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Pinellas County Criminal Defense Lawyers

Former State Prosecutors focused on serious State and Federal Criminal Charges in Saint Petersburg & Clearwater

Our goal is to deliver the highest of quality legal representation to those accused of crimes in the Pinellas County area. Our legal team represents clients charged with Pinellas County crimes in State and Federal Court including:


Whittel & Melton’s success and reputation is based on an established track record of high quality legal work, performed by well-prepared lawyers who are devoted to their clients.

Because serious crimes demand a serious defense, you need seasoned attorneys on your side. With nearly 60 years of combined criminal law experience, our Pinellas County Criminal Defense team has experience negotiating favorable plea agreements for our clients, but we are also are skilled litigators who zealously advocate our clients’ cases to a jury.

Our St. Petersburg criminal defense team includes lawyers and a support staff of legal assistants, paralegals and private investigators who are committed to exceeding our clients’ needs. We create a unique strategy to address the particular circumstances of each of our clients’ cases—you never receive “cookie cutter” representation from our firm.

How Much Is a Retainer Fee for a Criminal Lawyer in Pinellas County?

Typical criminal defense representation in Pinellas County from qualified and experienced attorney generally start in the $5,000 range for the lowest level charge and can grow to over $100,000 in the most serious of criminal matters. Many factors come in to play when pricing a case. Some of the cost certainly depends on the quality of lawyer assigned to the matter. For example, the same case, same work and same effort expended by a young 3 or 4 year lawyer as opposed to a 20-year experienced, former prosecutor, Florida Board Certified trial lawyer is going to obviously be different. Other factors to consider would be the actual trial experience of the attorney you are speaking to and any unique challenges the case may present – example: Media attention, professional license issues etc.

The other most important matter to consider for pricing is the filed or arrest charge itself and the challenges presented in mounting a proper defense. The more serious the potential consequences the more serious the subject matter the more serious the allegation will always require more resources from the defendant. Similarly, the complexities of a criminal charge, financial issues, scientific issues, computer issues all can be a factor for the fee involved.

What Does a Defendant Attorney Do?

The two most important skills for a criminal defendant in Pinellas County, St Petersburg, Clearwater or otherwise is (1) do not make your case worse! Do not get on social media, do not speak to people about your file, do not attempt to discuss the matter with witnesses, etc. and (2) be a good listener. Your attorney, the judge and even what you might hear or read in your discovery. Be an active listener and offer suggestions to your attorney.

Can My Lawyer Talk to the Victim?

Generally speaking, Yes, it would be possible for your criminal defense lawyer contact the alleged victim in a case. More likely, however, a lawyer will use an investigator for contact like this. Even more likely, in Florida, is a deposition might occur where the victim can speak under oath to both the State Attorney and your criminal defense attorney.

How Do I Know if My Lawyer Is Good?

One of the luxuries of NOT being a defendant in the criminal justice system is we get to see all the defendants and all of the lawyers involved. As a defendant unfortunately you only have ONE opportunity to hire the right attorney for you. For the most part a defendant knows if they have the right attorney if they feel as though they are getting their best opportunity to represent their best self before the court. More objectively a criminal defense attorney’s resume, trial experience, experience in that specific jurisdiction or court house, experience with that specific charge, and opportunity for your lawyer to spend time on your case based on his/her caseload (are they over loaded with cases, often this is the largest impediment for a public defender).

If you, or a friend or family member, has been charged with a Federal crime or State crime in Pinellas County, Florida, including St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs or Clearwater, please call us to make an appointment for a free consultation, toll free at 866-608-5529, or locally at (727) 823-0000 so that we can meet with you to discuss your case and the defenses available to you.

We are available to our clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


Whittel & Melton represents clients throughout Pinellas County, including those charged with crimes in the Bellaire, Bellair Beach, Bellair Bluffs, Bellair Shore, Clearwater, Dunedin, Gulfport, Indian Rocks Beach, Indian Shores, Kenneth City, Largo, Madeira Beach, North Redington Beach, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Redington Beach, Redington Shores, Safety Harbor, Seminole, South Pasadena, St. Pete Beach, St. Petersburg, Tarpon Springs and Treasure Island.

Call us today
St. Petersburg, Florida Criminal Defense Attorneys
Whittel & Melton, LLC 727-823-0000


Below is a potential list of helpful information in your or your loved one’s Pinellas County Criminal Defense case. Of course, for existing clients – all information and conversations must take place with our office first. BE VERY CAREFUL when or if you contact any state or government agency – any conversation may be recorded or transcribed for law enforcement to use against you.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

Pinellas County State Attorney’s Office

Pinellas County Judicial Services

Pinellas County Juvenile Justice

Pinellas County Clerk of Courts

Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections

Pinellas County Government

Pinellas County Property Appraiser

City of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg Police Department

City of Clearwater

City of Dunedin

City of Largo

Largo Police Department

City of Tarpon Springs

City of Treasure Island

Florida Criminal Attorney Blog - Pinellas County

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Client Reviews

This firm was extremely helpful and courteous to deal with. I did not expect to need their services, but was fortunate to find such a great firm. Thank you for your services.


Great customer service. I was always kept updated on every new detail throughout my whole case. The staff made me feel very comfortable and confident in choosing their services. Highly recommend.


I have been to this office three different times and have not one complaint ! Always prompt and on point. I wouldn't pick any other office!


The staff was very attentive and answered all my questions regarding my criminal case. I was very pleased with the outcome and professionalism.


Could never see myself using any other law firm. My case was a difficult one it was handled with perfection and extreme professionalism.


Call Us Now: 866-608-5529

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Main Office
11020 Northcliffe Blvd

Spring Hill, FL 34608

Phone: 352-666-2121 Fax: 352-556-4839 Toll Free: 1-866-608-5LAW