What Does an Accused Person Need to Know About the Florida Grand Jury?

Going through the criminal justice process can be difficult to understand at best and overwhelming and anxiety provoking at worst. Recognizing the roles that parties and groups play in the management of your criminal case is important.

And retaining a criminal defense attorney who knows the lay of the land is extremely helpful for helping to dispel any myths. A common question asked by criminal defendants has to do with the role of the grand jury in filing Florida cases. It is easy to fall subject to assuming this information about the Florida grand jury, but this could make things much more difficult for you than otherwise necessary. When someone has knowledge of a crime or is a victim, they will file a sworn statement with the proper authority and this is known as a complaint.

After a complaint has been investigated and the complaint is determined to meet the probable cause grounds, a crime can be charged either by indictment or information. There must be an arrest with an accompanying police report in order for a criminal case to be filed. At that point in time, a prosecutor reviews the police report and any relevant evidence to decide whether or not any criminal charges should be filed. A preliminary hearing is then scheduled with a judge where a decision is made as to whether or not enough evidence already exists. There are many different facts that can determine whether or not the state decides to move forward with the prosecution.

The grand jury’s role is very similar to a regular jury, although a grand jury’s primary position is only to decide whether or not to charge someone, rather than deciding on the innocence or guilt of that person through trial. The prosecutor presents evidence to the grand jury and then the grand jury is responsible for handing back a verdict on whether or not they feel that those charges are warranted. You can speak to your criminal defense attorney to get a better understanding of what is involved in the grand jury process.   

Understanding White Collar Criminal Allegations in the State of Florida

Facing any type of crime should prompt you to retain a criminal defense attorney immediately, but it is also extremely important to recognize when white collar crimes can have a damaging impact on your future. It is a huge mistake to assume that because you are under investigation for a white collar crime, that you can ignore this matter. The penalties for nay white collar crime in the state of Florida can be steep, depending on the amount of money allegedly involved and the nature of the crime.

You could be facing felony or misdemeanor charges and time in jail and fine may be applied even with first degree and second degree misdemeanors. There are many different types of white collar crimes and many fall under the general umbrella or fraud. White collar crimes are typically committed for financial gain and are nonviolent crime.

They can include insurance fraud, forgery, credit card fraud, Medicaid fraud, money laundering, embezzlement and more. Even being accused of a white collar crime can have a significant impact on your future and understanding appropriate defense strategies for white collar crimes is critical.

The right defense, and being able to get your lawyer involved in the process as soon as possible, are both very important for you to be able to fight back when accused of a white collar crime. 

The elements of evidence in the crime must be looked at and there may be evidence or pieces in the case that need to be viewed differently. There are many different documents typically included in the discovery package, making it all the more important to retain a criminal defense attorney in Florida who is highly knowledgeable about responding to white collar crime allegations. You deserve to have an attorney who has represented others in this situation before and has helped to protect the victim as well as the reputation.   


What to Do If You’re Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?

Being accused of any crime is an unwelcome experience, but being accused of domestic violence can have far-reaching implications for you and your family. You must be prepared to know what to do if you have been falsely accused of domestic violence.


Being able to handle the situation in a calm manner can make a difference between enjoying a free and happy future or facing jail time. The sooner that you schedule a consultation directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney, the better position you will be in to proceed with protecting your best interests.


The first thing to do after being falsely accused of domestic violence is to remain calm and to contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. It is strongly recommended that you avoid contact with your accuser during this time period, even if you believe that the situation is a simple misunderstanding.


The truth is that if the other party has gone after a restraining order against you, or is accusing you of harassing him or her, this information could be used against you if you try to reach out to resolve the issues on your own. The support of an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you to avoid some of these costly mistakes that could end up leaving you behind bars. It is far better to get the support of a lawyer who understands how an allegation of domestic violence cannot only affect your freedom and the possibility of a criminal record, but also your overall reputation and character.

Don’t let a domestic violence allegation turn your life upside down. Make sure you have a criminal lawyer who will uncover all the evidence possible to support you. 


What You Should Know About Florida’s Most Commonly Charged Violent Crimes

Violent crimes involve criminal offenses, using violence or the threat of force. They may also even involve the mere threat of force or violence, even if that threat was not pursued by the person accused. The term violent crime in the state of Florida covers a broad spectrum of offenses, including simple assault, sexual assault, aggravated assault, murder and robbery. Violent crimes can happen in two ways.

First of all, they may happen where violence is the primary objective of the crime, but they can also occur when the violence is seen as a means to an end. One of the most common types of violent crimes alleged in the state of Florida is assault. Assault means that if there was an intentional threat or use of force against another person, that actual contact does not need to occur in order for the person to be effectively charged with assault.

Assault is often charged as a misdemeanor but it can also be elevated to the felony level. Battery is another common violent crime that is similar to assault, except it requires that actual physical contact occurred between the victim and the suspect, or between the victim and a weapon.

In more than half of all the robberies that occur, a victim is confronted with a weapon, such as a gun or a knife.

The primary use of this weapon is to instill fear. But someone who has been accused of a violent crime with the commission of a weapon may face much higher penalties and outcomes. Sexual assault is a form of forcible rape, or non-sexual contact that may also be charged as a violent crime.

The most serious of all violent crimes charged across Florida and the remainder of the country are those involving homicide, such as manslaughter and murder. If you are facing any of these types of charges, it is imperative that you consult with a criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later to figure out your next steps and how to protect yourself.     


