Criminal Defense

Along with handling auto accident cases, Sara Jones Law, P.A., handles criminal defense cases in central Florida. A criminal charge can change your life forever, but it doesn’t always have to. From experience helping people that wait far too long to contact a lawyer, we know that you cannot just hope for the best when years or a lifetime behind bars are at stake. If you are charged with a crime in Florida, depending on the nature of the offense, you could be facing a number of severe consequences, including:

● Lengthy incarceration in jail or state prison
● Substantial fines
● Mandatory disclosure of crimes on employment or housing applications
● Loss of professional licenses.


If you are being investigated for a crime or have been accused of a crime, we can help you take immediate steps to protect yourself from Florida’s overreaching legal system and prosecutors’ broad discretionary powers. We are ready to help you in the most challenging cases in the state and county, courts in Florida.

After being charged with a crime in Florida, time is of the essence. We are here to help you stay out of jail and protect your name. Call us at (863) 455-4811 to speak with an attorney.


Types of Criminal Defense Cases We Handle

Founding attorney Sara Jones is a lifelong Florida resident. She knows Florida laws, how Florida prosecutors pursue cases, and how to fight for her clients. She and her team have represented individuals accused of everything from small misdemeanors to high profile felony cases. Practice areas include:


  • Assault (simple assault or aggravated assault)
  • Battery (simple battery, aggravated battery, and felony battery)
  • Burglary (identity theft, forgery, and embezzlement)
  • DUI / Felony DUI
  • Domestic violence
  • Drug crimes (possession, manufacturing, trafficking)
  • Drug trafficking
  • Homicide
  • Identity theft
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Robbery
  • Shoplifting
  • White-collar crimes.


No matter what kind of criminal charges you are facing, a lawyer can help you ensure the best possible outcome, ideally case dismissal, dropped charges, or a not-guilty verdict.


Benefits of Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense attorney wears many hats beyond their main role: defending you in court. The lawyers at Sara Jones Law, P.A., are thorough investigators, researchers, interrogators, writers, and educators. Although we strive to get charges dropped or reduced, every case is different, and avoiding jail is not possible in every case. Depending on your charges, your criminal history, and your goals, we will craft an aggressive defense plan with you and for you.

Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer Frequently Asked Questions


Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive for Florida criminal defense cases.


FAQ: The police are investigating me as a possible suspect. Should I talk to them?

If you are facing criminal charges you are also facing big decisions, starting with whether or not you should talk to investigators. It may be tempting to tell your side of the story and maintain your complete innocence. Or you simply may want to be cooperative. However, every criminal defense lawyer will tell you: you should not talk to the police if you are a suspect or possible suspect in a crime.

FAQ: What happens after a person is arrested in Florida?

If you are arrested, you will be brought to the central booking facility, where a booking photo will be taken, and you will be fingerprinted, searched, and processed. Although the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution assures you the right to a lawyer at each “critical stage” of the prosecution, you are not “entitled” to an attorney during this stage of the prosecution, as it is not a “critical stage” of the prosecution. However, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.


If you are unable to bond out, you are entitled to appear before a judge within 24 hours. This is known as the First Appearance. The judge will advise you what charges you are facing and restrictions on your bond, such as staying clean and sober or travel restrictions. From there, the stages of your case will include:


  • Arraignment
  • Pre-Trial Proceedings
  • Plea or Trial
  • Pre-Sentence Investigation (if relevant)
  • Sentencing

FAQ: What happens if I don’t hire a lawyer?

If you don’t hire a lawyer, you risk everything. If you can’t afford a lawyer, the state will provide you a public defender. In the best-case scenario, you are given a passionate public defender with a light caseload who will have the time and energy to devote to your case. In the worst-case scenario, you are assigned a burnt out and overworked public defender, who frantically scans your file right before the judge calls your case.


In some cases, you may have a choice between a public defender and private defense counsel. For example, if you have no income, you may qualify for a public defender. However, if you have family willing to pay for private defense, this may offer you access to valuable representation.

FAQ: What is the punishment for a felony in Florida?

The most serious crimes in Florida are felonies, punishable by more than a year in prison. In Florida, there are five “degrees” of felonies:


  • Capital felony: Punishable by death or life in prison without parole.
  • Life felony: Maximum incarceration of 40 years and a maximum fine up to $15,000.
  • First-degree felony: Maximum incarceration of 30 years and a maximum fine up to $10,000.
  • Second-degree felony: Maximum incarceration of 15 years and a maximum fine up to $10,000.
  • Third-degree felony: Maximum incarceration of five years and a maximum fine of $5,000.


Some crimes that are misdemeanors can be prosecuted as felonies based on certain circumstances, or if a person has previously been convicted of the same crime.

FAQ: What stage of a criminal case should you contact a lawyer?

For some crimes, police will begin building your case against you as soon as they are called to the scene of a crime, or when they come to the scene of a DUI accident. In some cases, for example, white-collar crimes, where a long investigation precedes an arrest, investigators may have made multiple contacts with you before you are arrested. If you know you’re under investigation for a crime, it is never too soon to contact a lawyer.



Choosing skilled and knowledgeable legal representation can avoid devastating consequences and make a huge difference in the outcome of your case, and your future. Clients who call us for a case assessment receive immediate support from our Client Support Staff and are able to schedule an invaluable consultation with our attorney(s). Clients who schedule consultations report immediate stress relief knowing they have an experienced advocate guiding them and standing up for their rights. Do not take matters into your own hands without talking to a reputable Florida criminal defense lawyer first. To schedule your consultation, call us at (863) 455-4811. All Case Assessments are free.