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    Being arrested and charged with a crime can be very traumatic, stressful, and embarrassing. Most individuals who have been arrested are good people who have found themselves in a bad situation. For over 25 years, attorney Sherri DeWitt has handled complex legal matters and understands that many matters need to be addressed discretely in order to protect the client’s privacy and reputation. The DeWitt Law Firm’s criminal defense team continues to abide by this philosophy when representing clients in criminal matters.

     

    We strive to help our clients deal with this stressful and difficult time by providing prompt and personalized legal representation. When your freedom, your record, and your reputation are a stake, you want an attorney who is willing and ready to fight vigilantly to defend you. Our attorneys are ready to proceed to trial to aggressively defend the rights of our clients.

     

    As a former Public Defender, criminal defense attorney Moses DeWitt is passionate about defending the rights and the freedom of his clients. He has battled hundred of cases in the courtroom and continues to do so today.

     

    Our criminal defense practice includes misdemeanor and felony matters, in both State and Federal Courts. If you need help with a criminal law matter, the criminal defense team of the Dewitt Law Firm would be honored to put our experience to work for you.

    DO NOT ACCEPT PRE-TRIAL DIVERSION UNTIL YOU SPEAK WITH AN ATTORNEY

    CALL FOR A FREE CONSULTATION (407) 245-7723

    Pre-Trial Diversion

    DUI Pretrial Diversion is offered in Orange and Osceola counties. For certain individuals, pretrial diversion may be an option depending on the facts and circumstances of your case as well as your criminal history. Pretrial diversion is a program run by the Office of the State Attorney, which allows an eligible offender to enter the program. If he/she successfully complete the program, the charges will be dropped.

     

    If you are a candidate for the pretrial diversion program, you should contact an attorney to guide you through this process and help determine whether the pretrial diversion program should be accepted or whether to fight the case. Pretrial diversion is not a free ride and you should understand what the program entails before you choose to enroll.

     

    For DUI pretrial diversion, there are currently two tiers:

    “Tier One” Diversion is generally a 12 month program, which requires you to complete the following:

    • DUI Counter Attack School level I (a 12 hour course) and the Victim Awareness Program.
    • Vehicle impounded or immobilized for a period of 10 days.
    • Complete 50 hours of community service
    • Submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation, which may result in a treatment program consisting of up to 22 weeks of counseling and random drug and alcohol testing at your expense.
    • Contribution to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for $500
    • Cost of prosecution
    • Cost of law enforcement investigation
    • Court costs.

    “Tier Two” Diversion is generally a 15 month program, which requires you to complete the following:

    • DUI Counter Attack School level II (a 21 hour course) and the Victim Awareness Program.
    • An ignition interlock device be placed on your vehicle for six months.
    • Vehicle be immobilized or impounded for a period of 10 days.
    • Complete 50-75 hours of community service
    • Submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation, which may result in a treatment program consisting of up to 22 weeks of counseling and random drug and alcohol testing at your expense.
    • Contribution to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for $1000, cost of prosecution, cost of law
    • Cost of prosecution
    • Cost of law enforcement investigation
    • Court costs.

    Upon successfully completing the program without any violations, the Office of the State Attorney will drop your charges.

    Domestic Violence

    Like many other states, Florida has a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases. This means that if you or your domestic partner, spouse or otherwise, reports domestic abuse, it is mandatory that an arrest be made. Domestic violence of any kind is always a serious matter.

     

    The attorneys at the DeWitt Law Firm have the unique ability to handle both criminal and civil domestic violence charges because of our experience in family law, domestic violence injunctions and domestic battery cases. We recognize that domestic violence cases often can be difficult and stressful matters, but we will work with you in an attempt to achieve the best outcome possible.

     

    If you need help with a domestic violence offense, the criminal defense team of the Dewitt Law Firm would be honored to put our experience to work for you.

    Drug Crimes & Drug Related Convictions in Orlando

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    The attorneys at the DeWitt Law Firm realize that an arrest for any crime is an extremely stressful and difficult time in an individual’s life. Drug crimes, even possession of a small amount of marijuana, may suspend your driving privileges in the State of Florida. Additionally, offenses that are more serious may carry mandatory prison sentences, which do not permit early release. At the DeWitt Law Firm, we recognize that an attorney must evaluate all elements of your case to properly and adequately represent you in an attempt to achieve the best outcome possible.

