Facing criminal charges is one of the toughest experiences that a person can go through in their lifetime. The risks to your future are severe, and you feel like the criminal justice system is pulling you in many directions at one time. Given the panic and stress you face, you might not think clearly about what you need to do.
You should not have to go through the criminal process alone, nor should you even try it. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Spring Hill can provide you with the effective legal defense you need.
The attorneys at Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer are your counselors and advocates when you are facing criminal charges. The sooner you call us, the quicker we can go to work to help you obtain the best possible legal result. You should reach out to us immediately to schedule your free initial consultation.
Why Choose Our Spring Hill Defense Attorneys?
Choosing a defense lawyer is an important decision, as you are putting your future in a law firm’s hands.
Always consider Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer for your criminal defense in the Spring Hill area, because:
- We have more than 20 years of criminal defense experience.
- We receive five-star reviews from past criminal clients.
- We have an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau due to our service.
- Consultations are free and we work with clients regarding fees and payment plans.
- Our defense lawyers have represented defendants of all ages, from children to seniors, who faced a wide range of criminal charges.
- We have convenient office locations, including in Spring Hill
If the police arrest you, always get Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer on your side immediately.
Types of Criminal Charges We Handle
There are two main types of crimes in Florida: felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are more severe and typically result in a harsher punishment. Misdemeanors tend to be less serious, but they can still negatively impact your quality of life.
Here are some of the most common crimes within each category:
- Reckless Driving
- Public Intoxication
- Possession of Marijuana
- Assault and Battery
Felony convictions can result in a lengthy prison sentence or the death penalty.
If a court convicts you of a felony, you may face a prison sentence ranging from one year to life behind bars.
- Drug Offenses
- Aggravated Assault and Battery
- Sex Crimes
How a Criminal Record Can Impact Your Life?
If this is your first time facing criminal charges, you may wonder how a misdemeanor or felony could impact your life. Your charges, could prevent you from landing a job, securing housing, or driving a car. You may even lose custody of your children. Here are just a few ways that a criminal record may affect your future:
Many employers in Florida conduct background checks on job candidates before offering them a job. A felony or misdemeanor conviction could exclude you from consideration for your dream job.
Trying to find an apartment when you have a criminal record is not always easy. Even if your conviction is several years old, it could still come back to haunt you when you are looking for housing. If a landlord determines that your criminal history makes you a legitimate safety threat to other residents, they can reject your application.
College Admission Difficulties
You can still attend college or trade school if you have a criminal record. However, many colleges and universities run background checks on prospective students. A criminal record could reduce your likelihood your college of choice accepting you. You may also find it harder to secure financial aid for your education or find a job on campus.
Criminal convictions negatively affect everyone they impact. But they can have an especially devastating effect on non-US citizens. Criminal convictions can hinder your eligibility to obtain a green card or attain your desired immigration status. They may also result in your removal from the United States and prevent you from re-entering America.
Potential Penalties for Criminal Convictions in Florida
In Florida, a crime can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Even though misdemeanors carry potentially lesser sentences, you should not think that these charges are not serious.
Generally, a misdemeanor has a punishment of one year or less in jail.
- A second-degree misdemeanor can mean 60 days in jail and a fine of $500. Examples may include simple assault or first-offense petit theft
- A first-degree misdemeanor can mean one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Examples may include battery, DUI, and disorderly conduct.
Felonies are more serious crimes, and they are punished based on the application of a scoresheet.
- A third-degree felony can mean five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Examples include grand theft, burglary, and certain sex crimes.
- A second-degree felony can mean 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Examples include the possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, DUI manslaughter, and burglary of a dwelling.
- A first-degree felony can mean 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000. Examples include burglary with an assault or battery, home invasion, and robbery with a weapon.
There are some felonies, such as murder, that can carry a sentence of life in prison or even death.
Just because an offense is punishable by a jail term up to a certain amount does not mean you will automatically get the maximum if convicted. Your sentence will depend on what the prosecutor recommends and the judge decides. Your attorney will present your own case and factors if it comes down to sentencing.
How the Criminal Law Process Works in Florida?
In Florida, the criminal law process begins with an arrest. Police officers can take you into custody and book you at the station. Alternatively, a law enforcement officer may give you a notice to appear in court.
The initial appearance occurs within 24 to 48 hours after the police arrest you. Here, the court will inform you of the charges that the prosecutor filed against you. In addition, the judge will determine whether to set bail in the case and the amount. By this point, you should have an attorney who will appear with you in court. It is always better not to say anything at the initial appearance.
Your next time in court will be for the preliminary hearing. The prosecutor needs to present enough evidence to show the judge that there is probable cause for the charges. They may need to call witnesses and present evidence. Here, you and your defense lawyer will begin to get an understanding of the prosecution’s case. Your attorney can weaken the case and challenge some of the evidence the prosecutor tries to use against you. Even if it is rare for the judge to entirely dismiss the case after the preliminary hearing, you may successfully narrow the charges.
After the preliminary hearing, your attorney may speak with the prosecutor about the case and the possibility of a plea bargain. However, you may also choose to continue to fight the charges and take the case all the way to trial. Before trial, the prosecution must share the evidence with you that it intends to use at trial.
At that point, your lawyer can begin in earnest to prepare for the trial. The prosecution has the first chance to prove its case. Your attorney can cross-examine the witnesses who are testifying against you. Once the prosecution rests, the defense will get to put on its case, with your lawyer calling witnesses. Whether you testify often depends on the strength of the prosecution’s case. Your lawyer may adjust trial tactics depending on how the prosecution’s case has gone.
