Any criminal conviction can follow you for life . . . Hiring a lawyer early can make all the difference. You need more than a cookie cutter defense or quick plea deal . . . Many criminal cases are winnable! Did you know . . . Possession of marijuana is still a crime in Florida. First offense DUI penalties can be harsher than for many felonies. You can be charged with a drug offense in state AND federal court. Mike Stone - Experienced defender in both state and federal courts Served as Chief, Capital Division, 14th Circuit Public Defender’s Office Trained Navy and Marine JAG lawyers in capital criminal defense Highest peer-review rating from Martindale-Hubbell
Panama City, Florida Criminal Defense & DUI Attorneys
Attorneys for the accused
Arrest and jail can be horrifying experiences. You don’t know where to turn. No one can answer any of your questions. “Talk to the judge at first appearance.” “You can make one phone call.” What you need is a lawyer, and fast.
Not the time for DIY
Going it alone in criminal court can lead to nasty surprises. And it’s not just the immediate penalty you should worry about. Any criminal conviction in Florida can be a life sentence – that is, a criminal record can follow you for your whole life. It can prevent you from getting a job, it can keep you from renting a house, it can cancel your right to bear arms or your right to vote – long after the trial or the plea, and the jail time, and the probation period are over. A dedicated and experienced lawyer can help you avoid some or all of these consequences.
Without experienced and qualified representation, you won’t know your rights or how to protect them. If you delay hiring a lawyer, some of those rights may be gone. Often an investigation needs to be performed early on in the case to be most effective. While you still have options, get STONE & SUTTON on your side early! We offer a FREE and confidential consultation in criminal cases. Call us at 850.785.7272.
Our experience and our commitment.
* Both partners at STONE & SUTTON are Harvard graduates and have the highest peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.
* We have extensive experience representing defendants in criminal cases, including 10 years with the Public Defender’s Office. Mike Stone served as Chief of the Capital Division for the PD’s Office for the entire 14th Circuit of Florida.
* We have served on state-wide committees and we have been invited to train other criminal lawyers at state conferences and at a Navy and Marine JAG training at Camp LeJeune, NC.
* We have represented clients in criminal cases ranging from traffic violations through death penalty prosecutions.
* We are not afraid to confront improper police procedures.
* We know when to call in experts and we know how to investigate and prepare a case for trial.
* Our decades of criminal defense experience includes protecting defendants charged with these offenses and more:
Assault & Battery
Forgery & Fraud
At your free and confidential consultation, we’ll answer your questions and we’ll give you options that are personalized for your situation. Call us at 850.785.7272.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in and around Bay County, Florida, call STONE & SUTTON at 850.785.7272.
Few things are more disruptive to your life than a DUI arrest. Typically, your driver’s license is seized by the arresting officer – you have to wage a separate legal battle to get it back and you have only a 10 day deadline to request a hearing.
A conviction is even worse. Technically, DUI is only a misdemeanor in Florida (though a fourth life-time DUI is a felony). But the penalties, even for a first offense, are harsher than those for many felonies.
Many DUI cases are winnable. There are circumstances that may get charges lessened or dropped, such as involuntary impairment due to roofie drugs or legally prescribed medications, faulty alcohol testing, illness, unreliable evidence, or police misconduct at the time of your arrest.
You need more than a cookie-cutter defense or a quick “plead as charged” deal.
Panama City DUI and criminal defense attorney Mike Stone has won jury acquittals in DUI cases and has had charges dismissed based on successful pre-trial motions. We offer a free and confidential assessment of your criminal case.
To find out if you have a defense, call the Panama City firm of STONE & SUTTON at 850.785.7272
Drug crimes and drug related crimes
Possession, sale, or manufacture of cocaine, heroin, meth, or other high profile drugs is unlawful. You can be tried for drug crimes in both State and Federal court. Panama City attorney Mike Stone has years of trial experience in both jurisdictions.
A drug crime defense is often highly technical and complex in terms of the science and the law, and the penalties can be severe. You need a lawyer willing to take the time to build a strong defense and fight against unlawful police searches and other violations of your rights.
Isn’t marijuana different?
There is a trend toward legalization of marijuana in this country. Don’t make the mistake of thinking Florida follows that trend. Possession of even small amounts is a crime, and larger amounts a felony. If convicted, you could face prison time.
