Criminal Defense Attorney
in St. Pete & Pinellas Park, FL
When your freedom is on the line, you need an attorney that is aggressive, responsive, and experienced. Oldham & Delcamp is committed to making sure that each of our clients receives the personalized attention of one of our attorneys.
Each attorney carefully reviews the totality of the circumstances behind each criminal charge and prepares a comprehensive plan to defend each charge no matter whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. We ensure that our client’s rights are being respected and that due process is being followed.
When the results of an unsuccessful defense can have permanent consequences, our clients can rest easy knowing Oldham & Delcamp is there to defend them.
Experienced Trial Lawyers
Gordon Oldham and Jack Delcamp are former prosecutors with extensive experience. Both partners were selected as Lead Trial Attorney and have litigated thousands of cases while they were with the State Attorney Office and they continued to accrue trial experience in private practice.
Mr. Oldham was appointed the prosecutor for all traffic offenses for Southern Pinellas County, and additionally was the prosecutor associated with the Special Unity for crimes involving Domestic Violence. Each partner is intimately familiar with plea negotiations, diversionary programs, and the Florida Evidence code.
Each of the partners feels strongly about ensuring our clients are treated fairly and that they each client receives justice.
Types of Crimes We Defend
The above is list by no means exclusive. Oldham & Delcamp is committed to making sure each person is treated with fairly by the justice system. If you have been charged with a crime and would like help, please contact us immediately!
Benefits over Public Defender
Public Defenders are often overworked, underpaid, and overburdened with cases. In many cases, they are unable to give each individual case the attention it deserves. In some cases, their clients feel like their cases are ignored until the day of the hearing or trial and potential evidence is never gathered.
Oldham & Delcamp can provide each case the individualized attention it deserves. Your trial attorney will seek to protect our clients against overzealous prosecutors and follow up on every possible lead that could result in admissible evidence in court. We will argue to ensure that improperly obtained evidence is not held against you.
General Overview of the Criminal Defense Process
Arrest or Notice to Appear
The first official step in a criminal proceeding is the arrest or notice to appear. After a crime observed or a criminal complain is made, the alleged offender will be arrested or served with a notice to appear in a Florida court. For an alleged offender who is arrested and booked, the next step of the process begins immediately.
In some instances a notice to appear may be issued instead. A notice to appear is a written order issued by a law enforcement officer that requires that the alleged offender appear in a specific court at a specific time and date. These must be signed by the alleged offender in order to be released from the officer’s custody.
As soon as you have either been booked into jail, or issued a notice to appear, you have the right to an attorney. Hiring an experienced attorney like the ones found at Oldham & Delcamp will ensure that each of your rights are protected and that your interests are being looked after.
In Florida, within 24 hours of a physical arrest and being booked into jail, an alleged offender must be brought before a judge for his or her first appearance. A first appearance is to ensures that the alleged offender has counsel, to serve the defendant with his or her criminal charges, and to determine bail and any other conditions of pretrial release.
As a defendant in your first appearance you are not required to speak. If you do choose to say anything during your first appearance, it may be used against you in future proceedings.
This is the first hearing in a criminal trial. The most important thing about the hearing is related to evidence. Specifically, the State must put forth sufficient evidence of probable cause to enact your arrest/charge the crime.
At this time, your attorney can contest the admissibility of evidence being presented. If evidence is inadmissible, it cannot be considered by any of the parties involved in your case, like the jury or the judge. If there is insufficient evidence to prove probable cause, your attorney will call for a dismissal.
Probable cause is not the standard people typically associate with criminal charges (beyond a reasonable doubt). Probable cause is less strict, and asserts that a prudent and cautious person could reasonably believe the defendant committed the crime, given the circumstances and admissible evidence.
An unofficial but vitally important part of the criminal justice system. After a preliminary hearing, this process will be initiated by either the prosecutor or the defense lawyer. The state is not obligated to engage in plea negotiations. Plea bargaining may occur even after the trial has begun! Until a ruling given, both parties are able to contact the other to make plea offers.
Typically, prosecutors offer a concession to the defendant in order to get them to change their plea to guilty. This could mean the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge instead of the original charge they received at the first appearance or pleading guilty to the original charge with a recommendation for a lesser sentence.
As this process is wholly voluntary, either party can choose to ignore or reject the offers and prepare for a trial.
The arraignment is the formal reading of the charges against the defendant, and their opportunity to formally submit a plea. If the defendant pleads guilty, or nolo contendre, the next step in the process is sentencing. If the defendant pleads not guilty, he or she will be given some time to prepare for trial.
Arraignment can be waived by the defendant if they wish, through the submission of a written plea beforehand or a plea agreement.
Trials are the most infamous part of the legal system. There are two kinds of trials, trial by jury and trial by judge. Trial by judge occurs when there is no jury convened, and the case is argued by both parties during the trial to the judge. In a trial by jury, voir dire occurs, which is the process by which attorneys interview potential jurors to determine if they can be impartial.
A trial generally occurs in this order:
- Opening Statements
- State’s case is presented
- Defense cross-examines the State’s witnesses and case
- Defense presents their case
- Prosecutor cross-examines the Defense’s witnesses and case
- Closing Arguments
If the verdict is “not guilty”, or some other dismissal, then you are free to go and do not face sentencing. However, if the verdict is guilty or you have plead guilty, sentencing is the final step. Sentencing generally occurs within two weeks to ninety days from when the verdict is given.
The judge will hear arguments from both parties, and you may also make a statement (you may choose not to). Sentencing is determined based on the arguments presented and the admissible evidence from the trial, as well as sentencing guidelines.
Depending on the charge, you may face fines, community service, probation, jail time (for sentences one year or less), prison time (for sentences greater than one year) or any other measure the judge considers appropriate.
In some cases, a sentence will be a mix of these outcomes (a person may get both fines, and probation for instance).
Call to Discuss a Potential Criminal Defense Case
For a free consultation with one of Oldham Delcamp’s top-rated criminal trial attorney, call us today at 727-201-5458 or fill out our form!
We can also assist with business law and real estate law, or act as your personal injury attorney, civil mediation attorney and probate attorney.