Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyers
Criminal Defense Areas of Practice
The attorneys at the Jacksonville criminal defense firm of Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., have experience in a broad range of criminal defense practice areas and we are proud to defend the criminally accused against all such allegations.
Whether you have been through the criminal justice system in the past or if this is your first time, it is important to have legal representatives with experience in handling the type of allegations against you to ensure the best possible outcome. At Johnson & Lufrano, P.A., criminal defense is our only focus and we are prepared to defend you whether your case is at the pretrial, trial, or appeal stage.
Below is a list of the types of cases the Jacksonville criminal lawyers in our firm commonly handle:
A DUI charge in Florida can have an effect on nearly every part of your life, from your job to your right to operate your own vehicle and that’s why it is critical to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer represent you. Additionally there are a variety of factors that may impact the severity of the offense you are facing, including but not limited to; whether there was a crash, if anyone died or sustained serious bodily injury, whether minors were present, if a person has prior DUI convictions, and what a person’s blood or breath alcohol content was if such a sample was provided. At Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., our attorneys have the experience necessary to provide expert DUI defense.
Whether you have been charged with grand theft, petit theft, or some other theft crime, it’s important to understand that a conviction for such an offense can have significant and far reaching impacts on your life. Not only might such charges make a potential employer think twice about hiring you, but if called to testify in court, a theft conviction can be used to challenge your credibility. Additionally theft offenses in Florida are enhanceable in severity based on the number of prior theft convictions an individual has. As such it’s critical to have the right legal team on your side. Our Jacksonville theft defense attorneys are prepared to provide an expert defense, with the goal of minimizing the consequences of such an allegation and obtaining a positive courtroom outcome.
Burglary is one of the most common felony charges, but Florida burglary laws are complex and that’s why having a criminal defense expert is so important. Our attorneys can explain the essential elements of a burglary, any defenses that might exist, and the potential penalties that a burglary can carry. In fact, burglaries come in all varieties with burglaries of structures or vehicles being third degree felonies and carrying lower maximum sentences than a second degree felony burglary of a dwelling or a burglary with an assault or battery, which happens to be a first degree felony punishable by life. So if you or a loved one is arrested for burglary and you have questions, know that the attorneys at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. are here to help. Additionally as experts in the field and after years of experience representing clients charged with all varieties of burglaries, Johnson and Lufrano, P.A.,can help prepare a comprehensive plan to address any burglary allegation.
Every robbery offense in Florida is significant because each is a felony. What qualifies as a robbery? At its most basic level, a robbery consists of at least two parts, the first is the taking of something of value and the second is that the taking was done by force or threat of force. Regardless of the allegations, at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. our attorneys are determined to fight for their clients and provide a vigorous defense.
Drug Crime Defense
It’s no secret that illicit drugs are regularly located by law enforcement throughout Northeast Florida. As such, it should shock no one that arrests for possession, sale, and trafficking of such substances occur with a similar frequency. What is surprising though is the significant and long reaching effects such offenses can have on a person’s life. Not only can a conviction for such an offense result in a loss of liberty through incarceration, but such convictions can also lead to the imposition of significant fines and they can make finding a job more difficult. Were that not enough, it’s also critical to know that any conviction for a drug offense in Florida will result in the suspension of one’s privilege to drive. With so much at stake you or your loved one need an attorney with the experience and knowledge to handle such allegations; you need Johnson and Lufrano, P.A.
Gun Crime Defense
While there are some actions involving firearms that are in and of themselves criminal, including, but not limited to; carrying a concealed firearm (without the proper permit), possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon or juvenile delinquent, and improper exhibition of a firearm, there are other offenses like battery, burglary, and robbery, that become even more significant when firearms are present or used. In fact, here in Florida, pursuant to Florida Statute 775.087(2), also known as the 10-20-Life law, the possession or discharge of a firearm during particular offenses often carries with it significant mandatory minimum prison sentences. So if you or a loved one has been arrested for a gun crime, you need a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your freedom and your future. Call Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., immediately—we can be reached 24/7 for an initial free consultation.
