If you're involved in a self defense shooting, the first thing you should do is have somebody call 9-1-1 and call emergency services for either yourself or the individual that may be shot. It's also very important that when the police get there, that you've taken your firearm or whatever weapon you had and placed it in a safe place, and listen to all the commands of the police. It's not wise that you speak with the police at that point other than to tell them that you're very upset. This person tried to kill you or whatever the facts of your case are, and that you need to consult an attorney but you're willing to cooperate with them completely once you've spoken to an attorney.
If you've been charged with a boating under the influence it's very important that you contact an attorney right away, and that you not speak to the police until you do contact that attorney. Because these cases are prosecuted very aggressively by prosecutors and the police in Florida, and that's because there are many accidents and many incidents on the water that are very serious. The most important thing if you've been charged with it is get a hold of an attorney right away and do not speak with the police until you've called that attorney.
Stand-your-ground law means that the State of Florida has a law by the legislature, signed by the governor in June of 2017, that if you reasonably believe that someone is going to use force against you and cause imminent danger, or harm, or death, then you are immune from prosecution if you use deadly force against them, based on having a hearing where the State Attorney's got to prove, and that's where the burden of proof comes in. They've got to prove by clear and convincing evidence that you did not use this force in self-defense. So it's very important that you consult an attorney if you've been involved in this kind of a case.
But understand that what changed is, the state now has to prove it. In the past, the individual that used the deadly force had to prove that they used it in self-defense. But now that has changed. And also understand, this area of the law changes all the time, so that's why it's very important to contact a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case with them.
The felony murder law's a rule that let's say you're committing a serious crime like an armed robbery and if someone dies in that act and you got a couple of co-defendants, then all of the co-defendants can be charged with murder regardless of whether you were the person that pulled the trigger or caused the death. It's a very serious charge and let's say for instance you were just the driver of the car. Even though you were just the driver, you weren't even inside the building, but the other co-defendants run out, they leave the scene. One of them gets shot, so a co-defendant gets shot, he dies, you then can be charged with murder. In fact, you and all your co-defendants would be charged with murder so if you're in any way involved in a felony murder case you need to get ahold of a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible.
Burglary is a case where an individual enters a structure, or a vehicle, or a building with the intent to commit a crime, typically a theft crime. Robbery, on the other hand, is an attempt to take somebody's property, for instance their money or something that they cherish, and in doing so, you threaten them, either with force, or you actually use force to take it from them, so that is the distinction. In any case, if you're charged with either one of these charges, it's highly recommended that you contact a criminal defense attorney.
Domestic violence convictions are very serious. They'll affect your job. They'll affect your family. They can effect whether or not you can carry a weapon or a firearm or have a concealed carry permit. You could go to jail, so convictions are very serious. You should take them seriously and you should contact someone that can help you like an attorney that can help you through the process because depending on whether you're charged with a misdemeanor or a felony there could be prison time. So, it's very, very important that you get some help in the case and make sure you do not contact the victim in any way. Contact an attorney and they can help.
Domestic violence cases are very serious and they can have serious implications for your future, for your job, for your family. The first thing you should do is contact an attorney. At the point, you've probably already been arrested, you might be in jail, so it's very important you get ahold of an attorney because you can have absolutely no contact with the victim in a domestic violence case. You can't talk to them on the phone. You can't call them on a computer. You can't use social media. You can't ask someone to contact them for you. You really need an attorney or someone to represent you that can do these things for you and collect evidence and help you win the case.
In Florida, if you refuse to take a breath test, you're probably already under arrest. Most criminal defense attorneys recommend that you do not take that test. The reason why is the police are just trying to gather evidence against you. But you have to know that if you refuse to take that test, there's the rule called Implied Consent in Florida which says you've already consented by virtue of driving on the highways to taking any lawful test.
If you refuse it, number one, you're already under arrest. You're going to go to jail. Number two, you're going to lose your license for 12 months. That's automatic. If this is not your first refusal, your second or subsequent one, then you're going to lose your license for 18 months, and you'll be subject to additional criminal penalties, including a year in jail, and stiff fines, and penalties. While we recommend that you not take the test, just understand that there are consequences to not taking that test, but consult an attorney and they can help work your way through this.
The police do not have to have a warrant to conduct a search. It's a very complicated area of law, very fact-specific. First, I recommend you contact a criminal defense attorney that's experienced in searches and seizures, but generally you can agree to a search. You can give consent. You can be searched different you are arrested, incident to that arrest. If the officer walks up to your car and smells marijuana in your car, they then have reason to search that car. There are many many ways that they can search you. Very important that you contact an attorney to hep you look at the facts of your case and see whether you can fight that search.
