Articles Posted in Criminal Defense

If you have been charged with a crime, it is important to seek legal representation. A criminal defense lawyer can help protect your rights and guide you through the criminal justice system. This blog post will discuss some of the basics of criminal defense law in St. Petersburg, Florida. We will cover topics such as bail, plea bargains, and sentencing. If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, please contact a qualified criminal defense lawyer at Hanlon Law immediately!

If you are arrested, remain silent and contact a lawyer immediately.

If you are arrested, the police will ask you to question you. Never make statements before speaking with a lawyer. The prosecution can use anything that you say against you in court. Never answer questions without your attorney present, even if the police officer assures that it is only for his protection or well-being. There’s no such thing as “speaking off the record.” Anything and everything you tell law enforcement officials can be used against you later in court proceedings. There have been countless instances where suspects confessed to terrible crimes after enduring long hours of questioning, even when they were innocent!

If you need a criminal lawyer in St. Petersburg, Florida, you have come to the right place. Our firm has over 25 years of experience defending clients who have been accused of all types of crimes. We understand that this can be a difficult time for you and your loved ones, and we will do everything we can to help you get through this ordeal. This blog post will discuss what to expect when working with a criminal lawyer in St. Petersburg, Florida.

What to do if you are arrested?

As soon as you are arrested, the police will read you your Miranda rights. These rights include the right to remain silent and not answer any questions, the right to hire a lawyer, and that anything you say can be used against you in court. You should always exercise these rights by remaining silent and asking for a criminal attorney. When talking with law enforcement officials regarding criminal charges, you should not speak unless an attorney is present. Never volunteer information or tell anyone about your case without consulting with a criminal defense lawyer in St Petersburg, Florida.

Being accused of a crime can cause a massive setback in an individual’s life, making the performance of one’s daily activities a struggle. The criminal attorneys at Hanlon Law are here to ensure that people accused of a crime get the fair legal representation they deserve. Hanlon Law is an award-winning and publicly acclaimed legal team founded over 20 years ago. Some of the cases handled include sex crimes, aggravated assault, domestic violence, DUI charges, and drug crimes.

(St. Petersburg, FL February 2022) Criminal attorney Will Hanlon is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the accused for a wide range of offenses under Florida and federal laws. Mr. Hanlon has a deep understanding for each of his client’s situations and provides an aggressive approach in defending his client’s freedom.

As a top-rated criminal lawyer in St. Petersburg, he has over two decades of experience representing St. Petersburg clients charged with offenses ranging from sex crimes, aggravated assault, domestic violence, and drug crimes. Mr. Hanlon brings the same zealous advocacy to the courtroom no matter the case.

If you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg, you have come to the right place. This comprehensive guide will discuss everything you need to know about finding the right criminal defense lawyer for your needs. In addition, we will cover topics such as what to look for in a criminal defense lawyer, comparing different lawyers, and what questions to ask before hiring. So, whether you are facing criminal charges for the first time or have been arrested before, read on for helpful advice on finding the best criminal defense lawyer in St. Petersburg!

What to look for in a criminal defense lawyer?

When you are looking for a criminal defense lawyer, it is vital to find someone who has the experience and knowledge to help you with your case. In addition, you need someone who can navigate the legal system and protect your rights.

Hanlon Law is a premier criminal defense law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida. In a recent update, the firm shared the importance of hiring a criminal defense attorney.

(St. Petersburg, FL January 2022) In a website post, Hanlon Law has highlighted why someone should hire a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney and what sets them apart from other firms.

If you have been charged with a sex crime, a gun crime, a drug crime, or any other criminal offense, you should retain legal counsel from a defense attorney at Hanlon Law. What makes the firm and its top criminal attorney William Hanlon unique is his adept understanding of each of his client’s circumstances along with his determination in protecting his client’s future and freedom. William and his legal team work hard to provide a vigorous defense for their clients. Alongside that, here are the other reasons why one should hire a criminal defense attorney at Hanlon Law.

Battery is a severe charge that carries weighty penalties. Additionally, if a person convicted of battery is later found guilty of another crime, their penalties may be increased. In most cases, crimes are classified according to their severity, and convictions for more egregious crimes can result in long prison sentences. A Florida court recently reviewed how previous record points are assessed for crimes that are not classified by degree in a case where the defendant claimed his prior convictions for battery and other charges were unjustly calculated. If you are charged with battery or any other crime, it is in your best interest to  consult with an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney to discuss your options for seeking a just result.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant was charged with battery, kidnapping, and other offenses. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. He filed a motion in July 2020, alleging that the life sentence he received for kidnapping was excessive. In other words, he argued that his sentencing guideline scorecard was inaccurate because his previous conviction was in the early 1970s when Florida crimes were not classified by degrees. Additionally, he asserted that because the degrees of his previous convictions were not defined, they should have been classified as third-degree felonies. The court denied his petition and he appealed.

When a person is charged with a crime, the court will typically set one or more hearings that the individual must attend. Even if a person makes every effort to appear in court, mistakes sometimes happen, and a criminal defendant may fail to show up for a scheduled hearing. It is important for people who have missed court dates to understand the potential consequences of their actions and what measures they should take to mitigate the possible penalties. If you missed a scheduled criminal hearing, it is in your best interest to meet with a capable St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to assess your options.

