Being arrested is a frightening experience, especially if it is your first time running into the law. Simply learning that law enforcement is investigating you is worrisome. Under the legal system, a person is innocent until proven guilty. However, police routinely put pressure on suspects under investigation. Without an attorney present, law enforcement could coerce an individual into admitting to a crime they did not commit.
After an arrest, you have the right to remain silent, and you have the right to an attorney. These Miranda rights are more than dialogue in police movies and television dramas. They are guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. Exercise your rights immediately by requesting a lawyer and declining to talk to police until your attorney arrives to advise you. The attorneys at Largey Law are prepared to defend you.
If you have been arrested or you believe law enforcement may take you into custody, call a Mount Dora criminal defense lawyer immediately. An aggressive advocate could help you avoid an arrest or criminal charges.
What Warrants Criminal Defense?
Largey Law was founded by former public defenders who believe in the rights of all people to be treated fairly by the criminal justice system. We offer aggressive defense to a variety of charges, such as:
We are available to protect your interests, even if you are arrested after normal business hours or on a weekend. Our criminal defense attorneys make jail visits and maintain offices across the state. We give you straightforward advice about your options and the potential outcomes. Throughout your case, we answer your questions honestly and promptly.
The Rights of a Criminal Suspect
During an arrest, police must inform a person of their ability to refuse to answer questions. These protections are commonly referred to as one’s Miranda rights. If an alleged suspect refuses to answer questions, they can request an attorney.
Unfortunately, many individuals do not take advantage of their rights. Innocent people often believe that if they are honest with law enforcement, they will be released from custody. However, that is rarely the case. Police might present themselves as friendly to encourage a suspect to talk about an investigation, but they often use their words against the case.
If a person is arrested in Mount Dora, they should immediately request a criminal attorney and refuse to speak until legal counsel arrives. Legal representation could offer advice about which questions to answer and advocate for a defendant’s rights.
How Does the Criminal Justice Case Process Work?
The U.S. Constitution, the Florida Constitution, the Florida Statutes and the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure govern various aspects of your arrest and prosecution. The speedy trial rule requires that a trial must begin within 90 days of an arrest for a misdemeanor offense and 175 days for a felony charge. You may file a demand for speedy trial, which would bring your case to trial within 60 days of the arrest.
Generally, your case is handled in these stages:
- Arrest — Law enforcement must have probable cause to arrest you.
- First appearance — Within 24 hours of your arrest, a judge decides whether or not to set bond.
- Arraignment — You are given the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty to the charges.
- Discovery — Our skilled criminal defense lawyers investigate your charges and gather evidence through police reports, subpoenas, depositions, expert witness consultation and forensic testing. The prosecution must give you access to the evidence it has collected in your case, including exculpatory evidence.
- Plea negotiations — If beneficial to you, our attorneys negotiate for a lighter sentence or a lesser charge. For example, a DUI charge might be reduced in exchange for a guilty plea to a reckless driving charge.
- Pretrial motions and hearings — Typically, the defense and prosecution file numerous motions, and the judge holds hearings at which each side argues for its position. For example, we might file a motion asking the court to exclude evidence that was obtained without a proper warrant.
- Trial — A criminal trial consists of an opening statement by each side, the direct and cross-examination of witnesses and the presentation of physical evidence. The state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the specific crime with which you are charged. Every crime has multiple legal elements — such as the commission of the act and the intent to commit the act — and the state has the burden of proving each and every element.
- Sentencing hearing — If you are adjudicated guilty through a plea or a verdict, the judge sentences you at a hearing.
Juvenile cases are subject to different rules than adult cases. Also, you may have the opportunity to enter special court programs for certain types of cases, such as first-time drug crimes.
What Is the Impact of a Criminal Conviction?
Depending on the crime, a conviction may require an individual to take a class, pay a fine, or make restitution. However, a court could also require that they serve time in state prison. Depending on the nature of the crime and the alleged suspect’s criminal history, their punishment could vary.
Even after an alleged offender serves their sentence, a conviction could have unfortunate consequences. For example, a criminal record might impact a person’s job prospects and disqualify them from obtaining professional licenses. It may also limit their access to credit and prevent them from living in certain places. If a crime involves sexual abuse, an individual might need to register as a sex offender.
A criminal lawyer in Mount Dora could work to prevent a conviction. If exoneration is not possible, they may attempt to minimize a sentence and the long-term consequences of a charge. In some cases, an attorney could help an individual enroll in a program that offers mental health counselling or treatment for substance abuse in place of jail time.
Reach Out to Our Mount Dora Criminal Defense Attorneys for Dedicated Assistance
Learn about your options and rights at a free consultation with Largey Law. Call us or contact the firm online to start planning your defense. Because arrests occur at all hours, we offer weekend and evening appointments and can meet with you in your home or at the jail. Se habla Español.