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A criminal conviction in Gilchrist County can disrupt your life and your potential to earn a livelihood to support yourself and your family. If you are facing criminal prosecution or are under investigation for a crime, it is important that you fight the charges, clear your name and restore your reputation, especially if you did not commit the offense of which you stand accused.

Rather than face this frustrating time alone, turn to a criminal defense attorney at the law firm of Katz & Phillips, P.A. Our accomplished Gilchrist County lawyers can talk with you about your problem and help you prepare a defense strategy to counter the criminal accusations leveled against you.

When to Involve a Litigator

The state of Florida has rules and statutes for criminal procedures that must be followed when adjudicating misdemeanor and felony offenses. Prior to any court proceedings, police usually conduct criminal investigations to determine who to arrest. If you are summoned by police for an interview regarding a criminal case under investigation, it’s ideal to have a lawyer who can advise you on answering certain questions that would incriminate you. We understand potential defendants may not want to contact a lawyer this early in the process. However, when a Gilchrist County prosecutor files formal charges against you, a criminal attorney can make the difference between jail and freedom.

If you are further along in the criminal process, holding pretrial hearings may be necessary in order for your attorney to attempt to suppress or refute information the prosecution has against you. A pretrial hearing establishes whether a crime has been committed and determines whether there is probable cause to believe that you committed the crime of which you are accused. If a judge determines that a crime was committed and you probably committed it, the prosecution’s case against you moves forward. However, there is still a chance to prevent possible conviction and imprisonment with help from legal counsel.

While the next step is a jury trial, your criminal defense attorney will use his or her negotiating skills with the prosecution in an attempt to have the original criminal charges against you dismissed in return for you pleading to a reduced criminal charge. This type of plea agreement is not always possible, particularly in capital felony cases such as murder, human trafficking or armed kidnapping where the penalty is either life in prison or death. In these instances, your attorney would defend you against the charges in a jury trial. Pleading to a reduced charge does not necessarily mean that you will avoid jail or prison, but it does mean that you will not have to face the penalty of your original, more serious charge.

To the defendants who are anxious and worried over their case, it may appear that the criminal investigations and court proceedings are a slow process. What you may not realize is that defense lawyers are busy behind the scenes conducting their own investigations for their clients’ cases, requesting information from the prosecution and reviewing police reports to determine whether their clients’ Constitutional rights were violated in the investigation process and arrest.

We Offer a Free Consultation to Evaluate Your Case

The experienced Gilchrist County criminal defense attorneys at Katz & Phillips, P.A. do all of this and more and are ready to jump in at any stage of the criminal process to advocate for their clients and pursue their right to their day in court. Contact us today for a free legal evaluation of your case or to schedule an in-person meeting with one of our attorneys.