Criminal Law

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Misdemeanors & Felonies

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Facing a criminal charge is one of the most upsetting and traumatic events a person can face in their lives.  Being arrested is an event that most people need time to recover from.  The tolls are high emotionally and financially.  Charges can put stress on families and affect a person’s work and personal life.

One thing that can alleviate the stress and upset of an arrest or investigation is consulting a knowledgeable and affordable attorney.  Many times, just what the attorney has to say can put to rest unrealistic fears.  Sure, it is a serious situation, but the future is likely not as grim as you are projecting.

For over 15 years, Rebecca Hamilton, Esq. has defended thousands of adults and juveniles, charged with misdemeanors and felonies, in County and Circuit Courts.  She has never prosecuted people or worked for the State Attorney’s Office.  She has faced tough prosecutors in trial.  Because Rebecca has a proven track record of trying cases in front of juries, the prosecutors know she will go the distance for you.  This is important.  It is also important to have an attorney experienced in trial procedure, should your case be appropriate for trial.

Rebecca is trained and experienced to spot problems the State Attorney will have if they try to prosecute your case.  She will listen carefully to your facts and also research the law to see if certain elements of an alleged crime are missing, or if a constitutional violation was committed against you.  All of these details can result in either your case not being prosecuted, or your case being dismissed after a motion, or an acquittal (not guilty verdict) after trial.  Rebecca will explore with you all of your options.  She will answer your questions and help you make an informed decision regarding your case.  Ultimately, you decide how your case will be resolved.  Only you can decide to take a case to trial or to enter a plea.  Rebecca will provide you with all of the information you need, along with her opinion, based upon her extensive experience and knowledge.  You are also assured that Rebecca will put in every effort necessary to provide you with excellent representation.

Being Arrested Is Not The Same As Being Charged

When you are arrested, there was only “probable cause” found by a judge.  The judge relied on facts contained in a probable cause affidavit signed by a law enforcement officer.  Just because a law enforcement officer hauled you into jail, it does not necessarily mean the legal elements necessary to prosecute you exist.  Unless you were picked up on a warrant, chances are your case, including whether or not you are ultimately charged, can be influenced by your attorney.

Speaking with and hiring Rebecca can give you a “leg up” in heading off any prosecution in your case.  When a person is arrested, the alleged crime is new and needs to be investigated by the State Attorney’s Office (or Prosecutor) to see if the legal elements of a crime exist and can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury.  When you come in and hire Rebecca, evidence, law, and facts will usually be provided to the State Attorney to convince them not to file charges against you.   Rebecca should be hired immediately after the arrest, however, as these investigations can take place as soon as a week after the arrest.  You do not want the State Attorney only hearing evidence of what you did wrong, without also hearing how you are innocent, through facts, witnesses, affidavits and law presented by your attorney.

Assuming you were actually charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you are now exposed to potential jail time.  Most misdemeanors carry up to one year in jail maximum.  Felonies begin at 5 years maximum for a third degree felony, 15 years maximum for a second degree felony and so on.  Just because they carry these maximums does not mean that is what you will likely receive to resolve your case.  Felonies are scored with a score sheet.  So, depending on how many points are assigned to a particular crime, you may or may not be scoring mandatory prison time.  If you do not score mandatory prison time, you are looking at probation, pre-trial intervention and dismissal in some circumstances, some jail time, or no penalties if found not guilty after a trial, or if you case is dismissed after a constitutional violation motion (see article on Constitutional Rights).  If you are scoring mandatory prison time, you always have your constitutional rights to fight you case at trial and/or by motions.

Remember that speaking with Rebecca will help you understand what you are facing and the potential strategies and outcomes that exist.  Rebecca provides a free consultation, by telephone or in the office, and is willing to share her knowledge and experience for your benefit.  Answers and relief are  just a phone call away.


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Case Summary & Outcomes

BATTERY

Facts: A middle aged man with severe physical disabilities is riding a handicap scooter down a neighbor’s cul-de-sac when he was harassed by some neighborhood kids and later physically attacked by two off-duty law enforcement officers. Although the disabled man was severely injured, HE was charged with battery on the 2 off-duty law enforcement.

Outcome: Client hired Hamilton Law to take his case to trial. Hamilton Law obtained a NOT GUILTY verdict on both counts from the jury, despite 6 law enforcement officers testifying on behalf of the State of Florida.

DOCTOR SHOPPING/ DRUG TRAFFICKING

Facts: A woman with no criminal record is arrested for Doctor Shopping and Trafficking in Oxycodone (Four Counts). Bonds were set at $120,000. Trafficking convictions can result in an imposition of a three year minimum mandatory prison sentence per count. (Meaning those three years are served “day for day” with no time off for good behavior.)

Outcome: This woman’s family hired Rebecca Hamilton, who went to the first court appearance and secured a ROR (Released on Own Recognizance). Hamilton Law intervened on this client’s behalf to the State Attorney’s Office, resulting in one count of Withholding Information from a Practitioner being filed. Client received a dismissal of her charge after completing pre-trial intervention and had all four felony counts on her arrest record sealed, enabling her to lawfully deny ever being arrested in most circumstances.

GRAND THEFT over $10,000

Facts: A successful business man found himself in a contractual dispute with a doctor with whom he was doing business. After filing a police report against this doctor for theft and filing a lawsuit against him for damages, the doctor had client arrested for grand theft. Client is arrested in the middle of the night, embarrassed and humiliated with numerous police cars at his house, making him out to be a criminal. Client faced up to 5 years prison but risked it make the State of Florida prove the charge against him.

Outcome: Client hired Hamilton Law to represent him at trial. After months of painstaking preparation, including depositions and independent investigation, Hamilton Law obtained justice with a NOT GUILTY verdict after a two day trial. Client is pursuing a lawsuit against the doctor for malicious prosecution.

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