Criminal Defense

You do not have to be a "criminal" to be arrested. Many clients are good people who make a mistake that has criminal consequences or have been falsely accused of a crime. Here's some tips below if you find yourself in this situation and visit our FAQ section for even more information on various offenses.

Tell your attorney the whole story.

You must be completely honest with your attorney. My job is to help you and I am not allowed to tell anybody what you have told me except to help you. If you have lied to me, I may take action on your behalf which will be impossible to correct when the truth comes out. If you have told me something that is not true, do not be afraid to tell me the truth now. I will not be angry at you. I need to know the whole truth so I can represent your best interests without being surprised later on after it's too late to change my strategy.

Behave yourself.

Between your arrest and your trial you must stay out of trouble. The last thing you need is to go to trial with another problem hanging over your head. Do not go and talk to potential witnesses. Do not try to justify yourself to anyone. Your friends don't need to hear it and people who think you are guilty won't believe it. The only person you should communicate with about your case is your attorney.

If you are in a pre-trial detention center or jail.

Be aware that telephone calls are monitored. Be aware that your in-coming and outgoing mail may be opened and read. Mail to and from your attorney will not be read if you write "Attorney Client Legal Mail" on the envelope. Be aware that you may have to get prior approval before your family will be allowed to visit you. If you want family members to visit, talk to detention center officials about getting them on your approved list of visitors and/or telephone numbers you are allowed to call. Be aware that in order to purchase things in the commissary or make long distance telephone calls, you must have money deposited into your account with the detention center.

If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime, you need to retain a competent, qualified criminal defense attorney.

Let us help with your defense. Contact Us Today at 772-489-9096.

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FAQ

1WEAPONS OFFENSES

Florida has several crimes involving weapons, such as carrying a Concealed Firearm, Improper Exhibition of a Weapon and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Florida also has an enhancement statute wherein the use of a firearm can result in a 10 year, 25 year and of possible life sentence.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can review your case, determine if you have been properly charged based on the facts and discuss your options.

2THEFT/FRAUD

Theft can be from an individual or business (such as shoplifting) and is defined as the knowing and intentional use or endeavor to use the property of another, whether permanently or temporarily. Theft also includes writing bad checks, fraudulently using another person's credit card without their permission, forgery and other similar offenses.

There are varying degrees of Theft and Theft can be a misdemeanor, referred to as petit theft, or a felony referred to as Grand Theft. Depending on the value of the item(s) stolen and your prior criminal history, the maximum punishment can range from 60 days county jail to 30 years in prison.

Dealing in Stolen Property. Even is you didn't steal an item, but you knew or should have known it was stolen, and sold or trafficked that item, you could face a charge of Dealing in Stolen Property. Dealing in Stolen Property is a 2nd degree felony with a punishment of up to 15 years in prison. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can investigate your case and defend you.

3SEXUAL ALLEGATIONS

Crimes of sexual allegations seem to carry the most social stigma and public outrage. If you have been accused of a sexual allegation, you need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.

Being falsely accused of any crime is difficult, but being falsely accused of a sex crime can be especially devastating. There is often media attention and it seems as though the public has presumed you guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you cope with this situation and zealously represent you.

Many sex crimes carry mandatory penalties, the highest being mandatory life in prison. In Florida life means life, no parole or early release. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle these matters.

Not only can a period of lengthy incarceration be a sentence in the event of a conviction for a sexual offense, but there are other lifelong consequences, such as having to register as a sexual offender or predator for the rest of your life, restrictions on where you may reside, restrictions on contact with your own children and the list goes on. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights.

Karen J Tufte has personally represented dozens of persons accused of sexual crimes, ranging of Lewd and Lascivious Molestation to Capital Sexual Battery. As an experienced board certified criminal defense attorney Karen J Tufte can properly evaluate your case, explain the law and potential ramifications, make you aware of your options and help you achieve the best resolution possible.

4ROBBERY

Robbery is the taking of money or property from another person with the intent to deprive that owner of that property by the use of force, violence or threats. This is typically referred to as Strong Arm Robbery. Other types of robbery include Robbery by Sudden Snatching, Robbery with a Deadly Weapon or Firearm, Home Invasion Robbery or Carjacking.

Depending on the type of Robbery and whether or not a weapon was used Robbery may be classified as a 2nd degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, or as a life felony, meaning you would never be released from prison. You need to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to evaluate your case and defend you.

5PROBATION VIOLATIONS

A criminal sentence that allows a person to return to the community under supervised release. Probation is an alternative to imprisonment and is applied to almost two-thirds of sentenced offenders in the United States. Control is maintained over the offender by an agent of the court called a probation officer. Judges are permitted substantial latitude in placing offenders on probation. Legislatures typically make probation the minimum sentence for most offenses, although probation for certain violent crimes is often prohibited.

