Criminal Defense FAQ
Answers from a Miami Criminal Attorney
What is criminal law?
Criminal law is made up of two elements: the criminal laws themselves and the laws of criminal procedure. The first aspect, criminal laws, consists of the legal rules defining criminal conduct and how it is punished. Criminal procedure involves the procedures used to prosecute a crime and the rights of the defendant. Together, these two elements make up the acceptable limits of conduct in society. The State of Florida and the federal government have their own set of criminal laws, and it is important to understand both sets in order to defend ones rights.
What is a federal crime?
Federal crimes involve actions that are illegal under federal statutes, including criminal offenses that are committed on federal property and crimes that involve crossing state lines or national borders. Some of the most common federal crimes in Florida include kidnapping, tax crimes, and drug trafficking.
What is the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor?
In Florida, felonies and misdemeanors are distinguished based on the penalties that a criminal offense may carry. Felony offenses are punishable by death or imprisonment in a state penitentiary for a minimum of one year, while misdemeanor offenses are only punishable by up to 1 year in a county correctional facility. Some cases have the option of being charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, and in these cases the prosecution will almost always fight for an offense to be classified as a felony.
When should I involve an attorney?
It is wise to contact a trusted defense attorney as soon as you discover that you are under investigation for a criminal offense. It is vitally important to have a lawyer by your side from the outset so that your rights are protected and you don't have to worry about incriminating yourself. An attorney will be able to ensure that your rights are not violated by law enforcement, so you should contact a lawyer right away.
What type of cases does your firm handle?
Here at Parks & Braxton, PA, we help individuals who are charged with every type of criminal offense. We have successfully handled thousands of criminal cases in the past, and we can help you with charges involving drug crimes, DUI, arson, kidnapping, probation violations, juvenile crimes, theft crimes, traffic offenses, murder, manslaughter, hate crimes, assault, white collar crimes and more.
Are juvenile crimes handled differently than adult crimes?
Every state has different rules and legislation for the criminal proceedings surrounding juvenile crimes, and the Florida juvenile court is particularly harsh on juvenile offenders. The juvenile court system follows its own rules and procedures, and convicted juveniles will also face different penalties than adults would for the same crime. Your defense attorney needs to have experience with juvenile court proceedings in order to best defend your rights.
Even if I haven't been charged with a crime, should I still talk to an attorney?
If you have been contact by local law enforcement or by a federal agency for questioning in regards to a criminal offense in Miami, it is wise to talk with a defense lawyer who can inform you of your rights during this stage. Having a legal defender by your side never hurts, and it is essential to protect your rights if you are actually under investigation. An attorney can make sure that your rights are not violated and that you are not incriminating yourself for a crime that you did not commit.
Call a Trustworthy Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
For more information on criminal law and how to protect your rights, please call Parks & Braxton, PA. We have successfully handled thousands of criminal cases in the past, and we are committed to providing the highest quality of legal representation for individuals who are going through a trying time in their life.