West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer
Roger P. Foley is a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense attorney, which practices primarily in Palm Beach, Broward, and Martin Counties. We are available to defend criminal State or Federal Court cases in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and anywhere throughout the State of Florida. If you are facing these types of charges, our firm should be considered when selecting your legal team.
State criminal cases have various phases: Pre-Arrest, Arrest, First Appearance/ Bond Hearing, Arraignment, Discovery, Plea Discussions, Motion Hearings, Trial, and Appeal. A well-trained West Palm Beach criminal lawyer can help you through each part of the process.
Whether you are being investigated about your possible involvement in a crime, or have already been arrested, you need a lawyer who understands what can and cannot be legally performed at the initial phase of the criminal process. When you find yourself at this point of the process, you should seriously consider invoking your right to remain silent. Always allow your defense counsel to speak for you. Remain silent until Mr. Foley arrives; everything you say will be used against you. The police take your words and twist them to make their case. You should not talk to those investigating you. They are not your parents, family, preacher, friend, or lawyer. The Supreme Court of Florida has held that the police are allowed to lie to suspects to aid in their interrogations/interviews. If you are not a policeman then you are a suspect.
Shortly after an arrest is made, and usually within 24 hours, you will have what is referred to as your “first appearance,” at which the Judge will set your bond. Most bail bond amounts are already determined based on the crime charged so it is recommended that you keep calm and quiet and allow bond to be set. Talking about the case is definitely a mistake. This Judge is not interested in your version of the facts in the case, he is simply there to set your bond. Anything you say will be used against you. The Judge does have discretion to raise or lower the amount of your bond, but most charges are set using a scheduled bond amount. In layman’s terms, the Judge has a list of crimes and their corresponding bond amounts. The Judge looks for the crime you are charged with, reads the amount next to it, and that becomes your bond amount. Keep quiet if you have not yet retained a lawyer. Do not worry if you do not have an attorney at this First Appearance/Bond Hearing. It is preferred but not essential. Once the amount is set, your friends and/or family will be able to bond you out. Keep in mind that not all crimes are guaranteed to receive a bond. (Read about the Bond Process).
Once you are bonded out of jail, it is definitely the time to retain a criminal defense attorney - your arraignment will soon arrive.
Hiring an experienced and aggressive West Palm Beach Criminal attorney prior to your arraignment increases your odds of reducing or eliminating the charges. Ask questions about this process, in person, with Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer, Roger P. Foley, at your free 30-minute initial consultation.
Immediately after your arrest and during your free consultation, ask us about pre-trial diversion programs. Each county in Florida has different programs, so a diversion program that is available in Palm Beach County may not be available in Broward County. If you have questions about criminal diversions programs in Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin, and Saint Lucie counties, The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley will help answer them.
The Arraignment is the first court hearing where the formal charges are read to you. At this hearing you have three possibilities:
- Plead Guilty (never a wise choice);
- Plead Not Guilty;
- Apply for a Pre-Trial Diversion Program.
Accepting a time served sentence or plea bargain at the Arraignment is malpractice, in our opinion, and should never be done, unless it is the entering of a pre-trial diversion program that results in dismissal of the charges. Any other plea-bargain, without reviewing the discovery, ignores any and all defenses available in your case.
The Discovery Process allows your criminal defense attorney to review all the evidence the State has against you. A skilled and seasoned criminal lawyer will always review the discovery so that the defenses in the case can be prepared.
During the Discovery Process of all misdemeanor and felony cases, The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley will review all police reports, witness statements, audio and video, and, if permitted by law, take depositions of the essential witnesses in the case. The taking of depositions is where your attorney asks questions and receives answers from witnesses under oath. The questions asked by your lawyer allows us to find discrepancies and conflicts in the evidence and provides us with the necessary information to prepare for motions and/or trial. After completing this process, our West Palm Beach criminal attorney(s) will meet with you to review all the information. At this time, the strategy in defending your case will be thoroughly explained to you and any additional questions will be answered.
