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Facing criminal charges can be stressful. You should not assume that there is a strong case against you simply because you have been arrested. Whether you are charged with a sex crime, a drug crime, or any other crime in Florida, it is important to hire a skillful Clearwater criminal defense lawyer. In fact, the earlier that you can get an experienced attorney involved and on your side, the greater is the likelihood of a favorable outcome. At Hanlon Law, our experienced attorneys fight for people who have been accused of sex crimes and other offenses.Crafting a Strong Defense to a Charge
Each crime, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. There are various defense strategies that we may be able to employ on your behalf, some of which may be procedural and others substantive. In some drug crime cases, for example, evidence is obtained illegally and can be subject to a motion to suppress. The police need to have a warrant supported by probable cause to seize drugs from your home. If they did not follow the proper procedures, you may be able to get the charge dismissed.
In other cases, an accuser’s credibility is in question, and a criminal defense attorney in Clearwater can make it difficult for the prosecutor to meet the burden. There are other instances in which we may be able to craft an alibi or to cast doubt on whether you had the intent required to commit a crime. Many crimes have a certain level of intent required to sustain the charge, but this can be challenging to do if we can discredit the prosecution’s testimony or present convincing testimony on your behalf.
Sometimes, even if we cannot secure an acquittal, it is possible for us to obtain a reduction to a charge that exposes a defendant to much more lenient penalties. For example, sometimes a sex crime against a child can be reduced to child abuse, which avoids the requirement of registering as a sex offender.
Each charge is different and should be taken seriously. Sometimes a defendant will be charged with more than one crime based on the same investigation or sequence of events. It is important for a Clearwater criminal defense attorney to develop a strategy for each charge and to be aware of the consequences to which each may lead. For example, drug trafficking charges often come with a mandatory minimum sentence. It is crucial to retain an attorney who understands the severity of the potential punishment — one from which a judge rarely has discretion to depart downward.
Getting an early start on the process can make a huge difference. Even if you have not yet been arrested or formally charged, you should get a strong advocate on your side during the initial investigation. We can communicate on your behalf with the prosecution, attempting to persuade them that you should not be under suspicion and that the charge should be dropped. This can end the process efficiently so that you never need to go to court or worry about having a criminal record.Retain a Criminal Defense Lawyer in the Clearwater Area
The prosecutor bears the burden of proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt, but this is no reason to be complacent about being investigated for a crime. When your future is potentially at stake, you should not take chances. You should hire a private attorney who will be personally dedicated to your case, rather than relying on a public defender who rarely has the time to meet with clients and is constantly juggling a wide range of cases. Hanlon Law provides experienced and skillful assistance to defendants in Clearwater and the surrounding cities. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has protected the rights of the accused since 1994. Contact Hanlon Law at 727.897.5413 or via our online form.