Fort Myers Criminal Defense Attorney
Being charged with a crime is a life-changing experience. From the moment that you are arrested, everything about your life is going to change. The arrest means that you will be charged with criminal actions and you could face hefty fines, civil penalties and time in jail. If you have been accused of a crime, you need to contact a respected Fort Myers criminal defense attorney.
Being Charged With A Crime In Fort Myers Is Not The Same As Being Convicted
The first thing that you must understand is that when you have been charged with a criminal offense in Fort Myers, it is only a pending charge. You have not been convicted of this crime at this point. When you are charged with a crime in Fort Myers, the very first thing that you should do is seek legal representation from a criminal lawyer.
A Fort Myers criminal lawyer will provide you with everything you need to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Your attorney will work with you closely to build a solid defense and help you through the entire case process.
What Services Does A Fort Myers Criminal Attorney Provide?
When you hire a criminal defense attorney in Fort Myers, they will provide you with many services. The first, and perhaps most important, of these services will be listening to your side of the story. By listening to the event from your perspective, your criminal attorney in Fort Myers will be able to help you build a strong defense case. The services that your criminal defense lawyer provides will include the following:
Initial Meeting and Discussion
The very first step to your criminal defense is meeting with your attorney and discussing the reason for your arrest. This will be a very intensive discussion, and you must be very open and honest with your attorney. The only way that your Fort Myers attorney can help build your case is to know as much information as possible.
Research In Fort Myers And Southwest Florida
Depending on the facts of your case and the charges you are facing, your attorney in Fort Myers will need to conduct some research into the allegations. This research would include gathering evidence, meeting with witnesses, and determining what types of expert witnesses are needed if any.
Your Fort Myers attorney will also look at similar cases in Southwest Florida to see if there are any conclusions that are helpful to your situation. Your attorney will also research current laws that pertain to every charge that you face. When it comes to defending a criminal case, your attorney knows that information is the key to success.
Legal Paperwork & Timelines
The law is very strict about response timelines in court cases and the proper preparation of paperwork. While this may seem like unimportant things when a person is facing a hefty fine or imprisonment, complying with the court regulations is crucial to case success.
Reality Check – Part One
During the preparation of your case, your Fort Myers attorney is going to be very up-front with you about how the case is progressing and the anticipated outcome. The potential outcome may change during the prep phase, but your Fort Myers attorney is always going to be very blunt with you about your case.
It should be understood that your criminal attorney Fort Myers cannot give you any type of guarantee on the outcome of your case. That would be irresponsible on their part and could prevent you from building a solid case. Your criminal attorney will only give you potential outcomes based on the facts of your case.
Bargaining Sessions With The Prosecutor
There are times that a case would have the best possible outcome if your Fort Myers criminal defense attorney bargained with the prosecutor for punishment without going to trial. Most commonly known as a plea bargain, the prosecutor in Fort Myers may give a lighter sentence, smaller fine, or waive all of the charges for admission to the charges.
The prosecutor in Fort Myers may also reduce the penalties or charges against you through bargaining with your criminal lawyer. Bargaining with the prosecution is not always in the best interest of the client. Your criminal defense attorney in Fort Myers will only negotiate a plea bargain on your behalf if it is in your best interest.
Prepare Your Case For Trial In Fort Myers
If your Fort Myers criminal defense attorney believes that it is in your best interest to go to trial, they will make that suggestion to you. Your criminal defense lawyer will be very open to you about the possible outcomes of the case.
Your Fort Myers lawyer will make sure that all the evidence has been collected and that expert witnesses are available for the case. Testimony will be taken by experts and actual witnesses to support your side of the events. Your Fort Myers lawyer will do everything possible to make sure your case is thoroughly prepared for trial.
Your criminal defense attorney will also work with you to prepare you for the actual trial. They will make recommendations on how you should dress, how you should sit during the trial, even the tone of your voice and the words that you use. All of this is to prepare you to have the best possible defense case.
Trial preparations are crucial to the success of your case. It is imperative that you work closely with your Fort Myers lawyer during this period so that you are ready to go before the judge and jury.
Jury selection is a very specialized procedure for your criminal defense attorney. The choice of jurors requires a precise knowledge of how people will react to the type of information that your Fort Myers attorney is going to present. Eliminating potential jurors that may automatically opt to convict is an important service provided by your Fort Myers criminal lawyer.
