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Your Criminal Defense Firm
First Coast Criminal Defense
Is the Team You Need on Your Side

Experienced Criminal Defense in Jacksonville

Get Skilled Defense From Highly Awarded Attorneys

If you have been arrested for or charged with a criminal offense in Florida, or if you even believe you are merely under investigation for a crime, you need a skilled criminal defense team now. At First Coast Criminal Defense, we focus our practice almost exclusively on criminal law. With extensive experience and a track record of success, our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys are well-equipped to represent you in the face of serious accusations.

Remember: if you are arrested, you are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That being said, the deck is stacked against you. The prosecution has extensive resources at its disposal and, in many cases, will seek the maximum possible penalties afforded under state and/or federal law. The sooner you contact our firm, the sooner our attorneys can begin building a solid defense on your behalf.

Call our Jacksonville criminal attorney in Jacksonville now at (904) 474-3115 or contact us online to get started with a complimentary case evaluation. We serve clients throughout Duval, Clay, and Nassau counties.

Why Choose First Coast Criminal Defense?

If you are charged with a criminal offense in the state of Florida, you can’t afford to take chances with your future. You need a criminal defense team that has the experience, skill, and resources to effectively protect your rights and defend your future.

At First Coast Criminal Defense, our award-winning legal team offers:

  • Personalized Legal Services: No two cases are the same and, as such, every case deserves the highest level of care and attention to detail. We provide personalized legal strategies that are tailored to your unique situation and legal goals.
  • A Hands-On Approach: By limiting the number of cases we accept, we are able to provide our clients with one-on-one legal services. As a client of our firm, you will work directly with your local defense attorney and our knowledgeable staff throughout the duration of your case.
  • Unlimited Accessibility: We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your calls, answer your questions, and provide updates on the status of your case. When you need us, we will be there for you.
  • A Proven Track Record of Results: First Coast Criminal Defense has a long history of achieving notable, favorable results for their clients.

When you trust your case to First Coast Criminal Defense, you have an entire team of award-winning trial attorneys, expert witnesses, and investigators on your side. Whether you have been arrested for DUI, charged with domestic violence, or investigated for a federal crime, our firm is prepared to fight for you.

Misdemeanors and Felonies in Florida

There are two main types of criminal offenses in Florida: misdemeanors and felonies. Although a felony is more serious compared to a misdemeanor, getting convicted of a misdemeanor still carries harsh criminal penalties, including jail time and fines.

Here are the two types of misdemeanors in Florida:

  • First-Degree Misdemeanor: This is the most serious type of misdemeanor offense in Florida.  The maximum penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
  • Second-Degree Misdemeanor: This is the least serious type of misdemeanor offense in Florida. The maximum penalties for a second-degree misdemeanor include up to 60 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.

On the other hand, felonies are punishable by more than one year in state prison, rather than county jail. Additionally, having a felony conviction on your criminal record can have a damaging and long-lasting impact on your personal life and professional reputation. You may also lose the right to vote or purchase a firearm.

The felony classes in Florida include:

  • Capital Felony: Capital felonies are the most severe category of offenses in Florida and involve crimes such as first-degree murder. The penalty for a capital felony is the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
  • Life Felony: Certain offenses, such as sexual battery, kidnapping, or drug trafficking, can be classified as life felonies. For life felonies, the penalties can include a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole or a term of years.
  • First-Degree Felony: First-degree felonies are the most serious type of felony offenses in Florida, excluding capital offenses. The maximum penalties for a first-degree felony include up to 30 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Second-Degree Felony: Second-degree felonies are more serious than third-degree felonies. The maximum penalties for a second-degree felony include up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Third-Degree Felony: This is the least serious type of felony offense in Florida. The maximum penalties for a third-degree felony include up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

What Is a Defense Attorney? 

A criminal defense attorney is a lawyer that focuses on defending individuals and companies who have been charged with alleged criminal activity. They represent defendants in court proceedings, advocate on their behalf during plea negotiations, handle all the necessary paperwork, and work to ensure their legal rights are protected throughout the entire process. 

