What to do if you’re currently being investigated

Martin County, St. Lucie County, Okeechobee County, and Indian River County, all have individual sheriff’s offices, along with separate police departments within their county. Other investigative or law enforcement agencies may include, FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife), FDLE (Florida Department of Law Enforcement), DCF (Department of Children and Families), and FHP (Florida Highway Patrol).

Should I speak to the police or detectives?

The short answer is, “No,” and call [firm-name], immediately. We would suggest you be as diplomatic and respectful as possible, suggesting that you would be willing to speak, but that you have to contact your lawyer first, and they will arrange it. Let them know that you will not say anything without your lawyer’s permission or knowledge. No one has ever talked themselves out of being arrested, and in fact just the opposite, thereby enabling law enforcement to make better cases against them. In sexual cases, for example, Law Enforcement might appear to be simply asking if the sexual encounter between you and another was “consensual.” Believing that there would be no harm in admitting that, you might say, “of course!” In reality, you have just admitted to a sexual act, when they had no proof of any, otherwise.
Most people do not realize that Law Enforcement is allowed to fib a bit and deceive you. They might give you the impression they want to talk about one thing, when in reality it is about another. They may also intimidate and bully you by saying if you do not cooperate with them now, things will be much worse for you later. Realize that if they had enough at that moment, you would have already been arrested. Call The [firm-name] immediately should any detective or Law Enforcement Officer wish to speak with you.

Do I have rights even without being arrested?

Everyone has Constitutional rights and protections even before an arrest occurs. Again, we suggest that you do no lecture or tell the officers you know what your rights are, as this may be seen as you being “confrontational.” Always be cordial and diplomatic. Your rights include:
-The Right To Remain Silent, or your right to avoid self-Incrimination. Again, let Law Enforcement know that you would be happy to talk with them, but that you will not do ANYTHING without consulting your attorney first.
-The Right to Leave. Unless you are under arrest, you are free to tell Law Enforcement that you are busy at the moment, and you have prior commitments, or again, cannot do anything without your attorney’s permission. Leave, and IMMEDIATELY call [firm-name]!
-The Right To Privacy. Unless Law Enforcement has a search warrant, or other circumstances exist giving them the right to search, do not consent to a search of your residence, person, or any property.

Should I hire an attorney before I am arrested?

Definitely hire an attorney and call [firm-name], if you think there is any chance you, or a loved one, might be arrested in Stuart, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, or Vero Beach, Florida. Hiring an attorney might save and prevent you from a possible arrest, lessen the charges from what you could have been arrested for, or worst case scenario, aid in the arrest process by recommending a reputable bail bondsman. Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer before an arrest certainly assists with “damage control.” With over 30 years of criminal defense experience on Treasure Coast, the attorneys at [firm-name] have the respect of Law Enforcement, the State Attorneys, and the Judges in Martin County, St. Lucie County, Okeechobee County, and Indian River County. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

What is “Bond” and do I need a “Bail Bondsman?”

The 2018 Florida Statutes 903.046 provides:

903.046 Purpose of and criteria for bail determination.—

  1. The purpose of a bail determination in criminal proceedings is to ensure the appearance of the criminal defendant at subsequent proceedings and to protect the community against unreasonable danger from the criminal defendant.
  2.  When determining whether to release a defendant on bail or other conditions, and what that bail or those conditions may be, the court shall consider:
    1.  The nature and circumstances of the offense charged.
    2. The weight of the evidence against the defendant.
    3.  The defendant’s family ties, length of residence in the community, employment history, financial resources, and mental condition.
    4.  The defendant’s past and present conduct, including any record of convictions, previous flight to avoid prosecution, or failure to appear at court proceedings. However, any defendant who had failed to appear on the day of any required court proceeding in the case at issue, but who had later voluntarily appeared or surrendered, shall not be eligible for a recognizance bond; and any defendant who failed to appear on the day of any required court proceeding in the case at issue and who was later arrested shall not be eligible for a recognizance bond or for any form of bond which does not require a monetary undertaking or commitment equal to or greater than $2,000 or twice the value of the monetary commitment or undertaking of the original bond, whichever is greater. Notwithstanding anything in this section, the court has discretion in determining conditions of release if the defendant proves circumstances beyond his or her control for the failure to appear. This section may not be construed as imposing additional duties or obligations on a governmental entity related to monetary bonds.
    5.  The nature and probability of danger which the defendant’s release poses to the community.

[firm-name] has over 30 years of experience dealing with all criminal charges and arrests in Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, and Indian River, counties. We know who the reputable bail bondsman are, and we know when it may be possible to file for bond reductions. Call us for assistance should you have any other questions involving the bail bonds process. We are here to help, twenty-four (24) hours a day!