Avvo Rating badge
NACDL badge
Expertise badge
Avvo Rating badge
Expertise Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in St. Petersburg
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100


Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg

Florida police need to treat everybody fairly in the criminal justice system, irrespective of their race, ethnic background, religion, or national origin. Getting arrested can be a distressing experience, particularly if you feel that your rights may have been violated. If you are arrested or anticipate getting arrested, you should consult a skilled St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer at Hanlon Law. We fight for the rights of the accused.

Arrest Warrant

A judge or magistrate must have good reason to believe you committed a crime to sign an arrest warrant. In most cases, an arrest warrant is required before you can be taken into custody from your home. However, you can be arrested at home under certain circumstances. After an arrest warrant is issued a police officer can arrest you even if he doesn’t have physical possession of the warrant. There usually isn’t a time limit on using the warrant to make an arrest. Before coming into your home, a police officer is supposed to knock, identify herself and let you know you’re going to be arrested. A seasoned criminal defense attorney can review the facts of your case to determine if law enforcement engaged in any improper conduct in this context.

Arrests Without a Warrant

Under Florida Statute section 901.15, there are a number of situations in which an arrest without a warrant may be lawful. For example, a police officer can arrest someone without a warrant if he or she perpetrated a felony or misdemeanor or ordinance violation in front of the officer. In that case the arrest has to be immediate or made in fresh pursuit. An arrest without a warrant can also be made where a felony has been perpetrated and the officer reasonably believes the arrestee perpetrated it. It can also be made where the officer reasonably believes a felony has been or is being perpetrated and the person to be arrested has perpetrated it. An arrest without a warrant could be lawful where another peace officer is holding the warrant that’s been issued. Similarly, where there’s probable cause to believe someone has committed domestic violence or dating violence, it may be possible to arrest without a warrant.

Miranda Rights

If you’re arrested, you can be taken into custody. You won’t be able to leave the scene if you are in custody. You can be detained or held for questioning for a brief period if the police think you were involved in a crime. If you are arrested or detained, you need not answer questions except to provide your name and address and show whatever identification is requested. However, if the police suspect you of loitering, the police can ask for identification and ask you to explain your actions, and if you refuse, you could be arrested for loitering. Similarly, if you are stopped on the road while driving, a police officer is entitled to see your driver’s license and vehicle registration and ask you questions about identification. Roadside stops are not custodial and police are permitted to ask you routine questions.

If you’re arrested and taken for a custodial interrogation, you should be given a Miranda warning. Miranda warnings only need to be given if you are in custody and being interrogated. They don’t need to be given, for example, during a simple stop and frisk because the police believe you have a weapon.You should be aware that if you voluntarily make statements to the police, these statements can be used against you at trial. There are exceptions. One is if the police has a reasonable need to protect the public from immediate danger and asks questions intended to protect against an imminent threat.

Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in St. Petersburg

It’s crucial to know your rights if you are facing arrest or are under investigation in St. Petersburg. If you have been accused of a crime, you should contact Hanlon Law. Our founding lawyer Will Hanlon has provided knowledgeable legal representation and counsel to the accused since 1994, and may be able to develop a strong defense against charges brought by the prosecution against you. Please call Hanlon Law at 727.289.0222 or contact us via our online form.

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help. I had every confidence that Mr. Hanlon had the knowledge, expertise, and experience to handle this problem. Approximately 4 weeks from an initial conference with Mr. Hanlon, we received a call with the news that a letter of release was being issued and the case was being dropped. Now my family member can finally exhale, take a deep breath, and go on with his life. Thank you, William! Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse