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Why is it important to hire a lawyer right away if I am arrested in Florida

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Published on May 29, 2018

Speaker 1: Hello, my name is Robert Gluck. I am a practicing criminal defense lawyer here in the state of Florida. I started my career as an assistant state attorney working under Janet Reno in the Date County State Attorney's Office, and I've handled every type of state-level criminal case from drug cases to robbery cases to murder cases, everything that you could think of. Many people have asked me, why is it important to hire a lawyer right away if I'm arrested or even if I find out that the police are investigating me and that I might be arrested?
Well, the reason that it's important to hire a lawyer right away is because, even if the police department that's investigating you arrests you and charges you with a crime, they are not the ones that make the ultimate decision on what actual charge you will be facing when you face the judge. That decision is made by an assistant state attorney in a unit in the state attorney's office that's in each county in the state of Florida. And it's called the felony screening unit. There are lawyers that sit in an office all day they. They have police officers come into the office and tell them a story about what happened and why they arrested someone.
Well, you, as the person who was arrested, believe it or not, have a right to hire your own lawyer at this early stage of the preceding, so early the charges haven't even been filed yet. And you have the right to have your lawyer try and influence that felony screening prosecutor to make a different charging decision than they may have made if you didn't have a lawyer. For example, I represented someone who was addicted to drugs that committed a robbery. He said he had a gun, and he was charged with an armed robbery. He definitely did the robbery and was guilty of something, but the truth is, he never had a gun.
And if I didn't get hired right away and go see the assistant state attorney that was handling this case to beg them to go back and talk to the victims and ask them if they truly ever saw a gun ... She did that, and she came back and she filed the case as a strong armed robbery, which means without a weapon. Well, that meant all the difference in the world for my client because, instead of sitting in jail for nine months waiting for trial, I got him released from jail and got him into a drug treatment program, which is where he needed to be.
Sometimes, hiring a lawyer right away makes the world of difference. So, if it's your liberty that's at stake, do you really want to wait and take that chance? I would say, "no." Call me. I'll be there to help you anytime.

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