Criminal Defense: Why You Need an Experienced Lawyer

Criminal charges have serious implications, including jail time, large fines, and a mark on your record that may prevent future employment opportunities. A strong criminal defense lawyer can make all the difference in your case.

A good trusted attorney specializing in criminal defense in West Palm Beach knows the law on a local level, understands how the judges and prosecutors work, and has tenacity, courtroom skill, and familiarity with the area to help you.


In the State of Florida, a new arrestee must see a Judge within 24 hours of their arrest. This first hearing is called the arraignment or First Appearance. It can take place at the Palm Beach County Jail complex, which contains the jail and a wing with several courtrooms.

At arraignment, the Judge will read the formal charges against you. Most defendants plead not guilty at this stage in order to have an opportunity to hire a criminal defense lawyer, review the evidence and witnesses, and prepare for trial.

A good criminal attorney can often get charges dismissed or reduced during arraignment. But to do that, you need an experienced West Palm Beach criminal attorney who is familiar with the area on a deep level. The right attorney can balance experience, tenacity, and courtroom skill with the local politics of judges and prosecutors to protect your rights and freedom. This requires a combination of knowledge that only comes with years of practice and participation in the local system.

Plea bargain

After Arraignment, if you plead not guilty, your case will progress through a series of pre-trial court hearings called “Case Disposition,” “Plea Conference,” or “Status Check.” It is important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Palm Beach to protect your rights and prepare a strong defense for these critical hearings.

Your criminal attorney will also negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the number of charges. This is known as charge bargaining and can be done by reducing a felony to a misdemeanor, for example, or eliminating certain charges like conspiracy.

A conviction on your record can damage your reputation and make it hard to find employment or rent an apartment. Having an experienced West Palm Beach DUI attorney will help you avoid this by defending you against DUI charges. A good DUI attorney will know most judges and prosecutors through frequent interaction with them. Understanding their temperaments, tendencies and patterns can help your lawyer develop an effective strategy for your case.


Depending on the case, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed before trial. A strong legal background, a reputation for fierce advocacy and persuasive writing skills are critical components in the fight to defend clients.

During a trial, a judge or jury will hear evidence and determine if you are guilty of the crime(s) charged. The prosecutor must present the case by calling witnesses who are subject to cross-examination. The defense may also call witnesses on advice of counsel.

A conviction for DUI in Florida has far-reaching effects that can affect your life in ways you might not expect. From lost employment and hefty fines to jail time and a permanent record, this is one charge that should not be taken lightly. With a dedicated DUI lawyer on your side, you have a much better chance of a positive outcome. Your attorney should be familiar with local court rules and practices, as well as the personalities of judges, prosecutors and law enforcement.


Being arrested or charged with a criminal offense is serious business. It can ruin your reputation, lead to high fines and even jail or prison time. An experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer can help you navigate the court process and protect your rights.

Your first court date after arrest is known as Arraignment. At this hearing, you are formally read the charges and given a chance to enter a plea. Most people plead “not guilty” at Arraignment so that they have time to hire a private attorney and evaluate the evidence.

Your lawyer should be familiar with the other players in the court system, including judges and prosecutors. He or she should frequent the PBC courthouses in downtown West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. This frequent interaction allows your lawyer to learn the personalities, tendencies and patterns of the judges and prosecutors assigned to your case. This knowledge will help your lawyer craft a strategic plan for trial.