Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney?
Only a board-certified professional West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney will understand every aspect of the local criminal court system. Without this legal knowledge your criminal case may have devastating consequences. An experienced criminal defense lawyer in many cases may be able to have charges lowered or even dismissed due to effective legal skill and negotiation. At Musca Law we offer potential clients the chance to meet with an experienced attorney at our firm for free. During the consultation you can learn more about how legal representation can help protect your future and in some cases help you to maintain your freedom.
Can I ever have my criminal record destroyed?
Some people may qualify to have a criminal record destroyed under certain circumstances through the expungement process. If you want to find out if you meet the qualifications to have your criminal record expunged or sealed, please contact a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney at Musca Law today.
I had consensual sex with my girlfriend but her parents found out and called the police because she is under 18. Can I be charged with a crime?
Yes. If your girlfriend is a minor and under the age of 18 and you are 18 or older, you may face criminal charges for statutory rape, which is one of many rape crimes in Florida. If a conviction is reached, in addition to possible jail or prison time you would also have to register as a convicted sex offender for committing a misdemeanor or felony sex crime.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and felony offense?
The difference between the two offenses is that a misdemeanor is a crime where a person may only be sentenced up to 1 year in jail. It is a lesser criminal offense, but will still require the skill of a qualified criminal defense lawyer. A felony however, is a serious criminal offense that would require 1 year or more in jail/prison. There are a few crimes considered “wobblers” under Florida Law that may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor offense depending on the circumstances of the crime and any past convictions. In addition, crimes resulting in a small fine, such as some small traffic offenses, do not fall into either category but are considered infractions of the law instead.
If I drive my children out of state to visit my parents without my ex-spouse’s permission can I be arrested?
Yes, if you do not have legal custody. If your spouse is considered the custodial parent by the courts and you take your children out of state without his or her permission you could face kidnapping charges. When kidnapping involves crossed state lines, it then becomes one of many federal crimes in which you will face federal penalties, often which are more serious. At Musca Law our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers are very familiar with the federal court system and federal laws.
If I was high on drugs or drunk when I committed a crime will I still be charged even though I was impaired?
Yes. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol or any other illegal substance is not a valid excuse for committing a crime. However, under certain circumstances and depending upon the crime committed, a defendant may argue that because they were under the influence they could not have formed the proper intent to commit the crime.
What is alternative sentencing?
In the state of Florida, sometimes a person may be able to receive alternative sentencing for a crime. Alternative sentencing often allows for a person to avoid a jail or prison sentence by completing counseling, rehabilitation, diversion or some other alternative instead. Alternative sentencing is often seen in drug crime, white collar crime and juvenile crime cases.
Is Florida a death penalty state?
Yes. As of late 2008, Florida has roughly 391 individuals currently on death row awaiting execution. Since 1976 about 66 people have been executed by the electric chair or lethal injection. Violent crimes like felony murder, first-degree murder, capital sexual battery such as rape and capital drug trafficking charges all can merit the death penalty in Florida.
Questions about criminal charges in West Palm Beach, Florida? Contact us today!