Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney
Experience in High-Profile Criminal Cases and Serious Charges
If you have been charged with a serious crime, look for two key characteristics in a law firm: focus and experience. Is the firm’s practice concentrated on criminal defense, or is it a general law firm? How long have the attorneys been practicing criminal defense? How many jury trials have they handled? At Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. we have been practicing criminal law exclusively for nearly 30 years. Kevin Kulik got his start in the prosecutor’s office in 1985 and was soon hired as a criminal defense attorney. Since then, he has defended thousands of clients facing serious charges. It takes more than knowledge and experience — It takes a passion for justice. When we work for you, we also work with you. We listen to your story, we explain the process and we provide options. Isn’t that the kind of legal representation you need? Contact our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys today.
We develop state and federal criminal defense strategies
The difference between state and federal crimes is not as simple as severity. After all, most homicides are state crimes that carry serious penalties. The difference between the laws and the procedures is quite substantial. You need a Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney who understands those differences and has experience providing state and federal defense.
We have successfully defended clients in Florida state criminal matters including:
- Criminal Defense
- Federal Crimes
We aren’t afraid to take on the most complex criminal cases — and we have 500 jury trials under our belt to prove it.
Being charged with a crime in Fort Lauderdale is not the end of the road
We have successfully challenged evidence, built strong defenses, and negotiated plea bargains for our clients throughout Fort Lauderdale
Most people who are arrested in Fort Lauderdale automatically believe that if they are charged with a crime, they will go to jail, have to pay a large fine, or both, even if they are innocent. However, this is not true; while the system is surely far from perfect, as a person who is charged with a crime in Fort Lauderdale, you have certain constitutional rights. One of those rights is the right to defend yourself against charges against you, and to have competent legal representation. At the offices of Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., we have been protecting the constitutional rights of our clients for more than 30 years, and understand that even when things look bad, the hard work of a criminal defense lawyer can have a major positive impact on a client’s case. If you have been convicted of a crime, our trial-tested criminal defense lawyer will open an investigation in your case, gather all evidence relevant to your conviction, challenge evidence that doesn’t hold up, and argue strongly against any breach of your rights under the law.
It is not enough to plead “not guilty” when you are facing Fort Lauderdale criminal charges. Instead, you need to work with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney to improve your chances of your case being resolved in a manner that has as few as implications as possible for your life moving forward.
Criminal Law Cases We Take On
The list of criminal acts under Florida code is lengthy. At the offices of Kevin J. Kulik, P.A., we are experienced in the following areas of criminal law—
- There are a multitude of assault crimes with which a person can be charged under Florida law, including single assault, aggravated assault, sexual assault, assault and battery, and domestic assault – our attorneys are experienced in defending clients against all assault charges.
- Entering a dwelling without permission, and with the intent to commit a crime once within the dwelling, is an act of burglary. If convicted of burglary of the first degree in Fort Lauderdale, you may face up to 30 years’ time in prison.
- Domestic violence. Domestic violence refers to an act of assault, battery, kidnapping, stalking, or crime resulting in physical injury against a member of one’s family or household. A conviction of domestic violence can result in more than just prison time and fines; you may also lose the right to see your children or enter your home, enter certain places, and may even have a professional license revoked.
- A DUI charge is one of the most common charges that our clients come to use for. If you are charged with a DUI, we can help to disprove evidence against you – such as the accuracy of a breathalyzer – and understand your options moving forward.
- Hit and Run. If you leave the scene of an accident – even if serious damages were not caused to the other party – a crime has been committed. If property damage or physical injury occurred, the crime is more serious. Our experienced law firm help to negate or reduce hit and run charges against you.
- Of all of the criminal charges in Fort Lauderdale, few are more serious than charges of homicide. Homicide is an overarching term that can be used to describe the term of murder (where a person kills another person with intent), and manslaughter (where a person kills another person with lack of intent, i.e. a car crash resulting from drunk driving). A homicide conviction can carry a penalty of life in prison, or in the worst of cases, capital punishment.
- Sex crimes. Being charged with a sex crime can be damaging to your reputation and your future. Common sex crimes include prostitution, sexual assault or battery, rape, unlawful sex with a minor, and lewd and lascivious acts. No matter the specific crime that you are charged with, our attorneys believe you deserve competent legal representation and an opportunity to defend yourself – we provide both.
- When a person takes another’s property without their permission, they commit an act of theft under Florida law. The penalty for theft is dependent upon the amount and value of property taken.
- Traffic violations. While traffic violations are usually dismissed as insignificant, some traffic violations – like vehicular manslaughter, hit and runs, and DUIs – deserve the most experienced of legal defense.
- If you have an outstanding warrant against you, this means that the police are likely to arrest you and bring you to court. A warrant may be issued for your arrest if you disobey a court order or if there is probable cause that you committed a crime.
Understanding Your Rights When Charged with a Crime
Criminal law in Fort Lauderdale can be confusing to understand. However, you have the right to:
- Understand the charges against you;
- Enter a plea of guilty or not guilty;
- Refrain from making any incriminating statement against yourself;
- Not be a victim of unlawful search and seizure;
- Competent legal representation;
- Trial by jury (depending upon the potential penalty for the crime);
- A fair trial free of procedural error or judicial misconduct.
If you have more questions about your rights under the law, your attorney can help to clarify.
Felonies and misdemeanors — and what they mean to you
Most people know that misdemeanors tend to be lesser crimes. What really separates a misdemeanor from a felony is the punishment. In general, it is a felony if your sentence exceeds one year and is served in a state penitentiary. So, even if you are found guilty of a misdemeanor, you could be imprisoned in a county correctional facility for up to but not more than a year. On top of that, you could be looking at some significant fines. As such, the idea that a misdemeanor is not really serious – and that a person who has been charged with a misdemeanor crime does not need legal representation – is fallacious; a misdemeanor can still carry serious consequences and have long term repercussions.
