Areas of Defense
Learn more about the type of criminal cases we handle
- Possession of Drugs or Paraphernalia
- Child Abuse
- Aggravated Assault
- Weapon Charges
- Child Molestation
- Child Pornography
- Rape / Sexual Battery
- Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
DUI / DWI
- First Offenders
- Multiple Offenders
- DUI Manslaughter
- Sexual Assault
- False imprisonment
- Grand Theft
- Home Invasion
Benefits of working with
When facing criminal charges in Pinellas County, having an early and strong defense is imperative. At Goldman Wetzel, our focus is on being proactive. If you retain us early in the process, our team of defense lawyers will work thoroughly and promptly to achieve a desirable outcome for your case. In some cases, that might mean reduced charges and in other situations, we might be able to prevent the state from filing formal charges in the first place.
Our goal is to make sure that your rights are protected while we fight to obtain the best possible outcome for your case. Every client who enlists our services gets our very best because that’s what our clients’ most sensitive and serious legal matters deserve. And here is how we deliver it:
Personalized & Compassionate Attention
Your story matters. During our first meeting, we will carefully listen to your description of what occurred and what you hope the outcome of the case will be. This helps us better understand the case details and gives an idea of your biggest concerns so we can start working on a plan to reach the right solutions.
We know that being arrested or facing criminal charges is terrifying. For that reason, we tenaciously work to protect our clients’ rights. During our work together, we will answer your questions and address your concerns with the compassion and respect that you deserve.
Proactive Approach with Prosecutors
As a former prosecutor, criminal attorney Summer Goldman has a thorough understanding of how the prosecution approaches a criminal case. With this valuable experience, the Goldman Wetzel legal team will work to identify strategic opportunities, such as weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case.
As part of our approach, our St. Petersburg criminal lawyers will present your case in the best light possible. We want the judge and prosecutor to know that you are not ‘just another criminal’ and that you are facing severe consequences that can affect your life and those in it. This might help us negotiate a better plea deal or even avoid formal charges altogether.
Effective & Aggressive Legal Representation
Facing a criminal misdemeanor or felony charge in Florida can be very stressful since a weak defense can result in severe consequences. In order to find the best legal solution for your situation, we use a team approach to prepare an aggressive defense. As a solely focused criminal law firm, the lawyers from Goldman Wetzel understand that the circumstances of each case are different. Therefore, we need to prepare a defense that covers all the aspects of your case.
If you retain our services, our St. Petersburg criminal defense attorneys, Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel, will conduct thorough research to understand your case and find compelling evidence that allows us to achieve a positive outcome. We understand that there is a lot at stake and, as a result, we do not settle for the easiest result.
This means that we look at the aspects of your case that other attorneys may overlook. To do this, we hire experts and investigators whose expertise can help us prepare a strong defense for our clients. We might also have you take a polygraph exam or recommend an evaluation by a psychologist or drug or substance abuse expert if we think it could help your case.
By Your Side Throughout the Entire Case
Our criminal lawyers will closely work with you at every step in the process. In order to keep you informed and up to date, we explain and walk you through every major decision we make so you feel confident about the direction of your case. Even though our team will handle your legal representation, we will keep you involved and updated about how your case is progressing and what the next steps are.
Whether we are standing next to you in court or you are waiting at home for the next hearing, Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel will be at your side throughout the entire case. If you are facing charges in or near Pinellas County, contact our criminal lawyers in St. Petersburg to get legal help. We have experience delivering favorable results for both misdemeanors and felonies, defending against state and federal charges, from DUIs to property and violent crimes. Call us at 727-828-3900 or send us a secure message to schedule a free consultation with a Goldman Wetzel attorney.
Hire our St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorneys
In Florida, being arrested does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of a crime and that you will face several penalties. But, if law enforcement arrests you and takes you to jail to be booked, you should have an attorney with you during questioning. Saying something without having legal representation could be detrimental for your case. If arrested, you have the right to legal counsel and if you cannot afford a lawyer, the county where you were charged must provide you one. However, this does not mean that the attorney assigned to your case will be the best fit for you.
Even if you are facing charges for a minor crime, criminal allegations are serious accusations that can result in fines, time in prison/jail, among other penalties. Securing a Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney that knows how the criminal justice system works can be the key to obtaining a successful result. With over 30 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Goldman Wetzel have extensive experience handling criminal law cases.
What Happens After the Police Arrests You in Florida
If law enforcement arrests you as a suspect of a crime, they will take your personal information, photograph, and fingertips. After obtaining information about the alleged offense, you might be held in jail. Your bail is also set during this process, but if you are facing charges for domestic violence or a violation of a restraining order, you will not have an initial bond.
Within the first 24 hours of your arrest, you will attend a First Appearance or Advisory Hearing. During this first appearance before the judge, you have the right to have an attorney on your side and your lawyer might request the judge to lower your bail or release you on your own recognizance (ROR). If possible, the attorneys at Goldman Wetzel can try to challenge the probable cause for arrest.
