Pensacola Defense Lawyers

Your Rights in Pensacola

Handling Your Criminal Charges the Right Way

In Florida, you have certain rights regarding criminal charges and arrests. Many people are not fully aware of what they are and are not entitled to, which means your rights may have been violated if you were charged with a crime. The Pensacola criminal defense attorney at The Morris Firm knows the ins and outs of Florida law and can help protect your rights.

Call our firm today at (850) 583-9112 to discuss your case with our team.

The Right to Remain Silent

You have heard it on television, or maybe you learned about it in school. In any event, you have a basic right to not be forced to incriminate yourself. If you find yourself detained or in police custody – in other words, under arrest – the authorities must read your “Miranda Rights” to you. The wording – which stems from the landmark 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona – might vary a little depending on what state you are in.

Regardless of precise wording, your Miranda rights state that:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • If you choose to speak, anything you say can potentially be used against you in court
  • You have the right to meet with an attorney
  • If you can’t afford a private attorney, the state will provide one

An attorney is here to help you by speaking for you, but you also have to help yourself. We advise that you do not speak about your case until you have a Pensacola criminal defense lawyer by your side.

Traffic Stops

By law, the police cannot stop your car without a good reason – there has to be probable cause that you have committed a crime or broken a law. Maybe it is as simple as speeding, or maybe it is because of a visible problem with your vehicle or a concern for the way you were driving. Regardless, there must be a legitimate reason for pulling you over.

If you are pulled over, there are a few simple guidelines you should follow. First is that it is always a good idea to be calm and polite. There is no reason to get on the officer’s bad side. You also should keep your hands where the officer can see them and follow reasonable instructions, such as providing identification.

Second, you should not volunteer any information that could lead the officer to believe you did anything wrong. Again, be polite. However, after handing over your license and insurance information, there is no need to provide information that could be used against you.

If you are arrested for refusing to talk and the police did not have probable cause for the stop in the first place, The Morris Firm can challenge the arrest. But remember: legal issues are best solved by a lawyer in court, not a driver in a car.

On Foot or on a Bike

Just like you have rights in your car, you have rights when you are outside of a vehicle, too. If you’re walking on foot or riding a bicycle and an officer asks to talk to you, you are under no obligation to talk to them unless you give them some sort of reason to think you have done something wrong.

Again, be calm and be polite but also be firm. If an officer asks “Hey, can I speak to you for a minute?” – you do not have to oblige. Simply say “No, thank you” and go about your business. If they proceed to arrest you without probable cause, that can be fought in court. Keep in mind that if you try to fight it out with the officer on the street, verbally or otherwise, you will limit your options later on.

Your Rights if You Are Arrested

If the police believe you have committed a crime, they can detain you, commonly referred to as being placed under arrest. If you are arrested, remain calm. You will need to give the police your name and identification if you have it – but that is it. You should not say anything other than that you want an attorney.

If the police want to question you, they must first inform you of your Miranda Rights. You should not say anything else to them – do not hurt yourself or your case by saying anything first.

If you have questions about your rights, contact Brandon Morris at The Morris Firm by calling (850) 583-9112.

What Our Clients Are Saying


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I hired Brandon to be my attorney for a criminal case, and he exceeded my expectations. He always answered my questions and he represented me in the most professional manner. He always prepared and honest with me. I would highly recommend him. He will always be my attorney

-Laura

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Brandon understands the charges and what the defenses are. He works hard to ensure his clients get the best outcome possible.

-John

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Brandon Morris has a thorough understanding of criminal law, has extensive courtroom experience and is a passionate advocate for his clients. He gave me a truthful and honest explanation of my situation, my options and what I could expect. Anyone would be lucky to have him as their advocate.

-Former Client

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I received a letter from the Morris Firm after I was released from the county detention and I immediately made an appointment for consult. Right away he eased my fears and made me feel confident that we can beat this case or get it resolved with minimal punishment. Retainer is reasonable, as well. Glad I hired him!

-James

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Brandon Morris is definitely an attorney myself and my family would recommend. Me and my husband retained Brandon and achieved the best possible result, a dismissal in the case. My son retained Brandon in his case and the conclusion of the case was what my son anticipated, a good result. Brandon is knowledgeable, understanding, compassionate about his clients, and has reasonable fees. When we talk to Brandon it is apparent that his is listening to every detail. Brandon has always been prompt in returning our calls. We will definitely use Brandon again if needed. He is an excellent attorney!

-Rachel

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Brandon is committed to getting the best result for his clients. He negotiated the best deal for me with the state attorney. I recommend him to anyone looking for a lawyer committed to his clients.

-Former Client

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This was the first time I needed to hire an Attorney and I was somewhat nervous. Mr. Morris was very easy to communicate with and basically told me from day one that the charges would be dropped and they were. I would highly recommend him to anyone.

-Zachary

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Amazing! I didn’t have to worry about anything. After first meeting with Brandon, I was much more at ease with my case. He was very helpful with everything I asked and very understanding. I would highly recommend!

-Jessica