Getting a criminal defense attorney to handle your case may be the difference between a difficult future with a criminal record and one that retains your freedom. From losing a driving license to employment difficulties, this isn’t something you want to take lightly.
Thankfully, by hiring a criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County, you can find realistic ways to lessen the blow when facing a criminal charge. Here’s how and why:
What Are Criminal Defense Attorneys?
Criminal defense attorneys are lawyers specializing in defending people that have been charged with a crime. Using their experience, expertise and connections, they fight for the best possible outcome for their clients, whether that be innocence or less severe penalties.
They can work with individuals privately or in different jurisdictions with criminal courts.
Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
If you’re facing a criminal charge, then you always stand a better chance of reducing the potential penalties with the help of a criminal defense attorney.
Whether you’ve made a bad decision, made a mistake, have been caught up in a crime through no fault of your own or believe you’re innocent – they can help.
Criminal defense lawyers are not there to judge you or your actions. Their job is to help you get the best outcome for your situation.
Every Crime is Serious
Criminal charges aren’t worth playing around with. Penalties can be severe. For example, a drug possession charge for up to 20 grams of marijuana is a first-degree misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
It’s also important that you work with someone skilled at both legal writing and in-person talking. For example, in Pinellas County, the State Attorney’s Office requires many requests to be made in writing. Unprofessional or inexperienced attorneys will lack the writing skills to articulate your defense.
There are also heaps of paperwork to go through. Missing deadlines and court appearances can cause you to get stuck in the system. This is the last thing you want.
A criminal defense lawyer will avoid that by ensuring every deadline or bottleneck is overcome, so you have the best chance at reducing your penalties, winning a plea bargain and protecting your future.
How Can a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help?
A criminal defense lawyer can use their experience and skills to fight for your defense. In a drug possession charge example, they could argue you had a lack of knowledge that a controlled substance was present or that you were part of an Unlawful Search and Seizure.
Using their standing in the Florida court system, criminal defense attorneys can utilize their relationships with prosecutors. This may sound strange, but lawyers that have a good reputation with their counterparts get better outcomes.
With a strong understanding between both parties, it’s easier to negotiate a better plea deal or affordable bond.
When the defining point comes, having a lawyer who knows the local judges can be game-changing.
Helping You Move Forward
Your criminal defense lawyer can also work with you to show that you recognize your mistake and that you’re taking responsibility to improve.
This may include rehab, counseling, employment or any other solution to break the cycle of mistakes.
This can have a significant impact on a judges’ verdict. By showing you’re taking responsibility to move forward, penalties are often more lenient.
Criminal defense lawyers know the best route to this kind of success. Without them, you won’t know what works and what doesn’t, and you won’t have the legal support to help judges see you in a better light.
Remember, judges see many cases just like yours. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you have the chance to separate yourself from the rest.
How to Find a Criminal Defense Attorney?
When looking for a criminal defense attorney in Pinellas County, ensure you look for the following criteria:
Specializes in Criminal Law
Although it’s fine to use a lawyer who practices in other areas, your attorney of choice must specialize in criminal law. By doing so, they’ll have the experience and skillset to tackle any criminal charge from DUIs to white-collar crimes.
If you can’t find information about that on their website, then look elsewhere.
Find a Lawyer Experienced in Local Courts
Ensure you find a lawyer with experience in local courts. As mentioned earlier, having the right connections can go a long way. If they’ve got awards (such as Super Lawyer title) to their name and have been practicing for many years, then you’re in the right place.
They’re a Partner with a Law Firm
If you’re considering a lawyer who is a named partner with a long-standing, Tier 1 nationally ranked law firm, then that means they are working for the best. That means they’re reliable, trustworthy and have high standards to uphold – giving you the best shot at success.
When Do I Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?
As soon as possible. Delaying can cause deadlines to be missed and evidence to get lost. By buying yourself time, you give yourself the best chance to prepare a solid defense.
Alternatively, if time has already passed, contacting a criminal defense lawyer is still the best thing to do.
Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help with Arrest Warrants?
Yes. Don’t wait for the police to find you. By working with an arrest warrant lawyer, you’ll have a solid chance at keeping your record clean and you away from jail.
Arrest warrants are most commonly caused by missed court dates and can hang over you for years. Officers often don’t care about the reason for your arrest warrant; they just want you arrested.
What If My Child Is Facing a Juvenile Crime Charge?
If your child is facing any charges for a juvenile crime, a criminal defense attorney will help get your child back on track, by fighting to keep their criminal record clean and by putting in place support strategies that can prevent the mistake from happening again.
Although Juvenile crimes are serious and can have long-lasting consequences, there is hope.
By showing an initiative to overcome problems that led to the crime, you can convince prosecutors to reduce the penalties or drop charges completely.
The best criminal defense lawyer in Pinellas County will have access to a list of treatment providers with information and contacts for nearly all programs.
Pinellas County Crime Statistics
- There are 542,116 crimes in Florida every year.
- That’s 25 per 100 people.
- There are over 35,000 arrests in Pinellas County every year.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Pinellas County, FL
If you’re facing a criminal charge in Pinellas County, FL, then contact us today.
With free consultations, you can speak to compassionate and highly respected Super Lawyer Sean McQuaid. With over 19 years of experience, Mr. McQuaid is a named partner at Battaglia Ross Dicus & McQuaid, P.A., which for 60 years has been providing Pinellas County with exceptional legal assistance.
Don’t leave your future to chance. Receive a free consultation today.