Selecting The Right Attorney for Criminal Defense & DUI Defense
Larry Sandefer - Criminal Defense Attorney & DUI Defense Attorney
Sandefer Law Firm - Serving Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay, and the state of Florida
When should I talk to a lawyer?
The simple answer is as soon as possible. If you have been arrested or think you may be a suspect in a crime, you should seek advice as soon as possible. The firm will be better able to advise you on actions you should take or should not take and we will also be in a better position to gather information which may be needed for your defense. Whenever an arrest is made, the charge does not proceed to court until the State Attorney officially files a charge. It is often helpful for an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable of the system to contact the prosecuting attorney before charges may be filed. Sandefer Law Firm will do that for you. This may maximize your possibilities of a charge being dropped, being reduced, or minimizing your criminal exposure.
In selecting an attorney, you should choose an attorney who is well-respected in the field, among Judges and peers. That reputation will be important when you appear before the Judge and also when your attorney is negotiating your case with the prosecutor. Not only reputation, but ability and experience are important especially in negotiations and in a jury trial if needed. Sandefer Law Firm can help you. Larry Sandefer has been practicing law in the Pinellas County and Bay area for over 30 years. He is a former Lead Trial Attorney and former Division Director in the State Attorney's Office in Pinellas/Pasco County. He was one of the first attorney's in the State of Florida to become Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and has held that certification and re-certification since 1987. Board certification ensures that an attorney has the highest level of experience in Criminal Trial Law, has passed a rigorous examination, has extensive trial and courtroom experience, and has received favorable evaluations by Judges and other attorneys in the area. Less than 5% of Florida attorneys are Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law.
Reputation, Experience, and Ability
Larry Sandefer has achieved a rating of AV by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating available for attorneys. This is an evaluation by attorneys and Judges in the area, familiar with an attorney or a law firm, and an evaluation based on an attorney's ability, experience, qualifications, and professional standards of conduct. The AV rating reflects an attorney or firm which has reached the heights of professional excellence and is recognized for the highest level of skill, integrity, and ethical standards. Larry is also proud to have been selected to the "Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™", as well as Florida Super Lawyers.
You should ask questions when selecting an attorney for such an important matter in your life or a loved one's life. Compare reputation, qualifications and experience. You should select an attorney you feel comfortable handling such an important matter. We encourage you to check out our reputation in the legal community and we encourage you to visit Sandefer Law Firm. Sandefer Law Firm is committed to put forth our best efforts in your behalf.
Will you always need an attorney?
In most cases it will be a definite benefit to have an attorney to at least advise you, if not represent you, throughout the process. It depends on each individual situation. It would be to your benefit to consult with an attorney before making any decision on your own. A misunderstanding on your part while representing yourself could result in a lifetime detriment to you. Your initial consultation is at no cost to you, except your time.
When selecting an attorney you should ask:
- How many years has the attorney been practicing this particular area of law?
- How many types of cases has he or she handled and how many jury trials have they done as a defense attorney and as a prosecutor?
- What types of cases have they tried and handled, in what courts, and the experience of the opposing counsel?
- Is the attorney familiar with the prosecutors and the procedures and policies they follow?
- Is the attorney respected in the area and by fellow defense attorneys, the prosecution, court personnel, and the Judges? Have these people sought out the attorney for assistance?
- Is the attorney board certified in criminal defense by the Florida Bar (this requires an extensive background check, a comprehensive exam, re-certification on a regular basis, and reviews by fellow attorneys and Judges)?
- Has the attorney held decision making positions with a prosecutor's office is does the attorney familiar with the decision making criteria?
There are many good experienced criminal and DUI defense attorneys available. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish one from another. Keep these questions in mind. If you know court personnel or people who have used a defense attorney, ask them. Larry Sandefer has represented persons from all walks of life including court personnel or their relatives, law enforcement personnel or former law enforcement personnel, attorneys, as well as doctors, teachers, corporate executives, retailers, construction employers and employees, church clergy and personnel, and virtually all walks of life. Sandefer Law Firm strives to tailor representation to each individual client and takes pride in it's efforts and dedication to you.
Please review both experience and qualifications and feel free to ask more specifics and information. Visit our office, view the facilities and newspaper scrapbook, and meet the friendly and professional staff.
* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties, Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards, and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell Ratings evaluate two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.
Sandefer Law Firm trial attorneys represent individuals in Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Drug Crimes, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, and Personal Injury cases throughout the Tampa Bay Florida area including Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Pasadena, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Redington Beach, Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and all surrounding areas.
Please Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation