Tim Shaw and Jay Patel make up ASG’s Criminal Defense team. Whether someone has been arrested in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, Okaloosa County, or Walton County, our team has decades of experience representing clients in Judge trials and Jury trials in all types of criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to complex capital felonies. Our Criminal Defense team is here and ready.
Do You Need an Experienced Destin Criminal Defense Lawyer?
If you have been accused of committing a crime, someone close to you has been arrested, or you are being investigated, we can help.
At Anchors Smith Grimsley, our criminal defense lawyers deal with your charges and all the issues surrounding an arrest or investigation on criminal charges. We can also work with you through sentencing, appeal and post-trial issues.
Our criminal defense team is particularly well-versed in handling offenses like: Drug Possession, Drug Trafficking, Grand Theft, Petit Theft, Battery, Sex Offenses, Traffic Offenses, Fraud and the Sealing and Expunging of Records.
Contact one of our Experienced Destin Attorneys:
What Do our Criminal Defense Attorney’s Do?
Our team of criminal defense lawyers understand the United States Constitution, not least of all the fourth amendment, which protects against unlawful searches and seizures. The fifth and sixth amendments govern the right to remain silent so as not to incriminate oneself. The first thing we do on behalf of a client that has been charged with a crime is to review the charges and to do an analysis to see if any constitutional rights have been violated.
Research is primary for our team. We spend a considerable amount of time reviewing all documentation to determine, first of all, if a case against our client truly exists. We consider how the evidence against our client was obtained, what exactly happened, and whether there was any illegal conduct on the part of a government representative?
In addition, our Destin criminal defense attorneys spend a great deal of time in courtrooms, law libraries, prisons, hospitals, offices, and client’s homes obtaining all the relevant information.
Research and Preparation – Plea Bargaining
Our Destin criminal lawyers carefully research and prepare a client’s defense strategy by examining evidence, laws, and statutes related to the offense. They will also examine past judicial rulings that can help strengthen their arguments on your behalf.
In a situation where no constitutional violations exist, our criminal attorney concentrates on trial preparation. They look at any proposed settlement or potential plea bargain as possible alternatives to a client (defendant) facing more serious consequences.
Plea agreements usually involve changing a charge to a lesser one and sentencing agreements usually involve agreeing to a lesser sentence. Often, both a plea agreement and a sentencing agreement are involved, depending on the nature of the charge and whether or not it has happened before.
A misdemeanor generally refers to a crime that is punishable by one year or less in a county jail. A felony usually refers to a charge that is punishable by more than one year in the prison system. Then we have an infraction, or non-criminal violation, which is not classified as a crime, and is punishable by fine, forfeiture, or civil remedy. A good example of this is a parking ticket.
Classifying a Crime
In Okaloosa County, just like all of Florida, all crimes are classified as felonies or misdemeanors. A felony is a serious crime. Depending on the nature of the felony crime it is governed either by federal or Florida state law and tried in either federal or state court.
Felony crimes are divided into violent and non-violent. Non-violent crime tends to be white collar crime like tax evasion, embezzlement, identity theft, bribery, drug offenses, fraud, forgery, burglary, and larceny. Violent felony crimes include murder, rape, manslaughter, sexual assault, armed robbery, and other acts of violence that inflict bodily harm upon another.
Misdemeanors include offenses like disorderly intoxication, battery, theft of property valued less than a specific amount (mandated by state statute) and trespassing.
Felonies and misdemeanors committed in Florida are divided by several degrees of severity with each degree stipulating a specific level of punishment (terms of imprisonment) and / or fines.
Elements that change a misdemeanor into a felony can include: the value of stolen or destroyed property, the quantity of drugs involved, injuring someone, prior convictions, and the use of deadly force or weapon while committing the crime.
Various Crimes in Florida Law That Anchors Smith Grimsley Handle
Our team of experienced Destin criminal defense lawyers handle the following offenses frequently. Our practice is not limited to these but they are the most common, along with traffic offenses.
Petit Theft– this is a misdemeanor offense that occurs when an individual steals or attempts to steal property valued under $300. The theft does not have to occur in a store. Punishment may include jail, probation, community service, restitution, or a combination of those penalties.
Grand Theft– a felony offense that occurs when an individual knowingly and unlawfully obtains or attempts to steal or use the property of another, when the property is valued at more than $300.00. Punishment may include prison, probation fines, restitution, and a permanent criminal record, or some combination of those penalties.
Possession of Cannabis– possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by jail, probation, and driver’s license revocation. Our team of criminal defense lawyers can help you avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction on this charge.
Possession or Use of Drug Paraphernalia– this is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by the possibility of jail time, probation, and/or fines. Drug paraphernalia is defined as anything intended for the production, use, or processing of a controlled substance.
Possession of Cocaineis a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
Fraud– especially welfare fraud, is a serious criminal offense that is classified and punishable as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the amount of public assistance received. Other types of fraud include identity theft, writing a check then canceling it, or misrepresentation.
Battery– under Florida law, there are three types of battery: simple, aggravated, and felony.
Simple battery is an intentional, violent threat made against another. It is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to one year in jail or 12 months of probation and a fine.
Aggravated battery is the intentional touching of another with the intention of inflicting great bodily harm. It is punishable by mandatory imprisonment of up to 15 or more years.
Felony battery is intentional and unconsented touching or hitting of another person resulting in great bodily harm to that person. Felony battery is a punishable by up to five years in prison.
We also realize that it is not only serious criminal trials where you might need help. If you are trying to fight a citation that was given to you after getting pulled over, our Destin traffic ticket attorneys can handle that for you too. Many people are unaware that they are allowed to have legal representation when it comes to minor appearances in court. However, it is still a trial, and you are allowed to have representation. Destin traffic ticket lawyers are excellent at pleading down to lesser charges, or getting tickets thrown out altogether.
The best thing to do is to contact us immediately if you are accused of, or charged with, anything of a criminal nature in Destin or surrounding areas.
Sealing and Expunging a Criminal Record in Florida
Expunging or sealing a criminal record allows a former defendant who meets specific eligibility requirements to have their criminal history either destroyed (expunction) or access to the record limited to a court order (sealing).
This is a complicated procedure with many rules governing the process and exceptions that complicate matters. It is best handled by one of our highly experienced Destin criminal defense attorneys familiar with the ins and outs of expunging or sealing a criminal record.
Whatever you are facing, our excellent team of Destin criminal defense lawyers can help you to understand your options and be there with you throughout any criminal proceedings. Get in touch with ASG today for more information. We will provide you with advice that is relevant to you and your situation.
Our criminal law practice areas include the following:
- DUI and all Traffic Offenses
- Drug Offenses
- Violent Crimes
- Sexual Crimes
- Property Crimes
- Violation of Probation
- Plea Negotiations
- Criminal Records Expunction and Sealing
- All types of State and Federal Misdemeanors and Felonies
- Weapon Crimes
- White Collar Crimes