Prescription Drug Crimes in Florida: Defending Against False Accusations

Prescription drug crimes have become a growing concern in Florida, with individuals facing harsh consequences for false accusations.

 At The Rickman Law Firm, we understand the complexities surrounding prescription drug cases and are committed to providing strong, aggressive defense strategies to protect your rights. If you have been falsely charged with a prescription drug crime in Florida, you deserve the knowledge and protection from one of our drug defense attorneys.

Types of Prescription Drug Offenses in Florida

Prescription drugs are highly regulated at both the federal and state level, and these substances are categorized using the same schedule system and charges as some illegal narcotics. If you are facing false accusations concerning prescription drugs, you need to immediately reach out to a highly-skilled Tampa drug defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm to help get protection and strong defense from possible severe consequences.

The types of charges according to Florida Statutes Section 499.03 associated with prescription drugs include unlawful possession or possession with intent to sell, distribute, manufacture, or traffic. 

Unlawful possession occurs when an individual is in possession of a prescription substance without valid, updated prescriptions from a licensed pharmacist or practitioner. In Florida, unlawful possession punishment depends on the scheduling and quantity of the substance, as well as any death or serious injury associated, and any prior criminal history. You could potentially face imprisonment, between 60 days, and up to a 30-year sentence. Additionally, you could face fines of up to $10,000. 

Possession with intent to sell, distribute, manufacture, or traffic is considered a third-degree felony at least, which is punishable by an imprisonment sentence of five years and a fine of, at minimum, $5,000. Like unlawful possession, the consequences can become more severe depending on the scheduling and quantity of the substance, and any other relevant factors in the case, charge, or the defendant’s history.

Defending Against Prescription Drug Offenses in Florida

Your Tampa drug defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm will consider many factors of the charge, the evidence, and any other outstanding factors, such as your criminal history, if any, to construct an effective, strong defense strategy. Some strategies may include:

Invalid Prescription Defense

One common defense strategy involves challenging the validity of the prescription. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate whether the prescription was forged, altered, or obtained through fraudulent means. We will scrutinize the medical records, consult with experts, and gather evidence to demonstrate that you had a genuine prescription or were unaware of its illegitimacy.

We will then meticulously review the prescription to determine if it was forged, altered, or obtained through fraudulent means. By uncovering any inconsistencies or irregularities, we can cast doubt on the prosecution’s claims that you knowingly engaged in illegal activity. Our goal is to build a strong defense that proves your innocence or lack of intent to commit a crime.

Lack of Knowledge or Intent

Proving your lack of knowledge or intent is a critical aspect of successfully defending against prescription drug crime charges. Possession charges need to include knowledge of the presence of drugs, without a shadow of a doubt from the jury and judge. If there is a degree of doubt that you did not know the illegitimacy or invalidity of prescription drugs, then your defense strategy will be strengthened greatly.

Your attorney will delve into the circumstances surrounding your case, carefully examining how you obtained the drugs, your awareness of their illegality, and any potential entrapment scenarios. They will gather evidence to show that you had no knowledge that the drugs were obtained illegally or that you had no intention of using them unlawfully.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the evidence against you was obtained through an illegal search or seizure, it may be possible to have it suppressed, making it inadmissible in court. This defense strategy can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.

Your Tampa drug defense attorney with The Rickman Law Firm will meticulously analyze the actions of law enforcement officers involved in your case, ensuring that they adhered to the constitutional safeguards. If we identify any violations, such as a lack of probable cause or a warrant, we will file motions to suppress the evidence obtained unlawfully. By leveraging these violations, we can strengthen your defense and potentially have the charges dismissed.

Insufficient Evidence

In any criminal case, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, who must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When defending against prescription drug crime charges, we will closely examine the evidence against you. Your attorney will scrutinize the chain of custody, laboratory procedures, and any potential mishandling of evidence.

By meticulously reviewing the evidence, we will identify any weaknesses, inconsistencies, or gaps that may cast doubt on its reliability. We will challenge the prosecution’s ability to establish a clear link between you and the alleged crime. Our goal is to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the judge or jury, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome for you.

The Rickman Law Firm Will Protect Your Rights and Defend Your Justice

If you or a loved one is facing false accusations related to prescription drug crimes in Florida, it is crucial to act swiftly and secure the assistance of an experienced defense attorney. At The Rickman Law Firm, we are dedicated to fighting for your rights and providing aggressive defense to help protect your justice. Don’t face these false accusations alone–contact one of our highly-skilled, aggressive drug defense attorneys in Tampa today for a strong, effective prescription drug crime defense.

The experts at The Rickman Law Firm are waiting to represent you and fight for your justice during each step of your drug crimes case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To have one of our attorneys reach out to you promptly, contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or filling out our consultation form.

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Navigating Florida’s Drug Courts: What Are My Options?

When it comes to drug offenses, Florida’s legal landscape can be complex and unforgiving. Facing charges related to drugs can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that there are avenues available to help you navigate the legal system. 

When it is right for our clients, The Rickman Law Firm can help them with acceptance into a drug court as a judicial alternative. Drug courts, in particular, provide a unique opportunity for individuals to address their substance abuse issues while working toward rehabilitation and a brighter future.

Understanding Florida's Drug Courts

Florida’s drug courts are specialized divisions within the state’s judicial system that focus on cases involving substance abuse. These courts recognize that addiction is a complex issue and aim to address the underlying problems while also holding individuals accountable for their actions. The goal is to reduce recidivism rates and promote long-term recovery by offering alternative sentencing options tailored to individual needs .Contact your Tampa drug defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm to see if drug court is a viable option for you.

Types of Drug Courts in Florida

Pretrial Diversion Programs

Pretrial diversion programs allow individuals to avoid formal prosecution and the potential consequences of a criminal conviction. These programs typically involve a combination of substance abuse treatment, counseling, drug testing, and regular court check-ins. Successful completion of the program may result in the dismissal of charges.

Post-Adjudicatory Drug Courts

Post-adjudicatory drug courts are designed for individuals who have already been convicted of drug-related offenses. These courts provide an opportunity for individuals to receive substance abuse treatment, counseling, and intensive supervision as an alternative to traditional sentencing. Successful completion of the program may lead to reduced or modified sentences.

