Criminal Defense Lawyers Fighting For Your Freedom!
What Types of Criminal Cases Do We Handle?
Our criminal defense attorneys in Clearwater are passionate about protecting the rights of the accused.
Facing criminal charges is frightening. You may not know how to plead, prove your innocence, or fight for your freedom. Furthermore, the stress of not knowing what will happen in the future could be too much for you to bear. If you’re in this situation, the Clearwater criminal defense attorneys at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett are here to help. A criminal case is a serious matter, so you need an attorney who you can trust to protect your best interests. Our lawyers are dedicated to defending your rights and fighting to secure your freedom. We know that this is one of the most challenging times in your life, and we are committed to helping you get through it. Schedule a free consultation with our team today to discuss your legal options.
The state of Florida is tough on crime. If you are accused of committing a crime, you could face a wide range of serious penalties. The penalties that you will face will vary depending on several factors, including the severity of the crime and whether or not you are a repeat offender. Some of the most common penalties imposed on offenders in Clearwater include:
These are not the only potential penalties of a criminal conviction. Having a criminal conviction on your record can also impact your ability to obtain employment or find housing in the future. This is why it’s so important to aggressively fight your charges with the help of our attorneys.
Many people assume that they don’t need to hire an attorney if they are only charged with a misdemeanor. But this is not the case. A misdemeanor is not as serious as a felony, but every misdemeanor crime in Florida still carries major legal penalties. Plus, even though it’s a misdemeanor, a conviction will still remain on your record and impact your future.
If you are charged with any crime—regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or felony—it’s best to seek legal representation from our criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that a misdemeanor criminal charge can be taken lightly.
What is an arraignment?
What happens after a person is arrested?
What is the most important task of defense attorneys?
How much does it cost?
When do the police have to advise me of my rights?
Is it okay to talk to the police if I am innocent of the charges?
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
Do I need to hire a criminal defense attorney if I plan on pleading guilty?
Is there a difference between probation and parole?
What is the difference between a dismissal and an expungement?
Arraignment is the formal reading of a criminal charging document in the defendant's presence. This informs them of the charges against them. In response to arraignment, the accused may be expected to enter a plea, but this differs based on jurisdiction.
You’ll be taken into custody and informed of your Miranda rights before being questioned. Next, they’ll search you, and your items will be inventoried. You will then be booked, which refers to providing personal information and fingerprints before taking your photo. Next, you’ll be arraigned and enter your plea. You may be able to leave police custody if you’ve posted bail.
Our job is to defend you with a fair case. We develop relationships with our clients to provide counsel and help them understand their legal options. In conducting research, preparing legal documents, and performing other duties, we ensure our clients receive the best representation per their constitutional rights.
How much a criminal defense lawyer costs depends on many factors, such as location and experience. The average cost for misdemeanor defense is $2500 to $8000, while the average cost for felony defense is $10,000 to $20,000.
The police only have to inform you of your Miranda rights if you are 1. formally in custody and 2. are being interrogated. Police can use anything you say against you, even before you have heard your rights, if either of these conditions isn’t met.
The best rule to follow when interacting with police is to remain silent until you consult an experienced defense lawyer. They can take something you say out of context, or something you forget to include may be considered a lie.
A misdemeanor is a crime punishable by no more than one year in jail. Crimes punishable by one year or longer in prison are generally felony offenses.
You must hire a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights regardless of what you plan on pleading, as the prosecution seeks to bring the harshest penalties possible in criminal cases.
Probation is an alternative to prison, while parole is a shortened amount of time spent in prison. When you are sentenced to probation, you can suspend your jail time by following specific terms. Parole helps people complete their criminal sentence outside of jail if they have already completed a portion.
A dismissal can occur when a prosecutor drops your case, while an expungement is when your case is erased. The court records relating to your matter are destroyed, and you can truthfully state on job and loan applications that you have never been convicted of a criminal charge.
You need to fight criminal charges—your future and your freedom depends on it. Don’t face this challenge alone. Instead, turn to the experience lawyers at Carlson Meissner & Hayslett for help. We know how a conviction can impact your life, which is why we will work tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, call our office at 727-234-8119 or fill out the form on this website.