TOP ORLANDO CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER

When your life collides with the criminal justice system, protect your freedom by reaching out to our top Orlando criminal defense lawyer who will fight for you, your family, and your future. There’s too much at stake for you to try to defend yourself against criminal charges. Get the help you need from criminal defense lawyers in Orlando you can trust.

If you’ve seen us on local or national news battling it out against tough opponents to defend clients, you know we won’t back down in helping you. Everyone facing criminal charges is innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution must also prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Our criminal defense lawyer can investigate your case and may find an effective defense that could result in dismissed charges, a favorable plea bargain agreement, or a reduced sentence.

To understand what we can do for you, look at what we’ve done for others.

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Lawyer Mike Panella

CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY MICHAEL PANELLA

He Can Put His Knowledge and Experience to Work for You

Criminal defense lawyer Michael Panella’s strong commitment to fairness in the justice system started at an early age when he saw an unjust legal outcome in a personal family matter. He brings this zealous advocacy to every defense case he handles, always working toward getting the best possible outcome for his clients.

Michael Panella’s hard work pays off. As a public defender, he was UNDEFEATED AT TRIAL. He knows how the court system operates, how juries decide cases, the approaches prosecutors take, and when a client should negotiate a plea bargain to avoid possibly harsh consequences. Michael Panella also works on criminal appeals and works to stop prison abuse.

A high achiever throughout his life, he graduated with honors from the University of Florida College of Law and at the top of his class from the University of Central Florida.

Our criminal defense attorney in Orlando, Michael Panella, has helped hundreds of clients take on criminal cases in a wide variety of areas. He was part of the team that successfully defended George Zimmerman in Florida’s highly publicized self-defense law case.

No matter what you’re charged with, whether that’s driving under the influence, assault and battery, or homicide, Orlando criminal defense lawyer Michael Panella will put his knowledge and experience to work for you. Securing justice for those accused of crimes is his passion.

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Orlando Defense Lawyer Mike Panella

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Interview: Stand Your Ground

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Brevard County Man Granted Immunity to 2015 Shootout with Deputies

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Why Hire An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

We Can Secure the Best Outcome in Your Case

Punishments in Florida criminal cases can be severe. Sentences are based upon the specific crime you’re accused of committing, the facts surrounding it, and whether you have prior arrests and convictions. Depending on your circumstances and which attorney represents you, your charges may be dismissed or reduced and you may avoid a criminal sentence or limit what you face.

What Might Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando Prevent?

You may face prison time, probation, fines, restitution, and home confinement, but that’s only the beginning. With a criminal conviction, you may lose your job or find it difficult to get hired; landlords may reject you when you try to rent a home; you could lose a professional license or be unable to obtain one. If a sex-related crime is involved, you may be listed on a sex crime registry for the public to see.

A key role for Michael Panella and his criminal defense lawyers in Orlando is investigating your case. We won’t take law enforcement’s word for it that you committed a crime. A significant part of securing the best outcome is thoroughly and professionally investigating your case.

We often find facts, evidence, and witnesses that contradict the prosecution’s claims. What we find, along with legal arguments based on it, often makes it difficult or impossible for prosecutors to carry their burden of proof, leading to reasonable plea bargain agreements and dismissed or reduced charges.

Based on your situation, our seasoned Orlando criminal defense lawyers will seek the most favorable outcome for you when you are prosecuted. Call (407) 233-1822 to speak with our experienced defense attorney.

Sentences for Misdemeanor Crimes

Crimes in Florida are classified either as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are usually less serious than felonies but can still involve jail time and hefty fines. Examples of misdemeanors include driving under the influence, petty theft, battery, vandalism, and domestic violence. Misdemeanors are divided into first- and second-degree categories:

  • First-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Second-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

The statute of limitations for prosecuting misdemeanors is one year for second-degree charges and two years for first-degree. The clock begins ticking on the date of the alleged crime. If the state doesn’t begin prosecuting your case within that time, you can typically have it dismissed. If you’re facing a misdemeanor offense, ask our criminal defense lawyers about your case. Our team can advise you of your legal options and your rights.

Sentences for Felony Crimes

Depending upon the crime and prior convictions, people found guilty of felonies might spend the rest of their lives behind bars. People convicted of capital crimes, such as first-degree murder, may face the death penalty.

Examples of felonies include murder, kidnapping, burglary, auto theft, and selling marijuana to a minor. Felonies are classified as capital, life, first-, second- and third-degree, which is the least serious.

People found guilty of first-degree felonies that are not a capital or life offense face up to 30 years in prison. For second-degree, it is up to 15 years, and third-degree is up to five years. Fines for felony convictions can be as high as $15,000.

The time limit to begin prosecution for felonies is within three years for second- and third-degree felonies. It’s four years for first-degree except in capital and life felonies. There is no statute of limitations for crimes in those classifications.

ORLANDO SELF-DEFENSE LAWYERS

IF YOUR ACTIONS ARE JUSTIFIED, CHARGES SHOULD BE DROPPED OR REDUCED

If you stood up for yourself after being unlawfully threatened and are now being prosecuted, you may be able to claim self-defense under Florida’s stand-your-ground law. This legal statute gives people the right to use force to protect themselves if they believe they are in imminent danger of being seriously hurt or killed by another person. This includes deadly force.

Depending on the facts of your case and applicable law, there could be many defenses to an assault, battery or even homicide charge, including that you acted in self-defense. Self-defense in a criminal case is considered an affirmative defense. You wouldn’t deny you used force. You would admit you used it but that you acted lawfully. There are three situations where self-defense may be a defense:

  • Your actions were reasonably necessary to prevent being imminently killed or injured.
  • You acted reasonably to protect another from imminent death, great bodily harm, or the use of unlawful force by the other party.
  • You acted reasonably to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. This includes many crimes, including murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, carjacking, home invasion robbery, robbery, and burglary. It covers aggravated assault and stalking as well as any other felony involving the use or threat of physical force or violence against anyone.

