Miami State Crimes Attorney Serving Miami-Dade County
When you are charged with a violation of one of Florida’s criminal statutes, you may feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Prosecutors represent the State of Florida and will try to obtain a conviction either by taking the case to trial or by offering a plea deal. But a conviction can result in significant fines or even time in jail or prison. Not only this, but a criminal conviction can appear on your criminal record, significantly impacting your financial, professional, and educational life for years to come.
Once you have been charged with a violation of state law, it is imperative to quickly consult with an experienced Miami criminal defense attorney like Julia Kefalinos. Ms. Kefalinos’ two decades of criminal law experience are an invaluable asset to those facing criminal prosecution. She will listen to the facts of your case and investigate the evidence including police reports, laboratory test results, and statements from other witnesses. She will then formulate a defense strategy with you and vigorously represent your interests every step of the way.
Types of Florida State Crimes
Ms. Kefalinos can help Florida citizens charged with a variety of state crimes:
Assault and Battery: Although often discussed together, assault and battery are two separate crimes. Assault refers to placing an individual in fear of immediate bodily harm, whereas battery involves actually making unlawful contact with someone (i.e., by punching them or slapping them).
Resisting Arrest: Resisting arrest is a charge typically filed along with other charges and can be shown with a minimal amount of evidence. An officer’s testimony that you tensed your arms, did not obey verbal commands, or did not cooperate during your transportation to jail can all lead to charges of resisting arrest.
Manslaughter: Although a manslaughter charge is not as severe as a murder charge, it still carries with it severe consequences. Voluntary manslaughter is charged when a person intentionally kills another person during a “heat of passion” or after sufficient provocation. Involuntary manslaughter refers to an unintentional death that occurred while a person was engaged in wanton or reckless behavior, or otherwise acted with “culpable negligence.”
Kidnapping: Kidnapping refers to confining, abducting, or imprisoning a person against his or her will with the intent to hold the person for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage, in order to commit or facilitate the commission of any felony, to inflict bodily harm upon or terrorize either the victim or another person, or interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
Murder: Murder in Florida can be committed either with premeditation – that is, with an intent to kill the victim – or while acting with a “depraved mind.” In addition, a murder charge can arise if an individual dies while you are committing one of a number of felony crimes.
Child Abuse/Neglect and Elder Abuse/Neglect: Children and the elderly are some of society’s most vulnerable members, and so the law punishes those who intentionally inflict emotional or psychological injury on them or who physically injure them.
Theft/Fraud: Taking the property of another, or obtaining control over property through fraudulent means or representations, can result in a conviction for theft or fraud. Typically, the property must be taken with an intent to permanently and completely deprive the owner of the property.
Burglary: Burglary is a property crime committed when you enter into or remain in the property of another without that person or entity’s authorization with the intent to commit a crime. The property may include a dwelling, a structure, or a means of conveyance such as a car or boat.
Robbery: In order for you to be convicted of robbery, the prosecution must show you took something of value from another person through the use of force or a threat.
DUI/Drunk Driving: Whether you are a commercial driver or simply driving home from the bar on the weekend, it is illegal for you to be found with a certain level of alcohol in your system (0.08 for private citizens; 0.04 for commercial drivers).
Vehicular Homicide: Vehicular homicide is Florida’s most serious driving offense. In order to be found guilty, you must have been operating your vehicle in a reckless manner that was likely to cause death or great bodily harm – simply operating a vehicle negligently or carelessly is not sufficient. A conviction will, in most cases, result in time in jail or prison.
Drug Offenses: A simple possession of drugs charge can negatively impact your ability to find employment. If you are not a United States citizen, a conviction for a drug offense can also result in adverse immigration consequences.
Sex Crimes: Many states have taken a tough stance against sex crimes, especially those in which the victim is a minor. In addition to significant prison time and fines, those convicted of sex crimes may also have to register as sex offenders in the area in which they live. This registration requirement can continue to negatively impact your life for many years beyond your conviction.
Prostitution: Florida’s prostitution laws prohibit not just “sexual activity for hire,” but also arranging meetings for the purpose of prostitution, trying to persuade another person to engage in prostitution, and purchasing prostitution services.
Healthcare Fraud: Healthcare fraud can occur when either an individual receiving benefits through a program such as Medicaid intentionally misrepresents facts in order to receive more benefits. It can also occur if a healthcare provider bills a program like Medicaid for more services than were actually provided.
Securities Fraud: A brokerage firm or investment advisor can either make untrue statements or fail to disclose certain information to investors. In doing so, that firm or advisor may be committing securities fraud.
Juvenile Crimes: When a person under the age of eighteen is charged with a crime, his or her case proceeds through the Juvenile Justice System. The goal of the JJS is to rehabilitate juveniles as opposed to punishing the juvenile. In some cases, however, a juvenile’s case may be “direct filed” and prosecuted in adult court.
Probation Violations: When you are placed on probation, the court typically imposes certain conditions that you must abide by in order to successfully complete probation. Failure to complete these conditions or being charged with new crimes can result in your probation being revoked and you being ordered to serve any jail time to which you were originally sentenced.
Seal and Expunge Records: In some cases, you may have the ability to have a criminal conviction removed from your record through a process called sealing and/or expunging
Potential Consequences of a Criminal Conviction
Depending on the severity of the crime, a conviction may result serious consequences:
- Court costs and fees
- Significant fines
- Community service
- House arrest
- Incarceration in a county jail or state prison
- Counseling or attendance in classes or diversion programs
- Suspension or revocation of driver’s license
- Offender registration requirements
- Loss of ability to vote or bear a firearm
- Loss of professional licenses
Consult an Experienced Miami State Criminal Defense Attorney
In a criminal prosecution, the stakes are high and you may be overwhelmed with the possibility of conviction and potential penalties. Miami criminal defense attorney Julia Kefalinos is ready to assist Florida residents charged with a state crime. Her two decades of experience mean she is familiar with the criminal court process and not intimidated by judges or prosecutors. By thoroughly investigating the facts of your particular case, Julia Kefalinos is able to help you formulate a defense and fight your charges. Even where conviction in inevitable, Julia Kefalinos can help minimize the negative consequences of a conviction. Call skilled Miami criminal defense attorney Julia Kefalinos today at (305) 856-2713 for a consultation.