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Criminal Defense Attorneys

The legal experience you need when you are arrested or charged with a crime.

Aggressive Defense Attorneys

Proven Results


When the stakes are high, experience matters. You need a tenacious, accessible, and experienced team of Criminal Defense Lawyers who know how to protect your rights and your future. Early attorney involvement in your case can affect its ultimate outcome. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in Florida, talk to our seasoned criminal defense attorneys who were former prosecutors or public defenders. We know how to play hardball—and we play to win.

When we meet with a client for the first time, it’s not uncommon for us to hand them a business card with our personal cell phone number on it. It can be shocking for a client to have that kind of access to us, but that’s the type of relationship they need. Accessibility is the best way to give them personal attention and straightforward solutions.

-Kevin Hayslett, Esq.

We’re on your side 


Our office utilizes an experienced investigator who, in conjunction with our experienced criminal defense attorneys, coordinates, and provides prompt, economical and thorough investigative services. We thoroughly and efficiently gather all evidence on your behalf and present it to the prosecutor to mitigate the charges against you and determine if you are eligible to participate in a pre-trial diversion program. Many times your criminal record can be sealed to the public or potential employers. 

Our firm defends clients charged in Florida’s state and federal courts with all kinds of crimes, including:

If you live out of state or travel extensively, we determine if a plea in absentia may be entered, allowing settlement of your case without a court appearance.

Client Testimonials

My case was over last week and I’m still feeling the relief. It’s hard to imagine the emotional toll it takes on you both physically and mentally. I could have never gotten through it without you (attorney Hayslett). You talked me off the ledge too many times to mention. And as you predicted when we first met I wouldn’t be convicted or do one minute in jail. Thanks from the bottom of my heart.


Really wonderful experience for the circumstances. Positive, supportive, and kept me informed throughout the whole process. Thank you so much Deborah!!


My family and I recently experienced a tragic situation that required the legal services of an attorney. We wanted an attorney with the best professional and personal reputation we could find. I conducted extensive research and made many inquiries resulting in the choice of Attorney Kevin Hayslett. We could not have made a better decision. Kevin Hayslett is a very skilled attorney and very personable in his relationships with his clients. He handled our situation in a very professional manner while treating my family with kindness and empathy throughout the entire process. 

l highly recommend Attorney Kevin Hayslett as one of the finest attorneys in the Tampa Bay Area.


Ms. Deborah Moss represented me when I was arrested for violating a no contact order. My wife and I were separated at the time and were in the process of a divorce. Ms. Moss was adamant that she would not represent me if I was going to be nasty. Deb got the charges dropped through a pre-trial intervention program that the DA would only accept if my estranged wife signed off on the plea deal. The way Ms. Moss treated my wife gave her the confidence to believe she was safe and that agreeing to the plea was the best course of action for everyone. Deb got the charges and the no contact order dropped. My wife and I were able to talk after 6 months apart. Ms. Moss advised me to be kind in the divorce and advocated for each of us to the other. 

My wife was impressed by the way I handled things after hiring Ms. Moss and we started spending time together. We called off the divorce and after a while I moved back home. We are happier than we have ever been thanks in large part to Ms. Moss. Deb turned a fight into a positive negotiation. Without Deb’s intervention I would have a criminal conviction on my record and would be divorced. My wife and I would have destroyed our lives without Deb. Her fee was chump change considering how things turned out. 

I have two friends that were represented by Ms. Moss and both had similar outcomes. None of us have a criminal record thanks to Deb. If you need a lawyer, hire this one.


Rick did an excellent job representing me on a felony case. He was able to get sentencing reduced and after care that was appropriate for my situation. He continued to attend each day in court to the end. He went over and above my case to assist me with my old fines to assist me with my license. He treats you with respect and like a person and not a criminal. I would highly recommend Rick. I give a 5 star rating.


I was arrested at a bar and charged with drunk and disorderly and resisting arrest. A lot of my friends were there and we were all in shock at what had happened. The following day I had a consultation with Mr. Rivera and hired him for my case. He got started on the case the very next day stayed in contact about the case. Within a week he acquired the video surveillance from the establishment. Shortly after that I received a phone call from him letting me know that all of my charges were dropped. I would strongly recommend Mr. Rivera to anyone in a similar situation or worse. I am very grateful for your hard work on my case. I couldn’t have had a better outcome.


Daviana went above and beyond when It came to handling my case. She answered every call and question I had in a timely and professional manner. She is extremely skilled in the way that she formulates her arguments. Her over all legal knowledge is outstanding. Daviana is a hard working and dedicated lawyer who really took a personal interest in my case and always put my mind to ease after our conversations. She really cares about her clients and works hard to represent their best interest. If you want a tough, intelligent and caring lawyer who can control a court room daviana is the lawyer for you. I would hire Daviana again in a second if I ever found myself in need of legal aid in the future.


I have used Chris Frey on two occasions and have been extremely satisfied with the results. Having him represent my son during criminal proceeding protected us from excessive financial burdens and undue stress. He spent more than enough time with me during a recent consultation. He answered all my questions, was patient and provided me the guidance I needed to make the right decisions.


Our Attorneys have a Reputation for Excellence

Carlson Messiner Defense Lawyers Tampa Bay

AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®

Several of our attorneys have been awarded this gold standard in attorney ratings. This recognition affirms their strong legal abilities and high ethical standards. Our firm was also named one of Florida's Top Ranked Law Firms based on AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings, pursuant to the Wall Street Journal.

Carlson Messiner Defense Lawyers Tampa Bay

FL Board Certified Attorney

Two of our attorneys are Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyers. Board Certification is the highest level of recognition an attorney can receive by The Florida Bar for the competency and education of attorneys in the areas of practice approved by the Florida Supreme Court.

Carlson Messiner Defense Lawyers Tampa Bay

AVVO Top-Rated

Eight of our attorneys hold the AVVO Rating of 10, the highest possible score. AVVO Rating evaluates a lawyer’s background based on the information in an attorney’s AVVO online resume and profile. The rating indicates the value they have provided to clients and the internal law community.

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