Criminal defense lawyers understand the complexity of criminal law and have dedicated their careers to representing those accused of a crime. With experience navigating our justice system, they know how to build a strong case for each client. An experienced attorney can help you understand your charges and potential penalties as well as develop an effective strategy for your defense. A good criminal defense lawyer will also be prepared to challenge evidence presented by the prosecution.

what does a Criminal defense attorney do? How Can They Help Your Case?

Here are some key roles and responsibilities of a defense attorney:

  • Legal Representation: A defense attorney provides legal representation to their clients who have been accused of committing a crime. They advocate for their clients' rights and interests throughout the legal process.
  • Case Assessment: Defense attorneys evaluate the evidence, witness statements, and other relevant information to build a strong defense strategy. They analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case and advise their clients on the best course of action.
  • Legal Advice: Defense attorneys provide legal advice to their clients, explaining the charges against them, the potential consequences, and the available defenses. They help their clients understand their rights and guide them through the legal proceedings.
  • Investigation: Defense attorneys conduct their own investigations to gather evidence that supports their client's innocence or weakens the prosecution's case. This may involve interviewing witnesses, reviewing documents, or hiring experts.
  • Negotiation and Plea Bargaining: Defense attorneys negotiate with prosecutors to reach a plea bargain that may reduce the charges or penalties. They advocate for the best possible outcome for their clients, considering factors such as evidence, mitigating circumstances, and the client's wishes.
  • Courtroom Representation: Defense attorneys represent their clients during court hearings, including arraignments, bail hearings, pretrial motions, and the trial itself. They present arguments, cross-examine witnesses, and challenge the prosecution's evidence.
  • Legal Strategy and Defense Presentation: Defense attorneys develop a strategic defense plan tailored to each client's unique circumstances. They present this defense in a compelling manner, using legal arguments, witness testimony, and any supporting evidence.
  • Protecting Rights: Defense attorneys ensure that their clients' constitutional rights are protected throughout the legal process. They challenge any violations of due process, illegal search and seizure, or improper interrogation techniques.
  • Sentencing Advocacy: If their client is convicted, defense attorneys advocate for fair and just sentencing. They present mitigating factors and argue for leniency or alternative sentencing options.
  • Confidentiality and Professional Ethics: Defense attorneys maintain the confidentiality of their clients' information and adhere to professional ethical standards.

At its core, hiring a qualified criminal defense attorney gives you a better chance to protect your rights and freedom. Your attorney will use their knowledge of the law, experience in the courtroom, and resources available to them to present the best possible defense for you. 

No matter what type of criminal charge you are facing, it’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. They can provide invaluable support and guidance as your case moves forward. Make sure that you select an attorney who is knowledgeable about your specific case and circumstances, and who will work hard to defend you inside and outside the courtroom. 


Awards & Accolades

  • America's Best Top 10 Attorneys Criminal Defense 2023
  • America's Best Top 10 Attorneys Criminal Defense 2024
  • Consecutively Earned Since 2021
  • Consecutively Earned Since 2021
  • Top 10 Criminal Defense Since 2018
  • Top 10 DUI Defense Since 2018
  • American Association of Attorney Advocates
  • Best of the Best: Top 10 DUI Attorney
"I have had the pleasure of working with First Coast Criminal Defense, and it was a wonderful experience, I would highly recommend this Firm. They are totally responsive and will walk you through each phase step by step!"

Meet Your Attorney

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is the Strongest Type of Defense Against a Criminal Charge?

    When facing criminal charges, it is important to remember that having a good defense team is the best defense against conviction.

    This means hiring competent Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers and investigators who have experience with similar cases, as well as obtaining expert witnesses who are knowledgeable in fields related to the charge. A strong defense can help focus attention on reasonable doubt, casting doubt upon evidence presented by the prosecution.

    Knowing one’s rights and understanding their options makes a significant difference when constructing an effective defense against criminal charges. Having proper legal representation will provide the accused with counsel and guidance they need to ensure that justice is served.

  • What Do Defense Attorneys Do if You’re Accused of a DUI?

    If you are accused of driving under the influence (DUI), you may be wondering what will happen next and who will represent you in court. In most cases, you will be assigned a public defender, which is a lawyer who is appointed by the court to represent indigent defendants who cannot afford to hire an attorney. The defense attorney represents clients who have been accused of committing a crime and throughout the criminal proceedings.

