The Atcachunas Law Firm, P.A.
Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense

Assault and Battery

Assault and BatteryAssault and battery are often grouped together and used interchangeably to describe a physical attack. However, assault and battery are two separate offenses which have very different meanings. Assault is defined as the threat or attempt of causing injury to another, with the apparent ability to carry out the threat. Battery is defined as the intentional touching of another, against their consent. Battery may involve hitting, striking, slapping, groping or any other form of physical contact.

The following are some examples of assault/battery cases handled by the Atcachunas Law Firm:
  • Assault
  • Sexual Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Assault with a Deadly Weapon
  • Assault with the Intent of Committing a Felony
  • Battery
  • Felony Battery (Great Bodily Harm/Permanent Disfigurement)
  • Aggravated Battery
  • Battery with a Deadly Weapon
  • Sexual Battery
  • Battery Causing Great Bodily Harm
  • Assault or Battery against a Police Officer

Burglary / Trespass

Burglary of a Structure/Conveyance is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison. A structure or conveyance is any enclosed structure such as an office, car, warehouse, school, etc.. In other words, for purposes of this offense it can be anything that is not considered a dwelling (where people reside).

iPhoneBurglary of a Dwelling is a second degree felony punishable by up to Fifteen (15) years in Florida State Prison.

Burglary with an Assault/Battery/Armed Burglary are both felonies of the first degree punishable by up to thirty (30) years in Florida State Prison. The latter charge carries a minumum mandatory prison sentence of 10-20 years. If the “crime within” is an assault (threat of imminent harm) or a battery (unconsented touching), a burglary with assault/battery can and often will be charged by the State Attorneys Office. A common occurrence is where a person is in someones home and a verbal argument ensues. If the alleged victim calls the police and advise them that the person came in without consent and pushed them, the person will most likely be arrested regardless of his side of the story and the State Attorneys Office can file this serious first degree felony subjecting you to 30 years in Florida State Prison.

810.02 Burglary.–

(1)(a) For offenses committed on or before July 1, 2001, “burglary” means entering or remaining in a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter or remain.

(b) For offenses committed after July 1, 2001, “burglary” means:

1.Entering a dwelling, a structure, or a conveyance with the intent to commit an offense therein, unless the premises are at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or invited to enter; or

2.Notwithstanding a licensed or invited entry, remaining in a dwelling, structure, or conveyance:

a.Surreptitiously, with the intent to commit an offense therein;

b.After permission to remain therein has been withdrawn, with the intent to commit an offense therein; or

c.To commit or attempt to commit a forcible felony, as defined in s. 776.08.

(2)Burglary is a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life imprisonment or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender:

(a)Makes an assault or battery upon any person; or

(b)Is or becomes armed within the dwelling, structure, or conveyance, with explosives or a dangerous weapon or

(c)Enters an occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure, and:

1.Uses a motor vehicle as an instrumentality, other than merely as a getaway vehicle, to assist in committing the offense, and thereby damages the dwelling or structure; or

2.Causes damage to the dwelling or structure, or to property within the dwelling or structure in excess of $1,000.

(3) Burglary is a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

(a) Dwelling, and there is another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or 

(b) Dwelling, and there is not another person in the dwelling at the time the offender enters or remains;

(c) Structure, and there is another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or

(d) Conveyance, and there is another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.

(4) Burglary is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if, in the course of committing the offense, the offender does not make an assault or battery and is not and does not become armed with a dangerous weapon or explosive, and the offender enters or remains in a:

(a) Structure, and there is not another person in the structure at the time the offender enters or remains; or

(b) Conveyance, and there is not another person in the conveyance at the time the offender enters or remains.

History.– RS 2434; s. 2, ch. 4405, 1895; s. 2, ch. 5411, 1905; GS 3282; RGS 5116; CGL 7217; s. 799, ch. 71-136; s. 31, ch. 74-383; s. 21, ch. 75-298; s. 2, ch. 82-87; s. 1, ch. 83-63; s. 8, ch. 95-184; s. 2, ch. 96-260; s. 2, ch. 2000-233; s. 2, ch. 2001-58; s. 2, ch. 2003-84.