You can file an injunction by yourself. Typically, you go to the local courthouse, and ask the clerk of court for help, and they usually have someone that will assist you. If they don't have someone to assist you, you could usually get ahold of a victim advocate, or you can contact an attorney, either a family law attorney or a criminal defense attorney, and they can help you. And it's very important that someone helps you, because you have to follow the statutes and do it right, so I would suggest you get someone to help you, whether it be the clerk of court, a victim advocate, or a criminal defense attorney to help you, or even a family law attorney.
Absolutely, you should hire an attorney. Drug cases have very, very serious consequences from mandatory prison time, minimum mandatories, $50,000 or more fines. The police may have already seized your property and they're trying to take it from you, so you definitely need to hire an attorney if you're involved in a drug case. I mean, you can lose your driver's license. You can lose your job, so I highly recommend you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney that has experience in drug cases.
You absolutely can fight back after an illegal search. The Constitution protects you. Police are going to try to search you, but if they have a reason to search you and they have a good warrant, they're going to search you. What they're going to try to do is get you to consent to a search most likely, but if you don't consent to a search there are other ways they can search you whether it's incident to your arrest, if they've found something in your car they could search your car, if they actually arrest you and go to jail the jail can search you to see if you have any contraband on you. You can fight back. If they had an illegal stop we can do a Motion to Suppress where the evidence would be excluded from your case. I would suggest you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney and they can help you decide whether you can fight an illegal search.
It is not an admission of guilt if you don't let the police search you. In fact, I highly recommend that you not let the police search because if they have a reason to search you, they're going to get a warrant or they're going to bring a dog in to sniff around you or your car. So just remember, it is an admission of guilt for you to deny a search. In fact, that's what most criminal defense attorneys recommend that you not agree to a search and if you have any questions, you should contact a criminal defense attorney.
If someone's in jail, you're obviously gonna want to try to bond them out. There are many rules that apply to bond. Typically your bond is first set by the jail wherever you're arrested, there'll be a schedule and they'll set a bond, and you might be able to bond out at that point but if you can't bond out, then you're gonna meet the first appearance judge, either the day you're arrested or the day after. That judge will then set a more detailed bond, so once that bond is set, you can either consult an attorney or consult a bondsman, and they can help you post-bond.
Typically let's say your bond is $2,000.00. If you want to pay a cash bond, you would pay that right there at the jail and you would be bonded out. If you don't have $2,000.00 in cash you can go to a bondsman and they typically charge 10% so on a $2,000.00 bond you'd have to pay $200.00 to get out so in general just contact a bondsman or an attorney and they can help you bond someone out of jail.
If you're stopped by an officer and asked to do field sobriety tests you do not have to do them. There are certain things you do have to do under implied consent, which is consult to any legal test that they may ask for, but field sobriety exercises are not one of them. Those exercises are used to gather evidence against you and it's highly recommended by most criminal defense attorneys that you not do those exercises, and one of the reasons why is there could be many reasons why you might not pass those exercises. You could be disabled. You might be very tired. You could have issues with your body where you can't do certain things, so it's very important that you not do those exercises and consult an attorney as soon as you can.
If you're suspected of a serious crime and you're under investigation you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney because by the word serious that means there are serious consequences associated that could include jail time or prison time. It's very important, if you're under investigation, number one, you contact an attorney, but also don't speak to the police until you've spoken to that attorney because there could be very serious consequences.
You know, a child in Florida is defined as someone that's under the age of 18, and it is very important for a child to have an attorney because juvenile court is very complicated, they have hundreds of rules. It can have serious implications for their future, including effect on military service, whether you could get public assistance or public housing. There is even rule that says, if you as a juvenile have been adjudicated delinquent of a criminal charge that's a felony, if you were an adult you can't have a firearm or ammunition until after you are over the age of 24.
So, very, very, serious issues and I would highly recommend that you consult an attorney that's experienced in juvenile cases because it can have serious implications for the rest of your life.
No contact orders apply in every circumstance whether you're married to the victim, whether you're a friend. You have to very careful not to contact the victim if the court orders you. The judges take it very seriously and the prosecutors take it very seriously. In that case, you really want to talk to an attorney to make sure you understand your rights, what you can and can't do. It's the most important thing is do not contact the victim because you will go to jail if you do that.
