Gainesville Criminal Defense Lawyer
Your arrest was just the beginning of what could be a very frightening time in your life. You will face court dates, police interrogations, and uncertainty about your future. However, it is important to note that an arrest is not a conviction, and you are not alone in this.
A Gainesville criminal defense lawyer from Meldon Law will be a fierce advocate on your behalf. Whether you’re a UF student facing a DUI or a longtime Gainesville resident in legal hot water, our lawyers offer hope.
Call our team today to discuss fighting your charges at (352) 373-8000.
Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Have Experience Fighting All Types of Charges
We’ve fought for members of the Gainesville community for years. Our firm tailors our defense strategies to the needs of every client, fighting for a dismissal, acquittal, or reduction of charges.
Our lawyers uphold clients’ rights throughout the process, seeking the best possible outcome for people facing:
- Drunk driving and DUI cases, including first offenses and subsequent offenses;
- Felony DUI cases;
- Driver’s license reinstatement after a drunk driving conviction;
- Simple assault and aggravated assault;
- Drug offenses, including drug possession and drug trafficking;
- Federal fraud and other white-collar criminal offenses;
- Computer and internet crimes;
- Bank robbery;
- Theft and shoplifting crimes;
- Weapons offenses;
- Computer pornography;
- Sexual battery and other forcible sex offenses; and
- Expungement – a process that allows you to clear your record
Our team also represents UF students at Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution (SCCR) disciplinary hearings.
Our Lawyers Tackle Even the Most Complex-Seeming Cases
You could face state or federal charges, even if your crime solely took place in Gainesville. The severity of the charges you face depends on many factors, including the details of the alleged crime, your criminal history, and other extenuating circumstances. But why are we discussing this?
Cases with both state and federal charges may be more complicated. Our attorneys have successfully fought charges at the state and federal levels. We don’t want you to worry that your case is too complex for our team to handle. The court has not decided your fate. You have options for protecting your future––and one of those options includes partnering with Meldon Law.
The Impact of a Criminal Conviction in Gainesville
It is important to remember that being charged is not the same as being convicted. A charge means the prosecution believes you committed a crime. A conviction means that you went through the judicial process, and the court found you guilty.
However, this does not mean you should take an arrest or charge lightly. Criminal penalties are severe and differ depending on the charge you face.
- If you were arrested for drug possession, you could face years in prison, and the crime could remain on your record forever. You could face drug possession charges for something as simple as having a baggie of cocaine or a bottle of Adderall without a valid prescription.
- If you were arrested for a sex crime (such as sexual battery), you could face third-degree felony (or higher) charges. This could result in prison time, fines, and inclusion on a sex offender registry.
If you have a prior conviction, you could face higher penalties.
A Conviction Affects Every Aspect of Your Life
The penalties listed above are often just the beginning. A conviction can have long-lasting effects on other areas of your life, such as:
- Changing your family and friends’ perception of you
- Hurting your career prospects
- Sidelining you from your life’s goals
- Getting you kicked out of school
- Complicating custodial matters
A conviction can change the course of your life as you know it. We understand that all of this sounds heavy. However, we want to reiterate that our firm believes in the justice system—you are innocent until proven guilty. We’re here to protect your future and reputation.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer From Meldon Law?
Criminal defense law can feel impossible to understand without a legal education. While state law permits those charged with a crime to represent themselves, this is not the way to go. It’s all too easy to make mistakes. Knowing how to apply processes like depositions, discovery, and subpoenas is essential. Are these terms like a foreign language to you? Don’t worry. We make this complex process simple for you.
Our experienced attorneys form the backbone of our team. We’re flexible, capable of applying our legal understanding to your unique case. And, to ensure that you never feel confused or left out, we’re here to explain every detail.
We’re Guided by Five Key Principles
Our clients are family, so we care about them like our own. These values guide the direction of our firm:
- Compassion: Everyone makes mistakes. We aren’t here to judge or question your actions. Rather, we approach our clients’ cases with compassion and empathy. When you tell us about the charges you’re facing, we’ll listen intently to make sure we get every detail right.
- Accountability: Our team takes accountability for everything that happens with your case. We strive to ensure that every action we take is in your best interest.
- Reliability: No one wants to work with a flaky lawyer. You don’t have to worry about that when we’re advocating for you. Our countless testimonials describe us as “responsive” and “committed.”
- Excellence: In a criminal defense case, anything short of excellence just won’t cut it. We’re always working toward pushing the boundaries of legal service. “Good enough” isn’t good enough. We aim higher.
- Success driven: We wear our past client victories with pride but are always looking ahead to the next case. Defending you isn’t just our job; it’s our calling.
Our Lawyers Offer Comprehensive Legal Services to Defendants in Gainesville
You have enough on your plate right now. While worrying about your future, you shouldn’t have to worry about your legal case, too. When pursuing the best possible outcome, we:
- Gather evidence and build your case: Details are everything in a criminal defense case. Whether you’ve been charged with a DUI or drug possession, we’ll get our hands dirty uncovering the facts of your situation. When building your defense, we interview witnesses, submit informational requests, and work alongside relevant field consultants.