     

    The DeWitt Law Firm handles all types of drug-related offenses, from the less severe, like simple possession of cannabis, to the more serious, such as participating in organized drug trafficking. If you need help defending a drug related crime, the criminal defense team of the Dewitt Law Firm would be honored to put our experience to work for you.

    Juvenile Crimes and Juvenile Delinquency

    As a parent, the last thing you want to face is your child being arrested, but if this unfortunate event does occur it is important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Speaking with an attorney sooner, rather than later, may help prevent your child from having a permanent criminal record. Additionally, do not let your child talk to the police, until your child speaks with an attorney.

     

    Once a minor is arrested, they have the right to a detention hearing within 24 hours. At the detention hearing, the attorney may be able to challenge whether the police had probable cause to place the juvenile under arrest, challenge the risk assessment score sheet, and provide mitigating circumstance. These factors will determine whether the Judge allows your child to be released from the juvenile detention facility.

     

    It is always important to have an attorney help guide you through the juvenile justice system. The attorneys at the DeWitt Law Firm realize that being arrested for any crime is an extremely stressful and difficult time. If you need help with a criminal law matter, the criminal defense team of the Dewitt Law Firm would be honored to represent you.

    Theft, Shoplifting, and Burglary

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    The attorneys at the DeWitt Law Firm realize that an arrest for any crime is an extremely stressful and difficult time in an individual’s life. Certain theft and shoplifting offenses are crimes of moral turpitude and may impact your ability to obtain a job or rent an apartment. Additionally, subsequent offenses for theft and shoplifting can be enhanced to a first-degree misdemeanor or third-degree felony. These sorts of crimes may also suspend your driver’s license for a specified period.

     

    We strive to help our clients deal with this stressful and difficult time by providing prompt and personalized legal representation uniquely tailored to help achieve our clients’ goals throughout the process. Our criminal defense practice includes misdemeanor and felony matters, in both State and Federal Courts. The criminal defense team at the DeWitt Law Firm strives to provide personalized and aggressive legal representation.

     

    If you need help defending a crime of theft, shoplifting, or burglary, the criminal defense team of the Dewitt Law Firm would be honored to put our experience to work for you.

    Violations of Probation

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    The attorneys at the DeWitt Law Firm realize that violating probation is a very serious matter. An individual found to have violated probation, usually faces jail time and may not receive a bond until the date of their probation hearing. Additionally, an individual who is found to have violated his or her probation may be sentenced to the maximum sentence allowed under the original charge in which the probation was first imposed. A violation of probation can be an extremely stressful, long, and tedious process.

     

    At the DeWitt Law Firm, we strive to help our clients deal with this stressful and difficult time by providing prompt and personalized legal representation uniquely tailored to help achieve our clients’ goals throughout the process. If you need assistance with a violation of probation, we would be happy to assist you.

    White Collar Crimes

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    White collar crime generally refers to non-violent crime usually committed for financial gain. The area of white collar crimes has evolved and includes more serious offenses, which can be prosecuted in both State and Federal Courts. If you are charged with a white collar crime, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you do not waive any possible defenses that you may have. Additionally, the investigation of white collar crime is frequently a long and tedious process due to the complexities that may be involved.

     

    If you have been charged with a white collar offense or if allegations have been brought against you concerning a white collar crime, it is never too early to contact an attorney. Obtaining legal advice early, may save you time, money, and headaches down the road. The attorneys at the DeWitt Law Firm would be honored to advise you regarding any white collar offense and put our experience to work for you.

    Common White Collar Crimes include:

    • Antitrust violations
    • Bankruptcy fraud
    • Computer and Internet Fraud
    • Counterfeiting
    • Credit card fraud
    • Economic espionage
    • Embezzlement
    • Extortion
    • Financial fraud
    • Forgery
    • Government fraud
    • Healthcare fraud
    • Identity theft
    • Immigration Fraud
    • Inside trading
    • Insurance fraud
    • Mail fraud
    • Marriage Fraud
    • Money laundering
    • Mortgage Fraud
    • Public corruption
    • RICO
    • Securities fraud
    • Tax evasion
    • Telemarketing fraud
    • Trade secret theft
    • Violation of environmental laws

    Criminal Forfeiture

    Criminal forfeiture is a punishment imposed upon many individuals who are convicted of a white-collar crime that involves theft by deception. Criminal forfeiture allows the government to confiscate funds and property used in the offense or obtained with proceeds from the offense. Following a criminal trial, if a defendant is found guilty, a judge will conduct a criminal forfeiture proceeding to determine the assets forfeited.

