Best Orlando Criminal Lawyers

Best Orlando Criminal Lawyers and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in Orlando, having an experienced defense attorney is essential. Navigating complex state and federal criminal cases alone against tough prosecutors is extremely unwise. Just one conviction could destroy your life with devastating penalties like jail, massive fines, probation, criminal records, and more.

This guide covers top-rated criminal defense attorneys in the Orlando area. We’ll provide an overview of when you need legal counsel, potential defenses, key Florida laws and penalties, and most importantly – what makes certain litigators stand out. Our goal is to arm you with the information to make the best decision possible if you are facing prosecution in Orlando. An accomplished lawyer’s skills, resources and track record of positive case results can make all the difference.

When Should You Hire an Orlando Criminal Attorney?

Any time you are questioned, arrested or charged with a crime in Orlando, having a criminal defense lawyer represent you is critical. Situations requiring legal help include:

  • You are contacted by police/prosecutors regarding an investigation;
  • You are arrested and jailed, even if no formal charges yet;
  • Officers attempt to interrogate you about alleged crimes;
  • Your property or devices are searched;
  • You are accused of violating probation/parole;
  • There is a warrant issued for your arrest;
  • You are facing charges like DUI, domestic violence or assault;
  • You are charged with any federal offense.

Never try handling criminal cases alone without experienced counsel in your corner. The consequences are immense.

What Legal Defenses Could Potentially Apply?

Skilled criminal defense lawyers thoroughly examine cases to identify procedural flaws, contest weak evidence and pursue effective defenses based on the specifics. Potential defenses include:

False Accusations and Mistaken Identity

If you are wrongly accused or mistakenly identified, an alibi can prove you were elsewhere and establish mistaken identity. Alibis require strong documentation and witness corroboration.

Illegal Search and Seizure

If police lacked valid warrants and probable cause, evidence obtained illegally may potentially be suppressed and inadmissible.


Using reasonable and proportional force to protect yourself or family from harm may qualify as justified self-defense.

Diminished Mental Capacity

Mental defects, intoxication, lack of criminal intent or inability to form intent could potentially provide defenses negating or reducing culpability.


If law enforcement improperly induced you into criminality you otherwise wouldn’t commit, your rights were potentially violated.

Insufficient Evidence

Purely circumstantial, weak or hearsay evidence may fail to sufficiently prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

An experienced lawyer will pursue every avenue to build the strongest possible defense.

Overview of Florida Criminal Laws and Penalties

Potential sentences if convicted of a crime in Florida include:

Theft (Fla. Stat. § 812.014)

  • Petit theft <$100 – 2nd degree misdemeanor, 60 days jail
  • Grand theft $100-$300 – 1st degree misdemeanor, 1 year jail
  • Felony theft >$300 – 3rd degree felony, up to 5 years prison

Penalties increase for multiple offenses, theft type, and stolen amounts.

Burglary (Fla. Stat. § 810.02)

  • Burglary unoccupied structure – 3rd degree felony, up to 5 years prison
  • Burglary occupied dwelling – 2nd degree felony, up to 15 years prison
  • Burglary while armed – 1st degree felony, up to life sentence

Illegal entry with intent to commit theft or felony inside enhances charges.

Assault and Battery (Fla. Stat. § 784.011)

  • Simple assault – 2nd degree misdemeanor, 60 days jail
  • Aggravated assault – 3rd degree felony, up to 5 years prison
  • Battery – 1st degree misdemeanor, 1 year jail

Injury caused, weapon used, or domestic assault enhance charges.

Drug Charges (Fla. Stat. § 893.13)

  • Marijuana possession under 20 grams – 1st degree misdemeanor
  • Cocaine, heroin, meth possession – 3rd degree felony
  • Drug trafficking – 1st degree felony through capital felony

Penalties based on drug type, amounts, and intent to sell/traffic.

DUI (Fla. Stat. § 316.193)

  • 1st DUI offense – Class B misdemeanor, 6 months jail, $1,000 fine
  • 2nd offense – Class A misdemeanor, 9 months jail, $1,000-$4,000 fine
  • 3rd offense – 3rd degree felony, up to 5 years prison

Penalties increase with injuries, accidents, BAC level.

Sex Crimes (Fla. Stat. §§ 800.04, 794)

  • Lewd conduct, molestation – 2nd and 3rd degree felonies
  • Sexual battery – 1st-2nd degree felonies, up to life imprisonment
  • Sexual assault – 2nd degree felony, up to 15 years prison

Lifetime sex offender registration required.

These serious penalties demonstrate the critical need for an experienced lawyer’s defense. Now let’s examine Orlando’s top attorneys.

Best Criminal Defense Lawyers in Orlando, Florida

James Chen

With over 25 years of criminal trial experience in Orlando courts, James Chen is widely respected for his strong litigation skills and deep knowledge of Florida criminal law. He represents clients facing anything from DUI and theft crimes to domestic violence, sex offenses, robbery, and homicide.

Attorney Chen is known for aggressively contesting the prosecution’s allegations and evidence at trial. He has successfully defended many high-profile, complex criminal cases in Orlando throughout his career. Past clients especially appreciate his candid communication style.

Jennifer Davis

A former Orange County prosecutor, Jennifer Davis leverages her background to provide aggressive criminal defense in Orlando courts. She represents clients facing an array of charges including domestic violence, drug distribution, DUI, healthcare fraud, juvenile crimes, assault, and sex offenses.

Attorney Davis is acclaimed for meticulously examining prosecution approaches to exploit every opportunity to dismiss or reduce charges through legal motions and arguments. She has successfully achieved many settlements leading to dropped or lowered charges for clients pre-trial. Past clients praise her responsiveness.

Lucas Wright – Federal Courts

Lucas Wright represents clients facing federal prosecution in the Middle District of Florida on complex cases involving white collar crimes, federal drug trafficking, child pornography, bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion, healthcare fraud, public corruption, and other federal charges.

Over his 20+ year legal career, attorney Wright has handled over 150 federal criminal jury trials. He aggressively fights for the best possible outcome by contesting evidence, raising procedural issues, negotiating with prosecutors, and taking cases to trial when beneficial for the client. His experience and negotiation skills achieve favorable results.

How to Choose the Best Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer

When researching criminal defense attorneys, keep these tips in mind:

  • Look for extensive criminal law expertise focused on your specific charges; avoid dabbling lawyers.
  • Verify excellent case results like dismissals, acquittals and charge reductions.
  • Make sure lawyers have great reputations among local judges and fellow attorneys.
  • Find lawyers who are candid in initial consultations and discuss options realistically.
  • Compare past client reviews on Google, Facebook, Avvo and other sites.
  • Ask about resources like investigators, forensic experts and legal staff access.
  • Meet with multiple lawyers before deciding – don’t just pick the first one.
  • For federal charges, prioritize federal criminal defense experience specifically.

Take time to thoroughly vet each option – your future is at stake. The right lawyer makes all the difference.


If you are facing criminal prosecution in Orlando, experienced legal counsel is essential given the potential for harsh penalties. Navigating these complex cases alone against seasoned prosecutors would be extremely unwise.

The elite Orlando criminal defense attorneys we covered have the skills, experience, resources and track record of positive case results to build the strongest case on your behalf. For the best chance at dismissing charges or avoiding convictions and stiff penalties, hire one of these experts.

Don’t take chances with your future and livelihood. Let one of Orlando’s top criminal lawyers stand between you and devastating consequences. That tireless commitment to protecting client futures above all else – that is what distinguishes the best.