Veteran Treatment Courts 

Veteran Treatment Courts are specialized programs aimed at addressing the unique challenges faced by veterans struggling with substance abuse issues. These courts combine the principles of drug court programs with veteran-specific services and support networks.

Eligibility and Qualification

Qualifying for a drug court program in Florida requires meeting certain criteria, which may vary depending on the jurisdiction. Generally, eligibility factors include Florida residency, a diagnosed substance abuse disorder, a non-violent charge or offense, and a willingness to participate from the defendant. Work with one of the highly-skilled Tampa drug defense attorneys with Rickman Law Firm to ensure that your application is strong.

What Drug Court Programs Entail

At the heart of drug court programs is evidence-based substance abuse treatment. Participants engage in counseling, therapy sessions, and support groups tailored to their specific needs. These programs provide a safe space to explore the root causes of addiction, develop coping mechanisms, and acquire essential life skills for maintaining long-term sobriety. The treatment component is vital in helping participants break free from the cycle of addiction and make positive changes in their lives.

Judicial Supervision

Drug court programs involve regular court appearances, progress updates, and judicial monitoring. The judge overseeing the program provides guidance, encouragement, and appropriate sanctions or rewards based on individual progress. The judge’s involvement ensures that participants remain accountable for their actions and committed to their recovery journey.

Drug Testing

Random drug testing is a common practice in drug court programs. Participants must undergo regular drug tests to monitor their sobriety and progress. Consistently negative test results indicate compliance and progress in recovery. Positive tests, however, may result in additional treatment or sanctions designed to address setbacks and reinforce the importance of sobriety.

Accountability and Support

Accountability is a fundamental aspect of drug court programs. Participants are closely supervised and supported by a team of professionals, including counselors, case managers, probation officers, and mentors. These dedicated individuals work together to guide participants through the program, offer guidance, monitor progress, and provide the necessary support to ensure a successful recovery.

Graduation and Aftercare

Successful completion of a drug court program is a significant achievement. Participants who meet all the program’s requirements and demonstrate sustained progress in their recovery journey are recognized through a graduation ceremony. This acknowledgment serves as a powerful motivator, reinforcing the positive changes made and the hard work put into overcoming addiction.

After completing the program, graduates are encouraged to continue their journey of sobriety through aftercare services. These may include ongoing counseling, participation in support groups, and access to community resources. By providing support beyond the program’s completion, individuals can maintain their newfound sobriety and navigate the challenges of daily life with a strong support system in place, and ultimately, avoid any further legal issues concerning drugs.

Furthermore, successfully completing a drug court program can have a significant impact on the resolution of drug crime charges. Working with a Tampa drug defense attorney with Rickman Law Firm will help to ensure the best legal outcome after completion of the program. In many cases, charges may be dropped or significantly reduced, allowing individuals to move forward with their lives free from the burdens of a criminal record.

Legislature Concerning Drug Court Options in Florida

In recognition of the significance of drug court programs as a viable alternative to traditional sentencing for individuals facing drug-related charges, Florida has taken concrete steps to support and expand their availability. The state legislature has implemented specific legislation that outlines the legal framework for drug courts and the provision of substance abuse treatment services. This legislation provides a solid foundation for individuals seeking rehabilitation and recovery while navigating the criminal justice system.

One key legislative reference is  Florida Statutes Section 397.334. This statute serves as a guiding framework for drug court programs in the state. It establishes the parameters and requirements for the implementation of drug courts, emphasizing the integration of substance abuse treatment into the judicial process.

Under this statute, drug court programs in Florida are designed to promote accountability, rehabilitation, and community safety. They prioritize a comprehensive approach to address the underlying causes of drug addiction and reduce recidivism rates. By combining judicial supervision, evidence-based treatment, and ongoing support, these programs aim to break the cycle of addiction and help individuals reclaim their lives.

Contact Rickman Law Firm To See if a Florida Drug Court Is the Right Option for You

Florida drug courts can be a transformative experience for individuals facing drug-related charges and seeking a path towards recovery. These specialized programs provide an alternative to traditional sentencing, focusing on addressing the root causes of addiction and promoting long-term rehabilitation. Through substance abuse treatment, judicial supervision, and a strong support system, participants can find hope, accountability, and the tools they need to rebuild their lives.

If you or a loved one are facing drug-related charges in Tampa or the surrounding areas, the knowledgeable Tampa drug defense attorneys with Rickman Law Firm are here to guide you through the complex legal process. Learn more about our many success stories navigating Florida’s drug courts. Contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or filling out our consultation form for one of our attorneys to reach out promptly.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Defending Against Federal Marijuana Trafficking Charges: Tips and Strategies

With the ever-changing legal landscape surrounding cannabis, it is essential to be well-informed and prepared to navigate the complexities of federal law. 

At The Rickman Law Firm, our team of experienced Tampa drug defense attorneys understands the gravity of such charges and is committed to providing you with strong defenses, unwavering support, and strategic guidance throughout your legal journey when facing a federal marijuana trafficking charge.

Understanding Federal Marijuana Trafficking Laws

Federal marijuana trafficking charges bear severe consequences, which is why it is vital to be able to comprehensively understand the legislation surrounding it. Although Florida has legalized medical marijuana usage, it remains illegal at the federal level under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). The CSA categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance, emphasizing its potential for abuse and lack of accepted medical use. 

Penalties for Federal Marijuana Trafficking

Federal penalties for marijuana trafficking can be harsh and unforgiving. Convictions may result in significant fines, lengthy prison sentences, and a permanent criminal record. The specific punishments vary depending on factors such as the quantity of marijuana involved, the defendant’s criminal history, and the presence of aggravating factors such as violence or involvement with organized crime. 

The trafficking of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance can result in severe punishments without the assistance of a skilled drug trafficking defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm.

Incarceration

Federal marijuana trafficking convictions often lead to lengthy prison sentences. For example, a first offense involving 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana can result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years, with a maximum of life imprisonment depending on death or serious injury involved. Even for smaller quantities, convictions can carry significant incarceration periods, ranging from several years to decades, depending on the circumstances.

