Criminal Law

In the State of Florida, a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. This is one of the most important foundations of our democracy in the United States, and it protects people from unwarranted punishments for baseless accusations. If the prosecution cannot establish the guilt of a defendant beyond a reasonable doubt, criminal courts in Florida have no choice but to dismiss the charges. Similarly, individuals accused of a crime have the Constitutional right to be represented in court by an attorney. These legal professionals fight for the freedom of their clients while ensuring that justice remains blind. If you have been charged with a crime in Florida, consider reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney with Palaidis Law to review your case.

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Defendants facing charges can consult with qualified defense attorneys in Florida. During a consultation with Palaidis Law, a defendant can assess targeted defense strategies that may be suitable based on their unique situation. Online research may provide insights, but it cannot offer legal defense. To discuss your case with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney, schedule a consultation with Palaidis Law by calling (833) HIRE-GCP today. 

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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence includes assault, sexual assault, false imprisonment, and related offenses committed between members of the same household. Domestic battery is often prosecuted as a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida. A conviction may carry a one-year jail sentence.

Rape

Rape is nonconsensual, forced sexual activity. In Florida the legal term for most instances of rape is “sexual battery,” and the offense is often prosecuted as a second-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of 15 years. Penalties may be heightened if the allegations include aggravating factors, such as sexual acts with minors.

Conspiracy

The word “conspiracy” stems from the Latin verb “conspirare,” which means “to breathe together.” A conspiracy charge generally means the prosecution intends to show evidence that multiple defendants worked together to plan out one or more criminal activities. Defendants should be aware that it is possible to be convicted of conspiracy in Florida even if the planned crime was never carried out.

Bench Warrant

Judges in Florida may issue bench warrants for those who have failed to appear in court. Bench warrants may also be issued for those in contempt of court. This warrant authorizes law enforcement to arrest defendants immediately. Palaidis Law may be able to help individuals placed under arrest address this situation with efficiency.

Theft

A defendant may face theft charges if they take the property of another person. In order to secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the accused took this property “knowingly.” Penalties depend on the value of the stolen items. For property worth more than $100,000, defendants face charges of first-degree grand theft and a 30-year prison sentence.

Fraud

Florida defines fraud as any scheme that misrepresents facts while causing other people to suffer losses. If these losses exceed $50,000, a defendant faces first-degree felony charges and a 30-year prison sentence. Examples include cryptocurrency schemes, Ponzi schemes, and many others.

Assault

While many forms of assault are prosecuted under Florida’s criminal code, rather than litigated as civil matters, assault may lead to a personal injury lawsuit under a number of different circumstances. Some of the most common include: 

Florida defines assault as a physical or verbal threat. A conviction can only occur if the defendant had the ability to carry out this threat. The least serious assault offense is “simple assault,” which carries a maximum jail sentence of 60 days. 

Sometimes the victim of an assault incident may sue their assailant for causing a range of damages, including PTSD, medical expenses, missed wages, depression, and much more. Although a defendant may face criminal charges for their assault, they may also face civil action in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. 

An assault may sometimes fall under the category of premises liability – specifically negligent security claims. Also known as “unsafe premises,” this type of lawsuit involves a plaintiff injured by criminal activities that could have been prevented if more suitable security systems had been implemented by the property owner or business. 

If a defendant is accused of assaulting someone with a deadly weapon or while carrying out a felony, they may be charged with aggravated assault in Florida. This charge is a third-degree felony with a penalty of up to five years in prison. 

Sexual assault covers any non-consensual sexual contact. Unlike sexual battery, a charge of sexual assault in Florida does not necessarily refer to a specific sex act; sexual assault is a more general term often used in cases in which the allegations include unwanted touching or groping. Even in the case of a relatively minor sentence, incarceration for over one year is possible. 

Drug Possession

Depending on the substance, drug possession may result in misdemeanor or felony charges. The State of Florida imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences for some drug possession convictions, so it is important to take drug possession charges seriously and organize a strong defense.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is a separate charge from drug possession. Individuals may face drug trafficking charges if prosecutors believe they can prove that the defendant was selling drugs instead of merely possessing them for personal use. Here, too, Florida imposes mandatory minimum sentences, which may vary somewhat depending on the charges. The maximum sentence for drug trafficking, on the other hand, can reach 25 years. 

Embezzlement

If a defendant is convicted of misappropriating funds with which they were entrusted by businesses or individuals, they may face consequences for embezzlement. That being said, there are no laws that specifically mention embezzlement in Florida – and defendants face penalties under theft statutes for these alleged crimes. 

Money Laundering

Money laundering refers to deliberately concealing the origin of funds generated through criminal activities. Even if the criminal funds move through legitimate businesses, their source makes these financial transactions illegal. The maximum penalty for money laundering in Florida is up to 20 years in prison. 

DUI

Driving under the influence, or “DUI,” may lead to a six-month jail sentence for a first offense. However, various aggravating factors can lead to sentences of 15 years or more. These include repeated offenses, causing an injury, or leaving the scene of a crash. 

BUI

Boating under the influence, also known as “BUI,” is a common offense in Florida. Although defendants may face misdemeanors for their first offenses, subsequent offenses may lead to felony charges and sentences of up to five years. 

Public Intoxication

Individuals who are noticeably intoxicated in a public space may face charges of public intoxication. These charges are especially likely if the inebriated individual endangers other people or causes a public disturbance. Public intoxication is typically charged as a second-degree misdemeanor, and a conviction may result in up to 60 days in jail. 

Kidnapping

Florida defines kidnapping as forcibly taking or imprisoning someone without their consent. Divorced or separated parents may also face this charge for taking their children on impromptu trips, even if the child consents. A conviction for kidnapping in Florida can result in a life sentence.

Homicide

Homicide is another word for murder. There is no criminal statute for “homicide” in Florida, although the term is associated with murder charges of first, second, and third degrees.

Manslaughter

Manslaughter is an accidental or non-premeditated killing. Examples include killing someone in a car accident or accidentally shooting someone. All manslaughter charges are felonies that may lead to 30-year prison sentences.

Murder

In Florida, murder charges involve malicious intent. Defendants may still face third-degree murder charges for accidental killings that occurred during the commission of a crime. Second-degree murder may involve serving as an accomplice or having a “depraved mind” at the time of the offense. First-degree murder is premeditated, or it may occur during the commission of a felony. Consequences for murder in Florida range from 15-year prison sentences to the death penalty.

Computer Crimes

Florida takes computer crimes seriously. These might include unauthorized access, damaging a computer system, cyberstalking, and many others. Depending on the nature of the offense, both misdemeanor and felony charges are possible. 

Misdemeanor

A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony charge, and it usually involves a non-violent crime. A second-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of 60 days, while a first-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of one year. 

Burglary

If a defendant is accused of entering a dwelling or structure with the goal of committing a crime, they may face burglary charges in Florida. Depending on the nature of the offense, defendants may face up to 15 years in prison for burglary. 

Child Abuse

Florida defines child abuse as intentional physical or mental harm inflicted upon a child. If the course of action presented a reasonable chance of harm, defendants may still face charges even if the child was not hurt. Depending on the severity of injuries sustained and other factors, child abuse can lead to a 15-year prison sentence. 

Drug Possession

Depending on the substance, drug possession may result in misdemeanor or felony charges. The State of Florida imposes mandatory minimum prison sentences for some drug possession convictions, so it is important to take drug possession charges seriously and organize a strong defense.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is a separate charge from drug possession. Individuals may face drug trafficking charges if prosecutors believe they can prove that the defendant was selling drugs instead of merely possessing them for personal use. Here, too, Florida imposes mandatory minimum sentences, which may vary somewhat depending on the charges. The maximum sentence for drug trafficking, on the other hand, can reach 25 years. 

Contact Your Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Individuals confronting legal charges can seek guidance from your skilled defense attorney in Florida. Palaidis Law offers free consultations to evaluate tailored strategies aligned with your specific circumstances. To engage in a comprehensive discussion about your case with a seasoned Florida criminal defense attorney, schedule your free consultation with Palaidis Law by calling (833) HIRE-GCP today.