Criminal Defense DEFENDERS of Your Rights. Your Life. Your Future.
  • Pinellas Association
  • St. Petersburg Bar Association
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2022 - Melinda Morris
  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2021 - Seth
  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2022

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.

    Amazing and Professional Service

    “Absolutely amazing! I sent an email on Sunday and Seth called me first thing Monday morning. After a few minutes of talking I could tell I was in good hands. Seth completely understood the situation ...”

    - Chris M. on Yelp
    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
    Thanks to The Morris Law Firm

    “Mr.Shapiro helped my case by looking at the police body cam diligently which supported my testimony . He presented evidence to the prosecutor .I hired Seth Shapiro to defend me after a domestic ...”

    - Melody Z.
    Best legal representation

    “If you want the best legal representation, look no further than Morris law firm. Melinda reassured me from the very first time we spoke over the phone. She is very professional and keeps you updated ...”

    - Hassan on Google
    Confident, extremely knowledgeable, professional

    “I have used Morris Law Firm and Seth Shapiro on two separate occasions over the course of the last few years with superb results. Seth is an excellent attorney and I cannot recommend him enough. After ...”

    - Cristina on Google

Why Choose Our Law Firm?

See the Difference Our Service Provides

    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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.


    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
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
By submitting your mobile number, you agree to receive text messages from the Morris Law Firm regarding your inquiry and our legal services. You can opt-out anytime by replying STOP. Message & data rates may apply.