Proudly Serving the First Judicial Circuit including Pensacola, Milton, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, Crestview, Niceville, Mary Esther, Destin, Fort Walton Beach, DeFuniak Springs FL & all of The Surrounding Areas
When charged in a criminal case, it is important to have a lawyer with the right criminal defense knowledge and experience as well as dedication to providing excellent and consistent communication. Alice Harris will be a strong advocate for you and will help you to navigate the complex world of the criminal justice system. She fights vigorously for her clients and is devoted to providing the attention and help they deserve as they go through one of the challenging times of their life.
If you or a loved one is under investigation for any sex crime, including lewd and lascivious molestation, you will want to hire an attorney immediately. The most crucial advice during investigation is to assert your 5th amendment right not to talk. Any answer you give is going to be considered evidence against you. If you are suspected of any type of sex crime, you are in a darned if you do and darned if you don’t situation with regard to answering any questions by law enforcement. If anyone begins to question you, request an attorney immediately. What you think is innocent behavior will make you appear guilty. So, before answering any questions: DON’T. Call me immediately upon being suspected of this type of crime.
The harsh reality of a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is that anyone can be charged. There are many consequences of a DUI charge and conviction. You may be shocked to learn that a person who is not actively driving a vehicle can be charged and convicted of DUI. You may be surprised to find out how little alcohol consumption can result in a blood alcohol content (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 percent. You may also be surprised to learn that the legal limit on BAC is 0.02 percent for drivers under the age of 21. Even if you are facing a first DUI, you can suffer serious penalties including:
Do not leave anything to chance. You need an attorney that will not just stand on the sidelines but who will take a proactive stance in fighting for you. Attorney Alice Harris will tirelessly dedicate herself to ensure that your rights and interests are fully protected and that you obtain the most favorable resolution of your case. Alice Harris will research every aspect of your DUI case including any breath test or field sobriety test given by law enforcement. She will challenge and hold law enforcement to a high standard by making sure they did everything legally and properly during their investigation and decision to make an arrest.
Manslaughter is the killing of a human being by the act, procurement, or culpable negligence of another, without lawful justification. Generally, manslaughter is a second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison. However, Florida law makes it a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison, to cause by culpable negligence the death of an elderly person or disabled adult, or a person under 18 years of age. It is also a first degree felony to cause death by culpable negligence of an officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic who is performing professional duties. A person accused of manslaughter must have behaved with culpable negligence to be convicted. Simple negligence or reckless behavior may result in a death, but culpable negligence must be proven to convict of manslaughter. Florida also criminalizes vehicular homicide, which is killing a person by operation of a motor vehicle in a reckless manner likely to cause the death of, or great bodily harm to, another. Attorney Harris will fight for you to insure you receive the justice you deserve if you are accused of manslaughter.
The crimes of Assault and Battery are frequently confused or misunderstood. Assault involves a threat by word or deed to do violence to a person under circumstances that reasonably could result in the imminent infliction of harm. For example, holding a baseball bat in an aggressive posture and making a move as if to strike a nearby person, would be an assault. If a deadly weapon (like a baseball bat) is used to make an assault, the assault is a felony of the third degree. If no deadly weapon is used, assault is a second degree misdemeanor.
Battery is different from assault in that some sort of intentional physical contact is an element of this crime. Florida law says battery occurs when a person “actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.” Battery does not necessarily result in injury or pain to the victim and can be based on any unwanted touch, no matter how seemingly inconsequential. A first-time battery charge is a first degree misdemeanor. However, Florida law makes a second battery a felony of the third degree, so even a misdemeanor battery can have serious consequences in the future. Of course, a battery that causes physical injury is a more serious crime than one that does not injure the victim. In addition, battery on certain victims -- the elderly, police and other officials, among others -- results in more serious charges and there may be mandatory minimum punishments.
