Being accused of a crime is one of the most stressful experiences anyone could face. If you were charged, you may be searching for answers, support, or peace of mind. When it comes to criminal defense, it is crucial to always remain one step ahead so that you are aware of what could happen next.
In order to formally convict someone of a criminal charge, the evidence found should be sufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a person committed the crime. However, you may be surprised to find that there are many ways to defend these cases, even when the odds seem stacked against you. Having an attorney on your side who understands the law can use that knowledge to your advantage.
Call our Miami criminal lawyers today at (305) 330-1360! We are available for a consultation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you have regarding your case.
Call Hager & Schwartz, P.A. for Help
No matter the severity and nature of criminal charges, involving an attorney is one of the most important steps a defendant can take to actively protect his or her freedom and future. At Hager & Schwartz, P.A. we assist clients throughout Miami in all aspects of criminal cases. We provide experienced counsel in the face of criminal investigations, arrests and formal charges.
Whether this is your first arrest or if you already have a criminal record, our law firm can provide you with the level of legal representation you need to seek the most advantageous outcome to your case. Before you accept a plea bargain offered by a Miami prosecutor, before you lose hope, before you submit to questioning after an arrest–discuss the situation with a criminal defense lawyer who can advise you of your best course of action.
Florida Criminal Laws & Penalties
Hager & Schwartz, P.A. has a comprehensive understanding of the Florida penal code that benefits each of their clients. Assault and battery, for example, is defined by Title XLVI, Ch. 784 as a crime that can take on many different forms. Depending on the severity of the incident, assault and battery can be either a misdemeanor or felony charge. Burglary and theft crimes are the same way.
Chapter 812 has dozens of subdivisions detailing the different kinds of theft. The distinction between misdemeanor and felony for these charges depends on the monetary amount of goods stolen. We are also prepared to handle a number of different fraud cases and white collar crimes such as conspiracy or insurance fraud. These types of crimes typically involve large amounts of money, which means that those accused face greater penalties.
Criminal charges are generally separated into two categories: felony offenses and misdemeanor offenses. Depending upon the specific circumstances of your case, you will be charged with one or the other. In some cases involving multiple criminal charges, you may find yourself facing counts of both types of charges. Misdemeanors and felonies are further broken down into the following categories with differing penalties:
- Second Degree Misdemeanor- Maximum 60 days in jail, six months probation or $500 fine.
- First Degree Misdemeanor- Maximum of one year in jail, one year probation or $1k fine.
- Third Degree Felony- Maximum five years of prison, five years' probation or $5k fine.
- Second Degree Felony- Maximum 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation or $5k fine.
- First Degree Felony- Maximum 30 years in prison, thirty year probation or $10k fine.
- Life Felony- Life in prison without the possibility of parole or possibly lifetime probation/$15k fine.
- Capital Felony- Punishable by death or life in prison without parole.
Felony charges are treated differently in Florida. They are based off of the criminal punishment code (CPC) which is a point system that will determine your punishment. Those who have less than 44 points are not required to be sentenced to prison, but are still able to be. Additionally, a third type of criminal charge is an infraction of the law. An infraction can include a speeding ticket or a curfew ticket in some cases.
Differences Between Public Defenders & Private Attorneys
The first major difference between public defenders and private attorneys is incentive to get results. Public defenders have few reasons to get results for their clients other than personal pride and a firm belief in the justice system. While these incentives are important, public defenders are handed clients, which means their track records are irrelevant. Whether a public defender helps a client or not, they will still have more clients tomorrow. Therefore, there is no guarantee public defenders are motivated to win the cases they get.
However, private attorneys have a lot of incentives to perform well for their clients. A private practice is a business, and as well all know, a company doesn’t last unless it helps people. Private attorneys must work hard so clients keep hiring their business.
Public defenders are often overworked due to high caseloads. Since they are paid regardless of the quality of the work, they are usually tasked with many cases. This can lead to cases slipping through the cracks, which means their clients aren’t getting always getting quality representation.
However, private attorneys typically have much smaller caseloads when compared to public defenders. That means private attorneys have time to field client questions and look at a case from every possible angle. As a result, clients with private attorneys are more likely to receive quality representation.
No matter where you are in the criminal process, involving a lawyer can help ensure that your Constitutional rights are well-protected. We are criminal attorneys with over four decades of experience, dedicated to the aggressive representation of our clients inside and outside the criminal courtroom. We are familiar with the local courts, judges, prosecuting attorneys and court personnel and can use this experience to your benefit.
We have a reputation for winning difficult cases, using seasoned and hard-hitting defense against any criminal charge.
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Former prosecutors handling your defense.
Decades of legal experience on your side.
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