Florida Criminal Lawyer

We Help GOOD People in Unfortunate Situations™

At Craig Epifanio, P.A., in St. Petersburg, Florida, we help good people who are working through difficult issues that include:

Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney?

As an attorney who has been doing battle with the government since 1997, I have seen the awesome power of the government come down hard on people either in an excessive manner, or worse, on people who are truly innocent. Often times, I review a case with my client in person and I see that some actions that the police have done exceeded the scope of what is allowed under the Constitution. Other times, it is the prosecutor who, in an effort to appear tough on crime and thus get promoted within their office or even just get favor with their superiors, will “over-charge” a person. The prosecutor may see that a crime was committed but overreach and add more charges in an effort to secure a conviction on the one or two charges they really want. These actions are where a knowledgeable and experienced Criminal Defense attorney in St. Petersburg/Clearwater, Florida will be the most helpful for you. I will use my 20+ years of experience to look for ways to get charges reduced or dismissed. This can happen because officers over step their boundaries and violate the 4th and 5th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. This results in my office filing motions to dismiss or suppress evidence. Regardless, we will look at all avenues available to get the best possible disposition of YOUR case.

Craig Epifanio is well-respected by prosecutors and judges as one who will “shoot it straight” with them. Judges know that I will not bring a frivolous motion. Prosecutors know that when I explain my client’s story that I am not lying, but I will always put my client in a positive light (but without breaking attorney-client privilege). These factors are crucial when negotiating with prosecutors and judges and has been that way since becoming a private Pinellas Criminal Lawyer after being a Public Defender for 2 ½ years. They know my credibility is important and that credibility carries over in helping clients to achieve results that they can be satisfied with. Whether that means a dismissal or a lesser sentence than expected, my office strives to achieve the best result possible under each individual’s circumstances. You have my assurance that I will not lie to you in order to tell a client merely what they want to hear. This starts from the very beginning. I will tell a client, based on what I know during the conversation, the truth without sugar coating. Sometimes the truth will hurt, sometimes it will be good news, but you will always know where you stand in your case.

Although I am fully prepared to go to trial in any case that I have, I realize that in some cases that is not always the best thing for my client. I will thoroughly discuss trial options as well as plea negotiated deals and go over the pros and cons of each choice the client wishes. Since 95% of cases do not go to trial, it is helpful to hire a skilled St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney to negotiate those deals which the client will be most satisfied with, even if they are guilty. I will convey all offers, good and bad, to my client. In fact, a recent decision by a Florida Appeals court chastised an inexperienced criminal attorney for not conveying a no prison offer, when instead he went to trial and now must serve a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence. You can be assured that I will never let that happen to you because I believe in firm and truthful communication.

Get an attorney as early as possible

Getting involved early is also very important. Early can mean just after your arrest, but it can also mean before an arrest as well. As I noted above, there are overly zealous police officers and prosecutors. They may want to talk to you without having an attorney present. Regardless of your innocence, do NOT talk to the police without having an attorney present. You may think you can talk your way out of a situation, even if you are 100% innocent, but the police will often use every word you say against you because their goal is to catch the “bad” guy (or girl). The problem with their thinking is that many innocent people get swept up under this mentality. Of course, not all my clients are 100% innocent. In fact, it would be fair to say that the majority may actually be guilty. HOWEVER, as your St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney, you can be assured that I’VE GOT YOUR BACK. This includes your right to remain silent and not have it used against you. Your right to have an attorney present at all proceedings. Your right not to be excessively sentenced and the concurrent right not to be charged for things you didn’t do. It is my goal to be by your side, both figuratively and literally, in protecting your rights.

Attorney Craig A. Epifanio is a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer who has an extensive understanding of the law through both practical courtroom experience as well as personal experiences. He chose to work primarily in criminal law because he saw what happened to people who did not have lawyers. He has seen how people can be intimidated and overwhelmed by the criminal justice system — even when they are not guilty. This experience helped inspire him to become a St. Petersburg criminal lawyer and provide every client who walked through his doors with responsive client service and aggressive legal advocacy.

In all matters, Mr. Epifanio's goal is to assist you in obtaining justice and support you through difficult life situations by providing prompt, responsive and effective legal services.

Call (727) 528-1859 to arrange for your free initial consultation. Click here to contact us.

Feel free to read the Recent Free Legal Questions answered by Craig Epifanio