When accused of a crime, it’s imperative that you act quickly to maintain the best possible defense in your case. There’s no doubt that this is one of the most mentally and emotionally taxing situations a person can be in, and these stressors don’t only affect the individual accused of a crime. The shockwaves of an accusation can reverberate throughout your social circle, affecting the way friends, family members, and coworkers view you. These circumstances can be disheartening, considering that the accused is often viewed as guilty until proven innocent, and not innocent until proven guilty as the law intends.
As soon as you feel the icy metal curve of handcuffs being slapped on your wrists, it’s time to start thinking about your next steps. With the right legal partner on your side, your charges could be reduced, dropped, or dismissed. If you’ve been accused of a crime, consult a criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg from Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
Drug crimes are common in the United States, but that doesn’t mean the punishments are any less severe. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, there were a total of 119,656 drug-related arrests in 2018, many of which carried harsh sentences, especially for crimes involving the trafficking of illicit substances like cocaine or heroin.
Many people believe drug trafficking only involves the sale, delivery, manufacture, or possession of a substantial amount or weight of illegal drugs. However, a person can be charged simply for possessing an amount over the “trafficking threshold” set by law. In many cases, this threshold is shockingly low. Those who are convicted of drug trafficking will face a minimum of three years in prison, but depending on the type and amount of the drug in question, this sentencing could increase to as much as a life sentence. These harsh penalties were intended to mitigate gang-related drug crime, but they have been used against many people who were not engaging in the sale or transport of drugs.
If you have been accused of drug trafficking, a criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg can employ a variety of effective defense strategies to maintain your innocence. Due to our experience working as state prosecutors, we have unique insight into the inner workings of the legal system. Using this knowledge, we can guide you past the pitfalls of Florida’s drug crime laws to help you overcome your charges.
We utilize an individualized approach, ensuring that every client is afforded the time and attention they deserve. After listening to your account of the events that transpired, we can employ a number of defense strategies to reach the best possible outcome in your case, such as attacking the validity of the state’s evidence or presenting an entrapment defense and requesting the Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office reduce your charge, and limiting your punishment to drug court (counseling).
Sex crimes are handled with the utmost scrutiny in the Sunshine State, which means one bad decision could have a permanent effect on the rest of your life. Studies show that exonerated convictions for sex crimes are rare. In fact, more people are exonerated of murder than sexual assault. The grim reality is that defending yourself against a sex crime accusation can be extremely challenging without the assistance of a defense attorney in St. Petersburg.
Sex crimes include solicitation of prostitution, exposure of sexual organs, traveling to meet a minor, video voyeurism, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious acts, sexual performance on a child, failure to register as a sex offender, and more. Although some sex crimes are still treated as misdemeanors, this is becoming the exception, not the rule. Most sex crimes carry the weight of a felony and all of the severe penalties that come along with such a conviction. To overcome sex crime charges, consult an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in St. Petersburg from Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
Theft & Property Offenses
Florida criminal law sides with the property owner when it comes to cases involving theft and intentional damage. This puts the accused at a distinct disadvantage when attempting to prove their innocence, especially when the value of the property is over $750. Theft and property offenses can be classified as either misdemeanors or felonies depending on the value of the property.
At Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan, we have successfully represented clients in a number of cases involving grand theft, exploitation of the elderly, retail theft, burglary to conveyance, grand theft auto, dealing in stolen property, bad check felony, utilities theft, criminal mischief, and more. The penalties for these crimes can be severe, but their effect on your life can be interminable. Theft offenses, often referred to as “crimes of dishonesty or untruthfulness,” can reduce your credibility, blemish your reputation, and make it difficult to find employment. For this reason alone, it is absolutely essential that you do everything in your power to maintain your innocence in the wake of an unjust accusation.
Consult a Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg
There’s nothing more stressful than feeling like you’ve lost control of your life, as is often the case when you are accused of a crime. Even if you’ve maintained a sterling record until now, one accusation can flip everything upside down. If you want to protect your reputation, you can’t afford to be passive. You need experienced, knowledgeable representation with a track record of excellence serving clients in Pinellas County — a criminal defense attorney St. Petersburg that holds an AV Preeminent rating and a perfect 10.0 Avvo rating. You need Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan.
For a free consultation with a defense attorney in St. Petersburg, please contact Russo, Pelletier & Sullivan at (727) 578-0303 today.
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.