- Keep you in the loop: This is your case, and your future is at stake. So, you deserve to know our plans and every development, and we keep you updated on them. Additionally, we’ll always break down complicated legalese, so you can make informed decisions.
- Represent you in court: With us by your side, you’ll never be alone. If your case proceeds to trial, we can call upon witnesses and prepare you to put your best foot forward. Our Gainesville criminal defense lawyers stay up to date on relevant legal strategies, so you don’t need to.
- Negotiate your sentence: We can negotiate a plea deal if that is the best option in your case. We understand that plea deals often sound counterintuitive, so we can explain why this approach might make sense for you.
We Guide You Through Each Step of the Criminal Justice System in Gainesville
We can’t emphasize this enough: you’re not alone. You’re not the first person to face criminal charges in Gainesville, and you certainly don’t have to accept a conviction without a fight. You have options.
With Meldon Law on your side, you have a trusted friend, ally, and advocate on your side. You’ll have our team’s unyielding support as your case moves through these stages:
- Arraignment: Arraignment, also known as an initial hearing, outlines what charges a defendant faces. Depending on the severity of your crimes, you could be released from custody after arraignment. Alternatively, the court could set bail, and you could go to jail until your trial date.
- Discovery: Discovery is a legal term that describes gathering evidence. During discovery, both the defense and prosecution (the legal team attempting to convict you of a crime) will interview witnesses and obtain other information. Both sides work with the same evidence.
- Pre-trial proceedings: Pre-trial proceedings cover everything from plea bargains to motions. Plea bargains, which we explained earlier, entail pleading guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence. Motions are legal requests that can alter the course of a trial. For instance, we may motion for your case’s dismissal or the removal of evidence.
- Trial: Trials involve both parties arguing their case. As your criminal defense lawyer, we’ll assert that you’re innocent or deserve reduced charges. The prosecution will take the opposite stance, attempting to penalize you under the fullest extent of the law. Trials are typically overseen by judges and determined by juries (members of the public tasked with deciding if an individual is guilty or not).
- Sentencing: If you’re found guilty, a sentencing hearing will take place. During this hearing, the judge decides your fate. You don’t attend a hearing if you’re acquitted (found not guilty).
There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into building a successful criminal defense case in Gainesville. These measures include questioning witnesses and other parties, filling out paperwork, and strategizing our next steps. You don’t have to worry about these obligations, however. Once your case is in our hands, you can breathe easy.
We’re Proud of the Feedback We’ve Received From Our Gainesville Clients
We can talk all day about why you’d want to work with a Gainesville criminal defense attorney from our team, but we can only provide part of the story. To learn more about Meldon Law’s culture, read these testimonials from our previous clients:
- “My team with Meldon Law was awesome and were really helpful during a difficult time in my life. They showed how much they cared and took their time to explain the process to me. I’m happy I chose them to help me with my case.”
- “Meldon Law is great. Whenever I have a legal question I know I can depend on Jeffrey Meldon and Jessica Thomason to give educated and trusted advice on the situation. I refer my friends and family to them and they will always be the first place I go if I ever need legal representation for anything.”
- “The prosecutor was no match for Tanner; he is a BEAST in the courtroom and after the judge gave me the not guilty ruling she told him, ‘Wow, you are really good.’”
Our firm is also a proud pillar of the Gainesville, FL, community. We’re the official law firm partner of the Florida Gators, and lead several initiatives that aim to make a Gainesville a better place:
We’re more than lawyers. We’re Gainesville natives and proud members of the community.
We use our standing in the community to your benefit. Our firm has spent decades making relationships with those in the local judicial branch. We will leverage this history to fight for the outcome you deserve. If you’re facing fines or jail time because of a mistake or misunderstanding, we’ll fight to get your life back.
Considerations While Facing Criminal Charges in Gainesville, FL
There’s no going back in time and changing what’s been done. Instead of dwelling on the past, your only option is to consider your future. What you should do next ultimately depends on your situation. Yet, in general, we advise Gainesville residents facing criminal charges to:
- Follow their lawyers’ advice. Ever heard the term “father knows best”? The same applies to your lawyer. Every piece of advice we give is intended to protect your future.
- Keep case-related communications to a minimum. Don’t discuss your case with anyone other than your lawyer. That means keeping a safe distance between yourself and any co-defendants, other attorneys, and social media.
- Be honest. We’re not here to judge. That’s the judge’s job. We’re here to get your life back on track. We want you to share every detail about your case with us, including what happened, who was there, and information regarding your arrest. That way, we can create a legal strategy that accounts for everything.
Get Support From Our Defense Team in Gainesville NOW
Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your future. If you’re facing criminal charges in Gainesville, you want a lawyer who prioritizes one thing: you. Your case isn’t over until the judge makes a ruling. To meet our team and explore your options, dial (352) 373-8000.