Sometimes, one can learn useful tips, even as a non-lawyer, from court opinions. They can highlight important legal rules or they can inform readers that the state of the law has changed. Other times, you don’t need a court opinion. A brief news story or two may tell you all you need to know. A recent incident that occurred in Central Florida is a stark reminder that the gulf between trying to handle your criminal case by yourself, as opposed to entrusting an experienced local attorney, can be very wide. In other words, don’t risk your future; contact an experienced Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney about your criminal charges right away.
The occurrence began, according to a villages-news.com report, when local police responded to an alleged disturbance during the wee hours of Nov. 30. The police spotted A.L.P., a 28-year-old woman, whom they alleged was on foot, stumbling drunk and about to drive away in a SUV. A check of her driver’s license revealed that she was driving on a restricted (“business purposes only”) license.
According to the police, they gave the woman multiple chances to call for a ride home. Instead, she allegedly fought the officers and required the threat of a taser before cooperating. As all this transpired, the police searched the woman’s vehicle and allegedly found a marijuana grinder with small amounts of the drug in it.
When the proverbial “dust” settled, the state had charged this woman with driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana, possession of “drug equipment” and a crime that most of us know as “disorderly conduct.” So, the ill-fated choices this woman made that night had the potential to result in some very serious legal consequences, including a drug conviction. Drug crimes often carry especially steep penalties, whether in terms of fines or incarceration.
However, the woman followed up her poor choices by making a very wise one: she hired an attorney. Had she taken on the case by herself, she may not have known how best to proceed. She may have simply waited until her trial date and then attempted to present a lot of evidence that wasn’t admissible under the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure. She may have attempted to make arguments that were irrelevant. (During her police encounter, she allegedly accused the police of taking her to jail because she was, to paraphrase, a boisterous and loud woman). Pursuing such arguments at trial would be counterproductive as they would have no impact on whether or not she was driving on a suspended license or in possession of illegal drugs/drug paraphernalia).
Her lawyer, however, knew that there was a better way. He knew that a defendant or defense counsel can engage the prosecutor in conversations or plea negotiations at any time, rather than just waiting for a preset court hearing. A.L.P.’s attorney promptly got started on his client’s case and, in January, “persuaded the prosecutor’s office to drop all charges in the case.” The State’s Attorney overseeing the prosecution described the outcome as a “filing decision,” according to a follow-up villages-news.com report. Whatever the prosecution team called it, it meant that A.L.P. was forever free from facing charges for her unfortunate incident on the early morning of Nov. 30.
Whether yours is a civil or criminal case, you have likely heard about the importance of retaining skilled legal counsel and refraining from “going it alone.” As a famed Tom Hanks movie character once stated, “that’s good advice,” and it is especially sage advice if you’re facing criminal charges. To get the defense representation you or your loved one needs, retain the skilled Tampa Bay criminal defense attorneys at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. Our team has been helping accused people for many years to achieve positive results. Call us today at (727) 286-6141 to schedule your FREE initial consultation and get the information you need.
More blog posts:
No Laughing Matter: Florida Man Faces Felony Charge for Stealing a Few Dollars of Over-the-Counter Meds, Tampa Bay Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, Feb. 6, 2019
Glitter on the Cash and Police Bodycam Footage: All the Proof that Went in Two South Florida Defendants’ Successes in Court, Tampa Bay Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2018