Criminal Defense DEFENDERS of Your Rights. Your Life. Your Future.
  • Pinellas Association
  • NORML
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Criminal Defense

Florida statutes provide for more than 300 different criminal charges, including both felony and misdemeanor offenses. All of these charges can carry a variety of penalties, such as jail time, prison time, steep fines, probation and even restrictions on a person’s driving privileges. Anytime you are charged with a criminal offense, it should be taken seriously.

A criminal conviction, even if it is a misdemeanor, can have a long-lasting effect on a person’s life. For instance, if a person is convicted of a violent offense, he or she may lose the right to possess a firearm. This is something that could last far longer than a court-issued punishment. This is why it is critical to defend yourself against the charges and fight to avoid a conviction.

St. Petersburg Criminal Defense

Whether you are accused of a misdemeanor or felony offense, Morris Law Firm, P.A. has the experience and the resources necessary to defend you against any criminal charge. Melinda Morris, managing partner of the Morris Law Firm, is an experienced former assistant state attorney who has more than 15 years of experience fighting for the rights of the accused.

Her experience as a criminal defense attorney in the Greater Tampa Bay area provides her with important insight into the criminal justice system. She works with her clients to ensure they understand their options and to make sure their needs are met. Melinda is adamant about getting a favorable outcome in each case.

Contact an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of your case and defenses that may apply. Morris Law Firm, P.A. represents clients in Pinellas County and the surrounding areas in Manatee County, Sarasota County, Hillsborough County, Pasco County and Polk County. Call (727) 592-5885 for a free consultation.

    They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful.

    “Morris Law Firm is a very professional and responsive. They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful. Strongly recommend them especially Seth Shapiro. He decreased my case from ...”

    - Elina P. on Google
    Ultimately she was able to get the charges dropped without trial, or plea.

    “I think everyone's biggest concern when hiring a lawyer is will the lawyer be responsive, and will they put your best interests first. Melinda represented me in two cases in which my wife was trying ...”

    - Avvo User
    The faith that I put into the hands of this team of loving, caring, compassionate Attorneys was life changing.

    “I'd like to start out first with wishing there was a higher star rating for this review. The faith that I put into the hands of this team of loving, caring, compassionate Attorneys was life changing. ...”

    - Shannon W. on Google
    She took a personal understanding of my specific case and explained things to me every step of the way.

    “I had the pleasure to be represented by Melinda Morris of Morris Law Firm. Working with her made the process of what I was dealing with painless and stress free. During the entire process she was ...”

    - Mike T. on Google
    Mr. Shapiro took on our case on a Sunday evening and had us in front of the judge the next day.

    “We were on vacation in Florida and ran into some troubles and needed an attorney. Mr. Shapiro took on our case on a Sunday evening and had us in front of the judge the next day (which other attorneys ...”

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Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides
  • FORMER STATE PROSECUTOR

    Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.

  • STRATEGICALLY AGGRESSIVE

    We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.

  • TRUSTED & EXPERIENCED

    Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.

  • PERSONAL ATTENTION

    We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.

  • PROMPT COMMUNICATION

    You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.

  • SAME DAY REPRESENTATION

    The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.

Meet the Attorneys

Melinda Morris & Seth Shapiro

Types of Criminal Charges in Florida

When a person is accused of breaking the law, he or she must be charged with a formal offense. A person is informed of the charge at the first appearance or the arraignment. There the accused will learn the severity of the charge, whether it is considered a felony or a misdemeanor. Some charges, such as a DUI, could be either, depending on circumstances of the individual case.

Offenses in Florida could relate to:

  • DUI or Driving Under the Influence: State law prohibits a person from being intoxicated by alcohol, drugs or a combination of substances while driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle. This could result in several other issues, including an administrative license suspension.
  • BUI or Boating Under the Influence: It is illegal for a person to be under the influence of alcohol or a chemical substance while operating a vessel in Florida.
  • Domestic Violence: Domestic violence charges include acts of violence against family members and those in a romantic relationship.
  • Juvenile Crimes: Juveniles in Florida are faced with different procedures in the courtroom, often less harsh than those for adults. Juvenile offenses still can have severe consequences, which could carry over into adult life.
  • Drug Charges: Drug charges can include a variety of offenses, ranging from possession of marijuana to trafficking large amounts of cocaine. Drug offenses can have harsh penalties.
  • White Collar Crimes: White collar crimes, also known as economic crimes, are those concerning deception to illegally obtain money, goods or benefit. This includes various types of fraud.
  • Traffic Offenses: Traffic offenses often seem minor, but some could be serious felonies, such as fleeing and eluding with serious injury or property damage.
  • Assault and Battery: Assault and battery are two distinct offenses, and they can be charged as either felonies or misdemeanors. Penalties can increase if the charges are considered aggravated.
  • Firearms and Weapon Offenses: In some circumstances, it could be illegal for a person to bear arms. In Florida, some weapons are prohibited and possession of them also could result in criminal charges.
  • Theft Crimes: A person can commit a theft offense in Florida if he or she knowingly obtains or uses the property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of property.

Issues in Which a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

When facing criminal charges, the accused has the right to legal counsel. Even if he or she cannot afford an attorney, the state could appoint one. This is one of the most vital parts of the criminal justice system. This right could help a person retain his or her freedom.

However, a person can use the services of an attorney even when he or she is not facing criminal charges. The justice system is complex, and often times other issues can arise from criminal charges. In these cases, an attorney can prove beneficial.

Some issues in which a criminal defense attorney can be of assistance include:

  • Expunging or sealing criminal records
  • Violation of probation
  • First-time offenders
  • Out-of-state visitors facing charges
  • Extradition from Florida

Finding A St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Morris Law Firm, P.A. at (727) 388-4736 to discuss the facts of your case. During your free initial consultation, Melinda can work with you to identify weaknesses in the state attorney’s case and begin building a strong defense for you. She understands your future and your reputation are important, and she will fight to protect both.

Free Consultation

Call 727-592-5885 or Submit This Form
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