    The DUI defense attorney's job is to ensure that their client receives a fair trial and to protect their constitutional rights. If you are facing DUI charges, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville on your side. They will work to protect your rights and ensure that you receive a fair trial.

  • Why Hire Local Criminal Lawyers Near You?

    You can find the best local criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville, Florida, in the country. When finding a local criminal lawyer, Jacksonville residents have an excellent option in First Coast Criminal Defense. Hiring a local criminal lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida, is vital to ensuring the best outcome of your legal process.

    With years of experience and familiarity with local laws, our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys have the expertise to provide their clients with outstanding representation in court.

    Hiring a Jacksonville criminal lawyer can offer numerous benefits when facing criminal charges, such as:

    • Legal Expertise: Our Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers are trained professionals with in-depth knowledge of criminal law, court procedures, and the local legal system. We understand the complexities of the law and can provide valuable insights into your case, ensuring that your rights are protected.
    • Case Evaluation: Our skilled defense attorney will thoroughly analyze the details of your case, including the evidence, witness statements, and any potential constitutional or procedural violations. We will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution's case, helping you understand the possible outcomes and options available to you.
    • Strategic Defense: With our experience and understanding of criminal law, our firm can develop effective strategies tailored to your specific situation. We can challenge the prosecution's evidence, present strong arguments in your favor, and negotiate for reduced charges or penalties. We may also identify opportunities for alternative resolutions, such as plea bargains or diversion programs.
    • Protection of Rights: Our criminal defense lawyer in Jacksonville ensures that your constitutional rights are upheld throughout the legal process. We will ensure that law enforcement authorities and prosecutors follow proper procedures, preventing any violations of your rights, such as illegal searches or coerced confessions.
    • Access to Resources: Our Jacksonville criminal defense attorneys often have access to a network of professionals who can support your case. We may collaborate with investigators, forensic experts, or expert witnesses to gather additional evidence, challenge the prosecution's case, or provide testimony in your defense.
    • Emotional Support: Facing criminal charges can be a highly stressful and overwhelming experience. A defense attorney not only handles the legal aspects of your case but also provides emotional support and guidance. They can help you navigate the legal system, answer your questions, and alleviate anxiety during this challenging time.
    • Mitigation of Consequences: Even if a conviction seems likely, our team can work to minimize the potential consequences. We may negotiate for reduced charges, lighter sentences, or alternative sentencing options such as probation, community service, or rehabilitation programs.
    • Courtroom Experience: Our Jacksonville defense lawyer is familiar with courtroom procedures and have experience presenting cases before judges and juries. We can effectively argue your case, cross-examine witnesses, and deliver persuasive opening and closing statements on your behalf.
    • Confidentiality: When you hire our Jacksonville criminal defense attorney, you are protected by attorney-client privilege. This means that you can openly discuss the details of your case, including any sensitive information, without fear of it being disclosed to others. This privilege fosters trust and encourages open communication between you and your lawyer.
    • Long-Term Consequences: A criminal conviction can have far-reaching consequences beyond immediate penalties, such as fines or imprisonment. It can affect your reputation, employment prospects, housing opportunities, and personal relationships. A skilled defense lawyer will strive to protect your long-term interests and work towards the best possible outcome for your situation.

    A local criminal defense attorney has numerous advantages, including local knowledge of Florida criminal laws, local county court rules and eligible bail bond options. Local criminal lawyers are also familiar with local prosecutors’ processes and procedures when handling cases, allowing them to be more effective in negotiating plea bargains and having a better understanding of how local judges will handle your case. Each local defense attorney brings a unique set of circumstances and knowledge to the table, allowing them to construct effective strategies for every case they take on.

    Best of all, local criminal attorneys often charge lower fees than lawyers from outside the area, making it an economically sound choice for those facing legal trouble.

    Seek the help of a local criminal attorney in Jacksonville, FL so you can feel more confident about the road ahead during this difficult time.

Why Put First Coast Criminal Defense on Your Side?

  • A Boutique-Style Law Firm With an Intentionally Small Case-Load
  • Providing Clients With Exceptional Representation Paired With Personalized Attention
  • We're Available for All Your Legal Needs Day or Night, 365 Days a Year
  • Experienced Trial Attorneys Ready to Handle Any Criminal Case in State Court

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