimental impact on the rest of your life. At the Port Charlotte offices of Musca Law, we have the cunning and the proficiency that you will need in your corner when you are attempting to defend yourself against allegations this serious. People who have been charged with violent and felonious acts are often subjected to a mandatory minimum prison sentence if they are convicted. Whether you believe that you were behaving in self-defense, defending another person or their property, rightfully standing your ground, or that it was an accident, you will need to secure the services of a qualified violent crimes attorney right away. Crafting a solid, unassailable defense demands an in-depth knowledge of Florida law and comprehensive experience in handling violent felony crimes. We know when we can make something work to our advantage and how to make the facts surrounding your case work for you. We are intimately familiar with the tactics that the state will try to use in court and what needs to be done to defend you against these charges.
Violation of Probation
An accusation or conviction for a violation of your probation will generally incite punishments that are more stringent than the original charge. If you are facing charges of a violation of probation, then hiring a defense attorney as soon as you can should be your top priority. A probation violation attorney from the Port Charlotte offices of Musca Law will work diligently to get you the best possible outcome for your situation. Our attorneys have an extensive background in working with clients who have been accused of probation violation. Our main intention is to conserve your criminal record and to reduce the negative blowback you will come across, like incarceration and another charge on your record. If you are held without a bond, we will endeavor to ensure your release while the charge is still ongoing. The Musca Law criminal defense attorneys here in Port Charlotte are dedicated to our work and we cater to our client’s needs with aggressive advocacy and candid legal counsel. We rely on our extensive courtroom experience and thorough understanding of the laws in Florida as we strive to give you the highest possible quality legal representation.
Usually, if the charge of theft against you is to be proven, the prosecution has to establish that you took property from another person and that it was your intention to deny that person their right to the property or advantage of the property, or to usurp the property for personal use or for the use of someone else not authorized to the use of the property. In Florida, the criminal charge of theft can vary from misdemeanor petty theft to pressing felony changes like grand theft. No matter how trivial or major the theft charge is, if you are found guilty it will have major repercussions on the rest of your life. A conviction for theft is especially serious due to the fact that it is regarded as a crime of moral turpitude. Protecting your reputation is vital to being able to keep your job and many other aspects of your life as well.