Criminal Defense Lawyer Palm City, FL

Criminal charges in Florida are hard to navigate and shake off. The charges get prosecuted aggressively, and all too often, accused persons get lumped into the “guilty” categories even before their cases conclude. For this reason, you need an experienced criminal defense lawyer Palm City, FL, if you’re a target of a criminal investigation or have been arrested on criminal charges.

The aggressive criminal trial lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., have a proven track record of winning criminal cases in Florida. They can explore all options to create a robust defense and secure the best possible outcome. So, don’t try navigating the Sunshine State’s complex justice system alone when you can count on us for skilled legal representation.

Criminal Proceedings in Florida

Being the subject of a criminal investigation or getting arrested can be intimidating. One question that will run through your mind is, “what happens next?”

Well, here’s the criminal process in Florida:

Arrest or Notice to Appear

In Florida, the criminal process typically begins in two ways. After the alleged crime, you’ll either get arrested or notified by law enforcement officers to appear in court. Arrests are made if there’s a warrant or reasonable cause. You’re likely to appear in court within 48 hours of an arrest.

Court Appearance

The first court appearance is meant to serve you with your charges, ascertain that you have legal counsel, and determine bail terms. Other pretrial conditions will also get outlined during the first court appearance.

Anything you say during the first arraignment can be used against you later during the criminal trial. Having an experienced criminal attorney ensures that your rights are upheld, besides giving you a higher chance of favorable pretrial terms.

Preliminary Hearing

This is arguably the most critical stage in the criminal process. Here, you get to speak with your attorney and build your defense. The prosecution must provide evidence for probable cause. Your attorney will have an opportunity to prove that the evidence doesn’t show probable cause or got obtained illegally. If successful, your criminal charges may be dropped or reduced.

Plea Bargaining

The case will proceed to plea bargaining if you don’t get acquitted. Both teams negotiate a plea agreement, which typically involves a guilty plea for a lenient charge or sentence. The prosecution can also pursue a plea bargain if their evidence get dismissed during the pretrial hearing.

Arraignment Hearing

As the name suggests, this is the stage where your charges will be read to you. You can enter a plea, but that can significantly impact the outcome. The case will proceed to sentence if you plead guilty or nolo contendre. Nonetheless, if you plead not guilty, the court will allow you reasonable time to prepare for a criminal trial.

Criminal Trial and Sentencing

Typically, those who undergo criminal trials in Florida face a judge or jury. For trials by a judge, both sides argue their case before the judge makes the final determination concerning guilt based on the principle of beyond a reasonable doubt.

Trials by juries are different because the prosecution and defense must undergo the jury selection process, then present their case before the jurors and a judge. The jurors will return their verdict after determination before the judge makes the final determination.

The Crimes We Defend

Palm City Criminal Defense Lawyer

The attorneys at the law offices of Meltzer & Bell, P.A., in Palm City defend a range of criminal cases, including:

  • Violent crimes
  • Traffic violations
  • Sex crimes
  • Theft
  • Homicides
  • DUI offenses
  • Boating under influence
  • Drug charges

The criminal cases we handle are categorized as felonies or misdemeanors. Regardless of your charges, the legal consequences can be severe. However, having an attorney from our team gives you a fighting chance and a second shot at life.

Penalties for Criminal Offenses

Different crimes in Florida carry different punishments and penalties. The chart below outlines the maximum sentence for felony and misdemeanor crimes in Florida.



1st Degree Misdemeanor

1 Year

2nd Degree Misdemeanor

60 Days

1st Degree Felony

30 Years

2nd Degree Felony

15 Years

3rd Degree Felony

5 Years

Besides jail, getting convicted of a crime in Florida may lead to further penalties like fines, registration as a sex offender, probation, and community service.

Why Choose Us?

Here are reasons to hire the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. when facing criminal charges:

Our Impressive Track Record

We’ve advocated hundreds of criminal cases throughout Florida. We have a track record of securing significant wins, even in the most complex cases, thanks to our ability to litigate effectively, pinpoint relevant case law, and win big for our clients when everything seems to be on the line.

We Care About You

At Meltzer & Bell, P.A., we believe in defending the rights of the downtrodden. We know too well that many Floridians end up in jail on trumped-up criminal charges. In this regard, we handle each case meticulously because we believe everyone deserves a fair trial and a second shot at life.

With our law firm advocating your case, you can rest assured that you’ll get the legal representation you deserve. We know too well that criminal charges often have severe outcomes and life-long repercussions. Thus, we invest adequate time and resources in each case we handle to ensure the best possible outcome.

Trustworthy Legal Representation

Hiring Meltzer & Bell, P.A. puts you in control of your criminal case. We allow you to choose an attorney you can work with because we want you to feel like your case is well-handled. Our team provides trustworthy legal advice and representation you can count on throughout the criminal process.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer

The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A., can help if you get arrested or are a target of a criminal investigation in Palm City or elsewhere in Florida. We know how nerve-wracking it is to face criminal charges, so we commit to defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome.

Our attorneys focus their talent, experience, and knowledge to provide unmatched legal advice and representation in all criminal matters. Contact us today to schedule a free case review.