Financial Penalties

In addition to imprisonment, federal marijuana trafficking charges can result in substantial fines. The fines are determined by the quantity of marijuana involved in the offense. For example, a first offense involving 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana carries a maximum fine of $1 million for individuals and $5 million for organizations or multiple individuals.

Asset Forfeiture

Under federal law, assets associated with drug trafficking activities can be subject to forfeiture. This means that if the government can establish a connection between the seized assets and the marijuana trafficking offense, they can seize and potentially sell those assets, including money, vehicles, real estate, and other property.

Collateral Consequences

Beyond the immediate legal penalties, a federal marijuana trafficking conviction can have far-reaching collateral consequences. These consequences can include restrictions on employment opportunities, professional licenses, educational financial aid, housing options, and firearm ownership. Moreover, a felony conviction can tarnish your reputation and make it challenging to rebuild your life post-conviction.

Possible Defenses for Federal Marijuana Trafficking Charges

When facing federal marijuana trafficking charges, you need a solid defense strategy to protect your rights and pursue the best possible outcome. Your Tampa drug defense attorney with The Rickman Law Firm will consider your case and charge facts, along with evidence collected, to create a strong defense strategy, which may include:

Constitutional Violations

Your attorney will thoroughly examine every aspect of your case, ensuring that your constitutional rights were not violated during the investigation, arrest, or search and seizure procedures. If law enforcement officials acted against procedure or obtained evidence illegally, we can challenge its admissibility in court, potentially leading to a dismissal or reduction of charges.

Lack of Knowledge or Intent

Proving intent is a crucial element in federal marijuana trafficking cases. Your Tampa drug defense lawyer will work diligently to establish that you had no knowledge of the illicit nature of the activities in question or that you did not intend to engage in drug trafficking, nor were you aware of the presence of the substance. Your attorney may challenge both active and constructive possession arguments by presenting evidence that demonstrates your lack of intent or knowledge.

Entrapment

If you were coerced or induced into committing a crime by law enforcement officials or their agents, it may constitute entrapment, which may render the prosecution’s argument inadmissible. For this strategy, we will investigate the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine if entrapment was a factor and leverage this defense strategy to challenge the charges against you.

Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement violated your Fourth Amendment rights during the investigation or arrest, we can argue for the exclusion of unlawfully obtained evidence, significantly weakening the prosecution’s case.

Insufficient Evidence

A strong defense strategy may involve scrutinizing the prosecution’s evidence for weaknesses, inconsistencies, or insufficiencies. Your drug trafficking defense attorney will meticulously review the evidence against you, identifying any gaps or flaws that can be exploited to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case during trial.

Know That Your Federal Marijuana Trafficking Case Is In Good Hands With The Rickman Law Firm

Defending against federal marijuana trafficking charges requires a combination of legal expertise, strategic thinking, and unwavering determination. At The Rickman Law Firm, we understand the weight of these charges and are dedicated to providing you with the strong defense that you deserve.

If you or someone you know is facing federal marijuana trafficking charges, seeking professional legal representation is crucial. Trust our highly-qualified, highly-experienced experts at The Rickman Law Firm with your federal marijuana trafficking case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or fill out our consultation form for one of our Tampa drug defense attorneys to reach out to you soon. 

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Defending Against Federal Drug Trafficking Charges Involving Fentanyl and Other Opioids in Florida

Federal drug trafficking charges involving fentanyl and other opioids have become a pressing concern in Florida. Fentanyl accounted for 9.4% of the 17,520 drug trafficking cases and offenses in the United States. When it comes to drug trafficking charges involving fentanyl and other opioids, the stakes are high.

If you or someone you know is facing federal drug trafficking charges related to fentanyl in Tampa, it is crucial to hire a highly-experienced drug trafficking defense attorney to help you understand the relevant Florida statutes and take immediate action to secure a strong defense.

Understanding the Legislation

In the state of Florida, there are stringent laws and federal statutes in place to combat the trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids. Under Florida law, the illegal trafficking of fentanyl is a felony offense, carrying severe penalties upon conviction. The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act classifies fentanyl as a Schedule I controlled substance, indicating its high potential for abuse and lack of accepted medical use. The statute defines trafficking as the knowing sale, purchase, manufacture, delivery, or possession with the intent to sell, purchase, or distribute a certain quantity of fentanyl or its derivatives. 

Florida Statute §893.135 deals specifically with trafficking in illegal drugs and includes provisions related to fentanyl and other opioids. It outlines various quantities and associated penalties for drug trafficking offenses. For example, trafficking four grams or more of fentanyl is considered a felony and carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of three years and a fine of up to $50,000.

In addition to state laws, federal statutes, such as the Controlled Substances Act, also criminalize the trafficking of fentanyl and other opioids across state lines. The penalties under federal law can be even more severe, with longer prison sentences and higher fines for those convicted of trafficking large amounts of these substances. When consulting with your Tampa drug defense lawyer, you should also be advised of the federal legislation.

The Controlled Substances Act, enforced by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), classifies fentanyl as a Schedule II controlled substance due to its recognized medical uses but also the high potential for abuse. The law establishes strict penalties for trafficking fentanyl and other opioids, focusing on targeting individuals or organizations involved in the illicit manufacturing, distribution, or possession of these substances. The federal penalties for fentanyl trafficking depend on the quantity involved and the offender’s criminal history. Individuals convicted of trafficking large amounts of fentanyl can face substantial prison sentences, ranging from decades to life imprisonment, along with substantial fines. For example, a first offense, an individual trafficking charge of 200 grams could result in a prison sentence between 5 and 40 years and a fine of up to $5 million.

Your attorney will walk you through the potential consequences that you may be facing due to your charges so that you are aware of the severity of the charge. However, they will also work to build a strong defense strategy.

Possible Defense Strategies Against Federal Drug Trafficking Charges

When facing federal drug trafficking charges involving fentanyl or other opioids, a skilled Tampa drug defense attorney can employ several effective defense strategies. These strategies may include:

Unlawful Search and Seizure: Safeguarding Fourth Amendment Rights

For this strategy, your attorney will challenge the legality of the search and seizure of evidence. Identifying instances where law enforcement violated their clients’ Fourth Amendment rights can lead to the suppression of evidence, significantly weakening the prosecution’s case.

