If you are under investigation for a crime, the police arrested you, or you already face criminal charges, the stakes have never been higher. Your reputation and future are on the line. The choices that you make now can affect you for the rest of your life. It is not a time to be left to your own devices. You need an attorney who understands how the outcome of your case will affect you personally and will represent you accordingly.
The attorneys at Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer are hard-hitting advocates for our clients. We take the time to learn about you and what you are facing. Call us today to discuss your case and get the legal help you need.
The Criminal Justice Process May Be the Most Difficult Thing You Will Ever Experience
The legal process begins as soon as law enforcement arrests you or informs you that you are under investigation. From here on out, everything that you do and say matters. It certainly matters when you are dealing with the police or prosecutor, and it can affect your reputation permanently. No easy options present themselves when you face criminal charges.
You need an attorney from Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer who has experience in the criminal defense process and can guide you through your case from start to finish.
You can expect a stressful time with more than its share of low points if you do not have an experienced lawyer providing guidance and advocacy. Although hiring an attorney is not a guarantee of success, tackling the criminal justice process on your own guarantees a worse result.
You Do Not Just Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer. You Need the Right Lawyer
You must make a crucial decision in a short period. When you hire a criminal defense lawyer, you place a lot of trust in them to handle a crucial process. You will be working closely with your attorney, and you need to know that you can have a productive working relationship with them during a very stressful time.
When you first contact a criminal defense lawyer, pay close attention to how they interact with you and ask about their experience. You want someone who has handled your type of case before, who will take the time to learn your concerns and give you a clear explanation of the issues facing you.
At Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer, we handle every criminal case with dedication and integrity.
Our team has the resources and experience to successfully handle a wide range of criminal cases, including but not limited to:
- Reckless driving
- Assault and battery or aggravated assault and battery
- Public intoxication
- Possession of marijuana or other controlled substances
- Sex offenses
We take every case seriously, whether it involves a driving violation or a violent offense. Never believe your criminal matter is too minor or serious to contact Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer for a free consultation.
Potential Criminal Cases in Florida
In Florida, a crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. The two classes differ based on their severity and consequences. In addition, the legal process will differ based on whether your charge is a misdemeanor or felony.
The dividing line is the potential punishment for the offenses. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in prison, while a felony is punishable by more than one year.
A felony can carry other consequences, such as
- The loss of your right to vote (unless you have paid all costs associated with a conviction),
- Loss of your right to carry firearms
- Disqualification from certain jobs
In addition, multiple felony convictions within a certain period can lead to additional punishment under Florida’s repeat offender laws.
Even though a misdemeanor has lesser potential punishment, you should not mistake it for a minor charge.
In addition to jail time, misdemeanors can carry other punishments, including:
- A change to your child custody situation and a potential loss of visitation
- A change to your immigration status, especially if the offense was one of moral turpitude
- A lifelong criminal record if the offense does not qualify for eventual expungement
When you face charges of any criminal offense or learn that you are under investigation, you should immediately contact an attorney at Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer. Much can happen in the early part of your case. In particular, you can make mistakes without an attorney that will harm your criminal defense. The sooner you get an attorney, the sooner you can protect your legal rights.
Your Legal Rights in a Criminal Case
You often hear criminal defense lawyers talking about fighting for your and protecting legal rights in your criminal case, as we just did above. If you wonder what this means in practical terms, first, know you have certain crucial rights under the United States Constitution.
If you experienced a violation of these rights by authorities, we can fight to:
- Throw certain evidence against you out of court
- Dismiss the charges against you
- Overturn your conviction on appeal
In a criminal case:
- You have the right to have an attorney present when law enforcement is trying to question you. It should be the end of the questioning if you say that you want an attorney.
- Police cannot stop and question you unless they have reasonable suspicion to believe that you committed a crime. Reasonable suspicion is a lower standard that allows police to make a Terry Stop.
- You have the right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures. Police must obtain a search warrant after demonstrating probable cause, and they must follow the warrant. If the police do not obtain a warrant, they must rely on a valid exception to the requirement.
- You have the legal right to confront witnesses presented to testify against you in court. Your defense lawyer can cross-examine these witnesses if it is part of your case strategy.
The criminal justice system will not automatically preserve all of your rights. Instead, you must actively stand up for them. An experienced criminal defense attorney can file a motion in court seeking to right the wrong that law enforcement did in your case.
What You Should Know About the Criminal Defense Process
There are many terms to be familiar with in the criminal process because they can impact your case and legal rights.
