Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, Attorneys and Counselors at Law
While You're Going Through Your Worst, We Are At Our Best
407-982-2714 | 888-337-5886
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How Are Criminal Charges Filed?

Before you can contact the State Attorney's Office, there must be a criminal investigation by a local law enforcement agency where a crime took place (Orlando Police Department, Orange County Sheriff's Department, Seminole county Sheriff's Department, etc.). The State Attorney's office will review the criminal investigation and they will make the determination at the "in-take" level to see if they believe a crime has been committed and that there is probable cause to move forward on a case. If there is not probable cause, they may return the "packet" to the law enforcement agency to see if they can continue their investigation, or they will determine that as crime has not been committed, or that there is not enough probable cause or evidence to move forward on the same. If you are a victim of a crime, the State Attorney's office or the local law enforcement agency may contact you in the early stages of a potential case to see if you could assist them with obtaining the information that they need in order to move the case forward. It is the State Attorney's office that determines exactly what a defendant will be charged with, not what the law enforcement agency initially puts on their report.

If you are the victim of a crime, you usually do not need the assistance of an attorney, as you would be considered a witness for the State and the State Attorney will prosecute the case; however, some victims like to have representation at all stages of the case to ensure that the prosecution runs smoothly for them. A person charged with a crime may represent themselves; however, this is not the best practice, as your liberty, and in some instances your life, are at stake.

Here at Schwam-Wilcox & Associates, we can provide our clients with the unique opportunity to be represented by a firm that has experience with the Public Defender side of a case and the Prosecution side of a case. Ms. Schwam-Wilcox was a Prosecutor for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, and Ms. Black was an intern for the Public Defender's office in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. For more information on how the firm can assist you with your criminal needs, you can reach us at or by calling 407-245-7700, or by visiting our website at

Written By Camy B. Schwam-Wilcox


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