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Category Archives: Hiring a Defense Lawyer

Criminal Intent, Malice and Motives

Criminal Intent, Malice and Motives

Generally, two elements are required in order to find a person guilty of a crime: an overt criminal act and criminal intent. The requirement of an Overt Act  is fulfilled when the defendant purposely, knowingly, or recklessly does something prohibited by law. Criminal Intent Criminal intent must be formed before the act, and it must unite with the act. It need not exist for any given length of time before the act; the intent and the act can be as instantaneous as simultaneous or successive thoughts. A jury may be permitted to infer criminal intent from facts that would lead a reasonable person to believe that it existed. For example, the intent to commit Burglary may be inferred from the accused’s possession of tools for picking locks. Criminal intent may… […]

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Criminal Defense Attorney Selection Process

Criminal Defense Attorney Selection Process

If you have a specific legal problem, don’t delay, consult a criminal defense lawyer who can help protect your good name and reputation. There are over 6,000 lawyers in Palm Beach County and less than 1,000 of them specialize in criminal law. A criminal defense attorney is a unique breed of lawyer – unlike anyone else. How do you choose which criminal defense attorney is right for you? Below is a guide that will help you make an informed decision, offered by Attorneys.com Initial Meeting With Your Criminal Defense Attorney Come to the meeting prepared. Some criminal defense attorneys will ask you to fill out a questionnaire and submit it ahead of the meeting. Also, gather together any documents the lawyer asks to see. Some documents that will help the… […]

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Misdemeanor Crimes, Felony Crimes and Their Differences

Misdemeanor Crimes, Felony Crimes and Their Differences

Florida laws are clear cut and the penalties for breaking the law are strict. A misdemeanor is any “lesser” criminal act in some common law legal systems. Misdemeanors are generally punished less severely than felonies, but theoretically more so than administrative infractions (also known as minor, petty or summary offenses) and regulatory offenses. Many misdemeanors are punished with monetary fines. Misdemeanors can include: Petty theft Battery Marijuana possession Domestic violence Disorderly conduct Driving on a suspended license Driving under the influence Traffic offenses Shoplifting Vandalism Unlike aggravated assault or aggravated battery, which are considered felonies, simple assault and battery and those crimes that fall under Florida domestic violence laws are considered misdemeanors in Florida. Along with numerous other misdemeanor offenses, these crimes carry penalties of up to one year in… […]

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Your Legal Rights: Remain Silent and Have An Attorney Present

Your Legal Rights: Remain Silent and Have An Attorney Present

Investigatory and Accusatory Police Procedure The U.S. Constitution, the Federal Rules and the federal court system’s interpretations of both provide guidance and procedural canons that law enforcement must follow. Failure to follow such procedure may result in the suppression of evidence or the release of an arrested suspect. Substantive due process requires police to make criminal defendants aware of their rights prior to the defendant making any statements if the government intends to use those statements as evidence against the defendant. For example, law enforcement must ensure that the defendant understands the right to remain silent and the right to have an attorney present, as the Fifth and Sixth Amendments respectively provide. The defendant must knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waive those rights in order for the government to use any… […]

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Criminal Law Cases, Legal Errors and Appeals

Criminal Law Cases, Legal Errors and Appeals

An appeal of a lower court decision is a legal process by which a higher court is asked to review the trial court’s record and rule on the legal issues raised by the appellant (a party to a case–in a criminal case, it is usually the defendant). The Circuit Criminal Department handles all appeals for convictions and court rulings from the Circuit Criminal and County Criminal Courts for Palm Beach County’s 15th Judicial Circuit. All correspondence regarding a County or Circuit Criminal appeal can be sent to:: Clerk & Comptroller Circuit Criminal Department P.O. Box 2906 West Palm Beach, FL 33402-2906 Attention: Appeals Clerk A Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days from the date of the conviction or the court ruling that is being appealed. Grounds for… […]

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The Weight Of Fingerprints in Criminal Cases

The Weight Of Fingerprints in Criminal Cases

Fingerprint evidence, although sometimes not as high-profile as other high-tech crime-solving methods like DNA typing, is still very much used in criminal investigations and cases. While the principle that no two people can have the same fingerprints cannot be scientifically validated, fingerprint evidence is generally considered to be highly reliable and is particularly accessible to juries: You don’t need a Ph.D. or a scientific lecture on genetics to understand that your own fingers contain a contour map of ridges and whorls that is completely unique. Matching Fingerprints Fingerprint evidence rests on two basic principles: A person’s “friction ridge patterns” (the swirled skin on their fingertips) don’t change over their lifetimes. No two people have the same pattern of friction ridges. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. Police officers use fingerprints… […]

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How To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

How To Hire A Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal law lawyer may either represent a person who has been accused of a crime or the government in prosecuting the accused. In a typical criminal case, a defense lawyer represents the defendant while an opposing attorney, called a prosecutor, stands in for the government. A criminal law lawyer who practices defense law can wear a number of different hats – from defending a person against a speeding ticket charge to advocating for an alleged criminal during a murder trial (source). One of the primary tasks of a criminal law lawyer is to advocate for his or her clients. In order to effectively do this, an attorney may need to put aside his or her personal opinion about a case. Why Do I Need an Attorney? The courts of… […]

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Know Your Legal Rights

Know Your Legal Rights

Our criminal justice system can be overwhelming and frightening. The incarceration rate in the United States is much higher than that of other industrialized countries. Prison sentences are getting longer and more frequent. If you face the possibility of being accused of a crime, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as early in the process as possible, preferably even before questioning or investigation by the police. A skilled attorney can fight for your legal and constitutional rights. This blog and information on the website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Police Stops You may be stopped for questioning by the police. A stop isn’t considered an arrest if you’re briefly detained and… […]

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What Happens After Arrest

There is a difference between being arrested and being detained. “Arrested” means you have been taken into custody and can’t leave. For example, if you’ve been handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser, you’ve probably been arrested, even though the officer didn’t say, “You’re under arrest.” This is because you can’t leave the car without getting into more trouble. You can be “detained” for a short period of time if a police officer believes you were involved in a crime or are about to commit a crime. Few people understand the criminal justice process. The following provides an overview of what you can expect if you are arrested in Florida. Posting Bond In most cases, you are entitled to a reasonable bond set by the court. Generally,… […]

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Need a DUI Lawyer?

Need a DUI Lawyer?

A DUI conviction is something you cannot afford. In addition to restricting your driving privileges for 6 months to a year for a first offense, a DUI conviction will haunt you for the rest of your life on your criminal record. Landlords, employers, and anyone else performing a background check on you will see your DUI conviction. Being convicted of a DUI can completely hinder the way you life your life. A criminal defense lawyer is the best resource to have if you have been arrested for drinking and driving. There are many defenses against a DUI charge and only an experienced DUI lawyer can put them into motion effectively. Driving Under the Influence Laws It is critical to understand the law and the potential consequences you will be facing… […]

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