Lack of Knowledge or Intent: Establishing Innocence

With establishing a lack of knowledge or intent, your attorney will demonstrate that the defendant had no knowledge of the presence of fentanyl or other opioids and lacked the intent to distribute or traffic them. Attorneys can argue that their clients were unwittingly in possession of the controlled substances or were wrongly implicated due to circumstantial factors.

Chain of Custody Issues: Questioning the Reliability of Evidence

For a more defensive approach in court, your attorney may thoroughly scrutinize the chain of custody of the seized substances to identify any breaks or lapses. Establishing doubts about the proper handling and documentation of exculpatory evidence can cast suspicion on its reliability, potentially leading to its exclusion from the case.

Entrapment: Exposing Manipulative Tactics

A more aggressive tactic for your Tampa drug defense lawyer to employ is to assert that the defendant was coerced or induced into committing the drug trafficking offense by law enforcement. By demonstrating that their clients were not predisposed to engage in such activities and were instead lured or manipulated, attorneys can present a strong entrapment defense.

Insufficient Evidence: Challenging the Prosecution’s Case

Critically analyze the evidence presented by the prosecution to identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, or gaps that create reasonable doubt. Attorneys must meticulously examine the quality and sufficiency of the evidence, leveraging their expertise to dismantle the prosecution’s case.

What Do I Do If I Have Been Charged With Drug Trafficking?

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you must immediately seek out professional legal guidance from an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney. The Rickman Law Firm boasts decades of experience in defending individuals unjustly, falsely accused of trafficking.

Understand the Charges

Drug trafficking charges involve the illegal manufacturing, distribution, sale, or transportation of controlled substances. When you are charged with drug trafficking, it means the authorities believe you were involved in a criminal operation related to controlled substances. Take the time to thoroughly understand the specific charges brought against you, the penalties associated with them, and the elements that the prosecution must prove.

Seek Legal Representation

When facing drug trafficking charges, it is crucial to secure the services of an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney. A skilled attorney will guide you through the complex legal process, protect your rights, and build a strong defense strategy tailored to your case. They will review the evidence, investigate any potential violations of your constitutional rights, and advocate on your behalf.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

Once you have been charged, it is essential to remember that you have the right to remain silent. Avoid making any statements to the police or other authorities without your attorney present. Anything you say may be used against you, so it is crucial to consult with your attorney before providing any information.

Gather Evidence and Preserve Documentation

Work closely with your attorney to gather any evidence that may support your defense. This may include witness statements, surveillance footage, expert testimony, or other relevant documentation. Preserve any records or communications that may be crucial to your case, such as emails, phone records, or financial statements.

Conclusion

Defending against federal drug trafficking charges involving fentanyl and other opioids in Florida demands an astute understanding of the relevant statutes, comprehensive knowledge of the data on fentanyl usage and drug trafficking, and effective defense strategies. 

If you or someone you know is facing such charges, it is imperative to consult with a reputable drug trafficking defense attorney from Rickman Law Firm who can provide expert legal guidance and fight vigorously to protect your rights and advocate for the best possible outcome. With decades of successful experience in defending federal drug trafficking cases, we are the leading federal trafficking defense firm.

For your free consultation with a Tampa drug defense attorney, fill out our consultation form or call The Rickman Law Firm any time today at 813-999-0502.

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

The Most Common Types of Drugs Trafficked in the US and How to Defend Against Charges

Drug trafficking charges are incredibly serious and can have life-altering consequences. If you find yourself facing these charges in Florida, it is crucial to understand the most common types of drugs involved in these cases. From opioids like fentanyl and heroin to stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine, there are severe consequences.

Consulting a Tampa drug defense attorney at The Rickman Law Firm will enable you with the best defense strategies, tools, and knowledge to better set you up for a more favorable outcome.

What Are the Most Common Types of Drugs Trafficked in the United States?

In the 2021 fiscal year, seven different drug types accounted for the majority (97.7%) of the 17,520 drug trafficking cases and offenses in the United States:

  • Methamphetamine (48.3%)
  • Powder Cocaine (16.7%)
  • Heroin (10.2%)
  • Fentanyl (9.4%)
  • Crack Cocaine (6.2%)
  • Marijuana (5.7%)
  • Oxycodone (1.2%)

Is There a Difference Between Types of Substances?

Florida law categorizes controlled substances into different schedules based on their potential for abuse, accepted medical use, and the severity of potential dependence. The schedules range from Schedule I to Schedule V, with Schedule I substances being considered the most dangerous and Schedule V substances having the lowest potential for abuse. Your Tampa drug defense lawyer will understand that each schedule has its own defense strategy needs, as different punishments vary in severity based on the schedule degree.

Schedule I: This category includes drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. Examples of Schedule I substances include heroin, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), and marijuana (although there are exceptions for medical marijuana).

Schedule II: These substances have a high potential for abuse but may have accepted medical uses with severe restrictions. They can lead to severe physical or psychological dependence. Examples of Schedule II drugs include cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone, fentanyl, and morphine.

Schedule III: This schedule includes substances that have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule I or II drugs and has accepted medical uses. Abuse of Schedule III substances can lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Examples include certain steroids, ketamine, and hydrocodone.

Schedule IV: These substances have a lower potential for abuse than Schedule III drugs, limited risk of physical or psychological dependence, and accepted medical uses. Examples of Schedule IV drugs include benzodiazepines (such as diazepam and alprazolam), zolpidem, and tramadol.

Schedule V: This is the least restrictive schedule and contains substances with the lowest potential for abuse. They have accepted medical uses and limited risk of dependence, both physically and psychologically. Examples include cough preparations with codeine, over-the-counter medications containing low doses of certain opioids, and certain anti-diarrheal medications.

What Do I Do If I Have Been Charged With Drug Trafficking?

