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Criminal Defense Attorney

The Hanlon Law Firm
Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer The Hanlon Law Firm
Criminal Defense Lawyer

Whether you are accused of a felony or a misdemeanor in the Sarasota area, you should obtain legal representation as soon as possible. It can be important to hire an experienced attorney even before you have been formally charged. At Hanlon Law, Sarasota criminal defense lawyer Will Hanlon handles a wide range of these matters, including the defense of drug crimes, DUI, violent crimes, theft crimes, white collar crimes, sex crimes, domestic violence, and probation violations. We fight tenaciously to make sure that the voice of a defendant is heard.

Criminal Defense

Regardless of the specific crime with which you have been charged, you should bear in mind that the charges against you need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Every element that makes up the crime must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt is a tough standard. However, prosecutors usually file charges when they believe that they can win. Anything that you say to a prosecutor in trying to secure a plea deal could be a self-incriminating statement that gets you into more trouble. Accordingly, you should retain an experienced attorney who can look at the circumstances and the specific charges. Your attorney can develop a defense strategy, handle interactions with the prosecution on your behalf, advise you on how to protect your rights, and collect evidence to bolster your case.

Drug Crimes

Drug crimes are charged in connection with various activities surrounding controlled substances like heroin, marijuana, cocaine, GHB, ecstasy, Fentanyl, and many others. Sometimes a defendant is charged with simple possession of a controlled substance. The type of controlled substance may affect the penalty. Other drug crimes may involve trafficking controlled substances. Drug trafficking is punished severely, and it carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence if a threshold amount of the drug is involved. You should immediately retain a criminal defense attorney in the Sarasota area if you are facing a drug trafficking charge.


You may face DUI charges in Florida if the prosecutor believes that they can show that you were operating a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or greater, or you were impaired because of drinking alcohol or doing drugs. A first offense DUI can entail incarceration, a license suspension, fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device. Generally, the penalties are steeper for subsequent offenses during the lookback period, or offenses that cause injuries. Being charged with a DUI can be unnerving, but a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer can help you investigate the circumstances surrounding the stop and determine whether you have a substantive or procedural defense.

Violent Crimes

In Florida, violent crimes that are charged include murder, rape, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and robbery. These crimes carry harsh penalties, such as incarceration for years and hefty fines. Certain elements must be shown beyond a reasonable doubt for violent criminal charges, and there may be many ways for a Sarasota criminal defense attorney to attack them. Under Florida Statute section 782.04, first-degree murder is the unlawful killing of a person when there are specific circumstances in place. It must be perpetrated from a premeditated design to cause the death and must be committed by someone who is also engaged in perpetrating or trying to perpetrate certain other felonies, such as arson or sexual battery.

Theft Crimes

Theft is charged under Florida Statute section 812.014 as petit theft or grand theft. There are several degrees of grand theft and two degrees of petit theft. The classification is determined by the value of the funds or property that are involved. However, all theft crimes require a showing that you knowingly took, tried to take, used, or tried to use another person's property with the intention of permanently or temporarily keeping the victim from using or benefiting from the property or of using it for your own purposes. In order to establish grand theft in any degree, the prosecutor will need to establish the value of the property beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, it may be possible for a criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota to attack the value claimed as a defense against a grand theft charge.

White Collar Crimes

White collar crimes are usually nonviolent crimes that involve an intent to deceive. They can include public officers' offenses, pyramid schemes, Ponzi schemes, embezzlement, counterfeiting, racketeering, and bribery. There are enhanced penalties for certain white collar crimes, as set forth under the White Collar Crime Victim Protection Act. Under this law, an aggravated white collar crime involves engaging in at least two white collar crimes with the same or similar intents, results, accomplices, victims, or methods of commission, or two white collar crimes that are otherwise interrelated by distinguishing characteristics and are not isolated. It is a first-degree felony if you perpetrate an aggravated white collar crime in which you victimized 10 or more elderly people, victimized 20 or more people, or victimized the state government or political subdivisions.

