The Bill of Rights contains many amendments pertaining to the rights of a person accused of a crime. When the government accuses a person of a crime, the accused is at risk of having his or her liberty taken away. As the founders believed liberty to be of the utmost importance, they place several important protections in place, including the right to be tried by a jury, the right to remain silent, and the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures.
One of the most important rights in the Constitution is the right to be represented by legal counsel. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Broward County, either in the 17th Judicial Circuit or in the federal Southern District of Florida, you have a right to an attorney to advise you, represent you and protect those rights.
Criminal Defense Firm in Fort Lauderdale, FL
It is important to you take advantage of your right to legal counsel, and it is important that you pick the best option available to you. At Meltzer & Bell, we are skilled defense lawyers who got our start in Broward County courts as a prosecutor and as a public defender. We are ready to fight for you.
If you face any kind of charge in Broward County courts, including both state courts, like the 17th Judicial Circuit, or in federal courts, like the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida, you can have an experienced attorney on your side. Call us at (954) 745-7457 to schedule a consultation.
Our office is in Fort Lauderdale, and we represent clients throughout the county, including in Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Coral Springs, Deerfield Beach, Miramar, Pompano Beach, Weston, Davie, Plantation and Wilton Manors.
Types of Charges Heard in Broward County Courts
For the government to accuse a person of a crime, the act must be specifically prohibited in the law. Florida law contains most criminal charges in Title XLVI of Florida Statutes Annotated, although other laws regarding crimes are throughout the law. In addition, the U.S. Congress has the power to create criminal offenses, which are heard in federal courts.
Some of the types of offenses include:
- Controlled Substance Charges: The law, both state and federal, prohibits even the mere possession of several substances, with mandatory minimum sentences for trafficking.
- Cannabis Offenses: Marijuana is completely illegal under Florida and federal law, with no allowances for medical marijuana and only slightly reduced charges under state law for possession of a very small amount.
- Violent Offenses: The law prohibits many forms of violence against others, including assault, battery, robbery and false imprisonment.
- Theft and Property Crimes: Criminal laws protect property with laws against theft, burglary, criminal mischief and arson.
- White Collar Offenses: Economic crimes are those in which the accused allegedly used deception to illegally obtain property or benefit. They include fraud, identity theft and other crimes.
- Domestic Abuse: Acts of violence against a loved one, including family members and people with whom the accused has a romantic relationship, may result in domestic violence charges, which may result in protective orders even if there is no conviction.
- Sex Crimes: Offenses that are deemed to be sexually-motivated carry very heavy consequences, including registration as a sex offender.
- Drunk Driving: It is a criminal offense to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are many issues on top of the criminal charges themselves, including license suspension, for which an attorney can help.
- Weapons Offenses: Under certain circumstances, it is illegal for a person to bear arms. These circumstances can involve the type of weapon and whether the accused has been convicted of a felony or domestic violence offense.
- Prostitution: It is illegal for a person to solicit sex of money, offer sex for money or be in the business of selling sex.
- Juvenile Charges: Special procedures apply to young people accused of breaking the law. However, consequences are still significant. Juveniles have a right to an attorney.
Issues a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You With
The criminal process is a confusing one, and many issues may arise. Sometimes, they involve specific circumstances of the accused, or issues that a person is seeking to address that do not involve merely defending a person against charges. Some of these might be:
- If you have a previous arrest or faced charges and seeking to have records of this expunged or sealed;
- If you are a first-time offender and seeking any type of leniency;
- If you were arrested while visiting Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding area and do not know what to do; or
- If you are on probation and are accused of violating that probation.
Finding a Criminal Defense Attorney in Broward County, FL
For any criminal accusation or any criminal matter in Broward County, you can turn to the dedicated attorneys at Meltzer & Bell. We are skilled at representing those facing criminal charges in Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding area in state and federal courts.
Call us today at (954) 745-7457 to schedule a free consultation. We can help you understand the pending charges, the best defenses to fight the charges, and the best ways to avoid the typical punishment.
This article was last updated on Friday, November 4, 2016.