If you have been charged with drug trafficking, you must immediately seek out professional legal guidance from an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney. The Rickman Law Firm boasts decades of experience in defending individuals unjustly, falsely accused of trafficking.

Understand the Charges

Drug trafficking charges involve the illegal manufacturing, distribution, sale, or transportation of controlled substances. When you are charged with drug trafficking, it means the authorities believe you were involved in a criminal operation related to controlled substances. Take the time to thoroughly understand the specific charges brought against you, the penalties associated with them, and the elements that the prosecution must prove.

Seek Legal Representation

When facing drug trafficking charges, it is crucial to secure the services of an experienced drug trafficking defense attorney. A skilled attorney will guide you through the complex legal process, protect your rights, and build a strong defense strategy tailored to your case. They will review the evidence, investigate any potential violations of your constitutional rights, and advocate on your behalf.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

Once you have been charged, it is essential to remember that you have the right to remain silent. Avoid making any statements to the police or other authorities without your attorney present. Anything you say may be used against you, so it is crucial to consult with your attorney before providing any information.

Gather Evidence and Preserve Documentation

Work closely with your attorney to gather any evidence that may support your defense. This may include witness statements, surveillance footage, expert testimony, or other relevant documentation. Preserve any records or communications that may be crucial to your case, such as emails, phone records, or financial statements.

What Are Some Possible Defenses for a Drug Trafficking Charge?

Lack of Knowledge or Intent

One potential defense your Tampa drug defense lawyer may utilize against your drug trafficking charge is demonstrating that you did not know about the illegal drugs or the intent to traffic them. This defense may be applicable if you were unaware of the presence of drugs or if you were an unwitting participant in a drug-related operation.

Illegal Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If law enforcement violated your constitutional rights during the search and seizure process, evidence obtained as a result may be suppressed. An experienced drug trafficking defense attorney will examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine if any violations occurred, such as an improper search warrant or lack of probable cause.

The Rickman Law Firm Will Fight For Your Justice

Drug trafficking charges carry severe penalties, and if you find yourself facing such charges, it’s crucial to understand your rights and options. While a trafficking charge can be very intimidating, not all hope is lost. Take action now and consult an attorney with The Rickman Law Firm today. Our office is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience because the fight for justice never sleeps.

For your free consultation with a Tampa drug defense attorney, fill out our consultation form or call The Rickman Law Firm any time at 813-999-0502.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

From Arrest to Acquittal: The Federal Defense Process Explained

If you have been charged with a federal crime, you are likely feeling very overwhelmed and unsure of how to proceed. Federal crime charges are complex legal proceedings, and because the federal criminal justice system operates differently from state systems, it is important to have more specialized knowledge and understanding of building an effective strategic defense to have your charge result in an acquittal. 

The Rickman Law Firm has the skills, knowledge, and experience you need to help federal criminal charges result in an acquittal. With the guidance of our specialized attorneys, you can navigate the federal defense legal process with confidence in your defense strategy. Our relentless pursuit of justice has led to countless successful post-trial acquittals, offering hope and relief to clients who believed all was lost. With unwavering dedication, we meticulously review trial evidence, scrutinize evidence, and work to fight for your innocence.

1. Arrest and Initial Appearance

By the time that you have been arrested by law enforcement, they will have already gathered “sufficient” evidence. During this period, your Tampa federal defense attorney will be gathering pieces of evidence while starting to build your defense strategy to present before the judge and the jury during trial. It is important to note that the prosecuting party will still be gathering evidence as we are.

The two types of evidence gathered include direct evidence and circumstantial evidence. Direct evidence supports a truthful fact and can be presented without any need for inference or interpretation. This type of evidence can include videographic evidence and eyewitness testimonies. Circumstantial evidence does require a degree of inference and interpretation and is indirectly obtained. This type of evidence includes statements and information that are not first-hand accounts.

After you have been arrested, you will also be brought before a judge for what is referred to as the “initial appearance.” During this stage, you will be presented with your charge(s) formally, as well as your rights during the legal process. Factors such as any previous criminal record, public safety, and flight risk are considered, as this stage may sometimes result in the decision on bail or detention. It is during this stage that you can also plead not guilty to the charges.

2. Discovery and Case Preparation

Following the initial hearing after an arrest, both parties will either begin or continue to gather evidence. This could include your attorney getting testimonies, pulling photographic and videographic evidence, and getting and consulting the interpretation of test results from medical and mental health professionals, among any other valid, relevant means of information to help defend you in court. Your attorney will continue to pull evidence until the trial proceedings begin.

However, after 10 days, both parties are required to explicitly disclose the evidence that they have gathered, referred to as discovery. This visibility will allow your Tampa federal defense lawyer to begin the next stage in bolstering your defense strategy. They will begin meticulously combing through the evidence that the prosecution has gathered, determining whether it is relevant, falsified or tampered with, or was gathered legally. This evidence is called exculpatory evidence and is frequently used as a challenging point during the trial.

3. Grand Jury Preliminary Hearing

While your Tampa federal defense lawyer is working toward your acquittal, you will likely be advised to plead not guilty during your initial appearance. If this is the case, there will be a preliminary hearing that is held. This preliminary hearing is sometimes referred to as a small-scale version of a trial. During this hearing, the prosecuting party will present evidence, and sometimes call witnesses, before a judge. Your lawyer will cross-examine those witnesses while challenging and refuting the prosecution’s evidence. 

It is during this stage that the grand jury will examine all evidence and arguments presented before making a decision as to whether the defendant really committed the crime. If the grand jury decides to drop the charges, then you will have been acquitted. If the grand jury decides to continue with the trial, then the federal defense process will continue. Your attorney will continue to strengthen your defense strategy and look for more evidence.

4. Trial

After a period, on average, of 6-18 months after filing, a trial will be held. While the trial is often the best-known aspect of the federal defense legal proceedings, it is vital that it is still regarded with caution and strategy. During this stage, your Tampa federal defense lawyer will fight for your justice before a judge and jury. Your defense case will be presented, while your attorney will challenge the prosecution’s evidence. 

The most important thing to note is that the jury must make an unanimous decision regarding the defendant’s innocence regarding their charge. Your attorney should have plenty of successful experience in defending cases like yours, including presenting extremely strong oral arguments and an effective presentation of your defense, swaying the judge and jury.

