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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer

In certain circumstances, knowing your rights is essential. It is usually only after a situation arises that people become aware of their rights. If, for instance, police officers search a property or when someone is pulled over and asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs), those are examples. Whether or not a person is arrested, legal advice from a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer can help them defend their rights. If you retain an attorney while an investigation is pending before formal charges are brought, your chances of a successful outcome improve greatly.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense

Attorneys that have been hired for representation in advance of charging a criminal case are generally ahead of the game. If the prosecution’s case is weak or there is insufficient evidence to prove specific charges, the defense attorney can challenge admissibility or challenge specifics of the case. These strategies are useful in helping to avoid filing charges, to reach an agreement about diversion, and/or to reduce or reduce the seriousness of charges. A plea agreement generally takes the form of a written agreement between the parties, and the initial charges usually define the parameters for that agreement.

Criminal Attorneys in Broward County

We provide aggressive defense to people facing a wide range of criminal charges, including: felony assault, felony DUI, felony probation violation, felony theft, felony burglary, and felony theft.

Sex Crime Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale

Unlike most people, who might be reluctant to deal with adult sex crimes, Florida’s harsh sex crimes penalties can result in a lifetime of undesirable consequences for a high school senior. All misdemeanors and felonies carry with them undesirable forms of punishment, but most sex crimes require registration as a sex offender or predator. While registering for a criminal record can make it challenging for a person to find employment, housing, and close relationships, the risk is more than just incarceration, fines, counseling, and probation.

Registered Sex Offender Criminal Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale

The state of Florida requires that individuals convicted of sex crimes register either as a sexual predator or as an offender. Sexual predators are individuals who commit violent acts of sexual violence. A sexual predator designated by the state of Florida cannot be removed from the registry under Florida law. When a sex offender is registered, he or she usually cannot live closer than a thousand feet to a school, park, or playground facility if the alleged victim is under 16 years old. There are a number of ordinances in the counties and cities that are even stricter and can make finding housing virtually impossible.

Sex Offenses and Criminal Defense in Fort Lauderdale

A rape conviction, molestation charge, sexual assault charge, or child pornographic charge is one that no one wants. Forensic experts and private investigators are used by the criminal defense attorneys at David Williams to examine forensic evidence and interview witnesses. Defenses that might be relevant, based on the facts, include:

  • Ignorance or lack of specific knowledge
  • An encounter that is consensual
  • Confessions and statements obtained illegally are suppressed
  • The government’s witnesses are attacked as credible
  • An interview that is biased or suggestive can skew a child’s testimony

Broward County Criminal Lawyer for DUI Defense

Due to ‘science’ behind screening procedures like chemical tests for blood alcohol concentration (BAC), many people believe they have little chance of defeating a DUI charge. In any event, through the results of representing thousands of people facing DUI charges, our Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyers have a thorough understanding of the procedural, administrative, and legal grounds for challenging the prosecutor’s case. The judge might throw out all evidence against a person if he or she successfully challenges the basis for stopping the vehicle.

DUI Laws in Fort Lauderdale and Florida

In Florida, DUI is defined in Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes as driving a vehicle or exercising actual physical control over a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol, or possessing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than .08%. You could be jailed, fined, and face other penalties if you are found guilty. When it comes to first-time DUIs, a person could face harsher penalties if they have a history of previous convictions or if a minor was in the vehicle.

Defense Strategies in DUI Cases Used by Florida Criminal Lawyers

Stopping someone without a valid reason is illegal; police officers have to have “reasonable suspicions” that someone is violating traffic laws or “probable cause” that someone is committing a crime before they can stop them. In order to qualify as “reasonable suspicion,” the information and facts must be substantiated, rather than mere speculation or guesswork. Testing for a divided attention effect under field sobriety tests is important according to very specific procedures and evaluation guidelines. The tests are seldom administered properly by many police officers due to a lack of appropriate training. An officer might deviate from the protocol, even if he or she is properly trained. Some motorists may be unable to perform these tests because of illness, disability, or injury. Chemometric testing should follow strict regulations and follow mandatory maintenance procedures if you plan on performing chemical tests. Noncompliance with these procedures and maintenance requirements can result in results being discarded. The following questions will likely be asked by the officer when the individual is pulled over:

  • Have you been drinking?
  • How much have you had to drink?
  • Where are you coming from?

In Florida, motorists are not obligated to answer these questions, so anyone seeking legal advice should politely express that they so desire. In some instances, an officer will not let a person speak to a lawyer, but this is an acceptable rationale for refusal. A person’s responses may be suppressed even if they answered those questions voluntarily or if the officer compelled them to make an “involuntary” confession.

Criminal Lawyers for Domestic Violence in Fort Lauderdale

There has never been such a high level of national attention devoted to allegations of domestic violence. Even in the best of circumstances, domestic violence allegations can be a destructive weapon for those with corrupt motives, regardless of whether those applying pressure “believe the victim” and “punish the abuser”. If a person has been involved in a divorce or custody proceeding, they might already be aware of this fact. It is possible for partners to accuse other people of infidelity without any notice. A judge might also require a third-party supervisor to supervise a person who is temporarily barred from seeing children. An order restraining a person from domestic violence might also hurt their career by not allowing them to obtain a security clearance, pass a background check, and carry a concealed firearm.

