Were you arrested for domestic battery in Florida? Were you given a citation for petty theft in Jacksonville? Are you facing charges for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana in St. Johns County? Did you receive a Florida traffic ticket for knowingly driving on a suspended license in Clay County? Did a police officer give your son or daughter a notice to appear for minor in possession of alcohol in Duval County? If so, you may be wondering if you need to hire a Jacksonville criminal lawyer to represent you or your loved one in court.
Jacksonville criminal attorneys know the law and criminal procedures. They know how to defend you and the avenues to take to help you out of this predicament. You may think that a misdemeanor is a minor offense, but it is not. A misdemeanor will show up on a Florida background check. A misdemeanor may also result in a Florida drivers license suspension. As a Jacksonville criminal lawyer, I have seen incidents in which people failed to hire an attorney to help them achieve the best possible results in criminal cases. Here are just a few examples of problems that I have experienced:
- A woman is issued a notice to appear citation for petit theft at the Avenues Mall. She is charged in Duval County. She had never been in trouble before and did not retain an attorney. At her arraignment, she enters a guilty plea to the Jacksonville theft charge. She pays court costs. Because she pleaded guilty to the charge, she cannot expunge her Jacksonville criminal record.
- A college student is caught drinking underage in Jacksonville. He pays the criminal citation without realizing that he was adjudicated guilty of the offense. Due to this conviction, he cannot seal or expunge his Florida record.
- A man is arrested for domestic battery in Clay County after being falsely accused. He pleads no contest to the charge. He did this because he wanted to get out of jail. The judge withheld adjudication and sentenced the defendant to probation. Because he did not consult with a Clay County attorney, he did not understand the intensity of domestic violence probation. He was also not aware that he would not be able to expunge or seal his Florida record.
- A woman was given a criminal ticket for possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis in St. Augustine. She enters a plea to the drug charge on her first court date and is convicted of the crime. Later, her Florida drivers license is suspended due to this conviction. No one told her that this could happen when she entered her plea.
- A man is given a Florida ticket for driving on a suspended or revoked license in Nassau County. He pays the ticket. Due to this ticket and two other Jacksonville suspended license tickets, his drivers license has been suspended for 5 years as a Florida habitual traffic offender. The man did not have a Jacksonville drivers license lawyer helping him with his driving on a suspend license tickets.