Criminal Defense Attorney at the University of Florida (2023)

Protecting your child from criminal charges on a University of Florida campus

Florida, the Sunshine State, is home to a number of prestigious colleges and universities. The University of Florida, Florida State University, University of Miami, University of South Florida, and Florida International University, among others, attract students from around the world. While these campuses offer an excellent academic environment, they are not immune to crime. This page provides a comprehensive guide to help you understand Florida statutes, common crimes on college campuses, the bail and parole process, and the basic steps parents should take when hiring an attorney.

Florida Penal Code

Florida state law (Florida Statutes, Title XLVI) outlines various violations and penalties. These regulations apply uniformly across the state, including campuses. They cover crimes ranging from misdemeanors such as petty theft (Fla. Stats Code § 812.014) to felonies such as sexual assault (Fla. Stats Code § 794.011). For a crime to be prosecuted, it must be within the jurisdiction of Florida, which includes all crimes committed within that state. Accordingly, campuses are subject to these regulations.

Common crimes on University of Florida campuses

The types of crime on Florida college campuses are as diverse as the student population. However, some crimes are more common than others. These include drug crimes, alcohol-related crimes, robberies and sexual assaults.

Drug offences:Students sometimes become addicted to drugs and distribute them, which can lead to charges, according to Florida statistics. §893.13. For example, a student at the University of Florida was recently arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell, a third-degree felony in Florida.

Alcohol-related offences:Alcohol consumption often leads to crimes such as underage drinking, DUI and intoxication. A prime example involved a student at Florida State University who was charged with DUI after causing a minor accident on campus.

robot: Theft is another common crime on college campuses. For example, a student at the University of South Florida was recently arrested for stealing a laptop computer from the university library in violation of Florida Statute § 812.014.

sexual assault: Unfortunately, cases of sexual assault are not uncommon on college campuses. Title IX provisions are designed to reduce these cases, but they still happen. A recent case involved a Florida International University student charged with sexual assault under Florida Code Section 794.011.

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harm:Assault (threats to harm) and assault (bodily harm) are also common offences. These offenses are covered by Florida Statutes § 784.011 and § 784.03, respectively, and range from simple fights to more serious fights. For example, a recent case involved a University of Miami student who was arrested after an altercation at a campus event.

Drunk driving: DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is another major concern, especially since some students may underestimate the dangers of DUI. A recent case involved a University of Miami student who was arrested for DUI after being involved in an accident near campus in violation of Florida Statute § 316.193.

Bail and surety procedures in Florida

After a student is arrested, the next step is usually a bail hearing to determine if the student can be released pending trial. Bail amount depends on the seriousness of the offense, the student's criminal record, and the student's likelihood of appearing in future court proceedings.

Parents can secure their child's release by paying the bail in full or by purchasing a bond (usually 10% of the bail amount). If the student fails to appear in court, the bond will be forfeited and the full amount of the bond must be paid.

For example, if a University of Miami student is arrested for a DUI (second degree misdemeanor), bail may be set at $500. Parents can pay this amount directly to the court or pay the $50 bond to secure the student's release.

Stages of a Florida criminal case

The stages of a Florida criminal case can vary depending on the specific charges, the facts of the case, and other factors. However, most criminal cases in Florida go through several general stages:

1.arrest: In Florida, the first stage of a criminal case usually involves an arrest by law enforcement officers. Arrests can be made with or without a warrant, as the case may be.

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2.collection: After his arrest, the suspect was taken to the police station for registration. This includes taking fingerprints, photographs and other identifying information, as well as dealing with any personal property or evidence.

3.initial appearance: The suspect will make his first court appearance before a judge, usually within 24 hours of his arrest. The judge will inform the suspect of the charges, inform him of his rights and set the conditions for bail or release.

4.charge: The next stage is the trial, where the accused is formally charged with a crime and pleads guilty or not guilty. If the defendant pleads guilty, a sentencing hearing will be set. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to trial.

5.Pretrial motions and hearings: Before trial, the defense and prosecution can file pretrial motions to exclude evidence or dismiss the case. Hearings may also be held on these proposals.

6.rehearsal: A trial is the stage at which the case is brought before a jury, which will decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent. The prosecution will present evidence and witnesses, while the defense will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and present its own evidence.

7.crisis: If the defendant is found guilty, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled. Judges consider factors such as the seriousness of the crime, the defendant's criminal history and any mitigating or aggravating factors when deciding on a sentence.

