South Florida Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Charges Attorney

Florida is home to a wide variety of domestic violence laws and regulations, designed to protect victims of domestic abuse. Under Florida law, there are three basic types of domestic violence charges:

1. Domestic Violence Assault – This charge involves physical harm or an attempt to cause physical harm against a family member, spouse, significant other, dating partner, or even any person that you have had a romantic relationship with in the past. Examples include punching someone or pushing them down.

2. Aggravated Domestic Violence – As the name implies, this is a criminal offense that carries penalties more severe than regular domestic violence assault charges. In most cases, aggravated domestic violence charges will be accompanied by felony-level consequences. Examples include strangulation and use of a deadly weapon.

3. Domestic Violence Battery – Unlike assault, domestic violence battery involves actual physical contact between the perpetrator and victim. This can include anything from slapping to sexual assault. Aggravated battery charges will be levied if the injuries sustained by the victim are considered particularly severe.

What Happens If You’re Found Guilty?

Depending on the severity of the offense and the prior criminal history of the perpetrator, domestic violence charges in Florida can result in anywhere from probation to 20 years in prison. In addition, those convicted of domestic violence will likely be required to complete mandatory counseling and may be subject to a restraining order.

Call Our Office For Help Today

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Florida, it is important that you seek experienced legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and help you develop the strongest possible defense. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.


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.   


What Happens If You Are a First Time Criminal Offender in Florida

First Time Offender In Florida

A first-time offender is a person facing a criminal conviction for the first time. Depending on the crime, the courts in Florida can show mercy to a first-time offender. The charges can either be dropped or rehabilitated instead of facing imprisonment. 

This option is not available for all crimes. This privilege is only available for non-violent crimes, where the offender is not a threat to the community. The offenses may include, 

If you are charged with a violent crime or crime involving weapons for the first time, you may not obtain mercy from the court. Severe offenses of first-time offenders include;

  1. Hit and run
  2. Burglary
  3. Robbery
  4. Kidnapping
  5. Murder and manslaughter 
  6. Sex crimes
  7. Aggravated assault
  8. Domestic violence

What happens if it is your first offense in Florida?

  1. Charges Can Be Dropped or Reduced

A criminal defense attorney can use the lack of previous offenses to present your case in court as a first-time offender. The attorney may convince the prosecutor to file a lesser charge or even drop the charges.

  1. Avoiding Conviction

A withhold of adjudication is often available for first-timer offenders in Florida. The state sees rehabilitation as preventing the person from pursuing a criminal career; therefore, the first-time offender that receives withhold of adjudication is not convicted. 

  1. Sealing or Expunging of Record

If you obtain a not convicted adjudication or dismissal as a first-offender in Florida, the court may seal or expunge your record. Sealing or expunging the record is a big advantage because having a criminal record can thwart your future career and educational opportunities. You can get a suitable attorney to help you with expunging your records.

  1. Pretrial Diversion

Pretrial diversion can be offered to a first-time offender by the prosecutors. If it is granted, they may or may not plead guilty. You can be ordered to complete a probation period, be issued a fine, participate in community service and counseling, or anything negotiated by the defense attorney. The charge will be dropped and conviction not entered as long as the negotiated terms are completed. Pretrial is for non-violent offenses only.


What Are My Basic Rights If Pulled Over by a Police Officer in Florida?

What You Need To Know About Being Pulled Over In FL

There should be a valid reason for police to pull you over and detain you. It is important to know your legal rights during a traffic stop since you are likely to be stopped by police once in your lifetime.  Below are a few steps to take when pulled over by police in Florida.

1. Stop your car at a safe location

When a police officer signals to you to pull over, you should find a safe location and come to a complete stop. If there is no safe location close to you, slow down so that the officer will know you are trying to find a place to pull off the road.

Roll down your window, turn off the engine and place your hand on the steering wheel. Keep your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance where you can quickly reach them when the police officer asks for it to afford confusion.

2. Follow police instructions

Do not make any sudden movements; remain calm until the police officer asks you to step out of the vehicle or provide documentation. If they are not close to you, tell the officer where they are and seek permission to pick it.

If you have any weapon in the vehicle, tell the officer where it is. Every other person in the vehicle should follow the same instruction and avoid sudden movements.

3. You have the right to remain silent.

You can invoke your right to remain silent and refuse to answer any question after providing your name and address to the officer, and you should politely tell the officer you have the right to remain silent.

This could escalate the matter, be careful not to answer questions that can incriminate you; politely refuse to answer questions that can incriminate you.

4. You don’t have to consent to a search.

If the officer asks to search your vehicle, you do not need to consent to the search. The officer should not search your vehicle without your consent if he doesn’t have a warrant. Do not resist the search but carefully state that you don’t consent to the search. Resisting can escalate the matter and lead to a criminal charge.

In case you are charged with any traffic-related offense or other offenses, maintain your rights, and don’t forget to contact a suitable attorney to handle your case.