The police can search you, your car or your home, but there are different rules that apply to each of those areas. For instance, as an individual they can search you if they have reason to believe you might be carrying a weapon, if you've just committed a crime, or if you consent to a search then they can search you. A very complicated area of the law, again. You probably want to have a Criminal Defense Attorney look at your case to help you out. Rules about your car, they can search your car incident to arresting you and then taking your car to the impound lot they can search it. They can search it if they walk up to your car and see drugs in plain view or they smell drugs.
Finally, your home. Typically they need a warrant to get into your home, but there are also exceptions to that. If they are chasing a fleeing felon or they've come to the front door and they some drugs or something illegal inside the house. Very, very complicated. Highly suggest that you get a hold of a Criminal Defense Attorney that is experienced in searches and seizures to help you.
Absolutely, law enforcement can pull you over in a boat and, in fact, it's much easier for them to pull you over in a boat than it is in a motor vehicle. Some of their reasons why they can you pull over. They can pull you over if they suspect you're impaired in some way or if you violate a traffic regulation on the water, like speeding or going too fast in an area where you can't go too fast. They can also pull you over for no reason whatsoever just to do a safety inspection. So I'd highly recommend you contact an attorney that's experienced in boating or DUIs because they can help you get through your case and help you go through the facts of your case. And it's a very complicated area of the law, so I would just recommend you contact an attorney.
Concerning expungement and sealing, that's managed basically by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. There are many criteria involved in that but if you have any convictions, you cannot get your record sealed or expunged. Now, sealed means that the file is sealed and it's put away somewhere and only certain agencies liked law enforcement have access to it. If it's expunged, the computer files are deleted and it's completely destroyed. So long story short, if you have any criminal convictions, you cannot get anything sealed or expunged. You would have to have what's called a "Withhold of Adjudication". That Withhold of Adjudication could only be for certain types of cases. It could not be for cases like murder or rape or incest or anything like that. It can only be certain defined categories of charges.
So I suggest you do one of two things. You can go to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement website, which is very informative. They have a check list. They will also send you, for free, a record of your criminal history, which can help you decide whether you can do this. Or you can contact a criminal defense attorney, because they are very experienced in filing these motions.
Absolutely you can be arrested if the vehicle's not moving. The important thing is whether you're in or on the vehicle, and whether you have the capability to drive it, and where the keys are. For instance, you can be in a vehicle in the McDonald's parking lot, just sitting there sleeping, and the car's not running. You've got the keys in your pocket, and the police can knock on the window and they can arrest you for DUI if they find probable cause or reasonable suspicion that you might have driven or you're going to drive that vehicle.
So, you have to be careful because you need to consult an attorney to help you through this. Somebody that's experienced in DUIs because it's a very fact-specific issue on whether they can charge you or not. Many times they can charge you.
Another example would be you're sitting in the middle of an intersection asleep and the light has turned green. You're sitting there and the car's running. You can absolutely be charged with a DUI. So, please make sure you contact an experienced defense attorney to help you.
A landlord or housing provider can definitely ask you questions about your disability, especially if you're asking for some kind of a modification on accommodation at the apartment or the house that you're going to rent. For instance, you want to have something put in so you can access the house by wheelchair, or you live in a wheelchair and you have to reach the counter, so you need to have the counters lowered.
Now, what a landlord can ask for is, they can't ask for anything discriminatory, but they can ask you for reasonable information from your doctor or statement from you or another medical care provider that states why, because of your disability why you need to have this accommodation or this modification. So, yes, they can definitely ask you.
If you're a juvenile or a child and the police stop you on the street, they can ask you questions. But if a child asks to speak with their parent, the police should stop questioning them, and try to get a hold of the parents. However, it's not required under the law. But if they do arrest the child, and they read them their Miranda rights, and the child asks for an attorney, they have to stop questioning them and they have to call the attorney, because if they don't, the evidence that they collect from that juvenile will be excluded in any case. So generally, the police do not have to contact your parent. Some cases they will, some cases they won't, but they are allowed to talk to the child by themselves, but if the child needs an attorney, and wants an attorney, they have to stop questioning them.
Injunctions are very serious. Typically, they're ordered by a court so that you cannot have contact with an alleged victim. First of all, you want to make sure you do not have contact have the victim because the judge is going to take it very seriously is if you violate that injunction. You need to follow the terms very clearly. If you have any questions about those terms, you should contact an experienced criminal defense or family law attorney to make sure you understand what that injunction means.