Criminal Defense

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Criminal Cases In State And Federal Courts

If you have been arrested or served with a notice to appear for allegedly committing a crime, you need competent and aggressive legal representation. Johnson & Montas P.A. has the skill and expertise to help. Marielena Feliciano Tynan is a former prosecutor and public defender with extensive experience with misdemeanor and felony crimes, including trial resolution in both areas, which is very important. A felony conviction can affect your job, your security clearance and all aspects of your life, so let us fight for you and help you through the process. If you are arrested:

  • Do not make any admission of guilt.
  • Call Johnson & Montas for a free consultation to learn your rights.

We handle all types of criminal cases, including:

  • Criminal traffic offenses, i.e., reckless driving, racing, vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Drug Charges
  • Theft offenses
  • Burglary
  • Robbery
  • Battery
  • Domestic Violence
  • Firearm offenses
  • Possession of child pornography
  • Sexual Assault
  • Murder
  • White Collar Crime

If you have been arrested, you will be scheduled for an Initial Appearance. This is your right and normally this will occur within 48 hours of your arrest. At the Initial Appearance, you will appear before a judge or magistrate who will officially inform you of the accusations levied against you. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney and are financially eligible to qualify for a public defender, an attorney may be appointed for you at the Initial Appearance. At this time, bond will be determined based on a number of factors, and/or you may be released on your own recognizance (ROR) or Pre-Trial Release at the Initial Appearance. Depending on the seriousness of the charge(s) against you, you may be able to bond out of custody or be released on Pre-Trial Release conditions before your Initial Appearance is held. In this instance, the Court will not automatically appoint a public defender or other court-appointed attorney to represent you at the Initial Appearance, and you must make sure the Clerk of Court has your valid address so that you do not miss any future court dates. Failure to do so may result in the Court issuing a Failure to Appear warrant for your arrest if you do not appear for your next court date.

What Happens After Initial Appearance?

The State Attorney's Office will review the accusations against you and make a charging decision as to whether or not to proceed with filing formal charges or dismiss the case against you. The State will have 90 days from the date of your arrest to do so or 175 days from the date of your arrest in felony cases. If the State wishes to pursue the case, it will file the official charging document, called an "Information," and the Clerk of Court will schedule your next court date. To avoid a Failure to Appear bench warrant, you must appear at all future court dates unless (1) you have hired an attorney to appear on your behalf, and (2) the Court has not made your personal appearance mandatory. If you hire Johnson & Montas, we will waive your appearance at most future court dates, and you would not need to appear unless we advise you that your appearance is mandatory.

In the event the Intake Division determines the State will not pursue the case, the State will file a "Notice of No Information" and your case will be closed.

What Are My Options In My Criminal Case?

Depending on the seriousness of your charge(s) and your criminal history, you may have several options to choose from, including:

a) Acceptance into a diversion program, which would allow the charge(s) to be dropped upon successful completion

b) Entering a plea of guilty or no contest after successful plea negotiations

c) Conducting pretrial litigation such as deposing the State's witnesses or filing defense Motions to Dismiss or Motions to Suppress

d) Trial

We will guide you through the pros and cons of each option while helping you decide what the best is for you, dependent on your particular circumstances. The process to resolve your criminal case, whether by plea or trial, may take several months.

Enhanceable Crimes

Enhanceable crimes are crimes where the statutory penalties increase based on the number of prior convictions. In other words, with every conviction of the same crime, the penalties for the current charge(s) are drastically more severe or serious. Examples of enhanceable crimes include the following:

a) Driving Under the Influence

b) Battery

c) Theft

d) Driving While License Suspended

e) Weapons or firearms offenses if used in the commission of a crime

Free Criminal Defense Consultation At Johnson & Montas P.A.

Before you say or do anything, call 321-636-9600 or fill out our contact form to schedule an attorney consultation. We offer phone and jail consultations.