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FAQs: Criminal Defense March 22, 2023

Gavel with Stand and Handcuffs on The Wooden BackgroundWhen someone is arrested and charged with murder or manslaughter, odds are, they will want a criminal defense attorney to represent them, regardless of whether they are innocent, guilty, or extenuating circumstances apply.  

There’s a perception that when lesser crimes are involved, the need for attorney representation may be in question. Do I really need an attorney to represent me for DUI charges? Will an attorney make any difference to the outcome of drug charges? Is there any way a criminal defense lawyer can help me if I’m facing an assault charge or a charge of domestic violence? 

Let us set the record straight. Everyone charged with a crime, whether it’s a misdemeanor, DUI, or felony, can benefit from the legal guidance and counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Without one, you face allegations, evidence, questioning, trial, and sentencing all alone. There is no such thing as a minor criminal conviction. They all leave people with criminal records that follow most of them for the rest of their lives.  

The stakes are high when facing any criminal charge, and most people don’t know how to respond to them. At, our team represents clients charged with crimes in Daytona Beach, Palm Coast, Port Orange, New Smyrna Beach, DeLand, Volusia County, and Flagler County, Florida. Your best defense is a solid offense, and that is what we deliver.  

Frequently Asked Criminal Defense Questions  

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about Florida criminal defense:  

Do I have to speak to the police after I’m arrested? 

You have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right to avoid self-incrimination. You need only to identify yourself if asked. Otherwise, when questioned, advise the officer that you will not answer questions until you have an attorney present.  

I want to get this over with. Should I just take the plea deal? 

Prosecutors are busy, so if they can save the time it takes to present evidence at trial, they will be happy. In a plea bargain, you admit your guilt for lesser charges or to one charge rather than multiple ones. However, you should understand that you let the prosecuting attorney off the hook for their obligation to shoulder the burden of proving that you committed the crime. Even in cases where you were “caught red-handed,” the prosecution still has to prove your guilt. You owe it to yourself to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can review the evidence before accepting a plea deal.  

I’m innocent. Why should I spend money on a lawyer? 

Innocence does not always prevail, and the real story does not always come to the surface. If you are innocent, you should retain a lawyer to hold the prosecution to their burden of proof. The fact is that there are innocent people in prison, and many of them decided to not hire a criminal defense attorney.  

I’ve been charged with a crime in Florida but live in another state. Now what? 

If you break a Florida law, you will be charged with a Florida crime, and you will need an attorney licensed to practice in Florida to represent you. Due process will therefore occur in Florida, no matter where you live. Whether you are allowed to return to your home state while your case is in progress may depend on the crime. For example, it may be possible if you are facing a misdemeanor theft charge but unlikely if you are facing a sex crimes charge. It will depend on the conditions of your bond, which will be set by the judge. That judge is obligated to protect the public and ensure you are present for the prosecution of your case.  

What you can count on is that a criminal conviction will follow you, no matter where you live or where you are convicted.  

When are police allowed to search my person, vehicle, or home? 

Your right of protection from illegal search and seizure is guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Therefore, law enforcement must have probable cause to request that a search warrant be issued by a court with jurisdiction. However, there are circumstances where police can conduct a search without a warrant, including occasions when there is a reasonable belief that someone will be harmed or that evidence will be destroyed. If such emergent circumstances don’t hold up in court, then the evidence obtained in the search is tainted and nothing related to it can be used to convict you of a crime.  

Do I really need to spend the money on a criminal defense attorney? 

No one charged with a crime is required by any law to have an attorney represent them. It is your choice. However, representing yourself for anything more than a municipal citation will almost certainly guarantee a conviction. Prosecutors prosecute every day. It is extremely difficult for someone without experience in legal defense to fight back. Your attorney will do what they can to have the charges dropped or lowered, challenge prosecutorial evidence, end trials with a not-guilty finding, or argue for lighter penalties.  

In addition, established attorneys have built professional relationships with prosecutors and judges. Those who have built ones based on respect benefit every client they represent. Do you really need to hire a criminal defense attorney? Yes, you should.  

Understand Your Options and Get Your Questions Answered 

If you are arrested for a crime, the best thing you can do is remain silent until you have a lawyer with you. Moreover, you should hire someone who is willing to handle your case, challenge evidence, listen to what you have to say, and answer all your questions honestly and fully.  

If you have been charged with a crime in Daytona Beach, Florida, or the surrounding areas, contact today to talk about representation. Our attorneys get in the trenches every day for our clients, and we will do the same for you.