The Effects of a Criminal Record on One’s Future

The U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than any other western nation and is third in the world behind China and North Korea, countries known for their human rights abuses. It stands to reason that the U.S. also convicts more people for various crimes. It is also the nature of our criminal justice system that those persons with criminal convictions face numerous obstacles in finding suitable employment or housing, and in other areas of normal life. Anyone who has been charged with a criminal offense should retain an experienced criminal lawyer and be cognizant of the consequences of a criminal...

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Concealed Firearms in Florida, Limitations and Violations

To conceal something is to hide it from the ordinary sight or view of another person. This applies to carrying a concealed firearm on your person, which is illegal under 790.001 of the Florida Statutes, unless you have a valid Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP). This includes carrying it in your shirt or pocket or jacket where another person may not ordinarily see it. You may, however, carry a firearm, concealed or not, in your home or place of business. A firearm, for purposes of the Florida statute, is: Any weapon that may be readily converted To expel by an explosive charge A bullet or projectile This...

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Florida Criminal Mischief Offenses and Their Penalties

Mischief conjures images of adolescents or teens defacing car windows with soap, or throwing toilet paper over stretches of trees in a park or on school property during Halloween. Criminal mischief, however, consists of acts of vandalism that damages private and public property and includes the placement of graffiti, despite some graffiti that many consider true artistic accomplishments. All criminal offenses consist of elements, or certain acts, that must be proved by the prosecution or state by the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Criminal mischief is found under 806.13 of the Florida...

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Classification of Felony Crimes and Their Potential Penalties in Florida

A felony is distinguished from a misdemeanor by the potential of how much time you may be incarcerated. If your criminal violation is punishable by up to one year in jail, then it is a misdemeanor. Felonies are any crime for which you can be sentenced to more than one year in jail or state prison. Florida has five basic classifications for felonies, ranging from third degree to capital felony. Any felony conviction carries substantial consequences for the offender including the loss of freedom for decades or life in some cases. Convicted felons often experience considerable difficulties in finding...

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Classification of Misdemeanor Crimes and Their Potential Penalties in Florida

Misdemeanor offenses are less serious than felonies and usually include non-violent offenses and various traffic offenses. They are distinguished from felonies in that the maximum time you can be incarcerated is one year in county jail. Florida has two classifications of misdemeanors, first and second degree. Although not felonies, misdemeanors are still criminal violations and carry additional consequences for those who are convicted. For example, a DUI conviction usually means loss of your driving privileges for several months on a first offense which is increased substantially with multiple...

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What Information Do You Need for an Initial Consultation with Your Criminal Defense Attorney?

If you are accused of a committing a crime, you should seriously consider retaining a criminal defense attorney, especially if jail or prison time is a possibility. Also, recognize that a criminal conviction goes on your public record and can cause considerable obstacles in finding suitable employment, advancing in your career, finding housing, obtaining credit or even being deported if you are not a U.S. citizen. You first need to find a competent defense attorney who has routinely handled cases like yours. If it is a DUI, find an attorney who has considerable experience handling these, or...

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What a DUI Realistically Means for Your Record

A DUI, or driving while under the influence, is a crime that can be committed by anyone who drives a motor vehicle. Even the most law-abiding citizen can have a few too many drinks at a restaurant or office party, be observed weaving on the roadway, pulled over by law enforcement and charged.  Even innocuous or innocent conduct can be observed by law enforcement officers who may assume that someone is impaired, despite evidence to the contrary.  Besides the ignominy of being handcuffed, placed in temporary detention or jail cell and appearing in court, a DUI can have significant consequences...

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Florida Drug Classification Guide and Penalties

Drugs, chemicals and other substances that are used to manufacture drugs are classified into 5 categories under federal and Florida laws. The Florida drug classification guide is based on the federal classification guide. The drugs that are listed are placed in these classifications based on their acceptable medical use and potential for abuse as well as their addictive or dependency qualities. The most dangerous or abused drugs are in Schedule 1 and then in descending order to Schedule V, which have the least potential for abuse or addiction. Florida is a state with severe drug penalties and...

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What to do During a DUI Stop – Part 3

This is Part 3 of our “What To Do During a DUI Stop” series. To read this series from the beginning, please CLICK HERE. Hopefully you are keeping your mouth shut on the way to the jail. Being in the back of a patrol car, handcuffed, may seem like the perfect time to beg for forgiveness, try and talk yourself out of trouble, or otherwise explain your actions. It is not. Depending on what county you are arrested in you can expect the following things to happen, but locale may determine what the order of occurrence is. An officer is going to read you an Implied Consent warning. You...

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What To Do During a DUI Stop – Part 2

This is Part 2 of our “What To Do During a DUI Stop” series. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this series, CLICK HERE. “Please step out of the car, sir,” is a phrase that a driver should understand as “You are going to jail.” Any time an officer suspects that a driver may be impaired by alcohol, illegal drugs, legal drugs or anything else, once the officer asks a driver to step out of the car, the driver needs to be prepared to go to jail, and give that officer as little evidence as possible that the driver is impaired. If the driver’s hand touches...

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