West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
I am Steven (Steve) Logan, and I have been practicing criminal defense law in South Florida for over 30 years. Prior to my private practice, I was a Prosecutor serving the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale. Building a good reputation with Judges and Prosecutors takes years of experience, hard-working commitment, and learning sustained through a long period of time. When negotiating with the prosecution, it is important to negotiate out of strength, not weakness. It is important to have an attorney who knows the Florida law and the rules of evidence and who will take your case to trial if need be.
I have actual experience with various Sheriff's Offices in Florida, including the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, as well as various Police Departments in Florida, including the West Palm Beach Police Department. I also have experience dealing with various Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.), the Drug Enforcement Agency (D.E.A.), and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm Agency (A.T.F.).Criminal Defense
State and federal sentencing guidelines can be harsh. It is important to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer in West Palm Beach, even if you are not sure whether you have a strong defense. Crimes in Florida may be charged as misdemeanors or as felonies, of which felonies are more serious. I have experience representing clients in cases involving assault, armed robbery, murder, battery, burglary, conspiracy, domestic violence, drug crimes, DUI, theft crimes, fraud, sexual battery, weapons charges, and probation violations, among other crimes.
All crimes need to be established beyond a reasonable doubt, but the specific elements that need to be established depend on the charge. Many crimes involve an element of intent or another mental state, which needs to be proved in addition to the defendant’s acts. A defendant may be able to defeat a charge if the prosecution cannot prove the required mental state.DUI
You can be charged with a DUI in Florida if you are in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. A driver who does not have full possession of their normal faculties while driving will be considered under the influence. Moreover, you can face a per se DUI charge if you are caught driving with a BAC of at least .08%. Penalties for a Florida DUI are set by statute, and they may consist of jail time, fines, and license revocation. You can face a maximum of six months in jail for a first DUI offense, as well as $500-$1,000 in fines. Penalties are harsher for subsequent offenses, which makes it even more important to consult a West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer. For example, if you are charged with a third offense in 10 years, you can be charged with a third-degree felony. If you are convicted, you can face a maximum of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.Drug Crimes
Florida categorizes controlled substances in five schedules under Florida Statutes section 893.03. These schedules are based on the abuse potential of the drug, whether it has an accepted medical use, and the likelihood that it will cause dependence if it is abused. The higher the schedule, the more severe are the penalties attached to it. Examples of drugs that are subject to criminal prosecution in Florida include MDMA, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, GHB, and heroin.
Commonly, drug crimes are charged in connection with manufacturing, delivering, possessing, selling, trafficking, falsely prescribing, or falsely obtaining a controlled substance. If you are caught with more than a threshold amount of a controlled substance, you can be charged with drug trafficking. These charges are especially serious because they carry mandatory minimum sentences. These are sentences involving years of incarceration, over which the judge has no discretion. However, a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney may be able to defeat a charge by raising a substantive, procedural, or constitutional defense.White Collar Crimes
White collar crimes are usually non-violent crimes perpetrated for financial gain. Many types of crimes are considered white collar crimes, including embezzlement, fraud, money laundering, identity theft, insider trading, racketeering, and cybercrimes. If you are charged with a white collar crime, you may also face a civil lawsuit brought by the victim. The specific white collar criminal charge and the statute under which you are charged will determine the penalties that you may face.
For example, the Florida Communications Fraud Act prohibits the use of communications technology to solicit victims of defrauding schemes. To obtain a conviction for this crime under Florida Statutes section 817.034, the prosecutor will need to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that you engaged in systematic, ongoing conduct, while intending to defraud another party or obtain property, and you used false representations or promises in doing so. White collar crime cases tend to be especially complex, so a defendant may benefit significantly from experienced, sophisticated representation.Record Sealing and Expungement
Under certain circumstances, you can petition a court where your arrest or conviction occurred for an expungement. To obtain a sealing or expungement of your records, you must be able to show that you never previously obtained expungement or sealing in Florida, you were never adjudicated guilty of a crime, you are not under any kind of court supervision, and you did not plead guilty or no contest to any crimes that are ineligible for expungement or sealing. A criminal defense attorney in West Palm Beach can help you determine whether you may be eligible.
An administrative expunction can be sought under Florida Statutes section 943.0581. You can petition for this type of expungement if you were arrested, but the arrest was made contrary to law or by mistake. Under Florida Statutes section 943.0515, law enforcement juvenile records will be automatically expunged when a person turns 24, as long as the juvenile case was dismissed or a withholding of adjudication was received. However, under Florida Statutes section 943.0585, a juvenile can petition the court to have their record sealed or expunged if they otherwise qualify. Court-ordered expungement may be a wise choice when a juvenile faced certain serious charges, but they were resolved favorably.Pet Law
I began practicing pet law 20 years ago. I represent families in cases involving the victimization of animals. For example, I have represented families whose dogs were unlawfully shot by the police or harmed by others. Pet law often involves dog bites and pet dogs facing classification as dangerous dogs or vicious dogs. Dog owners are entitled to a hearing to defend the classification of their dogs under Florida and Palm Beach County laws.
Dangerous dogs are dogs that have aggressively attacked, bitten, or otherwise inflicted severe injuries on a person. A dog also can be declared dangerous if it has severely injured or killed a domestic animal while away from the owner’s property. I may be able to raise certain defenses in connection with dog bite cases, such as provocation, trespassing, and the credibility of the victim.Consult a Criminal Defense Lawyer in West Palm Beach
If you have been charged with a crime, you should consult an attorney who will leave no stone unturned in building your defense. I will explore issues such as potential violations of your constitutional rights, deviations from police procedures, the justification for your stop or arrest, the admissibility of prosecution evidence, and the credibility of prosecution witnesses. I represent people throughout Palm Beach, Broward, Martin, and St. Lucie Counties. Call us at (561) 791-1882 or contact us via our online form.