Battery charges and penalties vary depending on the facts of the situation and the severity of any injuries. In Florida, battery is a first degree misdemeanor when it is the first battery committed by the defendant and no injury was inflicted. Punishment can be up to a year in county jail plus a fine of $1,000.:
Battery is a third degree felony when great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement was inflicted on the victim or if the battery is a second or subsequent battery. Domestic battery by strangulation is also a third degree felony. Punishment can be up to 5 years in state prison and a fine of $5,000.
Aggravated battery (involving intentionally inflicted serious injury or the use of a deadly weapon) is a second degree felony, as is battery on a pregnant person by an offender who knew of the pregnancy. Punishment can be up to 15 years in state prison and a fine of $10,000.
Your home is a sanctuary, and you may think that nothing can go wrong there. However, an argument between you and a family member can escalate to the point of police involvement. A domestic violence allegation can be extremely serious and can affect more than just your family life. Attorney Alice Harris has the experience and knowledge needed to provide legal representation when you need help with a domestic violence allegation.
Several crimes in Florida are classified as Domestic Violence crimes when the victim is a family or household member. Under the law, these include:
- Spouses and former spouses
- Parents and children
- Persons related by blood or marriage
- Persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and,
- Persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time.
A Domestic Violence charge is often heartbreaking and the consequences can seem unfair. Under federal law, a person who has been convicted of domestic violence, including misdemeanor assault that does not involve a weapon or a touch or strike, are prohibited from possessing firearms. When facing such a charge, all firearms in the possession of the accused will be confiscated by law enforcement.
Unfortunately, false allegations of Domestic Violence sometimes happen, often driven by the desire to gain the upper hand in a dispute about divorce or child custody.
If you are charged with Domestic Violence, feel free to call Alice Harris at 850-934-6554. She has the experience and knowledge to represent you at this challenging time and will seek the best possible resolution for you.
Many people think of burglary as breaking in and taking something from a home, a building, or a business. However, burglary does not require breaking in and does not necessarily involve theft. A simple description of burglary is to enter a place with the intent to commit a crime inside. All burglaries in Florida are felony crimes and, depending upon various factors and circumstances set out in the law, a burglary can be a felony of the first, second, or third degree with widely varying potential punishment.
If you have been accused of burglary, exercise your right to remain silent and do not speak to law enforcement about the situation. Instead, consult a lawyer experienced in criminal defense and let your lawyer handle the situation. Attorney Alice Harris will take your call at 850-934-6554 and will provide a free consultation to discuss your situation.
Stealing property is a serious criminal offense with potential punishments that vary with the value of property involved and the circumstances involved in the theft. If the property is worth more than $750, the theft is a third degree felony. If the value of stolen property is more than $100 but less than $750, the crime is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of a year in county jail. Thefts of property valued less than $100 are second degree misdemeanors. However, a third or subsequent petit theft is also a felony in Florida and can be punished by a prison sentence of up to 5 years.
Florida law also makes it a felony to steal particular kinds of property, regardless of value, including stop signs, motor vehicles, firearms, fire extinguishers mounted in a building for use, anything taken from a designated construction site, and controlled substances. In addition, thefts from victims 65 years of age or older are classified as felonies if the value is $300 or greater.
The laws on theft crimes are complex and such crimes can have potentially severe consequences for life. Attorney Alice Harris has handled many theft cases and will work diligently to obtain the best possible resolution of your case. Feel free to call 850-934-6554 for a free consultation.
The 2nd Amendment is often in the news, bringing attention to the “right to bear arms” enjoyed in the USA. However, to avoid potential legal problems, firearm users and owners should be aware that there are numerous laws, both state and federal, governing firearms use and possession.
Improper possession or use of a firearm can land a person in serious legal jeopardy and result in the loss of gun rights. Depending on the severity of the case, firearms charges can lead to prison and/or probation and permanent loss of the right to possess firearms.
Let me be your voice in court if you are facing a charge involving firearms and the right to bear arms. Phone consultations are free, so give Alice Harris a call at 850-934-6554 or send an email to email@example.com.
