Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested or learn that you are the subject of a law enforcement investigation, you should be aware that you are protected by significant legal rights. The best option in either situation will be to speak to experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyers who will make the protection of your rights and liberty their priority. Regardless of what an arresting officer, detective, or prosecutor might tell you, the most sound option for obtaining a positive result involves asserting your legal right to counsel. You must exercise your right to remain silent and call a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa first.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) – Hillsborough County Drinking and Driving Related Offenses
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Tampa occurs when a “… a person is driving or in actual control of a vehicle” and impaired by alcohol or another chemical substance. See Florida Statutes 316.193. If a motorist’s driving ability is adversely affected or he or she has a blood alcohol level (BLC) that exceeds .08 percent even when driving perfectly, the driver can be convicted for DUI in Tampa, Florida. While the penalties for a DUI conviction can be substantial, there are effective defenses that experienced Tampa DUI attorneys can utilize to protect you. The penalties for a first offense DUI in Tampa can be up to six months in jail, (9 months under certain circumstances), a fine between $500-$1,000 ($1,000-$2,000 with certain exacerbating factors), and other potential consequences, such as DUI classes, mandatory installation of ignition interlock, probation, loss of driving privileges, significant fines and costs, and more. Your Tampa DUI lawyers will carefully analyze your entire interaction with law enforcement from the time you were followed and pulled over to the booking process at the jail. This scrutiny will include officer observations before and after you are pulled over, standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), and formal chemical tests of your BAL. The officer might have lacked a sufficient factual basis to stop you, or a sample collected for testing might have been improperly collected or stored. Because you only have 10 days to request a hearing to fight an administrative suspension of your driver’s license, you should seek legal advice immediately if you are facing any of the following:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Boating Under the Influence (BUI)
- DUI Manslaughter
- Chemical Test Refusals
- Vehicular Manslaughter
- Dating Violence Injunction
- Domestic Violence Injunction
- Sexual Violence Injunction
- Stalking Injunction
- Repeat Violence Injunctions
- License Revocation Hearings
- Commercial Drivers (DUI)
- Felony DUI
- Multiple DUIs
Domestic Violence Law in Tampa
Florida statutes define “domestic violence” to include “assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or criminal offense resulting in physical injury” committed by one family/household member against another. See Florida Statutes 741.28. The expansive nature of this definition means that even an isolated incident of pushing or grabbing between a couple, parent and child, or siblings could result in an arrest for domestic violence in Tampa, FL. The consequences of a conviction not only include formal penalties, such as incarceration, mandatory participation in Batterers Intervention Programs, probation, and other punishments, but also long-term informal consequences. Because the impact of Tampa domestic violence charges extends beyond the formal punishment, allegations of this nature might be raised based on improper motives. For example, the complaining witness might make these allegations to obtain an advantage in a child custody case. These allegations also can cause the loss of a security clearance, revocation of a concealed carry permit, or limitations on where you can be present, so your career can be threatened. Experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyers investigate the medical evidence, grounds for witness bias, and other evidence to alleviate such consequences. Our skilled attorneys also can represent clients facing charges of violating a no-contact or restraining order.
Tampa Sex Crimes and the Impact of Sex Offender Registration
While any criminal conviction can have a negative impact on your life, sex offenses often carry a lifetime penalty that endures long after any jail time or probation has ended. Many Tampa sex crime convictions require registration as a sex offender, which makes sex crime information available to the public and limits your choices in terms of where you live, work, or visit. If you are convicted of a Tampa sex crime like rape, child molestation, date rape, child exploitation, federal sex offenses, the Romeo & Juliet law, spousal rape, bestiality, prostitution, human trafficking, indecent exposure, incest, internet & computer sex crimes, failure to register, solicitation, sexting, child pornography or other sex offenses, experienced legal representation can help prevent the negative consequences of a sex crime conviction. While the specific defenses to sex crimes will depend on the charges, seasoned Tampa criminal defense lawyers will force the prosecutor to prove every element of a charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Defense attorneys also can engage in cross-examination to expose witness perception errors, dishonesty, and bias. The process of building an effective defense also often involves working with private investigators and forensic experts, as well as conducting forensic testing of physical evidence.
Violent Crimes in Tampa
Whether you are accused of murder, manslaughter, homicide, robbery, armed robbery, assault, battery, or related charges, these types of offenses tend to be investigated and prosecuted with significant vigor because they routinely involve injury or death to another person. Violent offenses frequently carry the most serious penalties.
Tampa Property Crimes
Although offenses like burglary, possession of stolen property, passing a bad check, and other crimes involving theft of property or money do not involve physical harm, they can still result in significant penalties that include jail/prison, significant fines, restitution, probation, and more.
Other Common Crimes Involving Property
Criminal Mischief – The offense of criminal mischief centers around acts of vandalism. Criminal mischief is the deliberate and ill-intentioned destruction or defacing of another person’s property. This also includes public property. Criminal mischief is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor for property that is worth less than $200, and charged as a first-degree misdemeanor for property that is valued anywhere between $200 to $1,000, and as a third-degree felony for any property that is worth in excess of $1,000.
