Common Questions About Criminal Defense Cases

When starting down the road to a criminal trial, many clients have the same questions. Here, our knowledgeable lawyer has shared some of his answers to the most common questions to help offer information and peace of mind when you need it most.

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  • Should I accept a pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention program?

    Pretrial diversion programs are great outcomes for most people that have been charged with a crime in the State of Florida.  However, it may not be the best option for you.  Of course you don’t know this until consulting with a knowledgeable defense attorney that can properly advise if this is truly the best outcome for your case.  Some counties throughout Florida make you sign an admission of guilt prior to being accepted into a pretrial diversion or pretrial intervention program.  They make this a condition of being accepted--meaning there's no way around it!  Is this something you want to do without consulting an attorney?

    If you are not a U.S. Citizen this admission of guilt can hurt your ability to obtain status or even Naturalize as a citizen.  Furthermore, accepting a referral to a pretrial diversion program when your case should be dismissed by the State or there are issues with the evidence, may not be in your best interest.  If for whatever reason you are “bounced out” of the program or do not complete it, your case will be set for Trial and you will have to face the original charges.  Not to mention having to deal with the admission of guilt you gave as a condition of being accepted into the pretrial intervention or diversion program.  This can be extremely damaging if you are not properly advised and accept a program when the State could have been pushed to perhaps offer to dismiss the charges.

    You’ll want to be properly advised and have a lawyer that does all the leg work before advising you on your best course of action—not a lawyer that is looking to make a quick buck off of your case and throw you into a pretrial diversion or intervention program.  

    Remember, a criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

  • Will the State offer me a plea deal to close my case at arraignment?

    This is a major problem in misdemeanor cases where you’re not guaranteed a public defender.  It is extremely troubling to sit in court on an almost daily basis and watch as defendant after defendant comes forth and accepts pleas to DUI, possession of marijuana, petit theft, disorderly conduct or driving while license suspended.  All of these and many other misdemeanors carry serious and life-altering consequences that can affect parts of your life such as becoming a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, obtaining a professional license or getting a job, being expelled from school, even getting a loan or renting an apartment.

    If you’re charged with a felony, you will get a public defender at arraignment and will probably have a plea offered. The consequences are also extremely severe. Have you had adequate time to think about the evidence?  Have you been able to review the evidence and discuss it with your lawyer? Do you know how the plea will affect you going forward if you have a professional license or are not a citizen?

    More often than not, it is best to listen to any pleas offered at arraignment and then take some time to think about it.  It is not uncommon for the court to set a plea or status hearing shortly after your arraignment for this very reason.  Not to mention, your lawyer will probably receive some, if not all, of the discovery (evidence) the State intends to use against you.  This will give you some time to review the evidence and discuss any potential pleas with your lawyer.  

    An experienced criminal defense lawyer will be able to properly advise you as to whether the plea offered at arraignment is worth considering given the State's evidence and your ultimate goals when resolving the case. 

    A criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

    If you or someone you love has been arrested in Miami, don’t delay.  You don’t have time to waste!  Call our office, (305) 707-7345, to schedule your 4-Point Case Evaluation and Strategy Session.  

    Our Guarantee to You:

    We guarantee to have you in and out of the office in less than 60 minutes. 

    We guarantee this will be different than what most other lawyers offer when they say “Free Consultation.”  

    We guarantee that we will actually discuss your case in detail rather than try to scare you while we sell our services and brag about ourselves.

  • Should I go to my arraignment without a lawyer?

    This is one of the most common questions and myths that criminal defense attorneys hear from prospective clients.  While we understand that not everyone has the money to retain a private attorney to fight for them in criminal court; you should try to hire one prior to arraignment (and give them time to reach out to the State) if possible because the benefit to you can be huge.  Why is that?  See, an arraignment is the beginning of every criminal case.  It is where the state announces whether they are filing charges against you and what charges they’re filing. 

    Now, you have to be selective and hire someone you trust as not every lawyer that you hire prior to the State making its filing decision will reach out to them, conduct initial investigation and fight for you in an attempt to get the State to not file charges or to file reduced charges.  Getting the State to file reduced charges may not seem like an outright victory, but its effects can be extremely valuable because oftentimes where you start can determine and affect where you will finish.

    The saddest thing I see day in and day out in criminal court is people that show up to arraignment without a lawyer and just take pleas to close their case without understanding what consequences the plea will have, without analyzing the evidence that the State has against them and if they can even prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  This is extremely common in misdemeanor cases.  While it may seem that you’re good to go and this will all be behind you, I cannot begin to tell you how many people seek us out because a plea they took so many years ago is now preventing them from becoming a U.S. Citizen, getting a job, loan or professional license.

    If you’re charged with a felony and subscribe to this method of thinking, you must really like gambling with your life.  While you will be assigned a public defender at arraignment and not have to go it alone, you are missing out on the chance of having a private criminal defense lawyer reach out to the State before arraignment in an attempt to not have charges filed. In addition to this, chances are that a thorough criminal defense attorney will have reviewed some of the evidence, spoken with the State and will be able to advise you as to whether a plea offered at arraignment is worth considering.

    A criminal charge can affect everything you try to do in life moving forward.  It is extremely important to enlist the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows the players, the process and focuses primarily on criminal defense in Miami. 

    If you or someone you love has been arrested in Miami, don’t delay.  You don’t have time to waste!  Call our office, (305) 707-7345, to schedule your 4-Point Case Evaluation and Strategy Session.  

    Our Guarantee to You:

    We guarantee to have you in and out of the office in less than 60 minutes. 

    We guarantee this will be different than what most other lawyers offer when they say “Free Consultation.”  

    We guarantee that we will actually discuss your case in detail rather than try to scare you while we sell our services and brag about ourselves.