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Since 2009, our magazine has interviewed the best and brightest attorneys nationwide. Now, we bring you our recommended attorneys in Local Legal Authorities. Here is our listed best Orlando Criminal Defense attorney.
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About Michael Panella
For Mike Panella, the concept of zealous advocacy developed at an early age – fueled by what he perceived to be an unjust resolution in a personal family legal matter. Mr. Panella would later attribute his passion to defend the rights of those who stand accused to those inequities in the legal system he observed, and considered unjust.
Mr. Panella went on to graduate at the top of his class at UCF and spent several years working for the United States Senate, where he assisted Senators in rectifying constituent concerns involving state and federal agencies.
From there, Mr. Panella joined the small defense team in the State v. George Zimmerman case, and became a critical member contributing to two successful appellate writs, overall strategy, and self-defense issues.
Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mr. Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties. Mr. Panella was undefeated at trial.
What it's Like Working With the Best Criminal Defense Attorney in Orlando, FL
Criminal Defense Attorney
Understanding When to Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Orlando
If you or your loved one is facing a criminal charge in Orlando, Florida, it can be a nerve-wracking and intimidating time. Given the complexity of criminal laws and the potentially severe consequences, an experienced Orlando criminal lawyer is essential to navigating through this uncertain time. Below, we provide some basic information about criminal law, including when and how a top Orlando criminal attorney can be most useful.
What are Criminal Charges?
At its simplest, an individual faces criminal charges when they have committed a crime; a crime is any act committed or omitted that violates a public law. The laws of each state will define these forbidden acts. Crimes will generally fall into one of the following categories:
- Felony: Felonies are the most severe level of crime, generally punishable by imprisonment for more than a year, in addition to any fines. Examples of crimes that are considered felonies include murder, arson, and sexual assault.
- Misdemeanor: Misdemeanors are lesser crimes, generally resulting in prison sentences of less than a year and lesser fines. Examples of misdemeanors include trespassing and vandalism.
- Infraction: Infractions are minor or petty crimes that normally do not result in jail time. Examples include moving violations such as speeding or running a red light.
While each of the above categories of crimes come with different potential punishments, each can have a significant impact on an individual's life.
How an Attorney Can Help
If you are facing criminal charges, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in Orlando, as soon as possible. Regardless of whether you have committed some wrongdoing or if you are completely innocent, a licensed legal practitioner will be an invaluable resource throughout the criminal process.
A criminal lawyer in Orlando can assist in all facets of the criminal process. They can help you:
- Ensure Your Rights are Protected. You may have heard the recitation of Miranda rights in movies or TV shows – including the right to an attorney. This is considered an essential right to those facing criminal charges, because a lawyer can ensure a charged individual receives all the rights they are due under the law.
- Understand the Legal Process. Criminal attorneys know the ins and outs of the legal process for criminal cases. They can assist you in any preliminary hearings, ensure your bail is set at a reasonable amount, and confirm that all legal procedures are being properly followed by the police and the prosecutor.
- Create Defense Strategy. Lawyers who work in criminal law have significant experience strategizing the most effective way to handle a case. This often includes striking deals with the prosecution and securing lesser sentences.
- Understand Case Precedent. One important tool in a successful criminal case is past case law. If there are past cases where a similarly-situated defendant overcame criminal charges, an attorney can use this to persuade a judge or jury that you should see the same result.
As you or your loved one determines the next steps for handling criminal charges, the best Orlando attorney will be an invaluable asset. The criminal legal process can present unexpectedly complicated twists and turns, where a wrong step could result in serious limitations on your personal liberty.