What to Do When You Face Felony Charges in Tampa
Never Say Anything Until You Speak with Your Tampa Felony Offense Lawyer
Getting arrested is a harrowing experience. You are placed into custody and not immediately able to contact others. The police officers who arrested you may try to interrogate you to get evidence for the charges. No matter what they say or do, never answer any questions until you are being represented by a Tampa felony attorney. Our team at Taracks & Associates is ready to aggressively defend your rights and secure for you the best possible outcome.
Until our lawyer is present, the only thing you should say is that you want to speak with a lawyer. If the police continue to try to speak with you without a lawyer present, take note of everything they say while continuing to insist on having a lawyer.
Once our attorney for felony charge in Tampa is present, you are protected from answering questions from Tampa authorities by yourself.
You can speak with our attorney freely, because they are bound by law not to reveal the content of your conversations. Furthermore, our attorney is required to provide you with the best defense possible. The more honest you are about your actions and the outcome you desire from the charges, the more likely it is that our felony defense lawyer can get you positive results.
Why Do Clients Choose Taracks & Associates for Felony Charges in Tampa?
Results Matter When Choosing an Attorney for Felony Charge in Tampa
Taracks & Associates is a Tampa felony defense law firm that has more than 30 years of experience defending against felony charges. Over all those years, we have put together an excellent record of success.
Examples of our success include:
- Having DUI charges reduced to reckless driving
- Getting possession of cocaine charge dismissed
- Arguing that state actions were illegal and getting charges dropped
- Suppressing evidence due to an illegal arrest
- Negotiating for the lowest possible sentence in a manslaughter case.
In each of these cases and many more, our clients were either freed from the justice system or faced reduced sentences because of our representation. Clients rely on this type of zealous representation to defend them from a justice system that is stacked against them. As a former prosecutor, Barry Taracks understands the strategies used by those trying to secure a conviction in your case. Count on his knowledge, skill, and experience to get you the best possible outcome in your felony case.
But our record isn’t the only reason clients choose us. They also choose us because we make sure they are fully educated about their case. This starts with a free and confidential consultation with a former prosecutor where you learn about our firm, our methods, and the results we expect to get. In turn, we learn about your case.
Learn more about what our past clients have to say about how we’ve helped them.
What Is a Felony?
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Felony Charge?
A felony is a category of offense punishable by a minimum sentence of at least one year of imprisonment. This sentence requirement differentiates felonies from misdemeanors or summary infractions, which are punishable by lesser sentences.
Crimes that fall into the felony category are considered severe enough that the actor must be removed from society, both for the safety of others and to potentially be rehabilitated. The following is a representative but incomplete list of felony offenses:
The length of sentencing guidelines for felonies depends on the severity of the crime committed. In simple terms, the sentence for murder is much higher than the sentence for grand theft auto, because the former crime is much more serious.
Many illegal activities can potentially fit into multiple categories of crime. Negotiating for lesser charges is one of the common ways that a lawyer for felony charges in Tampa can assist you.
Types of Felony Charges in Florida
Understand the Charges You Face
Florida law classifies felonies by the type of sentences that you can receive if convicted. There are five severities of felonies.
A capital felony can be punished with the death penalty or with life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Only murders (and not all) fall into this category of felony.
The next lesser degree of felony is a life felony. These felonies are punished with a life sentence that offers the possibility of parole. Examples of this category of felony include:
- Some murders
- Robbery with a deadly weapon
- Use of a weapon of mass destruction.
The minimum sentence for a life felony is usually 40 years in prison, but this can be negotiated down in a plea agreement.
The majority of first-degree felonies are punishable by a maximum of 30 years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. A few charges in this category can be punished by a life sentence, but that is uncommon. The most common first-degree charges are for drug trafficking and child abuse.
A second-degree felony is punishable by a sentence of 15 years in prison, at most. Second-degree felonies are primarily drug charges and battery charges. If you are facing a second-degree felony, there is a good chance your attorney can negotiate those charges down to a third-degree felony.
Third-degree felonies are the most common and varied type of felonies under Florida law and are punishable by a maximum of five years in prison. Depending on the circumstances, all of the following can be third-degree felonies:
- Grand theft
- Drug possession
- Resisting arrest
- Rape and sex crimes.
The main consideration for whether a crime fits into this category is how much lasting harm the crime caused. The less lasting harm, the more likely a crime will be categorized as a third-degree felony.
A good felony offense attorney can negotiate a plea to get a third-degree felony downgraded to a misdemeanor charge. Downgrading to a misdemeanor charge is one of the best results you can get when facing a felony.
Be sure you secure the services of our felony defense lawyer at Taracks & Associates. Our experience will provide you a strong defense as we fiercely fight your felony charges from the moment you hire us. Call today at 813-990-0599.
