Criminal Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, FL

Criminal Defense Areas of Practice
The attorneys at the Jacksonville criminal defense firm of Lufrano Legal, 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 Lufrano Legal, 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.

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Matthew I. Lufrano
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Expert Criminal Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, FL

Criminal DUI Defense Lawyer

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 Lufrano Legal, P.A., our firm has the experience necessary to provide expert DUI defense.

First-Time Criminal DUI Defense Attorney

In Florida a first-time DUI offense isn’t just a traffic issue. While such an offense will net the accused a citation, one’s receipt of such a citation will also be accompanied by an arrest and the initiation of criminal prosecution. What’s more, immediately after this arrest, the choices you make regarding whether or not to provide breath, urine, or blood samples will have significant impacts on your privilege to drive. In fact, a refusal to provide a lawfully requested sample will result in the suspension of one’s driving privileges for at least 12 months. Furthermore, an accused individual typically has to make a decision regarding whether to provide a sample before they have an opportunity to consult with an attorney. Were that not enough, individuals arrested and cited for a DUI have a short 10 day window within which they can challenge the suspension of their driving privileges based upon the testing mentioned above. So if it’s the first time you or a loved one are facing an allegation of DUI, don’t go it alone, reach out to an attorney who has the skills and experience to advise you through this process.

It’s also worth knowing that the minimum penalties for a DUI, even a first time DUI, are typically quite steep. These penalties include a conviction of the offense along with a six-month driver’s license suspension, a period of probation, completion of DUI school, attending a victim impact panel, 50 hours of community service, a 10 day suspension of your vehicle’s tag, as well as court costs and a fine which will total at least one thousand dollars. But again those are just the minimums, as a conviction for a standard first time DUI can carry a jail sentence of up to six months. However, in some circumstances, the possible sentence may be even longer.

Now in Florida prosecutors have a variety of theories through which they can try to prove that an individual committed the crime of driving under the influence. But to prove such an offense the prosecutors must present evidence that proves beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt the elements of the offense of DUI. Now this offense has two major elements, but the element that is usually in question in these cases is the impairment element. Now there are two theories under which the State of Florida can seek to prove impairment, the first is to show that an individual had a blood or breath alcohol level above a 0.08. The other theory the State can use to try and prove this impairment element is to introduce evidence to show that a person’s normal faculties, (like the ability to see, hear, walk, talk, drive a car, or make decisions) were impaired by alcohol.

So if you or a friend have been accused of DUI, your best next step is to talk to an experienced first-time DUI defense attorney.

CDL DUI Defense Attorney

Any DUI offense can be serious, but a commercial driver charged with a DUI faces even greater challenges. The first is that it’s easier to convict a commercial driver of driving under the influence. It’s against Florida law to operate a commercial vehicle with any trace of alcohol in your system. So, a commercial driver may be convicted of the criminal offense of DUI based on blood alcohol concentration of just .04. At lower levels, the driver may be issued a traffic citation.

The next challenge a CDL holder faces is the loss of earning capacity. A first offense alone will disqualify a driver from holding a commercial driver’s license for a year. And, a subsequent offense–or, a single DUI in combination with certain other violations–can mean a lifetime CDL disqualification. If you make your living with a CDL and have been charged with driving under the influence, it’s in your best interest to contact a CDL DUI defense attorney right now.

Criminal DUI With Injuries Defense Attorney

The reason driving under the influence is against the law in Florida and in every other U.S. state is that it’s dangerous. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that in Florida if charged with a DUI resulting in death or serious injury a defendant faces much steeper penalties. For starters both types of DUI’s are charged as felonies and carry the potential of significant prison time. In fact conviction of a DUI involving death, known in Florida as DUI manslaughter, carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of at least 4 years. Suffice it to say such criminal offenses can have monumental impacts on a defendant’s life, and when facing such a predicament it’s important to know you have an experienced attorney, advocating for you.

It’s also worth noting that Florida law allows enforcement officers to insist on a chemical test when suspected driving under the influence ends in an accident that seriously injures or kills someone. The officer may even use reasonable force to obtain a blood sample for testing. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t fight the charges. An experienced DUI with injuries defense attorney will be able to explain in greater detail what constitutes serious bodily injury and what defenses may be available to you.

Drug Crime Defense Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL

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 the drug crime attorney at Lufrano Legal, P.A.

Criminal Drug Possession Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with drug possession in Florida, you could be facing serious consequences–even if the drug itself would be legal if you had a prescription. Drug possession charges vary considerably depending on factors like the specific drug in question and the quantity possessed. The least-serious Florida drug possession charge is a misdemeanor of the second degree and carries a maximum sentence of up to 60 days in jail. But, many drug possession crimes are felonies with potential sentences of years in prison. Were that not enough a conviction for any controlled substance offense in Florida will automatically result in a suspension of your privilege to drive, even if the offense had nothing to do with driving.

