FAQ: Gainesville Criminal Cases
Gainesville Criminal Defense Lawyer
As the law firm of Kinsell & Whitaker, there are several questions that come up with regularity. It is impossible to answer the many, many questions that will concern an individual under criminal charges. In such a circumstance it is vital that you speak with a Gainesville criminal defense attorney without delay.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
A felony is a crime of greater weight than a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are generally punishable by under a year in a county jail and are handled in the county courts. Fines for a misdemeanor go to a maximum of $1,000. A felony is a much more serious offense and these crimes are tried at a higher level called the circuit court. The potential for incarceration is above 1 year and this time will be spent in prison not jail. The penalties are determined according to the Florida Criminal Punishment Code (CPC). The penalty can extend up to life imprisonment and even the death sentence in the case of a Capital Felony.
How serious is a DUI offense?
Assuming nothing else, such as a serious injury or death, a strictly DUI offense conviction can lead to substantial financial penalties, the loss of your license and even jail time. This would be for a first time offense. For subsequent offenses with a five to ten year period the penalties can escalate considerably. In some cases DUI offenses can be treated as felonies. Should this be the case then the prison time could be up to 5 years behind bars.
Is going to trial my only option when charged with a crime?
While each circumstance will be unique it is certainly true that going to trial is usually the last option. Prior to that there are several other routes to pursue as a lawyer. One is called a Diversion Program which is similar to a probation program. There is also the possibility to have a case dismissed on technical and legal points such as an unlawful search or violation of your rights to a speedy trial. Another possible path is a plea bargain to move towards lesser charges and subsequent penalties. The point is that an experienced criminal defense lawyer will be familiar with the many potential options for handling your case.
Are there any differences in Florida Law versus other states?
Every state has its own individual set of laws. While in most cases these are based upon Federal standards perhaps the most important point to understand is how severely crimes are treated from state to state. Florida, for example, is a state that allows for the death penalty however the number of actual deaths administered in the past several decades is a fraction of those in the state of Texas.
What should I do if arrested for a crime?
Without doubt the first call you should make is to call a lawyer. You have rights but when under the stress of being accused of a crime it is extremely difficult to know what to do and what to say.
Whatever the accusation it is important to protect your rights and to mount your defense as soon as possible. Don't delay in
contacting a Gainesville Theft Crimes Defense Attorney
for a full review of your case and the charges against you as soon as possible.