PRIVATE
COUNSEL


ATTORNEYS

ORLANDO FLORIDA

407-849-2949

CRIMINAL DEFENSE

Private Counsel LLC lawyers practice criminal defense,
and have experience representing clients charged with
criminal offenses.  We handle:

  • BOND HEARINGS.
  • DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
  • DUI
  • EXTRADITION
  • GENERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE
  • JUVENILE CHARGES.
  • MISDEMEANOR & FELONY: criminal charges in
    state and federal court.
  • SEALING & EXPUNGEMENT of criminal history
    records.
  • VIOLATIONS OF PROBATION AND COMMUNITY
    CONTROL.
  • DRUG CHARGES: We defend clients charged with all
    drug and controlled substance charges including
    trafficking, sale, distribution, possession, delivery,
    importation, smuggling, etc.
  • CRIMINAL TRAFFIC OFFENSES : DUI defense,
    leaving the scene of an accident (LSOA), driving
    while license suspended (DWLS), reckless driving
    (RD), racing, and habitual traffic offender (HTO), and
    representation at Department of Motor Vehicles
    driver’s license suspension hearing.
  • TRAFFIC TICKETS/CITATIONS.

Our lawyers offer free consultations.  We
are available for after-hours
consultations and in-jail visits.

Located in downtown Orlando.  Free
parking.




BELOW IS SOME INFORMATION YOU MIGHT FIND HELPFUL IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN
CHARGED WITH A CRIME:

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
 

A
misdemeanor is a crime which is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail of no more than a year.  There are two
degrees of misdemeanors:
  • A First Degree Misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in the county jail or one year
    probation, plus a fine up to $1,000.
  • A Second Degree Misdemeanor is punishable by up to  60 days in the county jail or 6 months
    probation, plus a fine up to $500.

A
felony is a crime punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for more than one year or more
than 1 year probation.

STEPS IN A CRIMINAL CASE:

First Appearance
After a person is arrested, if they have not bonded out of jail within 24 hours, they  will appear before a
judge for a first appearance. The judge will set a bond amount (or, in very serious cases, order that a
person be held without bond) and determine if they qualify for representation by the Public Defender.

The case will also be scheduled for an arraignment before a county judge on misdemeanor and criminal
traffic cases or before a circuit judge for felony cases.

Arraignment
An arraignment is a hearing where a defendant is advised of the charges filed against him/her and
allowed to enter a plea. If they enter a plea of guilty or no contest they will be sentenced at that time. If they
plea not guilty the case will be set for a Pre-Trial Conference.

Pre-Trial Conference
The Pre-Trial Conference is a status conference which is attended by the defense attorney, prosecutor,
and judge. The parties will discuss the status of the case, the plea offer, and address any issues
regarding the case.  The case will usually be continued to another Pre-Trial Conference or scheduled for
trial.

Trial
If the Defendant does not enter a plea, then the case will be tried before a jury of 6 members of the
community. The prosecution will present any witnesses and evidence it has, and the defense has the
opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and challenge the evidence.  The defense also can present
any evidence and witnesses on the defendant's behalf.  The defendant may choose to testify, but he does
not have to testify, and neither the prosecution nor the judge can comment on the right to remain silent or
hold it against the defendant if he does not testify; the jury will also be instructed not to consider the
defendant's right to remain silent when it deliberates.  

All courtrooms are open to the public except for rare circumstances.  

Once all the evidence is concluded, the jury will decide whether to find the defendant guilty or not guilty.  
The jury will be instructed on the law and what it may and may not consider in conducting its
deliberations. If the defendant is found not guilty, the charges are dismissed, he is free to go, and the
State can never again bring those charges or use the same evidence against him.  If he is found guilty,
the judge will sentence the defendant.  

Sentencing
If the defendant is found guilty of a crime, the judge will impose sentence.  The sentence can include
jail/prison time (up to the maximum for that charge), probation, fines, suspension of the defendant's
driving privilege, classes (such as anger management), restitution (payment to the victim), community
service, drug/alcohol treatment, no return to the crime scene, no contact with the victim, and other
penalties allowed by law.  The judge's sentence will depend on the severity of the charge, the defendant's
criminal history, and the circumstance of the individual case.  


Failure to Appear
Any Defendant who fails to appear as required by the Court may have his or her bail revoked and a
warrant (also called a "Capias") issued for his/her arrest. He or she can also be charged with a new,
separate crime of failing to appear.  Therefore, it is important to keep your court dates and keep in contact
with your lawyer.