8.appeal: If defendants are convicted, they may have the right to appeal the conviction or sentence to a higher court.

It's worth noting that not all criminal cases in Florida go through all of these stages. Some cases may be resolved through plea agreements or diversion proceedings, while others may be dismissed before trial.

What elements of the crime must prosecutors prove to get a conviction in Florida?

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In order for the prosecution to win a conviction in a criminal case, it must prove all the elements of a crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements of an offense vary depending on the specific offence, but generally include:

1.criminal law:This refers to the criminal act itself. The prosecution must prove that the accused committed an act that constituted a crime. In some cases, the act may have been an omission or an omission.

2.Men's Shopping:This refers to the defendant's state of mind at the time of the crime. The prosecution must prove that the accused committed the crime intentionally or acted recklessly or negligently.

3.simultaneous:This refers to the requirement that the behavior and the mental state must occur simultaneously. The prosecution must prove that the accused had the requisite mental state to commit the act.

4.cause:This refers to requiring the defendant's actions to cause harm or results prohibited by law. The prosecution must prove that the defendant's conduct was the proximate cause of the injury or result.

5.damage:This refers to the actual damage or injury caused by the defendant's actions. The prosecution must prove that the harm was caused by the defendant's actions and was prohibited by law.

In addition to these elements, some offenses may have additional elements or specific requirements that must be proven by the prosecution. It is important to note that the burden of proof lies with the prosecution, who must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order to be convicted.

Hire a Florida criminal defense attorney when you live out of state

If you need to hire a criminal defense attorney for a child who attends a Florida college or university but lives out of state, there are several steps you can take:

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1.Call the fly method:Musca Law has offices throughout Florida, including Gainesville, Miami, Tallahassee, Orlando, Tampa and 25 other Florida cities. Musca Law also has experience dealing with crime on college campuses.

2.Initial consultation:During counseling, ask about your child's case strategies. Be prepared to provide all relevant details about the event.

3.Consider the technology:Thanks to modern technology, lawyers can communicate with clients out of state. Video conferencing, email and phone calls are available to stay connected and exchange information.

4.Discuss payment options:Hiring a criminal defense attorney can be expensive. Be sure to discuss payment options with the attorney of your choice. Some attorneys may be willing to set up a payment plan or accept credit card payments.

If your child is arrested or charged with a crime, it's important to act quickly. The sooner you hire an attorney, the better your chances of a positive outcome.
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Are you a Florida student or parent of a college student charged with a crime in Florida?

Don't wait to get legal representation. At Musca Law of Pennsylvania, we have years of experience advocating for students just like you. Our attorneys understand the unique challenges students face in the criminal justice system, and we work tirelessly to protect your rights and your future.

Call us today toll free at 1-888-484-5057 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We are available 24/7 to answer your call and provide the guidance and support you need during this difficult time. Don't wait, call us now and let us help you face criminal charges.


How much do criminal defense attorneys charge per hour in Florida? ›

The typical lawyer in Florida charges between $163 and $408 per hour.

Is the defense attorney harder than prosecutor? ›

Typically, the prosecutor will ask easy soft ball questions like “what did you see?” or “what did you do?” This style of questioning is called direct examination. Direct examination is completely different that cross examination. A prosecutor's job is easier than a defense attorney generally.

What is the highest salary for a criminal defense lawyer? ›

Didn't find your job? How much does a Criminal Defense Lawyer make? The average Criminal Defense Lawyer salary is $96,389 as of May 01, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $83,080 and $109,077.

How do you answer defense attorney questions? ›

Tips for a Successful Cross-Examination
  1. Listen carefully to the prosecutor's question and let him ask his entire question before you answer.
  2. When you do answer, answer the question that is being asked, but nothing more. ...
  3. Stay calm and don't argue. ...
  4. Tell the truth. ...
  5. Think before you answer the question. ...
  6. Don't guess.
Oct 26, 2020

What is the most expensive lawyer per hour? ›

Topping the list of the country's most expensive lawyers is Kirkland & Ellis partner Kirk Radke. The private equity and corporate counsel bills $1,250 per hour. The big billers tend to cluster in finance-related practices.

How much do lawyers take from settlement in Florida? ›

Usually, a personal injury lawyer will take one-third of your final settlement offer as compensation for their work. For example, a settlement of $10,000 would result in a $3,333 payment to your lawyer and $6,667 for you to take home.

What is one disadvantage of being a defense lawyer? ›

Defense attorney's often get a harsh reputation due to media scrutiny: defending the accused is not always an easy job and having a client's freedom or future resting on your abilities can be quite stressful.

