Sarasota Criminal Lawyers
There are many different reasons that someone might be accused of committing a criminal act. False accusations, mistaken identity, poor judgment, lack of restraint, or even feeling like you had absolutely no way out except to engage in these acts are all circumstances frequently seen by Florida criminal defense attorneys. No matter what the circumstances, if you are accused of a criminal offense in the state of Florida, the smart thing to do would be to learn as much as you can about the charges facing you.
If you or someone you love is facing criminal charges in the Sarasota area, then it is imperative that you consult with a qualified Florida criminal defense attorney with years of experience winning cases that range from disorderly conduct to federal crimes.
Criminal charges can threaten a person’s job, family stability, liberty, reputation, and financial well-being, but our Sarasota 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
- Dating Violence Injunction
- Domestic Violence Injunction
- Repeat Violence Injunction
- Domestic Violence
- Stalking Injunction
- Sexual Violence Injunction
- 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
We have fought and will continue to fight for those who are wrongly accused. Your allegations must be met with swift and decisive professional legal counsel. Our Sarasota criminal defense lawyers will dedicate the necessary time to see that you are given a fair chance in the legal system.
Felony or Misdemeanor
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 assault and DUI, have the potential to be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the details surrounding the incident. 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 primarily categorized as a misdemeanor, but when the charge is for an aggravated assault it is now considered to be a felony. Other crimes such as disorderly conduct and reckless driving are classified as misdemeanor offenses.
The Sarasota criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law offer legal representation to clients who may be charged with a variety of common criminal offenses. Charges including prostitution, reckless driving, fraud, petty theft, drug charges, and sexual battery can all be handled by our team of successful Florida criminal attorneys.
Understanding effective courtroom strategies, the laws of the state, and the proper procedures for investigation and questioning are all key aspects of an attorney’s job. Having a skilled legal advocate from Musca Law in your corner is the most important tool in your arsenal when it comes to preserving your rights and your freedom.
No matter what you have been charged with, the criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law are able to give you a defense that is specific to your case in order to help you avoid both a guilty verdict and the maximum penalties that can be given out by the state of Florida. If you are looking for additional information concerning the kinds of criminal charges that you are facing and the likely sentences associated with a guilty verdict, our team of hard-working Florida criminal defense attorneys are here to advise you. To speak with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney about your case, call (888) 484-5057 as soon as you are able.
In Florida, reckless driving is more than a simple traffic infraction. In most states, driving at egregiously excessive speeds is considered to be a traffic violation. In Florida, excessive speed and some other driving behaviors are classified under reckless driving. Reckless driving is a criminal misdemeanor that could carry a year long prison sentence with a conviction. A wide variety of acts could easily earn you a reckless driving charge, which is defined as “driving a motor vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other people and property.” Some of those behaviors include:
- Driving 30 miles per hour or more above the legal posted speed limit
- Failure to signal
- Passing a vehicle in a no passing zone
- Passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing and/or stop sign employed
- Driving a car with faulty brakes
- Drag racing
- Any act deemed to be aggressive driving, such as honking and weaving in and out of traffic
- Failure to yield to an emergency vehicle with its lights and/or sirens on
Many of the violations on this list are similar to infractions that would simply lead to an ordinary traffic citation. This is what makes it so hard to know when you have committed a major criminal offense or a minor infraction.
Sex crimes are one of the most tenaciously prosecuted of all crimes. Violations of any law pertaining to a sex crime are treated with so much hostility that even a misunderstood act could lead to some hefty, life-altering criminal charges.
Sex crimes in Florida include certain offenses like sexual battery, human trafficking, and non-physical acts. Acts such as indecent exposure and possession of child pornography are also classified as sex crimes. Once these crimes travel over the state lines, they can also be prosecuted by the United States government. At this point, they become federal crimes. Federal sentencing in regards to sex crimes is notoriously severe. Life sentences are not entirely uncommon in these scenarios, especially if the accused has a prior criminal record.
Being found guilty of a sex crime even at a state level could land you in prison for up to ten years and will likely be accompanied by some seriously hefty fines. There are also plenty of sexual offenses that, if you are found guilty of them, would require you by law to register yourself as a sex offender. This label stays with you for the rest of your life and places severe restrictions on where you can live and work. If you have been charged with a sex crime, it is essential that you work with one of our experienced defense attorneys at Musca Law to help you understand the law and the charges against you.
