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West Palm Beach Criminal Attorney
State Criminal Law
Criminal law differs from civil law in that in criminal law cases in state court, the plaintiff or party bringing the case (lawsuit) is the State of Florida. In Florida, the prosecuting attorney is called the State Attorney. The State Attorney has many assistant state attorneys that handle cases day in and day out. On special occasions, the Attorney General’s office, through the Office of the Statewide Prosecutor, handles the prosecution of the case. Most often, this occurs when the case involves multiple counties or jurisdictions, giving the Statewide Prosecutor jurisdiction.
The prosecuting attorney works hand-in-hand with local and state police agencies in handling criminal cases. Oftentimes, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), a county sheriff or the local police department will be the first to investigate a case. Their investigations can range from simple, straightforward matters that are not very time-consuming to cases that are painstakingly put together over the course of months or even years. Obviously, more significant matters involve more detailed approaches by law enforcement.
Upon completion of an investigation, the police or law enforcement agency will often assemble a packet to submit to the prosecuting attorney for initial review. The prosecuting attorney assesses the strength of the case and determines whether the necessary things needed to prove the case in court are present. Is there probable cause that the person charged actually committed a crime? Is the person charged the person that committed the crime? Are there witnesses? Are they quality witnesses? What other evidence exists? Does forensic evidence exist? Was there a confession?
While all this is going on, a savvy defendant will ensure that his or her voice is also heard in the process. Oftentimes, the police and prosecution are so caught up in trying to “make a case” that they lose sight of other important issues. Does the accused person have a criminal background? What are the circumstances surrounding the case? What is the accused person’s educational background and employment history? Medical and/or mental health issues can also be important pieces of the overall equation.
The Law Office of Christopher A. Haddad, P.A. has existed since 1999. Prior to founding his own firm, Mr. Haddad was an assistant public defender in Palm Beach County, Florida where he gained valuable trial and appellate law experience. At the public defender’s office, he handled a wide range of cases from simple misdemeanor offenses to first-degree murder charges.
Palm Beach criminal attorney Christopher A. Haddad has always believed that the criminal justice system is a shining example of democracy in action – a place where differences, sometimes very significant and immeasurably important differences, are resolved with a sense of fairness and respect for all involved. Mr. Haddad has been committed to ensuring the highest quality representation for all of his clients for over 20 years. As a West Palm Beach criminal lawyer, he believes that the best defense is obtained by incorporating a multitude of aspects including investigations, forensics, psychology and legal precedent to ensure the best defense is provided to each and every client.
Our team of dedicated staff and colleagues are available to talk to you anytime. Please contact our offices to arrange a consultation to outline a sensible and winning strategy for your state court criminal case.
The Law Office of Christopher Haddad has extensive experience and our caseload is representative of the broad range of services that we provide to our clients.
CASE 1- ATTMEPTED MURDER OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Mr. Haddad’s client was accused of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer for allegedly trying to run over an officer with an all-terrain vehicle. As the result of an intensive investigation, a detailed analysis of the eyewitnesses, and the use of expert testimony on crime scene analysis and mechanical engineering, the jury returned an acquittal on all charges.
CASE 2- AGGRAVATED BATTERY
This was one of the longest criminal trials in Palm Beach County history, and an early case involving the prosecution of alleged gang activity. Mr. Haddad’s client was charged with aggravated battery, for allegedly beating another youth at a park let. The defense established that the witnesses gave inconsistent testimony and were biased in favor of the complainant. After a hung jury, the case was resolved by plea agreement to a misdemeanor charge.
CASE 3- BATTERY ON A SCHOOL BOARD EMPLOYEE AND DISRUPTION OF A SCHOOL FUNCTION
Mr. Haddad successfully defended a mother accused of slapping her son's school principal during an Honor Society event. The defense established that any conduct was unintentional and a reflexive action. The defendant was acquitted of all charges.
CASE 4- MANSLAUGHTER
Mr. Haddad defended the step-father of a young boy who died while riding on a go-cart with his father. The defense established that a bottle in the road caused the go-cart to lose control and strike a truck parked on the side of the road. Expert testimony revealed that the defendant did not have enough time to stop the go-cart to avoid the collision. The defendant was acquitted.
CASE 5- ATTEMPTED FIRST DEGREE MURDER, AGGRAVATED BATTERY WITH A FIREARM
Mr. Haddad defended a 13-year-old boy accused of a middle school shooting. It was established that the boy's age and mental state proved him to be incompetent to stand trial, and showed that he was legally insane at the time of the offense. All charges were dismissed.