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FAQs

If you are involved in a criminal case it is important to understand your rights. A criminal defense attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and advise you of your rights and what to expect. At the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, we provide our clients with the best representation possible. Contact our offices immediately for a free consultation of your criminal defense case.

Criminal Law FAQSDrug Crimes FAQS
Criminal Law FAQS
If I am arrested, what are my rights?
Under the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You must be allowed to contact an attorney before making any statements to law enforcement.

What does “right to a speedy trial” refer to?
This derives from the 6th Amendment of the Constitution, which reads: “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury”. However, there is not a specific guideline to determine what exactly constitutes a “speedy trial”. In Florida a misdemeanor is normally brought before a jury within 90 days and a felony within 175 days.

Why should I hire an attorney?
You should hire a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and your freedom. An experienced attorney will know the ins and outs of the court system and will be able to get the best possible outcome for your case.

If I am stopped for driving under the influence (DUI), do I have to take the breath, blood or sobriety tests?
No, you have the right to refuse all tests. However, you may be automatically arrested for refusal and charged with a DUI. Refusing a chemical test to determine your blood alcohol level will result in the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

If I am 17 and arrested for murder, can I be tried as an adult?
Yes. In Florida, the prosecution can request that you be charged as an adult for murder.

If charged with a sex crime, even if it’s my first offense, do I have to register with the state as a sex offender?
Yes. In Florida, even if this is your first offense and conviction, you still must register as a sex offender. If you have been accused of or charged with a serious crime, we understand how frustrating it can be. At the Law Offices of Whittel & Melton, our desire is to uphold your legal rights and to establish an excellent attorney-client relationship.

Drug Crimes FAQS
What can I do if I've been arrested for drug possession?
If you've been arrested, it is important to remember that you do not have to talk to the police and that you have the right to consult an attorney at any time. Deciding to refuse representation or waiting to talk to a lawyer could have devastating effects on the outcome of your case.

What is an illegal search and seizure?
An illegal search and seizure occurs when law enforcement enters your premises or searches your person and takes possession of drugs or other items - when they did not have a warrant to do so or did not have probable cause. This is often an issue in drug-related charges and may be a valid defense if you were the victim of an illegal search and seizure.

Why not just work with a State-appointed defense attorney?
You have the right to an attorney, and if you cannot afford one, the State may appoint one for you. Of course any attorney is better than having no representation at all, but there are benefits to working with a private attorney such as Robert G. Whittel. State attorneys may be overworked and inexperienced and therefore unable to provide you with the same level of service and commitment that a private defense lawyer can provide.

Are drug charges Federal offenses?
Drug charges may be Federal offenses, usually when state lines are crossed or in the case of international crimes. A simple possession charge will likely not be a Federal offense, but an interstate drug trafficking charge will be. Federal crimes are complex and difficult to defend; a lawyer who understands Federal court procedures is a necessity if you are charged with any type of Federal crime.

Will I go to prison?
This will depend upon your prior criminal record (if any) and the amount and type of drug found in your possession. A simple marijuana possession may result in no jail time. Cocaine possession or distribution of marijuana, however, will likely result in time in state prison if you are convicted.

Questions about criminal defense crimes? Contact an experienced today!

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