After closing arguments, the jury will reach a verdict (or the judge, if you have opted for a bench trial). If there has been a conviction, you have the right to appeal the verdict if there were errors.
If there is a guilty verdict, the judge will set a date for sentencing within 90 days. If you reached a plea bargain, the judge can immediately move to sentencing if they approve the deal. They are not obligated to adopt the prosecution’s recommendation for a sentence.
Protect Your Legal Rights When You Face Criminal Charges
There are numerous ways during the legal process in which law enforcement can violate your rights. The risk begins with a traffic stop, detention, arrest, or even during a pre-arrest investigation of an alleged crime.
Law enforcement aims to gather enough evidence to charge you with a crime and make it stick. They can gather this evidence in several ways. One easy way for them is to get you to say something yourself. They may seek to question you right after the arrest to learn what you know.
You have the right to have an attorney present during material police questioning, and you can decline to answer their questions under the 5th Amendment. Without an attorney, you may not know this. Some people may think that they can explain their way out of trouble when they are only making things worse.
Law enforcement may have violated your rights by arresting you in the first place. They need reasonable suspicion to stop and question you. Police need probable cause to arrest you. If the arrest itself is illegal, you cannot be convicted.
Police also need probable cause to conduct a search to seize evidence. In some cases, police can rely on an exception to the requirement to get a warrant. However, police may search you and seize evidence without probable cause or a valid warrant. They may have obtained a search warrant but exceeded the scope of it in their search. If police seized evidence without a legal basis, the prosecutor should not use it against you. First, your lawyer must file a motion to suppress the evidence with the court.
An experienced criminal defense attorney will begin to protect your legal rights as soon as you hire them. In addition, they will review your case to determine whether the authorities violated your rights and how a violation can help with a possible case dismissal.
Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
The main risk of a criminal conviction is that you may lose your freedom. Beyond that, there are many prices that you may pay if you receive a conviction. One of the main things that you can lose is your reputation. Depending on the type of criminal conviction, it can remain on your record for the rest of your life. Anyone conducting a background check on you will see what happened in your past, even if it was years ago.
You may lose certain rights after a criminal conviction, including:
- Your right to vote for a felony conviction (once you complete all the terms of your sentence, you can regain the right to vote)
- The ability to work in certain fields
- Your right to carry a firearm
- Your residency and status in the United States, if you are not a citizen
- Your custody case
The decisions that you make now can affect you for years to come. Before you make any decisions, you must understand how the choices you make now can impact your future. An attorney from Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer will review your situation and let you know what you personally may have on the line.
Legal Strategy in Your Criminal Case
There is no one-size-fits-all legal strategy for your case. To say that there is one standard course of action suggests that your case is a routine matter when it is anything but one to you. Many things are at stake when you stand charges of a crime, and you need a personalized strategy for your own case.
It is sometimes worth it to fight the charges against you with everything that you have. These cases are usually when the prosecution does not have a strong case against you or the authorities violated your legal rights in some way.
At Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer, we can devise the best defense strategy for you. If your case is going to trial, how your attorney presents you to the jury matters. They will need a customized strategy for your particular trial based on the evidence that the prosecution has lined up against you. A lawyer may try to petition the court to suppress certain evidence if the police illegally gathered it or if it otherwise violates the Rules of Evidence.
In your case, it may make sense for your attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor. In exchange for a guilty plea, you may face lesser charges or reduced punishment. You may even avoid a felony or jail time altogether.
Negotiating with the prosecutor takes skill and a knowledge of how law enforcement works. A plea agreement is exactly that – you have the right to agree to plead guilty in exchange for something from the prosecutor. You also have the right to negotiate the best possible plea deal, to which the prosecutor must agree, and the judge must approve the deal.
A criminal defense attorney knows how the prosecutor operates and the best strategy for reaching a favorable deal.
Why You Need Our Spring Hill Criminal Defense Attorneys for Your Case?
The criminal law system is intimidating and does not favor defendants. Prosecutors want to move cases off their docket quickly while gaining a conviction. While some prosecutors will take the time to ensure that their actions are correct in every way, many others will try to rush your case through the system. They do not know you, nor do they know your situation. You are a name on paper for prosecutors, who see you as one of their many cases.
Faced with these realities, you need someone to look out for you. An attorney will learn about your case and situation and work to get the best possible legal result for you. Without an attorney, you can easily make a mistake that can harm your legal defense. You may panic and plead guilty when law enforcement has committed serious errors or violations of your rights.
When you are in the criminal justice system, you need someone who can look at your case objectively and help you review your legal options. At the same time, your lawyer’s job is to advocate and stand up for you, regardless of the alleged criminal offense at issue.
Contact a Spring Hill Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
The attorneys at Lucas, Macyszyn, Dyer are effective courtroom advocates and skilled practitioners who will be there for you when it seems like the entire world is against you. Connect with a lawyer can help ease your burden and stress during this time. To speak with one of our experienced criminal justice attorneys, you can send us a message online or call us today at (352) 686-0080.
Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm – Tarpon Springs Office
623 East Tarpon Avenue,
Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Client Testimonials for our Spring Hill Criminal Defense Lawyers
“Chris made me feel at ease within 5 minutes of my first call with my situation. The whole team was very attentive throughout the process up to and including the final disposition of my whole ordeal. I would definitely call them again should I ever have the need and I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who is thinking “hmmm, should I get a lawyer?” The answer is yes!”
Review by: Ace J.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
“George Angeliadis was amazing! I could not have asked for a better attorney! Top notch service! I would highly recommend him to anyone needing an attorney. Fantastic! His staff is equally as wonderful. What a great practice!”
Review by: Kimberly J.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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