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Criminal Defense Lawyer Pensacola

With a strong understanding of the criminal legal system and rigorous training, criminal defense attorneys can provide their clients the best legal strategy for indictments and criminal charges. They often deal with the grittier cases and have the tenacity to take on difficult evidentiary battles, which can range across a variety of different offenses and crimes. Pensacola criminal defense lawyers, like the attorneys you’ll find at the Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, are in high demand due to their talented ability to represent their clients.  

If you have recently been accused or charged with a criminal conviction, you should speak with one of our Pensacola criminal defense attorneys right away. Contact Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC today to learn about your options and the next steps to take regarding your criminal defense process.

Differences Between a Misdemeanor and a Felony

Under Florida criminal law, crimes are divided into two categories:

  1. Misdemeanors
  2. Felonies

The term misdemeanor is applied to lesser crimes, while felonies are for more severe crimes. Misdemeanors can result in a maximum fine of $1000 and up to one year in jail, but in many cases, a misdemeanor may not result in jail time. The most common misdemeanors include criminal traffic, shoplifting, carrying small amounts of marijuana, or other minor criminal charges. 

Felonies in Pensacola, Florida, are punished with up to $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000 in fines and a maximum of five, fifteen or forty years in prison. Life felonies can result in a sentence of life in prison. Major felonies typically include serious offenses like murder, kidnapping, drug trafficking, sex crimes, burglary, and robbery.

Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Practice Areas

The state of Florida has numerous statutes in its criminal code, and the courts around Escambia County have a reputation for being tough on crime. Contact the criminal defense law team of Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC to discuss your case before it’s too late.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes can include both misdemeanor and felony crimes, like assault, battery, domestic violence, sexual battery, robbery, and homicide. These crimes present difficult legal scenarios where criminal defense attorneys have to work incredibly hard to fight the charges. If a defendant is a repeat offender of violent crimes and has had a previous history of violence, it will most likely result in a more severe sentence. This adds additional fines and years in prison.

Additionally, these types of offenses often result in the most serious penalties and will remain on a defendant’s public record for life. If you are experiencing such an offense, you may lose your job or the ability to be hired due to your criminal record. Such offenses will almost always appear on a background check, so it’s imperative that you seek legal help from a Pensacola criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights.

Property crimes

Crimes like burglary and theft are generally considered property crimes. Other crimes, like robbery, is classified as a violent crime. What often matters in a criminal case are mitigating or aggravating circumstances. Was the subject armed when they allegedly committed the robbery? Did the defendant break into an occupied dwelling, or was it an empty warehouse? When it comes to crimes of theft, the dollar amount of the property involved is also relevant. 

In the state of Florida, the theft of any property amounting to in excess of $750 is considered grand theft. The number of prior convictions may also make a difference in how a crime will be charged. Suppose you have two prior convictions for shoplifting, then your third arrest can be charged as a felony. 

Sex Crimes

This area covers crimes such as sexual assault, lewd or lascivious molestation, prostitution, and exploitation of minors. These cases are often difficult to prove for the prosecution. Ultimately, if convicted, the offender may not only receive penalties such as prison and fines but may end up on Florida’s sexual predator list. 

For this reason, it’s essential that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side if you are charged with a sex crime. Our experienced Pensacola criminal defense lawyers understand how the criminal justice system works and pressure to help you to maintain your innocence.  

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence refers to a category of crimes typically committed by one member of a family against the other. Under Florida criminal law, individuals living together as a family to be family members for the purpose of charging under this statute. While the battery is one of the most common domestic charges, domestic violence can also include harassment, stalking, revenge porn, violation of a restraining order, and unlawful detainment of a family member or partner. Domestic violence by strangulation is a serious felony of the second degree.

All of these crimes can result in enhanced penalties. As is the case with all crimes, the burden of proof is still on the prosecution.  

If you have been arrested for domestic violence, it would be in your best interest to seek legal help from one of our Pensacola criminal defense attorneys. We will explain to you all the stages of your criminal defense process and whether a negotiated dismissal or plea bargain will suit your case. Ultimately, the decision to accept a settlement offer or go to trial is yours. 

When you reach our law office, you can rest assured that we will fight for your rights while offering the best legal representation possible. Get in touch today to have a top lawyer examine the prosecution’s case against you.

Drug Offenses

Drugs are categorized according to a schedule, and criminal charges can be serious depending on where the controlled substance falls on that schedule. You may face criminal charges that often include prison time if you are caught possessing, buying, selling, cultivating, manufacturing, or trafficking drugs. You can still face criminal charges even if the drugs are legal and you don’t have a valid prescription. Most drug charges in Pensacola, FL, are felonies. 

DUI

If you are driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) higher than .08, it’s considered driving with unlawful blood alcohol in the state of Florida. For every DUI conviction, the potential penalties increase. Florida also has a zero-tolerance policy for drivers under 21 years of age. 

A DUI conviction can lead to license suspension, a criminal record, and even jail time. Thus, if you are facing a DUI charge, you must seek immediate legal help from Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC. Contact a Pensacola criminal defense attorney who has extensive experience fighting DUI charges in Pensacola.

Drunk Driving Terms

Source: https://addictionresource.com/drug-testing/dui/

As you can see, Florida uses only one of these terms above.

Other Crimes

This is by no means a comprehensive list. There are a variety of other criminal offenses that can occur at the federal, state, or local levels. One thing is true, however. The prosecution always has to establish probable cause in order to win. A Pensacola criminal defense attorney at Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC will review a prosecutorial case and look for flaws in procedure, evidence collection, and interpretation of the criminal law. Once they know how strong the prosecutorial case is against you, the defense will negotiate a plea or represent you in trial.

Penalties For Criminal Convictions in Pensacola, FL

If you have been convicted of a crime in Pensacola, Fl, you may face different levels of penalties depending on the severity of the crime. As was mentioned before, there are two classifications for crimes in Florida: misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is less severe than a felony. Examples of misdemeanors in Pensacola, FL include:

  • Battery
  • DUI without aggravating circumstances
  • Possession of marijuana
  • BUI (boating under the influence)
  • Prostitution
  • Reckless driving
  • Domestic violence
  • Petit theft
  • Criminal traffic offenses such as driving while license is suspended

With misdemeanors, two subcategories will determine the level of punishment you could face. For second-degree misdemeanors, you may pay a maximum fine of $500 and can spend up to 60 days in jail. Separately, for first-degree misdemeanors, defendants can pay a $1,000 fine and spend up to a year in county jail. 

On the other hand, felonies are more severe and come with equally harsh penalties. Examples of felonies include:

  • Child abuse
  • Burglary to a structure, conveyance or dwelling
  • Robbery by sudden snatching or while armed
  • Grand theft
  • Aggravated assault or aggravated battery
  • Murder and vehicular homicide
  • Arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Drug trafficking
  • Sexual battery

Felonies have five classifications to determine the level of penalties, including:

  • Third-degree felony – defendants can pay up to $5,000 in fines and spend five years in prison
  • Second-degree felony – defendants can pay up to $10,000 in fines and spend up to 15 years in prison 
  • First-degree – felony defendants can pay up to $10,000 in fines and spend up to 30 years in prison
  • Life felony – defendants face a maximum of $15,000 and a life sentence in prison
  • Capital felony – defendants face life in prison or death

Penalties are not limited to fines and time in jail; you could face ongoing consequences if you are convicted of a crime. For example, driving offenses could result in losing your driver’s license for a period of time. Any kind of criminal record could make it difficult to find gainful employment or continue your higher education. You may also lose your right to vote or bear arms. 

On top of these legal penalties, a criminal record can carry a social stigma that can make it hard for you to clear your name with your family or community. 

Seek help from a Pensacola criminal defense attorney to help you understand the criminal process,  your charges, and your rights. Regardless of your criminal offense, when you contact Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, our criminal defense law team will provide the best legal services within the area while effectively navigating the legal process. 

Criminal Offenses Statistics in Florida

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2019, more than 81,000 individuals have been arrested for violent crimes, such as rape (what Florida calls sexual battery), aggravated assault or battery, simple assault, manslaughter, and homicide. Separately, approximately 460,000 people have been charged with property-related offenses, including vandalism, larceny, burglary, arson, motor vehicle theft, and purse snatching. 

Regarding murder, there were 1,290 murders in Florida in 2020, translating to 5.9 for every 100,000 people. Florida is known to have the 25th highest murder rate among states. By comparison, the national homicide rate is 6.5 per 100,000. 

The number of murder cases has increased by 1,5% between 2018 and 2019, from 1,104 to 1,121. Sexual battery cases have remained almost unchanged, with 8422 cases of rape in 2018 and 8430 in 2019. Related to robbery by sudden snatching and armed robbery, there has been a considerable decrease of 3,9%, from 16,861 cases in 2018 to 16,199 arrests in 2019. 