5. Acquittal

With success following your trial, the judge will deliver the verdict of your charge. With the right Tampa federal criminal defense lawyer on your side, your case will hopefully result in an acquittal and your charges will be dropped.

The Rickman Law Firm Can Guide You Through The Legal System to an Acquittal

With decades of experience, the highly-skilled attorneys at The Rickman Law Firm have seen countless federal criminal case defenses result in acquittal. We are equipped with the resources and knowledge base to effectively fight for your justice during the proceedings of your case.

Our law firm is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help fight for you. To set yourself up for acquittal, reach out to one of our attorneys by filling out our consultation form or calling us any time at 813-999-0502.

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Consent in Sexual Battery Cases: What It Means and How It Is Determined

Sexual battery cases are notorious for being difficult and harsh for the accused but they can also be some of the most complex cases because of the factor of consent. If you have an explicitly consensual sexual encounter with someone, and suddenly face a charge of sexual battery or rape, what do you do? All of a sudden, you are facing a severe charge with life-changing consequences without having committed the crime.

Your best bet to being able to handle this charge and defend yourself is by contacting the best Tampa sexual battery attorneys. The Rickman Law Firm knows how to be able to determine consent in sexual battery cases and will help you prove mutual consent.

What Is Sexual Battery?

According to Florida statutes, sexual battery is “oral, anal, or vaginal penetration by, or union with, the sexual organ of another or the anal or vaginal penetration of another by any other object…without that person’s consent.” 

If the victim is unable to give consent to a sexual encounter, whether it be that the consent was purposefully not given or that they were deemed mentally incapacitated, by way of substances influencing mental states – especially not under their own will –, then it is considered sexual battery under the Florida court of law.

What Is Consent?

Consent is easier to define than it is to argue in court; your Tampa sexual battery lawyer will ensure that you understand the legal definition of it as you navigate a sexual battery charge. Simply put, consent is the voluntary, mutual agreement to engage in sexual activities. For a person to legally give consent, the law requires that that person is not a minor and has both the mental and the physical capacity to do so without having been coerced or threatened into agreeing, and with the intelligent knowledge of voluntary consent. Consent can also be withdrawn at any time, making it more difficult to argue in court. Additionally, Florida statutes specify that the absence of physical resistance does not imply the giving of consent.

How Is Consent Determined in Sexual Battery Cases in Florida?

Because consent is the cornerstone of sexual battery cases, especially in Florida, it needs to be heavily substantiated in the argument from your Tampa sexual battery lawyer. Consent can be proven through the means of standard trial proceedings, including evidence and testimonies. For it to be determined as whole-heartedly, consensually, and voluntarily given – or not – the prosecution and defense need to prove without a shadow of a doubt that there either was or was not consent.

Physical evidence is the means by which consent can be determined scientifically. Items and clothing that have been tampered with, broken, ripped, or affected in any unusual way can also determine a degree of consent. Physical evidence might include:

  • Injuries, including bruising
  • Bodily fluids
  • DNA samples
  • Blood alcohol testing
  • Drug testing
  • Broken glass, furniture, or any other items
  • Clothing, whether intact or torn up

Testimonies during the trial proceedings and initial evidence-gathering period can also withstand in court when determining consent. Sometimes, determining whether consent was properly, and legally given can turn into an abstract conversation in a court of law, especially with spoken, written, and implied consent all being substantial forms of consent. When the victim gives their testimony in court, it holds a lot of weight in the deliberation.  Conversely, whether the victim claims to remember whether or not consent was provided will also hold its own in court.

Witness testimonies and statements are also used to determine the victim’s consent in a court of law. Witness testimonies can include statements about the demeanor of both the victim and the defendant before and after the incident and responses to statements that were made by both the defendant and victim in court as to whether there was a degree of consent.

What Can Affect Consent Ruling?

There are many factors and pieces of evidence and facts that can have an altering effect on consent rulings. When facing sexual battery charges, your Tampa sexual battery attorney will sit and walk through these factors with you so that you can understand anything that can have an effect on your defense strategy or the possible one that the prosecution has.

A critical factor to remember when discussing consent in sexual battery cases in Florida is the age of consent. Any minor, or person under the age of 18, cannot legally give consent, even if it was explicitly provided. Therefore, any person under the age of 18 when the sexual battery incident occurred will be tried using this factor of age.

The other factors and facts that can affect consent ruling may include:

  • If the alleged victim was physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to give consent, especially if they were under the influence of drugs and or alcohol, and if the defendant was claimed to have had knowledge of another party administering the drugs or alcohol
  • If the victim was physically helpless against the defendant
  • If the defendant claimed to coerce the victim to submit to sexual advances through the use of force and or violence
  • If the defendant was claimed to coerce the victim into submitting to sexual advances through threats to retaliate against them in the future

Ensure That You Are Protected With The Leading Sex Crime Defense Attorneys in Tampa

If you’ve been falsely accused of sexual battery following a consensual encounter, it is crucial that you immediately speak with an expert sex crime defense attorney. If not properly navigated or dealt with, the issue of consent on your sexual battery charge could have undeserved, harsh, life-altering consequences on you.

Trust the Tampa sex crime defense attorneys at The Rickman Law Firm with your sexual battery case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or fill out our consultation form for one of our attorneys to reach out to you soon. 

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Navigating Restraining Orders and Protective Orders in Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic violence cases are quite complicated and can have many complex components that are difficult to understand, let alone navigate through. Two of the most complicated aspects of a domestic violence case are restraining orders and protective orders. If you have been unjustly served a restraining or protective order in Florida, you need to hire a highly-experienced, aggressive domestic violence defense lawyer in Tampa to defend you, protect your rights, and fight for your justice. 

The Rickman Law Firm has decades of experience in working with cases that involve restraining and protective orders. While protective and restraining orders are designed to protect alleged victims of domestic violence, they can have dire consequences for those who they are against and often result in false abuse allegations.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Florida?

In Florida, F.S. §741.28741.31 define domestic violence as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household by another family or household member,” where a family or household member is further defined as “spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together, ad persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.” 

