It can be stressful and frustrating to be arrested or accused of a crime. Whether you have been arrested or are being investigated for a DUI, a drug crime, a sex crime, a white collar crime, or another offense in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in Broward County, it is critical that you retain an experienced advocate to fight for you. An arrest is far from a conviction, and people charged with a crime have many options and rights that they should aggressively assert.
Evan A. Hoffman at The Hoffman Firm is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled a broad range of misdemeanor and felony cases, as well as traffic tickets. Mr. Hoffman understands that each case is unique, and he works hard to determine the optimal outcome for his client and pursue that result in plea bargaining or at trial.
Drunk driving (DUI) is a commonly charged crime in South Florida. In order to secure a conviction for a DUI under Florida Statute section 316.193, the prosecutor must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant must have been driving or in physical control of a vehicle, and their driving ability must have been impaired by alcohol or drugs, or they must have had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08. While a first offense may result in up to six months in jail, repeat offenses can result in harsher consequences. Even a first DUI conviction leads to a criminal record, which may make it challenging to fulfill your personal and professional goals. Thus, you should consult a criminal defense attorney in the Fort Lauderdale area who will work vigorously to protect your future.Drug Crimes
Drug crimes can include possessing, selling, buying, importing into the state, or manufacturing any of the controlled substances in five schedules. Examples of controlled substances include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, PCP, LSD, and others. If you possess or otherwise are involved with a threshold amount of controlled substances, you can face drug trafficking charges. For example, you may face PCP trafficking charges if you are caught with at least 28 grams of PCP. Drug trafficking convictions result in mandatory minimum sentences, which means that the judge generally does not have the discretion to sentence you to a lesser prison term by taking mitigating circumstances into account.Theft Crimes
Theft is prohibited under Florida Statute section 812.014. Either petit theft or grand theft may be charged. Petit theft can be charged if what was stolen is worth less than $300. When the property is worth $100-$300, you could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor and face the possibility of up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. There are three degrees of grand theft, and a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney can explain the penalties associated with each of them. For example, grand theft in the first degree is charged when what was stolen is worth at least $100,000. This carries a potential sentence of 30 years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes involve violations of trust rather than violence. They are usually financial in nature. Often, they are perpetrated through deception, rather than force or coercion. White collar crimes can include racketeering, pyramid schemes, embezzlement, money laundering, bribery, and issuing worthless checks. Under Florida Statute § 775.0844(3), you can also face enhanced penalties for certain statutory felony violations, including those that result in harm to elderly people.Violent Crimes
Violent crimes charged in South Florida include assault, battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, kidnapping, manslaughter, and murder, among others. The prosecutor will need to prove certain elements, which will depend on the specific charge. For example, if the charge is aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, the prosecutor would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intentionally touched or struck someone and thereby intentionally or knowingly caused permanent disfigurement, permanent disability, or great bodily harm. There may be many ways to fight these charges, such as arguing self-defense or attacking the prosecution's ability to prove the intent element. Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer Evan Hoffman can investigate the situation and develop a strategy for your case.Sex Crimes
There are many different types of sex crimes, including lewd or lascivious crimes, sexual battery (rape), statutory rape, prostitution, child pornography, and others. Most sex crime convictions result in the requirement of registering as a sex offender for the rest of your life, although an individual can be removed from the registry in certain situations. This can have a significant impact on your career and personal relationships, so it is important to take these allegations very seriously even if you are confident that you did nothing wrong.Gun Crimes
Gun use and possession are strictly regulated under Florida law. Gun crimes include carrying a concealed weapon, improper exhibition of a dangerous firearm, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon, discharging a weapon at school, or permitting someone under age 16 to access a loaded firearm. If you are charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a license, for example, this is a third-degree felony charge. You should promptly retain a criminal defense lawyer in the Fort Lauderdale area to present your side of the story. A prosecutor will need to prove that you knowingly carried a firearm on your person, and the firearm was hidden from ordinary sight.Domestic Violence
Certain violent crimes when the victim and perpetrator have a familial or household relationship are considered domestic violence under Florida Statute § 741.28. Familial or household relationships exist when the victim and perpetrator are married, were once married, are blood relatives, are relatives by marriage, live together as if they constitute a family or have lived together as a family before, or co-parent a child even if they never lived together. Domestic violence can be charged with regard to crimes such as rape, sexual assault, aggravated assault, battery, stalking, aggravated battery, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or another crime that causes injuries.Juvenile Crimes
It may be possible to have your case heard in the juvenile justice system if you are charged with a crime and under age 18. This can be important because rehabilitation is emphasized over punishment when an offender is underage. You may be charged with a juvenile crime if you are underage and believed to have committed an offense such as criminal mischief, resisting arrest, possession of a fake ID, assault, disorderly conduct, or battery. If your child is in this situation, you should retain a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale who can avert or minimize the consequences.Traffic Tickets
Traffic tickets are issued in connection with a wide range of violations committed on roads in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in Broward County. These include speeding, running a stop sign, driving without a license as a minor, failing to yield, making an improper lane change, or having an open container in the vehicle. They may also be issued in connection with felonies or misdemeanors. You could face a traffic ticket if you are caught racing, using a fake driver's license, driving recklessly, or committing a hit and run.Probation Violations
Courts sometimes sentence criminal defendants to probation in addition to or instead of incarceration. However, there are conditions that you will need to follow if you are put on probation. These can include a curfew, a requirement that you stay in school or get a job, and meetings with a probation officer. If you willfully and substantially violate the terms of your probation, you may face certain penalties or return to jail or prison to serve out your sentence. If you commit a substantive probation violation, you can be charged with a new crime as well.Federal Crimes
Federal crimes include Internet sex crimes, health care fraud, wire fraud, RICO Act violations, mortgage fraud, embezzlement, bribery, conspiracy, counterfeiting, drug offenses, forgery, money laundering, public corruption, and federal property crimes. The procedures in federal courts are different, and often federal criminal offenses come with particularly harsh penalties if you are convicted. Thus, you should consult a criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale who is familiar with the nuances of the federal system.Post-Conviction Relief
We also handle post-conviction relief proceedings, including appeals, expungement, and record sealing, for people in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding cities. Florida allows you to have your records sealed or expunged for certain offenses. However, in order to be eligible for this relief, you would need to not have prior convictions. When a criminal record is sealed, the public cannot see it, although most government agencies can. When a criminal record is expunged, even the government needs a court order to view the record. You can only obtain this form of relief once in your life.Consult a Tenacious Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
A criminal record can make it difficult to get a job, rent a home, obtain higher education, or secure a professional license. It is important to fight any accusations or charges head-on with the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you are facing charges in Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise, Pembroke Pines, Deerfield Beach, Plantation, Davie, or elsewhere in Broward County, you should discuss your situation with The Hoffman Firm. Contact us at (954) 524-4474 or via our online form for a free, confidential consultation.