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What Happens In Florida Criminal Court?

ENTRY OF A PLEA

There are two times when a plea is entered in a misdemeanor criminal case:

  • Upon Arraignment, or;
  • At a designated time to enter a change of plea

Unlike Florida felony cases, a criminal defendant can enter a plea at either times. Either way, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney before doing so. Here is why:

If you have potential legal defenses, it is important to weigh the impact of Florida’s criminal case discovery rules. These rules require the government to provide certain information to anyone charged with a crime, and this information may:

  • uncover defenses that are complete defenses to any and all charges,
  • uncover partial defenses to some, but not all charges, or;
  • uncover partial defenses that justify a reduction or substitution of lesser charges for more serious ones.

There is a big difference between pre-trial defenses and trial defenses, and only an experienced attorney can explain the difference – and the magnitude of the potential danger – of exercising certain defenses. You don’t want to find yourself in a position where reckless defenses actually hurt your case and increase both the likelihood and severity of criminal punishment.

Sometimes, it is to your advantage to enter a quick plea upon formal charging – at Arraignment Court. However, most of the time is more advantageous to enter a formal Change of Plea at a later date, after discovery has been reviewed by a highly skilled lawyer.

Final thought: Most lay people are totally incapable of interpreting Florida criminal statutes, rules, local rules (often unwritten), procedural issues and case law. When lay people attempt to represent themselves, this is like trying to give yourself heart surgery – extremely dangerous.


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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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