Drug possession is among the most commonly charged crimes and a conviction can have serious consequences, including potential jail or prison time, loss of driving privileges, and other sanctions. The laws of Florida prescribe mandatory-minimum prison sentences for certain drug crimes.
Possession of illegal drugs like methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine is a felony, even if the amount of the drug involved is minimal. Prescription medications can be legally possessed only by the person for whom they are prescribed. It is also a felony to possess chemicals or paraphernalia used to manufacture controlled substances or to cultivate, distribute or manufacture drugs.
Possession of even small amounts of marijuana is still illegal in Florida without a valid prescription and possession of more than 20 grams is a felony. (Remember also that possession of marijuana is still illegal under Federal law.
If you have questions or concerns regarding drug crimes, remember that phone consultations at The Alice Harris Law Firm are free of charge, so call Alice at 850-934-6554 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child abuse and neglect charges in Florida are felony crimes. As such, they are all serious crimes with possible prison terms ranging from 5 to 30 years depending upon the severity of the situation. The least serious of these charges is child neglect which involves a failure to provide appropriate care, supervision, and services, including food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine and medical services. Another form of child neglect is the failure to make a reasonable effort to protect a child from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.
Unfortunate situations such as extreme poverty, lack of education, mental illness or inability can lead to criminal charges against parents or other caregivers. Unjust accusations may be made by a parent seeking to gain advantage in a child custody determination. As heartbreaking as these crimes are, we are prepared to handle any case which alleges abuse or neglect.
If you are facing allegations of child abuse or neglect, remember to exercise your right to remain silent and do not talk with law enforcement. Ask for a lawyer and remain silent about the incident or situation. Let an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney advise and represent you. Call Alice Harris at 850-934-6554 or send an email to her at Alice@aliceharrislawfirm.com
With Florida’s reputation as a “haven” for white collar crime. The term “white collar crime” refers to crimes that are typically committed for financial gain and without violence. Originally meant to describe the type of crimes perpetrated in traditional “white collar” professions, federal and state prosecutors now vigorously pursue these types of criminal charges against people from all walks of lives. Real estate fraud, mail and wire fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, racketeering and conspiracy are just a few of the common examples. White Collar crimes are pursued vigorously, especially in Pensacola and Milton. White Collar crimes may also include charges of fraud, medicare fraud, public services fraud.
The penalties for white collar crime are severe (including lengthy prison sentences and large fines), and prosecutors have extensive resources to seek convictions. If you have been charged with a white collar crime or are the target of an investigation, it is vital that you seek legal counsel from an experienced criminal trial attorney immediately. Your freedom and perseveration of rights hang in the balance.
You have already been through the criminal justice system one time which resulted in you being placed on probation. When on probation, you cannot afford to violate the terms and conditions or fail to complete the tasks assigned to you. The result of a probation violation can be a jail or prison term. Even if you avoid revocation of probation and incarceration, you may be required to spend more time on probation, to pay additional costs and comply with additional conditions or be placed on a more demanding form of probation – community control. In short, your life can end up being disrupted even further.
When you are charged with violating probation you have the right to a hearing on whether you are guilty or not. During the hearing you have the right to:
- Assistance of counsel
- Present evidence on your behalf
- Present witnesses on your behalf
- Cross-examine witnesses who testify against you.
If you want a hearing, your judge will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty based on the “preponderance of evidence,” that is, whether it is more likely than not that you violated. If you are found guilty, your judge will decide your sentence within the boundaries of law.
If you decide to admit one or more allegations of violating probation, your attorney will advocate for the best outcome for you. Remember that if you violate probation, you could receive any sentence which could have been imposed initially.
Having an experienced, effective Florida criminal defense lawyer at your side is crucial to ensuring that your rights are protected when you are charged with violating probation. Alice Harris is available to provide you a no obligation, no charge initial consultation to outline what can be done if you are charged with violating probation.