Criminal Defense Lawyer in Lakeland, Florida

No one likes to find themselves caught up in the criminal justice system. Even the appearance of police cruiser lights in a rearview mirror is enough to terrify most people. If you’ve been accused of a crime in Florida, it’s essential for you to understand what you’re up against. The penalties for a conviction in our state can be devastating. That’s why you should speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Lakeland, Florida before making any major decisions.

At DeMichael Law, we’ve seen what can happen when a person doesn’t have an experienced legal team on their side. In many cases, they take unfair plea deals without realizing the full ramifications of the decision. Those who choose to fight wrongful allegations often face an uphill battle with an overworked public defender at their side. America has an admirable justice system, but it’s far from perfect. You need a dedicated legal advocate to represent you.

Contact our Polk County criminal attorney at DeMichael Law today to discuss your case.

How May We Help You?

Whether formal charges have yet to be filed or you’re in the appeal process, it’s important to work with a law firm that’s experienced in cases like yours. At DeMichael Law, we’ve represented clients in all the following situations — and many others:

How May We Help You?
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How Serious Are Criminal Charges in Florida?

Understanding the charges against you is one of the most important reasons to seek legal advice. An attorney can help you comprehend the specifics of what you’re being charged with. However, it’s essential that you understand that criminal charges in Florida are always serious. For instance, a second-degree misdemeanor charge — such as driving without a license or petit theft — can land a person in jail for up to 60 days. This is in addition to hundreds in fines.

On top of this, a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record that can affect your ability to find employment, secure housing, seek an education, and even hurt your chances in family law cases (e.g., child custody, divorce). Of course, both federal and state charges can lead to serious consequences. Even a third-degree or class E felony – the least serious felony offenses – can land a person in prison for up to five years.

Put simply, Florida criminal law doesn’t go easy on those accused of crimes. That’s why you need a criminal defense attorney in Polk County on your side.

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Do You Need a Polk County Criminal Lawyer on Your Side?

Whether you’re facing a state or federal case, you may wonder whether you need an attorney. Perhaps you think the evidence against you is insurmountable, so avoiding a conviction isn’t possible. Then again, maybe you believe that prosecutors don’t have enough evidence to convict. If that’s the case, you might think hiring a criminal defense attorney in Lakeland simply wastes money. Unfortunately, many people learn the hard way that this isn’t accurate.

The truth of the matter is that innocence often doesn’t matter. Estimates state that Florida leads the nation with 30 innocent people exonerated from death row since 1973, while 99 people have been executed. That’s one innocent person freed for every three people executed. Scholars estimate that innocent people are convicted in between 0.5% and 2.5% of all felony cases. This includes both cases that went to trial and cases where innocent people pled guilty. There are more than 100,000 people in Florida’s prisons- that means there are likely at least 500 innocent people locked up in Florida. The simple fact is that we have an imperfect system. In fact, one of the primary tools of the system — plea bargaining — can easily result in innocent individuals being punished. And if you’re in a situation where the evidence against you is overwhelming, don’t ever forget that simple mistakes can ruin the state’s case.

Don’t make assumptions about how your case will resolve. A Polk County criminal lawyer can help you understand your options and fight to have charges dismissed or otherwise resolved in your favor.

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Meet The Attorney

Andrea Nichole DeMichael Lawyer
Andrea Nichole DeMichael

Meet Andrea, a criminal defense attorney with over 13 years of experience in litigation. Andrea’s legal career began as a prosecutor, where she gained valuable insight into the criminal justice system. She then transitioned into criminal defense, where she has successfully defended numerous clients in high-profile cases.

However, Andrea’s expertise extends beyond criminal law. She has also worked in insurance defense, representing clients in first-party property and worker’s compensation cases. Additionally, she has experience in personal injury, employment discrimination, police misconduct, family law, trademark, and vaccine injury cases.