A DUI is a misdemeanor in Florida, unless it causes injuries, in which case it is considered a felony, as is often the case with repeat DUIs. Most traffic violations, possession of small amounts of marijuana and theft of items valued at not more than $299 are also misdemeanors. Misdemeanor categories and penalties include:
- First-degree misdemeanor — First-offense DUI and first-offense petit theft generally fall under this category. Punishment includes a maximum jail sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $1,000.
- Second-degree misdemeanor — This may include driving on a suspended license, disorderly conduct or loitering. Penalties include up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
If you are convicted of a felony, you are facing the harshest penalties. Many sex crimes, drug crimes, and cases of domestic violence involving severe abuse are felony offenses. In Florida, the criminal punishment code breaks down felonies into these categories:
- Life felony — Punishable by up to life in prison and a $15,000 fine. Homicides almost always fall into this category.
- First-degree felony — Crimes such as drug trafficking carry a maximum prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Second-degree felony — These crimes can incur a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
- Third-degree felony — Convictions for aggravated assault, third DUIs and possession of a controlled substance are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
No one wants to be convicted of a crime, misdemeanor or felony alike. Our attorney work tirelessly on our clients’ behalf to secure the best case results possible. We will do our best to reduce the amount of fines you are liable for, your jail time, and other penalties that may be associated with the crime you have been charged with.
Why You need to work with an experienced Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney
Many attorneys seek a plea bargain rather than take your case to trial. While this strategy can be advantageous in some cases – particularly when the crime is egregious and guilt is clear – a person who has been charged with a crime has the right to defend themselves. Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys don’t look for the easy way out — we seek the best possible outcome for you. This means that we are committed to gathering all facts and evidence relevant to your charges, building a strong case, presenting this case on your behalf, and issuing a plea of “not guilty” – and defending that plea thoroughly and passionately – before a court. Our tenacity means that we are often successful at getting charges dropped or having our clients found not guilty. While we cannot promise that charges against you will be dropped, we can promise to work with purpose and diligence on your behalf. And whether you need our help as a felony lawyer or a misdemeanor attorney, our dedication is always to our clients, not to a quick fix.
Your Right to Legal Representation
Hiring a lawyer to defend you if you have been charged with a crime is not just within your best interests, it is your legal and constitutional right. What’s more, this is not the only right you have; you also have the right to understand the charges against you, to a trial, to refrain from testifying against yourself, to have legal representation when talking to the police, to have charges posted against you if you are being detained (are arrested), and to appeal a conviction.
The Benefits of Working with an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
There are myriad benefits associated with hiring a criminal defense attorney who is experienced in criminal law and is passionate about defending your rights. When you hire a criminal defense attorney after being charged with a crime, you are:
- Working with an individual whose sole purpose is to defend your rights. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the judicial process, and that your criminal case is resolved in the best possible way for you. Having skilled legal representation on your side can make a huge difference in your case.
- Improving your chances of charges against you being dropped or reduced. It is important that you understand that criminal charges are not the same thing as a criminal conviction. The earlier that you hire a criminal defense attorney, the earlier your attorney can begin building a strong defense, and the chances of the charges against you being dropped or reduced significantly are improved.
- Boosting your understanding of the law. One of the biggest problems with the criminal defense system is that too often, those charged with a crime hardly understand the charges against them, let alone how to defend themselves and how the criminal procedure works. Many defendants have little knowledge of their constitutional rights – when you hire an attorney, you are choosing to work with someone who can guide you through everything you need to know, including the charges, defenses to the charges, possible sentencing if a conviction is handed down, your right to appeal, and more.
- Building a strong defense. The crux of a criminal defense case is building a strong defense that proves your innocence, results in lesser charges, or helps to have the sentence against you reduced. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty; your attorney can help you to gather the evidence – and organize it in a compelling manner – to demonstrate your innocence.
- Choosing an advocate you can trust. Being charged with a crime is scary, and you may feel lonely, isolated, and afraid of what may happen. Your attorney will advocate for you, and will act as your confidant during the entire process.
Being convicted with a crime can have lifelong consequences, including jail time, large fines and fees, a permanent mark on your criminal record, and a loss of future opportunities. A conviction may affect your ability to stay at your current job, find future employment, retain custody of your child, pursue higher education, and more. To mitigate the repercussions of a conviction as much as is possible, contacting a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney is highly advised.
Serving Those Who Need Help the Most
Not every criminal defense attorney wants to take a case that may prove very complicated or challenging, whether it involves domestic violence or a homicide. We often provide counsel and representation for clients who are turned away by other attorneys. And we have clients referred to us by lawyers whose respect we have earned because they know our reputation for being aggressive when it comes to our clients’ rights. Our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorneys can help you today.
Reach Out to Us Today for a Free Case Consultation
How Can Our Dedicated, Skilled Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense and Federal Crimes Attorney Help You?
If you have been charged with or arrested for a crime, or if you believe you are under investigation, the most important thing you can do to protect your rights is to obtain legal representation. Talk to us. To learn more about what we can do for you, please contact us online or call us at 954-761-9411 to schedule a free initial consultation. Kevin J. Kulik, P.A. is located near the state and federal courthouses. If you cannot come to us, we can arrange to meet with you at the jail or prison or at your home, let our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney, with nearly three decades’ worth of experience defending those who have been charged with crimes in our state, help you.