Getting arrested in Jupiter, FL was unlikely part of your life plans - whether you live here, work here, or were just visiting. But now that it’s happened, it’s important not to waste time in hiring an experienced Jupiter criminal defense lawyer.
This community of more than 60,000 on the Atlantic strives for a laid-back reputation. It’s got beautiful beaches that draw visitors from all over the world. But it’s also true that the Florida 15th Judicial Circuit is anything but relaxed when it comes to criminal prosecution.
In a single recent year, the Jupiter Police Department arrested more than 1,500 people (including more than 120 juveniles), mostly for DUI, drug crimes, assault (a sizable percentage classified as domestic violence incidents), and theft.
A quarter of all violent crimes involved the use of a firearm. Even simply carrying a gun while committing a crime carries significant penalty enhancements. Roughly 1 in 9 people in Palm Beach County had a concealed carry permit in 2022. During the pandemic, gun violence in Jupiter spiked, particularly among young people, and has yet to level off. Florida’s called “the Gunshine State” for a reason - but it’s not because they go easy on gun-related crimes.
Our Jupiter Florida criminal defense attorneys are top-rated, offering the benefit of extensive experience, knowledge, and connections from our years of successful criminal law practice in Palm Beach County and surrounding areas.Proactive Criminal Defense in Jupiter Florida is Key
It’s important to understand that an arrest does not mean it’s over for you. Actually, it’s just one of the first steps in this whole process. There’s a common misconception that police officers are responsible for the charges you face. They aren’t. That’s the job of prosecutors (called “state attorneys” in Florida). The State Attorney’s Office has broad discretion when it comes to which charges get filed - or if any are filed at all.
Although your defense lawyer can’t erase what’s already happened, it’s important for defendants to understand they often have greater opportunity than they realize to successfully advocate for a good outcome. This can happen sometimes even before charges are filed, if you act fast enough.
As a criminal defendant, your job is:Don’t talk.
Invoke your Fifth Amendment right by declining to answer questions or talk to anyone without your defense lawyer present. That includes police, prosecutors, co-defendants, victims - everyone. Unless your defense attorney advises you otherwise, your legal counsel is the only person you should be talking to about what happened while the case is pending. Even communicating with your spouse could be risky. A federal district court ruled in the 2017 case of U.S. v. Tartaglione that spousal communications over recorded prison lines are not protected.
There are many dedicated, highly-principled people working in law enforcement. But the simple fact is that if you are facing criminal charges, the police are not your friends in this scenario. Even if you are 100% innocent, you’re likely emotional, tired, confused, and anxious. That means there’s a good chance you’ll unintentionally say something that will hurt your case or make you appear to be an unreliable witness.
If you are guilty, know that very few are clever enough – or have all the information necessary – to talk their way out of it. The more you talk, the more information you give them against you. If your conscience is weighing heavily on you and you are considering a confession, at least wait to do so until you can talk to your defense lawyer. There’s a good chance you can come clean and alleviate your guilt while at least negotiating a sentence that’s fair. Understand that confessions are very powerful pieces of evidence, and usually there’s no putting the cat back in the back after that.Hire a Jupiter criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, you aren’t automatically entitled to have a public defender appointed to you if you’re facing criminal charges in Florida. Gideon v. Wainwright did set the precedent for the right to a defense attorney, but that’s only if you are indigent AND facing charges that carry jail time. Sometimes prosecutors will waive the prospect of jail just so you are underrepresented. Just because there’s no risk of jail doesn’t mean this won’t have major consequences to your life.
If you do not hire a criminal defense lawyer, you will be at a distinct disadvantage against experienced prosecutors backed by all the resources of the state.
Quickly hiring a defense lawyer will allow for fast action:
- An independent investigation
- Preservation of favorable evidence
- The chance to approach prosecutors with weaknesses or mitigating circumstances that may convince them your case isn’t worth pursuing.
Just knowing they’ll have the challenge of a well-prepared defense team can often be enough to prevent charge-stacking and prosecutorial overcharging - common tactics used to strong-arm defendants into unfavorable guilty plea deals.
Contact the Palm Beach County criminal defense lawyers at The Ansara Law Firm, by calling (954) 761-4011 or toll-free at (954) 761-4011.