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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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DUIs and Marijuana in Florida

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DUIs and Marijuana in Florida

Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of marijuana can be frustrating. Attitudes about marijuana are changing across the country. But in Florida, cannabis is still illegal for recreational use. Medical marijuana is legal, but you are still not allowed to drive while high. You can get a DUI for weed, even if you have a prescription to use it.  But don’t assume an arrest equals a conviction. At Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law, we’re here to fight for you and your freedom. Whether you or a loved one is facing DUI marijuana charges, give us a call at 407-720-8507 to set up a free, confidential consultation.  Can You Get a DUI for Being High?  Yes, you can be convicted of a drug DUI if you are caught driving while high. Florida’s driving under the influence law, Florida Statutes section 316.193, says you can be punished for driving or being in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of any chemical or controlled substance that’s impaired your normal faculties.  While you may have thought you could only get a DUI for having a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or higher, the truth is that you can get a DUI for being intoxicated by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.  All a prosecutor has to do is prove:  You were impaired because of a substance, and You were driving or in control of a vehicle.  Call our Orlando DUI defense attorneys as soon after an arrest as you can. There are ways to defend yourself, but you shouldn’t go down this road alone.  How Can a Police Officer Detect Marijuana?  A police officer can pull you over if they have a reasonable suspicion that you’re committing a crime. For example, they might see you commit a traffic violation like rolling through a stop sign or speeding. They might suspect impaired driving if they see you driving erratically, such as randomly slowing down and speeding up, crossing lane lines, or weaving in and out of traffic without using your signals. Another possibility is that the officer witnessed you or a passenger smoke something that looked like a joint or pipe.  Once the officer’s pulled you over, they’ll observe several things:  Whether they smell cannabis; Your appearance, including whether your eyes are red or bloodshot, and Whether your speech appears delayed or slurred when you answer their questions.  Call a defense attorney right away if you believe the officer didn’t have any reason to suspect that you were high.  Chemical Testing and Implied Consent in Florida  If the officer notices signs of intoxication, they may ask you to blow into a roadside breath test or get out of the vehicle to perform field sobriety tests. You are not legally obligated to do any of these things.  You can politely decline to take a roadside breath test or perform any field sobriety tests. However, that won’t stop an officer from arresting you.  If the officer arrests you for a marijuana DUI, they can ask you to submit to a urine or blood test. Under Florida Statutes §316.1932, Florida’s implied consent law, by accepting the terms of your driver’s license you’ve already agreed to submit to chemical testing if the police arrest you for a DUI.  If you refuse to take a urine or blood test, you can face civil and criminal consequences. A refusal causes a one-year driver’s license suspension, and a second refusal leads to an 18-month suspension. A prosecutor also can charge you with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail.  What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana?  The potential punishment depends on whether you’ve been convicted of one or more DUIs before. It doesn’t matter whether you’re facing a DUI based on alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs.  First DUI (Misdemeanor) Penalties Up to six months in jail; Fines between $500 and $1,000; License suspension between six months and one year; 50 hours of community service (or a buyout option); and 10-day vehicle impoundment.  Second DUI (Misdemeanor) Penalties Up to nine months in jail; Fines between $1,000 and $2,000; Ignition interlock device; License suspension between 180 days and one year; One year of probation; A psychosocial evaluation; 50 hours of community service (or a buyout option); and 10-day vehicle impoundment.  Third DUI (Misdemeanor or Felony) Penalties Up to one year in jail (Up to five years for a felony); Fines between $2,000 and $5,000; Ignition interlock device; One-year license suspension (Up to 10 years for a felony); One year of probation; and A psychosocial evaluation; 50 hours of community service (or a buyout option); and 90-day vehicle impoundment.  Fourth DUI (Felony) Penalties Up to five years in prison; Fines up to $5,000; Permanent license revocation; 50 hours of community service (or a buyout option); and 90-day vehicle impoundment. Whether this is your first DUI or you’ve had multiple DUI offenses, you should have an experienced criminal defense attorney represent you. You deserve a vigorous defense to pursue a dismissal, acquittal, or lenient sentence.  Defending Against a Florida Marijuana DUI  There are several possible DUI defenses, including arguing:  The officer didn’t have a valid reason to perform the traffic stop; The officer conducted an illegal search and seizure; The prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence to prove you were impaired, including chemical test results; You have a valid prescription for medical marijuana use and were not impaired at the time; Despite a chemical test showing trace amounts of THC, the prosecutor lacks evidence of impairment; or The prosecutor can’t prove you were in control of a vehicle at the time.  We encourage you to call an Orlando DUI defense lawyer to talk about your options.  Call Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law Today  If you were recently arrested for a marijuana DUI in Orlando or Orange County, FL, let us handle your DUI case. We bring years of trial experience to the table. And because we believe representation should...