Sex Crimes

There are many sex crimes for which you can be subject to a lifelong requirement that you register as a sex offender. This is a serious penalty, which can affect where you work, where you live, and what you do for a living. We vigorously defend people accused of child pornography, sexual battery, lewd or lascivious crimes, sexual misconduct, prostitution, and other offenses. What must be shown depends on the specific sex crime with which you are charged. For example, Florida Statute section 794.011 provides that sexual battery is perpetrated when someone has nonconsensual vaginal, anal, or oral contact with somebody else, either with a sexual organ or with an object.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a criminal charge that can be brought when the perpetrator and the victim have a family or household relationship. You can be charged with domestic violence if you are accused of assaulting, battering, sexually assaulting, stalking, kidnapping, or falsely imprisoning a family or household member. What does it mean to be a family or household member? This type of relationship exists between spouses, ex-spouses, relatives by marriage or blood, people who live together like family or who previously lived together, and people who are co-parents.

Child Abuse

A crime related to domestic violence is child abuse. Child abuse is a serious charge that can be brought not only against parents but also against anyone who perpetrates intentional injurious acts against minors. Aggravated child abuse is a first-degree felony that is charged if you perpetrated aggravated battery on a child. It can also be charged if you willfully torture, maliciously punish, or knowingly or willfully abuse a minor such that you cause a permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or great bodily harm. A Sarasota criminal defense lawyer at Hanlon Law can work to help you try to avoid the harsh consequences of a conviction. In some situations, these may involve a prison term of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Probation Violations

Probation is not a right. You should not assume that you will be granted probation, and if you are granted probation, you will need to meet certain conditions to stay out of jail. Community supervision is another name for probation, and it can come with numerous requirements, including requirements that you meet with your probation officer and avoid committing further crimes. You can face penalties for technical or substantive probation violations. A technical violation occurs if you fail to follow a condition of probation. There is a substantive probation violation if you commit a new crime or legal violation. A probation violation hearing involves a lower burden of proof than a typical criminal trial, making it especially important to retain knowledgeable counsel.

Consult a Skillful Criminal Defense Attorney in the Sarasota Area

If you are investigated and charged with a crime, you may be concerned about the trajectory of your life and the impact of a conviction on your loved ones. It is important to talk to a criminal attorney who has experience in defending against the type of charge that you face. If you are charged with a crime in the Sarasota area, you should talk to Will Hanlon at Hanlon Law. Call us at 941.462.1789 or complete our online form.

Time is of the Essence

Hanlon Law knows that time is of the essence, we move quickly to protect your future.


With over 20 years of experience, we focus solely on Criminal Law and Injunctions.

Client Relations

“Mr. Hanlon has the confidence and experience you need when dealing with possible criminal charges.”

Client Reviews
As a practicing attorney, I was shocked to hear that a family member of mine was alleged to have committed a sex crime. Knowing full well the consequences this type of allegation can have on anyone and their future, I immediately reached out to William Hanlon for help... Jerry
Was on the ball. Remembered names, events, places, situations. Never need to re explain the situation. Keeps in touch through out the entire experience and keeps you feeling safe, comforted and protected. Fights hard. Worth every single penny. Would never settle for anything less than Will. Carrie
I was facing a charge that if convicted would carry two years in prison minimally. Not only was he empathetic and listening to what I had to say but he arranged with the prosecutor for my charges not to be filed under terms of a pre trial investigation. Would highly recommend. Alec
I am very happy for what he did for me. Always there when I needed him. Explained everything well. He Fights for his clients. He got me what I needed. Hes an excellent lawyer. Mutaz
Mr. Hanlon did what no other lawyer could do. Not only did he turn my criminal history into a thing of the past so I could move on, he was a loyal associate. No matter how bad the situation is, he has miraculously cleared me on every charge since he became my lawyer 5 years ago. I have the best lawyer that the legal system has to offer. I have had other really good lawyers try to get my business, but I know that no one can do a better job than William Hanlon. Jesse
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