Know Your Right to Remain Silent When Charged With Criminal Cases

Know Your Right to Remain Silent When Charged With Criminal Cases

If you are charged with a criminal case, you can either have a right to remain silent or hire an attorney. However, when you have an attorney, you are also invoking the right to be quiet. This means you do not wish to answer to any interrogation until your lawyer is around.

Invoking the Right to Remain Silence and Police Protocol

Usually, the police will read to a suspect the regulations and rights to remain silent. If the suspect agrees not to participate in an interrogation, it does not stop the police from digging up evidence. Also, any implicating statement the suspect makes during the period of silence can still be used by the police as evidence. The best is not to speak until your attorney arrives at the situation.

More so, suspects don’t need to remain silent after being informed of their rights. The suspect may waive the right if there is a need for some voluntary statements. Nevertheless, the law does not support cajoling by the police, even for a criminal case, especially if it is an underage person.

How to Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent

According to the law, you will need to tell your interrogator expressively that you are exercising the right to remain silent. Often, police officers will take your statement as a request for a lawyer.

It would help if you also were careful of ambiguous or uncertain statements. For instance, “I may need to get a lawyer” or “what if I choose to remain silent.” No police will take you seriously in this case, and some may pretend to know you understand what you should say. Hence, they will continue the interrogation regardless.

If you are dealing with a skilled interrogator, you need to be clever with your actions and words. Often, they love to play ambiguity with suspects’ words.

Learn More About Your Right to Invoke Silence Through an Attorney

The best chance you will ever get before going to a court is by consulting the expert opinion. Wherein, invoking the right to remain silent grants you this opportunity. However, you can now learn more about your rights by reaching out to your local legal advisor or defense attorney.


WHEN DO I NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER IN FLORIDA?

According to the sixth amendment of the United States Of America Constitution, which declared that any person incriminated of a crime has a right to a lawyer to stand in for them at trial. This amendment has validated the need for a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida.,

Also, an arrest can be embarrassing, especially when it is your first time. Hence, the need to understand your rights and when to involve a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida.

Who is a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

This lawyer specializes in the aegis of people or organizations that have been charged with a criminal offense. It would help if you had a defense lawyer either privately or at different administrations within criminal courts. They work on any case related to criminal law.

And no matter the gravity of the offense, a defense lawyer will do everything possible to mount the best support for his client, who is the defendant. However, Criminal lawyers cannot let personal feelings come into being when standing in for their clients. They keep the utmost interest of their clients in mind and focus on getting them out of trouble.

So, the big question is;

 When Do You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida?

  • Hire a criminal defense lawyer when you need to save money. Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer helps minimize cost in the long run if the process begins early.
  • When you need to understand the exact charges, you are facing: It will interest you to know that the gravity of the crime you committed will determine the consequence that accompanies it. Ignorantly, most people are not aware of it and do not understand their crimes before arraignment. 
  • When you need a legal aid to represent you in court when charged with a criminal offense. A Criminal Defense Lawyer will help with getting you out of trouble, avoid jail term, or limit possible sentence (in the worst scenario).

Arraignment is when the accused pleads not guilty or no contest. It is your criminal defense lawyer that will plead and represent you in the hearing. They will request bail or be released on their pledge.

In conclusion, the moment you realize that you need the best hands to handle the criminal case at hand, then you need a Criminal Defense Lawyer.


What You Need to Know About Intent and Simple Battery

Being accused of battery in Florida is an unnerving experience and one that should prompt you to contact a criminal defense attorney quickly. Intent is an essential element of a simple battery charge. In order for battery to constitute a crime, there must be a specific voluntary act or something that is substantially certain to result from such an act.

The defendant, therefore, must engage in conduct in which he or she knows that a strike or a touch is certain as a result of their actions or he or she must intend to strike the person. Therefore, accidental touching or touching that is not aimed at making a contact with another individual is often insufficient to establish simple battery charges in Florida.

Whether the person who is accused had the necessary intent, is a question for the jury to resolve by looking at the circumstances and the facts associated with the touching or the striking of the victim. In all prosecutions in Florida, the touching must occur without the consent of the alleged victim or in other words, against the victim’s will. This issue often arises as a complicating factor in allegations of criminal conduct in terms of mutual combat.

You might be curious about how these cases are affected if both parties are involved in the fight.
Mutual combat is a common battery defense that is associated with both parties assenting to a physical altercation and therefore, consenting to be touched, which is not applicable to battery charges. Both parties must be at fault in order for this to apply and the defendant cannot be the primary aggressor or be the one who initiates the fight. Again, the issue of consent is one for a jury to decide and as examined in light of other facts associated with the case. If you have been accused of simple battery in Florida, your willingness to take action quickly by consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney is vital towards crafting a compelling defense to protect you and keep you out of jail. Do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible.


Defenses Against Dealing in Stolen Property

Second-Degree Felony For Stolen Property

In the State of Florida, dealing in stolen property is considered a second-degree felony. In fact, it is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The penalties imposed depend greatly on the value of the goods allegedly stolen. If found guilty, this crime significantly impacts your life, career, and relationships. Find out how to fight for a clean criminal record and also defend your rights under the law.

