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Expertise Best Criminal Defense Attorneys in St. Petersburg
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Firm Overview

St. Petersburg Attorneys Representing People in Criminal Matters

Criminal charges typically cause fear and apprehension, but simply because a person is accused of committing a crime does not mean that they will be convicted. Instead, in many cases, there are multiple defenses available. As such, it is smart for anyone charged with a crime to contact an attorney to discuss their options. If you are faced with accusations that you committed a criminal offense, the dedicated St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyers of Hanlon Law can advise you of your rights and help you to seek the best outcome available under the facts of your case. We regularly defend people charged with sex crimes, drug crimes, violent crimes, theft crimes, and a variety of other offenses in St. Petersburg and other cities throughout Florida.

Criminal Defense

In all criminal matters, the prosecution must prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This is true regardless of the severity of the charge. There is no statutory definition for the beyond a reasonable doubt standard, but it is generally understood to mean that the evidence must be so compelling that a reasonable person could not come to any conclusion other than that the defendant is guilty. In contrast to the prosecution, criminal defendants do not bear a burden of proof and are not required to offer evidence or prove their innocence. In some instances, though, it may be smart for them to offer defenses.

Drug Crimes

Under Florida law, it is illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute many controlled substances, including heroin, cocaine, Fentanyl, ecstasy, and GHB. People caught with illicit drugs in their possession can be charged with a variety of crimes, including drug trafficking. Many drug crimes carry significant penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences.

Sex Crimes

Sex crimes are among the most egregious offenses a person can be accused of committing. Examples of sex crimes include possessing or dispersing child pornography, prostitution, sexual battery, lewd and lascivious crimes, traveling to meet a minor, and sexual misconduct. A conviction for a sex crime can impact a person’s life long after their sentence is served, as they will often be required to register as a sex offender. As such, it is smart for anyone accused of a sex crime to contact an experienced St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney.

Violent Crimes

Violent crimes generally involve actual or threatened bodily harm of another individual. Rape, robbery, murder, aggravated assault, and aggravated battery are all considered violent crimes. Convictions for violent offenses often lead to a sentence of life imprisonment. The prosecution must establish intent to prove guilt for many violent crimes, though, including murder, and if it cannot, the defendant should be found not guilty.

Domestic Violence

Romantic and familial relationships can be challenging, and what starts as a simple disagreement can sometimes lead to a situation that results in domestic violence charges. The state will only charge a person with a domestic violence crime in certain situations. Specifically, domestic violence charges arise when the alleged perpetrator and victim have a family or household relationship, which means they are married, used to be married, are related by marriage or blood, or currently or previously lived together like a family.

Theft Crimes

In Florida, theft crimes typically fall into two categories: grand theft and petit theft. Regardless of how a theft crime is categorized, the prosecution must show that the defendant knowingly took, tried to take, or used another person’s property or that they intended to permanently deprive the victim of the property or use it for their own benefit. If the prosecution cannot establish each element of a theft crime, the defendant should be able to avoid a conviction.

White Collar Crimes

Typically, financial crimes involving deception, like embezzlement, Ponzi schemes, counterfeiting, and bribery, are referred to as white-collar crimes. While white-collar crimes generally do not involve violence or bodily harm, they are nonetheless serious offenses that carries substantial consequences. Certain while collar crimes carry enhanced penalties under a Florida law known as the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act.


People can be charged with DUI crimes if they have a blood-alcohol level of .08% or higher or if they operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. The penalties for DUI offenses increase with each subsequent conviction and can include fines, incarceration, license suspension, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device at the defendant’s expense.

Speak to a Trusted St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Being charged with a crime can be a harrowing experience, but there are often multiple arguments criminal defendants can make to avoid a conviction. If you are accused of a crime, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The trusted criminal defense attorneys of Hanlon Law are adept at helping people charged with criminal defenses in St. Petersburg fight to protect their rights, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly on your behalf. We have an office in St. Petersburg and additional offices in Tampa, Clearwater, Sarasota, and Bradenton. You can reach us via our online form or by calling us at 727.289.0222 to set up a confidential and free meeting.

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