Probation is a conditional sentence. It is often used in conjunction with other sanctions such as fines, restitution, community service, or treatment for chemical dependency. Other conditions, such as maintaining employment or frequent contact with probation officers, are attached as well. If any of the conditions of probation are not met, it may be revoked by the sentencing judge. Prior to revocation, hearings must be held to establish that conditions of probation have been violated. A probationer is entitled to assistance of counsel as a matter of right at such hearings. If probation is revoked, the offender is typically sentenced to a term of imprisonment.

modified section licensed under CC BY 3.0 from "Probation" lawi.us. lawi.us, 03 2018. Web. 04 2020. https://lawi.us/probation/

6OBSTRUCTION of JUSTICE

Examples of Obstruction of Justice crimes include but are not limited to Resisting an Officer with or without Violence, Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Tampering with a Witness or Evidence and Introduction of Contraband into a Detention Facility.

7MURDER

Florida has different degrees of murder - First Degree Murder is defined as the premeditated killing of another human being. A first degree murder conviction has only 2 possible sentences - life in prison or death. Second Degree Murder occurs under Florida law when a person is killed by an act that is imminently dangerous and envincing a depraved mind showing no regard for human life. Second degree murder is punishable by up to life in prison. Third Degree Murder occurs when a person unintentionally kills another while committing a non-violent felony and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Felony Murder occurs when a person is killed during the commission or attempted commission of a list of several enumerated felonies, regardless of intent.

8JUVENILE OFFENSES

Juvenile offenders are those accused of a crime who are under the age of 18. The nature of the criminal allegation and the juvenile's prior criminal record, if any, will factor into whether the Office of the State Attorney will seek to have the juvenile transferred to adult court, or remain in the juvenile system.

Having an experience criminal defense attorney involved in the very beginning, may make the difference between staying in juvenile court, as opposed to being transferred to the adult system.

9DUI

Driving Under the Influence. DUI is defined as driving under the influence to the extent that your normal facilities are impaired OR driving with a blood or breath alcohol level over .08. DUI is a crime that has criminal consequences, such as fines and incarceration as well as non criminal sanction, such as the loss of your drivers license.

DUI penalties range widely based on prior offenses, blood/breath alcohol level, if there was an accident, if there were any injuries and other factors. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can review your case with you, determine a defense strategy and evaluate your possible consequences.

IMPORTANT - If you have been arrested for a first time DUI, you may be able to keep your drivers license, but there is only a 10 day window from the date of your arrest in which to apply. An experienced lawyer can assist you with the process. There are NO EXCEPTIONS after 10 days.

10DRUG OFFENSES

Florida's tough drug laws and penalties can have far reaching consequences. There are numerous mandatory minimum penalties for different types of drug offenses. For example a conviction for a misdemeanor marijuana possession results in a driver's license suspension.

The illegal possession of pain pills, of just 4 grams, can land you in prison for a mandatory sentence of 3 years. Other types of drug offenses carry a mandatory penalty of 25 years in prison. Drug cases can involve complex defenses based on technical issues surrounding the search and seizure of the evidence.

Some types of drug offenses may qualify for entry into a drug court program, as opposed to incarceration or regular probation, and you may even qualify to have the charge dropped upon successful completion of the program.

Karen J Tufte has handled thousands of drug crime cases. As an experienced board certified criminal defense attorney Karen J Tufte can properly evaluate your case, explain the law and potential ramifications, investigate potential suppression issues and make you aware of your options and help you achieve the best resolution possible.

11DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence typically consists of some sort of battery between related or dating persons. Florida statutes do not allow bond to be set on a Domestic Violence case until you see a judge at first appearance. This means that if you are arrested at 2 pm, you will sit in jail until you see a judge the following morning.

Having an attorney at your first appearance hearing can be beneficial. Your attorney can make arguments to the judge regarding your bond amount and conditions. If you have been released on bond for a Domestic Violence charge, there is probably an order prohibiting contact between you and the victim. We can assist in having that Order stricken or modified. Oftentimes a Domestic Violence charge occurs when two people are upset but still care for each other and want to be in contact with each other. A husband and wife might want to seek marriage counseling and a modification would allow that.

It is also important to keep in mind that an arrest/conviction for Domestic Violence may be used against you in another proceeding, such as a divorce or child custody situation. Domestic Violence allegations should not be taken lightly. As an experienced board certified criminal defense attorney Karen J Tufte can properly evaluate your case, explain the law and potential ramifications, make you aware of your options and help you achieve the best resolution possible.

12BURGLARY

Most people think a Burglary occurs when someone breaks into your home & steals from you. That is a type of Burglary. Burglary is actually defined as illegally entering or remaining in a dwelling, structure or conveyance with the intent to commit any crime. Theft is just one example, others include battery or rape.

Depending on the type of Burglary, it can be classified as a 3rd degree felony, 2nd degree felony, 1st degree felony or life felony with the maximum punishment ranging from 5 years in prison to life in prison.

13BATTERY

Battery is defined as the actual, intentional touching of another person against that person's will. Battery is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. However, a person who has a prior conviction for Battery or Aggravated Battery and is again charged with Battery, faces a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

Aggravated Battery is defined as intentionally or knowingly causing great bodily harm, disfigurement, or uses a deadly weapon during the commission of a battery. It also applies to a battery, no matter how slight, committed against a pregnant woman. Aggravated Battery is a felony of the 2nd degree, punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

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