Under the Florida Constitution, if you are accused of a crime, you have certain rights.
1. You have the right to receive a copy of the specific criminal charges you are accused of committing.
2. You have the right to compel the testimony of all witnesses relevant to the criminal charges against you.
3. You have the right to confront (or cross examine) all of the prosecutor’s witnesses used against you in court.
4. You have the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury in Duval, Clay, Nassau, or St. Johns County, depending where the prosecutor says you committed the crime.
Often, there is a “trial penalty” for exercising your right to a have a trial. If you believe you are innocent of the criminal charges against you and the prosecutor will not drop the charges, you may have a trial. If you are found guilty of the crime, it is up to the judge to sentence you to any way they wish. Many times, you will receive a more lenient sentence if you negotiate with the prosecutor or plea straight to the judge than you would if you exercised your right to have a trial.
If you have any questions about criminal charges in Duval, Clay, Nassau, or St. Johns County, call our Jacksonville Criminal Attorneys at (904) 634-0900.