If you have been charged with a felony in Florida, you have something akin to a wildfire on your hands.
If you are convicted, you could spend years in prison and perhaps the rest of your life unemployable.
Even a badly handled acquittal could ruin your reputation.
Moreover, felony criminal prosecutions can get extremely complex, especially at the federal level. Attempting to represent yourself or hiring “my cousin Vinnie” is like putting out the wildfire with gasoline.
Instead, you are going to need to retain the services of an experienced felony defense lawyer.
A felony defense attorney should be with you from the very beginning of any prosecution—or even before that if you have reason to suspect that a grand jury is secretly deliberating your fate.
To mix metaphors, a felony prosecution is like a chess game, and every move by either side generates consequences.
Types of Cases We Handle
At OrlandoDefense.com, our felony defense attorneys enjoy rich experience representing clients charged with various state and federal felony offenses, including:
- Serious property crimes such as grand theft auto, home invasion, vandalism and arson;
- Violent crimes such as robbery, assault, battery, domestic violence, child abuse, murder, and weapns violations;
- Federal drug offenses, including possession and distribution;
- Sex crimes, including sexual assault and possession/distribution of child pornography; and
- White collar crimes, such as embezzlement, money laundering, identity theft and computer crimes.
The foregoing is only a partial list of the types of felonies that we handle on behalf of our clients.
What Does a Felony Attorney Do?
How do felony lawyers help their clients? In many different ways, not all of which are mentioned below:
- Counsel the client and to ask the right questions;
- Warn the client about certain pitfalls to avoid (discussing the case on social media, for example);
- Use the information provided by the client to gather facts, interview witnesses, examine police reports, subpoena documents from the prosecution and third parties, and research the law;
- Conduct depositions (pretrial questioning of witnesses under oath);
- Subpoena relevant evidence that is in the possession of the prosecution and third parties;
- Demand the suppression of illegally gathered evidence against the client;
- Prepare compelling arguments for judges and juries;
- Consider new interpretations of existing law and integrate them into arguments where appropriate;
- Keep all information immaculately organized; and
- Communicate frequently with the client about the progress and status of the case.
Throughout this process, the lawyer must keep all communications with the client strictly confidential, except where the client has expressly waived their right to confidentiality. Protecting this confidentiality, otherwise known as attorney-client privilege, is one of a lawyer’s most important duties.
Federal law felonies tend to be more complex than state law felonies at every stage of the process—investigation, indictment, and prosecution. Prosecutors are more competent and aggressive, judges are more well-informed, and above all, penalties tend to be more severe. These generalizations are not true in every instance, of course. Nevertheless, they are worth your scrutiny, because they are all the more reason for you to exercise care in selecting felony lawyers to represent you.
Federal authorities can obtain a search warrant from a federal judge at any time without your knowledge. They can show up at your door with a warrant to search your property, perhaps including your computer files and your person. This event may come as a complete surprise to you, and it is likely to be highly stressful even if you are innocent.
Your best preparation for such an event is to know your rights thoroughly, so that you will react appropriately if that time ever comes. And that is where we can offer some practical advice. Never, for example, give federal law enforcement agents permission to come into your home or search it. If they present you with a warrant, you may have no right to resist them, but you don’t have to give them extra rights by inviting them into your home or office.
Some searches are illegal, because the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Federal authorities must have probable cause to justify a search. In most cases they also need a warrant that was properly issued by a judge. We can help you challenge an illegal search. Some of the circumstances that will cause a court will throw out evidence obtained in a search include:
- False statements in the affidavit were used to obtain the search warrant;
- Unreliable evidence was used to obtain the search warrant;
- An informant with serious credibility issues provided information used to support the warrant;
- The warrant was improperly executed; and
- The evidence used to obtain the warrant did not add up to probable cause.
If a court holds that a particular search was unconstitutional, all the evidence obtained either directly or indirectly through the search must be thrown out. Suppose, for example, that an illegal search uncovers a telephone address book. Suppose further that the FBI uses this address book to obtain a search warrant for one of the addresses and searches it. Normally, any evidence that the FBI finds inside this new address must be thrown out of court.
Many federal criminal cases are extremely complex. The investigation stage alone may take months, sometimes even years, to complete. Additionally, it is not uncommon for federal authorities to delay an indictment until the investigation phase is complete.
It is this delay that allows a skilled felony defense attorney a window of opportunity. During this window, a skilled attorney may be able to ensure that an indictment never takes place or that charges are never filed. Your case might well end in this manner if you involve the right attorney as soon as you learn that you might be under investigation.
Florida Attorney For Felony Charges
OrlandoDefense.com and felony attorney Jeffery Higgins enjoy decades of experience that have yielded a multitude of victories in felony criminal trials. In addition to these victories, the felony lawyers at OrlandoDefense.com have won the dismissal of numerous felony charges without trial. Moreover, we enjoy close relationships with the major players in Orlando’s criminal justice system, including local judges and prosecutors.