If you have been charged with a crime, you may feel frightened and alone. You may worry about how the charges will impact your finances, your relationships, and your life. The legal process of defending yourself can be daunting, especially if you have never been in court before.
The good news is that if you have been charged in Hollywood, Miami, or anywhere in Florida, you have protections under state law and under the US Constitution. By working with a qualified attorney in Hollywood or your community, you can work to protect your rights and your future.
If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge anywhere in South Florida, contact Flaxman Law Group. Our full-service law firm has offices in Hollywood, Miami, and Homestead and we are proud to serve the entire region. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of combined experience and we would be pleased to consult with you at no charge and with no obligation so you can discuss your situation with our legal team in full confidence.Federal and State Criminal Defense: What is the Difference?
Defending yourself against state criminal charges is very different than defending yourself against federal charges. In federal court, for the example, Assistant United States Attorneys are the prosecutors, and they have more time and fewer cases when compared with state prosecutors.
When you are charged with a state crime in Florida, the police will decide whether to charge you and will offer their evidence against you. In federal court, federal law enforcement may spend weeks gathering evidence before turning it over to Assistant United States Attorneys.
The judges are different, too. In federal court, criminal cases are heard by United States Magistrate Judges or by United States District Judges and these judges will usually be able to dedicate more time to each individual case. In contrast, state court judges may hear multiple cases at each hearing.
Bail for federal criminal charges is also different. You are more likely to be given conditions for release in federal court. For example, you may need to submit to electronic monitoring or you may need to submit to treatment.
Whether you have been charged with a federal offense or state criminal charge, you will want to find an attorney in Hollywood or your community familiar with Florida and federal defense. An experienced attorney will know how to approach your case to yield the strongest defense on your behalf.Understanding the Difference Between Felonies and Misdemeanors
When you are charged with a crime in Hollywood, Miami, Homestead, Fort Lauderdale, or any Florida community, you will most often be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. These two terms are broad ways of classifying the seriousness of crimes and the sentencing of those criminal activities.
A misdemeanor is a criminal offense according to the laws of Florida that is punishable by imprisonment. If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, you may be placed in a county correctional facility for up to one year. In addition to imprisonment, a misdemeanor can also lead to probation, fines, or mandatory treatment. Misdemeanors are usually crimes such as DUIs, battery, shoplifting, domestic violence incidents, traffic offenses, marijuana possession, and others.
A felony, on the other hand, is considered to be a more serious crime and can lead to imprisonment in a state penitentiary for at least one year. Felonies usually include serious offenses such as murder, drug trafficking, and other crimes. There are different types of felonies in Florida, including first degree felonies, second degree felonies, and third degree felonies. Someone who is charged with a first degree felony can face up to a lifetime of imprisonment.Criminal Defense in Florida: What an Attorney Can do for You
If you have been charged with a crime, you are presumed innocent until you are proven guilty. However, protecting yourself against serious charges usually requires an attorney with a track record of helping defendants.
An attorney can work to have you charged accurately. They can seek to have your case heard in state court, if possible, and can seek to reduce felony charges to misdemeanors where possible, giving you a better chance of less severe punishment. Attorneys can work with private investigators to find evidence of your innocence and can work to have any illegally-obtained evidence thrown out. Legal professionals can advise you whether to plead guilty or not guilty and can support you through every step of the legal process. They can seek a smaller jail sentence or lower fines and will strive to protect your future.
If you have been charged with a crime in Hollywood, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Homestead, or any South Florida community, contact Flaxman Law Group. We are a full-service law firm with offices serving the entire South Florida area. We are happy to offer free consultations. If you would like to speak to an attorney at no cost and in confidence, contact our law offices for your free appointment.