Felony Defense Lawyer in Lakeland — Defending Our Clients Against the Most Serious Charges

Facing any criminal charge is a stressful and serious event. Even if a conviction doesn’t land you in jail, a criminal record can follow for you a lifetime. Unfortunately, that could be the least of your worries when facing felony charges. Allegations that fall into this category can result in prison sentences that exceed a year and thousands of dollars in fines. Due to such serious potential consequences, you should speak with a felony defense lawyer in Lakeland.

At DeMichael Law, we’ve seen the detrimental consequences of a felony conviction in Florida. Our state prides itself on being tough on crime. Unfortunately, this can easily lead to unfair outcomes. If you’ve been charged with a serious crime, you deserve the best defense possible. When you work with our law firm, you’ll have experienced legal representation committed to advocating on your behalf. Contact our Lakeland felony defense attorney today.

What Are the Consequences of a Felony Conviction in Florida?

People often differentiate misdemeanors from felonies by pointing out that the latter is punishable by more than a year in prison. While a year behind bars sounds harsh, the reality is often even more detrimental. Here are the types of Florida felony charges you may face, along with the potential consequences.

Capital Felonies

A conviction of a capital felony could result in the death penalty or imprisonment for life without parole. First-degree murder and capital drug trafficking fall into this category.

Life Felonies

A life felony is punishable by a life sentence, but parole is typically a possibility. Trafficking minors, injurious sexual abuse against minors, and other crimes fall into this category. Those convicted could face fines of $15,000 as well.

First-Degree Felonies

Felonies of the first degree can result in prison sentences of 30 years and fines of $10,000. First-degree arson, home invasion, and aggravated battery against a law enforcement officer fall into this category.

Second-Degree Felonies

Second-degree felonies can land a person in prison for 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Dealing with stolen property, aggravated battery, and leaving the scene of a fatal accident all qualify.

Third-Degree Felonies

A third-degree felony could result in a prison sentence of up to five years. Those convicted could also face a fine of $5,000. Crimes that fall into this category include stalking, armed trespassing, and firearm theft.

Additional Considerations

Clearly, any of these convictions have serious consequences. That’s why it’s so important to have a felony defense lawyer in Lakeland on your side. However, these penalties are just the tip of the iceberg. Felony sentence enhancements and habitual offender laws can result in even more serious outcomes.

What Criminal Defense Strategies Are Available?

If you’re facing felony criminal charges in Florida, it’s important to remember that you’re entitled to a defense. Fortunately, there are various strategies that could help you avoid conviction or disproportionate penalties. However, the specific defense in your case will depend upon the charges you’re facing. Every crime has certain elements that must be proven by the prosecution. Your defense will depend on showing these elements do not exist.

Still, there are some general defense strategies that apply to all felony charges. These include:

  • Innocence: Your felony defense attorney may argue that you did not commit the crime you’re accused of.
  • Alibi: Proving that you were not present when a crime occurred is a solid legal strategy.
  • Lack of intent: Most felony charges require the prosecution to prove intent.
  • Insufficient evidence: Evidentiary issues — such as unreliable collection methods, chain of custody problems, and witness credibility — can derail the prosecution’s case.
  • Constitutional violations: Even if a person is “caught red-handed,” there are certain constitutional issues that may help them avoid conviction.
  • Necessity or self-defense: In some instances, your Lakeland felony defense attorney can argue that your actions were necessary or taken in self-defense.

These defenses are just the tip of the iceberg. The best strategy will depend entirely upon the specifics of your case. At times, it’s possible to have charges dropped entirely. In other situations, your attorney may be able to work out a favorable plea agreement. Of course, there are also instances when fighting in court may be necessary. Whatever the case, our law firm is here to help.

Should You Accept a Plea Deal?

When facing felony charges in Florida, there’s a good chance you’ll be offered a plea arrangement. This is extremely common for first offenses, but even individuals with a criminal record are typically offered a plea deal. When this happens, accepting may seem like your best option. That’s because the prosecution will usually tell you that going to trial will have more severe consequences. In fact, they may even threaten to levy more serious charges.

For instance, perhaps you’re accused of a crime that can be charged as a first- or second-degree felony. As discussed above, there’s a 15-year difference in the maximum penalty for these two charges. Based on that fact alone, agreeing to a guilty plea for second-degree charges rather than going to trial over first-degree charges may seem like a smart decision. However, this isn’t always the case.

The fact is that these plea arrangements are often offered because the prosecution doesn’t have a strong case. If they can get you to plead guilty, they can avoid a public trial that may end in a verdict of not guilty. They want to get you convicted and through the system as quickly as possible. However, you shouldn’t let the state’s desire for expediency ruin your life. Discuss your case with a felony defense lawyer in Lakeland to better understand your options.

Contact a Felony Defense Lawyer in Lakeland Today

Florida has long prided itself on being a “law and order” state. Unfortunately, the justice system doesn’t always get things right. People frequently face false allegations, and many are convicted even when the evidence doesn’t support a conviction. When you’re facing serious charges in Florida, it may seem like your options are minimal. However, an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help.

At DeMichael Law, our legal firm has the dedication and knowledge to help you fight back. We’ve seen what can happen when people are unfairly railroaded by the system. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when someone doesn’t have legal representation or settles for a public defender. Don’t let this happen to you. Contact us today by calling (863) 216-1831 to schedule a consultation with a felony defense lawyer in Lakeland.

You need a skilled legal advocate on your side, and that’s exactly what we offer.