Your Attorney Will Start Building a Strong Defense Against the Charges You’re Facing
Being charged or arrested is not the same as being convicted. However, the sooner you have a lawyer working on your defense, the better chances you have to obtain a successful outcome. Below are a few ways that Goldman Wetzel might use to challenge your arrest and criminal charges:
- If charged with DUI, did police properly conduct chemical testing or sobriety evaluations?
- Were other witnesses, whose testimony will be useful to your defense, present at the time of your alleged offense?
- Might our investigators discover others who may have committed the crime instead of you, or was a law enforcement investigation begun against you based on incorrect information?
- Did law enforcement respect your rights and have probable cause to arrest you or were you a victim of an illegal search and seizure?
These are some examples of the approaches that the Pinellas County criminal defense attorneys from Goldman Wetzel might be able to use to build strong defenses, help negotiate plea agreements, and place “reasonable doubt” in the minds of jurors. Keep in mind that, despite the fact that these might be common defenses to fight criminal charges, strong, aggressive and effective legal representation is based on the specific details of your case.
Retain an Attorney from Goldman Wetzel Today to Protect Your Future
How a Criminal Record Can Harm Your Future: A common mistake that many people make is focusing more on the fines and jail time rather than how having a criminal record impacts them. For example, misdemeanor offenses can bring fines and jail time. But after that, the record for that minor offense affects your life for years to come by limiting your job and educational opportunities, ability to obtain or retain many professional licenses, and even your ability to get good credit. Records of criminal convictions last longer than your jail sentence and can weaken your professional and personal prospects.
Given that a criminal record can negatively affect your life, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to seek top-grade legal representation. Our team does not settle for the easiest outcome: we are committed to fighting to protect your life, your rights, and your record.
Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving All of Tampa Bay
Goldman Wetzel is a criminal defense trial firm with 3 offices in Tampa Bay. Our attorneys have over 30 years of combined experience representing individuals facing criminal charges in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Pinellas County, the Tampa Bay Area, Pasco County, Manatee County, Sarasota, Hillsborough County, and surrounding areas. At Goldman Wetzel, we zealously represent our clients with compassion and confidence. Ms. Goldman is a former prosecutor and Ms. Wetzel is a career defense attorney. Combining their unique background, they are able to study your case from different perspectives and find the best strategy for your defense.
When our clients retain the legal services of Goldman Wetzel, they will work directly with both Ms. Goldman and Ms. Wetzel. If you have been arrested, received a citation, or are being pursued questioning by the police, contact us now at (727) 828-3900 for a free case consultation. Our St. Petersburg criminal attorneys provide aggressive and knowledgable representation to individuals who are charged with sex crimes, domestic violence, DUI offenses, drug charges, theft charges, weapon crimes, and more.
Recognition & Reviews
Criminal Lawyers in St. Petersburg, FL Rated 10/10 on Avvo
Clients Face Before Meeting With Us
When facing criminal charges, you should first consult with an attorney in the jurisdiction where you’ve been charged to assess the severity of your case. Hiring a lawyer ahead of your first appearance in court is important to the outcome of your case. This is critical in order to protect your rights from the outset of your court proceedings.
If you are looking to hire a Tampa Bay criminal defense attorney, make sure he or she has managed cases in the county where your case will be prosecuted, has a successful track record, strong trial experience as well as negotiating skills and the ability to develop a strategy for your case. Here are other tips that you may want to take into account to hire a good criminal defense lawyer.
If you are facing criminal charges in St. Petersburg or Pinellas County, you can represent yourself in court. However, if you are not familiar with the law and the courtroom procedures, this is not advisable. Keep in mind that the prosecutor typically has a wealth of experience and resources at their disposal. So if you are not sure of how the criminal system works, you may run the risk of doing or saying something detrimental to your case.
Under Florida law, a battery offense is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor. So, if convicted, a person can face up to 1-year imprisonment and a maximum $1,000 fine. However, a repeated battery offender might face a third-degree felony charge which can result in up to 5 years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
In Florida, a statute of limitation establishes the period of time that the State has to start the prosecution of a case. If the prosecution did not occur within this time frame, the charges might be dropped. However, in Florida, capital felonies, life felonies, or felonies that resulted in the death of a person do not have a statute of limitation. Some examples of these offenses include but are not limited to sexual battery upon a child, capital drug trafficking, and some homicide cases.
In Florida, the penalties for a DUI offense depend on different factors. A first offense can result in up to 6 months of jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and the suspension of your license for up to 180 days. More serious forms of DUI can be treated as third-degree felonies.
If you have previous convictions, a DUI in the Tampa Bay area can result in more severe consequences such as the revocation of your driver’s license and longer periods of incarceration. So if you are arrested for this type of offense, a St. Petersburg DUI lawyer might be able to help you protect your rights.