Time is of the Essence

Hanlon Law knows that time is of the essence, we move quickly to protect your future.


With over 20 years of experience, we focus solely on Criminal Law and Injunctions.

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“Mr. Hanlon has the confidence and experience you need when dealing with possible criminal charges.”

Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Hanlon Law Firm
Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney Fighting for Your Future

Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer The Hanlon Law Firm

Hanlon Law provides knowledgeable and tenacious representation to people in the Tampa Bay area who have been charged with a wide variety of crimes. A conviction may change the lives of both a defendant and their family, so it is critical to assert your rights as vigorously as possible throughout the criminal justice process. Advocating for people in Clearwater, criminal defense lawyer Will Hanlon has more than two decades of experience in these cases and a strong track record of success for the people who seek his assistance. Our firm works tirelessly to investigate the unique circumstances of each case and craft a legal strategy accordingly. We walk clients through the process with personalized and compassionate attention.

Vigorous Representation Against the Prosecution

Time is of the essence in criminal cases, whether they are based on allegations of domestic violence, a sex offense, a DUI, or a drug crime. Whether you have been charged with a crime or simply questioned as a suspect, it is vital that you have an experienced criminal defense lawyer at your side as early as possible. However, you should remember that just because you have been questioned, arrested, or charged does not mean that you will be convicted. The burden is on the prosecution to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that you committed the crime for which you are charged. This is the highest standard of proof in the U.S. legal system.

Useful defenses in many cases revolve around whether police officers followed appropriate procedures and complied with constitutional requirements in how they interacted with the defendant. Police must have a “reasonable suspicion” to believe that a crime is being or recently has been committed to stop you on the street or pull over your car. They may search you for weapons during a stop, but only if they have a reasonable suspicion that you may be armed. If police want to search your home or car without a warrant, they must have “probable cause” to believe that a crime is or has occurred. Although there are some exceptions to that rule, they raise complicated legal questions that should be considered in consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Even if you qualify for a public defender, it pays to have a private attorney on your case. A criminal conviction carries a possibility of significant fines and jail time that could cost you your job and create a stigma that may undermine your professional career. In sex crime cases, for example, a conviction means that you must register with the state as a sex offender. That information is posted to a public website, meaning that friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers will be able to find out about your record. An accomplished criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges by ensuring that a judge or jury gets to hear your side of the story. This may involve presenting exonerating evidence from alibi and character witnesses.

Although many public defenders are very capable, most are overworked and have a strong incentive to resolve as many cases as possible as efficiently as possible. This may not always be the best strategy for an individual defendant. By contrast, a private attorney has the time and resources to build a thoughtful defense and take a case to trial if necessary.

Seek Guidance from a Criminal Defense Attorney in the Clearwater Area

If you need a sex crime lawyer or representation against charges of violent crimes, drug offenses, DUI, or other crimes, Hanlon Law is ready to fight for your future. Clearwater criminal defense lawyer Will Hanlon understands the stress that comes with being suspected of or charged with a crime. He leaves no stone unturned in crafting defenses for the people whom he represents. You should not take a chance with your freedom and your future. We serve defendants throughout the Tampa Bay region, including in St. Petersburg, Tampa, and surrounding cities. Call us at 727.897.5413 or contact us online to discuss your case with a seasoned criminal defense lawyer.


    I retained Mr. Hanlon for two cases... He handled both cases very quickly and without me present. The end result was all three charges on two separate cases were dismissed. I couldn't be more pleased with the service I received from Mr. Hanlon.


    Excellent attorney! Will handled my petty theft case with the utmost professionalism and kept me informed of my options and choices every step of the way. The evidence was highly circumstantial and predatory, but luckily the whole case was null processed. I highly recommend Will because of his expertise and knowledge.


    Mr. Hanlon was extremely professional in handling my DUI case. His office was very helpful in answering all my questions. I was so pleased when he reduced my charge from a DUI to Reckless Driving. It was a weight off my shoulders. I would highly recommend him for any DUI case based on his high success rate in reducing the charges. Thanks again Mr. Hanlon.

Felonies / Misdemeanors

Criminal law distinguishes crimes by the level of severity. Felonies are the most serious crimes and misdemeanors are less serious. The severity of the sentence attached to felonies and misdemeanors depends on the nature of the behavior. The commission of certain felonies can carry a sentence of life imprisonment or even death. Misdemeanors can carry an incarcerative sentence in the county jail but never Florida State Prison. It is important to realize that certain types of behavior that may be deemed a misdemeanor can be aggravated into felonies and other felonies can also be aggravated to more serious felonies based on the nature of the conduct and prior acts involving the same criminal conduct.

FelonyCapital FelonyExample + Consequences
  • Homicide committed during the perpetration of a violent felony offense
  • Punishable by death or life imprisonment in Florida State Prison without the possibility of parole
FelonyLife FelonyLife Example + Consequences
  • Robbery with a firearm or other deadly weapon
  • No more than 40 years of imprisonment in Florida State Prison
  • Fine up to $15,000
Felony in theFirst DegreeExample + Consequences
  • Aggravated battery causing great bodily harm with a deadly weapon
  • No more than 30 years of imprisonment in Florida State Prison
  • Fine up to $10,000
Felony in theSecond DegreeExample + Consequences
  • Lewd and lascivious conduct
  • No more than 15 years of imprisonment in Florida State Prison
  • Fine up to $10,000
Felony in theThird DegreeLife Example + Consequences
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • No more than 5 years of imprisonment in Florida State Prison
  • Fine up to $5,000
First & Second DegreeMisdemeanorsExample + Consequences

First Degree

  • Domestic Battery
  • No more than a year in the County Jail
  • Fine up to $1,000

Second Degree

  • Petty theft
  • No more than 60 days in the County Jail
  • Fine up to $500
Clearwater & St. Petersburg Criminal Lawyer Blog
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