If you were involved in an incident where you used self-defense, talk to our self-defense lawyers to learn about your legal options. Don’t leave your future to chance. Leave the legal strategy to us.

As long as you weren’t engaged in criminal activity and were in a place where you had a right to be, stand-your-ground law may apply to your case.

Our Orlando criminal defense lawyers will examine the circumstances involved and fight for you in a self-defense claim. Call us today to learn how we can help you at (407) 233-1822.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE FAQs

Ask Questions to Help You Decide Which Criminal Defense Lawyer is Right for You

  • WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN AN ORLANDO CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY?

    Look for an attorney with a background practicing criminal law in Florida, including handling cases like yours. When looking for an attorney, ask a lot of questions. A few important things to find out include how long they have practiced criminal defense law, how many cases they’ve tried or settled, and how they would approach your case. It’s also a good idea to find out how easy the attorney is to reach. When facing potential jail time, the last thing you need is an attorney who does not quickly address your concerns. At Panella Law Firm, our communicative attorneys believe that when clients have questions, they deserve answers fast.

  • HOW MUCH DOES A DEFENSE LAWYER COST?

    The cost of criminal defense lawyers varies. Typically, a highly experienced and successful defense attorney costs more than one just starting out. The nature of the charge will also impact the cost. Keep in mind that while you may pay more for experience up front, in the long run you may pay much less in potential jail time and fines because of the skill that an experienced attorney will bring to your case.

  • WHY CAN’T I SAVE THE MONEY AND REPRESENT MYSELF?

    There is no law saying that people can’t represent themselves, but it is never a good idea. Most people don’t have the knowledge of the law and the justice system necessary to be successful in a legal case, which makes a negative life-changing outcome highly likely. Even people with legal knowledge should not represent themselves, because they’re unable to view their case objectively. An Orlando criminal defense lawyer will protect your rights.

  • WHAT IS A PLEA BARGAIN AGREEMENT, AND HOW CAN IT HELP ME?

    Most criminal cases aren’t decided at a trial. If charges can’t be dismissed early in the process on the grounds of police or prosecution mistakes, both sides often reach an agreement so they’ll avoid the uncertainty, time, and expense of a trial. That usually means a defendant will agree with the prosecution to plead guilty to the original or a reduced charge in exchange for an agreed-upon sentence ,which must be approved by the judge. Going to trial could mean taking considerable risks that aren’t worth it, depending on the proposed agreement.

OTHER WAYS OUR LAWYERS HELP YOU

Our clients always take center stage in our legal battles. What is personal to you, is personal to us. Sometimes this includes a difficult family law situation, securing a second chance at justice, or protecting your reputation. Whatever your legal problem or simply because you need results – Call Attorney Michael Panella.

Family Law Concerns

We know that legal problems within families are highly stressful. Rely on our firm to work compassionately with you when you experience a difficult divorce, a child custody issue, or other complex dispute. No matter what the situation, you can count on our skilled family lawyers to stand up for your best interests.

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Criminal Appeals in Orlando, FL

Were you wrongfully convicted of a crime? A criminal defense lawyer in Orlando with extensive experience handling appeals may convince a higher court to review your conviction. If successful, you could receive a new trial, new sentencing, or your conviction could be reversed. Don’t wait to speak with a criminal defense attorney who will fight for you when you are unfairly convicted.

Criminal Expungement in Orlando

A criminal charge can follow you for the rest of your life. It can affect your reputation, your employment, and even your family life. In some cases, you may be able to have your criminal record sealed or expunged to restrict who can see it. Our criminal defense lawyers in Orlando can advise you about sealing or expungement in your case.

No matter what legal help you need, Michael Panella is here to help you and your family. These issues won’t just go away by themselves. You should aggressively address them, put them behind you, and get on with living your life, knowing you need not be concerned about them any longer.

Choosing the Panella Law Firm & Your Consultation

We Can Discuss Your Case, How the Law May Apply, and the Best Approaches You Should Take

Being accused of a crime is a serious matter. You can boost your chances of the best outcome by working with a highly reputable Orlando criminal defense attorney. Having a seasoned criminal defense lawyer fighting for you can make the difference in your case.

No matter the crime you are accused of, our Orlando criminal defense lawyers will work in your best interests. As seasoned criminal defense lawyers, Panella Law Firm has secured positive resolutions for hundreds of people prosecuted for a wide variety of misdemeanor and felony crimes.

Contact Our Skilled Criminal Defense Attorneys in Orlando

Hiring the Best Attorney for You and Your Case May Be the Smartest Decision You Ever Made

When you face criminal prosecution, you may feel frightened and confused. Having the right criminal defense lawyer on your side can ease your anxiety and stress. Our attorneys at Panella Law Firm have the experience you can trust, they will listen to your side of the story, fight hard for you and your family, and always give you the respect you deserve. They are passionate about achieving justice for people accused of criminal wrongdoing.

  • Our knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers deeply understand Florida’s justice system. We will stop at nothing to get you the best results possible.
  • An experienced defense attorney can make the difference between jail time and walking free. We have a long track record of success in delivering positive outcomes to clients.
  • Whether you are facing prosecution, appealing a conviction, or want to wipe your record clean, you can count on our well-rounded law firm to zealously advocate for you.

Don’t wait to hire a criminal defense attorney in Orlando following an arrest. Call us now so that we can begin building your defense: (407) 233-1822.