Criminal Law

Criminal Law

I see Defendants as people, not as criminals. Rarely are my clients 100% guilty of what they are accused of. Sometimes my clients are 100 % guilt-free, but most often they are persons who may have just used poor judgment, and are now facing criminal charges more serious than what their conduct warrants.

Further the Sentencing guidelines in State and Federal Court are often unfair. For example: If you are in possession of one marijuana joint you will be charged with a misdemeanor, if you bought that same joint from an undercover cop, you will be charged with a felony. Is that fair?! Further the various States Attorney’s Offices in the State of Florida each have their own philosophies on fighting crime.

People arrested in the more rural counties of Florida, such as Okeechobee County, should expect to be treated more harshly than those in the more populated areas like West Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, and Miami. I have actual experience the following types of cases:

Top 10 Things a Criminal Defendant Should Not Say or Do in Court

This list is part of my actual experiences and observations in Court.

  1. If you have a Suspended Driver’s License, you should not drive to or from Court. This is especially true in small towns or satellite courthouses where Judges and Court Deputies have more time on their hands. I have seen Judges send Deputies out to the parking lot to determine if a Defendant, (who is known to have a suspended license) drove his car away, but only to be quickly arrested and brought back to Court.
  2. If you go to Court and ask for a Public Defender, it’s best not to wear a lot of bling.
  3. Bringing babies and small children to Court in a ploy to get sympathy from the Judge will not work. Judges see right through this. In fact it might subject you to a scolding for not only this feigned sympathy attempt, but also because you subjected your children to your criminal situation as well as exposing your children to the other not-so-nice defendants in the Courtroom.
  4. If you are arrested for shoplifting, it is best not to tell the Judge you did it so you could feed your children, when the items include steak, cigarettes and beer.
  5. Don’t tell a Judge that 40lbs of Marijuana is for your own recreational use.
  6. At a sentencing hearing where there are many co-defendants, the excuse of “I was hanging around with the “wrong crowd.” This excuse begins to wane when all the other co-defendants are saying the same thing. It is best to be first when saying this because soon you will be that “wrong crowd”
  7. It is probably best not to show up drunk in Court. This is especially true if you are in Court for a Violation of Probation (V.O.P) for a D.U.I.
  8. Don’t write letters to the Judge.
  9. Don’t write letters to the Prosecutor.
  10. It is probably best not to have your wife meet your girlfriend in Court.

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