Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Attorneys in St. Petersburg, Florida

To continue to be able to provide great representation for our clients, Golden Key Law Group, PLLC, is pleased to announce that it has broadened its practice areas to include criminal defense law. If you or are someone you know is arrested or has been issued a notice to appear, it is imperative that they seek legal counsel to ensure their legal rights are protected. Here at Golden Key Law Group, PLLC, you can rest assured that your rights will be advocated for and that we will diligently assist you in building your defense and strategizing a resolution to your criminal case.

Criminal Procedure

Being arrested is no laughing matter as the most precious thing we have — our livelihood and freedom — can be at stake. Luckily, certain procedural requirements must be followed and act to provide some clarity on to how criminal proceedings progress. After an arrest, you will receive a notice to appear (which will detail the crime you committed and summon you back to court at a later date) or you may be subject to pre-trial custody–i.e., end up in jail. In either circumstance, it would be prudent to seek legal counsel as soon as possible so you can ensure your rights are protected at this early juncture in the proceedings.

From there, your case can take a few different turns, from discovery to other pre-trial motions, and based upon the issues that arise herein, it is essential that you navigate this process competently. If the case is unable to be resolved throughout this discovery and motion phase, you will likely enter into the plea bargaining state. And, if still unsuccessful, you will likely be faced with a trial.

Charges

Whether it is a burglary, theft, or any other type of statutorily described crime, it is essential to know that each of these crimes that you can be charged with each has their own respective “legal elements” that the state will have to prove you violated–beyond a reasonable doubt. For instance, to be convicted for burglary, it must be shown that you (i) entered a structure or conveyance owned by or in possession of another person AND (2) at the time of entering the structure or conveyance, you had the intent to commit an offense inside that structure or conveyance.

On its face, this may seem simple; however, almost every word of the legal elements in your charged offense can lead to a legal hurdle that the State must overcome. For example, what if you arrested for burglary, but you had no intent to commit any offense inside the structure as you were trying to see if someone was ok inside? Moreover, what exactly is legally entailed when the law describes structures and conveyances? It is vital that you fully understand the legal elements of your charge so you can prepare your case accordingly.

Affirmative Defenses

Not only is important to understand the offenses you can be charged with, but it is also just as important to understand and comprehend some of the legal defenses a party can raise in a criminal case. Some defenses that may be applicable to your case include, but are not limited to:

  • having an alibi;
  • entrapment;
  • immunity from prosecution;
  • intoxication;
  • self-defense…etc..

Just like with charges, to raise these defenses, there are specific legal nuances that must be analyzed and pleaded. The most classic example of how these affirmative defenses can work is if, for example, you were arrested for punching someone; however, you assert the affirmative defenses of self-defense. Accordingly, although you may have punched someone, if you did it in self-defense, you could successfully beat the charge. In any case, it is always good to know what affirmative defenses may be available to you as these may be critical in winning your case.