Any criminal charges that are tried by the government of the United States instead of by the state of Florida are classified as federal offenses. However, charges can be brought against an individual in either federal court or state court and the two courts can sometimes overlap in the type of crimes and evidence involved. Criminal offenses that are overseen by the federal court system include drug manufacturing, drug trafficking, and certain sex crimes. For example, the making and distribution of child pornography is managed by the federal court.
Convictions for these more serious federal crimes typically result in significantly more severe penalties than a standard criminal offense that is tried and prosecuted at the state level. In addition, federal crimes can be harder to defend against as the federal government is involved and a nationwide prosecution apparatus is at their disposal. Due to the factors stacked against the accused in federal crimes cases, the guidance of an established federal crimes attorney is often necessary to achieve the best possible outcome in these serious cases.
The federal government of the United States has nearly infinite resources that it can use in order to investigate these crimes and to prosecute those accused of the actions. The government can also use its own investigative agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Agency to help build an incredibly well-founded case against those arrested on these charges.
The judges that try federal cases are well-educated and well-prepared, and they have exceedingly high expectations of the criminal defense attorneys that stand in a court of law before them. They demand attorneys that are equally well-educated and well-prepared, and they can show preference for those who conduct themselves in a professional manner in court as well as in the way they treat their clients. Judges are required to not show bias to a particular legal team, but they have their expectations for how a case should be presented in court and a prepared legal team will understand how best to defend their client against federal crime accusations in Florida.
The conviction rate for federal crimes is substantially higher than its local counterparts, but in no way does that mean that there is no hope for you if you have been charged with a federal crime. With the right legal team at your side, you can ensure that your voice is heard and your rights are defended.
White Collar Crime
Criminal acts that include illegal commercial or business activity which offer financial motivation to any person or any organization and is not dependent on the use of any physical threats or force are often referred to as white-collar crimes. White-collar crimes are typically committed by professionals working in businesses or organizations. These professionals use their position to either benefit themselves, their friends, family, or coworkers by misleading or abusing their clients or their company.
These types of crimes are usually aggressively prosecuted. Both state courts and federal courts are capable of trying white collar crimes provided that the alleged victim is affiliated with the United States government or with an agency that receives its funding from the United States government. White-collar crimes include, but are not limited to:
- Extortion or bribery
- Money laundering
- Tax fraud
White-collar crimes often require extensive investigations that can take weeks, months, or, in some cases, years. Documented records will likely have to be collected and scrutinized. If video evidence comes into play, then it will have to be gathered as well as any witness statements. The final stages in the investigative process often involve the police bringing in the suspect for a formal interview where their statements can be held against them in court.
During this interview with the police, the suspect is sometimes shown the evidence against them before they are afforded the opportunity to defend themselves or offer some sort of plea deal or bargain. Following this interview, the officer may officially charge the suspect, but this step may have been altogether unnecessary. In some cases, the officers may have already secured a warrant for the arrest and are only conducting this interview to try to get a confession from the accused.
Due to the complex nature of white-collar crimes, they frequently require rigorous examination if the prosecution has any hope at all of proving their case. In the event that you are found guilty and sentenced, you will likely face some harsh penalties, in addition to having a tainted reputation for the rest of your life. Those who need to obtain any form of security clearance for their place of employment will potentially risk their future employment status.
If you have been charged with a crime in the Sarasota County area, an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney working tirelessly on your behalf can help ensure your freedom. The criminal defense attorneys at Musca Law in Sarasota are able to fully prepare you for the difficulties that you have ahead of you and help you to realize the possible outcomes of your specific situation.
During our free consultation, we will start to build a defensive strategy. We will craft an approach that is focused on either getting your charges dropped or if it looks like that won’t be possible, working our hardest to get your charges reduced to more minor criminal charges. Your criminal defense attorney will also be responsible for explaining to you any mitigating and/or aggravating factors that we become aware of while we are diligently working on your case. If it starts to look as though a guilty verdict is unavoidable, then we will work with the prosecutors to obtain a plea agreement that will reduce the potential penalties that you are facing.
We don’t believe that anyone ever intends to become the accused in a criminal trial, but if that is the position in which you find yourself; currently facing a criminal misdemeanor or a felony charge, then your livelihood, as well as your freedom, could both be in danger. If you have been interrogated regarding your knowledge of any crime, held on any criminal charge, or charged with committing any felony or misdemeanor crime, it is your constitutional right to have a criminal defense attorney assist you with your case. Contact Musca Law today.