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Dispelling Common Misconceptions About Criminal Law
February 15, 2023

Criminal attorneys can often be the unsung heroes of our judicial system. When it comes to criminal law, there are a few common misconceptions that people frequently have. Unfortunately, these misconceptions can often lead to incorrect assumptions which can put them in dangerous situations. At Candela Law Firm, we’re dedicated to providing legal services for our clients in the Tampa area and beyond. Our goal is to make sure our clients understand the full scope of their legal rights and obligations by dispelling common misconceptions about criminal law.

All crimes are punished equally

This misconception is one of the most pervasive when it comes to criminal law. The reality is, however, that not all crimes are punished equally. Depending on the severity of the offense, different punishments may apply; for example, a first-time DUI conviction will result in less severe penalties than an armed robbery charge. In addition to the severity of the crime itself, other factors such as prior convictions and mitigating circumstances can also influence how harshly someone is punished for their crime. It’s important to remember that no two cases are exactly alike and criminal laws can vary from state to state.

You don't need a lawyer for minor crimes

Another common misconception is that lawyers are only necessary for serious offenses such as murder or rape charges. However, even minor crimes such as traffic violations should not be taken lightly—even seemingly “minor” crimes can carry hefty fines and even jail time in some cases. Additionally, having a lawyer represent you in court could help reduce your sentence or get your case dismissed entirely depending on the circumstances of your case. The bottom line? If you have been charged with a crime—regardless of its perceived “severity”—it is always wise to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.

A plea bargain is always the best option

In many cases, it is true that plea bargains are a great option for defendants looking to avoid going to trial or getting the most lenient sentence possible for their crime. That being said, plea bargains should not be taken lightly—especially if you believe yourself to be innocent of any wrongdoing! By pleading guilty as part of a plea bargain agreement, you are essentially admitting guilt and forfeiting your right to go before a jury and attempt to prove your innocence through evidence or testimony. Furthermore, certain types of offenses cannot be plea bargained at all (e.g., murder). It’s important to consult with an experienced attorney before making any decisions regarding your case so that you can make an informed decision based on all available information and options.

You can refuse a breathalyzer test

Many people believe they have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test if they are pulled over under suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, this isn’t actually true. In most states that follow “implied consent laws”—like Florida—you must submit to tests of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) upon request by law enforcement officers if they suspect that someone is driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. If you refuse such a test after being asked by a police officer, you could face serious consequences including suspension or revocation of your driver's license in addition to potential fines and jail time depending on how your case plays out in court.

All felonies end up with prison time

People who are charged with felonies often assume they will automatically be sent straight to prison upon conviction even if their crime was minor in nature. But this isn't always the case; in fact, there are many alternatives available for those who are found guilty of felonies such as probation or community service hours instead of prison time. It all depends on the specifics of each individual case as well as relevant laws in your state regarding felony convictions; so it's important for defendants facing felony charges get professional legal advice from an experienced attorney before making any decisions about their defense strategy.

Get in touch with Candela Law Firm for a reliable Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney!

At Candela Law Firm, we understand how confusing and overwhelming the legal system can seem at first glance—especially when it comes to criminal law offenses—which is why it's so important for defendants facing criminal charges get professional legal help from an experienced attorney who knows all applicable laws inside and out before making any decisions about their defense strategy.

We provide comprehensive legal services for our clients throughout Tampa Bay area and beyond so don't hesitate reach out if you're looking for experienced counsel with your case today!

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