When it comes to domestic violence, Florida has recorded more than 66,000 domestic violence offenses in 2019, where 80% of these were simple assaults, and 15,3% were aggravated assaults. Compared to 2018, the number of domestic violence arrests has increased by 2,6%. The remaining 4,7% consisted of sexual assault or battery, murder, aggravated stalking, and manslaughter.

Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pensacola?

Residents of Pensacola, Florida, can choose to represent themselves or ask for a public defender as an alternative to hiring the legal counsel of a private Pensacola criminal lawyer. 

However, trying to defend yourself without a criminal defense lawyer can be confusing and dangerous. The court will expect you to understand Florida law and abide by its procedure. As you do not work with the law every day, you may struggle tremendously and put your future and freedom at stake. 

Public defenders will work hard to defend you, but you must understand that their capabilities are stretched thin, and they are often overwhelmed by their caseloads. They may advise you to plead guilty to take lesser charges, even if this is not in your best interests. 

When facing a criminal charge, the ideal solution is to seek help from a criminal defense attorney. Hiring a Pensacola criminal defense attorney assures you get the chance to fight in court with an experienced criminal defender at your side.

Need a Pensacola Criminal Defense Lawyer? Contact Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC

For years, Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, has been fighting for the rights of criminal defendants in Pensacola. Our legal team has extensive experience, a solid reputation with the courts, and a successful track record. Get in touch with us today to discuss the criminal charges against you.

If you are facing criminal charges in Pensacola, Florida, choosing a criminal defense attorney to defend you and help maintain your innocence can make a huge difference. The attorneys at Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, will build a solid defense, counter the prosecution’s accusations, challenge the evidence used against you, and negotiate for the best possible outcome on your behalf. 

For anyone facing criminal accusations in Pensacola, it is vital to look for legal assistance. Our experienced team will navigate the criminal justice system, ensuring that your criminal case is resolved in your favor. The knowledgeable and top-rated team of Florida Criminal Defense Legal Group, PLLC, can provide the best legal services in Pensacola, Fl, and the surrounding area. Contact us at 850-423-0035 to schedule a free consultation. 

FAQs

Can a felony be dropped to a misdemeanor in Florida?

Suppose you have been charged with a felony in the state of Florida, and you risk harsh penalties. Other than that, criminal convictions may bring life-changing consequences to not just you, but to your family also.

However, having the right legal team by your side may change the outcome of your criminal case. For instance, a criminal defense attorney can fight for you to have felony charges reduced to a misdemeanor, considerably lowering the maximum fines and penalties for your crime.

How long does a felony stay on your criminal record in Pensacola, Florida?

If you are charged with a felony, you could face critical consequences that could impact you on many levels, from buying a house to securing a job or carrying a gun. Under Florida Law, a felony stays on the record for all time. Suppose you have been convicted of a felony in Pensacola, Florida. Learn that at this stage, there is nothing you can do to expunge it or remove it from your criminal record. 

However, if you were never convicted of a felony, you may be able to expunge your record. To expunge a criminal charge, you must not have to have other criminal charges on your record. 

Are men victims of domestic violence too?

Yes, they can also be victims of domestic abuse. Statistics have shown that from 2012 to 2013, about 82% of domestic and sexual violence was committed against women, while the remaining 18% against men. On the other hand, it has been proven that if men are victims of domestic violence, they are less likely to seek legal help or report the abuse.

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“"This is actually one of the best law firms I've had the pleasure of dealing with. They stick with you throughout the entire process, walking you through every step and they know the law! They were able to help me get out of a situation that had occurred because of a technicality and was very knowledgeable in the process. I would recommend them to anyone."”

James S.

“"Such a great service to go through when dealing with any legal matter! Mr. Cobb is very knowledgable and will take the time to understand and communicate with you in a timely manner."”

Dreeana A.

“"Everything was great and smooth working with Mr. Cobb. He was fast and efficient and answered any questions I had."”

Joshua T.

“"I would recommend Attorney Cobb to others. I would describe him as an honest and straightforward lawyer. All my concerns were addressed."”

Crystal H.

“"He was excellent, he did everything without me having to do much especially not living close. I hired him and told him everything and he did it all and it was a great experience. The legal assistant that works there was also amazing."”

Joseph S.

“"It was as clean of a process as it could have been for me. He handled everything for me because I live out of state and made it so simple and easy. He was great and thorough and I hardly had to do anything."”

William S.

“"If you can hire Stephen as your attorney then definitely do that. He talked openly and gave me assurance and even his legal assistant that works there is amazing. I never had any problems or trouble with them."”

Lonnie M.

“"I have used other lawyers in the past. I was facing years but left court with probation and a suspended sentence. Thank you and god bless you."”

Jason

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