The relevant terms include:
- Probable cause – when the prosecutor presents the evidence that they intend to use against you at the preliminary hearing, they must show the judge that a reasonable person will believe that, based on the facts, you may have committed a crime. The same standard applies when determining whether police had the legal right to arrest you for a crime or conduct a search of your property.
- Admissible evidence – the prosecutor’s case against you turns on the evidence. However, they do not have an unlimited right to put anything they want in front of the jury. For the prosecutor to use evidence against you, it must have been validly seized and be allowed under the Rules of Evidence. Otherwise, your lawyer can seek to suppress the evidence, so it is not part of your case (so long as it is the “fruit of the poisonous tree.”)
- Beyond a reasonable doubt – The prosecutor has a high burden of proof when presenting your case to a jury. This standard means that there is no other reasonable explanation that can come from the evidence presented at trial other than that you are guilty. Beyond a reasonable doubt is a high standard, and it makes some prosecutors think twice about continuing with your case and taking it to trial.
You May Resolve your Criminal Case in Different Ways
Many people think of their case concluding in a courtroom with a dramatic scene before a jury. The truth is that jury trials are very rare in criminal cases. Our attorneys will not hesitate to go the distance for you when you have a defense to the charges, and we believe that the prosecutor does not have the necessary evidence or has violated your legal rights.
However, your case can end in other ways:
- The most common way to resolve your case is in a plea bargain with the prosecutor, where you plead guilty in exchange for either lesser charges or a lower possible sentence (we will go into further detail below)
- You can obtain a case dismissal in whole or in part when law enforcement has violated your legal rights or does not have probable cause for the charges.
- The state may drop the charges against you when they realize that they do not have sufficient evidence or the case that they have built is weak.
- The state may not charge you at all if your lawyer engages early in the process and the state realizes that it does not have the grounds or the evidence to file charges and win a conviction.
A Strong Criminal Defense Could Lead to a More Favorable Plea Bargain
Plea bargains, while they are a common result in your case, do not happen in a vacuum. A plea bargain results from a negotiation between your attorney and the prosecutor. Your interest is obviously in removing the risk of the maximum penalties should you be convicted. The prosecutor’s interest is to win a conviction without having to devote time and resources to a trial. It is considered a win for them without having to fight in court.
The vigor and intensity of your defense can affect plea bargain negotiations. The stronger your defense and the more success you have in the pre-trial process, the more leverage you may have in negotiations. For example, if we can get some charges dismissed early or we can convince the judge to suppress certain key evidence, you may reach a more favorable plea agreement.
You Have the Option and Right to Fight Your Charges
Of course, nothing requires you to enter a plea agreement. If the prosecutor does not have the necessary evidence, they may drop the charges. If they still go forward with the case, you can and should fight the charges. Although you are taking a chance when you turn down a plea bargain, you can win an acquittal and clear your name if the prosecutor tries and fails to prove your case.
In any criminal case, it always helps to have an attorney who understands how a prosecutor operates and knows how to think like one. At Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer, we have experience on the prosecutorial side, and we use it to your advantage when we are representing you.
Our Attorneys Will Pay Attention to You and Your Concerns
For you, a criminal justice case will determine your future and potentially your freedom. While the prosecutor may be looking at your case as routing, there is nothing “garden variety” about your matter as far as you are concerned. The legal outcome of your case can change the course of your life. You need an attorney who understands how your case will affect you and will handle your case in a diligent and understanding manner.
It does not matter what you stand accused of – your attorney should commit to providing you with the same vigorous defense. That is exactly what we do at Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer. We commit to bringing the same tenacity and compassion to each case we handle. We believe everyone deserves a dedicated legal defense and will bring that principle to work in your case.
Contact a Brooksville Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
If you find yourself in the criminal justice system, if you try to face the legal process alone, you can expect a far worse result. Instead, contact a law firm immediately.
At Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer, we will immediately get to work on your case, learning the important facts and goals in your case. We work diligently to get results for our clients. Our lawyers are effective case strategists and courtroom advocates.
Call us today at (352) 686-0080 or contact us online for your initial consultation, and we will explain how we can help you with your defense.
Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm – Tarpon Springs Office
623 East Tarpon Avenue,
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
“Lucas and Macyszyn was instrumental in accomplishing the mission at hand. We had to do absolutely nothing once the ball was set in motion. Weekly reports were the norm as the process progressed. The staff were all courteous and very easy to work with. I would recommend this law firm if you don’t already have one on retainer.”
Review by: Les M.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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