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How to Beat a Simple Possession Charge in Florida

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How to Beat a Simple Possession Charge in Florida

If you or a loved one were recently arrested for possessing a small amount of drugs, call Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law right away. We’ll explain the law, the potential sentence, and how to beat a drug charge.  Never assume you have to plead guilty for simple possession in Florida. You can fight.  What Is Simple Possession?  In Florida, a possession charge means you had control over or access to drugs, but you didn’t manufacture, sell, or distribute them. Simple possession refers to a small amount of drugs for personal use.  Legally, you can possess drugs in two ways: actual or constructive possession. Actual possession means the drugs were on your person, like in your pocket, bookbag, or purse. Constructive possession means you had access to them, but they weren’t on your person. Instead, they’re usually in a vehicle or residence.  What to Expect from a Simple Possession Charge  Drug possession is either a misdemeanor or a first, second, or third-degree felony. Possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana, some Schedule V drugs, or drug paraphernalia is a first-degree misdemeanor. You face up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. Everything else is usually a felony.  For example, it’s a third-degree felony for possession of Schedule IV and III drugs. More specifically, possession of fewer than 28 grams of cocaine, 4 grams of heroin, 1 gram of LSD, 14 grams of meth, or 10 grams of MDMA are all third-degree felonies. You face a sentence of up to five years in prison and fines up to $5,000.  Possession of more than 10 grams of a Schedule I drug, like heroin, is a first-degree felony. The sentence is up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.  Talk with a drug crime defense lawyer right away about the level of the charge and potential sentence. Florida sentencing laws are complicated. The penalties can add up quickly, and you face a host of collateral consequences in addition to jail time and fines. You may have to deal with probation, a driver’s license suspension, loss of federal financial aid for school, difficulty getting a job, and more.  How Do I Beat a Drug Possession Charge?  Stay Silent  The first step in beating a simple possession charge is knowing your rights. After your arrest, you have the right to remain silent and to get a lawyer. The police should tell you this as they read your Miranda Rights to you.  The only thing you should say to the police is, “I’m invoking my right to remain silent, and I want a lawyer.”  After that, don’t say anything else. The police may try a number of different tactics to get you to talk and effectively waive your right to talk to your lawyer first. Don’t let them. You do not have to be rude. Just assert your right to remain silent until you speak with your lawyer. Don’t answer any questions and never admit you possessed any drugs or knew about the drugs in a vehicle or home.  Hire a Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer  A defense attorney makes sure you understand the law and your rights. You’ll tell your lawyer the story of what happened. Where you were, what you were doing, and who you were with. It’s important to be honest about everything. Your attorney needs to know what happened to build you the best defense possible.  Ways to Avoid a Drug Possession Conviction  Sometimes the best way to handle a drug charge is to pursue an alternative route and not fight in court.  Pretrial Intervention Programs  A pretrial intervention program isn’t a defense but can be a good option to avoid a conviction. You may be eligible for a pretrial intervention program with a misdemeanor or third-degree felony charge.    Once you complete certain requirements during probation, the court dismisses the charge. You usually need no or a limited criminal history to be eligible.  Pretrial Diversion Programs  Florida offers a three-tiered drug diversion program.  Level One: Applies to defendants charged with possession of a misdemeanor amount of marijuana or possession of drug paraphernalia. Level Two: Applies to defendants with no criminal history or minor criminal history charged with:  Simple possession of illegal narcotics (heroin, cocaine, felony cannabis, and fentanyl, and others);  Possession of marijuana with intent to sell;  Purchase of illegal narcotics;  Obtaining or attempting to obtain illegal narcotics by fraud; and  Possession of a controlled substance without prescription.  Level Three: Can be offered to defendants charged with most misdemeanors, misdemeanor DUI, third-degree felony charges, and some second-degree felony charges.  How to Beat a Simple Possession Charge in Court  There are several defenses your attorney can put forth to demand a dismissal, win an acquittal at trial, or pursue a lenient sentence.  No Drugs: Officers often arrest people based on suspicion of possession of a drug, but it turns out the substance wasn’t anything illegal. There are also times when the officer claims you possessed drugs, but there are no controlled substances in evidence.  Lack of Possession: You may be able to show that you were unaware of the drugs and didn’t have actual or constructive possession of them. It might be that the prosecutor has no way to prove the drugs belonged to you if they were found in someone else’s bag, a car that other people use or occupied, or a shared apartment.  Lack of Knowledge: You may not have known that an item in your possession contained drugs. For example, if a friend left their gym bag at your home that was later discovered to possess drugs. You may not have even opened it or known what it contained.  Medical Marijuana Use: You may be able to prove you have a prescription for marijuana use.  Illegal Search and Seizure: The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the officers violated your rights by performing a search without probable cause, a warrant, or your consent, then the evidence...

