Florida Criminal Defense Overview
Television shows like CSI have trained the general public to believe that evidence in criminal cases is cut-and-dried, based in science, and can lead to only one conclusion. However, the reality is that virtually any piece of evidence is subject to interpretation — and potential bias.
When police investigate a case and prosecutors press charges, they often believe they know the truth of what happened. They have a narrative in mind and interpret the evidence to fit the story they want to tell. DNA places someone at the scene of a crime? That must mean they committed the crime in the eyes of police and prosecutors.
But what if there’s another story that can be told with that same evidence? What if there’s another interpretation? What if your DNA is at the scene for a completely innocent reason?
When you’re charged with a crime in Florida, it’s crucial that you have someone by your side telling your story and making sure the prosecution’s interpretation of the evidence isn’t the only one that the judge or jury hears. A skilled Sarasota criminal defense lawyer can be your voice throughout the criminal process, from investigation to trial.
Not only can a good defense lawyer present the facts in a light that shows your innocence — or why there are extenuating circumstances that support leniency — but your attorney can also ensure that your constitutional rights are protected through interrogations, searches, and court proceedings.
Strong Defense for Your Florida Criminal Charge
Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Erika Valcarcel has the experience and dedication to fight for you when you’ve been charged with a crime in Sarasota or Manatee counties. Her experience includes several years prosecuting criminal cases in both counties prior to starting her defense practice, and handling thousands of criminal cases.
Valcarcel is a passionate advocate for people charged with crimes because she believes strongly that you deserve justice and a fair process. She’ll use her knowledge of the local courts and Florida criminal laws to construct a strong defense on your behalf and work to get you the best possible result for your charge.
Erika Valcarcel is a skilled Sarasota criminal defense and trial lawyer who can represent you through any part of the criminal process, from start to finish. It’s never too early to seek the help of a good criminal defense lawyer — even if you haven’t yet been arrested or charged but are merely under investigation. Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. can help you with:
- Police investigations
- DNA investigations
- Police questioning
- Searches and seizures
- Service of warrants
- Withholding Adjudication
- Bail hearings
- Pretrial hearings
- Bench or jury trials
- Probation or parole violation hearings
- Expungements and record sealing
Contact Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and to learn how Erika Valcarcel can help you with your charge.
Consequences of a Florida Criminal Conviction
Florida criminal charges can range from minor misdemeanors to capital offenses — those punishable with the death penalty. Even a relatively minor charge can result in jail time, while serious felonies can lead to decades or even life in prison.
However, the ways that a criminal conviction can affect your life aren’t limited to incarceration. Even a seemingly minor offense can haunt you for years to come. Depending on the nature and circumstances of your charge, consequences of a Florida criminal conviction are varied and can include:
- A jail or prison sentence
- House arrest
- Expensive fines and court fees
- An order to complete alcohol or substance treatment or other types of classes
- Loss of your driver’s license
- Acquiring a permanent criminal record that can affect your job or career
- Loss of your right to vote or own a firearm
- Loss or denial of a professional license to work in your chose career, such as law, medicine, teaching, nursing, or pharmacy
- Effects on your child custody or visitation rights
- Changes to your immigration status if you’re a non-citizen, including loss of your immigration visa or green card, denial of your citizenship application, and/or deportation to your native country
Your best chance at avoiding or minimizing the effects of a conviction is with the help of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney such as Erika Valcarcel who can defend you in court and fight to get your charge dismissed or reduced.
Important Information About Sarasota Criminal Defense
When you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s natural to have numerous questions about what’s happening and what to expect moving forward. During your free consultation, Erika Valcarcel can answer questions about your specific charge, as well as common topics such as:
- Florida Criminal Court Process — The criminal court process can be lengthy and complex. Erika Valcarcel can walk you through the steps of the court process in the county where your charge is pending and provide you with the information you need to make decisions about your case and your future.
- Florida Three Strikes Law — If you have already been convicted of two felonies, another charge could lead to elevated penalties, such as life imprisonment. With experience as both a prosecutor and a defender, attorney Valcarcel can offer a unique perspective and help you craft the best possible defense.
- Probation Violations — Sometimes when people are convicted of a crime, all or part of a sentence can include probation. The rules surrounding possible violations can be complicated and a qualified attorney can explain the limitations you are facing and help you avoid the possible pitfalls.
- Sealing and Expungement — Depending on your circumstances, you may have options for expunging your charge from your record or having your record sealed. Erika Valcarcel can explain your options and help you through the process.
- Searches & Seizures — Many criminal cases are based on evidence obtained through searches and seizures, whether it’s a search of your home, your person, or your car at a traffic stop. However, police must follow certain rules when performing searches and seizures. Erika Valcarcel can explain the limitations on police searches and seizures, your constitutional rights, and what you can do if you believe your rights were violated.
Call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. at (941) 363-7900 to schedule your appointment today.