Criminal Defense

A criminal defense lawyer will assist you if you are arrested or charged with a crime. We will be at your side throughout the process and assist you with critical situations such as plea bargains, sentencing, and dismissals. You must have a qualified criminal lawyer to help you protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Types of Cases Requiring Criminal Defense

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

DUI includes driving under the influence of alcohol or prescription drugs (controlled substances). Drunk driving in Florida can incur jail time, fines, community service, suspension, or revocation of your driver’s license. If another person was injured and you are charged with DUI, you may be responsible for victim restitution.

If you are arrested in Polk County and have been served a Notice of Suspension of your driver’s license, you have ten days to contact the Florida DHSMV for an administrative hearing. This is the only opportunity you have to avoid suspension and revocation of your license. Rafael Echemendia can represent you at your Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) hearing. An experienced lawyer is your best bet for keeping your license.

Drug Charges & Trafficking

An arrest for possession of marijuana, meth, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, or prescription drugs will affect the rest of your life. If convicted, you will have a criminal record, potential suspension of your driver’s license, and possible denial of rental housing.

Possession with intent to distribute can incur misdemeanor or felony charges. This is a more serious offense than possession, and will result in higher penalties. Intent to sell drugs may be determined by the items you have: scales, baggies, large amounts of cash, and other evidence. Charges are based on the weight and type of drugs. The minimum sentence for trafficking is three years.

Drug manufacturing of a controlled substance is usually considered a felony offense in Florida. The determination is made depending on the type and amount of the drug.

Call Us Toll Free Echemendia Law Firm if you are arrested or charged with any drug charges.


Murder is, by definition, the crime of killing another person under circumstances defined by law and/or purposely, knowingly, and recklessly killing during the course of committing a felony. Unintentional killing during the commission of a felony is First-degree murder. Intentional and willful killing is Second-degree murder. The most important thing to remember is to say absolutely nothing until you have a lawyer’s advice. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. The second most important thing to remember is Call Echemendia Law Office Toll Free. 


This is a slightly lesser charge than murder because manslaughter is not premeditated and the killing is unexpected or in the heat of passion.

Attempted Murder

An attempt to kill with an unequivocal intention to take another’s life is attempted murder. This carries heavy consequences that can lead to lifelong penalties if you are convicted.

Felony Cases

A felony is a crime that is punishable by more than one year in prison.

Examples of felonies:
  • Homicide
  • DUI
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Resisting Arrest—with violence
  • Fraud
  • Identity Theft
  • Sex Crimes
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  • Stalking
  • Forgery
  • Embezzlement
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • And more

Violation of Probation

If any of the terms of your probation agreement are violated, you can be arrested with a no-bond warrant. These types of arrests make it difficult to get out of jail without a lawyer.

Examples of probation violations:
  • Failure to report to probation officer
  • Association with known criminals
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Failure to appear at scheduled court appointments
  • Arrest for a new offense
  • And more

Domestic Violence & Injunctions

Domestic violence is defined under Florida law as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family household member by another. Florida law offers protection by the issuance of injunctions, also known as restraining orders.

If an injunction has been issued against you, call Echemendia Law Firm to avoid criminal charges related to the violation of the injunction

Juvenile Delinquent

Cases involving juveniles are difficult. They are handled differently than those in state or federal court. You would be wise to have a lawyer to assist you in dealing with juvenile crimes.

Examples include:
  • Weapon Charges
  • Shoplifting
  • Drug Crimes
  • Graffiti
  • Gang Offenses
  • Vandalism
  • Underage Drinking
  • And more


You may be charged with battery if you touch or strike another person against their will. Battery is divided into categories: Armed Battery, Felony Battery, and Aggravated Battery. Each is punishable dependent upon the circumstances of the crime.

Misdemeanor Cases

In the state of Florida, any crime punishable by up to one year in jail is considered a misdemeanor.

Examples of misdemeanors:
  • Shoplifting under $300
  • Petit Theft
  • Solicitation for Prostitution
  • Indecent Exposure
  • Possession of under 20 grams of marijuana
  • Driving offenses
  • Driving While License is Suspended or Revoked
  • And more

Petit Theft

Shoplifting is considered petit theft. The taking of items valued under $300 may be charged as a misdemeanor and incur 60 days to 12 months in jail.

Call Toll Free or Contact Us for legal assistance today!

Contact Us


Lakeland 863.669.1525

Auburndale 863.967.1525


Lakeland Location

5473 US Highway 98 South

Lakeland, FL 33812

Auburndale Location

201 Main St

Auburndale, FL 33823



Monday - Friday 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.