If you’re facing drug possession charges in Jacksonville or another part of Florida, it’s important to make sure you fully understand your rights and options. Florida drug courts may provide a path to recovery and rebuilding without incarceration for many defendants. When more serious charges are involved, such as possession with intent to deliver, you may be facing years in prison. So, it is critical to work with a drug possession lawyer who understands the possible defenses and where to look for weaknesses in the state’s case.

White Collar Criminal Defense Attorney

Embezzlement, bribery, forgery, fraud, money laundering, insurance fraud, and other offenses fall under the label of “white collar” crime. The white collar crime defense attorney at Lufrano Legal, P.A., has 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, contact Lufrano Legal, P.A.

Criminal Fraud Defense Attorney

Fraud encompasses a wide range of crimes with one common thread: using dishonesty to get another person or entity to do something–usually, to turn over money or other property. One common type of fraud in Florida is insurance fraud. Insurance fraud may involve false claims, such as seeking compensation for an injury that never happened or claiming injuries were significantly more extensive than they really were. Or, a person may be charged with insurance fraud in Florida if they made serious misrepresentations in the application for coverage. Another common type of fraud involves misrepresenting your finances in a loan application, such as a mortgage application.

If fraud involves an organized, ongoing scheme, it may be charged as “organized fraud,” which is a more serious charge carrying more significant possible penalties. An experienced Florida fraud defense attorney can assess the strengths and weaknesses in the case against you and explain your options and the best approach to fighting the charges against you.

Embezzlement Defense Lawyer

In Florida the crime of embezzlement falls underneath the umbrella of theft. That said, embezzlement is often poorly understood. For most people, the term “embezzlement” brings to mind wealthy financial managers siphoning off millions from their clients or a celebrity’s business manager diverting funds into his own account. But, in fact, embezzlement simply means theft of property that has been entrusted to you. That could mean a waitress pocketing $40 intended to pay for a guest’s dinner or an accounts payable clerk creating a fake vendor account to make unearned payments to a friend.

Now as mentioned above in Florida, acts of embezzlement are charged as theft. The seriousness of the charges ranges from a misdemeanor of the second degree (with a maximum sentence of 60 days in jail) to a felony of the first degree (with a possible sentence of up to 30 years in prison). The charge is determined in large part by the value of the property. To learn more about potential defenses to Florida fraud charges, talk with a local embezzlement defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Forgery Defense Attorney

In Florida, forgery involves the false “creation, alteration or copying” of documents. But, not every fabricated or altered document constitutes a forgery. First, only certain types of documents can be forged. And, creating a fake document (or altering one) isn’t forgery unless it’s done with the intent to defraud someone. So, if you’ve been accused of forgery, it’s a good idea to have a local forgery attorney review the case for flaws and weaknesses before you make any decisions.

While forgery itself relates to the creation or alteration of the documents, using or passing forged instruments is also a crime. In Florida, this is called “uttering forged instruments,” and it is a felony of the third degree.

Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL

Juvenile charges can have lasting consequences, practically, psychologically, and even legally. Though the juvenile court system operates a bit differently than the adult criminal courts, these proceedings shouldn’t be taken lightly. An adjudication of delinquency may result in detention in a secure residential facility for lengthy periods of time. Other circumstances might result in probation with restrictive conditions, community service, mandatory participation in programs, or restitution. Under some circumstances, a juvenile case may even be transferred to adult criminal court, where the juvenile faces all of the same possible consequences an adult defendant might.

Fortunately, a juvenile allegation doesn’t necessarily mean an adjudication of delinquency. The earlier in the process you involve a juvenile lawyer, the better the opportunity to move the case in a different direction and avoid the most serious consequences.

Juvenile Theft Defense Attorney

Thousands of Florida juveniles are arrested for theft crimes each year. While some of those crimes involve small, low-value items, juvenile theft covers the same spectrum as thefts committed by adults. In one recent year, more than 2,000 Florida juveniles were charged with motor vehicle theft.

Juveniles, like adults, may face different consequences for theft crimes. Some key factors include whether the accused has a previous criminal (or juvenile) history, the value of the item or items stolen, the circumstances of the theft, and more. In a juvenile case, variables like family involvement also come into play. It’s also worth noting that convictions for crimes involving theft can be considered in Courts when weighing someone’s credibility.

Additionally while the goals of the juvenile delinquency court’s are different from those of adult criminal court, the importance of any proceeding in juvenile court cannot be understated. If your child has been alleged to have committed a theft, it’s best to speak with a juvenile theft attorney before you make any decisions about how to proceed.