810.06 Possession of burglary tools.– Whoever has in his or her possession any tool, machine, or implement with intent to use the same, or allow the same to be used, to commit any burglary or trespass shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.– s. 30, sub-ch. 4, ch. 1637, 1868; RS 2439; GS 3286; RGS 5120; CGL 7221; s. 804, ch. 71-136; s. 32, ch. 74-383; s. 22, ch. 75-298; s. 1232, ch. 97-102.

810.061 Impairing or impeding telephone or power to a dwelling; facilitating or furthering a burglary; penalty.–

(1)As used in this section, the term “burglary” has the meaning ascribed in s. 810.02(1)(b).

(2) A person who, for the purpose of facilitating or furthering the commission or attempted commission of a burglary of a dwelling by any person, damages a wire or line that transmits or conveys telephone or power to that dwelling, impairs any other equipment necessary for telephone or power transmission or conveyance, or otherwise impairs or impedes such telephone or power transmission or conveyance commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.– s. 1, ch. 2003-84.

810.07 Prima facie evidence of intent.–

(1) In a trial on the charge of burglary, proof of the entering of such structure or conveyance at any time stealthily and without consent of the owner or occupant thereof is prima facie evidence of entering with intent to commit an offense.

(2) In a trial on the charge of attempted burglary, proof of the attempt to enter such structure or conveyance at any time stealthily and without the consent of the owner or occupant thereof is prima facie evidence of attempting to enter with intent to commit an offense.

Robbery

Robbery is a violent theft crime.This offense involves the use of force, threats or violence in order to commit theft. Because robbery is a crime of violence, the potential penalties that a defendant may face are very severe. Long-term imprisonment, heavy fines and probation are just a few of these.

iPhone

Strong Armed Robbery: Theft involving force, threats or violence. This is a Second Degree Felony, punishable by up to 15 years in state prison.

Armed Robbery: Theft involving the sue of a deadly weapon. This is a First Degree Felony in Florida, punishable by up to 30 years in state prison.

Sex offenses/Crimes against children

Sex Offenses/Crimes Against Children

Being accused of any type of sex crime in Florida could ruin every aspect of your life. Sex crimes will affect your reputation, your liberty, where you live, who you talk to, how you travel – literally every aspect of your life. You need a skilled attorney on your side to obtain a favorable outcome in your case. Because of the publicity of past cases involving sex related crimes, especially those involving children, a person facing charges will more than likely face prejudice and discrimination from law enforcement, the jury and even court personnel.

Weapon Offenses

Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Weapon Offenses

To prove the offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, the prosecution must prove that the defendant has a prior felony conviction in Florida or any other state and that the defendant knowingly owned, or had in his care, custody, possession or control a firearm, electronic weapon or device or ammunition. A conviction is required to prosecute the charge and a withhold is not legally sufficient to proceed with the case. Care and custody is defined as the immediate charge and control exercised by a person. Possession is defined as the personal charge or exercising the right of ownership, management or control over an object. The are two different types of possession, actual or constructive. Actual possession exists when an object is in a person’s hand, in a container in the hand, or so close to be within ready reach of the person. Constructive possession is defined as when a object is in a place which the person does not have control, but has knowledge of the presence of the object and also has control over the object. Mere proximity to an object is not sufficient to establish control or possession when the object is not in a place under the control of the person. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a second degree felony punishable up to 15 years in prison. If a felon has actual possession of a firearm, a 3 year minimum mandatory sentence applies.

Carrying Concealed Weapons

To prove the offense of carrying a concealed weapon, the prosecutor must prove that a person knowingly carried a firearm, electronic weapon or device or weapon which was concealed from the ordinary sight of another person. The definition of firearm for the offense of carrying a concealed firearm is a weapon which is designed to or can be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. The definition of firearm does not include antique firearms unless it is used in the commission of a crime. Weapons include dirks, knives, metallic knuckles, or slingshots, but does not include pocket knives, plastic knives, or blunt bladed table knives. Carrying a concealed firearm is a third degree felony punishable of to 5 years in prison, while carrying a concealed weapon is a first degree felony punishable up to 364 days in jail. To be convicted of the charge, the firearm or weapon must be “readily accessible”. If the weapon is in a closed glove box, center console or carrying the case, the charge will not stand up in court.

Improper Exhibition of a Weapon or Firearm

To prove the offense of improper exhibition of a firearm or weapon, the prosecution must have sufficient evidence that a person had or carried a weapon or firearm; exhibited the firearm or weapon in a rude, careless, angry or threatening manner; and the offense was committed in the presence of one or more persons. The offense is first degree misdemeanor punishable up to 364 days in he county jail.

Drug Offenses

 

Possession

Marijuana Possession < 20 grams 1st degree misdemeanor
Marijuana Possession > 20 grams 3rd degree felony
Cocaine Possession < 28 grams 3rd degree felony
Ecstasy Possession < 10 grams 3rd degree felony
Heroin Possession < 4 grams 3rd degree felony
LSD < 1 gram 3rd degree felon

 

Possession with Intent to Sell

Sale of Marijuana 3rd degree felony
Sale of Marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or church 2nd degree felony
Sale of Cocaine 2nd degree felony
Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 feet or church 1st degree felony
Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school 1st degree felony (3 year minimum prison sentence)

 

Trafficking

Marijuana Trafficking > 25 pounds/300 plants 3 year min/man
Marijuana Trafficking > 2000 pounds/2,000 plants 7 year min/man
Marijuana Trafficking > 10,000 pounds/10,000 plants 15 year min/man
Cocaine Trafficking > 28 grams < 200 grams 3 year min/man
Cocaine Trafficking > 200 grams < 400 grams 7 year min/man
Cocaine Trafficking > 400 grams 15 year min/man
Heroin Trafficking > 4 grams < 14 grams 7 year min/man
Heroin Trafficking >14 grams < 28 grams 15 year min/man
Heroin Trafficking >28 grams 25 year min/man
MDMA (Ecstasy)Trafficking >10 grams < 200 grams 3 year min/man
MDMA (Ecstasy)Trafficking >200 grams < 400 grams 7 year min/man
MDMA (Ecstasy)Trafficking > 400 grams 15 year min/man
OxycodoneTrafficking > 4 grams < 14 grams 7 year min/man
OxycodoneTrafficking > 14 grams < 28 grams 15 year min/man
OxycodoneTrafficking > 28 grams 25 year min/man

DUI/Traffic Offenses

DUI/DWI/Traffic Offenses

A DUI is a serious offense that can result in various consequences depending on the circumstances of your current charge and whether you have any prior DUI offenses on your record. DUIs are unique in that they involve a traffic violation and a criminal charge. This means you will have a DMV hearing for the criminal traffic violation, and also a hearing in the county criminal court or possibly the circuit court if your DUI rises to the level of a felony.

Important Deadlines Affecting Your Driver’s License

Ten Day Rule:

Your request for a Formal Review hearing with the DMV to contest your administrative license suspension must be submitted within 10 days from the date of your arrest.

Time is of the essence. If you wish to obtain a Temporary Driving Permit, it is important that you contact our office soon after your arrest so that our attorneys can submit this request within the 10-day period. After a timely request, a hearing will be set within approximately 30 days after your arrest and you will receive a Temporary Driving Permit that allows you to drive for business purposes.

If you do not hire our office within the 10-day period, we cannot submit the request for Formal Review, and your license will be suspended for a period ranging from 6 to 18 months.

Drivers License Suspension:

There are 2 types of suspension that may affect your license:

♦ DHSMV Administrative Suspension—The DHSMV may suspend your license for refusing to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test or if you submitted to one of these tests and had a .08 or higher after your arrest. The suspension period may vary from 6 months, to 1 year, or to 18 months depending on the number of prior DUI-related suspensions you have.