Florida Statutes

Florida defines dealing in stolen property as:

(1) Any person who traffics in, or endeavors to traffic in, property that he or she knows or should know was stolen shall be guilty of a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082775.083, and 775.084.
(2) Any person who initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages, or supervises the theft of property and traffics in such stolen property shall be guilty of a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in ss. 775.082775.083, and 775.084.

Potential Defenses Against Dealing in Stolen Property Charges

If you are charged with dealing in stolen property, there are several defenses to employ. However, these defenses depend on the circumstances surrounding your case. Your attorney will evaluate your case and determine what defenses would increase your chances of success. Potential defenses include but are not limited to:

  • Alleging that you had no knowledge the goods you bought or sold were stolen. You could show purchase records or receipts that show how you came to buy the property. In fact, receipts provide evidence that you didn’t know that the goods you bought were stolen.
  • Alleging that you were given the stolen property. If you did not purchase the stolen goods and came into possession of them through a gift or some other means, you can allege that you had no intention of dealing in stolen goods.
  • Alleging illegal search and seizure. Depending on the circumstances, your attorney could also allege that the police performed an illegal search and seizure of the stolen goods. If it is determined that an illegal search and seizure took place, any evidence — including the actual property — obtained during the search can be suppressed. Then, the prosecution will have a much more difficult time receiving a guilty verdict if they cannot produce the “stolen property.”

Contact Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. Today

Attorney Mayersohn is an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney who can help you defend against charges of dealing in stolen property. Call now for a consultation at 954-400-5000.


The Four Steps to a Criminal Case

 

Dealing With A Criminal Case?

Being arrested and charged with a crime is a frightening and sobering experience. Therefore, if you’ve been charged with a crime, the time to act is now. It’s important to understand what will happen during your criminal case and what to expect as you move through the various stages of the Fort Lauderdale court system. Here’s what you need to know about the four steps to a criminal case.

1. The Arrest

The first stage of a criminal proceeding is the arrest. Once the arrest is made, the defendant can be released from jail on bond or on their own recognizance. In some cases, however, no bond is necessary. This typically occurs when the charges are dropped or when the defendant is taken straight to court for the arraignment.

2. The Arraignment

At the arraignment, you will be informed of your rights. This is your first court appearance, and simply exists to state the charges that are formally being filed against you and your right to contact an attorney. During the arraignment is when a defendant is required to enter in their formal plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

3. The Preliminary Hearing

A preliminary hearing is conducted in order for the judge assigned to the case to review all the evidence against the defendant and to determine if there is enough evidence available for the defendant to stand trial. Additionally, if it is determined that enough evidence exists, the prosecutor will file paperwork that requires the defendant to proceed to trial.

4. The Trial

Before the trial occurs, a jury must be selected by the attorneys of both sides — typically the prosecutor and the defendant’s criminal defense attorney. Then, evidence is presented by both sides in front of the judge and jury and the jury must use that evidence to determine if the defendant is guilty or not. If the defendant is found guilty, he or she is taken into custody immediately. If a not guilty verdict is returned, the defendant is free to go.

Contact Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. Today

Leah H. Mayersohn, Esq. is a seasoned Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney with the experience and resources to guide you through California’s criminal justice system. When you work with Attorney Mayersohn, you can be confident that you have a strong, viable defense. Call today for a consultation to discuss the specifics of your case at 954-400-5000.


Do You Have A Right To Remain Silent In Florida?

Were you or a loved one arrested in Florida?

If you have been arrested or have concerns for a family or friend, you may be interested in what your legal rights are. You may have heard of the term Miranda Rights and want to know more.

Miranda Rights

Miranda warnings are often misunderstood.  Some believe that if your Miranda rights are not provided to you, your charges are not valid or that your arrest is not legal. This is not necessarily the case.  It must be understood that after your arrest if you are questioned without having had your Miranda Rights read to you, your arrest may still be legal, while the second element, the element of questioning may not be legal. When you are under arrest, if law enforcement questions you without providing you with your rights, the questioning itself is questions but the arrest may not be.

My Miranda Rights Weren’t Read To Me

If you were arrested and questioned by a police officer and did not receive your Miranda Rights, you will want to relay this to your Florida Criminal Defense attorney immediately. Any statement that you may have made while under arrest without Miranda may be considered illegal and illustrate that your statement was not voluntary. The latter can indicate that any statements that you made without your Miranda may not be used against you.

In addition, any evidence yielded as a result of the statements that you made may also be inadmissible.  The Miranda sets out your rights and when provided to you states that you have the right to remain silent,i.e. “anything you say can and will be used against you”. A Criminal Defense Attorney will advise that remaining silent is a right that you have under the Miranda Warning and thus, cannot be used against you in a court of law.

Remain Cooperative While Invoking Your Rights

Always remain calm and cordial when dealing with law enforcement in any situation or circumstance, this is for your own safety. With that said, this does not mean that you have to provide additional information or cues that may ultimately result in your conviction.  It is not your job to prove your guilt.  Get help from a qualified criminal defense attorney today.