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FAQs Surrounding Criminal Law in Florida


Innocent people are charged with crimes every day in Florida. A police officer could pull you over or question you about a crime and they may even arrest you even though you did nothing wrong. It is for this reason that everyone in Florida should understand some basics about criminal law in the state, including what rights you have in these situations. To help you protect yourself, below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about criminal law in Florida.

What are My Rights when Getting Arrested?

Everyone in Florida has statutory and constitutional rights before, during, and after an arrest. These rights include:

  • The right to remain silent
  • The right to a lawyer
  • The right to reasonable bail, unless the alleged crime was an offense punishable by life in prison or involved a violation of probation
  • The right to depose the witnesses against you when you are charged with a felonious offense
  • The right to know the evidence that will be used against you
  • The right to a jury trial

A criminal defense lawyer can advise you of your rights and ensure they are upheld.

When Can Police Search My Home?

Under the Fourth Amendment, law enforcement officers are not allowed to search your property unless they have a search warrant. However, sometimes officers will ask to search a home or other property and the owner believes they have to consent to the search. You never have to consent to a search of your vehicle or home unless the officers have a warrant. If law enforcement has a warrant and wants to search your home, you must let them inside. If you are pulled over in your vehicle, you also do not need to consent to a search but police officers may still search your car without a warrant in certain situations.

What are Considered Violent Crimes?

A violent crime occurs any time a person uses violence against another person. Threatening to use violence during the commission of a crime is also considered a violent crime. The penalties associated with a conviction for a violent crime are typically much harsher than penalties for non-violent crimes.

Is Speeding a Criminal Offense?

Like other traffic violations, speeding is generally considered an infraction and so, a speeding ticket will not appear on your criminal record. A charge of speeding will still appear on your driving record and may affect certain issues such as your car insurance premiums. However, traveling 30 miles or more above the posted speed limit can lead to criminal charges.

Am I Required to Have a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer for My Case?

Florida law never requires that you have an attorney present for criminal proceedings. However, it is highly recommended that you do. At Eighmie Law Firm, P.A., our experienced Port St. Lucie criminal lawyers have successfully defended our clients against many different types of crimes, and we want to put our experience to work for you. Call us today at (772) 905-8692 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.


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