Skip to Content
ATTORNEYS ON CALL 24/7 727-592-5885
Preliminary Hearing DEFENDERS of Your Rights. Your Life. Your Future.

St. Petersburg Preliminary Hearing Lawyers

Aggressively Fighting for the Accused in Florida

The preliminary hearing is one of the most crucial processes that takes place in the Florida criminal justice system. During this hearing, evidence is presented for review by the court to decide if sufficient evidence or probable cause exists that would make a trial necessary. This process can be extremely important because during this process, your lawyer can have certain evidence thrown out, demonstrate lack of probable cause, or insufficient evidence. This can lead to no trial taking place and a dismissal of your case.

The preliminary hearing can be a first line of defense and vital to your freedom and future. However, it calls for a highly-knowledgeable attorney who knows how to put in the time for meticulous preparation. At Morris Law Firm, P.A., our team has decades of combined experience in handling criminal cases and courtroom procedure. Our founding attorney, Melinda Morris, has a decade of experience involving both criminal prosecution and defense; this gives you the benefit of legal insight into crafting a strong defense while exposing flaws and inconsistencies that can cast doubt on the prosecution’s case.

Take advantage of the experience and skills you will find at Morris Law Firm, P.A. Call us at (727) 592-5885 to set up a time to discuss the specifics of your case with one of our attorneys.

Preliminary Hearings in Florida Courts

The burden of proof in any criminal trial is that you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In most cases, the evidence against you at a preliminary hearing is presented similarly to how it will be presented at a trial but it is not subject to the same standard of proof. Instead, at the preliminary hearing, only probable cause is used as a standard for the case to proceed forward in the courts.

The probable cause standard is based on whether it is reasonable for a prudent person to believe that the crime was likely committed and that you likely committed it. This would be based on the evidence and circumstances presented at the hearing. At “evidentiary” hearings (also known as preliminary hearings), testimony and evidence is presented to determine if you committed or attempted to commit a crime and a subsequent investigation into the matter would show evidence that you did.

In preliminary hearings, pieces of evidence can be ruled out that then could not be used against you in a trial. If probable cause as a whole is shown to be without merit, the entire case can be thrown out.

A criminal defense attorney can win at a preliminary hearing in ways that include but are not limited to the following:

  • A supposed eyewitness who has identified you as the offender crumbles under cross-examination and there is no other realistic evidence that would point to you as the offender.
  • One of the prosecution’s witnesses does not appear or does not now want to testify against you.
  • Each element of the crime that is being charged against you must be proven and the prosecution has failed to offer enough evidence to prove one or more of those elements.

If the judge in your preliminary hearing finds that probable cause exists, your case will proceed to trial. An attorney experienced at these matters can fight to reveal cracks in the evidence, however, that could mean the difference between a case dismissal or a later conviction.

Turn to a Team That Will Fight for You

Our St. Petersburg preliminary hearing attorneys are well-versed in criminal law and procedure and in how to conduct exhaustive investigations to uncover facts and evidence that can prove beneficial to you. The advantage of having a former prosecutor on your side in any preliminary hearing or criminal case cannot be overstated. Take advantage of the benefits that our experience and insight can bring to your future and freedom in the wake of a criminal arrest.

Available 24/7 for clients in and around the greater St. Petersburg area, contact us online or at (727) 592-5885 to get started today. 

Meet The Attorneys Melinda Morris & Seth Shapiro

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.

CLient Testimonials

Hear From Real People We've Helped

At Morris Law Firm, P.A., your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.

    "Look no further than Morris Law"
    Seth Shapiro is the most professional, courteous, caring attorneys I’ve dealt with in all of my 70 years. He did a fabulous job representing me defending me and getting charges dropped. I couldn’t have dreamed of better counsel.
    - Stephen on AVVO
    "100% satisfied with Morris Law Group."
    100% satisfied with Morris law group. Melinda was able to resolve my legal issues with no additional expenses other than my original retainer. I highly recommend this firm for professional and competent representation.
    - Peter R. on Yelp
    "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 on the progress of your case. I really liked that I didn’t have to reach out to her Everything was smooth, straightforward and she put my mind at ease. You’ll be in good hands with her. Thank you Melinda
    - Hassan 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 battery charge in which I was wrongfully accused and arrested. My case was dismissed thankfully. .Couldn't have asked for a better outcome. This was an extreme difficult time for me. Seth Shapiro was knowledgeable and compassionate in my case. He followed up with my concerns. I would highly recommend this firm.
    - Melody Z.
    "Goes above and beyond"
    Melinda has represented me on numerous cases and the outcome has always been great. Melinda goes above and beyond to defend your rights and get you the best possible outcome. I highly recommend hiring her.
    - Shasta on Google
    "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 felony to misdemeanor in short terms and during 6 months my case was totally closed.
    - Elina P. on Google