If you are arrested, you may be worried about going to prison and the impact on your loved ones. You may also be afraid that an arrest will have an adverse impact on your job, your housing, or your ability to go to school. However, you should know that an arrest is very different from a conviction. A prosecutor will need to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction, which is not a burden to take lightly. At the same time, you should understand that your chances of getting a dismissal, acquittal, or lighter sentence could depend on your choice of advocate.
At The Hoffman Firm, Evan M. Hoffman provides experienced, comprehensive, and dedicated representation to the accused. He has helped his clients fight many types of misdemeanor and felony charges, ranging from drug crimes, theft crimes, and violent crimes to DUI, sex crimes, white collar crimes, and more. When the stakes are high, there is no substitute for a criminal defense attorney in Miami who will investigate your case and fight for your rights with the tenacity that you deserve.
Florida Statute section 316.193 provides that you can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) if the prosecutor can show that you had a blood alcohol content of .08 or greater while you were in physical control of a vehicle or driving a vehicle, or that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs in that situation. However, there are often multiple ways to fight these charges. Your DUI attorney might be able to challenge the justification for the stop of your vehicle, for example, or there might be an argument that errors occurred in the process of calculating your BAC.Drug Crimes
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act penalizes various activities that involve controlled substances, such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Drug crimes in Florida can include drug trafficking, manufacturing of controlled substances, distributing controlled substances, possession, possession with intent to sell, and sale, as well as prescription fraud. There are five schedules for controlled substances, with Schedule I substances having the greatest potential for abuse. Drug cases often can be defended with procedural as well as substantive arguments. If the police did not properly obtain the drugs or other evidence, Miami criminal defense attorney Evan Hoffman can try to suppress that evidence on constitutional grounds, which may defeat the prosecution’s case.Theft Crimes
Under Florida Statute section 812.014, a prosecutor hoping to obtain a theft conviction must prove that the defendant knowingly got, used, or tried to get or use someone else’s property, intending to keep the victim from benefitting from using the property or intending to use it for their own ends. Most theft offenses are classified according to the value of the property that was misappropriated or stolen. There are two basic forms of theft: petit theft and grand theft. However, there are two degrees of petit theft and three degrees of grand theft, each with its own range of penalties.White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are typically financially motivated and are not violent. Often, people charged with these crimes are executives or professionals. The relevant Florida law covers computer-related crimes, fraudulent practices, exploitation of the elderly or disabled, forgery, counterfeiting, bribery, the issuance of worthless checks, racketeering, and financial transaction offenses. Even though these crimes may not seem as serious because nobody was physically injured, they can carry substantial penalties. They can be highly technical, so retaining a Miami criminal defense lawyer with experience in this area is a critical step to take.Violent Crimes
Violent crimes can include both threats of violence and use of violence against victims. They include crimes such as battery, aggravated battery, assault, aggravated assault, carjacking, kidnapping, manslaughter, and murder. What must be proven depends on the charge. For example, under Florida Statute section 784.021, a prosecutor hoping to secure a conviction for aggravated assault will need to show that you unlawfully and intentionally threatened to commit violence against someone, you appeared to be able to follow through on your threats, the other person feared imminently becoming a victim of a violent crime, and the assault was perpetrated with a deadly weapon or with the intent to perpetrate a felony. In many cases, affirmative defenses such as self-defense or the Stand Your Ground law will provide a basis for defeating the prosecution’s case.Sex Crimes
Sex crimes charged in Florida include lewd and lascivious crimes, child pornography, sexual battery (rape), unlawful sexual activities with minors, prostitution, and Internet solicitation. Unlike some other serious crimes, many sex crimes carry a registration requirement even after you have served prison time and paid fines. As a result, if you are convicted of a sex offense, you will need to register as a sex offender for life or face the risk of third-degree felony charges. This is one reason why you should retain a skillful criminal defense lawyer in the Miami area. Registering as a sex offender could permanently undermine your life.Gun Crimes
There are several gun crimes defined by the Florida Statutes, including the prohibited use of a firearm against a law enforcement officer, improper exhibition, discharging a firearm in public, using a firearm under the influence of alcohol, and carrying a concealed weapon. A gun crime may be charged alongside a violent crime charge. Sometimes possessing or using particular weapons can enhance the penalties or result in mandatory minimum penalties during sentencing for an underlying violent crime. Some of these offenses may seem straightforward, but there is often more to a situation than first meets the eye. We can investigate the sequence of events and help you understand your options.Domestic Violence
Under Florida Statute § 741.28, domestic violence occurs if there is a familial or household relationship between the victim and perpetrator in connection with the perpetrator committing sexual assault, sexual battery, assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, or another crime that causes physical injuries. When the police respond to a domestic violence call, they often arrest someone. Even if the victim states that they do not want to press charges, whether or not charges will be brought is a decision for the prosecutor. Therefore, you should hire a criminal defense attorney in the Miami area regardless of whether the victim cooperates with the case against you.Juvenile Crimes
If you are under 18 and alleged to have committed a crime, you may be subject to the juvenile justice system rather than the criminal justice system for adults. Often, juvenile offenders are eligible for diversion programs that emphasize rehabilitation over punishment. Police officers may issue citations rather than arrest juvenile offenders. Common juvenile crimes include criminal mischief, misdemeanor assault, minor in possession of a fake ID, misdemeanor battery, disorderly conduct, burglary, and resisting arrest.Traffic Tickets
A traffic ticket can be issued for a criminal violation or a non-criminal violation. Non-criminal violations include speeding, stop sign violations, being a minor driving without a license, open container violations, and failing to yield when required. However, some traffic tickets may result in misdemeanor or felony charges, such as a hit and run, reckless driving, driving while one's license is suspended or revoked, racing, or the use of a fake driver's license.Probation Violations
Instead of incarceration, you may be put on probation as part of your sentence after being convicted of a crime. Probation can involve numerous rules and conditions. A criminal defense lawyer in Miami can explain the precise scope of your obligations. For example, you may need to meet regularly with a probation officer. Probation violations occur if you willfully and substantially fail to obey the terms and conditions of probation. They may be technical, which means that you failed to follow the rules imposed by the judge, or substantive, which means that you committed another crime.Federal Crimes
Federal courts operate differently from state courts. When there is an alleged violation of a federal law, you will likely be tried in federal court by a United States Attorney rather than in state court. Federal crimes include white collar crimes, cybercrimes, sex crimes, weapons offenses, and crimes in which state lines were crossed, such as trafficking in large quantities of drugs.Post-Conviction Relief
Even if you have been convicted, there may be forms of post-conviction relief that are available to you. We may be able to appeal your conviction if there is evidence that the trial court judge or jury got the decision wrong. Under certain circumstances, moreover, we may be able to apply to have your criminal record sealed or to have a crime expunged from your record.Consult a Skillful Criminal Defense Attorney in the Miami Area
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, or in state or federal court, it is crucial to retain an experienced legal advocate. At The Hoffman Firm, we look closely at the circumstances of each client’s case to provide a strong, thorough defense. We represent people in Miami, North Miami, Key Biscayne, Aventura, and Miami Beach, among other cities in Miami-Dade County. Call The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or complete our online form to schedule a free, confidential consultation .