612 W Bay St, Tampa, FL 33606

Tampa Criminal Defense Lawyer


If you have been arrested or face serious criminal charges, enlisting the Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell could be the best decision you will ever make. Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, there may be a lot more at risk than you imagine. If the situation is not handled correctly, you may find yourself looking back and wishing that you did things differently. Criminal law is complex and confusing to navigate alone, and this is why you need to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

At Shrader Mendez & O’Connell, our Tampa criminal defense lawyers have been representing defendants in state and federal courts for over a decade. We have the legal knowledge and courtroom skills to aggressively defend your constitutional liberties when you are accused of committing an offense under federal or Florida laws. Our lawyers understand how frightening it can be to be accused, and they know that a conviction on your record has lasting consequences that go beyond serving an initial sentence.

For example, even after serving your sentence, a conviction will affect your ability to get hired and exercise rights like carrying a firearm or voting. That is why we offer a free initial consultation to answer all the questions you may have about your situation and help you take the most appropriate steps.


When Should You Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

While it would be best to have a criminal defense attorney with you from the moment you are arrested, the reality is rarely practical. It is crucial that you make an effort to speak to a defense attorney as soon as possible. This should be your priority.


Why Should You Hire a Criminal Defense?

When facing criminal charges, one of the questions you may have is whether or not you should hire a criminal defense attorney. While for many the downside is the fees of hiring an attorney, the reasonable monetary fees you will incur are minimal compared to the disruptions your criminal case can cause if you do not have the best defense. Here are some reasons why you should hire a Shrader Mendez & O’Connell criminal defense attorney:

They understand the judicial system

One of the most important reasons why you should hire a criminal defense attorney is because they are familiar with how the judicial system works. The legal system can be difficult to navigate alone, but a defense attorney can assist you through every step. Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell can help demystify the entire process by providing you with a free in-person consultation.

They have handled cases similar to yours

While all attorneys have to graduate law school and pass the state bar exam before they can start practicing, attorneys have different specialties. Criminal defense attorneys have experience dealing with criminal cases similar to yours. At Shrader Mendez & O’Connell, our team of criminal defense lawyers has been practicing criminal defense throughout their careers. Therefore, they are experienced in ways best suited to provide you with the best outcome.

They have built a working relationship with prosecutors

Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell have developed relationships with prosecuting attorneys after working for a long time in the legal field. While it may not make sense to develop a relationship with a rival, having a criminal defense lawyer who has developed a positive relationship with the prosecuting attorney may allow them to negotiate an affordable bond, a better plea deal, or another positive outcome. Criminal defense attorneys at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell have experience representing clients in many Florida counties. We know the prosecutors, and we can use our experience to help you get the best outcome for your case.


How Will a Criminal Defense Lawyer Help You?

Criminal cases are never exactly the same. However, the Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell are experienced in gathering evidence and interviewing witnesses, as well as cross-examining the prosecution’s witnesses. These skills help in every case. Additionally, your Shrader Mendez & O’Connell criminal defense attorney can help you in the following ways:

Provide you with professional advice

When you hire Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell to represent you, they will be working on your behalf both inside and outside of the courtroom. This means that you will have someone with adequate legal experience on your side you can talk to. Your attorney will answer any questions you may have about your case or how your case will affect you in other ways such as the ability to apply for housing, renew your driver’s license or anything else that is unclear.

Get a plea bargain or go to trial

Often, if you decide to represent yourself, the prosecutor may be unwilling to negotiate with you. Your attorney can work with the prosecutor on your behalf to negotiate a plea bargain. This can help reduce your sentence and eliminate some or all the charges leveled against you.

Sometimes obtaining a plea bargain is not the goal because a client is wrongfully accused. In those cases, a client may want to force the prosecutor to prove their case at trial. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to prepare a case for pre-trial motions and trial. Shrader Mendez & O’Connell has years of experience in hundreds of trials and motion hearings. We are prepared to litigate your case through trial, and prosecutors know this.

Explain to you the consequences of pleading guilty

Although pleading guilty may sometimes lead to a shorter sentence, it comes with some hidden costs. Your Tampa criminal defense attorneys at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell will explain to you the costs of pleading guilty and its ramifications. For instance, if you choose to represent yourself and plead guilty to the charges you are facing, you may later find it difficult to find a job. Your attorney will explain all possible options before you plead guilty.

Argue for a good sentence

Depending on the evidence behind the criminal charges you are facing, your Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell can help argue for a suitable sentence. Even if you are found guilty at trial, your attorney will argue to structure your sentence in a way that will minimize consequences and prevent the possibility of you ending up stuck in the criminal justice system.

For example, if you have been convicted of felony drug possession in Florida, instead of being confined in jail, having a conviction result in your drivers’ license being suspended, and having to disclose that you are a convicted felon for the rest of your life, your defense attorney may help change the sentence by suggesting a non-conviction sentence with counseling at a facility of your choosing. Every case is different, but knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys know hidden options that may make a bad situation more bearable.

Predict possible case outcomes

Experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell understand how the court system works. Additionally, your lawyer will be able to remain objective and offer real insights on how your defense is going. A defense attorney’s ability to assess the court proceedings and determine the potential outcomes will help you when it comes to deciding whether or not to accept a plea bargain.

Point out rules and regulations

It takes years of study and experience to understand intricate areas of law. That is why you need qualified Tampa criminal defense lawyers to point out legal rules and regulations that you would otherwise not find out on your own. For instance, would you be able to know if the search conducted by the police in your apartment was lawful or not? Is the evidence they collected admissible in court? You would not be able to know all this with certainty if you represent yourself. This is why you need an attorney to represent you.

At Shrader Mendez & O’Connell, our criminal defense attorneys know that most of the laws touching on criminal prosecutions are entwined within regulations and rules unknown to most defendants. They also understand all the complexities surrounding the Constitution’s 4th Amendment, and they can help safeguard your legal rights.

Handle witnesses and gather evidence

Tampa criminal defense lawyers at Shrader Mendez & O’Connell are trained and experienced in working with witnesses. Therefore, they are easily able to gather statements and evidence from witnesses that will be called by the prosecution. It would be not easy to do so if you represent yourself, especially if the Court has entered orders limiting contact with witnesses or victims.

In many cases, witnesses refuse to give their statements to people who are accused of a crime because they fear for their own safety. But witnesses will be more willing to talk to a professional, and this will help your case. Additionally, your lawyer can hire an investigator who will investigate both the evidence and the witnesses that will be presented by the prosecution. When the investigators unearth evidence that could make the witness’s testimony less credible, it will immensely help your case.

Your attorney may also help identify and hire expert witnesses who will be able to present new evidence that will prove your innocence. In some cases, these witnesses can also rebut evidence presented by the prosecution, making their case less credible.


An Aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney Will Protect Your Future

Large fines, prison time, and convictions are serious penalties. Therefore, if you are facing criminal charges, you want experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyers fighting for you. Your attorney will improve your chances of winning your case or help you obtain a favorable plea deal. To improve the outcome of your criminal case, call 813-360-1529 or contact one of our experienced Shrader Mendez & O’Connell criminal defense attorneys today and schedule a free case evaluation.