When Should I Hire a Sex Crime Attorney?

Acting Early and Effectively Can Be the Key to a Positive Outcome

At The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger we like to say "Strike while the iron is hot", as we have learned from Attorney Timothy Hessinger's many years as both a prosecutor and defense lawyer that this is the likely moment in which we can get a case dismissed or the charges dropped. Once you have been formally charged or your case goes to trial there are many mandatory and set legal conditions that come into play.

Prior to this there is a strong opportunity to work with the State Attorney's Office and the prosecutors to fight for a dismissal, negotiate lesser charges or a plea bargain to avoid trial. If a Tampa sex crimes lawyer has not had the extensive experience to work as a State Prosecutor they most likely will not be as familiar as they should with the opportunities that are available in the early states following an arrest.

After You Have Been Arrested

Few individuals understand that merely being arrested does not mean that you have been charged with a crime. Particularly in the case of serious crimes this does not occur until the prosecutor has reviewed the case, the facts and made a decision if it is worthwhile or in their interests to pursue the case or it the charges should be dropped or reduced.

In the State of Florida, there are three types documents utilized to formally charge a person with a crime:

  • A Citation - typically issued for misdemeanor traffic offenses, at the moment the police officer files the citation with the clerk, the person is formally charged with the offense for which it was issued. The prosecutor can still decide to drop the charges or reduce the charge but the charge is filed.
  • An Indictment - this type of document is typically reserved for first degree murder charges following a grand-jury recommendation
  • An Information - the most common type of charging document and this covers the vast majority of misdemeanor and felony charges in Florida

The prosecutor will review a case and then make a decision as to whether or not to file charges. If yes, then they will present the Information document to the Court Clerk. At this time the prosecutor can also decide the evidence is insufficient and dismiss the case or that charges should be reduced.

There is tremendous importance in acting quickly and effectively early in the case. We take advantage of this time to work directly with the prosecutors to demonstrate any weaknesses in the case or special circumstances and fight for a dismissal or negotiate a favorable plea bargain.

This is a brief period of time and it is critical to act quickly. Contact a Tampa sex crimes defense attorney without delay as the time to act is now.

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