Jacksonville, Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys
The Mussallem Law Firm, PA5801 Philips Highway
Jacksonville, Florida 32216
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Law Firm Overview FREE CONSULTATIONThe Mussallem Law Firm, P.A. is a full service criminal defense law firm located in Jacksonville, Florida. Our lawyer is committed to defending your rights. Choosing a criminal attorney is an important decision, not only because your freedom is at stake, but because a criminal conviction can affect the rest of your life.
When you are arrested in Florida, your case will follow a specific time line. After arrest, a bond will be set and you can bond out of jail or could remain in jail if the bond amount is unreasonably high. Our Jacksonville Bond Reduction Attorneys file bond reduction motions and every attempt will be made to get you out of jail. The state attorney must provide your criminal lawyer with any and all evidence they have in your case, including reports, witness statements and scientific evidence. This is called “discovery”. After that process is completed, your case can take several turns. An experienced criminal attorney may be able to get your charges dropped completely or get you into a diversion program. If the evidence against you is great, you may choose to negotiate the best disposition possible.
If you don’t want to enter a plea to the charge and exercise your constitutional right to have a trial, you need an experienced Jacksonville Trial Attorney. Victoria Mussallem has extensive trial experience. Not all Jacksonville Criminal Attorneys are trial lawyers and it is crucial to ask a potential criminal defense attorney about their specific trial experience. When your life is at stake, experience is essential. Ask the prospective attorney whether or not they were the “first chair” in previous trials. A “first chair” is the primary attorney in a trial who develops the theory of the case, prepares the case for trial, argues any motions, cross-examines all witnesses and fights for your innocence. Not all criminal cases go to trial, but you need to have that option and you need to have a lawyer prepared to go to trial.
The Mussallem Law Firm, P.A. represents people charged with all felonies, misdemeanors and municipal ordinance violations in Florida, with an emphasis on Northeast Florida. There are many crimes one can be arrested for, including theft crimes such as petty theft and grand theft, sex crimes such as sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation, violent crimes such as domestic battery and child abuse, driving crimes such as DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and driving on a suspended license, and violations of probation.
Areas of Law
Areas of Law Description
Our practice areas include:
In Jacksonville, there is a crime called Affray. This municipal ordinance code violation is commonly referred to as “fighting”. It is illegal to engage in a fight or mutual combat with another person in a public place, with exceptions for boxing or wrestling. This municipal code violation can be found in Jacksonville Municipal Code Section 614.123. As Jacksonville Fighting Attorneys, we have represented many citizens of Jacksonville who have been arrested and charged with Affray. The arrests usually are made in a bar or nightclub setting by officers who are paid by the establishment while working off-duty. The main witnesses usually used by the state attorney’s office are the bouncers or security officers at the establishment and the police officers themselves.
The crime of Assault in Florida is often mistaken for a Battery. In an assault, the “victim” is not touched, as with a battery. An assault is an intentional and illegal threat by word or act to do violence to someone while having the apparent ability to commit the violence and in doing so, you created a well-founded fear in the other person that violence was imminent. If convicted of an assault in Florida, the maximum punishment is 60 days in jail because the crime is considered a second degree misdemeanor.
- Bond Hearings
If you are arrested in Jacksonville, Clay County, Nassau County, or St. Johns County, the first priority is jail release. You need an experienced criminal defense attorney to be at your first appearance to argue for you to be Released on your own Recognizance or for the judge to set a reasonable bond. If your bond is already set, there are ways to attempt to get that bond lowered. Our Jacksonville Bond Attorneys file Motions to Reduce Bond to get the bond amount reduced so you can fight your charges while out of jail. At Mussallem & Associate, P.A., we also attempt to get the state attorney’s office to agree with a bond reduction for you.
- Boating Under the Influence – BUI
If convicted of boating under the influence in Jacksonville, there are certain minimum punishments under Florida law. You will be placed on BUI probation to complete certain conditions. You will have to pay a fine, go to a substance abuse course (in Jacksonville that is DUI school), complete 50 hours of community service, and immobilize your vessel that was the subject of the BUI for 10 days. An important distinction between DUI and BUI is that if you are convicted of Boating Under the Influence, your driver’s license will not be suspended. If you are convicted of subsequent BUI charges, the penalties will escalate.
