Criminal Law

When your state or federal government has accused you of a crime, your freedom, your property, and sometimes, your very life are at stake.  We realize how serious your circumstances are at this moment.  We understand the risks.  We know that you are worried and perhaps very afraid.  Do not give up.  Call us, we may be able to help you.

Every case is different.  Many times, there are a range of options available to you to resolve your case.  As we prepare your case, we work to find creative solutions to your legal challenges.  If you become our client, we will work hard to free you from the burden of a criminal charge in state or federal court.  Call us to talk about your case.

When you need a fighter…call Duke Fagan.

ALL CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL

YOU ARE UNDER ARREST”.  These four words are some of the most terrifying, disrupting, and life-changing words a person can ever hear.  I hope they are never spoken to you.  If they are, you will be frightened, but do not despair.  First, DO NOT FORGET you have constitutional rights.  Remember you ancestors gave precious blood to secure them.  DO NOT GIVE THEM AWAY.  They are yours, the police want you to forget you have them, they want you to talk to them.  They know you are afraid and they will try to make you more afraid.  This is the law in Florida:  no policeman, sheriff or any other category of law enforcement officer can charge you with a crime.  They can arrest you on probable cause but they cannot charge you, try you, or convict you.  Only a State Attorney or a Grand Jury can charge you with a crime in Florida.  If you are arrested the only thing you have to say is your name, your date of birth, and your address.  Be polite but say only one thing more “I WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER”.  Do not believe they want to help you – they don’t.  If they wanted to help you, you would not be handcuffed and under arrest.  No matter how nice they seem, no matter what they say, just politely tell them your name, your address, and your date birth.  Every time they ask you a question or ask you to explain yourself, just politely say “I WANT TO TALK TO A LAWYER”.  You will then be taken to jail (and anything you said other than your name, your address, and your date of birth will make it very difficult to get you out).  You will be booked, and given access to a telephone.  As soon as you get to a telephone, call your lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer,  call 904-733-1234.  You can call collect, we will accept the charges.

The police cannot take away your precious constitutional rights but you can give them away.  The police will do everything they can, including tell you outrageous lies (unfortunately, it is legal for the police to lie to you) to get you to give your constitutional rights away.  Once you give them away, YOU CANNOT GET THEM BACK.  When you are under arrest, they are all you have left.  Do not give them away.  Your constitutional rights are not a “technicality”.  They are basic, fundamental rights that you are entitled to such as freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to remain silent.  The Fifth Amendment (your Constitutional right to remain silent) is there to protect the innocent.  This principle has been affirmed for more than 100 years. Here is what Justice Field of the United States Supreme Court had to say about your right to remain silent:

It is not everyone who can safely venture on the witness stand though entirely innoncent of the charge against him.  Nervousness when facing others and attempting to explain offenses charged against him will often confuse and embarass him to such a degree as to increase rather than remove prejudices against him.  It is not everyone, however honest, who would therefore, willingly be placed in the witness stand.

Wilson v. United States, 149 U.S. 60, 66 (1893)

Justice Field was not only Supreme Court Justice to speak clearly and unequivocally about the Fifth Amendment’s protections for the innocent.  Justice Robet Jackson, who was the Chief United States Prosecutor at the Nuremburg Trials at the end of World War II said:

[A]ny lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to the police under any circumstances.”

Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49, 59 (1949)

The right to remain silent is just one of several very important Constitutional rights that apply in a criminal case.  If you are charged with a crime, call our office to find out how we can use your Constitutional rights can help you.

When you need a fighter…call Duke Fagan.


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