When you are charged with a crime, it can be terrifying to find out that you may be facing extensive prison time, costly fines, and other harsh penalties that can affect your freedom and finances. Most people are unaware of the legal complexities involved in a criminal case and it can be frustrating not knowing how the process works. Palm Beach County criminal lawyers understand this and are devoted to making sure you know what is going on during the entire legal process from start to finish.
Since every criminal case is so different, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced defense attorney. Individuals can inform you of your individual legal options, go over any of your potential penalties, form a solid strategy for defending your best interests and make a plan to seek a Dismissal of the charges against you.
Types of Crimes in Florida
Crimes in Florida are classified as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the type of crime and the circumstances surrounding it. As the severity of the crime increases, so do the penalties.
For example, many traffic violations are considered second-degree misdemeanors, but a first offense DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor and a third-time DUI is considered a third-degree felony if it occurs within ten years of a prior conviction.
Vehicular homicide could be considered either a second-degree felony or a first-degree felony.
Common misdemeanor crimes in the State of Florida include:
- Possession of marijuana less than 20 grams
- Simple Assault
- Petit theft (which involves stealing less than $300 worth of items)
- Carrying a concealed weapon
Crimes that are commonly charged as felonies in Florida include:
- White-collar crimes (tax fraud, embezzlement, bribery, forgery, identity theft, etc.)
- Sexual battery or rape
- Drug trafficking
- Aggravated battery
- Possession of Controlled Substances without a Prescription
Potential Criminal Penalties in Palm Beach County
Many times, Judges use their own discretion when making penalty decisions. Penalties for certain crimes can also fluctuate depending on potential plea bargains.
However, The Florida Statutes (Chapter 775) outline minimum and maximum penalties for every level of misdemeanor and felony. Penalties for crimes in Florida range from probation or a few days in jail and small fines to life imprisonment or even a death sentence.
It is important to note, however, that both misdemeanors and felonies can give you a criminal record, regardless of the severity of the crime.
A criminal attorney in Palm Beach County can explain the potential consequences in your specific case.
Developing a Strategy to Fight Criminal Charges
A Palm Beach County criminal lawyer can provide assistance in a number of ways. Since no two cases are the same, dedicated attorneys will devote their time and effort towards investigating the details of your case and giving you personalized legal assistance. They can also help you by:
- Fighting to get your charges downgraded or reduced
- Representing you in all court proceedings
- Making sure the necessary paperwork is properly filled out and filed
- Speaking with police officers on your behalf
- Building a personalized defense strategy
- Obtaining results that avoid a criminal conviction or incarceration
Why Hire a Local Palm Beach County Criminal Attorney
When you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer, it is essential to work with someone who understands the local courts, knows other lawyers in the area, and is familiar with local Judges and Prosecutors. Communication is vital, so developing a relationship with a lawyer who has offices in your local area makes it easier to stay in contact. If you are in the Palm Beach County area, our criminal attorneys are ready to help you. If you have been charged with a crime our Palm Beach County criminal attorneys are ready to zealously fight to protect your rights and limit the negative effects a criminal conviction can have on your life.