Criminal Suspension—The Court suspends your license if you are convicted of DUI. This may include a mandatory suspension of 6 or 12 months beginning on the date of conviction.

Hardship Driver License for Administrative Suspension:

In the event your license is administratively suspended, you still may be able to receive a hardship license. You may receive a hardship license if:

♦ You have never been criminally convicted of more than 2 DUIs;

♦ You have enrolled in a DUI school; and

♦ You have served the first 30 days of your administrative suspension for a blood alcohol content over .08, or the first 90 days for a refusal.

If you meet all of these requirements, we can request a Hardship Review Hearing. If you receive approval, you must then:

♦ Present your approval to the DMV; and

♦ Complete the DUI school within 90 days of receiving the hardship license.

Hardship Driver License for Criminal Suspension:

If you were criminally convicted of DUI, your eligibility for a hardship license depends on the type of DUI committed and existence of any prior DUI convictions.

Requirements by type of DUI:

1st Conviction:

♦ Completion of DUI school;

♦ Application with DHSMV f or a hearing to obtain a hardship license;

♦ Blood Alcohol Content of .15+, must install an ignition interlock device for the first 6 months of your hardship license period.

2nd Conviction:

♦ Within 5 years:

♦ Application for reinstatement hearing after 1 year.

♦ Completion of DUI school and attendance in DUI supervision program.

♦ Before applying, you must not have consumed any alcohol or controlled substance or driven a motor vehicle for 12 months before your hardship reinstatement.

♦ Other:

♦ Application for reinstatement hearing after 1 year.

♦ Before submitting an application, completion of DUI school and attendance in your DUI supervision program for the remainder of your revocation period.

♦ Installation an ignition interlock device for one year.

3rd Conviction:

♦ Within 10 years:

♦ Application for reinstatement hearing after the first 2 years of your revocation;

♦ Completion of DUI school and attendance in DUI supervision program for remainder of your 10-year revocation period.

♦ Installation of an interlock device for 2 years.

Drivers License Revocation Periods for DUIs:

1st DUI Conviction:

♦ Minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

2nd DUI Conviction:

♦ Within 5 years: minimum 5 years revocation. You may be eligible for a hardship reinstatement after 1 year.

♦ Other 2nd DUIs: minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

3rd DUI Conviction:

♦ Within 10 years: minimum 10 years revocation. You may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 2 years.

♦ Other 3rd DUIs: minimum 180 days revocation, maximum 1 year.

4th DUI Conviction (regardless of when prior convictions occurred) and Murder with Motor Vehicle:

♦ Mandatory permanent revocation. Not eligible for a hardship reinstatement.

DUI Manslaughter:

♦ Mandatory permanent revocation. If you have no prior DUI related convictions, you may be eligible for hardship reinstatement after 5 years.

Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Inijury, or Vehicular Homicide Convictions:

♦ Minimum 3-year revocation. DUIs with Serious Bodily Injury with prior DUI convictions have the normal revocation periods as above for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th DUI convictions.

Other Penalties for DUI:

If this is your 1st DUI conviction you may face penalties that include:

♦ A fine of no less than $500 but no more than $1000;

♦ incarceration for 6 months or less;

♦ probation;

♦ vehicle impoundment or immobilization.

If this is your 2nd DUI conviction you may face penalties that include:

♦ A fine of no less than $1000 but no more than $2000;

♦ Imprisonment for 9 months or less;

♦ The installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 1 year; and

If this is your 3rd DUI conviction that occurs within 10 years after a prior DUI conviction:

♦ Your charge rises to the level of a felony of the 3rd degree; and

♦ You will be required to have an ignition interlock device for no less than 2 years.

If this is your 3rd DUI conviction that occurs more than 10 years after a prior DUI conviction you may face penalties that include:

♦ A fine no less than $2000 but no more than $5000;

♦ Imprisonment for no more than 12 months;

♦ Installation of an ignition interlock device for at least 2 years.