Who is more powerful than a prosecutor? ›

In practice, district attorneys, who prosecute the bulk of criminal cases in the United States, answer to no one. The state attorney general is the highest law enforcement officer in state government and often has the power to review complaints about unethical and illegal conduct on the part of district attorneys.

Is a judge more powerful than a prosecutor? ›

However, this article is going to let you in on a little-known secret: in the vast majority of cases, the prosecutor has more power over the outcome of a criminal case that the judge.

What type of lawyer makes the most money? ›

Patent lawyers are among the highest-paid types of lawyers and earn one of the highest median salaries in the legal field. These legal professionals advise clients about patents so their clients can obtain patents granted by patent offices around the world.

What is the lowest and highest salary for lawyer? ›

How Much Does a Lawyer Make? Lawyers made a median salary of $127,990 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $194,580 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $81,620.

How much do criminal justice lawyers make in Florida? ›

How much does a Criminal Defense Lawyer make in Florida? The average Criminal Defense Lawyer salary in Florida is $91,570 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $78,926 and $103,623.

Should you tell your defense attorney the truth? ›

A client should always feel comfortable telling their attorney the whole truth of the matter for which they are being represented. Any communications that take place with the purpose of securing assistance in a legal proceeding, legal services, or securing a legal opinion are protected.

What to say in court if you don t want to answer a question? ›

Good ways to say anything but "No Comment" to questions you really don't want to answer: "I'm sorry but I'm not able to speak to that subject" "Thanks for asking but I'm not able to answer that question"

Can a lawyer demand a yes or no answer? ›

If an attorney demands a “yes” or “no” answer and you can not give one, let the judge know that, and explain that to do so would be misleading to the court or inaccurate. If your answer was not correctly stated, correct it immediately. If your answer was not clear, clarify it immediately.

Who is the most expensive lawyer in the United States? ›

Richard Scruggs

He is known as the "King of Torts." Scruggs is a graduate of the University of Texas. He later went on to become the highest paid attorney in the United States and was also named the top personal injury lawyer in the country by the National Law Journal for seven consecutive years.

Who is the most expensive lawyer in the world? ›

1 Richard Scruggs (Net Worth of $1.7 Billion)

Former naval aviator and now disbarred trial lawyer, Richard Scruggs takes our top spot as the highest-paid lawyer in the world.

How much is a top lawyer? ›

The hourly fee attorneys charge could range from as low as $50 or $100 per hour to as high as several thousand dollars per hour for specialized legal work performed by a top professional. According to the Clio 2022 Legal Trends Report, the average attorney hourly rate was $313.00 in 2022.

How long does it take to negotiate a settlement in Florida? ›

Negotiation and Mediation (2-4 Weeks)

Most personal injury lawsuits in Florida are settled before they go to trial because settling saves both parties time and money. Settling cases out of court also allows insurance companies to keep the details private.

Do you have to pay taxes on a lawsuit settlement in Florida? ›

When it comes to lawsuit settlements, it is important to understand if and how the settlement is taxable in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Generally, any damages you receive from a lawsuit settlement are considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This includes compensatory damages and punitive damages.

How long does a settlement take Florida? ›

You can get a settlement check from your insurance fairly quickly after a car accident. The average time in Florida to receive a check is between four to six weeks. Although, this can vary based on the complexity of your case. The time it takes will also be impacted on whether you take your claim to court or not.

Do defense attorneys always believe their clients? ›

Defense lawyers are ethically bound to zealously represent all clients, including those they believe will justly be found guilty, as well as those they believe are factually innocent.

What is a lawyer's weakness? ›

Many attorneys struggle with lack of organization, poor proofreading and editing skills, and typos. If that describes you, take heart, because those weaknesses do not have to stand in the way of your success–or waste your time with efforts to improve them.

What factors hinder a defense attorney? ›

No matter how they may feel about a violent client with a history of heinous crimes, a defense attorney's ethical obligations require fair representation.
  • Negative Public Perception. ...
  • Difficult Clients. ...
  • Limited Time and Resources. ...
  • Job Pressure and Stress.
May 24, 2021

What is the most common reason cases are rejected by prosecutors? ›

Generally speaking, person offenses are much more likely to be rejected or dismissed than other offense categories. This is expected, because person offenses pose unique investigative and prosecutorial challenges; evidence comes largely from victim or witness testimony.