Scheme to Defraud in FL: What You Must Know

Understanding a scheme to defraud in Florida — if you have recently been accused of a scheme to defraud in Florida, it is imperative that you retain experienced legal representation as soon as possible. There are three primary elements associated with a violation of Florida Statute 817.034, also known as a scheme to defraud. The first is that the accused person must have engaged in an ongoing or systematic course of conduct, with the intent to obtain property or defraud one or more persons, through fraudulent representations, pretenses or willful misrepresentation.

Organized fraud is punished very severely, because it is committed when a person actually obtains another person’s property associated with a scheme to defraud. This is distinct from the allegations associated with communications fraud. Communications fraud is committed when an individual communicates with a person by telephone, the mail or electronic means with the intent to obtain property fraudulently. The penalties for organized fraud are based on the value of the property that was actually obtained during a scheme to defraud. The penalties can — the penalties are associated with whether or not the property involved was less than $20,000, valued at between $20,000 and $50,000 or valued at $50,000 or more.

Organized fraud of $50,000 or more can carry thousands of dollars in fines and up to 30 years in prison or probation. These serious consequences associated with organized fraud make it all the more important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Any serious criminal allegation holds the potential for you to face penalties including time behind bars. If you want to avoid these situations, it’s best to talk directly with a lawyer who will help you protect your life going forward. 

Do I Have Any Defenses to Driving with a Suspended License?

If you have recently been informed that you are being accused of a crime or another violation associated with driving with a suspended license, you need to take action quickly to figure out the most appropriate way to proceed. There are possible defenses to driving with a suspended license, but you need to take action immediately and hire a lawyer who has been practicing in this field for numerous years. It can be hard to figure out what to do next when you find yourself in this situation, but the support of an attorney who can help you raise a compelling defense could help you avoid serious consequences. Many strategies and defenses may be available to help you defeat a suspended license charge or to decrease the potential penalties. Examples include:

·      The accused person was not driving at the time.

·      There were legal challenges to question the validity of the traffic stop.

·      The Florida driver’s license had been reinstated or there was adequate reason to believe that it had been reinstated at the time the person was pulled over.

·      The vehicle was not classified as a motor vehicle for the purposes of the Florida driver’s license statute.

·      The accused was not driving on a public highway at the time.

·      The accused did not know the cancellation, suspension or revocation.

When there are no viable defenses available to a charge like this, your criminal defense attorney should look to renegotiate with the prosecution or have the charge amended to no valid Florida driver’s license. This can often happen when you have a minimal driving record to begin with or in which you get a valid Florida driver’s license prior to going forward with trial. An experienced attorney is there to help you for the duration of your claim and you should never minimize the potential consequences of being accused of a crime involving driving on a suspended license. The consequences can be severe. 


Stay Safe During a Fort Lauderdale Spring Break

Police officers are gearing up for a busy spring break season where there is more attention directed to criminal activity.

Fort Lauderdale spring break brings plenty of tourists and visitors to the area. However, it can also increase the chances that someone may be hurt in a serious accident or accused of a crime.

Unfortunately, police officers are on the lookout for alleged crimes due to wanting to protect the tourists visiting the area. Someone could find themselves in hot water being accused of a crime when they had nothing to do with the incident in question and to avoid a negative situation like this, you should hire an experienced Leah criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

One easy way to find yourself facing criminal charges could be by failing to follow simple rules in place. For example, Fort Lauderdale prohibits alcohol on any sandy portion of the beach as well as adjoining property. It is also considered a crime to disturb sea turtles or their nests. Many of the police departments in these areas throughout Florida, that are popular locations for spring breakers will have a frequently asked questions tab on their website.

Obeying the local rules of an area is extremely important whether you live in Florida year-round or whether you are simply visiting for a vacation. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney should be your first strategy to handle any allegations of charges. If a situation got out of control or if you were not familiar with the laws at the time of being accused, you still have rights that need to be protected.

If the police violated your rights and tried to accuse you of a crime, you need to be prepared to fight back even if you do not live in Florida. It is a big mistake to ignore criminal charges because you assume that you are not a resident and that you will be able to avoid this situation. It is very important to have an attorney on your side who can help you fight back and protect your rights.


Florida Prison Population Expected to Increase

If you have recently been accused of a crime in the state of Florida, you need to empower yourself by hiring an experienced Leah criminal defense attorney. According to a report that was recently commissioned by the Florida Senate, the state may have a problem if prison reform is not addressed by the government in coming years. The present population across the state is anticipated to increase as a result of this completed report. The report is known as Data Driven Solutions to Improve Florida’s Criminal Justice System.

More pressure on prisons could lead to staff and bed shortages. It’s also been linked that when more people are inside a prison that further problems regarding conditions and violence may emerge. Some are using the growth in the future prison population in Florida as a call to action for prison reform.

It was carried out by the Director of Policy and Campaigns with the Crime and Justice Institute, The Department of Corrections and the state court system. They found that the prisoner population throughout Florida had increased significantly in last 40 years, more than 370% since the 1970s. The initial report found that the prisoner population has fluctuated around the 1,000 mark during the last ten years. Although the state’s prison population has been on the decline in the last couple of years, low level offenders have benefitted by having procedures in place to assist those on probation. Even with that decrease, two factors have largely offset the efforts to assist low level offenders.

The first is the length of the sentence applied and the second is the amount of time that people end up serving on these sentences. Florida sentence lengths have increased by more than 20% and the amount of time served in the sentences have also increased, putting additional pressure on the prison system that could lead to significant problems in the future if it is not addressed by criminal justice reform. If you have recently been accused of a crime, you can benefit from talking to an experienced lawyer. Long-term problems might lead to more money being spent on the prison population or having to build new prisons.