When the State Attorney forwards the Discovery materials to our office, they often forward it with a plea bargain offer. The offer to plea bargain is an offer to accept a negotiated sentence in your case and forgo any defenses. The principle behind a plea bargain is that you will generally be offered a lighter sentence then you would receive if you were found guilty at trial. Plea-bargaining also speeds up the judicial process. Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Anthony Kennedy, noted in an opinion in 2012 that 94% of State cases and 98% of Federal cases are plea-bargained.
Why are so many cases plea-bargained by Defendants? Criminal cases are plea-bargained for one of the following reasons or some combination thereof:
- The Defendants are actually guilty.
- Defendants are scared of risking incarceration, if they have a probation offer or increased incarceration if being offered a jail or prison sentence, if they lose at trial.
- Defendants can not afford the financial burden of trial.
- The police lie or exaggerate what occurred to enhance the likelihood of conviction and the Defendant does not trust that a judge or jury will believe their version of events over that of law enforcement.
- Their defense lawyers are lazy, incompetent or uncaring as to the result.
Dispositive Motions, such as Motions to Suppress and Motions to Dismiss, are extremely important in the practice of criminal law. A Motion to Suppress is a written request asking the Judge to eliminate evidence in your case based on mistakes made by the police. The common mistakes made by law enforcement relate to the 4th (Search and Seizure) and 14th (Due Process) Amendments of the Constitution. Without evidence in your case, it makes it difficult for the State to convict you of the crime. A Motion to Dismiss is a Sworn Motion and it lists all the facts of the case and asks the Judge to Dismiss the charges against the Defendant because, even if the court accepts all of the facts in a light most favorable to the State, that the Defendant could not be possibly guilty of the charge(s). In a Motion to Dismiss there can be no conflicts in the facts between the State and the Defense. Motions to Suppress are more common and are often filed, but Motions to Dismiss are rare and are only filed when there is absolutely no dispute regarding the facts of the case. Remember, most criminal law cases revolve around a dispute of the facts and facts are what are before a Jury. If your case goes through the discovery phase and there are Motions to file then we will file the appropriate motions and argue them before the judge. If successful in a Motion to Suppress, all or some of the evidence will be suppressed in your case. Often when evidence is suppressed, the State no longer has sufficient evidence to go forward in the case and the case is dismissed. If a Motion to Dismiss is granted then your case will likely be dismissed, unless the State appeals the decision.
A Criminal Trial is a court proceeding wherein the State places all the evidence in your case before a jury, a sworn body of people convened to decide the guilt or innocence of the accused. The jury will listen to all the evidence and make a factual determination and declare a verdict of Guilty or Not Guilty. A trial is often expensive and is usually an all or nothing resolution. It is often been termed “a roll of the dice,” as juries often do the unexpected. However, if you are innocent, no errors in the law were committed, and no diversion programs are available, then it is the only way to win your case.
The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley has provided the above information to educate potential clients as to what expect during the criminal process. Not all lawyers operate in the same manner and all potential clients should make their own comparison and determine the best defense lawyer for their case.
Remember, if charged criminally, you are allowed to choose your own attorney. Pick a criminal defense attorney that has passion, experience, aggression, knowledge, education and the ability to properly defend your case. Contact our office and meet with R. P. Foley and decide whether he has the traits and abilities you are looking for in a defense lawyer.
If you or someone you care about have been arrested or are being investigated for a Criminal Statute violation, then call our office.
When you have been arrested and the prosecution believes a crime has been committed, call our office.
When your words are being twisted and ignored, call our office.
When you need someone that will step in and fight to prove your innocence, call the The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley.
The Law Offices of Roger P. Foley, P.A. defends Drug Crimes, Theft Crimes, DUI, Domestic Violence Crimes, Violent Crimes, Juvenile Crimes, Weapons Crimes, Sex Crimes, Economic Crimes, Internet Crimes, and White Collar Crime.
Accept our offer for a free 30-minute consultation with Mr. Foley prior to hiring another criminal defense lawyer. He will evaluate your case and discuss your options with you. His priority is doing what is best for his clients.
Legal Disclaimer: This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney-client relationship nor is it intended to be legal advice for any individual case or situation. The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. You should consult an attorney regarding your individual case.