Meet The Attorney

Andrea Nichole
Attorney Andrea Nichole DeMichael

Meet Andrea, a criminal defense attorney with over 13 years of experience in litigation. Andrea’s legal career began as a prosecutor, where she gained valuable insight into the criminal justice system. She then transitioned into criminal defense, where she has successfully defended numerous clients in high-profile cases.

However, Andrea’s expertise extends beyond criminal law. She has also worked in insurance defense, representing clients in first-party property and worker’s compensation cases. Additionally, she has experience in personal injury, employment discrimination, police misconduct, family law, trademark, and vaccine injury cases.

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What if You’ve Already Spoken to the Police?

Police drama television shows have hammered into us that asking for an attorney is typically the right move. However, people don’t always think about this at the right moment. When police have a person cornered in a small room and tell them “they know” what happened, it’s easy to get confused. Officers often use coercive interrogation tactics to minimize the chance someone will request a lawyer. Fortunately, speaking to the police does not mean that all hope is lost.

Even if you’ve confessed to something, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer in Polk County. Constitutional issues, inappropriate police procedures, improper evidence gathering, and many other problems can derail the prosecution’s case against you. Charges are never as “open and shut” as prosecutors and police would have you believe. Regardless of what you’ve already told officers, contacting an attorney and remaining silent from here on is in your best interest.

Why Choose Us?

There’s no shortage of options available when you’re looking for a Polk County criminal defense law firm. In fact, searching the term on Google returns dozens of results just in the local community. So, what makes DeMichael Law special? Here’s why we think we’re right for your case:

Extensive Experience

There are certainly many great novice attorneys out there. In fact, they may be fully capable of securing a favorable outcome on your behalf. However, you don’t want to risk this in a criminal case. Rookie mistakes can have disastrous consequences. Andrea DeMichael has practiced law for over a decade and has the experience you need.

Local Experience

Legal experience is great. However, local experience is also crucial. You want an attorney who understands local and state laws. You need someone who has worked with other lawyers, investigators, experts, judges, and authorities in the community. Andrea DeMichael was born and raised in Lakeland, and she has been proudly serving the community for many years, in addition to graduating from a law school in Florida.

Varying Legal Services

It’s important to work with a legal professional with varying experience. We’re not talking about law firms that handle criminal defense in addition to trademark and personal injury law — which is all offered at DeMichael Law. Instead, you need an attorney who can help fight restraining orders, file to expunge your record, and even restore rights lost due to a conviction.

Proven Results

When choosing a Lakeland criminal defense law firm, you want to find a legal practice with proven results. Too many attorneys “phone it in” when they get a difficult case. You need a legal advocate on your side who consistently secures acquittals and negotiates fair plea bargains for her clients. That’s exactly what you’ll get at DeMichael Law.

Investigatory Focus

Many law firms only work with the evidence available to them. Even some of the most experienced legal professionals take this approach, which often results in positive results for their clients. However, it’s important to remember that not all evidence is immediately available. Andrea DeMichael is committed to securing favorable outcomes for her clients — and often, this means going the extra mile to hire a private investigator or former law enforcement to investigate the facts of a case.

Commitment to Understanding

Being an attorney is complex and challenging. As such, many Lakeland criminal defense lawyers focus entirely on the job rather than personal service. While this may result in favorable outcomes, it also leaves their clients worried and unsure about what’s happening. Andrea DeMichael sits down with all her clients to ensure they understand the charges against them and all their options.

Should You Accept a Plea Deal From Prosecutors?

Many people don’t realize it, but most criminal cases never go to trial. In some instances, this is because the charges against a person were dropped. However, it’s more often the case that individuals accused of crimes accept a plea agreement. These agreements keep the system from grinding to a halt, so they’re a standard tool for prosecutors. In many cases, these “deals” will be presented as the best option — and they’re often accompanied by threats of more severe charges.

In some instances, taking a plea deal is undoubtedly the right move. Before signing off on any agreement, you should visit our law office. The prosecutor does not have your best interests in mind. In fact, they might be offering a deal because they’re worried they can’t prove their case at trial. Even if you’re concerned about upgraded charges, do not agree to anything until you speak with an attorney. Doing so could literally protect your freedom.

