Orlando Federal Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a federal offense, such as a gun crime, drug trafficking, or a sex crime, in Orlando or elsewhere in Central Florida, you need to find an experienced Florida criminal lawyer to represent your interests in court. You want to find a law firm with a solid reputation and a record of success to defend you.
When searching for an attorney, ideally you want someone who is licensed in both Florida State Court and the Federal District for the Middle District of Florida to ensure that they have experience at all levels of the criminal justice system. It can also be beneficial to find someone who previously worked as a prosecutor so they understand how the other side prepares their cases. They can use this knowledge to defend your rights in court.
Preparing the defense of a federal case requires more planning than other criminal cases, so you want a law firm that has handled numerous cases at the federal level. A good Orlando criminal lawyer will advise his or her clients of the options available and help you to come up with a defense strategy to seek the best possible outcome, whether it is challenging the prosecution’s evidence or working to get the charges dismissed or reduced. You can also work towards avoiding specific penalties for your case, such as avoiding sex offender registration or prison time.
Types of Federal Offenses in Florida
Firearms offenses – Every year thousands of people are charged with a Florida weapons-related offense. There are many different types, such as Possession of an Illegal Firearm, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Possession of a Stolen Firearm, and Concealed Weapons Charges. In most of these cases, you will be facing a felony charge. The definition of each charge is different as are the penalties if you are convicted. You should be aware that anyone who is under 16, convicted of a felony and hasn’t had his or her civil rights restored, is a drug addict, is mentally incompetent, or is subject to an active domestic violence injunction or charge cannot possess a weapon, or they will be charged with Possession of an Illegal Firearm.
Sex offenses – There are three main categories for these types of offenses: Sexual Battery or Rape, Unlawful Sexual Activity with a Minor or Statutory Rape, and Lewd Acts and Sexual Activity with Children under Sixteen. If you are convicted of statutory rape, you can face between 7 and 15 years in prison, be declared a sex offender, and have to register as a sex offender in Florida and throughout the country. If you are convicted of sexual battery or rape, you face 9 years to life in prison.
Fraud – This can include identity theft, mail fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and more. These are complicated crimes that require an experienced Florida criminal attorney to make your case in court.
Kidnapping – The definition for this crime is “forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another person against her or his will.” You can be put in prison for up to 30 years and can be fined up to $10,000, depending on the specifics of your case.
Murder – The type of murder charges that will be brought against you will depend on the crime and can make a big difference when it comes time for sentencing. If the prosecution believes that the murder was premeditated or while engaged in a felony, then you will be charged with first-degree murder. This is a Capital Offense and has two options for sentencing: death, or life in prison. A second-degree murder occurs when a person has a Depraved Mind, showing no regard for human life, but without premeditation, or when you are an accomplice to someone who commits a Felony Murder. If convicted, you will serve a minimum of 16 ¾ years in prison (with a life sentence as a maximum) and can face up to $10,000 in fines. A third-degree murder occurs when you unintentionally kill another person while committing a non-violent felony, and this can result in up to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, with a minimum prison sentence of 10 1/3 years. The last type of murder charge is manslaughter, which carries a minimum sentence of 9¼ years in prison.
Felony DUI / drunk driving – A driving under the influence charge can become a felony if this is your third or subsequent Florida DUI conviction within 10 years or if you caused serious bodily injury. This is a very serious charge, and it’s in your best interest to hire an experienced Florida DUI attorney to defend you in court.
Drug crimes / drug trafficking – Drug trafficking occurs when you are accused of selling, buying, manufacturing, delivering, or bringing a controlled substance in from out of state. Additionally, if you are in possession of very high quantities of drugs, you can be charged with drug trafficking. The thresholds for a charge to move from possession to drug trafficking are as follows.
- Cocaine: 28 grams
- Cannabis: 25 pounds or 300 plants
- GHB: 1 kilogram
- Hydrocodone: 4 grams
- LSD: 1 gram
- MDMA (Ecstasy): 10 grams
- Oxycodone: 4 grams
These laws exist to deal with large-scale criminal operations, so the penalties are harsh. The more drugs you are caught with, the worse your penalty will likely be.
If you are facing a Federal Offense in Orlando, you need to get a qualified Orlando criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to start building a defense for your case. Your freedom, and in some cases your life, depends on it.