According to the FBI, more than 12 million arrests were made in 2012. Of those arrests, more 520,000 were for violent crimes, and 1,646,212 were for property crimes. The highest number of arrests were for drug-related crimes, often crimes which harmed no one other than the person arrested. From 1994 to 2014—two decades—the per capita crime rate in the state of Florida for murder, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible sex offenses actually decreased.
Of course, no one ever expects the day will come when they will be forced to call a criminal defence lawyer but unfortunately many adults will find themselves doing just that. Being accused of a criminal offense can be an extremely frightening experience. Perhaps you actually did commit the crime, however there may have been extenuating circumstances. Perhaps you are truly innocent. Eyewitness identifications are notoriously inaccurate, and there have been instances where the police believed they had the right person so fiercely they neglected to conduct a thorough investigation.
In fact, a study concluded as many as 10,000 people in the United States could be wrongfully convicted of serious crimes each and every year. Whether innocent or guilty, our current justice system places anyone accused of a crime at a distinct disadvantage as they face a jury quick to presume guilt, and a state prosecutor with deep resources. Few defendants will actually walk into a courtroom with a level playing field.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you must act quickly and get a criminal defence lawyer. Hoping your charges will go away on their own is naïve, and almost never happens. The police will not delay their investigation while you secure legal representation, so time is of the essence. There will come a point when you will have a bail hearing when a judge will decide whether you will be allowed to post bond and be released until your trial. In some instances, bail is denied, which means you could find yourself behind bars for a very long time, as the wheels of justice really do turn slowly. Facing criminal charges is difficult and stressful, and even more so if you are doing so on your own.
The Consequences of a Criminal Conviction Aside from Criminal Penalties
A criminal defence lawyer can tell you that Depending on the crime you are charged with, there is a wide array of criminal penalties you could face, including jail or prison, probation, fines, and mandatory drug or alcohol programs or counselling. Additionally, you could face one or more of the following if you are convicted of a criminal offense:
- You could lose your driving privileges;
- You could have a permanent criminal record which affects your ability to obtain employment;
- Your reputation could be ruined in your community or with family and friends;
- You could lose your right to own a firearm;
- Your insurance could skyrocket if your crime is DUI or reckless driving;
- You could be unable to obtain a federal student loan, or
- You could be unable to obtain a professional license.
Get legal assistance now
In every legal proceeding there are steps that must be taken to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced criminal defence lawyer like the ones at Tuttle Law P.A., will assist you get timely representation to plead your defense.