Criminal Defense

Dedicated Bradenton Attorneys Ready to Help You Fight Charges

If you are charged with a crime in Florida, you may face serious consequences, including a prison sentence and massive fines. In addition to these legal consequences, you may also face a social stigma, the loss of a job or an inability to get a job, an inability to obtain or keep a professional license, difficulties securing housing, and reputational harm. People convicted of felony sex crimes will need to register as a sex offender. Although misdemeanor charges are less serious than felony charges, these can have serious consequences for many aspects of your life as well. It is important to retain an experienced Bradenton criminal defense lawyer when you are being investigated or charged with a misdemeanor or felony. At Hanlon Law, we aggressively fight for the rights of the accused.

Potential Strategies in Criminal Defense

All misdemeanor and felony charges must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in Florida. This is a tough standard of proof for the prosecutor to meet. You are presumed innocent. The prosecutor bears the entire burden of proof to show that you actually perpetrated the particular crime and that you had the intent necessary to perpetrate the particular crime. The prosecutor is supposed to present such persuasive evidence that a reasonable person would not be able to doubt that you are guilty. There cannot be some reasonable alternative version of what happened in which you did not commit the crime or you did not have the requisite intent beyond what the prosecutor says happened. It is not enough for the prosecutor to show that you likely did it.

A reasonable doubt can be raised from the evidence, conflicts in the evidence, or a prosecutor’s lack of evidence. If we can raise a reasonable doubt, we may be able to obtain an acquittal. Sometimes you may be investigated for a crime such as child pornography or a drug crime without even knowing that you are under police surveillance or investigation. It is important to retain a criminal defense attorney in Bradenton as soon as you know that you are being investigated. The earlier that we get involved, the more likely it is that we can develop a strong defense strategy, such as an alternative account of what happened.

The right defense depends on the charges being brought against you. Often in drug crime cases, for example, there may be constitutional or procedural defenses available. For example, if the drugs were seized in an unreasonable search and seizure, it may be appropriate to bring a motion to suppress the illegally seized evidence. Without evidence of cocaine, for example, a charge of cocaine trafficking will not stand. Without evidence of lab equipment, ingredients, and meth illegally seized in a warehouse, for another example, it may not be possible for the prosecutor to secure a conviction for meth manufacturing.

Sometimes, an innocent person is persuaded by law enforcement to do something that he or she would not normally do. In certain cases, it may be possible for a Bradenton criminal defense attorney to argue entrapment. For example, if an officer poses as a minor online, and the fake minor keeps trying to get you to meet her downtown, you could be charged with traveling to meet a minor under Florida Statute section 847.0135(4) and soliciting a child for unlawful sex through a computer. Generally, it is not a defense to argue that the person pretending to be a minor was an undercover police officer. It is common for police officers to pose as a child or a parent of a child, and it is also common for a police officer to direct the nature of the conversation. However, it may be possible to argue that you were not predisposed to commit the crime. Of relevance to showing entrapment will be who initiated the talk of illegal sex acts with a minor, how persistent the officer was in getting you to commit the illegal act, and any documented reticence and reluctance.

Explore Your Options With a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Bradenton

Each situation is different, and it is important to retain an attorney who seeks to provide the strongest possible defense, given the unique circumstances of your case. If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony in Bradenton, you should retain an aggressive and experienced criminal lawyer. Will Hanlon has provided knowledgeable representation to the accused since 1994. You can contact Hanlon Law at 941.462.1789 or via our online form.