Our law firm has years of experience representing clients charged with all types of Burglary. Burglary is when you enter a dwelling (home), structure (business), or conveyance (car) with the intent to commit a crime inside. The place cannot be open to the public at the time you enter it. You do not have to even go into the building. Just touching the outside of the place can be enough to prosecute you for burglary if you had the intent to commit some crime, such as theft.
- Criminal Mischief
Criminal Mischief is a crime that can be a felony or a misdemeanor in Florida. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Law Firm has represented many people charged with mischief. People are often arrested for this crime while arguing with someone else. The argument gets out of hand and property is damaged out of anger.
- Domestic Battery
When you are arrested for Domestic Battery in Jacksonville, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney who will thoroughly investigate the issues in your case. Our domestic battery attorneys will explore self-defense claims, examine the relationship of the parties involved, review the steps the police took in their investigation, review witnesses statements and re-interview witnesses, and collect evidence the police didn't.
- Driving on a Suspended License
Our driving attorneys have represented hundreds of people who have either been issued a citation or have been arrested for driving on a suspended license in Jacksonville, Clay County, Nassau County, and St. Johns County. About 60% of the arrests in Duval County are driving on a suspended license charges. If you are convicted of a driving on a suspended license in Florida, that will further extend out the time it will take you to get a good license. It may even put you into the category of being a Habitual Traffic Offender, which means your license will be suspended for five years and if you are caught driving on that suspension, your charge will be a felony driving crime.
- Drug Crimes
Our attorneys have represented thousands of people charged with the all types of drug crimes in Florida. Depending on the amount of drugs involved in your case, "minimum mandatory" sentences may apply in Florida. "Minimum Mandatory" sentences are imposed if a client is convicted of a trafficking charge. “Trafficking” refers to the amount of drugs found in the case. You do not have to be selling drugs in order to be charged with trafficking.
- DUI: Driving Under the Influence
A DUI arrest is many times the first brush with the law for those facing the charge. If that happens, you need experienced Jacksonville DUI Attorneys skilled in investigating every detail – from the traffic stop to the field sobriety tests to any breath, blood or urine tests that were conducted. A DUI conviction will stick with you – on you criminal record and in your pocketbook when it comes to auto insurance rates. Often times, the Jacksonville DUI attorneys at Mussallem & Associate, P.A., can get the charge reduced to reckless driving – dramatically dropping the penalties and long-term damage. Other times, our attorneys have gotten charges dropped outright.
- Felony Battery
Battery charges in Jacksonville can also be raised to the felony level if certain requirements are met. Felony Battery, Florida Statute 784.03, is committed when the defendant commits a simple battery and has at least one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery. Felony battery is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
- Firearm / Weapon / Gun Charges
There are many crimes involving guns in Florida. Our Jacksonville Gun Attorneys represent people charged with Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Armed Trafficking in Illegal Drugs, Armed Possession of Illegal Drugs, Armed Kidnapping, Shooting Deadly Missiles, Armed Burglary, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon and Improper Exhibition of a Firearm or Deadly Weapon.
- Fraud – Check Charges
At our firm, we have years of experience and have represented hundreds of clients charged with fraud crimes. Fraud and theft charges are considered "crimes of dishonesty" and will have a huge impact on your current and future employment. When you are arrested on fraud charges in Florida, your intent is at issue. The detectives have their side, and you need someone to speak for you. Mussallem & Associate, P.A. thoroughly investigates the complex issues involved in your fraud case to assure that your rights are protected. The prosecutor’s office will be trying to get restitution, which is the money the alleged victim claims they lost due to the fraud.
- Injunctions and Restraining Orders
When the state builds cases of people violating injunctions and restraining orders, the foundation is generally the word of one person: the alleged victim. If you find yourself accused of one of these violations, let the Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys with Mussallem & Associate, P.A., tell your side of the story.
- Juvenile Crimes
If your child gets arrested, his or her future is on the line. While the court system is designed to treat juveniles different than adults, penalties can be severe – for the parents and the child. Our Jacksonville Juvenile Attorneys at Mussallem & Associate, P.A., know the juvenile laws and will work to help minimize the long-term effects of your child’s mistake so he or she can learn from the experience and move on. Parents play a critical role in juvenile cases. They are required to be in court and are the ones on the hook for probation costs to monitor the child, and for restitution payments the judge may order for the victims in the case.
