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Criminal Defense FAQ

Answers Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer

When facing criminal charges, we have found that there are common questions that arise and have supplied some of the answers below. A Tampa criminal defense attorney from Taracks Gomez & Rickman is prepared to discuss your case and advise you what to expect in a court of law in Tampa, whether you are facing a misdemeanor DUI, drug charge, violent crime, theft crime, white collar crime or serious felony offense.

How do I choose an attorney?
It has been well established that the skill of your attorney has a significant impact on the outcome in court. Most lawyers are knowledgeable of the law, but not all of them have the experience and talent in the courtroom environment that is needed when facing serious criminal charges. The legal team at our firm has extensive courtroom experience, and uses an aggressive approach in the defense of our clients. With an energetic and well-prepared defense case, you increase the possibility of a favorable case outcome.

Is there any way to avoid conviction on a DUI charge?
Many people choose to plead "guilty" and never even have an attorney look into the details of their case. It is astonishing how many cases have viable options for the defense and could have been fought in court. A full review of all the evidence is the first step to a strong defense. You must act quickly as these cases move through the system rapidly.

What if I am falsely accused?
There are many individuals serving time in prison today that are not guilty of the crime. Innocence is not enough - the prosecutor believes they have enough evidence to convict you, and you must take immediate action if you have been falsely accused. Our legal team will expose the truth and fight to get the case dismissed before moving further through the system.

Will I go to jail?
Our state has very harsh punishments for criminal offenses. Many felony and misdemeanor charges include mandatory prison time. If you have been accused of a serious crime, without immediate defense actions it becomes more likely that you may spend time in prison. Contact our firm as soon as possible after your arrest.

What is the advantage of your firm over a public defender?
A public defender is a defense attorney that is assigned to an individual's case if that individual cannot afford or refuses to seek out legal representation. A major disadvantage in hiring a public defender is that this service is not personalized. These defense attorneys typically have larger caseloads than they can handle, leaving little time for them to focus on the details of your case. Even if you are innocent, a public defender may not bring a strong enough case to get your charges dismissed or reduced.

What is the difference between state and federal cases?
The major difference between these types of cases is the courts they are handled in. State cases are handled in state court and typically involve alleged criminal offenses against state laws. Federal cases are handled in federal court and typically involve criminal offenses against federal laws. Federal cases also involve federal investigators. Federal prosecutors have endless resources at their disposal which is why strong defense is even more vital in these types of cases.

Can I post bail?
You may be able to post bail so that you can get out of jail while awaiting your hearing. A judge will make a determination on the amount bail is set at based on the nature of your offense, your "flight risk" and the possible threat you pose to the community. Some jurisdictions have standardized bail amounts for particular offenses. In some cases involving extremely serious criminal offenses, bail will either not be an option or will be set at a high amount. Bail acts as a guarantee that you will return for your hearing.

What is a plea agreement?
A plea agreement (or plea arrangement) is an offer from the prosecution to the defense. Typically, this involves a guilty plea in exchange for reduced charges or a more favorable sentence. Accepting a plea agreement is not right for everyone. For example, your defense attorney may not advise you to accept a plea agreement if they believe that you have a good chance of going to trial and winning. A plea agreement can be a favorable option in some scenarios, but they should only be entered into after extensive counsel from a skilled criminal defense lawyer.

Can I get my criminal conviction expunged?
In the state of Florida, no. Expungement (record clearing) is only possible for crimes that individuals have not been adjudicated guilty for. Expungement is beneficial for individuals who want to get criminal arrests and charges off of their record. Even if you have been declared "not guilty" of a crime, you may not meet eligibility requirements. It is important to discuss your case in depth with a Tampa criminal defense attorney from our firm. In Florida, residents are only allotted one expungement during their lifetime.

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