Levy County Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you love has been charged with a criminal offense in Levy County, you need the help of an experienced attorney. From the outset, a criminal defense lawyer at Katz & Phillips, P.A. will start making an impact on your case. If it’s a misdemeanor charge, your attorney will often be able to appear in court on your behalf, saving you a lot of time and effort that you would otherwise spend representing yourself.

Stages of a Criminal Case

Initial Arrest

The first step to a criminal law matter is being charged with a crime. You may be given a notice to appear by the arresting officer or taken to jail and booked, depending on the nature of the charge as well as other facts and circumstances.

If you are given a notice to appear, then you will have to show up to court on a specific time to make your first appearance. It is often helpful to retain a criminal defense attorney immediately after you’ve been arrested or issued a notice to appear to give them time to review and prepare for your case.

First Appearance

After the initial arrest, you will have to make your first appearance. At this stage of your case, the formal charges brought against you will be read and the court will ensure that you have legal counsel. Additionally, conditions for your pre-trial release will be made, which may include posting bail. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help reduce the amount of bail the judge sets in your case.

Preliminary Hearing

The next step in a Levy County criminal case is the preliminary hearing. The preliminary hearing is often thought of as a mini trial before the trial. It is also the phase in your case where motions to dismiss or motions to suppress evidence can be made. The preliminary hearing also gives your attorney a sense for the types of arguments that may or may not work if your case proceeds to trial by judge or jury.

Plea Bargaining

Assuming your case has not been dismissed at the preliminary hearing, your criminal defense attorney will continue to try and secure a plea bargain on your behalf. The vast majority of criminal cases are settled by plea, and never make it to trial. However, if your attorney is unable to get a favorable plea bargain for you, your case will proceed to the arraignment.


The arraignment is where it is decided whether your case will proceed to sentencing or trial. At the arraignment the formal charges against you will be read, and you will be asked whether you plead guilty or not guilty. If you reached a plea bargain before the arraignment, you may be asked to plead not guilty in exchange for a lesser sentence. If you plead not guilty, then your case will proceed to trial.

Trial and Sentencing

There are two types of trials: trial by judge and trial by jury. The type of trial will be decided by you and your criminal defense attorney. At a trial by judge, the judge will make all the decisions concerning guilt based on the standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.

A jury trial, on the other hand, requires both the defense and prosecuting attorneys to select a jury, argue the case before the jury, and wait for a group of your peers to decide your innocence or guilt. If the jury returns a verdict of not guilty, then you will be given immediate leave of court. If the jury is hung, meaning they cannot unanimously agree on your guilt, then your case will be dismissed (though the state attorney’s office may decide to retry the case). If the jury finds you guilty, then your case will proceed to sentencing and your punishment will be decided.

For more information about the stages of a criminal case and the rules of criminal procedure, the Florida Bar Association has put together this information guide.

Contact a Levy County Criminal Lawyer Today

As you can see, the criminal process in Florida can be very complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, but this gives an experienced criminal defense attorney a lot of opportunities to pursue a more favorable outcome in your case. The Levy County criminal defense lawyers at Katz & Phillips, P.A. are ready to defend your case all the way through a jury trial if need be. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and learn more about what we can do for you.


509 W Colonial Dr. Orlando, FL 32804

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Free Consultation321-332-6864


Contact the Law Offices of Katz & Phillips today to speak with one of our attorneys about your case today by filling out the form below, or call us at 321-332-6864.


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