Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Clearwater:
Don’t trust any Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney to take your case. Your life, your future, and possibly your family’s wellbeing hinges on what criminal defense attorney you choose. If you’ve been arrested in Clearwater, you should choose a firm with a proven track record of success in the area.
Here is just one example of a recent success we have had with client in a very tough criminal situation and here is how we helped this client.
We could provide several more examples, but why not pick up the phone right now for your free consultation. You can hear from your Clearwater DUI Attorney yourself, and be well on your way to getting the representation you deserve.
Frequently Asked Questions from Our Clients:
Since this is such an important decision, we are glad that you are thoroughly researching your options No doubt, you will have questions regarding the criminal process, and how these issues are resolved in Clearwater. Therefore, we provide a few short videos to answer some of our more popular questions. Additionally, you can find our entire library of Frequently Asked Questions regarding criminal defense attorneys in Clearwater here.
How Will My Sentence Be Decided in Florida?
There are two ways a person can get sentenced in Florida. The first way is pursuant to a plea agreement. A plea agreement involves a person (usually hiring an attorney) and the defense has a conversation with the prosecutor about the case. The two parties go over the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, and then come up with an agreement to resolve it. This is one way a sentence can be decided, and as long as the judge accepts it, then that is how the case will be disposed of.
The second way a sentence can be decided is simply by knowing the maximums and minimums associated with the case, and where some would fall within those parameters. Like I stated in a previous video, misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year in jail, whereas felonies are punishable by more than a year in jail. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison, second degree felonies are punishable by up to fifteen years in prison, and third degree felonies are punishable up to thirty years in jail. Additionally, there are some other enhancements which even involve life sentences.
The courts actually have a score sheet, and there is a mathematical computation whenever a particular crime has been committed. It takes into account, every crime that has been committed in the past by the accused and the crime that is actually being reviewed by the court at that time. All of those factors, go on a score sheet, and there is a number that comes up. That number will tell the court what the minimum and maximum allowable sentence will be. If the person scores mandatory prison the court has no discretion to minimize the sentence. If it’s a misdemeanor, there are no minimums (usually). Therefore, the sentence could be anything from probation to jail.
The best thing to do in a situation like that is to just make sure you have a lawyer who understands what you are charged with , who knows the law, who knows these minimum and maximum sentences. and also knows whether or not there any other avenues which to proceed on to help protect you, and keep you out of custody.
What Does “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt” Mean?
Beyond a reasonable doubt is the limit, it’s the level, that the jury has to hit before they can convict a person of a crime. People have doubts about a lot of things. There are doubts about whether there is alien life out there for some folks. But, the jury is asked not to speculate beyond common sense. The jury is asked to look at the facts and render a verdict if it is beyond every doubt that is reasonable. A simple example that a lot of people use: if a person was about to go to bed one night, and before the person goes to bed they turned on the radio. On the radio, they heard a conversation about a big snowstorm that was coming. And, then they turn the radio off, but then they turn on the television. On the television, they hear another conversation about this big snowstorm. It was going to hit that night, and it was going to be a blizzard. That person goes to bed. They wake up, and they see blankets of snow everywhere.
Now, it is absolutely possible that, that night, there was some kind of movie being filmed next door and they shipped in artificial snow. While that’s possible, it’s not really reasonable. It’s not really reasonable to believe that; it’s reasonable to believe that it actually snowed. So, what the prosecutor does in a trial, what the jury does, what they judge tells the jury is “don’t start to just speculate about things that are infinitely possible, but look at the facts and determine whether this person was guilty beyond every doubt that is reasonable.”
How Can I Clear My Criminal Record In Florida?
To clear a criminal record may vary depending upon the person. For some people, clearing a criminal record might simply mean an expungement of an arrest where he was found not guilty or the charges were dropped. What that person would do is prepare some paperwork and make a request to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for what’s called a “Certificate of Eligibility.” What the Florida Department of Law Enforcement would do when they receive this request is review your background, make a determination on whether or not you do qualify to have your record expunged and then they’d mail this Certificate of Eligibility back to you.
After receiving that certificate, then that person would send the certificate and a request to have the record expunged to the appropriate prosecuting authority. Then, sometimes there is a hearing or, actually, there are occasions where the prosecuting authority would receive it, sign an agreement and their record would be considered expunged.
It’s important to know that in the State of Florida, you can only seal or expunge your criminal history one time. And, you can only do it if you have never been convicted of a crime either in the State of Florida or any other jurisdiction, either before or after this particular offense that the person wants to have sealed or expunged. So, if it’s a onetime thing, and that’s why it’s really important to make sure which one you want to do if you have more than one and whether or not you even qualify for it.
If you are even thinking about hiring an attorney for your criminal defense, please consult with one of our criminal defense attorneys. Please contact our office in Trinity at (727) 847-4878 for a FREE initial consultation.