Criminal Defense

Providing a Strong Line of Defense—In and Out of Court

 

Heather Bryan understands the importance of protecting everyone’s fundamental, Constitutional rights. She firmly believes in the tenet that every person deserves zealous representation and, if the case requires it, Heather is dedicated to giving every client his or her day in court. No matter the accusations, every client deserves competent, compassionate representation. This is justice.

Our firm is well-equipped to handle the following types of cases:

  • Child Abuse — The penalties for child abuse are steep (third-degree to first-degree felony) because any individual who is entrusted to the care and supervision of a child has, in the eyes of the state, one of the most important obligations anyone can have. The state lays out this crime as an “intentional infliction” of physical or mental harm on a child or any action that could reasonably be expected to result in the infliction of physical or mental harm. Child neglect is another serious crime that closely dovetails with child abuse and has to do with failing to maintain a child’s physical and mental health. Prison time varies, but you could be facing a 30-year sentence for child abuse with aggravating factors.


  • Drug Crimes — Our firm routinely handles drug crimes ranging from misdemeanor possession of marijuana (fewer than 20 grams) up to felonies such as manufacturing, distribution, and trafficking that can net you decades in prison. Despite the relaxing of the illegality of recreational marijuana in many states, the substance is still a Schedule I drug under federal guidelines. So, make no mistake: being caught with a minuscule amount of marijuana is a serious charge that should be handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney. 


  • Domestic Violence — Few charges affect your day-to-day life as deeply as domestic violence charges. Domestic violence is defined by the state as any underlying crime (such as assault, battery, stalking, sexual battery or assault, or kidnapping, to name a few) that results in physical injury or death to a family or household member. While we often think of domestic violence as violence between spouses or romantic partners, it also covers violence between ex-spouses, people who currently live together or have done so in the past, people who are related by blood or marriage, people who are common parents of a child, and those who reside together as if a family. Bond conditions are commonly strict; for instance, you will likely have a no-contact order with the alleged victim while waiting for the adjudication of your case. 


  • DUI — This crime occurs when someone, who is in physical control of a vehicle, is shown to be impaired by alcohol or a chemical or controlled substance. Having a blood-alcohol concentration of .08 or more is a common way Floridians are charged with driving under the influence. Your first DUI charge will likely be classified as a misdemeanor. However, even first-timers can face up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a driver’s license suspension of up to six months, alcohol treatment, and 50 hours of community service. Repeat offenses mean more severe penalties. However, there is plenty a quality defense attorney can do to provide an effective case against your DUI charges. 


  • Juvenile Offenses — Members of our team, including Attorney Heather Bryan, have children of our own. We understand the stress and anxiety that accompany fears over your child’s future. No matter what your child is alleged to have done, our firm understands the complexities and nuances of the juvenile court. We will do everything possible to ensure your child is able to stay in the juvenile system and benefit from rehabilitative services rather than being thrown into the adult prison system. Just like our other criminal defense services, we will work tirelessly to defend your child’s rights. 


  • Public Order Crimes — “Keeping the peace” is one of the general responsibilities of the state. In its pursuit of this order, the state of Florida has outlined a handful of crimes that upset the public order. Such crimes include disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication, loitering and prowling, and indecent exposure. These charges occupy a unique place among our constitutional rights, which makes it important to retain a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in this situation. 


  • Real Property Crimes — Whenever you are in a building, structure, or conveyance that isn’t your own, it is important to make sure are permitted to be there. Without some kind of permission, you could be charged with a real property crime. Floridians may be charged with trespassing whenever they “wilfully” enter or remain in a building, structure, or conveyance without the consent of the property’s owner or manager. Another real property crime that may be committed during the act of trespassing is criminal mischief, wherein you willfully and maliciously cause damage to someone else’s real or personal property. Burglary is yet another common real property crime; to correct a widely held misconception, burglary is not always associated with theft. A burglary occurs, essentially, when someone enters someone else’s property with intent to commit a crime (again, not necessarily theft). The penalties for real property crimes vary based on many factors, such as the value of the property damaged during criminal mischief or the presence of others during a burglary. 


