Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
Call (305) 851-5581 to Let Our Firm Fight for You
Getting arrested in Florida for the first time in your life is a scary, confusing, and frustrating experience. Not only does a conviction lead to jail or prison time, fines, and other harsh penalties, but it can also result in a permanent criminal record that can make getting a job, finding housing, applying for college, and living a normal life extremely difficult. However, hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make a difference between conviction and freedom.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Miami, The Law Offices of Joel DeFabio is committed to providing our clients with strong and personalized legal solutions to get the best possible outcome in their cases. Our firm has the knowledge and skills to handle both state and federal crimes. We can thoroughly review your case, determine your available legal options, and help you either get your charges/penalties reduced or your entire case dismissed.
Contact us today to discuss your case.
The benefits of hiring our Miami criminal defense attorney include:
- More than 35 years of legal experience
- Handled more than 600 cases in Florida
- Selected for The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
- Maintains a 9.5 Superb Avvo Rating
- Named Most Effective Lawyer by Daily Business Review
Types of Crimes in Florida
There are main types of crimes in Florida: misdemeanors and felonies. The former is considered less serious compared to the latter.
Misdemeanors are punishable by jail time, fines, and other temporary punishments. On the other hand, felonies carry long prison sentences, higher fines, and/or the permanent loss of freedoms such as voting and gun rights.
The following are the types of state crimes our firm handles:
- Domestic Violence - An offense that involves hitting or touching a spouse, domestic partner, family member, or household member against their will.
- Drug Crimes – An offense that involves the possession, distribution, trafficking, or production of illegal drugs or controlled substances. Common types of drugs involved include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, and opioids.
- Theft Crimes – An offense that involves taking possession of another person’s property without their consent. Common types of theft crimes include shoplifting, automobile theft, and identity theft.
- Sex Crimes – An offense that involves unlawful or coerced sexual conduct against someone else. Common types of sex crimes include rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, and prostitution.
- Violent Crimes – An offense that involves the use of violent force or the threat of such force. Common types of violent crimes include assault, battery, manslaughter, and murder.
Criminal Defense FAQs
What Are My Rights After an Arrest?
After an arrest, you have several rights. These protections facilitate a fair justice process and include:
- The right to remain silent: You do not have to answer police questions and cannot be penalized for not making statements.
- The right to know the charges against you: You can ask to be informed of what you have been accused.
- The right to due process: Your liberties cannot be unjustly restricted. Any actions taken against you must be done following legal obligations.
- The right to be safe in your person or property: Law enforcement officials must have probable cause to arrest you or search your belongings. If they don't, you may file a motion to have evidence deemed inadmissible in court.
- The right to counsel: You can have a criminal defense lawyer represent you through every step of your case.
When Should I Hire an Attorney?
Hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, even if you are still under investigation. A lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected throughout your case. They can also begin gathering and analyzing evidence to build your defense.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?
Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, an attorney can protect your rights and ensure that the justice process is fair. They will take care of the legalities of your case: investigating the matter, consulting with experts, crafting your defense, negotiating with prosecutors, and presenting your case before a judge or jury. Your lawyer can work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf.
What Is a Misdemeanor in Florida?
Misdemeanors are considered less severe offenses than felonies. Nonetheless, they are still serious crimes. Florida separates them into two degrees. First-degree misdemeanors carry a jail term of up to 1 year. Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail.
What Is a Felony in Florida?
Felonies are the most severe offenses. From most to least serious, the different categories of felonies include capital felonies (punishable by death), life felonies (punishable by life imprisonment), first-degree felonies (punishable by up to 30 years of imprisonment), second-degree felonies (punishable by up to 15 years of imprisonment), and third-degree felonies (punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment).
Will My Criminal Case Go to Trial?
Whether your case goes to trial depends on your situation. Most criminal matters are settled through a plea bargain. This path involves your defense attorney negotiating a deal with the prosecutor. You may be required to plead guilty in exchange for charges being dropped or reduced or your sentence being decreased.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Crimes in Florida?
The statute of limitations refers to the amount of time the prosecutor has to begin a criminal case after a crime has been committed. The deadline for commencing action varies depending on the type of offense the defendant has been accused of. For example, a first-degree felony has a 4-year deadline, and any other felony has 3 years. A first-degree misdemeanor must be prosecuted within 2 years, and a second-degree misdemeanor within 1 year.
How Can a Conviction Affect Me?
A conviction can impact your life in various ways. You may be sentenced to incarceration and/or ordered to pay fines. You may also be subject to other sanctions, such as driver's license suspension, sex offender registration requirements, and victim restitution. You may also face collateral consequences of a conviction. These limitations arise not from criminal law but different agencies' policies, procedures, and guidelines. For example, you might have a hard time getting a job because of your criminal history or face challenges when looking for a place to live.
Let Us Get Started On Your Case Today
Attorney Joel DeFabio performs a variety of tasks during the course of a criminal case. After asking you a series of pointed questions about the case, he will conduct a thorough investigation of your case to figure out any potential avenues for getting your case dismissed.
Mr. DeFabio can gather supportive evidence and analyze evidence collected by law enforcement officials. He can also speak to witnesses and/or have an expert witness provide testimony that may benefit your case. Throughout the legal process, he can guide you through every step while protecting your rights and future.
Having a skilled attorney on your side throughout the legal process can make a difference between conviction and freedom. Do not hesitate to let our Miami criminal defense lawyer fight for you and get your life back on the right path.
Call to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.
Sexual Battery of a Minor Charges Dismissed
Theft of Government Funds CHARGES DISMISSED
Conspiracy NOT GUILTY
Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud CHARGES DISMISSED
Assault of a Federal Officer CHARGES DISMISSED
Credit Card Fraud NO JAIL
Aggravated Identity Theft CHARGES DISMISSED
Conspiracy to Commit Fraud NO JAIL
Conspiracy to Import Cocaine CHARGES DISMISSED
Conspiracy to Defraud the U.S. Government NO JAIL
Nearly 40 Years of Experience
More Than 600 Federal Cases Defended
More Than 50 Federal Jury Trials Handled
One of Miami's Most Respected Defense Attorneys
Honest Appraisal of Your Case - "No Surprises"