Criminal Justice Lawyers in Florida
The Florida criminal defense attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm represent clients throughout the following areas in the greater Tampa Bay area including:
- Hillsborough County – Tampa and Plant City
- Hernando County – Brooksville
- Pasco County – New Port Richey and Dade City
- Pinellas County – Clearwater and St. Petersburg
- Polk County – Bartow and Lakeland
- Manatee County – Bradenton
- Sarasota County – Sarasota
The partners are the firm are lifetime members of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL), the largest and most respected legal organization for the top criminal defense attorneys in the State of Florida.
Our attorneys also belong to various legal organizations focused on criminal justice including the criminal law section of the Florida Bar and the Hillsborough County Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACLD).
What do criminal defense attorneys do?
The job description of a criminal defense attorney is to zealously represent their client. A criminal defense attorney can help their client at every stage of the criminal case from the initial investigation through the final resolution of the case.
Some criminal defense attorneys are employed by the state or federal government to represent people who cannot afford to retain an attorney (often called a “public defender”).
Criminal defense attorneys also practice in the private sector representing clients who pay money to retain them for their services. Most attorneys in the private sector also devote a portion of their practice to taking cases on a pro bono basis.
The job description of a criminal defense attorney includes filing and litigating any viable:
- motions to suppress evidence illegally obtained;
- motions to exclude evidence that is unduly prejudicial; or
- motions to dismiss charges not supported by sufficient evidence.
Attorneys also prepare the case for a bench trial in front of the judge or a jury trial in front of a jury.
Before trial, the prosecutor and defense attorney will discuss a possible plea bargain. The more prepared the attorney is for trial or the more likely it is that a “not guilty” verdict might be returned, the more willing the prosecutor might be to make a better plea bargain offer to resolve the case.
Ultimately, the client will decide between accepting the best possible plea bargain agreement that can be negotiated or going to trial. If the client is found guilty at trial, a criminal defense attorney can continue to fight the case by filing a direct appeal or post-conviction motion.
The term criminal justice attorney applies more broadly to all types of attorneys that work within the criminal justice system including judges, prosecutors, and attorneys for law enforcement agencies.
Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (HCACLD) – Find information on HACDL, an organization that supports the criminal defense bar in Hillsborough County in both state and federal court.
Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – Founded as a non-profit association in 1988, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc., (FACDL) supports and educates criminal defense attorneys throughout the state through networking opportunities, quality continuing legal education seminars, and its publication “Florida Defender.” Since its creation, FACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused. Leslie Sammis and Jason Sammis are both Life Members of this organization.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.