  • Record Expungement — In rare cases, you might be able to destroy public records of a past arrest or limit who might be able to see any adjudications of guilt on your criminal record. Having an event on your record (like an arrest, guilty finding, or pleading of guilt or no contest) can affect your employment prospects. Again, though, you must meet a specific set of criteria to be eligible for expungement or sealing of criminal records. 


  • Obstruction Crimes — Similar to public order crimes, these serious offenses often occur during a criminal investigation. Things like resisting arrest (officially referred to as “resisting an officer” with or without violence), fleeing and eluding, tampering with evidence, giving false information to law enforcement, and falsely reporting a crime fall into this category of “obstruction crimes.” You can expect to be fully prosecuted if the state believes you committed any of these crimes, but a quality defense attorney can absolutely help. 


  • Sex Crimes — There’s no question that being charged with—or even being accused of—a sex crime is one of the most damaging criminal allegations you can be faced with. On top of the cripplingly severe penalties associated with sex crimes, you might also have to put your name on the sex offender registry for life. While there has been an understandable movement toward supporting victims of sex crimes in recent years, there are still false accusations that plague honest, hard-working people. Fortunately, there is a lot an experienced criminal defense attorney can do in these situations. 


  • Theft Crimes — When many people think of theft crimes, they think of shoplifting and other straightforward crimes where someone takes something they do not own. However, there are several crimes that fall under the umbrella of theft (which is, itself, categorized into petit and grand theft based on the value of the stolen property). Criminal acts include defrauding welfare, writing bad checks, trafficking stolen property, and providing false information to a pawnbroker (passing off the stolen property as your own).


  • Traffic Crimes — A direct consequence experienced by those who incur traffic citations and crimes is, often, the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license. This makes getting to work and school much more difficult, which can compound the collateral consequences of the underlying traffic charge. Our firm handles all manner of traffic crimes, from driving on a suspended license to leaving the scene of an accident involving and everything in between. We can also help those who have been designated as “habitual traffic offenders.”


  • Violation of Probation — You’re kept on an extremely short leash while you serve out your probation following an adjudication of guilt in Florida. Terms often include mandatory drug tests and regularly checking in with your probation officer. Flouting these terms or committing a new crime during your probation means that a warrant will likely be put out for your arrest. What’s more, your constitutional rights are limited while you are awaiting the disposition of your probation violation case. For instance, the burden of proof is relaxed and you might be forced to testify against yourself. These adverse conditions necessitate speaking with a quality attorney.


  • Violent Crimes — Those offenses that the state of Florida designates as “violent” carry some of the most severe penalties. Crimes like assault are, by themselves, misdemeanors, but there are countless ways those two violent crimes could be elevated to aggravated or felony status. Notably, the crime of assault does not require actual striking or touching of another person for it to have been committed. The threat of force is all that’s typically required. In addition to the severe penalties, even dealing with these types of allegations can result in ostracism from one’s place in society. No matter who abandons you, our firm will stand by you and provide you with a premium defense.

 

  • Weapons Crimes — Despite the existence of the second amendment, gun rights are not absolute in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. For instance, Floridians are not permitted to carry a concealed weapon without having a valid license to do so. Ignoring this rule is just one of numerous ways you can run afoul of the state’s firearm laws. Mandatory minimum sentences may be applicable in certain situations where a crime was committed with the help of a firearm or other deadly weapon. To avoid these harsh penalties, consult with an attorney as soon as possible if you are dealing with such charges.

 

These are only some of the criminal charges our firm is able to handle. No matter what you’ve been charged with, the key is to call an experienced attorney like Heather Bryan as soon as you are able. We have intake forms that expedite the process so we can get started on your defense as soon as possible. Don’t wait another second—contact us today.