Sex Crime Defense
Any type of charge related to sexual misconduct is serious and the consequences can follow you for a lifetime. Some sex offenses require lifetime registration and a designation as a sexual offender or predator. For the best defense, you need a criminal defense attorney with expertise in evaluating the allegations, navigating the potential charges, and who knows the potential penalties of such offenses. The attorneys at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. will help you or your loved one navigate such allegations and fight for you at every stage of the criminal process.
Assault and Battery Defense
Did you know that Assault and Battery are two completely distinct offenses? Or that it is not actually up to an alleged victim whether to prosecute such allegations? If you didn’t know these facts you need information from an expert in the field who can evaluate your case and assist you in selecting the best path forward, you need the attorneys at Johsnon and Lufrano, P.A. Charges of assault or battery are significant not only because of the potential penalties they carry, but also because such charges may limit a client’s freedom, and may also impact a person’s ability to hold certain jobs, find housing, and possess firearms. So don’t stay in the dark, call the experts at Johsnon and Lufrano, P.A. for advice and understanding that can make a difference.
Child Abuse Defense
Allegations of child abuse can be devestating to any parrent. Not only are such allegations deeply personal, but a conviction or withhold of adjudication for such an offense will remain with you forever as they can never be sealed or expunged. If you have been accused of child abuse, we encourage you to give us a call and let us walk you through the process so you know what to expect. We are available every day around the clock and we also offer free consultations.
White Collar Crime Defense
Embezzlement, bribery, forgery, fraud, money laundering, insurance fraud, and other offenses fall under the label of “white collar” crime. The criminal defense attorneys at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., have been relied on to represent professionals and business owners who have been charged with such crimes due to our understanding of the complex procedures and financial aspects of these cases. Whether you are in real estate, financing, medicine, or any other type of profession and are under investigation for a white collar crime, call Johnson and Lufrano, P.A..
Why you need a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer
At Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., we are ready to be your advocate and your guide through the criminal justice system. We work every day within that system and, as Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys, we have insights into local law enforcement agencies and local prosecutors. Contact us any time of day or night, any day of the year, for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case.
Jacksonville Criminal Law FAQs
Gathering information is the first step toward protecting yourself and your family when you are facing criminal charges in Jacksonville. Of course, every case is different, and a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer is your best source of insight into the rights and options each accused has under the Constitution. To help you get started, we are providing answers to some of the questions many criminal defendants ask. For more specific information about the charges against you and possible defenses, schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.
What does a criminal defense lawyer do?
A criminal defense attorney’s job involves much more than the courtroom theatrics you see on television. An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer can manage every aspect of your case, including:
- Navigating deadlines and procedural requirements
- Advising you of your options and the risks and benefits of each
- Interviewing witnesses
- Examining the evidence against you and identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case
- Hiring and working with experts where needed to evaluate the evidence or refute the prosecution’s conclusions
- Negotiating with the prosecution
- Fulfilling discovery requirements
- Preparing witnesses and evidence for trial
- Litigating pre-trial issues such as motions to suppress evidence or moving to limit witness testimony
- Cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses
- Presenting your case and holding the prosecution to its high burden of proof
The criminal court system can be overwhelming, and it is easy to make mistakes if you’re not familiar with the law and procedural requirements. A seasoned local defense attorney understands the process and knows what is required to build and present the strongest case on your behalf.
When should I contact a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer?
Many people facing criminal charges start out with a “wait and see” approach, appearing alone at their initial court hearings and hoping that telling their side of the story will be sufficient or that the prosecution will offer a favorable plea agreement. Unfortunately, that approach can lead to serious mistakes and lost opportunities. The best time to contact a criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville is right after you are arrested. .
The attorneys at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. offer free consultations, so there’s no reason to delay getting the advice you need to make good decisions about how to proceed with your case.
Why do I need a criminal defense lawyer?
