Tampa Legal Services
Cannella Criminal Law offers many other legal services, including Juvenile Offenders defense and Federal Crimes defense. If you have Violated your Probation, we can help you decide your best course of action to comply with the terms of your release to try to keep you out of jail.
We can help you with Bail Reduction if you feel you have been assigned an unreasonably high bail which will entail you remaining in jail until your trial date or court hearing.
We also offer help in Sealing and Expunging Criminal Records to shield you from background checks for employment, to protect your personal reputation in the community or just to give you peace of mind and closure on your criminal history.
When a person hears his or her child has been accused of a criminal act, there may be some confusion as to what to do next. Handling juvenile charges can be overwhelming and confusing, but it is incredibly important for the future of the child and his or her current well being.
It is critical that both the parents and the child understand the charges against the juvenile and know their options when moving forward. The outcome of the case could have a serious impact on a child’s life. An experienced juvenile defense attorney can provide insight into the system and help parents make an informed decision.
A federal crime is a violation of a statute passed by the United States Congress. A state crime is a violation of a statute or ordinance passed by the state legislature or a local authority. Usually the federal crime addresses criminal activity or a more national concern.
A federal crime is a violation of a statute passed by the United States Congress. A state crime is a violation of a statute or ordinance passed by the state legislature or a local authority. Usually the federal crime addresses criminal activity or a more national concern. Although, in recent decades the federal government has become increasingly involved in prosecuting drug and violent crimes, areas once left almost exclusively to the states. Many crimes are prosecutable in both state and federal courts.
For the most part, federal criminal offenses are investigated by agents of federal agencies such as the FBI, DEA, ATF, Secret Service and others. Occasionally, state law enforcement officers work in conjunction with federal agencies. Federal crimes are usually prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the area where the crime occurred. Sometimes a prosecutor for the United States Department of Justice, or from an agency such at the Environmental Protection Agency will participate in a federal prosecution.
When defendants are advised that they are about to attend their bail hearing, many are eager to get a bail set so that they can then post a bond. Unfortunately, many are surprised when they are hit with a high or excessive bail.
If a defendant cannot make bail, he may want to seek a bond reduction. Each state provides rules and procedures for obtaining a bail reduction; however, the general rule is that the burden on proving the need for a reduction is on the defendant.
The bond reduction process begins with a simple motion. The motion should state the current bail amount, the nature of the charges, and a statement regarding the defendant’s inability to make bond.
Many defendants will include prior findings of indigency, like a copy of the court’s order appointing counsel because of a defendant’s inability to pay for an attorney. The title of the motion will vary depending on the state’s rules of procedure.
Some common titles include motion for bond reduction and writ of habeas corpus. Once the bond reduction motion is filed, some jurisdictions will automatically set the motion for a hearing.
However, in other jurisdictions, the defendant is responsible for getting a setting for a hearing by contacting the court’s coordinator or secretary. Before obtaining a setting on his motion, a defendant should strategize about the type of evidence to introduce at the hearing.
Violations of Probation
In Florida, a Violation of Probation occurs where a criminal defendant substantially and willfully violates the conditions of a probationary sentence. Probation proceedings differ significantly from ordinary criminal cases due to a lower standard of proof and the lack of many procedural and constitutional protections found in other prosecutions.
The trial court may revoke probation or community control only if the State proves by the greater weight of the evidence that the defendant willfully and substantially violated a specific condition of his or her sentence. Stewart v. State, 926 So.2d 413 (Fla. 1st DCA 2006); Reddix v. State, 12 So. 3d 327 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009); Steiner v. State, 604 So.2d 1265 (Fla. 4th DCA 1992).
Whether a violation is willful and substantial must be decided on a case by case basis. Stewart, 926 So. 2d at 414. In all cases, the State bears the burden of proving the violation of supervision by “competent evidence.” Id. (citing Thompson v. State, 890 So.2d 382, 383 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004)).
In Singleton v. State, 891 So.2d 1226, 1227-28 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005), a probation order required a defendant “to maintain and work diligently at a lawful occupation to the best of his ability.” The State’s only evidence on this violation was testimony from a probation officer that the defendant failed to show any proof of employment or pay stubs.
Seals & Expungements of Criminal Records
In Florida, expunging or sealing a criminal record is the process by which a former defendant or arrestee, upon meeting specified eligibility requirements, destroys their criminal history record (expunction) or eliminates access to the record (sealing) by way of court order.
Under Section 943.045(16), Florida Statutes, the term “expunge” is defined as a court-ordered physical destruction of a record by any criminal justice agency or other public entity in possession of such information. A limited record will remain with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), which is required by statute to confidentially maintain on file information about a person’s criminal history.
Under Section 943.045, Florida Statutes, the term “seal” is defined as the court-ordered maintenance of a record where it is secure and inaccessible to any person not having a legal right of access to the information contained within it. This means that the record will continue to be on file by applicable criminal justice agencies and clerk’s offices, but will be confidential and exempt from public disclosure.
There are many legal and practical benefits to expunging or sealing a criminal history record. These include:
• Protecting a person’s criminal past from public view;
• Avoiding discovery of a criminal incident by employers;
• Avoiding discovery of a criminal incident by colleges and universities;
• Protecting a person from having to disclose an arrest or charge to employers and other interested persons;
• Preventing a record from being found on background checks;
• Circumventing workplace policies that prevent advancement for employees with criminal histories;
• Protection of reputation in the community;
• Peace of mind and closure.