florida criminal defense lawyer


If you’ve been arrested / accused of a crime, there is nothing more important than knowing and understanding your rights, so that you can make the right legal decisions and help your case as the legal process moves along. Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Donnie Murrell can answer your questions. Below is some information that you need to know.

Miranda Rights              Search Warrant

Your ‘Miranda Rights’ apply when you are first detained / arrested. When being questioned:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. If you choose to speak, anything you say can be used against you in court.
  3. If you decide to answer any questions, you may stop at any time and all questioning must cease.
  4. You have a right to consult with your attorney before answering any questions. You have the right to have your attorney present if you decide to answer any questions, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you or appointed for you by the court without cost to you before any further questions may be asked.

If you are arrested in Florida, the decision whether to answer any questions is completely yours. You should give it careful consideration because oral statements, as well as written statements, are all usable as evidence against you in court.

If you are forced, coerced, or offered any inducement to sign a document (or if you are threatened), you should tell your attorney immediately. If you do not have an attorney, you should ask to see one immediately. If you can’t afford one, a Public Defender (lawyer) will be assigned to your case. It’s important to note that once you request a lawyer, police cannot continue to question you.

You have the right to be informed of the charges against you and the allowable penalties; and you have the right to have a judge decide whether you should be released from jail until your trial.

Also keep in mind these basic rights of a citizen under arrest, as stated in the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Amendments of the "Bill of Rights" of the United States Constitution.

  • "No person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law . . ."(Fifth Amendment).
  • "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury . . . and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense."
    (Sixth Amendment). 
  • "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor shall cruel and unusual punishments be inflicted." (Eighth Amendment).

Since the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, the states have also had to guarantee these rights. This amendment provides that: "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of the citizens of the United States..."

Search Warrants

A warrant is not required for a pat-down frisk when police officers reasonably suspect that you are armed. A search without a warrant is also proper when contraband is in the officers’ plain view, or when the officers are making a lawful arrest.

A search warrant is a written order by a judge directing the police to search a certain place or person for specified property and to seize that property. The warrant must describe the person or place to be searched and the property to be seized. They must show you the search warrant and give you a copy of the warrant.

In most instances, anything unlawfully taken by police officers cannot be used as evidence against you. However, if the officers have reasonably relied on a warrant which is later declared invalid, or if the officers would have discovered the evidence through other means, the evidence could still be used against you.

This is basic, limited information on your legal rights, and each client and situation is different and unique. To ensure your rights are protected it is recommended that you utilize the services of an experienced Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney. If you or a family member has questions regarding your legal rights, you are welcome to contact the law office of L. D. Murrell, P.A.

L. D. Murrell, P.A. serves all of Florida including the following counties: Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, and Okeechobee County, and handles both state and federal criminal matters.


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