Getting charged with any type of criminal offense can be life changing. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we know individuals facing prosecution have a lot of questions, which is why we have updated our FAQs to help you with the information you need to feel confident about the next steps in your criminal process.
Visit here to read more FAQs about the criminal process in Florida. You can also read on to learn more about the common questions we receive related to the criminal process.
FAQs About Your Criminal Process
1. I’ve Been Arrested: What Are My Rights?
After an arrest, you have the right against self-incrimination, and a lawyer. If you have ever watched a crime or police drama on TV, then you have probably heard the Miranda Warning. This is a recitation of your rights required by the law.
Police officers can’t force you to confess, and they can’t force you to talk to them beyond giving your personal information, like your name and address.
2. Do I Have to Go to Court?
Court proceedings are based on your case and the actual charges you’re facing. Although you may not want to go to trial, it may be the best option for your case.
On the other hand, a plea bargain may be the better choice. An experienced attorney will analyze your case and detail the options open to you. He or she will not push you into rushing a decision one way or another.
Finding a criminal defense lawyer who cares about your case and who will fight for the outcome is the best course of legal action for your situation.
3. Misdemeanor or Felony: What’s the Difference?
Criminal offenses in Florida break down into two types: misdemeanors and felonies. A misdemeanor is a less serious charge that usually results in a fine. For some misdemeanors, you may have to serve jail time, but these cases are rare.
With a felony, on the other hand, you can expect to face bigger fines and most likely a prison sentence. The nature of your penalty also depends on whether you are facing a state or a federal charge, or if you are being charged with a violent crime or a crime involving a weapon.
4. Do I Need a Lawyer?
You always have the right to act as your own lawyer, which is also known as pro se representation. However, this is rarely a good idea, especially in a criminal case.
All criminal cases are governed by the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, which must be followed precisely at every stage. Failing to adhere to these rules can seriously jeopardize your case.
- How to Understand Criminal Charges in Florida
- How Attorneys Can Help with the Steps in Your Criminal Case
5. What Is Bail?
Bail is a sum of money or property given to the court in exchange for your release until your hearing date.
The amount is based on the type of crime you are accused of committing. This money will be returned to whomever posted it, given you show up at your court date.
In some cases, the bail is set at an amount you can pay out of pocket. In other cases, the bail is too high for most people to come up with on their own. If you need to borrow money to post bail, you can.
Many people choose to use the services of a bail bondsman. A bondsman will provide the funds necessary to cover the bail, and charge a certain percentage to you for doing so.
In Florida, bail companies are permitted to charge 10 percent for their services. This means you must pay them 10 percent of the amount of the bond.
Read more about how bail works in the state of Florida here.
Learn and Protect Your Rights with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
To ensure the best outcome for your case, speak to a criminal defense lawyer immediately after your arrest.
Any time you are in a situation that involves the police, an investigation, questioning, or an arrest, make it a priority to speak with a criminal defense attorney. Your future is too important to leave to chance.
Visit here to learn more about criminal law and criminal procedure in Florida with a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer.