If you are facing criminal charges in Broward County, you may need the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. It may be important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest. A Broward County criminal lawyer could help you better understand the trial process for your case and how to defend your rights.
Broward County is notoriously tough on drug crimes. State attorneys and prosecutors aggressively prosecute those facing such charges. There are several classifications of drug charges based on the type and amount of drugs allegedly involved. However, even a seemingly minor marijuana possession charge can still lead to stiff criminal penalties and long-term consequences.
One common criminal charge in Broward County is possession. Possession occurs when police find an illicit drug on someone’s person, like in a pocket, or when they exercised control over illicit drugs—for example if someone has drugs in their car. Possession of certain Schedule I drugs, such as heroin, is usually a felony charge.
When someone possesses a drug and intends to distribute it to other people, they could face a charge of possession with intent to sell. The amounts of drugs someone allegedly possesses dictates whether they face a simple possession charge or the more serious possession with intent charge. Broward County charges possession with intent as either a second or third-degree felony, depending on the substance involved.
Drug trafficking occurs when someone is in possession with the intent to sell very large amounts of an illicit substance. For example, someone with 25 pounds of marijuana could face a third-degree drug trafficking charge. Like other drug crimes, the amount and type of substance involved determines the degree of the felony charge.
The Florida State Department of Law Enforcement reported 7,550 violent crime arrests in Broward County in 2016 alone. Broward County harshly prosecutes battery, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other violent crimes. Those confronting a violent criminal charge could face years in the prison, even for a first-time offense.
A Broward County criminal lawyer knows in some cases, these arrests may have been the result of victims trying to defend themselves. In the heat of the moment, the police sometimes arrest people acting in self-defense along with their attacker. Regardless of the specific circumstances, the individual could call a criminal defense attorney who could represent them and advocate for their side of the story in court.
Someone who already has a criminal record may be able to pursue a criminal expungement. A records expungement removes qualifying arrests and other records from a person’s criminal history as if it never happened.
In some cases, the court may seal a conviction record rather than expunge the charge, which means it does not show in the public record. Not everyone qualifies for expungement or sealing of a record; a qualified attorney in Broward County could explain further.
If you are facing a criminal charge in Broward County and are concerned with how it might affect your life, contact a Broward County criminal lawyer to discuss your legal options and schedule a free case evaluation.
Leifert & LeifertNA