Table of Contents:
- Traffic Tickets?
- What is a Criminal Case?
- Who are the defendants in a criminal case?
- How does a criminal case proceed?
- What is the burden of proof in a civil case?
- Who gets to testify in a civil case?
- Who gets to testify in a criminal case?
If you receive a traffic ticket in Florida, we would be honored to represent you. We love fighting traffic tickets so call us now so we can discuss how you can have: (1) The points removed, (2) have the fee reduced, and (3) possibly having the ticket dismissed. Traffic Court is very fast paced, at the end of your hearing the judge gives a verdict, adverse verdicts can affect your insurance and possibility your ability to drive, do not hesitate, call us now so that we can fight your ticket and get you the very best result possible
What is a criminal case?
A criminal case is one in which the local, state or federal government brings an action(lawsuit) in the name of all of its citizens. The plaintiff is the government agency, and it is acting on behalf of the people. The government is represented in court by the local state attorney or the U.S. attorney, depending upon whether the alleged crime is prosecuted in state court or federal court.
Who are the defendants in a criminal case?
In a criminal case, the accused, also known as a “defendant,” is charged with a crime against society — that is, a violation of the laws regulating our conduct, such as murder, assault, conspiracy, theft, DUI, vandalism, robbery, etc. In addition, less serious conduct such as driving without a license may also violate criminal laws.
How does a criminal case proceed?
In a criminal case, the prosecutor or a grand jury decides whether to start proceedings. If a defendant is found guilty, the punishment can be: fines, reimbursement to victims, attending classes to educate the offender on avoiding similar behavior, attendance at drug or alcohol counseling, probation, jail and/or prison. The punishment depends on the circumstances and the type of crime. In cases involving murder in which the state has decided to pursue the death penalty, the punishment could be a death sentence and ultimately execution.
What is the burden of proof in a criminal case?
In criminal cases, because the person charged with a crime (defendant) is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty, the prosecution must prove the case “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This does not mean beyond all possible or speculative doubt, but it does mean the court or jury must have an abiding conviction to a moral certainty of the truth of the charge. Because a person’s liberty and freedom are at stake, the standard for prosecutors proving the case is necessarily a higher burden than the proof required in a civil case.
Who gets to testify in a civil case?
In civil cases, any person may be required to testify in court. A plaintiff may call the defendant to testify, among other witnesses, and likewise, the defendant may call the plaintiff to testify.
Who gets to testify in a criminal case?
In criminal cases, the testifying witnesses are just a bit different because a criminal defendant (the accused person) cannot be forced to testify. The accused has the right to remain silent at all stages of the criminal case, from arrest through trial, and also to be represented by an attorney appointed by the court and without charge if the person doesn’t have the means to hire an attorney. In criminal cases, the accused has many rights that defendants in civil cases do not have. Again, this is due in part to the fact that a criminally accused person may lose liberty or freedom and be required to go to jail or prison.
The submission of an application for a Certificate of Eligibility is the first step in sealing or expunging a criminal history record. A record does not receive relief until a certified court order has been received by FDLE from the court of proper jurisdiction. For more information related to this process, please visit the frequently asked questions page.
Several types of relief to seal or expunge criminal history records are available. The types of sealing or expungement processes authorized by statute are listed below:
Administrative Expungement – an arrest (adult or juvenile) made contrary to law or by mistake may be expunged by applying to FDLE, in one of the ways provided in statute and rule. (Per Section 943.0581, Florida Statutes, and Rule 11C-7.008, Florida Administrative Code)
Court-Ordered Sealing or Expungement – a person may apply to FDLE for a Certificate of Eligibility to Seal or Expunge his/her criminal history record. This is the required first step toward obtaining the court-ordered sealing or expungement of that record. Before issuing a Certificate of Eligibility, FDLE determines if the applicant is statutorily eligible to petition the court to have his/her Florida criminal history record sealed or expunged. (Per Sections 943.059, and 943.0585, Florida Statutes, and Rules 11C-7.006 and 11C-7.007, Florida Administrative Code)
Juvenile Diversion Expungement – a person who has completed an authorized juvenile diversion program for a misdemeanor, may apply for a juvenile diversion expungement, as defined. (Per Section 943.0582, Florida Statutes, and Rule 11C-7.009, Florida Administrative Code)
Lawful Self-Defense Expungement – a person may apply for a Lawful Self-Defense Certificate of Eligibility if the appropriate state attorney or statewide prosecutor certifies that the subject acted in lawful self-defense pursuant to the provisions related to justifiable use of force in Chapter 776, Florida Statutes, and the charge(s) were not filed on, or were dismissed by the state attorney or the court. (Per Section 943.0578, Florida Statutes)
Human Trafficking Expungement – a person who is a victim of human trafficking (as defined in Sections 943.0583(1)(c) and 787.06, Florida Statutes) may petition for the expungement of a criminal history record resulting from the arrest or filing of charges for an offense committed or reported to have been committed as a part of the human trafficking scheme of which he/she was a victim. (Per Section 943.0583, Florida Statutes)
Automatic Juvenile Expungement – the criminal history record of a minor maintained by FDLE will automatically be expunged (by operation of law) at the age of 21, or (if the minor was committed to a juvenile correctional facility or juvenile prison) age 26, provided certain conditions are satisfied (i.e., not having been charged with or convicted of a forcible felony as an adult or when treated as an adult). A list of charges designated as forcible felonies can be found in Section 776.08, Florida Statutes. (Per Section 943.0515, Florida Statutes)
Early Juvenile Expungement – a person between the ages of 18 and 21 may, under certain conditions, apply to have their juvenile criminal history record expunged by FDLE. A person may apply to the appropriate prosecuting attorney to approve the expungement of his/her FDLE juvenile criminal history record if the subject has not been charged with or found to have committed any criminal offense (including the one that you are seeking to expunge) within the preceding 5 years. (Per Section 943.0515(1)(b)2, Florida Statutes)
Automatic Sealing – the criminal history record maintained by FDLE will automatically be sealed (by operation of law) when the Clerk of the Court submits a qualifying certified disposition to FDLE, via electronic means. A list of qualifying dispositions can be found in Section 943.0595, Florida Statutes. A list of disqualifying offenses can be found in Section 943.0595(2)(a), Florida Statutes. *Note- this process does not seal records at the local level. (Per Section 943.0595, Florida Statutes)