    Vehicular Crimes and Traffic Offenses

    If you get a traffic ticket, an attorney can appear for you at a hearing, challenge the law enforcement officer, and attempt to minimize the damage to your driving record. Like many drivers, you may be uncertain of your rights when you receive a traffic ticket. Out traffic ticket attorneys would be happy to meet with you and discuss your options before you enter a plea. Like most drivers, you may simply pay your traffic tickets, without knowing that you are receiving points on your driver’s license that avoid carry long-term consequences, including:

    • Increased insurance rates
    • Loss of driving privileges
    • Suspension of driver’s license for habitual traffic offenders

    Types of traffic offenses handled by the DeWitt Law Firm include:

    • Speeding / racing / reckless driving
    • Driving too fast for conditions
    • Driving on a suspended or revoked license
    • Driving without a driver’s license or a CDL license
    • Drunk driving / DUI charges
    • Improper or excessive lane changing
    • Careless driving
    • Stop sign violations
    • Failure to obey traffic control device
    • Causing an accident

    Driving While License Suspended (DWLS)

    driving with suspended license orlando defense attorney DWSL

    Every attorney at our Firm realizes how important having a valid driver’s license is and how serious it can be for a client to lose his or her driving privileges. Loss of a driver’s license can greatly affect your ability to work, attend school, or to even carry on your family life. Additionally, Driving While License Suspended carries very real criminal and/or civil penalties.

    Statistically, most cases will settle rather than going to trial. However, you should still consult with an attorney prior to entering into any plea agreements to ensure that the agreement is in your best interest. If you have any questions regarding a charge of driving while license suspended, please contact the DeWitt Law Firm and one of our attorneys would be honored to assist you.

    A driver license’s can be suspended or revoked for a variety of reasons such as:

    • Points suspension
    • Failure to pay child support
    • Failure to pay tickets
    • Failure to pay judgment
    • Failure to appear in court
    • Habitual traffic offender
    • Conviction for drug or theft offense
    • Conviction for certain prostitution offenses
    • DUI offenses

    In many cases, clients charged with Driving While License Suspended believe they do not need an attorney to handle the matter. However, you should be aware that in Florida, 3 criminal traffic convictions within a five-year period will suspend your license for 5 years. Additionally, a conviction for driving while license suspended may increase your insurance rates and impact your ability to hold a commercial driver’s license. An attorney may be able to have the charge amended to a lesser offense or explore other alternatives to help being classified as a habitual traffic offender

    DWLS Standard Penalties

    Classification Degree Maximum Incarceration Maximum
    Probation
    Maximum Fine
    1x Driving While License Suspended Second Degree Misdemeanor Sixty Days Jail Six Months $500
    2x Driving While License Suspended First Degree Misdemeanor Year Jail Year $1,000
    3x Driving While License Suspended*** Third Degree Felony Five Years Prison Five Years $5,000
    Driving While License Suspended w/HTO Third Degree Felony Five Years Prison Five Years $5,000

    *** A third or subsequent offense may be “upgraded” to a felony under certain circumstances depending on the basis for the suspension and based on your criminal history. ***

    Orlando DUI Attorney

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    If you have been arrested for a DUI in Orlando, you need an experienced attorney to stand by your side. An arrest for driving under the influence or DUI can be an intricate and complicated matter, which may result in serious penalties such as jail time, probation, loss of driving privileges, vehicle impoundment, fines, and other conditions and classes. Fighting a DUI case requires extensive legal knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system. Additionally, it is important to hire an attorney who understands how to challenge Breathalyzer results and the results of field sobriety exercises. These tests are not always valid in court and may have a significant impact on the outcome of your case.

    Field Sobriety Exercises

    Some field sobriety exercises are unreliable, unscientific, and would result in unfair prejudice if admitted at trial. For example, some courts have determined that the HGN (Horizontal Gaze and Nystagmus) test should not be admitted as lay observations of intoxication because HGN testing constitutes scientific evidence. These courts have stated that although this type of evidence may be relevant, the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of issues, or misleading the jury requires its exclusion. The failure to challenge these types of unreliable tests could permit the jury to hear evidence that is prejudicial, which could adversely impact you.

