Criminal Defense - Florida
Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers
Whittel & Melton, LLC
Former State Prosecutors
The lawyers at Whittel & Melton provide expert, experienced and focused representation to statewide clientele charged with all criminal offenses in both State and Federal Court. We offer service to the entire State of Florida, however we have spent years working in certain jurisdictions and offer our best service in those counties. Large jurisdictions like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Naples, Tampa, Clearwater, Gainesville, Ocala, Jacksonville, Tallahassee, or smaller jurisdictions like Pasco County, Hernando County, Citrus County, Sumter County, Monroe County or Sarasota County are all familiar to our firm. Over the years and throughout the experience and background of our various criminal lawyers we look forward to the opportunity to help you. Whether it’s challenging the investigation, warrant, search, probable cause, plea bargaining, pre trial motions, jury selection, cross examination, opening and closing statements, Whittel & Melton lawyers have years of training, experience and success in criminal courtrooms all over the state of Florida.
Our lawyers include a Board Certified Criminal Trial Law Specialist. Our lawyers are former State Prosecutors who have achieved praise in several journals and amongst their peers. Specifically, two of our lawyers have an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest such rating for ethical standards and professional ability, been recognized in multiple years by Super Lawyers publication, selected as a Legal Elite in Florida Trend magazine, 10.0 rating by AVVO, a national online website, and the founding partners have been nominated for State and Federal office.
If you’ve been arrested, facing county jail or federal prison, a criminal indictment or are the potential suspect of a criminal investigation, contact the experienced lawyers at Whittel & Melton today. You deserve competent, knowledgeable and experienced expert criminal defense representation today. Our attorneys can help lead you through the arduous waters of the Florida and Federal Criminal Justice system. Call Today, Do Not Delay 866-608-5529.
Florida Criminal Attorneys – Whittel & Melton, LLC
Our office handles all State and Federal felony and misdemeanor charges. Our firm handles crimes such as DUI, DUI Manslaughter, DUI Serious Bodily Injury, all drug crimes, including, Trafficking, Sale, Distribution, Purchase, Cultivation, we also handle violent crimes such as Murder, Battery, Assault, Weapons Charges, all sex crimes such as Rape, Lewd & Lascivious, Indecent Exposure, Sexual Battery, Traveling to Meet a Minor, Sex Sting or Cyber Sex Sting Operations, all theft crimes such as Burglary, Grand Theft, Home Invasion, Carjacking, Fraud, all juvenile offenses, white collar crimes, traffic offenses and probation violations. Because of our vast experience, we have experience in handling very rare charges like Animal Cruelty, Culpable Negligence, Racing on the Highway – there really is not a criminal charge we have not worked on. Please call us today for a free consultation.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any Florida crime, contact the Florida criminal defense attorneys at Whittel & Melton, LLC immediately to schedule a free confidential consultation:
Don’t Face the Judge Alone!
Whittel & Melton, LLC
Florida Criminal Law Defense Attorneys
While the primary function and responsibility of a criminal defense attorney is to zealously represent the criminally accused, there are many essential aspects of that role. This role begins by counseling their client and taking all reasonable steps to prepare a viable defense. To do this, they must gather facts, interview witnesses, review police reports, subpoena documents, and research case precedents and statutes. Florida criminal defense attorneys must be prepared to examine witnesses at depositions or at trials or hearings, and to prepare compelling arguments for judges and juries. In some cases, the defense attorney may also request courts to consider new and novel interpretations of existing law to support their client's interests, and must do so in an honest and ethical manner.
Additionally, and of perhaps equal importance, criminal defense attorneys are obligated to keep communications between themselves and their clients confidential, as this privilege allows clients to safely speak to their attorneys without fears of reprisals. Although there are a few exceptions to this rule, the Florida Attorney-Client Privilege is central to the relationship of defense attorney and client.
Lastly, the criminal defense attorney must be an excellent organizer and communicator as they are responsible for guiding and educating the client throughout the course of the case, and through the criminal justice system. Each client and case are unique, but all criminal matters are a stressful and difficult situation. Thus, the need to be a strong communicator and compassionate listener are key components in the role of the criminal defense attorney, as such qualities are required to help each client navigate the legal system to receive the best possible outcome for their particular case and situation.When Should You Hire a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney?
Although the answer may seem obvious, in virtually every case, the sooner you hire a criminal defense attorney after being charged with a crime—or even when you think you are the subject of a criminal investigation—the better. When a criminal defense attorney is on board right from the beginning – even from the point of suspicion or investigation -- they will be better able to build a solid defense on your behalf, or to assist you in the navigation of the investigation. Having a criminal defense lawyer in your corner early on ensures you do not inadvertently say the wrong thing to the police or other law enforcement agency. It is easier for both you and your attorney to obtain the best possible outcome in your case if you hire or retain a criminal defense lawyer to properly represent you from beginning to end.
Having a criminal defense attorney on board from the very beginning protects not only the client’s constitutional rights, but also prevents many common missteps inherent in a criminal investigation. Very often, individuals believe they can somehow “explain” their side of the story in a way that will protect them, but instead find themselves very disappointed in the outcome. Law enforcement officers are well-trained to extract information and, once they have obtained your statement, they can and will use those statements against you. In fact, the law even allows law enforcement officers to be deceptive or dishonest in an effort to extract incriminating information, so it is always better to consult with a criminal defense attorney before providing any statements, evidence, or information to Law Enforcement. The rights and protections afforded by both our Florida Constitution and the United States Constitution exist for a reason, and it is important for an individual to consult with, retain, or hire a trained and experienced criminal defense attorney before those rights and protections are ignored or waived. The timing of the hiring of a criminal defense attorney may very well be the difference between a positive versus a negative outcome in any criminal case.What Does a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney Cost?
This is a question that is commonly answered with folksy sayings. For starters, almost no criminal defense attorney charges hourly. Some do, but usually when this is done it is because the client has a prior business relationship with the lawyer and they just continue paying the hourly rate. Most criminal defense lawyers charge a nonrefundable rate to cover portions of the case. This could be all pretrial functions, not including depositions and trial. It could also be all functions except trial. This is a detail that needs to be discussed with your lawyer.
The average criminal case will cost somewhere between $5,000 and $20,000. But if we are being completely honest, criminal defense attorneys can be hired in some jurisdictions for some remedial charges for as low as $1000, one thousand dollars, and as high in some jurisdictions on some charges as $500,000 to $1million dollars. It really all depends.
What does it depend on? Here is a list of some, not all, of the factors that go into pricing:
- The actual severity of the charge (1st degree Felony, 2nd degree Felony, 3rd degree Felony, 1st degree misdemeanor, 2nd degree misdemeanor)
- The actual facts of the criminal allegation
- Aggravating factors related to the charge – examples: death, serious injuries, financial loss
- The personal background that will or may be affected by the criminal allegation – examples: licensure (pilot, nurse, banker, lawyer, accountant, teacher, social worker, law enforcement, doctor, CPA, loan officers, provider of child care), other legal matters (civil lawsuit, divorce, bankruptcy, tax IRS issues, corporate issues)
- The criminal background of the defendant
- The complexity of the legal representation – legal issues, factual issues, multiple family members needing to be updated, etc.
- Location of the proceedings and assignment of the court – Florida Judges do not have uniform rules nor uniform scheduling
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