Criminal records can be accessed by far more people than you might realize. You also might not realize that a criminal charge goes on your record even if you were found not guilty or the charges were later dropped. Having marks on your record can hinder opportunities like employment, financial aid, housing rentals and more.
The vast majority of American citizens and Florida residents are not criminals, and even those who have been convicted of criminal activity are not necessarily criminals. Obviously they are criminals in the eyes of the law, but wrongful convictions are not unheard of. This is important to remember because all too many people think that just because they are innocent, they have nothing to fear.
Even though residents of the United States, including those in Florida, are considered innocent until proven guilty when it comes to criminal charges, that does not mean that those who are accused of a crime should not take their legal defense seriously. No matter what your circumstances, you can likely benefit from legal aid in your criminal defense, so you may wish to consider consulting with an attorney. There are many different options you could use to prove your innocence.
One of the most concerning things about being convicted of a crime is the permanent record you will have. Even for minor crimes, though the fines or jail time may be relatively short and simple, you will always have a criminal record to deal with for the rest of your life. This can make it harder for you to find gainful employment, affect your standing in a community and even play against you in a court of law.
A criminal conviction represents a big regret for many people in Florida who may, many years ago, have run into trouble with the law. Even though they may have moved past it a long time ago, it continues to haunt them in the form of a criminal record -- something that can come to the fore when they apply for employment or housing.
If you are at all familiar with criminal law in the United States, then you probably know that there are different degrees of severity when it comes to criminal activity. Depending on the amount of damage, either emotional, financial, or physical, it will usually carry steeper penalties. Juvenile crimes and voyeurism are categorized as misdemeanors. Felonies are serious crimes such as murder or sexual assault.
There are an incredibly large number of different criminal charges that an individual could face, and even though some crimes are more serious than others, there are no instances in which being convicted of a crime is ideal. Like many states, Florida law classifies different crimes based on their severity, with minor crimes such as trespassing or shoplifting being considered misdemeanors, and more serious crimes such as homicide or rape as felonies.
The statute of limitations in a case is extremely important because it essentially determines whether or not a lawsuit can even be filed. While there are some instances in which a lawsuit is filed after a statute of limitations has expired, these are few and far between and they usually only occur in extenuating circumstances. Generally speaking, when a statute of limitations has expired, there is no chance for legal action to be taken.
While our country prides itself on offering citizens certain unalienable rights, there are some rights that can vary depending on the state you are in. In Florida, if a law enforcement officer ever takes you into custody, you will officially be under arrest; it is important to remember that law enforcement officials tell you why you are under arrest and identify themselves. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that you can be detained without being arrested, depending on the circumstances.
Even if you have never been accused of a crime, you have probably heard of a search warrant. Search warrants are exactly what they sound like: judicial orders that give law enforcement officials legal authority to search a person, a person's property or a person's premises. But this is a very basic overview and understanding of search warrants. There is much more to the process of obtaining a search warrant, and there are penalties for failing to obtain one.