If this is your 4th DUI conviction, regardless of the amount of time since your prior DUI conviction, you may face:

♦ A charge that rises to the level of a felony of the 3rd degree;

♦ A fine not less than $2000.

If you operate a vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol level of more than .08 and:

♦ Cause property damage, you may be charged with a 1st degree misdemeanor; or

♦ Cause serious bodily harm, you may be charged with a 3rd degree felony; or

♦ Cause the death of another person, you may be charged with “DUI manslaughter” which is a felony. A conviction for DUI manslaughter requires a minimum imprisonment of 4 years.

Blood/Breath Alcohol Levels over .15 & DUI while accompanied by a child:

If you drive under the influence with a blood/breath alcohol level of .15, or if you have a blood/breath alcohol level of at least .08 and were accompanied by a minor:

♦ If this is your 1st DUI offense you may face:

♦ A fine of no less than $1000 but no more than $2000;

♦ Imprisonment for a period no longer than 9 months; and

♦ Installation of an ignition interlock device for no less than 6 continuous months.

♦ If this is your 2nd DUI offense you may face:

♦ A fine of no less than $2000 but no more than $4000;

♦ Imprisonment for 12 months or less; and

♦ Installation of an ignition interlock device for no less than 2 continuous years.

♦ If this is your 3rd or subsequent DUI offense you may face:

♦ A fine of no less than $4000; and

♦ The other penalties listed above for 3rd or subsequent DUI offenses.

Substance Abuse Courses and Treatment:

All convicted DUI offenders get probation and must complete a substance abuse course accompanied with a psychological evaluation. You may also be required to complete a substance abuse treatment program in some cases. Failure to complete the course or treatment that you are required to attend may result in the loss of your driving privileges.

Mandatory Penalties for Some DUI Convictions:

If this is your 1st DUI conviction the Court may order the following mandatory penalties:

♦ Probation for a period no longer than one year;

♦ 50 hours of community service; and

♦ Vehicle Impoundment or immobilization for 10 days.

If this is your 2nd DUI conviction within 5 years of a prior DUI, the Court may order the following mandatory penalties:

♦ Prison for not less than 10 days;

♦ Vehicle impoundment or immobilization for 30 days;

If this is your 3rd or more DUI conviction within 10 years after a prior DUI, the Court may order the following mandatory penalties:

♦ Prison for a period not less than 30 days;

♦ Vehicle impoundment or immobilization for 90 days.

Theft / Fraud

Theft

Theft is a type of criminal offense that occurs when a person takes another person’s property without consent and with the intention of never returning the property to the rightful owner. When a person commits theft, he/she will be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony offense. The person’s criminal charges will usually depend upon the value of the property that was stolen, if the person carried a weapon during the theft, the type of theft committed, and the person’s criminal history.

Petit/Grand Theft

Petit/Grand Theft

Petit/Grand theft is a type of criminal offense that occurs when a person takes another person’s property without consent and with the intention of never returning the property to the rightful owner. In the state of Florida, petit/grand theft is a serious crime that usually involves the theft of property that is highly valued. There are various degrees of grand theft and the degrees depend upon the value of the property stolen. Petit theft involves the theft of money or property valued at less than $300. Grand theft involved money or property valued at over $300. When a person commits petit theft, he/she will be charged with a misdemeanor offense. When a person is charged with a grand theft, they will be charged with a felony. The person’s criminal charges and legal penalties will also depend upon if the person carried a weapon during the theft, the type of theft crime committed, how many previous theft related charges has in his past and the person’s criminal history.

Below are other examples of Theft/Fraud cases handled by the Atcachunas Law Firm

 

♦ Accounting Fraud
♦ Auto Theft/Grand Theft
♦ Bank Fraud
♦ Bribery
♦ Commercial Telephone Soliciting w/out license
♦ Counterfeiting
♦ Credit Card Fraud
♦ Embezzlement
♦ Employ Unlicensed Salesman
♦ Extortion
♦ Forgery
♦ Government Fraud
♦ Import Export Crimes
♦ Insider Trade
♦ Investment Fraud
♦ Mail Fraud
♦ Money Laundering
♦ Mortgage Fraud
♦ Solicit Purchase For Unlicensed Seller
♦ Timeshare Fraud
♦ Wire Fraud

Homicide

Homicide is the criminal act of killing another person. Of all crimes, homicide is regarded as one of the most severe and involves the harshest legal consequences. People who commit homicide usually do so while involved in a fight, dispute, or violent conflict. A lot of homicides occur during the commission of other crimes, such as gang crimes or hate crimes.

