There’s nothing more nerve-wracking and draining than facing a criminal charge. The effect a conviction can have on your freedom and on your personal and professional life is devastating. You could be looking at years in prison, heavy fines, and lost future employment opportunities among other repercussions.
With all these on the line, you need to have the best legal representation. Hiring the right criminal defense attorney in Delray Beach could make a world of a difference. That’s why you should look no further than Steinberg Law. Our team is committed to fighting aggressively to protect the rights of people who have been charged with all kinds of crimes.
What Are My Rights as a Criminal Defendant in Florida?
In the United States, the Constitution provides you with an array of rights as a defendant charged with a crime. Understanding these rights will put you in a better position to defend yourself. According to several Constitutional Amendments, your rights are as follows.
The 4th Amendment
This Amendment stipulates that the police are not allowed to conduct unwarranted searches or seizures that aren’t justified. Law enforcement requires probable cause in order to perform a search. The amendment also dictates that any evidence collected via illegal means isn’t admissible in court.
The 5th Amendment
The 5th Amendment is an umbrella for an array of protections for individuals facing criminal charges. These protections include:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Defendants are protected against double jeopardy.
- You have the right to a jury trial.
- Defendants have the right to a fair trial.
The 6th Amendment
According to the 6th Amendment, anyone charged with a crime should be made aware of the exact charges brought against them. They also have the right to a public trial without delay as well as the identity of their accusers.
In addition, the amendment guarantees the defendant the right to legal representation. If you cannot afford one, the court is mandated to provide one. Also, the prosecutor is required to reveal any evidence against you before it is presented to the judge or jury.
The 8th Amendment
This amendment protects defendants against unreasonable bail or fine amounts and also unusual or cruel punishment by the court.
What’s a Misdemeanor vs a Felony in Florida?
Crimes in the state of Florida differ depending on the offense severity and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Crimes in the state are classified into either misdemeanors or felonies. The former is a less severe crime while a felony is more serious.
Examples of misdemeanors include DUI, public intoxication, theft of items worth less than $500, etc. A felony on the other hand carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment. Examples include the sexual battery of a minor, obstructing a police officer, second-degree murder, extortion, kidnapping for ransom, etc.
Should You Consult an Attorney Before Speaking to the Police?
As the 5th amendment stipulates, you have the right to remain silent when in custody. As such, it is wise to refrain from talking to the police until your Delray Beach criminal defense lawyer is present.
What Is the Habitual Law Offender Law?
In Florida, the habitual offender law gives the judge the ability to impose more strict punishments to repeat offenders. This law allows them to adjust punishments based on past convictions.
The court may impose a longer prison sentence if a person has previously been convicted of two or more felonies and is convicted of a third felony or qualified offense within five years. The court must impose a minimum mandatory sentence on “three-time violent felony offenders.”
How Can a Delray Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?
Being charged with a crime is no joke. Even a minor misdemeanor on your record can have major repercussions on your life such as the loss of certain jobs and federal financial help for education. Our team, however, is here to help you in the following manner:
Your lawyer will first assess the specifics of your case and give you the right legal advice. They will then do a comprehensive independent investigation into your case to collect all the required evidence for a robust defense. This includes working with expert witnesses.
Depending on the specifics and severity of your case, your best route might be to take a plea bargain. Your lawyer will be able to tell if you have a winning chance, should the case go to trial. More often than not, plea bargains lead to less severe punishment, reduced prison time, fewer fines, and even no jail time served.
Gauge Case Results
Following a thorough evaluation of your case, a seasoned lawyer will be in a position to determine the most likely outcome in your case and advice the best course of action. They will advise whether you should go to trial or settle for a plea bargain.
Law and Court Rules Knowledge
Experienced lawyers in the field of criminal defense know the ins and outs of the criminal justice system in Florida. They have a good understanding of both the laws and court rules and thus, are able to find ways to have the outcome in your favor.
Criminal defense lawyers have vast experience in handling these cases and helping people secure their freedom. If you decide to go to trial, your lawyer will prepare your case and use their resources to represent you accordingly.
What Is the Cost of a Criminal Defense Attorney in Delray Beach?
Criminal cases vary and so, the amount you can expect to pay for private legal representation will vary depending on an array of factors such as the type of case, crime severity, your financial status, and experience of the lawyer. If your case ends up in trial, expect to pay more.
However, if you cannot afford a criminal defense lawyer, the law provides the right to a public defender.
What Is the Benefit of a Private Lawyer vs. a Court Appointed Lawyer?
Court-appointed or public defense lawyers are employed by the government and usually have multiple cases to handle at a time. They usually don’t have the time and resources needed to build a robust case, which can make a huge impact on your case’s outcome.
On the contrary, private lawyers only handle a few cases simultaneously. This gives them time to dedicate their time and resources to conduct effective representation. They will be in a position to hire private investigators and expert witnesses to create a robust case. At the end of the day, it is better to work with a private criminal defense lawyer.
Can You Represent Yourself?
Yes! However, given the repercussions of criminal convictions, it is best to have a seasoned lawyer by your side. Almost all self-represented cases in Florida end up in a conviction and with your freedom on the line, that’s a strategy you’ll want to avoid.
Appealing a Conviction in Florida
If you are convicted of a crime in Florida, you still have the right to appeal the outcome. This is done by appealing to the Court of Appeals for most cases, and the Florida Supreme Court for capital murder cases.
Hire the Best Delray Beach Criminal Defense Attorney!
Being convicted of a crime can change your life instantly. If you have been accused or charged with a crime, you should quickly hire a criminal defense attorney in Delray Beach. This allows you to not only protect your rights but build a robust defense.