Florida Criminal Process Lawyers

The United States criminal justice system is based on the fundamental principle that one is innocent until proven guilty. Every individual accused of criminal wrongdoing has the legal right to a fair and impartial trial, to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures and to avoid self-incrimination.

Understanding and enforcing your rights within the criminal justice system requires specialized knowledge of court procedures, law enforcement obligations and the rules of evidence.  To ensure that your rights are secured, it is advisable to seek representation from a Florida white collar criminal litigation law firm.

Understanding the Criminal Process

The criminal process varies by jurisdiction but generally follows the steps below:

  1. Accusation or suspicion of wrongdoing or law violations.
  2. Investigation by federal or state authority.
  3. Warrant – Issuing of an arrest warrant, provided sufficient evidence exists to prove that a crime was committed.
  4. Arrest, at which time the suspect is taken into custody, fingerprinted and officially entered into the system.
  5. Arraignment, in which the accused is informed of the charges and given the opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
  6. Bail hearings, in which a judge assesses whether the defendant is a flight risk and establishes the bail amount, if granted.
  7. Pre-trial discovery in which evidence is collected and prosecutors and defendants develop a legal case. Pre-trial motions may be made during this time, including requests to suppress evidence collected in violation of the client’s constitutional rights.
  8. Trial, in which the prosecutor has the burden of proving the defendant’s guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
  9. Appeal if the defendant is dissatisfied with the outcome of the criminal case.

Podhurst Orseck can help you navigate the criminal system and protect your legal rights. Since its founding almost 50 years ago, the firm has represented a wide variety of clients accused of white-collar crimes. Several of our attorneys have backgrounds as federal prosecutors and have extensive experience in this area of practice. The firm has garnered recognition as top attorneys and skilled litigators from U.S. News & World Report and other organizations on the national and local level.