Homicide

Homicide is categorized as a violent crime. A violent crime is a criminal act involving the threat or use of force/violence. In most violent crime cases, violence is used as a means to an end, meaning people use violence to obtain a certain outcome. In the state of Florida, violent crimes can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies. However, all violent crimes involve harsh legal consequences if people are convicted of them.

Like all violent crime cases, homicide cases are always vigorously prosecuted by Florida law enforcement. District attorneys are eager to obtain convictions for homicide offenses. Once a person is convicted of homicide, he/she could be sentenced with life imprisonment or the death penalty. For this reason, it is always a good idea for people to hire an experienced violent crimes attorney when they have been charged with homicide.

 

Murder

Murder is the criminal act of killing another person. Of all crimes, murder is regarded as the most severe and involves the harshest legal consequences. People who commit murder do so with the purposeful intention of ending a person’s life. When people are charged with murder, it is usually because the death was premeditated or plotted.

Murder is categorized as a violent crime. A violent crime is a criminal act involving the threat or use of force/violence. In most violent crime cases, violence is used as a means to an end, meaning people use violence to obtain a certain outcome. In the state of Florida, violent crimes can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies. However, all violent crimes involve harsh legal consequences if people are convicted of them.

Like all violent crime cases, murder cases are always vigorously prosecuted by Florida law enforcement. District attorneys are eager to obtain convictions for murder offenses. Once a person is convicted of murder, he/she could be sentenced with life imprisonment or the death penalty. For this reason, it is always a good idea for people to hire an experienced violent crimes attorney when they have been charged with murder.

Manslaughter

Manslaughter is the criminal act of killing another person. Manslaughter is similar to murder and homicide, but it has distinct differences, and is usually regarded as a less severe criminal offense. Manslaughter charges are usually classified as voluntary or involuntary. Classification will usually depend upon if the victim’s death was unintentional or if the offender committed manslaughter in self defense.

Manslaughter is categorized as a violent crime. A violent crime is a criminal act involving the threat or use of force/violence. In most violent crime cases, violence is used as a means to an end, meaning people use violence to obtain a certain outcome. In the state of Florida, violent crimes can be categorized as misdemeanors or felonies. However, all violent crimes involve harsh legal consequences if people are convicted of them.

Public Order Offenses / Crimes Against Nature

Criminal Mischief

Criminal Mischief ooccurs when a person willfully and maliciously injures or damages another person’s property.

Less than $200 in Damage

The crime of Criminal Mischief which results in less than $200 in damage is classified as a Second Degree Misdemeanor and if convicted penalties can range from:

♦ Up to sixty (60) days in jail.
♦ Up to six (6) months of probation.
♦ Up to $500 fine

Between $200 and $1,000 in Damage

The crime of Criminal Mischief which results in more than $200, but less than $1,000, in damage is classified as a First Degree Misdemeanor and if convicted penalties can range from

♦ Up to twelve (12) months in jail.
♦ Up to twelve (12) months of probation.
♦ Up to $1,000 fine

More than $1,000 in Damage

If convicted of Criminal Mischief Causing More than $1,000, penalties can range from:

♦ Up to five (5) years in jail.
♦ Up to five (5) years of probation.
♦ Up to $5,000 fine

Disorderly Conduct

The crime of Disorderly Conduct is a Second Degree Misdemeanor and if convicted of Disorderly Conduct, and if convicted penalties can range from:

♦ Up to sixty (60) days in jail.
♦ Up to six (6) months of probation.
♦ Up to $500 fine.

