As our Palm Beach and Broward County criminal defense attorneys know, Florida State Statutes s. 316.656 and s. 322.2615 (among others), deal with issues of adjudication and sentencing in the Florida courts. These statutes in particular, discuss mandatory sentencing and revocation of rights and stipulate when a judge has the authority to deviate from the prescribed punishments set forth by state law and when they do not.
Sentencing – the judicial determination of the punishment to be inflicted on a guilty defendant – takes place either during a negotiated settlement or after a trial during which your criminal defense attorney can fight the charges levied against you by the prosecution. Adjudication (conviction) or non-adjudication (not a conviction) is generally up to the discretion of the Court, except for cases in which the offense is a violation of s. 316.193 (the section on DUI), for the offense of manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle, or for the offense of vehicular homicide.
While there are certain exceptions (as noted above) to the general rule, with most cases there is a wide degree of latitude with regard to sentencing and adjudication, and here is where our services come in. Our criminal defense lawyers are all former prosecutors; we know how the prosecution team works, we know what strategies work in fighting criminal charges and, perhaps more importantly, we know what strategies don’t work. Our skilled legal representation can dramatically increase the likelihood that the Court overseeing your case is willing to use discretion in determining whether or not to withhold adjudication and/or compromise on sentencing.
While it is true that the Court often does have the discretion to withhold adjudication and compromise on sentencing, the Court does not by any means have to exercise that discretion. Whether or not the Court handling your case returns a favorable verdict or ruling is contingent upon how well you and your attorney(s) mount and articulate the merits of your case. Our experienced South Florida criminal defense lawyers have decades of experience in advocating on behalf of our clients in criminal cases such as those stemming from DUI; our work has continually yielded withheld adjudications, decreased sentencing guidelines, and frequent dismissal of charges for our clients.
Indeed, Florida criminal law can be complex and intricate, and successfully navigating the landscape of the criminal justice system in the Sunshine State requires the assistance of skilled criminal defense attorneys, such as our lawyers at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert. We look forward to assisting you.