When you are charged with a crime, you have the right to defend yourself. Get help avoiding a conviction that could destroy your life by contacting a respected criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota. 

Facing criminal charges can be terrifying. Your reputation and freedom is on the line. If you are found guilty of the charges against you, your entire life could be disrupted. Fortunately, the criminal justice system considers the accused innocent until proven guilty, and you’ll have your chance to defend yourself in court.

But you don’t have to go at it alone. Experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, Michael Fayard, is ready to represent your case. If I take on your case, you can be sure I will work diligently to determine which defense strategy will work best for you so you can clear your name and move forward with your life.

Types of Crimes That Warrant Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

The criminal justice system is complex. There are seemingly endless types of crimes someone could be charged with. When you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, you may need a criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota to help you.

Some of the most common types of crimes that criminal defense lawyers handle include:

Misdemeanor crimes are considered less severe than felonies. In Florida, misdemeanors are classified as either first degree or second degree.

Some examples of misdemeanor charges could include marijuana possession, petty theft, DUI, driving with a suspended license, battery, and disorderly conduct. 

Penalties for a misdemeanor conviction can vary, but those charges with first degree misdemeanors (the more severe of the two) could face up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and be on probation for one year. 

Felonies are far more serious than misdemeanors. There are five different categories of felonies: first degree felonies, second degree felonies, third degree felonies, life felonies, and capital felonies.

Some examples of crimes that may result in felony charges include homicide, kidnapping, abuse of a child, burglary, aggravated assault, and grand theft. 

Of the five types of felony charges, capital felonies are the most severe. Individuals charged with a capital felony face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and the death penalty as well as the requirement to pay restitution to their victims. 

Other Instances in Which You Might Need an Attorney

Sarasota criminal defense lawyers can help with cases that don’t necessarily have to do with defending you in court. For example, if you wanted to get your record expunged, you may need a criminal defense lawyer to help. 

We are also equipped to handle things such as probation violations, cases involving juvenile offenders, and obtaining plea agreements if that is in your best interests. You can reach out to Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law to learn more about the services offered. 

Penalties You Could Face When Charged with a Crime

The consequences you will face if you are found guilty of a crime will be based on the type of crime you are charged with and whether it is considered a misdemeanor or a felony.

You already know a little bit about misdemeanors and felonies, but let’s look at an example of the penalties you might face if you were arrested for a very common crime: drunk driving.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is almost always considered a misdemeanor charge, especially if it is your first offense. This second degree misdemeanor could land you in jail for up to sixty days, require you to pay a $500 fine, and result in the suspension of your license. 

But if someone was seriously injured due to your drunk driving, you could face third degree felony charges, and if convicted, spend up to five years in prison, have your license permanently revoked, and pay fines up to $4,000.

This is just one example of the consequences you could face if convicted of a crime in Sarasota. In order to avoid these ramifications, build a powerful defense with the help of a Sarasota criminal justice lawyer.

Sarasota Criminal Defense FAQ

If you have been arrested or are facing criminal charges, you are probably overwhelmed with questions about your case and what to expect next.

For this reason, I have provided information below that answers some of the most frequently asked questions former clients have had about their criminal case. 

If you have other questions that aren’t covered on this page, please reach out and schedule a free consultation so we can further discuss your individual questions and concerns. 

What is a plea bargain?

A plea agreement is an agreement you reach with a prosecuting attorney. In exchange for pleading guilty for a reduced charge, you will also receive a lighter sentence than you might have received if you had been found guilty of the initial, more serious charge.

Plea agreements may be a good option when the prosecutor has ample evidence of your guilt or if it is likely that you would face more serious charges.

Your criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota will let you know whether accepting a plea agreement is the better option in your case. 

How long will a conviction remain on my record?

Arrests and criminal charges will remain on your criminal record permanently. However, there are some instances in which you may be able to seal or expunge your record

If you were acquitted of the charges against you, you may be able to have your record expunged as early as ten years after your record was sealed.

Some crimes are eligible for expungement and others are not, so speak with your lawyer to determine the likelihood of getting your record expunged

Can’t I use a public defender?

You certainly could. Everyone is entitled to a defense, and those who cannot afford to hire a criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota may be inclined to work with a public defender. However, public defenders are often inundated with clients.

This means they often are unable to give your case the attention it really deserves. If the cost of hiring an attorney is holding you back, you’ve come to the right place.

When you choose Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law, you have the option to select a payment plan so you can get the exceptional legal representation needed to clear your name. 

Get Help from a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Sarasota

If you have been arrested for a crime and need aggressive legal representation, schedule a free consultation with Michael Fayard, Attorney at Law

As your Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, I will do everything possible to defend your case and show the jury that you are not guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

You can reach my office by phone at 941-306-1310 or through the online contact form at the bottom of this page.