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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) 388-4736 for a free consultation.

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.