Criminal Justice System in Florida
When you’ve been charged with a crime in Florida, securing the help of a Florida criminal defense attorney is crucial. The criminal justice system is complex; many police officers and prosecutors rely on the fact that many people waive important rights because they don’t know they can assert those rights. Facing a criminal charge, especially for the first time, can be frightening and overwhelming. But, you don’t have to do it alone.
Whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony, contact a Florida criminal lawyer at Farah & Farah immediately for help.
Farah & Farah has been successfully representing Florida residents charged with both misdemeanor and felony crimes since 1979. Our Florida criminal defense attorneys help people facing charges for a wide range of offenses, including, but not limited to, the following:
Our tenacious attorneys can get your charges reduced or dropped all together. If it happens that you are convicted, our attorneys can get your sentence reduced or get you probation and community service instead of jail time. Don’t let a mistake in judgment your future and reputation, call Farah & Farah today for a free consultation. You can reach us at 855-797-9899.
The Criminal Trial Process in Florida
A Florida defendant’s first experience with a criminal case often begins with an arrest. After arrest, you’ll have what’s known as an arraignment or first appearance, where a judge or magistrate will verify your identity, tell you what you’ve been charged with, ask you if you understand the charges against you, and allow you to enter a plea (usually “not guilty” at this stage). Your bond amount will also be set at this point.
After your first appearance hearing, you may have a preliminary hearing. The purpose of the preliminary hearing is for the judge to determine if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial. A preliminary hearing has a lower standard of evidence than a criminal trial, so it is possible to be “bound over” for trial at the end of a preliminary hearing, but still be found not guilty at trial. Between arraignment and trial, your Florida criminal defense attorney will investigate your case and prepare a trial strategy. It’s vital to communicate with your attorney during this stage, to respond promptly to all requests for information, and to appear at all meetings and hearings.
At trial, it is the prosecution’s responsibility to prove every element of the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt. You do not have to prove that you are innocent, but you do have the chance to present all evidence in your favor and to challenge the prosecution’s version of events. Choosing an attorney with criminal trial experience is key to defending your rights and building the best possible case at trial.
Criminal Penalties in Florida
The consequences for any criminal conviction are severe, especially without the help of experienced defense counsel. Even seemingly small matters can come with big penalties. For instance, a conviction for a traffic violation might stack points onto your license that result in a suspension that could effect your ability to drive to work, doctor’s appointments, and other important matters. Any kind of misdemeanor, such as simple assault or a first-time drunk driving (DUI) conviction, may require you to serve jail time, follow probation rules, perform community service, or pay hefty fines.
If you’re convicted of a serious felony, you may face significant fines, mandatory jail, or prison time, and years of probation or parole requirements. But, there are other costs to a criminal conviction aside from the legal penalties. Depending on the crime you’re convicted of, you could face severe damage to you and your family’s reputation, the loss of ability to gain certain types of employment, inability to own a firearm, inability to obtain certain licenses and permits, and possibly have to register as a sex offender (depending on your charges).
An Attorney With You Every Step of the Way
At Farah & Farah, our Florida criminal defense attorneys have the skills and legal resources to fight for the best possible outcome for every client we represent. Knowing that the results of the case will greatly influence the lives of our clients, we provide them with effective representation and compassionate counsel. To discuss your case with us and learn more about your legal rights and options, contact our offices today. Facing criminal charges of any kind is a serious situation and a simple phone call can make all the difference in the world. For a free consultation, call 855-797-9899.
Counties We Serve:
- St. Johns