Criminal charges in the State of Florida are a serious matter, regardless of the level. Misdemeanors, felonies, and even traffic criminal charges can have a long lasting effect on the accused’s life. Not only can the criminal sanctions in Florida be severe, as they may include jail or prison time, expensive fines, forfeiture, and a criminal record, but many people fail to realize that once arrested, even if the charges are dismissed, the arrest will likely be easily accessible online to anyone who searches by name.
A person being accused of a crime should never enter a courtroom without first having an attorney review the case. There may be possible defense options available, including the filing of a motion to suppress for a violation of constitutional rights by law enforcement. Or, there may certain programs that, if eligible and successfully completed, may result in the case being dismissed. It is extremely important to identify defense options as soon as possible, because, in general, the longer a person waits, the fewer options there are.
When you have been charged with a crime, you will want to meet with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your options, learn how to protect your rights, and try to maximize your chances of a positive outcome.
Casey Reiter is an associate attorney at Stuart R. Manoff & Associates, P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida, practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and Marital Law.