Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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Fort Lauderdale Lawyer for Criminal Defense

It can be extremely stressful to encounter law enforcement and be arrested for a criminal offense. Often penalties for Florida crimes are harsh. Some carry mandatory minimum terms of incarceration and substantial fines. If you’re charged with a crime, a seasoned Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights. Although crimes must be established beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution has tremendous resources, and it’s important to secure legal representation that can evaluate your particular situation and mount a strong defense on your behalf.


Prosecutors take drunk driving seriously in Broward County. Under Florida Statute section 316.193, you can be found guilty of a DUI if you actually physically controlled a motor vehicle and were either under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that these substances impaired your normal faculties, or you had a breath of blood alcohol concentration of at least .08. Often blood alcohol concentrations are measured through breath tests. However, even if a chemical test shows .08 or more, there are defenses you may be able to raise in response to a drunk driving charge.

Drug Crimes

Even a minor drug possession charge can have significant consequences. Many drug crimes are covered under the Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, and may involve possessing, possessing with intent to sell, selling, manufacturing, and transporting controlled substances. Drug trafficking can be charged if you are engaged in any activity with a threshold amount of a particular substance. If you’re charged with drug trafficking, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence in prison.

Theft Crimes

Taking someone else’s property in Florida is a theft crime. Often the grade or classification of a crime depends on the value of what was stolen. Theft crimes can be charged as petit theft or grand theft, and each of these categories has multiple grades. Florida Statutes section 812.014 defines grand theft as the unlawful using or taking of property that’s valued at least $300 while intending to deprive the property owner of his or her rights. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you defend against charges of this nature.

White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are usually nonviolent crimes motivated by money. They include embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, money laundering, insider trading, cybercrime, identity theft, and fraud. What must be proven by the prosecution in these cases depends on the particular crime; for example, Florida Statute section 815.04 defines offenses against intellectual property as a third degree felony. Often white collar crimes involve multiple victims and significant financial losses. There are enhanced penalties for those who commit certain white collar crimes against multiple people or against multiple elderly people. Often sentencing involves not only incarceration and fines, but also the payment of restitution.

Violent Crimes

Harsh sentences are imposed for violent crimes such as assault, aggravated assault, kidnapping, manslaughter and murder. Certain crimes perpetrated with the use or brandishing of a firearm are subject to the 10-20-Life statute, and carry especially harsh penalties. Sometimes there are strong substantive defenses available in a violent crimes case. For example, Florida allows a Stand Your Ground defense under certain circumstances. Defense of self or defense of others may be viable defenses, depending on the situation.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes include rape, sexual battery, child pornography, internet solicitation, indecent exposure, lewd or lascivious offenses, traveling to meet a minor, unlawful sexual activity with minors, and prostitution. If you’re arrested for a sex crime you face the possibility of serious penalties, including the requirement of lifelong registration as a sex offender. Often sex crimes are pursued solely on the basis of the alleged victim’s testimony. It is important to retain a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who can thoroughly investigate, and determine whether there are holes in the alleged victim’s story or other reasons to question credibility.

Gun Crimes

Florida law prohibits certain activities involving guns under Chapter 790 of the Florida Statutes. The state legislature regulates the purchase, sale, taxation, manufacture, transfer, ownership, possession, and transportation of guns. Under section 790.23, those who have previously been convicted of a felony are ineligible to possess, control, or have in custody a firearm.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence can involve violence or threats of violence one person uses to control another with whom he or she has an intimate relationship. In Florida, domestic violence involves specific types of violent crimes that are committed against a household or family member. Violent crimes that can qualify as domestic violence when the requisite relationship is present between the perpetrator and victim include stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, battery, aggravated battery, and sexual battery. For example, if an ex-husband stalks and then rapes his former wife, this is domestic violence.

Juvenile Crimes

Criminal records can have a huge impact on an individual’s ability to get a job or go to college. It’s important for parents to seek out strong legal representation if their minor child (a child under age 18) is charged with a crime. Often courts are willing to focus on rehabilitation when juvenile crimes are being considered. Still, it’s important to consult a skillful attorney to handle the defense of a juvenile.

Traffic Tickets

Traffic citations can be frustrating. They may adversely affect your insurance premiums, as well as your driving record. It is possible to fight traffic tickets, and in some cases, it is wise to do so in order to avoid having one’s driver’s license suspended. Criminal traffic violations include reckless driving, driving on a suspended license, fleeing, leaving the scene of an accident, hit and run, racing, and use of a fake driver’s license.

Probation Violations

Probation is also known as community supervision. Often, a defendant is sentenced to probation instead of jail or prison. Under Florida Statute section 948.001(8) probation allows the probationer to lead a relatively normal life, but requires a probationer to abide by certain terms and conditions, including specific contacts with probation officers. Probation violations can be technical or substantive. If the probation violation is significant and substantive, it is possible that the probationer will need to serve the maximum sentence for the original crime of which they were convicted.

Federal Crimes

Federal crimes include computer crimes, drug crimes, child pornography, mail fraud, wire fraud, identity theft, federal hate crimes, violations of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, counterfeiting, and tax evasion. Federal crimes are often punished more harshly upon conviction than state crimes are. Federal drug crimes, for example, often involve mandatory minimum sentences under the federal sentencing guidelines. Generally, federal prosecutors have more resources than state prosecutors. It is crucial to retain experienced counsel if you are charged with a federal crime.

Post-Conviction Relief

A criminal record can adversely affect your ability to get a job, secure housing, obtain a loan, go to college, and carry firearms. Background checks readily reveal a criminal record. Post-conviction relief can entail bringing appeals, or petitioning for record sealing or expungement. The court may seal a criminal record under Florida Statute section 943.059 such that the public doesn’t have access to it. However, the actual record can be physically destroyed if the court orders expungement under Florida Statute section 943.0585.

Consult a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

If you are charged with a crime in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in Broward County, The Hoffman Firm can provide legal representation by a skillful and experienced criminal defense attorney. We represent clients in communities including Deerfield Beach, Plantation, Davie, Sunrise, and Pembroke Pines. We can be reached at (954) 524-4474 or through our online form.

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