Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney
Any criminal accusation should be treated seriously and dealt with immediately with the assistance of qualified, experienced Boca Raton criminal defense attorneys. Even a misdemeanor conviction can mean the imposition of fines, jail time, and the establishment of a criminal record which can cause you to lose your job or prevent you from getting employment or a professional license. An arrest or conviction can harm your reputation in the community and affect your personal home life as well. At Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A., our Boca Raton criminal defense attorneys provide a strong defense against misdemeanor and felony charges and work to get the best result possible, from a dismissal of charges or not guilty verdict to favorable plea bargains, probation and alternative sentencing options. Our experienced Boca Raton criminal attorneys help clients in all of the following areas:
- Drug Crimes
- DUI Defense
- License Suspension & Reinstatement
- Sealing Criminal Records
- Sex Crimes
- Theft Crimes
- White Collar Crime
Talk to a Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney First
If arrested, the most important step to take is to request to speak with an attorney and politely refuse to answer any questions until you have spoken with an experienced Boca Raton criminal defense attorney. Even if you have not been arrested, it is always wise to speak to an attorney or have one present before answering any questions. Police are expertly trained to get people to make incriminating or contradictory statements that can create probable cause to make an arrest or be used to undermine a person’s credibility in court and make them look guilty.
Contacting an experienced Boca Raton criminal defense attorney as soon as possible will help to preserve and protect your rights and position you for the best possible outcome. An attorney can also help secure your release from custody after an arrest, either with a low, reasonable bail amount or without any bail money being required at all. Trying to navigate the criminal justice system on your own places you at the mercy of prosecutors with far more knowledge and experience of the system who may pursue charges far more serious than they intended, merely to get you to plead guilty and avoid a trial. Experienced Boca Raton criminal attorneys know the prosecutors’ tricks and tactics and make sure their clients receive fair treatment not just at trial but throughout the entire process.
Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorney FAQs
What property of mine can an officer search?
Generally the officer will need a search warrant to search your property, home or vehicle.
What are my rights when the police question me?
You have the right to remain silent. You do not have to speak to a law enforcement officer without your criminal defense lawyer being present. If you speak, you may unintentionally incriminate yourself and make it more difficult for your lawyer to defend you in the future.
What happens after I am arrested?
The police may ask you questions about the circumstances that caused you to be in their custody. They might ask you to make a formal statement. Whatever takes place while the police are gathering more information about the incident can and will be used against you when you are in court. A qualified attorney should be contacted.
What is the ‘presumption of innocence’?
One is considered innocent until proven guilty. One application of this principle is that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. The prosecutor has to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the trier of fact, who is restrained and ordered by law to consider only actual evidence and testimony that is legally admissible, and in most cases lawfully obtained, that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt remains, the accused is to be acquitted.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Firstly, almost all felonies carry more severe penalties than misdemeanors. These penalties include higher fines, longer sentences and more significant repercussions after your ultimate release. Secondly, felony convictions result in a loss of your civil rights in Florida, including the right to vote, carry a firearm and may cause you to be forced to explain your felony conviction to any potential employer. Most misdemeanors do not carry the same long-term consequences.
Does every case involve a trial?
After a defendant enters a plea of “not guilty,” a criminal trial will be set. Many criminal cases do not go to trial. However, the decision whether or not to proceed with a trial is normally made after completion of witness depositions and review of all of the written and recorded evidence. It is important to seek a qualified criminal trial attorney even if you do not ultimately elect a trial. Plea bargaining is a common alternative to pleading “not guilty” and going to trial.
What happens before the trial?
The defense and the prosecution gather evidence including witness statements, deposition testimony, video and other recorded evidence. Based upon the legal issues raised in the case, the defense may have motions to file and argue before the court. Expert witnesses may be required to review and analyze certain evidence or testimony.
What happens at trial?
Trials include the following stage: Opening statements, prosecution case-in-chief, defense motion to dismiss, defense case-in-chief, prosecution rebuttal, closing arguments, jury instructions and jury deliberation.
What happens after trial?
Non-U.S. citizens may face deportation as a result of being found guilty of committing a crime. Everyone convicted of a felony in Florida must submit their DNA to the state’s DNA database. Sentencing is the stage at which the judge imposes punishment after a finding of guilt that resulted from a trial, or entry of a plea of guilty or no contest by the client. The judge may order a pre-sentence investigation (PSI) report and postpone sentencing until after the report has been submitted and reviewed. A client who is convicted at trial and wants to appeal the conviction must file a notice of appeal within a specified time. In some cases, the judge may allow the client’s release on bond until a final decision by the appellate court. Probation is an alternative to being sentenced to jail or prison. It may take the form of community control, an intensely supervised and restrictive program in which a probation officer makes regular unannounced visits to the probationer’s home and may electronically monitor the probationer’s movements. If the judge makes a finding of guilt after plea or trial, the judge may require the client to pay court costs and restitution. The judge can require the payment of the costs and fees as a condition of the sentence or can impose a lien on the client’s property.
Boca Raton Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help
The Boca Raton criminal defense attorneys at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. have decades of experience and a long record of notable successes in a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor cases. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Boca Raton, contact our office at 561.395.0000 for immediate assistance.