Prostitution

Prostitution

Prostitution in Florida is legally defined as the giving or receiving of the body for sexual activity for hire.

Prostitution Related Crimes

♦ Owning or Operating a Building for Purposes of Prostitution
♦ Offering up Another Person to Engage in Prostitution
♦ Offering a Place for Prostitution to Occur
♦ Directing or Transporting a Person to a Place of Prostitution
♦ Offering to Engage in Prostitution

♦ Solicitation of Another to Commit Prostitution
♦ Entering or Remaining in a Place for Prostitution
♦ Hiring a Person Engaged in Prostitution

Domestic violence / Injunctions

Domestic Violence/Injunctions

Domestic Violence is an intricate part of the law and an unfortunate circumstance for those who are affected by it. There are a number of offenses that you can be charged with when it comes to Domestic Violence. Under Florida Statute 784.03, battery is defined as occurring when a person: Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. It becomes classified as Battery, Domestic Violence when it is allegedly committed against one family or household member by another family or household member. It can also include non-blood or relative through marriage who are living together as a family or if they had lived together in the past. If you are charged under the above mentioned statute number, it is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and or a one-thousand ($1,000.00) fine.

There are a number of other charges that can be filed under the domestic violence scheme. These include but are not limited to assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, felony battery, domestic battery by strangulation and false imprisonment. The penalties can range from a misdemeanor to a first degree felony.

If you are charged with any of the above mentioned crimes, there are a number of things that may happen. First, after arrest, along with a bond amount, you may have numerous conditions regarding your pre-trial release. More than likely, you will have a “no-contact” provision with the alleged victim, and depending on the severity or number of priors the Defendant may have, a G.P.S. monitoring device could be imposed. If you find yourself in this position, there are a number of things that we can do for you. First, we can move to modify the conditions of your pre-trial release. This means that we can amend the “no-contact order” to a “no-hostile contact” order. This amendment would allow you to be in contact with the alleged victim, but only under amicable conditions. We can also attempt to have the G.P.S. device removed as well. This can be accomplished through motion and usually by victim cooperation or Defendant hardship.

During the case, if there is reconciliation between the parties, the victim can file a “declination of prosecution” with the State Attorney’s Office. This document is a sworn instrument in which the victim states he or she wishes not to prosecute the case. More often than not, when the State Attorney realizes that the victim wishes not to prosecute, the case will be dismissed. However, there are times when the State will continue with the case.

Recently, I tried a case where our client was charged with Battery, Domestic Violence. The alleged victim in the case wished not to prosecute and expressed her wishes to the Assistant State Attorney. However, there were eyewitnesses to the event and 911 tapes that contained the victims call. In this scenario, the State moved forward with their eyewitness and the tape. During trial, the witness testified to what he saw and the 911 tapes were played to the jury. Despite their recollections, the jury came back with a verdict of not guilty.

Battery Domestic Violence is an intricate part of criminal law. Civil injunctions may be imposed and you can face numerous sanctions, including jail-time, if the case is not handled in the proper fashion. Our office has handled thousands of these cases and hundreds of civil injunction cases. If you find yourself in one of these situations, please call our office for help.

Federal Offenses

Domestic Violence/Injunctions

There are two ways in which you can be charged with a federal offense. First, the more common charges stem from a violation of federal law. These offenses could included, but are not limited to: Narcotics Trafficking, Child Pornography and/or Internet crimes, White Collar crimes, Immigration violations (such as illegal re-entry after deportation), Firearms offenses, Terrorism offenses, Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) offenses and/or Conspiracy charges, and Gang-Related offenses.

The second and less common way that you can be charged with a federal offense is by committing a crime on federal property. This could include, but is not limited to: airports and/or airplanes, Federal government buildings and Federal/National parks.