Secondary crimes connected with drug use and addiction, such as prescription and check forgery, are also felonies. Felonies can result in prison time. Even a plea to probation can result in a public record that anyone can find with an internet search.
If you’ve been charged with a drug crime — or a drug related crime — in or around Bay County, Florida, call STONE & SUTTON at 850.785.7272.
Murder and manslaughter
The lawyers at STONE & SUTTON have handled dozens of homicide cases in Bay County, Florida. Many of these were first degree murder cases in which the prosecution sought the death penalty. As lead attorney, Mike Stone has never lost a death penalty case that wasn’t reversed on appeal. Few homicide cases are hopeless if skillfully defended. Call STONE & SUTTON at 850.785.7272 . Mike Stone is prepared to fight for you.
Charges of sexual battery, especially involving children, are among the most serious and difficult cases. Juries and judges can be so disturbed by such allegations that they lose their ability to weigh the facts fairly and unemotionally. Prison time is only part of the potential penalty if you lose. Florida has severe registration requirements for people who are judged sexual offenders or predators. Reporting requirements, surveillance and harassment by law enforcement, strict limitations on where you may work or live, could haunt you for the rest of your life.
Sexual assault cases can be technically complex, involving both medical and psychological issues. You or your loved one must have solid legal help from the beginning. Defend yourself vigorously, and get the legal help you need to do it. Call the Panama City attorneys of STONE & SUTTON at 850.785.7272.
Assault & Battery, Trespass & Burglary, Theft & Robbery
Some people think of these as “garden variety” offenses. It’s risky thinking. Some batteries are serious felonies. Sometimes what you thought was a mere trespass gets treated as a prison-qualifying burglary. Sometimes what you thought was a theft is dealt with as a robbery. Did you realize that dealing in stolen property is a second degree felony in Florida? Knowledgeable counsel needs to advise you on these charges and how they can be best defended.
Domestic violence & Criminal Defense
Domestic violence is an act of violence committed against a family or household member, a relative, or someone who used to be in a domestic relationship with the defendant. Under Florida law, someone who alleges domestic violence can seek a restraining order in family court and also can ask the prosecutor to file criminal charges. Stalking, violation of a restraining order, assault, and battery, all are possible criminal charges.
Florida courts treat domestic battery differently than simple battery or simple assault. If certain aggravating factors are alleged, the prosecutor can charge even a simple battery as a felony, which carries potential prison time.
Domestic violence is a serious societal problem. However, false accusation of domestic violence is also a significant problem, resulting in potentially ruinous consequences for the person falsely accused. Domestic violence cases are often of the “he said/she said” type, since witnesses may be scarce. Such battles can be tough. At STONE & SUTTON, we’ve fought these battles successfully in both criminal and family court.
Children and their parents are told that the juvenile justice system is there to help them, so protecting the child’s constitutional rights is not necessary. As a juvenile, you still have the right to counsel, but children in our courts are subtly pressured by court personnel to plead guilty before they ever see a lawyer. You may have a defense to the charges against you, but you will never get the advice of a lawyer to find out. And did you know that juveniles are not entitled to a jury trial?
The government will tell you that a juvenile guilty plea does not count as a criminal record. In fact, the court, law enforcement, the prosecutor – all have access to these records for your entire life. In some cases, your supposedly “sealed” record will count against you if you get in trouble as an adult.
Of course there are advantages to treatment as a juvenile. Sentences are potentially much shorter than adult penalties. But even for minor offenses, state supervision of juveniles can extend until age 18 or even beyond; often, adult sentences for the same conduct are much shorter and less invasive of your freedom. Even after they get you to give up your rights and make a statement to a juvenile official, the prosecutor can decide to charge older juveniles as adults, transferring you to adult criminal court! For some offenses, the transfer is automatic no matter how young a child is.
The lesson is clear: if your son or daughter is charged with an offense in juvenile court, get a lawyer before you do anything else and before your child says anything. Your child’s entire future could well hang on this decision. Call us at 850.785.7272.
We are here to protect your rights and your liberty.
For a FREE and confidential consultation to discuss your case and your options, call us at 850.785.7272. Attorney’s at Stone and Sutton Law proudly serve the Panama City communities in criminal defense, family law, DUI cases and more. Explore our site!
This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.