Juvenile Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

Assault and battery is a serious matter, whether the accused is an adult or a juvenile. Thousands of Florida juveniles face assault allegations each year. Those allegations arise from a wide range of circumstances, from a fight with another teen at the school bus stop to assault with a weapon in the commission of another crime. That means the consequences of juvenile assault and battery charges also vary significantly.

A juvenile facing allegations of assault or battery may have an opportunity to enter into a diversion program that could ultimately mean charges are dismissed. Or, the juvenile might be adjudicated delinquent, or–in some circumstances–transferred to adult court. Thus the decisions a family makes from the beginning of a case can impact the child’s options. So, it’s wise to speak to a juvenile assault and battery attorney as early in the process as possible.

Criminal Theft Defense Attorney in Jacksonville, FL

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 Defense Attorney

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 firm of Lufrano Legal, P.A. is here to help. Additionally, as experts in the field and after years of experience representing clients charged with all varieties of burglaries the firm of Lufrano Legal, P.A. can help prepare a comprehensive plan to address any burglary allegation.

Robbery Defense Lawyer

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, Lufrano Legal, P.A. is determined to fight for their clients and provide a vigorous robbery defense.

Domestic Violence Lawyer

While the term “domestic violence” conjures some very unfortunate imagery for most Americans, the way such offenses are handled in Florida is a bit different. In Florida certain violent offenses, like battery or assault, when committed against a domestic partner can be charged as domestic battery or domestic assault. Such designations do not enhance the level of offense, but they do change the way the prosecution looks at the case and can also increase the minimum sentence allowable under the law. It’s also worth noting that in Florida those that fall under the ambit of domestic relationship may be larger than you would expect. If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, it’s in your best interest to talk with a domestic violence lawyer as soon as possible.

Assault and Battery Defense Attorney

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 assault & battery attorney who can evaluate your case and assist you in selecting the best path forward, you need the firm of Lufrano Legal, 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, contact the firm of Lufrano Legal, P.A. for advice and understanding that can make a difference.

Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer

Many people who are issued traffic citations simply choose to pay the ticket, but that can be a mistake.Before making that decision, it’s important to understand the possible consequences of admitting to a traffic offense. Those consequences depend in part on what you’ve been cited with. For example, a speeding ticket results in a fine, but reckless driving is a criminal offense that can mean jail time. And, excessive speed may be sufficient to support a reckless driving charge.

It’s also important to take into account your previous driving record and how the additional points attached to a new ticket could impact your driving privileges. If you have been cited for a traffic violation or traffic crime and are at risk of driver’s license suspension, criminal prosecution, or other serious consequences, it’s in your best interest to speak with a Florida traffic ticket lawyer before you make any decisions.

Gun Crime Defense Lawyer

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 Lufrano Legal, P.A., immediately—we can be reached 24/7 for an initial free consultation.

Probation Violation Defense Lawyer

“Probation violation” may not sound serious, but don’t be deceived. Probationary violations can carry similar penalties to the underlying criminal act that resulted in a defendant being placed on probation. Were that not scary enough the standard of proof required for a prosecutor to prove such a violation is significantly lower than a new criminal charge.That means that a relatively small slip-up while on probation could potentially result in a lengthy jail or prison sentence.

Of course, not all probation violations are created equal. Technical violations are often treated more leniently than substantive violations. For example, failing to update your phone number with the probation officer promptly will be a violation in most cases. If the probation officer believes it was an honest mistake, they may choose to overlook the violation. But, there’s no guarantee. And, the more serious the violation is, the more likely it is that there will be serious consequences. Prior violations may also impact the way probation officers and courts treat an alleged violation.

If you’re on probation and have been accused of a violation, it’s important that you understand what may be at stake and take action to protect yourself as quickly as possible. A Florida probation violation lawyer can be your best resource.

Why You Need a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer

Lufrano Legal, P.A. is ready to be your advocate and your guide through the criminal justice system. The firm will work every day within that system and, as a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, Lufrano Legal, P.A. has insights into local law enforcement agencies and local prosecutors. Contact the firm any time of day or night, any day of the year, for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case.

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Our Recent Criminal Defense Articles

Benefits and Risks of Accepting a Plea Deal

Benefits and Risks of Accepting a Plea Deal

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Florida, chances are good that you’ll be offered a plea deal also known as an offer. In a plea deal or an offer, the prosecution typically will convey to you or your attorney what they would be willing to accept as a penalty to...

Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer 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 Lufrano Legal, P.A. today.

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 law firm of Lufrano Legal, 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 a criminal defense lawyer 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 lawyer at Lufrano Legal, P.A. has extensive criminal trial experience.

But, the firm knows 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 defense 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 from Lufrano Legal, 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. Lufrano Legal, P.A. is experienced in all phases of the criminal defense process