Who is the most important person in the courtroom? ›

The judge is the central figure in the courtroom and typically is seated higher than everyone else. The judge allows each side the opportunity to present its version of the facts. A court reporter (in superior court), a clerk, and a bailiff each assists the judge with the trial.

Who is the most powerful person in the courtroom? ›

Prosecutors are the most powerful officials in the American criminal justice system. The decisions they make, particularly the charging and plea-bargaining decisions, control the operation of the system and often predetermine the outcome of criminal cases.

Who has the ultimate decision over whether to prosecute a case or not? ›

Ultimately, it's the defendant who gets to make the final decision, even if it conflicts with their attorney's advice. Occasionally, lawyers and defendants have such strongly opposing views that the lawyer cannot effectively carry out the defendant's desired strategy.

What is the primary responsibility of the defense attorney? ›

The primary duties that defense counsel owe to their clients, to the administration of justice, and as officers of the court, are to serve as their clients' counselor and advocate with courage and devotion; to ensure that constitutional and other legal rights of their clients are protected; and to render effective, ...

Why do prosecutors have the most power? ›

Prosecutors can determine which laws are enforced and against whom, and how much punishment to recommend. The decisions made by prosecutors are a leading cause of mass incarceration. Prosecutors' offices require greater public transparency. Active and informed voters have the power to hold prosecutors accountable.

Can a lawyer be a millionaire? ›

Yes, lawyers can become millionaires.

This does not mean every lawyer can become a millionaire, however, this profession does present an opportunity for this achievement, and many lawyers have become millionaires through their legal work.

What type of lawyer makes the most money in Florida? ›

Types of attorneys that get paid the most include:
  • Medical Lawyers.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Attorneys.
  • Trial Attorneys.
  • Tax Attorneys.

What lawyer makes the least money? ›

Legal Aid Attorney

Legal Aid attorneys provide counsel to people who cannot afford to pay for their own lawyer. These are public interest jobs that many lawyers get a great deal of satisfaction out of, even if they don't make a large amount of money.

What is the average age to make partner at a law firm? ›

Average age to make partner at a law firm

The most common age to graduate law school is between 25 and 28 years old, so the average age to make partner probably falls somewhere around 35 to 38 years old.

Which area of law pays the most? ›

Some of the highest-paid lawyers are:
  • Medical Lawyers – Average $138,431. Medical lawyers make one of the highest median wages in the legal field. ...
  • Intellectual Property Attorneys – Average $128,913. ...
  • Trial Attorneys – Average $97,158. ...
  • Tax Attorneys – Average $101,204. ...
  • Corporate Lawyers – $116,361.
Dec 18, 2020

What is the highest paying job in the world? ›

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World [A Complete Guide]
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer. Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.
  • Corporate Lawyer.
  • Project Manager.

Are lawyers in demand in Florida? ›

Now is an excellent time to be able to practice law in Florida. Strong demand and limited supply mean that Florida lawyers have a lot of negotiation power. So, if you have the Florida bar or are willing to take the time to take the exam and want to move to Florida, now is the time.

How much does a beginning lawyer earn in Florida? ›

How much does an Entry Level Lawyer make in Florida? As of May 12, 2023, the average annual pay for an Entry Level Lawyer in Florida is $46,284 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $22.25 an hour. This is the equivalent of $890/week or $3,857/month.

How much does a Harvard criminal lawyer make? ›

Harvard Law School Jobs by Salary
Job TitleRangeAverage
Corporate LawyerRange:$59k - $254kAverage:$165,000
Attorney / LawyerRange:$79k - $102kAverage:$92,432
Criminal Defense LawyerRange:$94k - $250kAverage:$100,000
Assistant General CounselRange:$155k - $218kAverage:$208,541
3 more rows

What not to tell your lawyer? ›

Top 5 things you should never tell your lawyer
  • My case will be easy money for you. ...
  • I have already done the work for you. ...
  • I forgot I had an appointment. ...
  • I've already talked to a lot of other lawyers. ...
  • I don't have all my documents.
Apr 19, 2022

Should you be fully honest with your lawyer? ›

Being honest with your attorney is crucial to your case. Because of attorney-client privilege, anything you say to your attorney will stay between the two of you. Some things might be hard to admit to yourself, let alone someone else, but being dishonest with your lawyer will not only hurt you but also them.

What are the exceptions to attorney client privilege? ›

Some of the most common exceptions to the privilege include:
  • Death of a Client. ...
  • Fiduciary Duty. ...
  • Crime or Fraud Exception. ...
  • Common Interest Exception.

Can you answer I don't remember in court? ›

"I don't recall" is often the most truthful answer if you're not sure. Then if the document shows up, it may refresh your memory, but it doesn't contradict your sworn testimony. On the other hand, if something is fundamental and wrong, you would never have done or said that. Don't hide the truth behind memory.

Can you answer I don't know in court? ›

Instead the better practice is to say “I'm not sure” or “I don't know.” If you are unsure about an answer you cannot then answer the question.

Why is my lawyer not answering me? ›

Your attorney may be waiting until a deadline is closer to request documents or answer interrogatories. There are no updates to report. Personal injury cases take time and can be slow going in the early stages. Just as your attorney has deadlines, so does the other side of the docket.

Do you tell everything to a lawyer? ›

You should be honest with your lawyer

Telling your lawyer the truth and disclosing important facts that can affect your case is important. This is especially true in criminal cases. If you withhold information from your lawyer, it can jeopardize your case.

Does your attorney talk for you? ›

Can My Lawyer Speak for Me in Court? Yes. The purpose of hiring a lawyer is so that you do not have to represent yourself in court. A criminal defense attorney will research facts, investigate the case, and negotiate deals with prosecutors.

Are prosecutors more powerful than lawyers? ›

1Prosecutors are the most powerful officials in the American criminal justice system. They control the direction and outcome of all criminal cases, particularly through their charging and plea-bargaining decisions.

Is prosecution more important than defense? ›

The Burden of Proof

The prosecution has the burden of proving that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense only needs to raise doubt about the prosecution's case. This means that the prosecutor must present more evidence of guilt than the defense needs to present of innocence.

Are defense attorneys the least powerful members of the courtroom work group? ›

Defense attorneys are the least powerful members of the courtroom work group. Because of the numerous sanctions that can be applied to defense attorneys, they are forced into a reactive posture.

What is the hardest thing of being a lawyer? ›

Lawyers who represent clients accused of criminal acts or civil wrongdoing face a moral dilemma, which can be the hardest part of their job as an attorney.

Who is the most important person in a courtroom? ›

The judge is the central figure in the courtroom and typically is seated higher than everyone else. The judge allows each side the opportunity to present its version of the facts. A court reporter (in superior court), a clerk, and a bailiff each assists the judge with the trial.

What is the most powerful lawyer position? ›

Chief Legal Officer

The top legal position in a large corporation usually earns a multimillion dollar executive salary and may earn millions more in stock awards or options. The chief legal officer, sometimes called the general counsel, has responsibility for ensuring that company actions are legal.

What is the highest position in a lawyer? ›

Within the world of law firms, the highest position is a partner. It is arguably the pinnacle of their career for most lawyers. It is no small feat to achieve this and not many people can do it.

Why do prosecutors have so much power in criminal cases? ›

Prosecutors can determine which laws are enforced and against whom, and how much punishment to recommend. The decisions made by prosecutors are a leading cause of mass incarceration. Prosecutors' offices require greater public transparency. Active and informed voters have the power to hold prosecutors accountable.

Does prosecution or defense speak first? ›

Since the burden of proof is on the state, the prosecution presents their case and all of their evidence first. After the prosecution has presented their case, the defense can question the prosecution's witnesses. Then the defense may present its case and all of its evidence.

What is the most frequently used defense in criminal prosecutions _____________? ›

Proving Guilt “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt”

With such a high standard imposed on the prosecutor, a defendant's most common defense is often to argue that there is reasonable doubt–that is, that the prosecutor hasn't done a sufficient job of proving that the defendant is guilty.

What is the most important task of defense attorneys? ›

The primary duties that defense counsel owe to their clients, to the administration of justice, and as officers of the court, are to serve as their clients' counselor and advocate with courage and devotion; to ensure that constitutional and other legal rights of their clients are protected; and to render effective, ...

What is the lowest type of lawyer? ›

Paralegal Profession

In the United States, there is no formal education requirement for paralegals, making a career as a paralegal is a smart alternative for those interested in law but who want to avoid the time and expense of law school and taking the bar examination.

What is the lowest position of a lawyer? ›

At the very bottom of the law firm hierarchy are the summer associates. These roles can also be referred to as summer clerks, law clerks, or interns. Individuals in these roles are law students who work with the firm during the summer months or any length of time where they might be off from law school.

What is the least stressful lawyer field? ›

What type of lawyer is the least stressful? Real estate law, estate planning law, and intellectual property law are commonly cited as the least stressful types of law to practice.


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