Legally, there is no reason that you cannot represent yourself in a criminal case; however, the criminal court system can be complicated, and if you’re not familiar with the law, courtroom procedures, and the rules of evidence, you could lose out on defenses and end up facing unnecessarily serious consequences. An experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer can navigate the technical and procedural requirements on your behalf, assess your case for possible defenses, negotiate with the prosecution using weak points identified in that assessment, and—if it’s in your best interest—hold the prosecution to its strict burden of proof at trial.
How do I know if an attorney is right for me?
First and foremost, it’s important that your criminal defense attorney have in-depth knowledge of Florida criminal law and local courtroom procedures. The Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A. have extensive criminal trial and appellate experience. We are the only local law firm with attorneys who are Board Certified in both Criminal Trial and Criminal Appellate law.
But, we know that knowledge and experience are just one aspect of great service to our clients. That’s why we go above and beyond with every client. We’ll listen to your concerns, investigate your case, and tailor our approach to your circumstances and priorities. We’re accessible, and you will always be up to date on what is happening with your case.
Does it ever make sense to plead guilty?
In some cases, it makes sense to enter into a plea agreement. But, entering a guilty plea as part of an agreement is very different from simply pleading guilty. If you plead guilty when you are asked to enter a plea in court at first appearance, you will lose important rights, including your right to a trial. You will also lose the ability to negotiate a potentially favorable disposition with the prosecution.
If you are considering pleading guilty to a crime, it is in your best interest to speak with a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney first. An experienced criminal lawyer can advise you of any and all strengths and weaknesses in your case and, if you still want to plead guilty, can use such information to negotiate for a more favorable plea agreement.
What’s the worst that can happen in my criminal case?
Many people facing criminal charges ask what the worst possible outcome is. Of course, the answer to this question differs depending on the charges, the defendant’s prior criminal history, and a variety of other factors. But, it is an important question to ask before making any decisions. Some types of criminal convictions have consequences you may not have considered. For example, some convictions may impact your ability to work in certain fields, to own weapons, or even to live in certain areas.
When you retain a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer at Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., you can breathe easy knowing that you have an experienced advocate on your side and that your attorney will make sure you fully understand the possible consequences and how you can best protect yourself.
I’m charged with a misdemeanor—could I go to jail?
The short answer is yes. Depending on the crime, a misdemeanor charge in Florida could carry a sentence of up to one year in jail. Because the range of possible penalties is significant, it is in your best interest to retain an experienced Jacksonville attorney to help you achieve the best outcome possible in your specific circumstances.
What happens in a Florida criminal trial?
If your Jacksonville criminal case goes to trial, a lot will already have happened in your case: arrest, arraignment, one or more pretrial conferences, an exchange of evidence known as “discovery,” possible negotiations with the prosecution, and perhaps pre-trial motions. For example, your attorney might file a pre-trial motion asking the court to exclude certain evidence.
If you’ve chosen a jury trial, the process will begin with jury selection. Since the prosecutor has the burden of proving each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, the state will present its evidence first. Your attorney will have the opportunity to question each of the witnesses after the prosecution makes its direct examination or questions its witness. When the prosecution has presented all of its evidence, it’s your turn to call witnesses and present any other evidence you may have.
Your attorney and the prosecutor will each have a chance to make a closing argument, and then the judge will give instructions to the jury and send them to the jury room to discuss your case and decide on a verdict.
Depending on the crime you are charged with, the number of witnesses and the complexity of the evidence, a criminal trial may take just a few hours or may go on for several days.
What are my options if I’m convicted at trial?
If you’ve been convicted in a criminal trial in Florida, your options will depend on the specifics of your case. Many criminal defense attorneys handle only the trial phase, requiring a defendant who has been convicted to seek other counsel if he or she wants to continue to fight the charges. At Johnson and Lufrano, P.A., we have attorneys who are experienced in all phases of the criminal defense process. That means that our attorneys can assess your case for options for post-conviction relief or grounds for appeal—even if another attorney handled the trial phase of your case.