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Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Polk County Today

Building a strong defense case takes hard work when you’re charged with a crime. Remember, being innocent of a crime doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be convicted. And even if there’s overwhelming evidence against you, it doesn’t mean that you won’t be found not guilty or have charges dismissed. The criminal justice system is complex, nuanced, and dynamic. This is why you should always have an experienced legal advocate on your side.

At DeMichael Law, we understand what you’re up against. That’s why we advocate tirelessly on behalf of all our clients. We’re also easy to reach in our community. We’re just 3 minutes from Lakeland City Hall and a short 8-minute drive from Westside Park. Those coming from Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) are only 6.5 miles away and can reach us quickly via FL-563 N. Once you arrive, our primary focus will be to help you secure a favorable legal outcome.

Contact us today by calling (863) 216-1831 to schedule your initial consultation. Our criminal defense lawyer in Lakeland is here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

To fully understand your case, it’s important that you sit down with a legal professional. The simple fact is that no two cases — even those with similarities — are exactly alike. However, some general aspects of the law apply across the board. The following frequently asked questions shine light into these areas:

“Can charges against you be upgraded?”

Just because you’re charged with one crime does not mean that you won’t face more serious charges. In some instances, the circumstances of a case can evolve due to new developments or the discovery of new evidence. A prosecutor may also threaten to upgrade charges if you don’t accept a plea deal. In any of these situations, you should have a legal professional on your side.

“What if the prosecutor offers a fair plea deal?”

It’s often tempting to accept a plea deal. This is particularly true for those who believe the evidence is stacked against them — or if they simply want to avoid the risk of a more severe penalty at trial. However, there’s no way to tell if a plea deal is really “fair” based solely on the prosecutor’s word. You need a lawyer on your side to review and negotiate any potential agreement.

“Can I carry a firearm without a permit under Florida’s new law?”

Florida gun laws have recently become more lenient. However, this doesn’t mean we’re living in the Wild West. No online resource can tell you whether you’re legally allowed to carry. Specific criminal convictions and even allegations can affect your right to bear arms. There are also certain firearms you’ll need a permit for. Put simply, you need to understand the law. And if you’re facing gun charges, seek legal assistance.

“Can misdemeanors result in more than one year imprisonment?”

It’s a common belief that misdemeanor charges can only result in a one-year jail sentence. While this is technically true, it’s important to remember that criminal convictions in Florida can be sentenced consecutively. This means a person convicted of multiple misdemeanor charges could end up behind bars for much longer than a year.

“What if you’re wrongfully accused of domestic violence?”

Up to one-third of domestic violence claims are false. Even scarier, over 70% of men who experienced domestic violence from a female partner have been threatened with false allegations. These statistics are disheartening. However, it’s possible to fight false claims.  Having previous domestic abuse victim advocate experience, I understand the complexities of domestic violence cases and am prepared to help in any way possible. Contact DeMichael Law today to learn more about your options and how you can establish your innocence.

“Can you be charged twice for the same crime?”

Another common belief in the criminal justice system is that a person cannot be charged twice for the same crime. However, there are many instances where this is simply untrue. For instance, a mistrial will often result in charges being filed again. It’s also possible that a person could face prosecution for a crime in both state and federal court. Put simply, the system is never as straightforward as we might think.

“Won’t first-time offenders receive leniency?”

Often, first-time offenders are given leniency. In some cases, you may have the opportunity to avoid a criminal record — and diversion programs are occasionally possible. However, prosecutors are not mandated to “go easy” on anyone. Fortunately, a Lakeland criminal defense attorney can help negotiate a fair plea deal on your behalf.

“What are the consequences of white-collar charges?”

Many people don’t realize it, but white-collar criminal charges come with much more than the potential for high fines and jail time. These cases often get litigated in the media, and even if press coverage isn’t extensive, such charges can destroy reputations. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced white-collar crime lawyer on your side when facing serious charges.

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