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Orlando Criminal Defense Blog

Should you consider an affirmative defense approach?

Facing allegations of criminal charges is a situation in which no one wants to find him- or herself. Of course, anyone could end up in this type of predicament depending on how a certain event plays out. As a result, if you or any other Florida resident faces criminal charges, understanding available defense options is a key point.

If authorities do charge you with a crime, you may want to first go over the details of the alleged crime and the arrest. If you believe that officers made a substantial mistake and that you had no involvement in any type of criminal activity, you may feel that an "I didn't do it" approach to your case could benefit you most. On the other hand, in some cases, it may be worth considering an affirmative defense.

A hate crime charge increases the penalties of other charges

Even the most even-tempered people have a breaking point. When confrontations occur, they can quickly turn ugly. Some may make threats of physical violence and/or perform acts of physical violence, and someone calls the police.

Your involvement in such an altercation could land you in a jail cell charged with assault and/or battery. However, under certain circumstances, you could end up facing penalties that are even more serious.

Has a DUI put your driver's license at risk?

When you make plans to go out for drinks with friends, you likely know that almost anything could happen. A few too many drinks, and you could end up making a fool of yourself in front of others. Of course, you could also just have a glass of wine or one beer and spend your evening sober while catching up with friends.

Because alcohol can act as a wildcard in some scenarios, you may not always plan ahead as well as you should. As a result, you may have intended to drive yourself home after the evening ends, and even if you have too many drinks, you may think you are fine to drive. Much to your dismay, an officer pulled over your vehicle, and you now face a charge for DUI.

Did you commit a crime if you shoot a home invader?

The instinct to protect oneself is primal. Since the dawn of humanity, people have been defending themselves against acts of aggression from another person. It's natural to want to defend yourself, especially if a person enters your home without permission and with the intent to cause harm. However, are you guilty of a crime if you fight back and harm or kill the other person?

Cases that involve the shooting of a home invader are complex. You are entitled to defend yourself per two legal doctrines, the Stand Your Ground Doctrine and the Castle Doctrine. Even if you believe you were acting reasonably to defend yourself and your family, you may still find yourself in a position where you are facing criminal charges. Self-defense cases are complex, and you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced Florida attorney from the very beginning. 

The element of premeditation in a second degree murder charge

It's a serious thing to find yourself facing criminal allegations involving an act of violence against another person. Even if you did not mean to harm a person or the charges against you are false, it is in your interests to take your situation seriously and move to build a viable criminal defense strategy as soon as possible. This is particularly true if you are facing second degree murder charges. 

This type of murder charge involves an act that takes the life of one person without premeditation. It is this element of forethought and premeditation that separates a first degree murder from a second degree murder. There are lower penalties associated with a second degree charge, but it could result in years, if not decades, behind bars.

Concerned that a loved one may be involved in drug activity?

Anyone can get caught up in activities that are not good for them. In some cases, people could end up involved in illegal activity, such as participating in drug-related activity, that could result in their facing serious criminal charges. You may worry that your loved one is involved in such activity, but at the same time, you are not entirely sure.

For some reason, you feel a little uneasy about some of the activities that your loved one gets into. He or she may meet up with people at odd hours, have a lot of cash on hand, seem a little too secretive about certain behaviors or get defensive when you bring up your concerns. Still, you do not want to accuse him or her outright of being a drug dealer.

Types of drug charges and their implications if convicted

Criminal charges of any kind can have a significant negative impact on your future. While you are innocent in the eyes of the law, even the allegations of criminal activity can cause complications in many areas of your personal and professional life. If convicted, you could face penalties that result in time behind bars, fines, loss of reputation and other consequences.

This is particularly true for drug charges. These charges can vary in type and severity, but you would be wise to take your case seriously, no matter what you are up against. The process of defending yourself starts with an understanding of the specific charges you are facing and an explanation of how you can effectively confront the prosecution's case. 

Understanding the basics of drug trafficking charges

Drug charges are serious, especially allegations of trafficking. These are criminal charges associated with the importation, deportation or transportation of various types of illegal substances. There are plenty of misconceptions associated with these charges, but if you are facing trafficking charges, you would be wise to take your situation seriously. 

A conviction of drug trafficking charges can bring serious penalties to your life. These consequences can range in type and severity, and the specific penalties you may face depend on the type of drugs involved with your case and other factors. Because these are felony charges, it is likely that a conviction or guilty plea will result in at least a few years behind bars. Due to the serious nature of these criminal allegations, it is especially important to confront these charges with a strong defense.

Is your loved one facing heroin-related charges?

People from all walks of life can end up in difficult predicaments. Some people may have stereotypical ideas of what someone with a drug addiction is like, but really, addiction could affect anyone. Unfortunately, you may have a loved one who is struggling with a heroin addiction.

Because you love this person, you undoubtedly want to do what you can to help him or her get back on track. You may have provided information on treatment centers, stopped enabling the habit and listened when your loved one needed help. Now, however, you may wonder what to do, as the police recently took your loved one into custody.

Is my DUI charge a felony?

Florida drunk driving laws are among the toughest in the country. In light of the steady rise in drunk driving accidents and fatalities, safety advocates regularly press lawmakers for more stringent laws and harsher penalties. If you happen to be unfortunate enough to face a DUI arrest, you may feel concerned for your finances and your future.

Whereas drunk driving charges in some states rarely reach the felony level, in Florida, you can face a felony charge relatively easily. No criminal conviction is minor, and even a misdemeanor can affect your career, your education, your government benefits and other aspects of your life. However, a felony conviction on your record may create a lifetime of hardships.

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