A Key West Criminal Defense Lawyer Shares the Essential Information You Need If You’re Charged With a Crime

Right now, you are likely feeling a mix of emotions. Regardless of the specific criminal charges you face, you may be angry that this is happening to you, fearful about your future, confused about the legal process, and worried about how your arrest and possible conviction may impact your family.

Before we go any further, we need you to know one thing: You are not alone.

Our experienced Key West criminal defense lawyers can guide you through this difficult time. The legal professionals at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove have dedicated our careers to helping people charged with crimes defend their rights. Robert is Board Certified as an “expert/specialist” in Criminal Trial Law. Only six percent of eligible Florida attorneys are Board Certified, and fewer than that are Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law.

Whatever crime you have been charged with, we are prepared to mount an aggressive defense strategy tailored to your unique situation. 

Types of Cases Our Key West Criminal Defense Lawyer Takes

You want to hire the right lawyer to defend you. Our firm has extensive experience defending clients against criminal charges in Florida and federal courts. We encourage you to contact us if you are under investigation or you’ve been charged with the following:

Drunk Driving (DUI)

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is a common criminal charge in the Florida Keys. 

A first DUI conviction could result in substantial fines, license suspension, probation, other consequences, and a criminal record. Multiple DUI convictions or other aggravating factors could lead to jail time and a revocation of your driver’s license.

Attorney Robert Malove is a founding member of the National College for DUI Defense and is committed to protecting the legal rights of anyone charged with drunk driving in Key West.

Other Driving Crimes

In addition to DUI, we defend clients charged with reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident, driving with a suspended or revoked license, vehicular homicide, and other traffic crimes. The specific penalties you face depend on the particular charges against you. However, any of these charges could result in a life-long criminal record.

Domestic Violence  

Domestic violence allegations, whether involving a spouse, family member, or romantic partner, are taken extremely seriously. Even without physical evidence of injury, you could be charged and face loss of child custody, a restraining order, and other life-altering penalties if convicted. Early intervention by an experienced defense attorney is critical.

Health Care Fraud

Health care fraud includes a wide range of conduct, such as billing fraud, kickback schemes, prescription drug fraud, and more. State and federal investigators aggressively pursue these complex white collar cases, which carry severe fines and potential prison time.  

White Collar Crimes

Our firm has extensive experience defending individuals and businesses accused of fraud, embezzlement, forgery, and other white collar crimes. A conviction for a non-violent crime could still result in serious jail time and a life-long criminal record. You deserve to have your legal rights protected.

Other Felonies

In Florida, felonies are divided into the following levels based on degree of severity and punishment:

  • Capital felony. The most serious felonies, such as first-degree murder, are punishable by death or life imprisonment without parole.
  • Life felony.  The second most serious type of felony is still punishable by up to life imprisonment and a $15,000 fine. Some violent crimes are life felonies.
  • Felony of the first degree. This felony level is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer is one example of a felony of the first degree.
  • Felony of the second degree. If you’re convicted of a felony of the second degree, you may face 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Extortion is a felony of the second degree.
  • Felony of the third degree. The least serious type of felony, a felony of the third degree, still carries a potential sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. A third DUI conviction could be charged as a felony of the third degree.

With so much at stake in felony cases, it is critical to have a skilled defense lawyer protecting your constitutional rights during all phases of the legal process.

How a Criminal Case Works in Monroe County, Florida

If you have been arrested for a crime in the Florida Keys, it's essential to understand how the legal process works in Monroe County. After being taken into custody, you will be booked, processed, and taken before a judge for a first appearance in as little as 24 hours. This is when bail or bond amounts are set and conditions for pre-trial release are determined. 

The prosecutor will then formally file charges in an indictment. At your arraignment, you will be formally notified of the charges included in the indictment, and your lawyer will enter your official plea with the court. 

After the arraignment, the prosecution and defense gather evidence and prepare for trial. There may be hearings on various pre-trial motions and opportunities to pursue a plea bargain agreement with reduced charges or sentences.

If no plea deal is reached, the case will proceed to trial. The prosecutor must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. If found guilty at trial, the judge will impose a sentence of fines, probation, and jail time in accordance with Florida's criminal statutes and sentencing guidelines. Your sentence will reflect the crime's severity and your prior record.  

An experienced Key West criminal defense lawyer will advocate skillfully for you at every stage, challenging the prosecution's case and working tirelessly to obtain an acquittal, dismissal, or reduction of charges.

What a Key West Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Do if You're Charged With a Crime

You may have never contacted a criminal defense lawyer before. You may feel a little unsure about whether you have a case an attorney will take or if you should just handle the case yourself. We want you to be comfortable contacting The Law Offices of Robert David Malove. Accordingly, we offer free, no-obligation consultations so that you can get the information you need to make an informed decision about whether to work with us. 

One of our clients, Tracey, said this about working with us, “From the moment we sat down to discuss our case we felt like Robert truly cared about our results. He was honest, forthcoming and very positive about the options we had. He gave us the worst and best scenario and then delivered better than we even hoped for. The respect he received from other lawyers and peers in the courtroom shows his character and experience even more.” We encourage you to read more of our client reviews to learn more about us and how we approach criminal defense cases.

If you decide to hire us, we may protect your rights and future by:

  • Making sure the government follows proper procedures from your arrest through all subsequent phases of your case
  • Thoroughly investigating and researching evidence related to the alleged crime
  • Identifying potential weaknesses in the prosecution's case
  • Filing and arguing appropriate pre-trial motions to get inadmissible evidence excluded and get charges reduced or dismissed entirely based on rights violations or lack of probable cause
  • Advising you on whether taking a plea bargain is in your best interests or if taking the case to trial gives you the best chance at a positive outcome
  • Preparing for trial, developing a defense strategy, and arguing for your acquittal before a judge or jury
  • Filing and arguing appeals if legal errors occurred or new evidence emerges, leveraging all available grounds to get charges dismissed or a new trial granted

Criminal charges and convictions can have life-altering consequences, including significant fines, loss of driving and professional licensing privileges, difficulty finding employment or housing, and even imprisonment. However, if the charges against you are dismissed or reduced, you may not face these serious penalties.