Criminal Defense FAQ

Common Criminal Defense Questions

The Law Offices of Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr. serves to defend those who have been wrongfully accused of crimes in the West Palm Beach area. If you have questions about your charges or need an aggressive defense attorney on your side, I have the answers and experience that you need.

Call (561) 475-2752 today for your free consultation!

  • What should I do when I have been charged with a crime?

    If you've been arrested, don't speak to anyone until you have an attorney by your side. Your first priority after an arrest should be to speak with an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer about your case so that you are protected from incrimination. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and help you navigate the situation with the least damage to your reputation and freedoms.

    I have served as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney in West Palm Beach. Throughout the years of my service, I have seen countless criminal cases and understand the criminal process from start to finish. My 25 years of experience will prove invaluable to your case because I understand how the system works and how to fight for your rights. If you have been charged with a crime, you should be proactive about your future and seek the help of an experienced attorney immediately. There is no time to wait.

    Learn more on what do you after the arrest.

  • Will I go to jail?

    Whether or not you go to jail depends on your alleged offense. When someone is arrested, they are usually placed in a holding cell until their arraignment. If your alleged offense is serious enough, then you could be held in jail after your arraignment until or unless bail is posted. Some misdemeanors will result in a jail sentence upon conviction, and felony convictions will result in imprisonment in state prison.

    For more in depth information, visit the full page by clicking here.

  • What penalties am I facing?

    Criminal penalties vary depending on the crime. Misdemeanors usually result in a fine and possible imprisonment in the county jail. Felonies result in higher fines and possible imprisonment in state prison.

    For more information on penalties, visit the full page here.

  • Is it possible to fight a DUI charge?

    These are common charges for DUI in the state and countless individuals fail to fight them, simply taking on the repercussions instead. There are actually a number of valid defenses to a charge that can clear a suspect's name and allow them to avoid the penalties. One type of defense has to do with the tests that are administered. It might be a field sobriety test or a chemical test. Arguments can include that the test was not administered correctly, there were influencing factors or even that a Breathalyzer device was faulty. It should also be looked into whether or not the arresting officer had reasonable cause to make the stop in the first place. Working with an attorney is an excellent idea as they will better understand the types of defenses that exist and how to assess a situation to determine the right option.

    For more, see the full page here.

  • I was arrested for DUI with proof that I was over the legal limit. Can I avoid a conviction?

    Each case is unique, and there is no pat answer to resolving a DUI charge, but there are certain questions that have to be asked about any drunk-driving arrest. Did the police officer have probable grounds for suspicion that prompted him to pull you over, or was it an illegal traffic stop? Was the field sobriety test or Breathalyzer test that determined whether you were over the limit performed flawlessly, or were there factors present that could invalidate the test, such as faulty operation of the testing equipment or environmental conditions that would make it difficult to pass? If you work with an attorney who has a background with DUI cases you may be able to prevent a guilty verdict despite any evidence against you.
  • What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

    These are two serious forms of criminal accusations. They can both come with detrimental penalties from the court including jail time, license suspension, costly fines, probation and more. A felony is known to be the more serious charge between the two and can come with an even higher level of repercussions. A misdemeanor is still significant through and a guilty verdict can be harmful to those that suffer one. Some crimes can be considered a felony, while others remain a misdemeanor. Other crimes will walk the fence and it will be dependent on the details of the situation to determine which way they will be charged.

    For more specifics on these differences, visit the full page here!

  • How much will it cost me to hire an attorney?

    The final cost of your legal defense will depend on how much effort it takes to resolve your case. Misdemeanor crimes frequently entail less work than a felony crime like drug trafficking, but no two cases are the same and it is impossible to predict with 100% accuracy the cost of any criminal defense case. The alternative to hiring a skilled lawyer to represent you is exposing yourself to an increased risk of a guilty verdict and being forced to serve a term in jail or prison, pay fines that commonly range in the thousands of dollars, perform community service and live with a criminal record. I believe that every American is innocent until proven guilty, and at my firm you can set up a payment plan so that you can enjoy the benefits of professional legal counsel.

    For more information on this topic, see our full page here.

  • What can I do if I have already been convicted?

    Being charged for a crime is a difficult place to be. You fear what could happen if convicted. If you have already suffered a guilty sentencing you have already had to deal with this. You may have completed your sentencing but are still facing difficulties from the lingering cloud that is left by a conviction. It can hinder you in many ways, including restraining many individuals from being able to retain a job or live in certain areas. An expungement can help solve this issue. For those that have not been given an expungement, the information regarding a conviction is open to the public. It can be found within seconds by a potential employer conducting a background check of an individual they are considering hiring. When an expungement is granted by the court this information will be sealed and can only be accessed by certain parties.
  • Is stalking a crime?

    Some people may not recognize how serious their actions are considered. It may have been innocent in nature but if the attention that is being given is unwanted by the recipient, then it can turn into a criminal act to continue on. It can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony charge depending on the circumstances, such as if serious threats were made or it is against a child that is younger than 16.
  • What is sex offender registration?

    Sex offender registration is required of most convicted sex offenders. They must provide their personal information - including their name, physical description, and address - to be made available for public search and view. This allows anyone to know exactly who in their neighborhood, or anywhere in the nation, is a convicted sex offender.
  • What is considered "disorderly conduct?"

    Many people may not recognize when they are out with their friends, just how rowdy they may appear to those around them. After a few drinks others may not realize how loud or out of hand they are being perceived as. Disorderly conduct involves disturbing the peace, such as causing a scene in a public area whether it is through indecency or fighting. This is misdemeanor charge but it can be further elevated when other charges are made with it, such as resisting arrest from an officer. The charge on its own can include fines and jail time as a punishment.
  • Is there anything that I can do to take the crime off my record?

    In Florida there are the options of having a record sealed and having it expunged. Sealing a record means that the general public will no longer have access to the information. In s. 943.059(4)(a) of the Florida Statutes, there are certain agencies or entities of the government that will still be able to access this information. Expunging a record will mean that the different entities will not be able to access the information without a court order. Without a court order they would only be informed that the content on the record has been expunged. Sealing and expunging are two incredibly valuable options that can allow you to put the past in the past. The best option though is to effectively defend against the charges in the first place.

    For more in-depth information, see the full webpage here.

  • Why should I hire Attorney Phillip T. Ridolfo, Jr.?

    As a dedicated West Palm Beach criminal attorney, I have more than 25 years of experience defending clients facing all types of criminal charges. From minor misdemeanors to serious felonies, from shoplifting to sexual battery and murder, I can provide the relentless and effective defense that you need. I am a former prosecutor with experience on both sides of the courtroom, allowing me to anticipate your opponent's moves in court. If you need a defense lawyer, I can provide the representation that you need.
  • What happens when officers don't read my rights?

  • What are my rights when dealing with the police?

  • What should I do if I'm facing assault charges?

    If you are facing assault charges, see our full web page by clicking here.
  • What should I do if I'm facing domestic violence charges?

    If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges, see our full webpage on the topic here.

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