- Probation Modification
People frequently contact our Jacksonville probation law firm to discuss modifying their probation. At Mussallem & Associate, P.A., we can have your case placed on the judge’s calendar to address any modification you wish to make to your probation. Probation is a criminal sentence where the judge orders you to complete certain conditions in a certain time frame. You can be placed on probation for any crime in Florida and in some instances, probation is required. If you are convicted of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or Domestic Battery, Florida law requires you to be put on probation.
- Probation Termination
People frequently contact our Jacksonville probation law firm to discuss terminating their probation. At Mussallem & Associate, P.A., we can have your case placed on the judge’s calendar to address any modification you wish to make to your probation. Probation is a criminal sentence where the judge orders you to complete certain conditions in a certain time frame. You can be placed on probation for any crime in Florida and in some instances, probation is required. If you are convicted of DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or Domestic Battery, Florida law requires you to be put on probation.
- Probation Violations
Probation is part of your sentence for a previous crime and you will be monitored and required to meet certain conditions before you are released. And if the state determines you have violated your probation, you can face the same penalties you faced on the original charge. Our Jacksonville Probation Attorneys at Mussallem & Associate, P.A., have represented hundreds of people on probation violation charges in Duval, Clay and Nassau counties.
- Resisting an Officer
Our Jacksonville criminal attorneys have represented hundreds of people who have been charged with resisting an officer in Florida. Most of the time, the only witness to the “resisting” is the officer himself or herself. It is very easy to be arrested for resisting an officer because just talking can be deemed resisting. Officers commonly arrest people for resisting to justify injuries the officer caused to the suspect.
If you have been arrested for any kind of robbery in Jacksonville, Clay County, Nassau County, or St. Johns County, the consequences can be severe. In almost all instances, identification of the offender is usually the issue. It is important to act quickly and investigate all issues, especially the alleged victim’s identification of the person that they claimed robbed them.
- Sex Crimes
At Mussallem & Associate, P.A., our Jacksonville sex crimes law firm represent people accused of Internet pornography, soliciting for prostitution, criminal transmission of HIV, sexual battery/rape, capital sexual battery, date rape, lewd and lascivious conduct, statutory rape, child molestation, failure to register as a sex offender and indecent exposure.
Our attorneys have represented hundreds of people who have been charged with theft crimes in Jacksonville, Clay County, and Nassau County. When you are arrested for theft in Florida, it must be proven that you knowingly obtains or uses property that belongs to someone else with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive the owner of the right to it.
- Traffic Violations
If you’re facing a license suspension or your first ticket after a life of spotless driving, our Jacksonville traffic attorneys can work for you. Let Mussallem & Associate, P.A., use our experience from hundreds of traffic cases to have your fines or points reduced.
Our firm has represented many people charged with trespass, both the felonies and the misdemeanors. Someone commits trespass when they, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance after being told to leave. The most common trespass crime is a second degree misdemeanor. If there is a person in the structure or conveyance at the time the suspect trespasses, that elevates the trespass to a first degree misdemeanor. If the offender has a gun or any other dangerous weapon and trespasses, that elevates the crime to a felony of the third degree.
- Violent Crimes
Our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys represent people charged with arson, shooting or throwing deadly missiles, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated stalking, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arresting, resisting an officer with violence, felony domestic battery, child abuse, aggravated child abuse, kidnapping, vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter, attempted murder and murder.
The Jacksonville criminal attorneys at Mussallem & Associate P.A. know what to do when our clients have warrants out for their arrest. If there is a warrant, chances are: The judge ruled there is probable cause you committed a crime; and, You missed a court date. Judges issue warrants, giving the police the power to make an arrest or search or seize property. Judges can also issue what’s called a capias, or a “bench warrant” directing police to take someone into custody.
Ms. Victoria "Tori" Mussallem
Criminal Defense, Criminal Law
More Information on The Mussallem Law Firm, PAJacksonville, FL Criminal Defense Law Firm
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