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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyers

Defending Criminal Cases from Misdemeanors to Serious Felonies in Florida

We get it. You never thought you’d be here. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is something most people don’t think they’ll have to experience in their lifetimes. But we’re here for you, we’re ready to fight, and we understand what you’re going through.

Whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor or felony, it’s important to take the charges seriously. Even a seemingly simple charge like a DUI, reckless driving, or petit theft can have a major impact on your life. We can help.

The attorneys at Moses & Rooth have both worked on the other side of the fence. As prosecuting attorneys, we learned effective strategies for defending our clients. There’s nothing we aren’t prepared for when it comes to defending your rights.

We have over 36 years of combined legal trial experience – handling some of the toughest cases in Central Florida. We are the Firm to call when your future is at stake. Get a risk free consultation today.

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Why Choose Us As Your Criminal Defense Lawyers?

Experienced As former prosecutors, Andrew and Jay are uniquely prepared to defend your case. When you’re accused of a crime, you still have rights. Unfortunately, many prosecutors will attempt to bypass these rights in order to get a conviction or a guilty plea. Do not let this happen to you. We’ve successfully defended countless Florida criminal cases - and we’re ready to go to work for you, too.
Strategic Planning and strategy are essential when it comes to fighting criminal charges. We take every case we take seriously - we know how important it is to our clients to fight these charges. The defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth approach each case with the same mentality. We’re focused on creating and executing a strategy that provides our clients with best possible solutions and outcomes.
Determined We are fighters. We don’t give in easily, and we search for solutions from every angle. When you hire us, you’ve gained an ally that will see your case through to the end. Our focus is on achieving the best possible results for our clients, and we have an established track record of success. There is no such thing as a small case when it comes to criminal defense. Reach out and let’s get started today.

How Can We Help?

Moses & Rooth has the experience and skill to fight a variety of criminal charges. Whatever you’re facing, we’re ready to help. Here are just some of the cases we handle:

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Andrew Moses
Andrew has been practicing criminal law his entire career. After graduating from law school he began working as an Assistant State Attorney prosecuting cases in Orange County. His experience as a prosecutor helped him gain perspective of the criminal justice system and how the government established its cases. Read More

What Do Former Clients Have to Say About Us?

  • I cannot begin to tell you how very pleased I am with Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law. Attorney Rooth is the benchmark for all attorneys in my opinion. Why? He is knowledgeable , personable , extremely professional and above all else very patient. I never felt as though I was a number or hurried through the process. Attorney Rooth took the time to explain in detail my case , my options, and what I should expect however his defining strength is that he treated me with respect and I never once felt as though he was railroading me. I knew confidently that he was in my corner and fighting for 'ME" and helping "ME" get through my court cases.

    - T. F.

  • I had recently contracted the law firm Moses and Rooth in Orlando Florida/Orange County, Florida to further efforts to protect my CDL-A Georgia drivers license in Orange County traffic court. I feel fortunate to have made contact with Mr. Jay Rooth and the law firm of Moses and Rooth. I found Mr. Rooth and staff as professional, experienced, and confidant in following through on two recent traffic cases. At no time during the court process did I feel as if my needs were not being served. I can't say enough about the level of professionalism and the feeling of having a highly experienced and driven law firm represent me in Orange County traffic court. I feel the positive outcome of my case was a direct result of this firms experience, attention to detail and focus on the task at hand. My request for legal representation was completely satisfied. I could not have asked for a more positive and professional result! Thank you Mr. Rooth and staff for such dedicated and wonderful work!

    - Daniel C.

  • Jay Rooth has been the most professional,knowledgeable, and truthful lawyer I have ever encountered. Not only did he explain how the case would go and the best possible outcome, but he made it happen and was always there if I had a question. His knowledge of the law and contacts that he has will work for you, and he is very easy to work with in regards to payment options and methods. I have given him multiple referrals and all of the outcomesfrom those cases were outstanding. He will be my attorney for life. THANKS JAY!!!!!