     

    Additionally, most field sobriety exercises are merely lay opinion of a witness who may have never seen that individual walk, talk, or balance before administering the exercise. It is important for a DUI defense attorney to question the observations of the witness to ensure accuracy and completeness of the testimony. Many DUI arrest reports will utilize the same or similar language from prior DUI report and will not include the arresting officer’s actual observations. When it comes to challenging DUI cases, the devil is often in the details.

    The DUI Arrest

    If you are charged with DUI in Orange County, Orlando, or in any other place in Florida:

    • You will be kept in jail for at least 8 hours.
    • Your license will be suspended immediately if you refuse to take the breath/urine test or blow over a .08 BAC.
    • If your license was valid at the time of the incident, you will be allowed to drive with your DUI ticket for the next 10 days (You must have the DUI ticket with you at all times).
    • You have 10 days from the day of the incident to request a formal review hearing in order to get your drivers license back. This is commonly referred to as the 10-day rule.

    If a hearing is requested, a temporary permit may be obtained to allow you to drive for up to 45 days until your hearing date.

    The Florida 10-day Rule

    The Florida “Ten Day” Rule provides that a driver has 10 days from the date of arrest to request a formal review hearing and challenge the administrative suspension of the driver license. If a hearing is not requested within 10 days, the driver’s license is automatically suspended on the tenth day. If a hearing is requested, you will have the opportunity to present evidence to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to demonstrate that your license should not be suspended. If you are successful, your driver’s license will not be suspended. If unsuccessful at the hearing, you may have the option of appealing the decision to the Circuit Court.

    First Time DUI: What are the minimum consequences?

    Being convicted of Driving Under Influence (DUI) in Florida has the following serious legal consequences (for first-time offenders):

    • DUI school and, if recommended, treatment
    • Up to 6 months in jail
    • Suspension of your driving privileges for at least 6 months and up to one year.
    • A minimum of 50 hours of community service.
    • A minimum of a $500 fine plus court costs.
    • Not more than one year of supervised probation.
    • Victim awareness program.
    • Minimum 10 day Vehicle impoundment/immobilization.
    • DUI conviction on your record.
    Can I drive after a DUI arrest?

    When you are arrested for DUI, you will receive a citation from the arresting officer, which will serve as a temporary driver’s license. The citation allows you to drive for 10 days after your arrest. However, the citation must be on you at all times when operating a motor vehicle. Unless you file for a formal review hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) within 10 days, your license will be suspended and you will not have the opportunity to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. If you request a hearing, a temporary license may be issued to allow you to drive for up to 45 days or until the date of the hearing.

    Is the Breathalyzer admissible in Court?

    Currently, the Intoxilyzer 8000 is the official breath test machine of the State of Florida and has been the subject of scrutiny. The software that operates the Intoxilyzer 8000 is material in the defense of a DUI charge because it governs the operation of the machine that produces breath test results, which is used as evidence to determine whether a Defendant is driving under the influence of alcohol. Defendants have a right to attack the reliability of these testing procedures. Additionally, the Defendant has the right to request operator’s manuals, maintenance manuals, and schematics to ensure that the machine is being used properly.

     

    There are many ways to challenge the Breathalyzer results, some of which include challenging the scientific validity of the test and the method in which the test is administered. In many Orange County cases, the Breathalyzer results have been deemed inadmissible. However, in other counties and jurisdictions, courts have found that the Breathalyzer is scientifically reliable and admissible at trial. It is important to discuss with your DUI attorney, whether your Breathalyzer results are accurate and admissible in a court of law.

    Will I lose my Driver’s License?

    When you are arrested for DUI, you are subject to both civil and criminal penalties.

    Civil DUI Penalties

    The civil penalties are handled by the Department of Highway and Safety Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), which will suspend your driving privileges, unless you elect to have an administrative hearing. If you prevail at the hearing, you will not lose you driving privileges. However, the criminal traffic court may still impose penalties including revoking your driving privileges through the criminal proceeding.

    Criminal DUI Penalties

    The criminal penalties are handled by the court, just like in any other criminal matter. Even if the DHSMV elects not to suspend your driving privileges, the court may still revoke your driving privileges through the criminal proceeds. For more information about the length of revocation see criminal penalties section.

    Orlando Criminal Defense Attorneys

    Devoted to providing Orlando with excellent legal representation.