The moments after being picked up for a crime can be some of the most confusing that people experience. In addition to not knowing what to do, you are probably afraid that you will spend several years in prison.
Fortunately, criminal defendants in Florida have the right to mount a defense, which includes the right to hire an attorney to represent them. We encourage all those arrested by the police or stopped for questioning to contact our firm to discuss their case.
Criminal Cases We Defend Against
We have a broad practice and have represented criminal suspects in cases big and small. Our experience is particularly strong in:
- Drug Crimes, including possession, manufacture, and delivery of narcotics, marijuana, and other controlled substances
- Violent Crimes, including assault, kidnapping, gun crimes, homicide, and attempted murder.
- Sex Crimes, including rape, sexual assault, sex with a minor, and prostitution
Many of our clients are facing years in prison and steep fines. A DUI, for example, also can result in a suspended license or the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Florida law classifies crimes as felonies or misdemeanors, with misdemeanors being relatively less serious. However, even a misdemeanor conviction can result in significant time in jail and leaves a person with a criminal record that makes life very difficult going forward. The collateral consequences of a criminal conviction include loss of civil rights, problems obtaining a job, and difficulty renting an apartment.
Myths about Defending Yourself from a Crime
There is a lot of inaccurate information on the web, and we meet with clients who wrongly believe that it is easy to defend themselves from charges. Here are some of the more common myths:
- “The prosecutor will take it easy on me since I have no criminal record.” That is not remotely true. Often, prosecutors are trying to prove they are “tough on crime,” and this means overcharging defendants and seeking the maximum penalties available.
- “The evidence is only circumstantial, so I won’t be convicted.” Circumstantial evidence is just as compelling as direct evidence. For example, your fingerprint on a gun is circumstantial evidence. So is your DNA on the victim’s body. Many cases consist of nothing but circumstantial evidence, which is more than enough to convict someone.
- “I can talk my way out of charges.” This is unlikely. Instead, the police are good at getting people to agree to incriminating statements regardless of the truth.
If you have been arrested, or if a loved one was picked up, you should immediately reach out to an attorney today. At our firm, we will notify our clients of their rights, including their right to remain silent. We will also start pulling together a defense on Day 1.
How to Mount a Strong Defense
A good defense begins by realizing that the government needs to convict you of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In many cases, evidence is conflicting or there are gigantic holes in the story the prosecutor is telling. We can exploit these to plant doubt in the minds of the judge and jury.
An experienced attorney also does more than pick holes in the state’s case. We can also analyze how the police obtained evidence. Were search warrants used and obtained properly? Did the police have reason to stop and frisk or interrogate you? When police obtain evidence improperly, an attorney can ask a judge to toss it out of court.
A strong criminal defense lawyer also looks for evidence that proves innocence, called exculpatory evidence. This evidence can include witnesses who provide an alibi or credit card receipts that show you were far away from the crime scene when the incident occurred.
How to Choose a Lakeside Criminal Defense Lawyer
Not all lawyers are the same. An attorney who helped you with a divorce might be an excellent family law attorney but not know anything about criminal matters. The same is true of a lawyer who helped your family draft an estate plan.
Our founder, L. Lee Lockett, is a former Assistant State Attorney who oversaw more than 30 jury trials. He also did time as a public defender. Having worked both sides of the aisle, he understands how prosecutors think and how they hide the weaknesses in their cases. He also knows how to negotiate with prosecutors for a favorable result.
An attorney’s greatest strength is honesty. At Locket Law, we will never promise that you will “win” a case. Instead, we will carefully analyze the evidence and use our experience to identify the most favorable result given the facts known.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Lakeside, FL Today
Lockett Law offers a free, confidential consultation to those who reach out to us today. We can meet to go over the facts as presently known and identify the best path forward for meeting the charges head-on.