Some of the common federal crimes we represent our clients for include the following:

♦ Wire Fraud
♦ Mail Fraud
♦ Health Care Fraud

♦ Mortgage Fraud
♦ Credit Card Fraud
♦ Drug Offenses
♦ Weapons Offenses
♦ RICO

Probation Violations

Probation violations have very serious consequences in Florida. If you are convicted of a probation violation, the judge can sentence you to the maximum penalty for the crime you are on probation for. For example, if you are on probation for a third degree felony with a maximum penalty of five years in prison, the judge can sentence you to a five-year prison sentence. There are two types of probation violations: technical violations and the commission of a new offense while on probation.

Probation Violations

Examples of technical violations are testing positive for drugs and missing a probation meeting. Many lawyers think they have to roll over and not put up a defense if their client has been charged with a technical probation violation. However, the state still has to prove that you committed the violation willfully and materially.

Florida judges usually issue arrest warrants without bond in probation violations, especially if the offender is on probation for a felony. This means that you will not be able to get out of jail without a bond hearing.

 

Expungements / Sealings

Have you made a mistake in the past? Is that mistake affecting your job prospects? Is that mistake embarrassing to you and your family? If you find yourself in this situation, you may be interested in having your criminal history record sealed or expunged. Under Florida Statute sections 943.0585-943.059 and Florida Administrative Code Chapter 11C-7, you can have your record sealed or expunged. However, there are numerous qualifiers that can affect your eligibility for either of the aforementioned remedies.

Expungements/Sealings

First, you may ask, “what is the difference between a sealing of my record and an expunction of my record?” The best way to describe the difference is that an expunged record means (removed from FDLE and NCIC records) and sealed record means (placed under highly restricted access). Secondly, you may ask, “Am I eligible for either type of relief?” You can be eligible for an expungement if your case was dismissed or nolle prosequi by the State. This includes completing a diversion program. Also, the offense must be dismissed PRIOR to trial. The key to having your record expunged is that you cannot enter a plea. If you enter a plea, you will only be eligible for a sealing. In addition, you cannot be convicted if you enter a plea. Thus, in order to be eligible for a sealing, you must have had a withhold of adjudication.

Another question you may have is, “What if I have multiple arrests?” The court may only order expunction/sealing of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity. The court may, at its sole discretion, order the expunction/sealing of a criminal history record pertaining to more than one arrest if the additional arrests directly relate to the original arrest. If the court intends to order the expunction/sealing of records pertaining to such additional arrests, such intent must be specified in the order. This section does not prevent the court from ordering the expunction/sealing of only a portion of a criminal history record pertaining to one arrest or one incident of alleged criminal activity.

Lastly, there are certain offenses and other factors that can disqualify you altogether from having your record sealed or expunged. Here is a list of disqualifying factors:

1. The criminal history record reflects that you have been adjudicated guilty of a criminal offense or comparable ordinance violation or adjudicated delinquent for committing any felony or a misdemeanor specified in s.943.051(3)b. Certain driving violations are classified as criminal, such as DUI, reckless driving, and (with some exceptions) driving while license is suspended/canceled/revoked.

2. The criminal history record reflects that you have been adjudicated guilty of or adjudicated delinquent for committing one or more of the acts stemming from the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application pertains.

3. The criminal history record reflects that you have received a prior sealing or expunction of a criminal history record under s.943.0585, s.943.059, former s.893.14, former s.901.33, former s.943.058, or from any jurisdiction outside the state.

4. The criminal history record to which the application pertains relates to a violation of s 393.135, s. 394.4593, s.787.025, chapter 794, s.796.03, s.800.04, s.810.14, s.817.034, s.825.1025, s.827.071, chapter 839, s.847.0133, s.847.0135, s.847.0145, s.893.135, s.916.1075 a violation enumerated in s.907.041, or a violation of any offense qualifying for registration as a sexual predator under s.775.21 or for registration as a sexual offender under s.943.0435, F.S., with a finding of guilt, or a plea or guilty or nolo contendre (without regard to whether adjudication was withheld).

5. The criminal history record reflects that you have another petition to seal or expunge pending before a court or competent jurisdiction.

6. The criminal history record reflects that the court supervision applicable to the disposition of the arrest or alleged criminal activity to which the application pertains has not been completed.