Reality Check – Part Two
Your criminal attorney Fort Myers will make recommendations to you throughout the actual trial based on how the trial is going. Every trial is different, and every case has a different outcome. Your criminal lawyer will use their experience as a Southwest Florida defense attorney to judge the result of the case and prepare you for the final decision.
If You Are Convicted
If you are convicted, your Fort Myers criminal attorney will continue to represent you through the sentencing phase of your case. Your lawyer can make recommendations for your sentencing that are different or lesser than the current penalties imposed by the courts for that specific offense. Your lawyer will do their best to reduce your sentencing.
Depending on the type of case, circumstances of the conviction, and the penalties, your Fort Myers criminal defense attorney may seek an appeal to your case. However, not every case can be appealed. Your attorney will only suggest an appeal for your case if there is substantial ground for the appeal.
What Types Of Cases Does A Fort Myers Criminal Attorney Accept?
A criminal attorney in Fort Myers will accept any type of criminal charge that they feel they can effectively represent. Criminal defense firms generally employ several attorneys so that a broad range of charges can be covered. Your Fort Myers attorney will let you know right from the start of the hiring process if they can manage your case or if they recommend another Fort Myers attorney within their firm to handle your case.
Can Any Criminal Attorney Handle My Case?
Technically, any Fort Myers attorney can represent your criminal case in court. However, you may feel more comfortable using a criminal defense attorney in Fort Myers that has extensive knowledge about your specific type of case. Southwest Florida has many attorneys that practice law, but not everyone is qualified to accept your case.
What Questions Should I Ask My Criminal Attorney Fort Myers Before Hiring Them?
There are several questions that you should ask a criminal attorney in Fort Myers before hiring them to represent your case. These questions include:
Have you represented a case like mine in Fort Myers or Southwest Florida before now?
This question is important because many charges are based on local laws and you want an attorney who is familiar with these laws.
What is your goal for your clients? Plea bargaining or trial?
This question will help you understand how the attorney will handle your case in Fort Myers.
Do you feel uncomfortable representing someone charged with this type of offense?
You want a criminal attorney in Fort Myers that is not opinionated about the charges and is only interested in protecting the rights of someone charged with a crime.
Will you work closely with me to help produce the best possible results for this case?
Seems like a silly question, but you want to know if your Fort Myers attorney is truly interested in your case.
How Long Will My Criminal Case Take?
The length of time your Fort Myers criminal case will take to complete will be based on several factors. Some of these factors include:
The severity of the crime
If your criminal charges are very serious, your Fort Myers attorney may waive your right to a speedy trial to help build a better case on your behalf. If the charges are minor, the case may proceed very quickly.
The court docket in Southwest Florida can sometimes be very crowded. Backlogs do occur due to weather conditions or other factors. Because of the potential for delays in Fort Myers, the exact amount of time for a case to be completed cannot be given.
Very Important Information Regarding Social Media Use During A Criminal Case
Social media has become an integrated part of society. Many people do not give a lot of thought about the things they post on social media, because they feel they are only communicating with family and friends. Anyone charged with criminal activity in Fort Myers should be aware that everything you post is being monitored by the prosecution when you have been charged with a crime.
When you are involved in a criminal case in Fort Myers or anywhere else, it is suggested that you handle social media the following way:
Do not post anything on social media about the event that led to your criminal charges in Fort Myers. You may even wish to refrain from posting that you were arrested.
If you have revealed that you were arrested in Fort Myers, you should refrain from posting anything about your criminal defense. Do not post who your attorney is in Fort Myers or anything that you have talked about regarding your defense.
You will want to refrain from releasing any information about the identities of people involved, witnesses, or any expert witnesses being used for your Fort Myers case.
You will want to avoid any posting to social media that could be seen as an admission of guilt for this crime or any other. Including admission to anything that happened outside of the Fort Myers area.
Do not post anything on social media about using alcohol or recreational drugs. Even if these things are legal to use in Fort Myers, the prosecution will use this information to make you look bad.
Do not post anything about arguing or fighting with anyone.
Do not post pictures of yourself that could be compromising in any way, including pictures from the past or areas outside of Fort Myers.
Do not post comments on anything that could be seen as rude, violent, or confrontational – these will be used by the prosecution to “build your character.”
The most important thing that you should remember is not to accept any friend requests from anyone that you do not know. You may also wish to advise your close family members and friends of this as well. Many times, the prosecutor's office will send out friend requests to people so that they can more easily monitor their social media presence.