Legal FAQs in Florida
Q. Do I have to hire a defense attorney?
A. You are not required to hire a defense attorney. However, legal proceedings are often confusing and intimidating to face alone. A competent attorney will give you the best possible chance of a positive outcome.
Q. When should I call an attorney?
A. There are many reasons to call an attorney. Here are just a few: 1) you have been arrested, 2) you are being investigated for a crime, 3) you have been injured in an accident, 4) you have been accused of a crime, 5) you are asked to sign a contract. These are only a few examples. When in doubt, call. Attorneys specialize in the law and will be able to give you proper legal advice.
Q. Should I talk to the police officer after I am arrested?
A. Speaking to a police officer following an arrest is ill-advised. Many individuals are unaware that they do not have to answer/confess to a questioning officer. Not only do you have the right to remain silent, you also have the right to a lawyer. Avoid offering any information at all without an attorney present.
Q. What’s the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor charge?
A. Misdemeanors are usually classified as crimes punishable by up to year of jail time, but no more. Felonies are more serious. Punishments for felonies vary, but they usually correspond to the severity of the crime. Whether you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor, it is preferable that you seek legal council.
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Helpful Links & Resources
- Pinellas County Sheriff ‘s Office – Sheriff Bob Gualtieri
- Pasco County Sheriff’s Office – Sheriff Chris Nocco
- Clerk of Circuit Court of Pinellas County Florida- Ken Burke, CPA
- Clerk of Circuit Court of Hillsborough County Florida – Pat Frank
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement -FDLE
- Amber Alerts: Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Impaired Driving