– Attorneys and Counselors at Law –

Brevard County Florida

Choosing Your Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

May 20, 2022

If you or your loved one has been arrested or charged with a criminal offense in Florida, you need to seek the guidance of a Florida criminal defense attorney. Hiring an experienced lawyer can help you approach the case effectively and seek appropriate advice to stay out of prison. However, choosing the ideal criminal defense attorney will take time and effort. 

Read on to discover how to choose the right criminal defense attorney in Florida to fight for your rights. 

What Is the Job of Criminal Defense Lawyers?

A criminal defense lawyer works with the accused and acts as their legal representative in criminal courts. Criminal lawyers gather information and facts and prepare the paperwork and everything related to the case to defend the defendant charged with committing a crime against the charges they are facing. These lawyers have the expertise and criminal law defense knowledge to help you fight your case and put you in the best possible situation when facing criminal charges. 

6 Steps to Select a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney 

Choosing the ideal criminal defense attorney can be daunting. After all, your case outcome may rely on choosing a professional and reliable attorney who knows what they are doing.  

Here are some steps you can take to choose the right criminal defense lawyer:

Step 1: Understand Your Legal Needs

Firstly, regardless of the degree of your criminal charge, you need to seek pertinent legal advice. Even if you do not hire a lawyer right away, you should request a consultation to ascertain your legal needs. If you face serious charges, you will benefit from obtaining legal representation before going to criminal court. 

Step 2: Federal or State Attorney

Depending on the particulars of your case, you might need a federal or state attorney. If you’ve broken a state law, you will need an attorney specializing in state law. If you have violated a copyright, the constitution, or federal law, you will need an attorney specializing in federal law. 

Step 3: Choose Attorneys That Specialize in Your Specific Criminal Defense Area

Most criminal defense law firms concentrate their practice in specific criminal defense areas. You will need to assess your legal needs and choose a criminal attorney who specializes in the defense area your alleged crime falls under. You certainly don’t want an attorney who is a jack of all trades and master of none. So, make sure to ask about areas of specialization and practice when making your decision.

For example Mario, Gunde, Peters & Kelley specializes in:

  • Appeals
  • Felonies
  • Community Control
  • DUI Defense
  • Juvenile
  • Probation
  • Sex Crimes
  • Grand Theft
  • Misdemeanors


We can offer you sound, specialized legal guidance in all the aforementioned areas. 

Step 4: Decide What Matters to You

Determine the qualities in an attorney that matter the most to you. Choosing a criminal defense attorney in Florida who has the qualities that matter will allow you to trust them implicitly. Perhaps you need a lawyer with strong communication skills, integrity, ethics, etc. Only you know what you want. So, make sure your chosen attorney aligns with your needs.

Step 5: Research Your Choices

Make sure the lawyers you shortlist are members of professional and reliable organizations, look at their testimonials, talk to their previous clients, and look for them on the State Bar site to ensure they are Certified, Criminal Law Specialists. Comprehensive research will help you find the right lawyer.  

Step 6: Schedule a Meeting

Lastly, reach out to your chosen criminal defense lawyers to see if they offer a free consultation. Schedule meetings with them to narrow down your options and make an informed decision.  

Your Initial Meeting with a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Florida

Your first meeting with a criminal defense lawyer is the first step in your defense. When preparing for the meeting, expect to answer the lawyer’s factual questions and questions that will reveal your character to them, and prepare your own questions to ensure you are comfortable with your chosen attorney. 

Questions Your Criminal Defense Lawyer Might Ask 

Your attorney will have your case file to peruse, but they will still ask you pertinent questions related to:

  • Whether you said something and to whom
  • Whether you heard, saw, or did something
  • What did the other parties say or do
  • Your location at the time of your arrest
  • What did the arresting officer say to you, how did they approach you, and more


Moreover, for your first meeting with your criminal defense attorney, you should bring your bail documents, arrest documents, any evidence, police report, property search report, and information regarding your witnesses. 

Questions You Should Ask Your Criminal Defense Lawyer

It’s pertinent to ask the right questions to your criminal defense attorney to ensure you made the right choice. Here are some questions you should ask them: 

Regarding Their Criminal Defense Background

  • Which professional organization do you belong to, and how long have you been practicing criminal law?
  • How often do your clients go to trial?
  • Have you pursued such cases and did you succeed in ensuring their outcomes were favorable?


Regarding the Case

  • What are my legal options, and what is in my favor?
  • What potential problems can you foresee in my case?
  • Will you be involved throughout the process, and can I meet your team?
  • What can I do to solidify my defense?
  • What are the best-case and worst-case scenarios with my case?
  • What should I avoid to prevent damaging my case?


Regarding Their Fees

  • Do you take a retainer fee, and how much do you charge?
  • Are your fees hourly or flat?
  • What’s included in your fees?
  • What expenses will I be expected to pay apart from your fees?
  • Will you give me an estimate of the total expenses?


Finding the Ideal Criminal Defense Attorney in Florida

Once you have taken the aforementioned steps, you can hire a criminal defense attorney who will be best suited for your case. Ideally, you need someone who has experience in the courthouse. This way, they will be more likely to know about the prosecutors working at that courthouse and how they operate. You should also consider hiring someone who is upfront, professional, experienced in your type of case, helpful, and charges a fair amount. Talk to the Legal Eagles at Mario Gunde Peters & Kelley.

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