Best Jacksonville Criminal Lawyers
If you looked around and thought everything in life was going your way, that changed in an instant when police informed you that you were under arrest. After that, everything changed. Suddenly, you have lost your freedom, are being pressured by police to tell them what you know and make a confession, and have a prosecutor telling you it will only be a matter of time until you are sitting in a prison cell for decades. With your stress levels continuing to increase, you may think there is no way out of this complex legal nightmare. However, if you do as you should and retain the services of a criminal lawyer who is committed to protecting your rights, you may be surprised at the positive outcome of your case.
Deciding What to Say and Do
Once you are arrested and charged with a crime, the police will be in a hurry to get as much information as possible out of you inside an interrogation room. While they may have the right to question you about your alleged actions, you also have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Unfortunately, many people who are arrested don’t realize the importance of this aspect of their Miranda rights, and thus go it alone during an interrogation. If you do the same, it’s the worst mistake you will make as your case progresses through the legal system. By not having a criminal lawyer present during questioning, you will incriminate yourself by answering questions incorrectly or in fact answering them at all. To make sure you place yourself in a position to be acquitted or see the charges against you dropped before you ever see the inside of a courtroom, contact and hire a trusted criminal lawyer immediately.
Looking for a Plea Deal
When a prosecutor brings charges against you, they want you to believe they cannot wait to see you inside a courtroom so they can gain yet another conviction. However, much of what they say to you should not be believed. In most criminal matters, prosecutors have cases that are weaker than defendants believe, creating a situation where prosecutors will be looking to finalize a plea deal with your criminal lawyer. Depending on the seriousness of your charges and the evidence against you, letting your lawyer negotiate a plea deal may be your best bet. This is especially true if you are facing felony charges, since they can often be reduced to misdemeanors. Should this occur, prison time will no longer be on the table. Instead, you may have only a short jail term, or perhaps just pay some fines and serve some time on probation.
In-Depth Investigation of Your Case
If there is one thing you want your criminal lawyer to do after you have been arrested, it is to conduct an in-depth investigation of your alleged crime. Though police have already conducted an investigation, remember that their goal is to name a suspect, get evidence supporting their theories as to what happened, and make an arrest as fast as possible. Yet by having your criminal lawyer conduct an investigation, you may get much better results. Since your lawyer’s goal is to find evidence that contradicts the police version of what happened, expect your attorney to conduct numerous interviews of witnesses, pour over police reports, use independent forensic experts to test physical evidence, and rely on the knowledge of expert witnesses to testify in court.
Telling You the Truth
Whenever you may be facing criminal charges, you always want a lawyer on your side who will tell you the truth, rather than just what you may want to hear at that moment. For example, if the best your criminal lawyer can do is negotiate a plea deal that will get you a reduced sentence, you should know this as soon as possible so that you can make a well-informed decision on how to move your case forward. On the other hand, if your lawyer believes you have multiple options open to you and that you have a good chance of being acquitted or having your charges reduced or dropped, you certainly need to know this as well. By relying on a lawyer you can trust during all of your conversations, you will always know the advice given you is the absolute best for your case.
A Speedy Trial
Upon being arrested, you of course want the situation to get resolved as fast as possible. This is actually a good attitude to have, since the longer prosecutors have to build a case against you, the greater the chances they will gain a conviction. By being proactive and hiring the best criminal lawyer available to you, this puts pressure on prosecutors to hurry up and build a case. Since prosecutors don’t like to be rushed when building their cases, this makes them much more willing to entertain offers from your attorney. For example, if a prosecutor knows their case is weak from the start, they may be willing to offer charges that are sharply reduced, or may decide to drop the charges against you rather than pursue a case that they may wind up losing in court. Even if your case does eventually go to trial, having a criminal lawyer working to constantly pressure prosecutors can help you emerge a winner.
While it can be scary to be arrested, it is by no means an end to the life you knew prior to being charged with a crime. Instead, it is quite possible for your life to continue on as you planned despite your arrest. To keep your life on track and keep your reputation intact, hire a highly-skilled criminal lawyer today.
Jacksonville Federal Criminal Lawyers
Federal criminal charges are serious, and the penalties can be severe. Effective legal representation is absolutely necessary for anyone facing any felony charges. The process of going through a federal case can be intimidating because the stakes can be so high. Many people face the prospect of losing their income, career and family. In addition, your reputation in the local community is often at risk.
Prison sentences tend to be stiff, and many federal prosecutors are motivated by their career, which rewards them for finding as many people guilty as possible. The odds can seem stacked against you, but losing your morale is dangerous. The role of your federal criminal attorney is to help you to get through any self-doubt and build a case that is compelling enough to eliminate or reduce the penalties.
Hiring a Criminal Lawyer, Federal Charges
Time is a factor in these cases, so make sure to seek legal representation right away. However, this doesn’t mean that you should hire the first lawyer who responds to your inquiry. Take your time deciding on the right criminal defense attorney to use in your case. This preparation can save you years of pain and anguish, and the decision should never be made lightly. Make the lawyer earn your confidence and trust because your life, career and future prospects are all on the line.
The best lawyer will keep you informed during each stage of the process. As the case develops, it might become necessary to invest the criminal defense attorney with the trust that your interests are being represented. Many cases are complex, and the jargon can be difficult to follow. The relationship with your attorney allows you to introduce new information as it becomes available. Build your case with a criminal defense attorney who understands how to think clearly under adverse conditions and build the case most likely to prevail. Always keep track of your questions, and work with someone who has the ability to communicate clearly.
