When Are You Under Arrest?

You are arrested when law enforcement officers take you into custody or otherwise deprive you of your freedom of movement in any significant way, in order to hold you to answer for a criminal offense. Police officers, under Florida law, are obligated to identify themselves and to advise you that you are under arrest and…

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What Basic Things Should A Person Remember If Arrested?

First and foremost, you should remember your right to remain silent. Officers are not kidding around when they tell you that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. Probably the most common mistake made by anyone following an arrest is the inability to remain silent. Confessions makeup a significant portion…

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How Soon After An Arrest Must A Person Appear Before A Judge?

If you are arrested and placed in jail, an “initial appearance,” usually called “first appearance,” before a judge must occur within 24 hours of your arrest. At an initial appearance, you will be apprised of the charges against you and asked if you understand the charges. In most cases bail will be set and you…

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What If A Person Cannot Afford To Hire An Attorney?

If you cannot afford an attorney, the judge may appoint an attorney from the Public Defender’s Office to represent you. If the judge does not offer to appoint a Public Defender, ask for one. Unless you hire an attorney, until the judge appoints a Public Defender you do not have an attorney. An attorney from…

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What Does It Mean To Be Released On Bail?

Bail is designed to guarantee your appearance in court. Unless charged with a capital offense or an offense punishable by life imprisonment, and the proof of guilt is evident or the presumption is great, every person charged with a crime or violation of municipal or county ordinances shall be entitled to pretrial release on reasonable…

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Can My Juvenile Record Be Used Against Me After I Become An Adult?

Yes. It’s a common misconception that juvenile records are automatically wiped clean once someone turns 18, but all prior criminal acts may be considered for sentencing purposes (Chapter 921, Fla. Stat.). Furthermore, even if your juvenile record isn’t used against you officially, oftentimes prosecutors will take into consideration someone’s entire prior history when deciding how…

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Can I Have My Record Sealed Or Expunged?

Maybe, depending on your charge, as well as your prior criminal record. Further, certain conditions and exceptions apply. For example, sealing your record only restricts access by the general public. Federal, state, county and city agencies may still access your criminal history record. Expunction of your record totally removes your criminal record, however agencies will…

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What are the penalties for a fake ID?

It depends on the ID itself. If you present another’s true ID with their permission as your own, you risk a second degree misdemeanor. Penalties for such a crime can include a maximum jail sentence of up to 60 days and/or 6 months’ probation, and a $500.00 fine (§ 322.32, Fla. Stat.). If you possess…

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