Tampa Criminal Defense Law Firm, Law Offices of Ben Stechschulte, Blog

General Criminal Defense

Expansion of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law

Recent changes in Florida’s Stand Your Ground defense shifts the burden of proof from the defendant to the prosecutor. While some decry this change as placing an unreasonable burden on the prosecutor, board certified criminal defense attorney Ben Stechschulte believes this shift is appropriate and necessary. Learn more about the Stand Your Ground law and attorney Stechschulte’s position on the recent changes in our latest blog.

Under Investigation For Sex Offenses? Hire an Attorney Immediately

Former congressman Anthony Weiner is under federal investigation by the US Attorney’s Office regarding child pornography. While no charges have yet been filed, Mr. Weiner’s attorneys are working hard to protect their client’s interests. This case is an excellent example of why it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as you become aware you are under investigation rather than waiting for charges to be filed.

Tampa Bay Area Criminal Attorney Sees Local Situation Consistent With National Incarceration Rate Inequalities Across Counties

One of the best strategies to reduce both sentences and rates of recidivism for many types of first time criminals is through the use of drug and mental rehabilitation programs offered by counties.  A study by the New York Times shows that smaller rural counties have much higher incarceration rates than larger counties. This disparity can be largely attributed to the use of rehab programs to greater degree in large counties compared with harsher penalties preferred in smaller counties. The counties around greater Tampa Bay show patterns congruent with the national trends in the New York Times article. 

Management of Florida’s Felony Scoresheet

Florida ranks felony offenses with a severity scale of 1 to 10 on the Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet to help determine if a defendant should face prison time and, if so, its length. It is calculated by the prosecutor and then presented to the defense attorney. As a former prosecutor, Ben Stechschulte has the experience and understanding of how the scores are calculated and will use that knowledge in developing strategies to minimize potential sentences the scoresheet suggests.

The Bail Bond System

Don’t navigate the bail bond process without consulting an experience criminal defense attorney like Ben Stechschulte. An experienced attorney may have you released on your own recognition or may be able to reduce or keep the original bail amount set so the client can return home and continue working instead of staying in jail until their court date.

Most Common Questions New Clients Ask

If you or a loved one has been arrested there are many questions you might have.  Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney, Ben Stechschulte helps answer some of the commonly asked questions by new clients that include: 

  • "Am I facing jail time?"
  • "Will I have to go to court?"
  • "Was my Miranda rights violated?"

Miranda Rights - What Television Doesn’t Tell You

Unlike the usual procedure shown on popular television shows, you deserve your Miranda rights upon custody and questioning, not just arrest.  And when you do receive them, demand your right to an attorney, not silence. 

Arabic, French Creole, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Spanish – Representing Clients where English is their Second Language (ESL)

Language and cultural differences can create unforeseen challenges when an attorney represents a client for whom English is a second language.  Skilled criminal defense attorneys, such as Ben Stechschulte, are comfortable with English as Second Language clients and have the resources necessary to effectively communicate with them to assure the best possible representation.

Creative Sentencing Solutions

If you are charged with a crime and face jail time, an experienced criminal defense attorney can devise a creative sentencing solution that allows you to keep your job and protects your family,reputation and even immigration status. 

Defending Criminal Complaints Against Physicians

A physician can lose their medical license when a patient files a medical treatment complaint against them.  Contact an experienced state and federal attorney who has experience working with the Department of Health to argue your case.  

An Immediate PTI agreement Could Help Avoid 3rd Degree Felony Charges in Hillsborough

In Hillsborough County if you are arrested for a 3rd degree felony immediately contact an experienced defense attorney who can see if you qualify for the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) before charges are even filed.  If you qualify for the PTI program and fulfilling your obligration, there will be no public acknowledgement of the situation on your record.

Driving on a Suspended License

There is a difference between driving on a suspended license and driving without a license.  While the later one is easier to dismiss by showing a valid driver’s license, the first can carry tougher penalties.  But for many people, they are not even aware that their license is suspended until they are pulled over and receive a Driving on a Suspended License violation.  Instead of paying the fine, accept the court appearance and contact a criminal defense lawyer to build a defense that you were unaware it was a suspended license.   

Police Use of Body Cameras

The city of Tampa will begin supplying the police department with body cameras that will record their interactions while on duty that will protect not only the safety but the rights of both parties.  These videos can become either, the best or worse evidence during a case, depending upon the interactions with the defendant and the police.   A defense attorney may be able use the video to argue the officer's written documentation.  Overall, the camera will help protect both the police and public.

Laser Pointer Crimes

It is illegal to point a laser at law enforcement, at an airplane, or anyone’s eyes.  Depending on the severity of the crime, it may be tried in either the state or federal courts. By hiring an experienced attorney immediately, they will try to keep the case in the state judicial system which would allow for a better outcome for the defendant.

Search Warrant Required Before Tampa Police May Search Cell Phone

During an arrest police can sieze your phone and look at it to make sure it does not harm anyone, however they cannot look at your texts, photos, email or other content on the phone.  A warrant is required to review this personal informatoin that was once only stored at home.  If you find yourself in this curcumstance, contact a personal criminal defense attorney immediatley to work on challenging the basis of the warrant.

Protecting Your Florida Professional License After Being Charged with a Crime

If you hold an occupational license and are charged or convicted of a crime, you maybe jeopardizing more than the common defendant.  By contacting a Tampa lawyer experienced in professional license and criminal defense such as the attorneys at Stechschulte Nell, their main objective is to have the charges dropped or to negotiate for you to continue to hold your license, to maintain your professional status and income.

Staying Out of Jail on a Probation Violation in Tampa

It is important to understand there are two types of probation violations, "technical" and "new-law."  Both can result in lengthy jail time before your case is resolved.  It is important that you speak to your probation lawyer immediately if you think you may have violated your probation. They will work with you to try to avoid more jail time, loss of income and embarrassment of violating your probation.

Several Tampa Police Officers Dismissed for Misconduct

Everyone respects an honorable police officer using his life to upold public order and safety.  Unfortunately the last few months have proven that some do not deserve this position due to misconduct.  If you are accused of a crime, you need a criminal attorney that will check the officer's background for anything that might compromise his integrity and how your case was handled.

Experienced Lawyers Know the Judges

Every professional, even judges, have unique personal experiences and education that affect tendencies shown toward a variety of situations.  An experienced attorney, one who has worked on both sides of the bench with many of Tampa's judges, will present your case in the fairest, best possible way, tailored to the judge for your case. 

Maintaining Employment After an Arrest

Besides the interaction with the justice system, there are a lot of things a criminal defense attorny can do to help an arrested person keep the situation from affecting other aspects of their life.  An experienced attorney can help mitigate the public exposure of your arrest to the internet as well how it might affect your job or military position. 

Silence Can be Incriminating

When facing the prospect of questioning by police in any matter, if you have been involved in a crime or not, invoke your right for an attorney.  While you do have a right to simply remain silent, that silence can speak volumes during a trial. 

Out of State Residents With Warrants in Florida

Warrants issued in Florida often go unoticed for an extended period of time if the person is not located in the state.  Awareness of the warrant may surface during a routine activity years later such as applying for a job.  A lawyer in Florida can help you immensely in taking care of your obligations pertaining the warrant.

Loud Music Leads to Stand Your Ground Defense

An altercation over the volume of music leads to a death.

Florida Investigation into "Stand Your Ground" Results in No Changes

A Florida House task-force recommends no changes to the law.

Basketball Court Shooter Denied Immunity Under 'Stand Your Ground'

Basketball confrontation results in death.