Tampa Criminal Lawyer
In 2019, 679,221 arrests were made in the state of Florida, including 46,660 in Hillsborough County and 36,352 in Pinellas County. Florida law enforcement, from the police to the prosecutors, aggressively arrest and prosecute people suspected of committing criminal offenses, and the penalties for a conviction can be costly in terms of fines and fees as well as jail and prison sentences, not to mention the lifelong negative consequences and stigma of carrying around a criminal record.
Everything about the process of being arrested is designed to make you feel helpless, intimidated, and at the mercy of the police and prosecutor in charge of your case. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you won’t be alone. You’ll have the benefit of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer who will advise you of your options and let you know what to expect so you can make the right decisions about your defense and not be anxious about court appearances before a judge. Your attorney is with you at every step, advising you and advocating for you on your behalf.
In Tampa, Scriven Law, P.A., is an excellent choice to represent you in your Florida criminal case. Attorney Bryant Scriven is a former Hillsborough County prosecutor who knows the courts and the legal system inside and out. At Scriven Law, we fight to protect your rights and make sure you are treated fairly while building a strong defense and seeking the best outcome in your case, from a dismissal of the charges against you to an acquittal or other favorable results, such as a reduced sentence, a treatment program or probation. Call an experienced Tampa criminal lawyer at Scriven Law, P.A., after an arrest for any Florida state or federal misdemeanor or felony offense, including:
- Asset Forfeiture
- Domestic Violence
- Drug Crimes
- DUI Defense
- Federal Crime
- Federal Criminal Process
- Federal Sentencing
- Grand Jury
- Pre-Arrest Advice & Representation
- Probation Violation
- Sex Crimes
- Target Letters
- Traffic Offense
- Violent Crimes
- Weapon Offenses
- White Collar Crime
Who Can I Discuss My Case With?
The only person you should be talking to about your case is your attorney. Your conversations with your lawyer are private, and your attorney is duty-bound to keep those communications confidential. Outside of speaking with your attorney in person, expect that any conversation you have while in custody is being monitored. This includes talking to other arrestees in a holding cell or talking to your family or friends over the telephone. Anything you say in these settings can be used against you, even if you are just bragging or trying to establish your cred by making up stories or exaggerating the facts behind your arrest.
This guidance certainly applies to talking with law enforcement as well. From the moment you are first taken into custody, the police and prosecutors will try to talk with you about the alleged offense. Law enforcement officers are expertly trained in interrogation techniques, and no good can typically come from engaging with them. You might think you are clearing up questions or helping your case, but you are almost certainly instead giving the state ammunition to use against you. Even innocent statements can be incriminating if they show the slightest inconsistency from the facts or previous statements you made. The police are required to inform you of your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during any questioning. You are well-advised to heed these warnings and decline to answer any questions (beyond identifying yourself) without talking to an attorney first.
What Rights Does a Person Accused of a Crime Have?
The Bill of Rights in the Constitution contains many provisions designed to guarantee fair treatment and prevent the government from abusing its citizens. You have many constitutional rights as a person accused of a crime. It is worthwhile to know these rights and ensure you exercise them to the fullest and not waive any rights except on the advice of counsel. Some of the rights of the accused include:
You have the right to have an attorney advise you and represent you at every critical stage of a criminal prosecution, from interrogations to arraignment to plea bargaining or trial.
You have the right to remain silent. You can refuse to submit to interrogation or answer any questions while in custody. You can decline to testify in court, and that decision can’t be used against you by the prosecution. Whether you choose to speak with the police while in custody or take the stand at trial are decisions to make with your attorney. If it is in your best interests to speak out, your lawyer will be there to make sure the statements you make further those interests.
Any search or seizure must be reasonable. The police must have cause to initiate a search, and they cannot go beyond the permissible scope. Unlawfully seized evidence can be suppressed so that the prosecution cannot use it against you.
The police must have probable cause to arrest you. A false or warrantless arrest can be grounds for dismissal of the charges against you.
You have the right to a speedy trial and the right to a jury trial. These rights can be waived. Your attorney can advise you if it is in your interest to delay the trial so you can prepare your defense or to request a trial by the judge instead of a jury.
You are entitled to a presumption of innocence unless and until the government proves its case against you. The state must prove every element of the alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt.
Call Scriven Law for Strong and Effective Criminal Defense in Tampa
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony offense in Florida, don’t take chances with your future. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away for immediate advice to protect your rights and put you in the best position for a successful result. Call a Tampa criminal lawyer at Scriven Law, P.A., at 813-226-8522 for skilled and effective criminal defense.