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Is Domestic Violence a Felony in Florida?

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Is Domestic Violence a Felony in Florida?

If you are arrested for domestic violence in Florida, we understand that you face a range of fears and uncertainties. Along with all these challenges, by its nature and definition, facing a charge of domestic violence means personal relationship upheavals. You also have significant legal issues at hand, and your immediate question may be, Is domestic violence a felony? This situation is a lot to process, and the lawyers at Moses & Rooth are here to assist regarding your immediate and ongoing legal needs. When Do the Police Charge Someone with Domestic Violence? Florida general statutes address at length the laws related to domestic violence. Domestic violence charges are affected by three primary circumstances: the specific type of act involved, whether someone suffered an injury, and the relationship between the actor and the victim. In determining whether you will be charged with domestic violence, the police therefore have to put together several puzzle pieces.  Type of Act The first step for police is to determine what type of crime allegedly occurred. A number of different actions can be subject to domestic violence charges, including: Assault or battery,  Aggravated assault or battery, Sexual assault,  Sexual battery,  Stalking,  Aggravated stalking,  Kidnapping, or False imprisonment. Although this list includes most types of domestic violence, additional criminal offenses may fall into this category as well. Injury The next step for law enforcement is to determine whether the act resulted in physical injury or death. The police have a lot of discretion in determining whether something constitutes an injury. Relationship The final step is investigating the relationship of the parties involved. To support a domestic violence charge, the person charged must have committed the violent act against a family or household member. Suppose a person committed one of the acts in step one (assault, kidnapping, etc.) against another family or household member and there was a resulting injury to the victim. In that case, the police will likely issue a charge of domestic violence—the puzzle pieces (an act, an injury, and a familial relationship) are all present. How Does the Law Define Family Members? In Florida, our statutes define family or household members as any of the following: Persons related by blood or marriage; Current or former spouses; Persons who currently reside or formerly resided together as a family; or Parents (married or not) who have a child in common. Parents who have a child in common need not have ever lived together to be considered family or household members. However, for all other relationships, the parties involved must currently or previously have lived together for the domestic violence law to consider them a family or household member. What Is an Example of Domestic Violence? Domestic violence envelops a wide array of acts and situations. The most common charges include actions such as pushing, restraining, slapping/punching, kicking, and scratching. Here is an example. A parent and their 19-year-old adult child are residing in the same home. They get into a yelling argument. The parent punches the 19-year-old and breaks their jaw. This circumstance is domestic violence because: The parent committed the crime of battery when they punched the 19-year-old; The parent injured the 19-year-old when they broke their jaw; and The 19-year-old is a family member of the parent. This example is very basic. However, many domestic violence charges are complicated. If you have been charged with domestic violence or fear that the law may charge you, you need legal representation by Moses & Rooth. Our attorneys will hear your story, investigate the facts further, and then mount a vigorous defense. Domestic Violence Felony: Florida Law Each domestic violence case is different. Thus, answering the question, Is domestic violence a felony or a misdemeanor? in a given situation can be complicated. The judicial system will determine the level based on myriad factors, including: The injury to the victim; The type of contact the offender leveled against the victim; Whether the victim was a minor; Whether the law has charged the offender before; and The totality of the circumstances of the situation. Regardless of the final charge, domestic violence is severe, and a conviction can be life-altering. Let an attorney work with you to defend you and try and get your charges dismissed or reduced. Domestic Violence Punishment A person charged with domestic violence will face sentencing by a judge if they are convicted or plead guilty. The law provides that sentencing may include: A mandatory period of incarceration, An additional period of incarceration, Probation,  Placement in community control (house arrest, halfway house, etc.), Completing a batterers’ intervention program, and  Attending mandatory counseling. The bottom line is that if the court convicts you of domestic violence, you will face consequences and have a criminal record. The punishments can cost you your job, impact your ability to own a firearm, affect custody of your children, and require you to stay away from the victim and perhaps other family members. Moses & Rooth: Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys If law enforcement has charged or may charge you with domestic violence, contacting Moses & Rooth, Attorneys at Law, in Orlando, Florida, should be your first act. Andrew Moses and Jay Rooth are owners and partner attorneys in the firm. Their clients speak of their dedication and legal excellence.  The criminal defense attorneys of Moses and Rooth have extensive trial experience and in-depth knowledge of the federal and state criminal justice systems. We will put you at ease and never judge those charged with domestic violence. Contact Moses & Rooth when you need legal assistance. We offer a free consultation as well as ongoing affordable service.

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