    - Michael N.

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Jay R. Rooth
Jay Rooth is one of the founding partners of Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law. Jay Rooth served as an Assistant State Attorney in the Orange and Osceola County State Attorney’s Office Ninth Judicial Circuit. As a criminal defense attorney in Orlando, Florida, Jay is committed to providing his clients with experienced legal representation and achieving positive results. Read More

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My First Probation Violation—What Am I Facing?

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My First Probation Violation—What Am I Facing?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people in the United States receive probation sentences.  A failure to comply with the conditions of your probation will result in a probation violation.  The consequences of violating probation depends on several factors.  If you have been charged with a probation violation, you may be wondering what to do from here. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Moses & Rooth to challenge your probation violation today.  What Is Probation? Florida law defines probation as a form of community supervision requiring specified meetings or contacts with probation officers and other terms and conditions. In Florida, there are five types of probation. Straight Supervised Probation Straight supervised probation is traditional probation. Under this type of probation, a defendant must obey the terms and conditions of their probation and meet with their probation officer on a regular basis. Administrative Probation As with traditional probation, a defendant under administrative probation must obey the terms and conditions of their probation. However, the defendant need not meet with a probation officer regularly. Community Control Community control refers to supervised custody. This often includes wearing an ankle monitor and being subject to a curfew.  Community control probation severely restricts a defendant’s movement. Thus, the defendant must follow a strict schedule and can have his or her probation revoked for a failure to do so.  Drug Offender Probation Drug offender probation requires the defendant to follow a drug treatment plan with strict supervision. While on drug offender probation, the defendant must also submit to random drug tests.  Common Probation Violations Many are familiar with the concept of probation. However, many people are unaware of the consequences if you violate probation.  Probationary sentences include numerous rules and regulations, all of which the defendant must follow to comply with the court’s order. What constitutes a violation varies among each individual sentence.  Generally, a failure to comply with probation guidelines in any way amounts to a violation. Some of the most common probation violations include: Failure to pay probations fines; Failure to appear for court dates; Committing additional crimes; Possession of illegal drugs; Leaving the state without authorization; Failure to meet with your probation officer as required; Failure to complete required community services; and Violation of curfew. Failure to comply with your probation requirements can result in severe repercussions. If you are in violation of your probation, contact Moses & Rooth today to discuss your options. First Violation of Probation: Penalty Overview A probation violation is a serious matter. The violation can result in prison time, additional charges, or even an extended probationary sentence.  A probation officer that suspects a violation of probation has occurred will file a Violation of Probation Affidavit with the court. This document explains to the judge what information the probation officer has that made him or her believe the probation conditions were violated. The probation officer will also provide the judge with a recommendation for a sentence. If the judge finds reasonable grounds to believe the probation sentence has been violated, he or she can issue a warrant for the probationer’s arrest. Unlike in a normal arrest, a person accused of violating probation is not entitled to a bond. This means you will be held in custody until you can appear in front of the judge. Being Held Without Bond Even if the judge does not set a bond, an attorney can file a motion to request a bond hearing and argue that in your situation, a bond should be set.  We can provide the court with any required documentation to illustrate why you should be released. This may include proof of completed community service hours, letters of recommendation, or in-person testimony from your community members.  Sentencing for Your Probation Violation Eventually you will have to go in front of the judge for sentencing on your probation violation. the judge will typically consider the reason for the alleged probation violation, the recommendation of the probation officer, the original charges, and the criminal history of the defendant.  This is your opportunity to explain the reason for your probation violation. A criminal defense attorney can assist in preparing and presenting this testimony in the manner most helpful to your case.  How Will I Be Sentenced After My Probation Violation? Judges have very wide discretion in sentencing defendants who violate probation. After you give your side of the story to the court, the judge will make a determination as to the consequences, if any, you will face.  For minor violations, the court may determine that your probationary sentence will proceed as initially planned. This is especially likely if it is your first probation violation. However, the judge has the power to enhance your sentence. The judge may also modify the terms of your probation or even revoke your probation entirely. This could mean prison time.  Remember, the judge has full authority for this decision. Decisions on probation violations can range widely due to the discretionary nature of the sentencing.  Talk to An Orlando Probation Violation Attorney Today If you were arrested for a probation violation, do not hesitate to reach out to Moses & Rooth. Whether or not it’s your first probation violation, we understand how devastating this can be. Our team of attorneys has over 20 years of combined experience in criminal defense law. Thus, we have handled almost every situation you can imagine. We will defend your rights every step of the way. As former prosecutors, we know how the other side handles probation violations. This expertise will be invaluable in defending your probation violation. Having an attorney in your corner to challenge your probation violation and prepare evidence in your defense is critical to a favorable resolution in your case. Contact us today for a free case evaluation, and see how we can help.