What to Do if You’ve Missed Your Court Date

First, it is prudent for anyone who has missed a court date to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Typically, the attorney will contact the court and attempt to diminish any negative ramifications that may arise out of the failure to appear. For example, if you were released on bond prior to the hearing, the bond may be forfeited, and you may have to pay additional fees to remain out of jail. In some instances, the bond may be revoked altogether, and you may be sentenced to pre-trial detention. The judge could also issue a bench warrant, which means that the police can arrest you and detain you in jail until your next hearing date.

Perhaps the most serious consequence you might face for the failure to appear for a court hearing is in additional charges outside of the offenses the hearing you missed was scheduled to address. Specifically, Florida Statute 843.15 provides that if you willfully fail to appear before a judge, you may be charged with a crime. If the underlying offense you are charged with is a felony, you will be charged with a felony of the third degree, while if the underlying charge was a misdemeanor, you will be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree. You may also be held in contempt of court. Continue Reading ›

In Florida, the State will typically institute a criminal case by filing an information with a court. An information sets forth the charges against the defendant as well as the essential facts that support such charges. Thus, if the State is permitted to amend the information after the case is underway, it may adversely affect a criminal defendant’s substantive rights. Recently, a Florida court issued an opinion discussing when an amendment of an information is permissible in a case in which the defendant was charged with lewd and lascivious behavior. If you are faced with accusations that you engaged in criminally inappropriate behavior, it is wise to talk to a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to determine what defenses you may be able to set forth.

The Charges Against the Defendant

It is reported that the defendant was charged with four counts of sexual battery and numerous other crimes via an information. During the trial, the State moved to amend the information to change the sexual battery crimes to lewd or lascivious molestation. The defendant objected, but the trial court permitted the State to make the requested changes. The jury found the defendant guilty as charged, after which the defendant appealed, arguing that the amendment violated his rights. On appeal, the appellate court found in favor of the State.

When Amendment of an Information is Permitted

Under Florida law, amending an information during trial is permitted in certain circumstances. Specifically, the State may substantively amend an information at trial, even if a defendant objects to the modification, if it will not result in prejudice to the substantial rights of the defendant. If the defendant’s rights will be violated, however, a request to amend an information should be denied. In the subject case, the appellate court agreed with the trial court that the amendment did not impair the defendant’s substantive rights.

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Hazing is a long-standing tradition in many college fraternities and sororities. Hazing is also unlawful, and parties that engage in hazing can be charged criminally for any harm that occurs as a result of the hazing. Further, a person may be charged criminally for hazing even if he or she did not directly participate in the unlawful activity. This was demonstrated in a recent case decided by the District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District, in which the court reversed a trial court’s dismissal of hazing charges against a fraternity president. If you live in St. Petersburg and are charged with hazing or any other crime alleging you caused bodily harm, it is sensible to meet with a skillful St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney to discuss your options for striving to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that the defendant was the president of a fraternity at a Florida university. As the president, he presided over all fraternity activities and agreed to all pledge activities. Additionally, he was present for a meeting in which the members of the fraternity’s executive board discussed the dangers of the underage pledges becoming intoxicated at an upcoming pledge event, and he encouraged the event to take place.

Allegedly, during the event in question, the victim consumed most of a bottle of bourbon and subsequently died of acute alcohol intoxication. His blood alcohol concentration at the time of his death was over 0.44%. The defendant was not present at the event. The State charged the defendant with one count of felony hazing and one count of misdemeanor hazing, however. During a pre-trial hearing, the court dismissed the felony hazing count, after which the State appealed.

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Advances in technology over the past several decades have vastly changed the manner in which criminal cases are prosecuted and defended. For example, in many criminal cases, the prosecution will seek to introduce DNA evidence to establish the defendant’s guilt. Defendants can introduce DNA evidence as well, but only under certain circumstances. The District Court of Appeal of Florida, First District, recently discussed the parameters for a defendant’s right to post-conviction DNA testing in a case in which the defendant appealed his convictions for multiple sex crimes. If you live in St. Petersburg and are charged with one or more sex crimes, it is prudent to meet with a knowledgeable St. Petersburg sex crime defense attorney to discuss what evidence you may be able to set forth in your defense.

Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with sexual battery on a victim under twelve years old and lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim under eighteen years old. The alleged victim was the defendant’s stepdaughter. At trial, the victim testified that when she was ten years old, the defendant came into her room at night and touched her genitals with his hand and genitals. She also testified that the defendant hit her on the leg with a belt and that she still had a mark from when he hit her. Lastly, the victim testified that the defendant threatened to beat her if she reported his behavior to anyone.

Reportedly, the defendant was found guilty of both charges and was sentenced to life in prison for the sexual battery charge and fifty-five years imprisonment for the lewd and lascivious molestation charge. He filed multiple post-conviction motions, all of which were denied. He then filed a motion for post-conviction DNA testing. The court denied his motion, and he appealed.

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