Criminal Defense Lawyers in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City & Palatka

Gainesville Criminal Defense Attorneys Standing On Duty for You

At the Law Offices of Edwards & Mason, our dedicated criminal defense lawyers represent Gainesville residents and people in other communities in North Central Florida, such as Ocala and Bronson, who have been charged with a wide variety of offenses. We have the skill and experience to guide you through the legal process and build the strongest possible defense for your specific circumstances. Thomas L. Edwards and Geoffrey R. Mason are long-standing members of the local community who graduated from the University of Florida. We take pride in diligently assisting our neighbors in their times of need. At the Law Offices of Edwards & Mason, an attorney is on duty to speak with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call our office without delay if you are facing drug charges, prosecution for a sex crime, or allegations related to domestic violence, firearms offenses, DUI, or any other criminal matter.

Vigorous Legal Representation in Fighting Drug Charges

Drug crimes are serious offenses that can come with significant consequences for a defendant and his or her family. The penalties vary based on the type and amount of the substance, but they often include jail time, fines, and the loss of driving privileges. It is important to understand that state law imposes mandatory minimum sentences in many cases. This means that a prosecutor or judge generally cannot lower the penalties below a certain threshold, even if the defendant is particularly sympathetic. This is why it is absolutely vital that a person charged with or even suspected of a drug crime contact an experienced criminal attorney as soon as possible.

The good news is that state and federal laws provide many protections to defendants in drug cases. For example, procedural rules limit the circumstances in which police can search you, your car, or your home for drugs, contraband, and other evidence. When law enforcement fails to comply with these rules, any evidence obtained from an unlawful search is likely to be thrown out and cannot be used to prove you guilty. This may result in the dismissal of the charges against you, since the prosecution must prove each element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt and may struggle to meet that burden without key items of evidence.

Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are two important legal terms governing searches and seizures. In order to stop and question you on the street or pull your car over on the road, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are committing or recently committed a crime. They can also frisk you for weapons during these stops, but only if they have reasonable suspicion that you are armed. To search a car or home without a warrant, police usually need to have probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime is in the home or on the property, although there are some exceptions.

Advocacy for Florida Residents in Sex Crimes, Domestic Violence, and Firearms Prosecutions

Our firm has successfully represented defendants in many other criminal cases, including those related to sex crimes, domestic violence, and firearms offenses. Each of these charges comes with its own unique sets of issues. Offenses like child pornography, sexual assault, and domestic abuse may carry a significant stigma, even for some people who are eventually found not guilty. It is important to start building a defense aggressively as early in the process as possible.

For example, a Florida resident charged with a sex crime may have been interacting with law enforcement officials posing undercover. Someone in this situation may consider raising the defense of entrapment, which protects people who have been induced by police officers into committing a crime. State law makes entrapment a defense to most criminal charges. In order to prove the defense, you would need to show that a police officer – or a person cooperating with the police – encouraged you directly to commit the crime of which you are charged. This usually means showing that the police persuaded you in a way that would likely make a reasonable person act similarly under the circumstances.

Enlist an Experienced Gainesville Criminal Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Rights

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Gainesville or beyond, the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Edwards & Mason are ready to fight for your rights. We have more than four decades of combined experience, focusing exclusively on criminal cases. Our firm has a strong track record of helping our clients move on with their lives. We are real lawyers who handle real cases and get real results. From our Gainesville office, we proudly serve people in Ocala, Bronson, and other communities, such as Alachua, Archer, Hawthorne, High Springs, Newberry, Macclenny, Starke, Green Cove Springs, Lake City, Trenton, Williston, Palatka, Bushnell, Live Oak, and Lake Butler. Call us at 877-377-7801 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a drug offense attorney or seek representation in any other criminal matter, such as those related to charges of sex offenses, DUI, domestic violence, or firearms violations.

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