Florida and federal legislatures routinely add new offenses and increase penalties for various types of existing offenses. Plus, law enforcement is doubling their efforts to crack down on crime and the state is always swift to prosecute. Being charged with a crime — even a relatively minor misdemeanor — could mean hefty fines, jail time, loss of rights, and other penalties.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, you need to secure a Bradenton criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. With over 30 years of combined experience, our qualified trial lawyers, Summer Goldman and Maribeth Wetzel, can provide aggressive defense for your case. The sooner we get started working on your case, the better able we will be to help you either avoid charges or negotiate for lesser charges/penalties.
Our criminal defense trial firm uses a team-based approach to defend all types of criminal cases in Bradenton, in both state and federal courts, from shoplifting to serious felony charges. Below are some of our key practice areas:
|Practice Area||Example Cases We Have Represented|
|Sex crimes||Child pornography, indecent exposure, lewd and lascivious behavior, prostitution, rape/sexual battery, and traveling to meet a minor|
|Drug crimes||Possession, trafficking/distribution, and manufacturing/cultivation|
|Domestic violence||Child abuse, stalking, restraining order hearings/violations|
|DUI/BUI||DUI/DWI and BUI|
|Violent crimes||Assault/battery, kidnapping, manslaughter/murder|
|Fraud||Bribery, credit card fraud, forgery, laundering, insurance fraud, immigration fraud, mortgage fraud, Ponzi/pyramid schemes, racketeering, tax evasion, securities fraud|
|Theft||Burglary, embezzlement, grand theft, identify theft, shoplifting, robbery|
|Misdemeanors and Felonies||Computer hacking, cyberbullying, disorderly conduct, disorderly intoxication, driving with a suspended license, probation violation|
Call our office at 941-405-5193 speak to one of our criminal defense lawyers about how we can help your case.
How can the Goldman Wetzel defense attorneys help?
Attorney Goldman is a former prosecutor and attorney Wetzel is a career criminal defense attorney. They know how the system functions, how the other side thinks, and which defenses and strategies work. With compassion and no-nonsense determination, they will provide you with the counsel and representation you need to defend against your charges.
Step 1: Call our office at 941-405-5193 and ask to speak to one of our attorneys. We will ask you about your charges and current situation, answer any initial questions you have, and explain how we can help. (This consult is free.)
Step 2: During the call, we can also explain our fees and payment options, and direct you on the next steps.
Step 3: Goldman and Wetzel will then meet together to discuss your case, develop a plan of action, and begin taking the appropriate steps, e.g., preparing for the hearing, talking to the state, collecting evidence, etc.
Step 4: We will protect your rights and advocate for the best possible outcome for your case, and keep you informed about the status of your case at every turn.
What happens after arrest in Bradenton?
After an arrest, make sure you know your rights and what to expect:
- Exercise your rights. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Exercise both. Saying too much can ruin your case and get you into bigger trouble. And you need a lawyer to be present and counsel you so that you can make the right decisions and statements. Immediately after an arrest, call Goldman Wetzel at 941-405-5193 and asked to be patched through to a defense attorney who can help you.
- Attend your first appearance. Usually within 24 hours of your arrest and booking, you will have your first appearance with the judge. We will attend the hearing with you if your bond is high or if you are denied bond. Two things occur at the hearing:
- The judge determines whether there is probable cause to hold you for the offense officers have accused you of.
- If there is no probable cause, the state will release you. On the other hand, if the judge says there is probable cause, she will then determine whether to grant you pretrial release (e.g., to post an appropriate bond). We may also try to convince the judge to release you on your own recognizance.
- Enter your plea. The next step is called the arraignment, which is where you enter your official plea of guilty or not guilty. Oftentimes, we can handle this without you having to appear in court. Before we enter a plea, we will try to persuade the state not to file charges or to file a lesser charge. Thus, retaining us early so we can intervene right away is key and could result in lesser or no charges.
- Work on your defense case. The next phase is pretrial, where we begin gathering and sharing information (discovery), speaking to witnesses, gathering evidence, filing pretrial motions, taking care of depositions, and strategizing our defense.
- Go to trial. If your case does not settle prior to trial, Goldman Wetzel will be fully prepared for your day in court. We will represent you aggressively and ethically, raise arguments, bring supportive evidence and testimony, and present your case in the best possible light.
What penalties am I facing and how do I reduce them?
The outcome of your case and the potential penalties you face depend on a host of factors, such as:
- The nature and category of your charges
- Any aggravating factors
- Your past criminal record
- The strength of the state’s case
- Whether the case is under federal or state jurisdiction
- The evidence involved
- The judge and prosecutor assigned to your case
There is not much you can do on your own to reduce your penalties after you have been charged with a crime, but our legal team can certainly take steps to try to get your penalties lowered. This may mean negotiating with the state and agreeing to a plea bargain. It may mean pushing to get your charged reduced to a lesser offense. It may mean getting your case transferred to mental health court. There are numerous options that might be available. We will discuss all possibilities with you. Contact our office today to talk to someone about how we can help.
After an arrest in Bradenton, call Goldman Wetzel for legal defense.
If you have been accused of a crime and are facing charges in Bradenton, contact our firm for legal help. Call 941-405-5193 for a free consultation.