State Criminal Charges, Felony Charges
Federal charges are significantly different than state charges. Most cases are handled at the state level, and many attorneys have a high degree of competency when litigating state cases. However, federal charges require a different skill set, and many state lawyers are unequipped to handle the complexity of a federal prosecutor as an opponent. Hiring a federal criminal attorney is a critical part of your overall legal defense strategy, so make sure to work with a professional that has a successful track record of litigating similar cases.
Examples of federal criminal charges include the following:
White-collar crimes and bank robberies
Fraud and IRS crimes
Drug possession and weapons trafficking
State laws might also be applied against you before the case goes to the federal courts. This process might seem contradictory and confusing at first. If the federal prosecutor pursues the case, the legal concept of double jeopardy might come into play. There are constitutional protections that prevent charges from being brought against the same person for a second time.  Make sure you work with a qualified and experience legal team that has a stake in protecting all of your rights under the applicable legal codes.
Communication and Criminal Defense
Good communication skills are essential to the process of hiring a criminal defense attorney. During the interview, you have a chance to find out if the lawyer has experience handling cases that are similar. Find out how the outcome resolved, and look for the length of time your potential attorney has been practicing. It’s also important to observe the status of the federal criminal attorney within relevant professional associations like the American Bar Association, for example. This gives you an idea of the level of qualification and expertise the attorney might bring to your case.
The federal criminal attorney should be able to communicate details about the case in a way that you can understand. Working with an attorney that uses jargon excessively often backfires. In addition, you also need to feel comfortable expressing your views and wishes to your attorney. If you face federal charges, the serious nature of situation warrants an upgrade to your legal strategy. Don’t settle for anything less than the best; our firm has five decades of experience representing clients at the federal level.
Best Legal Defense, Jacksonville
The best legal defense is always relevant to your specific situation. There is a correct procedure for every instance of communication with a federal authority. This might involve a letter or a search warrant during the early stages of the case, for example. You might face an indictment or be arrested on federal charges. The most important action you can take during these early encounters with federal agents is to remain silent, and contact your attorney at the first available moment. Legal counsel is a protected right under the constitutional system, and there is no need to waive this protection. Make sure to understand your rights under the law by contacting our legal firm immediately.
Lawyers capable of handling federal criminal cases have a unique set of skills and experiences to offer. Find out if your lawyer is a member of a respected professional organization. Expertise in federal case law is only earned through the fires of time; surviving complex case laws requires the greatest degree of care and precision. Make sure to ask questions before hiring your federal criminal lawyer; this process is part of securing the best legal defense when going into the federal court system. Contact our lawyers today if you’re facing federal criminal charges.
Fighting your federal criminal charges in Jacksonville is an uphill battle without an experienced federal defense attorney. In Jacksonville, they see a lot of drug trafficking cases, illegal immigration, and gun violations under the Safe Neighborhood Act. The ports of Florida are a hotbed for drug smugglers, which makes the concentration of federal agents here higher than in most of the United States.
That being said, the federal courts also prosecute other crimes that are less serious such as tax evasion, white-collar crimes, counterfeiting, credit card fraud, tax fraud, and identity theft. If you find yourself in the crosshairs of federal agents, you can bet that they want to get their money back for the time expended in your case.
Overview of the Federal Criminal Defense Process
It all begins with an investigation. The Feds are famous for going all out to profile their targets. They will move in next door, take suspects on yacht cruises, join outlaw motorcycle gangs, use dating apps to create sex stings, and produce Hollywood productions to manufacture evidence of crimes. The Feds are known for entrapping suspects and using the “ends justify the means” philosophy in securing arrests. Our law firm can look closely at their investigation methods that may or not be disclosed in full to determine their legality.
Federal agents will always confront the suspect after arrest with the charges. They will try to elicit a confession or even a partial confession that eliminates disputes over some facts. They can be coercive with the methods by using false promises of leniency for cooperation and other lies.
They may record the interviews but only use the recording if it is favorable to them. If they paraphrase what you said and ad-lib what occurred to their advantage, they will choose this instead. Our law firm will protect you from these coercive tactics and force them to back off. This makes it much harder for them to establish a case against you.
Release on Bail
Our law firm is skilled at presenting the court with mitigating factors to ensure your release on bail. You don’t want to be waiting inside the federal prison even if you think that you will do some time on the case. You have far more respect when you come to court as a free man with a stronger presumption of innocence. Being in prison can take a psychological toll and make you feel hopeless. It can also lead to encounters with confidential informants who can strengthen the case against you.
Refuting Probable Cause
In order to justify your continued prosecution, a hearing establishing probable cause must be held within 10 days of arrest. If any of the criminal elements are based on speculation or could be interpreted two equal ways, then this would be insufficient evidence as a matter of law. Our law firm can help you dismiss cases at this phase when the evidence is lacking, and you are simply a person of interest.
Discovery and Pre-Trial Motion Practice
Once probable cause is established and you are formally arraigned, we can start examining the evidence against you much closer. In many cases, the prosecutors try to manipulate the evidence by withholding key pieces of evidence. They will try to skate by without disclosing evidence by substituting it with whatever they want to say, expecting that we should simply take their word for it.
And we don’t take their word for it and want detailed hard evidence, not suppositions. Our law firm will make the specific requests for exculpatory evidence that are required to preserve the violations for appeal. Withheld exculpatory evidence is often the cause of wrongful convictions. We will also file motions to suppress evidence that is being used unlawfully against you.
Trials, Pleas, and Sentencing
If you go to trial, you need a very skilled attorney who makes all the preparations to ensure fairness. However, 97 percent of federal cases end in plea bargains that exchange leniency for a plea of guilty. The stronger your defense, the more likely the prosecutor is to come down with their penalties. If any aspects of your sentencing are discretionary, we will pull out all the stops to mitigate the penalties, in any regard, and follow with post-trial motions to preserve errors for appeals.