State Criminal Defense
When you’ve been charged with a crime, your freedom is at risk! Felonies, misdemeanors, DUI (driving under the influence), drug charges, weapons charges, burglaries, robberies, thefts, computer crimes, assault and battery, domestic violence and other crimes are serious offenses. You need a criminal defense lawyer who will stand up for your rights and defend you to the fullest extent. Your defense attorney should have experience, wisdom, and determination.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES
Domestic violence charges are typically viewed as very serious offenses by prosecutors, and these charges must be handled the right way in order to get the best result for a client. Alex Stavrou has been successfully representing people on these types of charges for over 25 years.
Because these charges typically involve conflicts between husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, or domestic partners, it is not unusual for an alleged victim of domestic violence to change his or her mind and decide that they do not wish to prosecute. What many people do not know is that, even if the alleged victim wants the charges dropped, that decision is not up to that person. Under Florida law, it is the prosecutors at the State Attorney’s Office that make the decision whether to prosecute any given domestic violence case. Very often, if the accused does not hire an attorney, the decision will be made to prosecute, even if the alleged victim does not want that to happen. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible stage after the initial arrest will maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable result in cases such as these.
BATTERY AND ASSAULT, AND AGGRAVATED BATTERY AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT
These types of charges can be charged in a number of different ways. Typically, Battery is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, and Assault is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in the county jail. However, Felony Battery and Aggravated Assault are normally third degree felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison, while Aggravated Battery is typically a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. There can be various aggravating factors such as the use of a firearm, the commission of the offense against a law enforcement officer, or the commission of the offense against an elderly or pregnant person that can further increase the seriousness of any of these charges.
DUI AND CRIMINAL TRAFFIC OFFENSES
Did you know that if you are convicted of DUI, that charge stays on your record forever (a conviction for DUI can never be sealed or expunged)? Did you know that, upon being arrested for DUI and either having an unlawful blood/breath alcohol level or refusing to take a blood/breath alcohol level test, aside and apart from the criminal case the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will start a procedure to suspend your license, and you only have 10 days to request a hearing to contest that suspension? Did you know that DUI and Driving on a Suspended License are not only criminal offenses punishable by jail time, but that if you have the necessary number of prior offenses you could go to state prison? And maybe most importantly, do you know how to fight to protect your rights if you’re accused of DUI or criminal traffic offenses? We know the answers to your questions, we know how to protect your rights, we know how to help you if you’re confronting these charges. Alex Stavrou has been fighting for his clients’ rights on these cases for over 25 years.
The analysis of any DUI or criminal traffic case must include both the facts of that case as well as the applicable law. For example, these charges usually come about as a result of a stop of an automobile by law enforcement. In cases such as those, careful analysis of the facts and law may indicate that the police violated the accused’s constitutional rights (under both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution). Perhaps the officer had no legal reason to stop the vehicle. Once the police conducted the stop, did they follow the proper procedures in conducting “field sobriety exercises?” What about the blood or breath alcohol testing – was it conducted properly or might there be defenses to the sometimes clearly absurd results produced? Might it be appropriate to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence seeking a ruling by the court throwing out some or all of the evidence? Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible stage after the initial arrest will maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable result in cases such as these. And remember, you only have 10 days to request a hearing to contest the DHSMV suspension that otherwise will suspend your license, even if you are later found to be not guilty of DUI.
The maximum punishment for drug offenses in the State of Florida varies based on the particular charge. For example, Possession of Cannabis Under 20 Grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia are first degree misdemeanors punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail, while simple possession of even small amounts of drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamine are third degree felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Possession with Intent to Sell, and Sale of certain drugs can be punishable by 15 years or more in prison, and Trafficking in certain drugs (and Trafficking can sometimes be mere possession of larger quantities of certain drugs) can carry penalties of up to life in prison. There can be various aggravating factors to drug charges, such as the use of a firearm that can enhance the possible penalties.
It is vital that drug charges be handled correctly from the very start of the case. The analysis of any drug case must include both the facts of that particular case as well as the law that is applicable. For example, drugs are often found as a result of a stop, a search, or a warrant. In cases such as those, careful analysis of the facts and law may indicate that the police violated the accused’s constitutional rights (under both the U.S. Constitution and the Florida Constitution). Perhaps the officer had no reason to stop the person or automobile that was stopped. Perhaps the police had no legal right to conduct the search they conducted. Perhaps there was a crucial error in the search warrant obtained by law enforcement. In such instances, it may be appropriate to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence seeking a ruling by the court throwing out some or all of the evidence against the accused. Further, it may be appropriate to argue that the prosecutors have overcharged the case, and that a lesser charge may be appropriate. The defense in any given case, of course, will depend on the facts of that case. Hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney at the earliest possible stage after the initial arrest will maximize your chances of obtaining a favorable result in cases such as these.
Crimes that are charged in juvenile court can often have a lasting effect on the accused. No different from adults, juveniles are sometimes wrongly accused of crimes. Often, juveniles are charged with far more serious offenses than are necessary. Sometimes, often because of the serious nature of the offenses or the prior record of the juvenile, the State makes the decision to prosecute the juvenile as an adult. Bottom line: the importance of hiring a lawyer who knows how to handle these types of cases, who knows his way around the juvenile justice system, and who can sometimes intervene to prevent cases from being filed in adult court, cannot be overstated – it can make all the difference in the world. Retain an attorney with the knowledge and experience in this area of law that can get your child the help he or she deserves.
Crimes involving computers are an emerging field in criminal defense law. Whether the offense charged is computer related fraud or one of the various forms of child pornography or child solicitation, the difference between hiring a lawyer who knows how to handle these types of cases, and one who does not, can make all the difference in the world. Computer related crimes can potentially lead to lengthy prison sentences. You owe it to yourself to retain an attorney with the knowledge and experience in this area of law that can get you the help you deserve.
Crimes against property can lead to major problems that can adversely affect the rest of a person’s life, even if it is that person’s first offense. Yet often these problems can be avoided by retaining an attorney with the knowledge and experience that can help. Alex Stavrou has been successfully representing people on these types of charges for over 25 years.
Crimes against property include Petit Theft, Grand Theft, Burglary, Robbery, Dealing in Stolen Property, Giving False Verification of Ownership to a Pawnbroker, Forgery, Uttering Forged Instrument and various types of Worthless Check charges. Some of these charges are felony offenses that can potentially lead to a prison sentence, while others are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of county jail time. However, it is vital to understand that all such charges can have a huge impact on one’s life.