Tampa Criminal Lawyer
A criminal arrest or conviction can send you to prison, hit you with thousands of dollars in fines, or saddle you with civil disabilities ranging from the loss of your driver’s license to restrictions on where you can live. At the Faulkner Law Group, you’ll get qualified legal help from a former Florida state prosecutor experienced in the full range of felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged in the state. If you’ve been arrested in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk or Pasco County, call on the Tampa criminal lawyers at Faulkner Law Group for practical advice and forceful, effective representation in any Florida criminal legal matter.
Help with a wide range of Florida criminal charges
The Faulkner Law Group is here to help with any of the following:
Traffic Offenses – DUI, BUI, vehicular homicide, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license. Traffic infractions build points on your license until your driver’s license gets suspended. Some offenses, such as DUI or vehicular homicide, can be charged as felonies and send you to prison for years or cost you thousands in fines. Don’t take any traffic ticket too lightly. Call the Faulkner Law Group for help.
Violence – Assault, battery, domestic violence, stalking, murder, manslaughter, stand your ground. Violent crime arrests are often made in chaotic or confusing circumstances that mask the availability of valid defenses, including provocation, self-defense, and misunderstandings. David Faulkner frequently speaks on Florida self-defense and stand your ground laws and is a well-versed authority on violent crime defense.
Drug Crimes – Possession, trafficking, cocaine, cannabis, heroin, ecstasy, paraphernalia. Drug crimes can be charged as misdemeanors or felonies depending upon the type and amount of drugs involved, intent and other factors. Prosecutors tend to charge the highest level offense they can. We’ll work to get charges reduced or dismissed, suppress evidence that was obtained illegally, or mount a vigorous defense in court when going to trial is in your best interests.
Weapons offenses – Possession of a concealed weapon or firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Firearms offenses are subject to Florida’s strict 10/20/Life law, making it extremely important to take any arrest seriously and retain the services of a qualified and experienced weapons offenses defense attorney. David Faulkner is a former FBI Special Agent trained in firearms and tactical combat. The Faulkner Law Group is prepared to represent you and defend you in the face of Florida weapons charges.
Theft and Fraud – Grand theft, petit theft, auto theft, forgery, burglary/trespass, robbery, dealing in stolen property. Theft crimes may be felonies or misdemeanors depending on the type or value of property. Conviction for theft or fraud can keep you from obtaining a good job or professional license, in addition to requiring you to pay restitution, pay fines or serve time. The prosecutor is required to prove every element of the offense charged. We’ll put up every viable defense in your favor.
Sex Crimes – Sexual assault, sexual battery, lewd & lascivious conduct, lewd & lascivious molestation, child and Internet sex crimes, child pornography, child abuse. Sex crimes are tough to defend, as prosecutors and juries alike tend to side with alleged victims over the accused. At the same time, the stakes are never higher than they are with sex offenses, where convicted offenders are forced to register for life as a sex offender or sexual predator.
Appeals and Post-Conviction – Sentence modifications, violation of probation, sealing/expunction of criminal records, bond hearings. Our Tampa criminal defense practice covers the entire spectrum of the Florida criminal justice system, from pretrial release to appeals and applications for post-conviction relief.
Florida Criminal Law FAQs
Being stopped by the police or arrested is a scary experience, largely because you don’t know exactly what is going on and feel helpless and at the mercy of the police. The more you know about the law and your rights in the legal process, the more comfortable you’ll be exercising those rights and setting yourself up for the best outcome in your case. See below for answers to frequently asked questions about Florida criminal law, and contact the Faulkner Law Group if you’ve been arrested in the greater Tampa area.
Can the police search my car for drugs?
Your person and your property, including your car, are constitutionally protected against unreasonable searches and seizures. Before the police can search your car, they must have reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place, plus probable cause to believe a search will reveal evidence of criminal activity. A warrant is not necessarily required. If the police see drugs or drug paraphernalia in plain view, if they smell drugs or can articulate how your behavior or other factors gave them suspicion, then they might have the authority to search.
Even if you think the police are acting outside their authority in conducting a search, it’s unwise to try to stop them or get in their way. Instead, tell your attorney about the circumstances surrounding the stop and search. An experienced criminal defense lawyer will conduct a thorough investigation and make forceful legal arguments to suppress any evidence unlawfully obtained, likely getting the charges dropped or the case dismissed.
Finally, it’s critical to know that you do have the right to withhold consent to a search when the police ask your permission. It can be intimidating when dealing with the police, and it may feel like you don’t have a choice, but if the police ask for your permission to search, you have the right to say no. Generally speaking, you won’t be any worse off withholding consent, and there is rarely any good reason to agree to a search.
Can I be arrested for possession if I’m a passenger in the car?
When the police do search a vehicle and find drugs inside, they might charge everyone in the car with possession of narcotics or other drug crimes. You don’t actually need to have drugs on your person to be charged with possession; the police can charge anyone with possession if they are in the presence of illegal drugs and have “dominion and control” over the substance. However, whether you actually have dominion and control can depend on a number of factors, including your location in the car relative to the location of the drugs. You might not have even known there were drugs in the car before the police turned them up. Remain calm and call an experienced Tampa drug crime defense lawyer as soon as possible to deal with your arrest.
Stay calm. Remember that you can call a lawyer and don’t have to answer any questions. These are your rights, and the police should inform you of these rights as a routine part of the arrest and certainly before asking you any questions. The best moves you can take after an arrest are to decline to answer any questions and to call an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Although you may decline to answer questions put to you by the police (other than your name and other basic identifying information), you should generally physically comply with other directives from the police. Don’t run, don’t fight. Remain calm and respectful.
What do I do if the police arrest me?
If you call anyone besides a lawyer, don’t discuss any details of your arrest, even if you think you are alone or on a private line. Don’t talk to others at the police station about your arrest. You never know when the police are listening or recording your conversations, and they can use anything they hear against you.
Am I guaranteed the right to be released on bail?
The constitution prohibits courts from imposing excessive bail, but it does not always guarantee the right to bail. For instance, if you are charged with a capital (death penalty) crime or any offense that could be punished with life in prison and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, then you might be denied bail. Otherwise, the judge should grant pretrial release on reasonable conditions, unless prosecutors can show that no conditions of release would reasonably protect the community from risk of physical harm to others, assure your presence at trial, or assure the integrity of the judicial process.
The Faulkner Law Group can represent you at your bond hearing and argue to have you released on your personal recognizance or with a reasonable amount of bail and reasonable restrictions on your ability to travel, associate with others, or other conditions.
What is a status crime?
A status crime is an offense that is illegal because of your legal status. For instance, a status crime might be driving on a suspended license, possessing a firearm as a felon or when you are subject to a domestic violence restraining order, or failure to register as a sex offender. Proving guilt under a status offense can be a complex, technical matter. Talk to a knowledgeable and experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney if you’ve been arrested for a status crime in Hillsborough County or surrounding areas.
Make your first call be to an experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyer
The things you say and do, and the things you don’t say or do after an arrest have an immense impact on the eventual outcome of your case. Your best bet for a positive result is to be firm about exercising your rights to remain silent and have a Tampa criminal lawyer represent you. Before you call anyone, call the Faulkner Law Group. We’ll work to get your charges dropped or your case dismissed, suppress illegal evidence, negotiate a favorable plea agreement, or defend you in court. Call the Faulkner Law Group in Tampa anytime at 813-544-3919 for immediate assistance.