Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorneys Open During COVID-19 Pandemic
The novel coronavirus COVID-19 has disrupted lives across the US and throughout Florida, as people comply with stay-at-home orders, work remotely, and support their children through e-learning. However, while many court operations have been suspended through May 2020, the Judicial Complex for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in Fort Lauderdale, FL remains open for certain “mission critical functions.” The April 6, 2020 Circuit Court Order outlines the details but, if you’re facing criminal charges, keep in mind that the following proceedings WILL go forward:
- First appearance hearings;
- Criminal arraignments;
- Hearings regarding bail for individuals who are in custody
- Juvenile detention matters; and,
- Many others.
Any of these proceedings carry significant implications for your rights, especially when it comes to remaining free on bail during the COVID-19 crisis. As such, you should contact a Fort Lauderdale, FL criminal defense attorney if you were arrested for:
Violent Crimes and Sex Offenses: You face challenges in getting bail if you’ve been charged with homicide, assault, rape, sexual assault, and other violent offenses. Still, the initial phases of your case are important because it may be possible to plea bargain to a lesser charge – at which point a judge might be willing to consider releasing you on bond. By having a criminal defense lawyer to represent you, you have a better chance of a favorable outcome with plea negotiations.
Theft Crimes: Depending on the surrounding circumstances and value of allegedly stolen property, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. A conviction could lead to hefty fines, probation, jail time, restitution, and other penalties. However, there are defenses to theft offenses, so it’s important to have an attorney on your side. A lawyer can preserve your rights starting from your very first appearance in court.
State and Federal Gun Offenses: A crisis situation like the COVID-19 pandemic can lead police to be overzealous in their efforts to protect the public, which can sometimes result in unlawful arrests and seizures of property. A conviction on gun crimes carries implications beyond the typical criminal punishment, potentially making it impossible for you to exercise your Second Amendment rights ever again. It’s best to have an attorney defend against the allegations.
Federal Crimes: If you were arrested for violating federal law, there are additional complexities and the potential for harsher punishment for a conviction. Federal court is different in many ways, especially with respect to procedural rules. The need for an attorney – one who is licensed to practice and has significant experience in federal court – cannot be overstated.
Contact a Knowledgeable Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer to Learn More
The office of Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney Kevin J. Kulik remains open to assist clients with the above criminal cases and many more. With the uncertainty presented by the COVID-19 crisis, retaining experienced legal counsel is essential as early on in the criminal process as possible. To learn more about how we can assist, please contact our firm to set up a free consultation. We can discuss your defense options after reviewing your circumstances.