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Finding a Lawyer for Possession with Intent to Distribute Charges

Facing a drug charge can be daunting. Being convicted of a drug charge is life-changing. In Florida, possession with intent to distribute is a serious crime that is subject to heavy penalties. Not only do you face prison time and fines, but as a convicted felon, you lose your right to vote and own a firearm. You may also find difficulties in other aspects of life, such as obtaining a mortgage and securing employment.  If you have been arrested for possession with intent to distribute, you need our team of skilled defense lawyers at Moses and Rooth, Attorneys at Law, to build a strong case for you. As former prosecutors, we can anticipate the state’s case and create a solid strategy to defend you. For experienced criminal defense legal assistance following Florida drug charges, contact Moses and Rooth.  Possession with Intent to Distribute Under Florida law, it is a crime to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. The severity of the drug charge, whether it be a felony or misdemeanor, depends on how Florida’s drug schedule classifies the substance.  Controlled Substance Schedules Controlled substances are categorized into schedules based on their potential for abuse (i.e. physical or psychological dependence) and accepted medical use. The schedules organize them by level of severity from Schedule I substances, having the highest potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical purpose, to Schedule V substances, being the least addictive and commonly used for medical treatment. Here are some examples:  Schedule I includes heroin, GHB, ecstasy or Molly, and LSD; Schedule II includes methamphetamine, oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), Adderall, and cocaine; Schedule III includes anabolic steroids, suboxone, and Vicodin; Schedule IV includes Xanax, Valium, Tramadol, and Ambien; and Schedule V includes Tylenol with codeine.  Possession with the intent to distribute a Schedule I substance is a third-degree felony, while the same drug charge involving a Schedule II substance is a second-degree felony. Drug sales of a Schedule V substance typically results in misdemeanor charges. How to Prove a Possession with Intent to Distribute Charge To be successful on charges of possession with intent to distribute, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: You had possession of the controlled substance with the intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver the substance; The substance is listed under Florida’s drug schedule; and You had knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance.  Your entire case will be dismissed if the prosecution fails to prove even one element of the crime.  Possession Possession can be actual or constructive. You have actual possession over the substance if it is found on you or is somewhere that you can reach and you have control over that place. Constructive possession is where the substance is not physically on you, but it is in a place you have control over and you know or should know the substance is there.  Intent to sell When determining if you have the intent to sell, the prosecution will look at a multitude of factors, such as the following:  Admissions by you or your associates of the intent to sell the drugs; Quantity of the substance found; Packaging of the substance; Presence of sales paraphernalia, such as scales, baggies, and rolling papers; Large amounts of cash; Presence of weapons; and Records of sales or debts owed.  It is common for the prosecution to take a simple possession charge and elevate it to a possession with intent to distribute charge by pointing to any one of the factors listed above.  Penalties Drug charges in Florida are serious crimes that come with hefty jail time and fines. For a first-degree felony possession with intent to distribute charge, you face up to 30 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. A second-degree felony charge also carries a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in jail. For a third-degree felony charge, you could spend 5 years in jail and be fined $5,000. Misdemeanors carry possible jail time of 60 days to a year and a fine of $500-$1,000. The level of a possession with intent to distribute charge depends on four factors: The type and amount of substance,  The location of the substance’s distribution,  Whether the distribution involved a minor, and  The defendant’s criminal history.  These factors can also support elevating felony possession charges in Florida to possession with intent to distribute charges.  Type and Amount of Substance The penalty for possessing a controlled substance is impacted by the type and amount of substance involved in the crime. When determining if your Florida drug charge is a felony or misdemeanor, we look at how it is categorized in the Florida drug schedule discussed above.  The quantity of drugs police found is equally important. Possessing even a small amount of a Schedule I substance (such as ecstasy) could result in a third-degree felony charge. Location of the Distribution  The location of the alleged drug sale could elevate a charge. Florida law prohibits the possession and distribution of a controlled substance in, on, or within 1,000 feet of the following places: Childcare facilities; Public or private elementary, middle, or secondary schools between 6 AM and 12 AM; Public or private post-secondary educational institutions; State, county, or municipal parks, community centers, or public recreational facilities; Places of worship; and  Public housing.  The penalty also varies based on the location of the drug distribution. For example, Florida imposes a minimum jail sentence of three years for selling heroin within 1,000 feet of a public elementary school, but that required jail time does not apply if the sale took place near a church.   Involving a Minor If the defendant is over 18 and either sells drugs to a minor or uses a minor to facilitate a sale, the defendant will be charged with a felony. The degree varies based on the type of drug, but can result in a 15 to 30 year jail sentence and a $10,000 fine.   Criminal History  Florida imposes harsher penalties for repeat offenders.  A...