Simply put, domestic violence is an act of assault and criminal act against someone in your family or household. Some commonly tried acts that are considered domestic violence may include:

  • Physical violence and/or abuse
  • Sexual violence and/or abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Economic abuse
  • Threatening abuse
  • Intimidation and isolation tactics meant to instill a power dynamic

Domestic violence can further be described in many cases as a pattern of abuse, abusive behaviors, and actions driven by a desire to instill and maintain an unfair power dynamic. In court, domestic violence is tricky to navigate and – due to the highly sensitive nature of the charge – is often more difficult for the defendant to work through, especially on their own. With the help of a Tampa domestic violence defense attorney, you can rest assured knowing that you will be properly guided through the contingencies and various elements of a domestic violence charge, especially when restraining orders and protective orders are introduced.

What Exactly Are Restraining and Protective Orders?

A restraining order is a legal court order and document that prohibits the accused individual from taking certain actions against the filer – including contacting, harassing, or coming within a specific, certain distance of them. They are designed to protect the filer from further abuse than claimed. A person can file for a specific restraining order based on the relationship that they have with the accused. 

The Florida court recognizes four orders of protection in domestic violence cases:

  1.  Domestic Violence, where the filer claims that they are in imminent danger from violent acts from a family or household member
  2. Repeat Violence, where there are two or more acts of stalking or violence that occur on two or more separate occasions, one of which must have occurred in the last six months, from someone who is not in a domestic or romantic relationship with the filer
  3. Sexual Violence, where the filer claims that they have experienced sexual batter, where there was any forcible sexual felony committed, whether criminal charges were filed, reduced, or dismissed by the state attorney. This includes sexual battery, a lewd or lascivious act committed upon or in the presence of a minor younger than 16 years of age, or sexual performance by a child
  4. Dating Violence, where the filer claims that they are in imminent danger from violent acts or stalking from someone with whom they had a relationship – whether romantic or sexual – in the last six months

A protective order is similar to a restraining order in that it is issued by a criminal court judge during a domestic violence case, however, it may include specific contingencies and interventions when issued. Some examples may include, but are not limited to:

  • Requiring the accused to give up their firearm to law enforcement
  • Requiring the accused to surrender parental rights
  • Mandatory attendance of counseling or an intervention program

A restraining order can last up to two years and may harbor severe consequences if there is a violation of the terms. This could include arrest or a more severe charge in the defendant’s case.

What Are Your Options When Faced With a Restraining Order or a Protective Order?

As a highly sensitive, highly legal matter, you need to be very strategic in taking steps if you have been served a restraining order or a protective order. Because these court orders restrict your rights and, if violated, can result in harsh sentencing or arrest, among other potential legal consequences. It is vital to hire a skilled Tampa domestic violence defense attorney to help you navigate protective and restraining orders. They will help you to either contest the order or successfully, effectively comply with the terms of the order. 

Your defense attorney will advise you to avoid any and all contact with the filer of the order. They will also advise you on how to behave to avoid any actions that may be perceived as violations of the court order.

Let The Rickman Law Firm Guide You Through Your Domestic Violence Case

When facing the serious legal documents of a protective or restraining order, you should not attempt to represent yourself or carry on with your life as normal. A Tampa domestic violence defense lawyer with The Rickman Law Firm will counsel you to avoid the long-term consequences of a domestic violence conviction or a protective or restraining order violation. They will build and present a strong defense for you and ensure that your rights are protected and justice is fought for.

If you or your loved one would like to learn more about Florida restraining orders, reach out to the experts at The Rickman Law Firm with your sex crime case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or fill out our consultation form for one of our attorneys to reach out to you soon. 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

The Role of Evidence in Sex Crimes Cases in Florida

Evidence is the cornerstone of the outcome in a sex crimes case. Consequently, evidence is a critical aspect of your defense strategy that can make or break your case. Because of the sensitive and complex nature of sex crimes, courts will defer to the evidence frequently and strongly throughout the case proceedings.

If you have been charged with a sex crime, you must seek out a Tampa criminal defense attorney immediately. The sooner that they can either collect or refute evidence to strengthen your defense case, the more reinforced your claim will be.

Types of Evidence

Many types of evidence can be gathered to help build your defense strategy in a sex crimes case – and with a strong argument from your Tampa criminal defense attorney, any evidence can be good evidence.

Evidence that could be included in an investigation could include, but is not limited to:

  • Personal background from witnesses, alibis, and informants, including all persons known to the prosecutor and defendant that could have any relevant information to the charged offense allegation
  • Personal statements from witnesses, alibis, and informants, including all persons known to the prosecutor and defendant that could have any relevant information to the charged offense allegation
  • Physical evidence gathered, including but not limited to evidence that could include DNA samples, clothing articles, and anything else that is relevant 
  • Documentary evidence, including video surveillance, pictures, social media records, text message records, phone call records, etc., including but not limited to wiretapping and electronic device recordings

The Role of Evidence in the Investigation Stage

As previously mentioned, the investigation stage is the period where evidence is gathered and put together for the building of your defense strategy. First, your Tampa felony defense attorney will gather and analyze physical evidence. This could include findings from law enforcement officials, and, if applicable, analysis by forensic experts and other relevant experts. Some of the evidence that could be gathered includes DNA samples, clothing articles, fingerprints, sampling for blood alcohol or drug analysis, or swabs that are taken during the investigative period.

Documentary evidence will also be gathered during this period. This can include video surveillance, pictures, social media posts, text messages, and any other evidence that is not physical. Do not tamper with or remove any evidence during this period, or you may face fines for inhibiting the investigation and ultimately increase your chances of facing harsh consequences.

Finally, this period will include the interviewing of witnesses and participating members of the case, including the defendant and the victim to gather first-hand information about the incident or the people involved. 

An important aspect of the criminal legal process to note is that within 15 days of filing the Notice of Discovery, the prosecuting party will have to disclose and share the information and evidence that they have gathered for your defending party to inspect, analyze, and record. Your attorney will use this information to further build upon your defense strategy.

