Our client was charged with two very serious felonies with 20 years of sentencing exposure. Count one was Felony Battery with a Pregnant Victim which as charged is a second-degree felony with a potential penalty of 15 years in prison.
Count two was charged as Felony Domestic Violence, which is a third-degree felony with a possible penalty of 5 years in prison.
To make matters worse, this client was also on felony probation at the time of the arrest for these new charges. The Violation of Probation (VOP) added an additional 5 years of prison exposure, plus the classification as a Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern.
Facing a very difficult situation and a client desperate to get out of jail, we pushed forward. The new felony charges were defensible and could be won at trial, but we also needed to get her case to court — and before the Judge as soon as possible.
So we set her case for a hearing to set the bond, knowing that with Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern classification, obtaining a bond was still a very tall order. However, in this scenario, as a criminal defense attorney, we have to be opportunistic for our clients, especially those in jail–with little hope.
As the bond hearing approached, we reached a last-minute deal with the prosecutor in which the new charges would be completely dropped and she would be reinstated on her previous violation. And that is exactly how it turned out.
On the court date, she was released from jail and any offender classifications or enhancements were avoided. We were also able to maintain a withhold of adjudication on the previous Felony VOP case. This turned out to be a key detail (often overlooked by many attorneys) because she was able to avoid a formal felony conviction on her criminal record….and thus avoid the permanent label of being a convicted felon.
** Florida Law requires this statement: Each case is unique, such as Okaloosa County Case Number 2014-CF-193X, and no guarantee is made about the result we may be able to obtain.