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Local Criminal Defense Attorneys Representing Capital Rioter

Local Man Identified in Images from Scene at Capitol Adam Johnson, aka “Lectern Guy”, has quickly become internet infamous.  For those not familiar, Mr. Johnson, was not only one of the people who took part in last weeks riots, but he is also the one who posed with Speaker Pelosi’s lectern.             According to the Statement of Facts Mr. Johnson was identified in the picture as being in the rotunda of the Capital building.  According to the Speaker’s staff, the lectern was stored in the Speaker’s Suite before the riots began.  Fortunately, the lectern was found on the Senate side of the capital and was not being sold on eBay as some places had reported.             On January 6, 2021, Mr. Johnson may have made the worst decision of his life, however, he seems to have been making wiser decisions since then by hiring two high-powered local criminal defense attorneys, David Bigney and Dan Eckhart.             While Mr. Johnson’s case is being prosecuted in the DC Circuit, he will appear today in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa and will be in front of Judge Christopher P. Tuite.  Johnson is currently incarcerated and in the custody of the US Marshals, but he will be transported to court for the hearing.  Mr. Johnson will be told the charges he is currently facing and perhaps most importantly his continued incarceration will be discussed.             The US government may seek detention in which case the Federal Magistrate will determine if they feel that pretrial release is appropriate or if Mr. Johnson will continue to be detained.  Alternatively, the Magistrate could rule that Mr. Johnson will remain in custody until the Judge in DC make a ruling on continued detention.             The Court may consider detention if they consider Mr. Johnson to be a flight risk, if they feel that he is a danger to the community, or if the Judge determines that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of Mr. Johnson.               Should the Judge determine that release is appropriate, they have a number of conditions that could be imposed as a condition of release.  They include: Electronic monitoring Travel restrictions Curfew A prohibition on possession of a firearm or other weapon A prohibition on the use of drugs or alcohol A monetary bond A restriction on communication with certain people A restriction on accessing Social Media or Internet Forums Updates Coming Soon Today will be interesting for Mr. Johnson and a number of questions will need to be answered.  Will the Government agree to release or seek detention?  Will the Judge go along with the request for release or continued incarceration?  Will the government give us some insight into what Mr. Johnson’s role was on January 6?  Was he present when the Capital was initially breached or did enter later on?  Is he alleged to have caused any destruction?  Was he the one who took the Speaker’s lectern? We will follow up on the case after the 2pm initial appearance

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