The Role of Evidence in the Pre-Trial Stage

The pre-trial stage is the period in which your defense attorney’s strategy begins to materialize, building on the evidence gathered, as well as the analyses thereof. Additionally, your attorney may continue to gather evidence during the pre-trial period, especially as the prosecution party shares their findings.

Your attorney will challenge the prosecution’s evidence, meticulously combing through for inconsistencies, tampering, and any falsely-led conclusions from the evidence. Your attorney with The Rickman Law Firm will also challenge the admissibility of evidence and its relevance, and ensure that your rights were not infringed upon during the prosecution’s investigative process.

The Role of Evidence in the Trial Stage

The trial stage of the legal proceedings of a sex crimes case is the most well-known. This is the time when both the prosecuting and defending parties will present evidence and arguments in front of a judge, and if applicable, a jury as well. Initially, the evidence will be presented by the prosecuting party and may include physical and documentary evidence to identify their case details, including their perceived identity of the defendant and the events that occurred exhaustively. 

Then, the defense may present evidence that will counter and challenge the prosecution’s stance and establish and affirm the innocence of the defendant. This will result in the use of evidence to support each party’s arguments to persuade both the jury and the judge to their stance on the case.

Following suit, there will be a cross-examination of witnesses. This will also include your Tampa felony defense attorney challenging the evidence that the prosecution presents. Evidence will usually be the deciding factor in how a case is determined and charged – or dropped.

The Rickman Law Firm Knows The Power of Evidence

A sex crime is a complex legal case, and many factors can influence the outcome of the proceedings. The primary factor for your defense strategy is whether or not you have a legal professional to support and defend you aggressively. To increase the chances of the best possible outcome for you during a sex crimes case, you need an expert who knows how to strategically harness evidence in a powerfully persuasive and effective manner. 

The experts at The Rickman Law Firm are waiting to represent you and fight for your justice during each step of your sex crimes case. Trust the highly-qualified, highly-experienced experts at The Rickman Law Firm with your sex crime case, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Contact our office at any point by calling us at 813-999-0502 or fill out our consultation form for one of our attorneys to reach out to you soon. 

 

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

How To Protect Yourself Against Rape Charges in Florida

Rape is a seriously and harshly punished crime in Florida. There are life-long implications and repercussions for the reputations of those accused. When you are falsely accused of rape charges, you need to act immediately to avoid as many negative undeserved consequences as possible. 

The Rickman Law Firm’s Tampa criminal defense lawyers are highly skilled and experienced in rape charge cases and can help protect you and your reputation. With extensive knowledge of the Florida criminal justice system, the attorneys at The Rickman Law Firm are well-equipped with the tools, strategies, and resources to provide you with the highest-quality legal counsel and representation throughout your case.

What is Considered Rape in Florida?

In Florida, rape is defined as the offense of coerced sexual acts including oral, anal, or female genital penetration with the sexual organ or any other object forced on a non-consenting individual, and it is considered a felony. In Florida, statutory rape is when the unconsenting party is a minor and is also considered a felony. In situations where both parties are minors, and one individual is considered unable to provide consent, statutory rape is charged.

In a rape charge investigation, consent is the considered the primary factor. In the Florida court of law, minors can never give legal consent for sex, and if there is no consent from the adult who did experience sexual battery, then it is also defined as rape. In addition, any degree of intoxication, whether via drugs, alcohol consumption, or forced drug consumption, that mental incapacitation during sexual battery is also considered rape.

What Are the Potential Consequences of a Rape Charge?

A conviction for sexual battery could result in incarceration and a lifelong registration on the national sex offender listing. However, there are varying degrees and consequences of rape conviction based on the circumstances of the incident, the allegations against the defense, and the evidence that is gathered by the prosecution. Your Tampa criminal defense attorney will inform you of the degree of your charge. All charges of sexual battery in Florida are punished as felonies to differing degrees. 

A life felony charge case, among fines, includes:

  • Sexual battery of someone under 12, 
  • Forcible sexual battery
  • Sexual battery from someone older than 18 against someone younger than 12

First-degree felony rape charges, with consequences of high fines and sentences of up to 30 years, include:

  • Sexual battery from the defense, older than 18, against the prosecutor, who is older than 12
  • Sexual battery from the defense, younger than 18, against the prosecutor, older than 12

Second-degree felony rape charges, where the offender receives a sentence of up to 5 years among fines, include:

  • Sexual battery where the defense does not use physical force or violence likely to cause serious personal injury

While the specific consequences of different rape charges varies, each charge is serious and can carry highly consequential implications. Even a rape charge is enough to cause irreperable damage in your life. It is important to understand the type of charge that you are being accused of, as well as the legal severity of it.

What to Do When Facing a Rape Charge

When being charged with accusations of rape, you will most likely suffer dire consequences outside of the court of law. There are many occasions in which allegations of sexual batter and rape are fabricated and exaggerated at the entirely unfair suffering of the defendant. When facing an unjust rape charge, action needs to be taken immediately. The first step to take is hiring a Tampa criminal defense attorney who has successful experience in defending rape charge cases. The Rickman Law Firm prides itself on aggressive, diligent, and successful legal experts who will fight for your justice.

Your attorney will begin reviewing the case and charge to start building a strong defense. Some factors that may be considered include arguing consent, involuntary and intoxicated consent, false accusations, or constitutional protections, among others. Some case charges will be more difficult to argue than others, such as the accusation of sexual battery of a minor, where arguing consent is out of the question. An effective legal defense strategy will also be devised. With the right attorney, you might get your charge dropped, fines lessened, or even your case dismissed.

Consult the Sex Crime Experts at The Rickman Law Firm

Rape cases are among the most difficult and lengthy in Florida. Having an experienced legal expert guiding you through the process and protecting your rights and justice is the best decision to help position you and your case as well as possible during your rape case. If you have been falsely accused of a sexual battery crime that you did not do, contact our aggressive attorneys today. A false sexual battery charge could lead to the loss of your reputation, freedom, and livelihood.

Our law firm is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help fight for your rights. For your free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Tampa, fill out our consultation form or call The Rickman Law Firm any time today at 813-999-0502.

 

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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