Domestic Violence Battery Laws in Fort Lauderdale

Under Florida law, domestic violence refers to a class of crimes characterized by threats or acts of violence committed by parties within given relationships, as defined in section 741.28 of the Florida Statutes. Included in these relationships are:

  • Partners who are married or formally married
  • Relationships between married or blood relatives
  • A family that lives or has lived together
  • An individual’s parents

Domestic violence offenses are defined in a nonexclusive list in the statutory provision:

  • Assault
  • Aggravated Assault
  • Battery
  • Aggravated Battery
  • False Imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Stalking
  • Aggravated Stalking
  • Other crimes resulting in injury between parties in the relationships indicated above

Criminal Defense and Domestic Violence Lawyers in Fort Lauderdale

At David Williams, our criminal defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale have handled cases involving domestic violence. The best defense strategy is determined by thoroughly examining medical records, law enforcement records, witness statements, and other evidence.

Statutory Penalties for Misdemeanor Crimes

An offense described as a misdemeanor can result in jail time of up to one year. The county judge will handle misdemeanor crimes if the defendant has not been charged with any felony offenses. Misdemeanor crimes are categorized as less serious offenses than felony crimes. It is possible to commit a third-degree misdemeanor or a second-degree misdemeanor.

First Degree Misdemeanor

In addition to the possibility of jail time, supervised probation, and a fine of up to $1,000, first-degree misdemeanors carry up to a year behind bars.

Second Degree Misdemeanor

There are one hundred and fifty dollars in fines and sixty days in county jail for committing a second-degree misdemeanor.

Statutory Penalties for Felony Crimes

The circuit court oversees crimes committed by felony criminals, who can be sentenced to state prison for more than one year. Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code outlines how felony crimes are sentenced. A felony is assigned a certain number of points according to the Criminal Punishment Code, which is sometimes called “scoresheet” for rating the seriousness of each offense. Unlike the Florida state ranking, which factors in a crime’s statutory degree, this ranking is computed by the state government of Florida. You will be subject to jail time if you have a score of over 44 points for a given felony. The higher your felony ranking, the more points you will have on your criminal punishment “scoresheet.” Even if you score fewer than 44, the presiding judge has the option of sending you to prison, so long as you have not committed another crime.

First Degree Felony

In the first degree, a felony will be punished by a prison sentence of up to thirty years, supervised probation of up to thirty years, and a fine up to $10,000.

Second Degree Felony

Generally, the punishment for a second-degree felony is either fifteen years’ imprisonment, supervised probation for fifteen years, and a fine of up to $10,000.

Third Degree Felony

Crimes of the third degree are punishable by up to five years in state prison, five years on probation, and a $5,000 fine.

Life Felony

Life hours or life imprisonment, as well as a $15,000 fine, is what a life felony entails.

Capital Felony

A felony that can lead to death or life in prison without parole is considered a capital offense.

Clearing Your Criminal Record

According to Florida state law, you can either have your criminal record expunged or sealed based upon the outcome of your criminal case.

When a criminal record will be expunged, all copies of the record will be physically destroyed except for one, which is maintained by Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement. It is a record that has been hidden from public view and cannot be accessed by the public but is still available to law enforcement officials. Private employers, landlords, or anyone else performing a background check cannot access an expunged or sealed record.


A sealed criminal record may be available if you meet the following criteria:

  • The charges against you are filed, and you plead guilty or not guilty
  • Your case was withheld by the judge
  • Your record does not include any convictions for any other crime

Sealing a criminal record prevents both law enforcement officials and courts from acknowledging the existence of and revealing details about the record.


Expungement of a criminal record may be available if:

  • A dismissal of charges has occurred
  • There have been no other crimes that you have been found guilty of.

In the event of an expungement, the records related to your arrest are physically destroyed by the courts and law enforcement agencies. In this way, it is impossible for accidental disclosures to occur. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, however, keeps one copy in confidence forever. In order to schedule a no-obligation, and confidential consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, it would be best if you or a loved one faced any of the above charges.

Criminal Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What should I do if I think I have an outstanding arrest warrant?
A Florida Department of Law enforcement arrest warrant search can help you determine whether an arrest warrant for you exists. Websites are susceptible to being out of date. An attorney can assist you in conducting a search on your behalf and helping you resolve the problem.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
The punishment for felonies is harsher than that for misdemeanors since felonies are more serious crimes. An offense that is considered a misdemeanor is typically punished by one year in prison.
What happens after a person has been placed under arrest?
The suspect is frequently brought to the local county jail on arrest when police officers or county sheriffs place him under arrest. In this stage, the police are entering the suspect’s information into the computer system, checking if the suspect has any open warrants on him or her, and reviewing his or her criminal history.

It is very common for officers or deputy sheriffs to simply issue a notice to appear instead of processing a misdemeanor arrestee into the county jail.

It is here that the suspect would be processed if she were arrested and charged with felony crimes. It is possible for the defendant to either be released on bond or appear before a judge the next day depending on the charges.

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Real Clients, Real Testimonials

“Not gonna lie. I was scared at first – of course w anything w laws it’s very scary. But David was very professional , honest and true to his word. I felt so much better and confident that he was definitely gonna help me. And he did !! I’m truly grateful for him and his staff- his assistant Jessica is very warm and kind and is always on top of everything. Thank you guys so much!”

- Maria Cabrera -

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Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A.

15 SW 10th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315Questions or Schedule An Appointment? Click to Call (954) 522-9997

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Law Offices of R. David Williams, P.A.

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If you have been recently arrested or charged with any criminal offense in South Florida, you need an aggressive, experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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