Arson – Legally defined, arson is when someone deliberately, illegally or during the commission of a felony, destroys the property, land or the building of another person through the use of fire or explosives. The crime of arson is charged as a second-degree felony if the building, property, or land was abandoned at the time and charged as a first-degree felony if there were people inside.
Criminal Trespass – Criminal trespass is when a person who is unbidden either enters or remains on another person’s property after they have been asked to leave. A clearly posted and legible sign is considered by the state of Florida to be sufficient notice. Criminal trespass is charged as a second-degree misdemeanor if it was an unoccupied building or vehicle, and charged as a first-degree misdemeanor if the building or vehicle was occupied. If a firearm was present, this could increase the charge and it would become a third-degree felony.
Burglary – Burglary is the crime of entering or staying in a structure with the sole intention of committing a crime, including theft. Burglary is charged as a third-degree felony if the home or office was unoccupied at the time of the unlawful entry, and charged as a second-degree felony if the home or office contained people, and charged as a first-degree felony if the state is able to prove that the offender was in possession of a firearm at the time of the burglary.
Punishment for Theft and Burglary Crimes
- First-Degree Felony: As long as 30 years in state prison and a fine of as much as $10,000
- Second-Degree Felony: As long as 15 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Felony: As long as 5 years in state prison and a fine of as much as $5,000
- First-Degree Misdemeanor: As long as 1 year in county jail and a fine of as much as $1,000
- Second-Degree Misdemeanor: As long as 60 days in county jail and a fine of as much as $500
Theft Charges Under Florida Law
The varying degrees of being convicted of theft in the state of Florida are:
- Third-Degree Felony: Anything more than $300 and less than $20,000 in value; punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
- Second-Degree Felony: Anything more than $20,000 and less than $100,000 in value; punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
- First-Degree Felony: Anything valued at $100,000 or more; punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Weapons Offenses in Tampa
If you are facing a weapons charge in Tampa like unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a gun as a convicted felon, or another firearm-related offense, the penalties can be a lengthy prison term and significant fines.
Financial Crimes/White Collar Crimes in Tampa
State and federal agencies have focused on increasing resources in pursuing so-called “white collar crimes.” Individuals facing this type of charge often are highly respected professionals who have no criminal record. Because these cases frequently involve complex paper trails and sophisticated financial transactions, an individual accused of such an offense needs Nepal criminal defense attorneys familiar with criminal charges like the following:
- Public corruption
- Insurance Fraud
- Tax Evasion
Tampa Drug Offenses
Tampa Drug charges can be state or federal, but the penalties associated with drug offenses can result in long prison terms, especially when the allegations include intent to sell or other drug dealing-related charges. Given the high degree of publicity and political scrutiny of the opioid epidemic, doctors, pharmacies, and other healthcare professionals have increasingly been targeted for prosecution by law enforcement officials. We invite you to contact us if you are facing charges like the following:
- Drug Trafficking
- Possession of Marijuana
- Drug Possession
- Prescription Drug Offenses
We invite you to contact one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers in Tampa, so we can start protecting your legal rights by furnishing a tenacious defense.
When public officials are accused of having dishonored their oath of loyalty to the community that they serve, they frequently endure public disgrace as well as charges of misconduct. The state of Florida has many laws that disallow the acceptance of cash or other assets as a trade-off for a favor or ill-gotten services by any public servant. This type of crime could be either regulatory, legislative, judicial, contractual or tied in with law enforcement.
Since 2010 the scope and severity of public corruption in Florida and its prosecutions have steadily increased.
Common Kinds of Public Corruption
Common instances of public corruption include but are not limited to:
- Bribery – Bribery is the legal term given to offering something of value as part of a trade for a favor. Both of the people who are involved in the bribe could be charged with the crime of bribery. One well-known example of bribery would be someone giving law enforcement officer money in exchange for not being arrested for a crime
- Extortion – Extortion is the act of employing threats, such as blackmail, in order to receive goods, services, or to benefit financially
- Illegal kickbacks – Illegal kickbacks are not dissimilar from a bribe. A kickback is a concealed, unlawful payment in exchange for some form of favor. The main difference between an illegal kickback and a bribe is that while a bribe is initiated by the person who is making the payment, a kickback implies collusion between the person who receives the payment and the person making it. For instance, a public official who is in charge of deciding the winning business in a typical contract bid would be receiving an illegal kickback when he accepts a percentage of the money from the business that wins the bid.
Today’s news is full of reports of public officials who have been implicated in the crime of corruption. Regrettably, most of these public servants sustain a significant amount of harm to their political career even after the allegations that were made against them are proven to be unsubstantiated and entirely baseless. If you suspect that you might be under investigation, it is essential that you get help from a public corruption defense attorney, preferably one who has considerable experience when it comes to defending clients against public corruption crime charges. In most situations, an accomplished and hard-working attorney from Musca Law in Tampa, Florida will be able to alleviate any spurious doubts whether or not they have already become public knowledge.
If you are under a criminal investigation or are facing charges for supposedly committing acts of public corruption, then you will want a skilled criminal defense attorney to stand by you and to defend your constitutional rights as soon as possible. At Musca Law, our public corruption criminal defense attorneys in Tampa have years of experience in defending state as well as federal criminal cases.