Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer

Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer

Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

If you or someone you know has been accused of a criminal offense, you may need the help of a Jacksonville Beach criminal defense lawyer. Being accused of a crime can be incredibly intimidating. If it is a felony, it can lead to serious consequences that have life-altering effects. A qualified and experienced lawyer can help you explore the extent of your legal options and develop a proper defense strategy.

Jacksonville Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer

A Felony vs. a Misdemeanor

If you find yourself accused of a crime in Florida, it can be helpful to understand the key differences between a felony and a misdemeanor, as well as the potential consequences that come with each category.

Misdemeanors can be classified into two types: first-degree and second-degree. The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor charge include a $1,000 fine and up to one year of jail time. The consequences of a second-degree misdemeanor could be up to $500 in fines and sixty days in jail. Some of the most common misdemeanors include:

However, some crimes can be charged differently depending on the circumstances. For instance, a DUI could be a misdemeanor or a felony. Someone with multiple past DUIs is more likely to be charged with a felony DUI.

Felonies in Florida

Felonies can be classified into three different degrees. Being convicted of a third-degree felony can mean paying up to a $5,000 fine and serving up to five years in prison. Being convicted of a second-degree felony can lead you to pay up to a $10,000 fine and spend up to 15 years in prison, and a first-degree felony can mean paying up to $10,000 in fines and serving up to 30 years in prison. Some of the most common felonies are:

  • Child abuse
  • Aggravated assault
  • Domestic violence with bodily injury
  • Drug trafficking
  • Sex crimes
  • Murder

Life Felony & Capital Felony

A life felony means that you could be punished with life in prison and a $15,000 fine. A capital felony could carry a death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Capital felonies are typically offenses such as capital drug trafficking, murder, or armed kidnapping. These can be serious matters that require strong legal counsel to resolve.

Factors That Can Influence Your Potential Penalties

There are several factors that could influence the potential penalties you could be facing in Jacksonville Beach. The number one factor to consider is the type of crime you are being accused of. Different crimes can carry differing penalties. Below are some examples of factors that can influence the penalties related to your case.

  • If the crime committed was gang-related, it could be more serious and carry heavier penalties.
  • If you have a previous criminal record, it could lead to heavier penalties if you are convicted. For individuals with a long criminal history, the court could look to punish them more severely for a second, third, or subsequent offense.
  • If the crime was committed against a police officer or public official, that could also lead to greater penalties.
  • If there was a firearm or weapon involved in the incident, the charges may be increased.

Factors that affect your charges and penalties are known as aggravating and mitigating factors. While aggravating factors worsen the charges and consequences, mitigating factors may lead to decreased charges and more minimal sentencing.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help

A criminal defense lawyer can serve many roles and provide many different services during your case. A lawyer can investigate and review your case, provide you with professional legal advice, and represent you in court. The first step that a lawyer may take is to counsel you through the legal process and prepare a viable legal defense. This process can include interviewing witnesses, reviewing police reports, gathering facts, and subpoenaing documents.

Criminal defense attorneys are required to keep all communication between them and their clients confidential. This allows clients to safely speak with their attorney without any fear of reprisal, as they are protected under Florida attorney-client privilege.

Finally, an attorney is responsible for educating and guiding the individual throughout the course of the proceeding. The criminal justice process can quickly become complex, and each case is unique. It often requires an experienced attorney who possesses the acumen to search for creative solutions for their client. You need an attorney who is a strong communicator and a compassionate listener.

When to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer

You should hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In almost every instance, a lawyer’s assistance can be more effective when you contact them early on in the criminal process.

As soon as you are charged with a crime, or even if you think you are the subject of an investigation, you should immediately speak with a lawyer. When you have an attorney on your side from the beginning, it can help you better navigate the investigation process and ensure that you do not say anything incriminating.

Before you speak with the police or an investigator, you should speak with a lawyer. Also, having a lawyer engaged from the beginning can help them build a stronger defense for you. You will likely fail to explain your side of the story effectively on your own. Law enforcement and interrogators are specifically trained to extract information, and they can sometimes use dishonest or deceptive practices to extract incriminating information.


Q: How Much Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Charge Per Hour in Florida?

A: The cost of a criminal defense attorney in FL can change depending on the complexity of the legal case. Also, the attorney’s fee structure could influence the total costs. For example, some defense attorneys may charge by the hour, some may charge a flat fee, and some may charge a contingency fee. For attorneys who charge an hourly fee, the total amount depends on the number of hours required to resolve your case.

Q: Can My Criminal Lawyer Represent Me in Court Without Me Being There in Florida?

A: It is possible for your criminal lawyer to represent you in court without you being there. In general, if you are charged with a misdemeanor case, a lawyer could represent you in court, and your presence might not be necessary.

However, if you are charged with a felony crime, you must be present in court with your lawyer. You should speak with an experienced lawyer about your case to determine if you need to be present in court. They can also advise you on whether being absent would affect your case.

Q: Can Someone Call Themselves a Criminal Lawyer Without Passing the Bar in Florida?

A: No one can call themselves a lawyer without passing the bar in Florida. There are several states that recognize a distinction between an attorney and a lawyer. In this case, an attorney is someone who graduated from law school, passed the bar, and is licensed to practice law. A lawyer has attended and graduated from law school. However, they have not succeeded in passing the bar.

In Florida, there is no distinction between the two. To be called a lawyer or an attorney, you must pass the bar.

Q: What Payment Structure Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Use in Florida?

A: A payment structure that many criminal defense attorneys use in Florida is an hourly fee. Some lawyers may charge flat fees, especially if the case is simple. Often, clients are charged a retainer fee upfront, which will be depleted as the attorney works on their case. The specific details of the case can impact both the payment structure and the total legal fees.

Q: What Is the Statute of Limitations for Criminal Defense in Florida?

A: The statute of limitations for criminal defense in Florida will depend on the type of crime that is charged. Misdemeanor crimes often have a shorter statute of limitations than felony crimes do. For example, a second-degree misdemeanor has a oneyear statute of limitations, and a first-degree felony charge must be brought within four years. It is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you determine the statute of limitations that applies to your specific case.

Contact Kevin A. Raudt, P.A.

If you have been accused of a criminal offense, it is important that you speak with a qualified attorney. It can be difficult to understand and navigate the legal aspects of criminal court in Florida. There can be strict legal deadlines and paperwork that must be appropriately filled out. With the help of experienced legal counsel on your side, you can rest assured that your case will receive the due diligence it deserves.

At Kevin A. Raudt, P.A., our legal team is ready and able to assist you with your legal case. We have ample experience in helping individuals all across the state of Florida resolve their legal issues. Our attorney has tried over 280 criminal jury cases in addition to hundreds of criminal and civil bench trials. Our firm is well-respected in the state of Florida, and we are ready to help. Contact our office in Ponte Vedra Beach today to see how our team can assist you.


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