Consequences of a Felony Conviction in Florida
Why Your Attorney for Felony Charge in Tampa Will Try to Get Your Charges Downgraded
A felony conviction has unfortunate consequences beyond fines or imprisonment. In addition to losing your freedom, if you are convicted of a felony, you will lose other rights as well, potentially for the rest of your life.
According to Florida law, a person convicted of a felony loses all voting rights until they have completed their sentence, including probation. Additionally, you must pay all fines and fees before your voting rights can be restored. Only after that can you have your rights restored by the State Clemency Board.
Similar to voting rights, anyone who has been convicted of a felony in Florida loses their right to own a firearm. This right also must be restored by the State Clemency Board after the completion of the sentence.
Employers can legally use your felony conviction to limit your employment opportunities. Some employers will refuse to hire people who have been convicted of a felony, while others will limit advancement opportunities because of a conviction.
Similarly, landlords are permitted to use your past felony conviction as a reason to deny you a rental agreement. Few landlords in Florida are willing to rent to people with felony convictions, and your conviction could result in your being homeless.
If you are not an American citizen, a felony conviction will almost always get you deported after the completion of your sentence.
Public Assistance Benefits
Many public assistance benefits, including federal student loans, are not available to people with a felony conviction. This makes it a lot more difficult to return to normal life after serving a felony conviction sentence.
The consequences of a felony can stay with you for the rest of your life. Protect yourself from those consequences by retaining a Tampa felony offense lawyer that will fight to get your charges dropped, reduced to misdemeanors, or have you found not guilty by a jury of your peers.
Call Taracks & Associates at 813-990-0599 to get a free case consultation and case review for your Tampa felony charges.
FAQs About Felony Charges in Florida
Our Tampa Felony Offense Lawyer Answers Common Client Questions
You have questions, and we have answers. At Taracks & Associates, we know that a well-informed client is a happy client, and we strive to make you happy.
The minimum sentence for any felony charge is one year in prison. So, if you are convicted of a felony or make a plea deal for a felony, you will likely spend time in prison. This is why we will fight to have charges reduced to misdemeanors whenever possible.
Even if that isn’t possible, in some cases we might be able to mitigate the effects of a felony conviction. Probation is possible for some relatively minor crimes, and we may also be able to negotiate to have you serve your sentence in a low-security prison.
Criminal defense attorneys charge by the hour. The reason is that some felonies require a lot more work to defend than others. A simple robbery, for example, may require only a few hours of paperwork and no time in court. A fraud and arson case, though, could take many hundreds of hours to gather evidence and present at trial.
In general, it is impossible to provide a specific answer to “how much does a felony charge lawyer cost?” The answer will depend on the complexity of your case and whether it goes to trial. Your Taracks & Associates lawyer can give you a good estimate during your initial free consultation.
Any decision made by a judge or jury can be appealed. An appeal is a request for a supervisory court to overrule a decision. Decisions are most likely to be overruled if the initial decision violated your rights in some way.
In most cases, your appeal will be handled by the same lawyer that handled your original case. This ensures that the lawyer is as knowledgeable about your case as possible.
Yes, the law firm of Taracks & Associates handles probation violation cases. If we handled your original case, the same attorney that represented you the first time will be your lawyer for felony probation violation.
Just because you are being charged in Tampa doesn’t mean you are being charged for a violation of Florida state law. Federal felonies are also prosecuted in Tampa.
Not only does our law firm represent clients in federal court, but we also have an impressive record of success in federal court. We have a former prosecutor on staff who understands the intricacies of federal felony cases, and we have the experience to provide a powerful defense.
The job of our Tampa felony offense lawyer is to advise you and represent your interests. It isn’t our job to force you to do something you don’t want to do. We give out advice based on our experience and analysis of the situation. If you disagree with our advice, you have the right to ignore it.
In a case where you refuse our recommendation of a plea deal, we will do our best to represent you in your trial. We may not be able to get you the results you want, but we will try, and we will ensure that you understand all the consequences of your decision.
At the end of the day, you deserve to have your day in court, regardless of whether we believe you should accept a plea deal instead.
Unfortunately, some rights are gone for good after you have been convicted of a felony. But when you can have rights restored, Taracks & Associates will assist you with getting them restored.
And if you weren’t convicted of a felony (or pleaded guilty), we can apply to get your record expunged. This means that even the record of your arrest will disappear from your record. This is important because sometimes even having an arrest record is enough to get your application denied.
The better you understand the charges you face, the potential penalties before you, and the ways we can assist you, the better the results of your case will be. If there are any questions that our Tampa felony offense lawyer doesn’t answer in our FAQs, please feel free to ask your lawyer during your free initial consultation.