St. Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney

Being charged with a crime in the state of Florida should never be taken lightly. Florida has some of the toughest criminal penalties in the country, and even misdemeanor crimes like first-time DUI and possession of marijuana can carry a jail sentence. If you’ve been arrested or know that you’re being investigated for a crime, you need to retain the services of a top-tier criminal defense attorney. In St. Petersburg, that’s Christopher M. Sierra, P.A.

How Criminal Defense Works

The state and local government spend a tremendous amount of resources, arresting individuals and convicting them, but as a criminal defendant, you have an advantage. The burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is on the prosecution. That means that in most cases, your criminal defense attorney can get your charges reduced or dropped by raising questions about the case. Here are some of the proven strategies that a criminal defense lawyer may employ to get your case dismissed or charges reduced.

Like everywhere else, police officers need a valid reason to stop you, whether you’re in a vehicle or walking down the street. Valid reasons include seeing a traffic violation, suspicion that the person committed a crime, a legally sanctioned checkpoint, an anonymous tip, etc.
Just like the case with stops, the police need a valid reason to search you, your vehicle, or your home. In most cases, a warrant is necessary, but there are exceptions. For instance, the police can search your immediate area if you are under arrest and they believe that there may be a weapon or evidence of a crime within lunging distance
The police can ask you questions if you’re free to leave. They cannot, however, legally ask you questions if you’re in custody without reading your Miranda Warnings. You don’t necessarily have to be under arrest to be in custody.
Police have protocols for certain types of arrests. For instance, they should field test drugs that they find before making an arrest. DUI investigations have a strict order that must be followed. Violating these protocols can lead to a suppression of evidence and a dismissal.
Police must develop probable cause to make an arrest. That means that there must be evidence that the subject was more likely to have committed the crime than not. Officers sometimes fail to develop the proper evidence to make an arrest or to prosecute a case.

While these are some of the more common defense strategies, St. Petersburg attorney Christopher M. Sierra knows other approaches that have been proven to be effective in a court of law. As your criminal defense lawyer, he will examine the state’s case against you, depose police officers and other witnesses, and develop an ironclad criminal defense strategy.

Private Criminal Defense Attorney vs. Public Defender

Like most public defenders offices, the Pinellas County Public Defender is staffed with dedicated, hardworking professionals, but they are all expected to carry a heavy caseload. That means that they have less time to dedicate to each client. A private criminal defense lawyer, like Christopher M. Sierra, manages their own caseload and dedicates as much time to their client’s needs as is required to win.

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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Pinellas County

Attorney Sierra has spent years developing a solid reputation in the St. Petersburg area. If you’ve been arrested for a crime, you can have confidence that everything possible is being done to secure your freedom. Call today.

Criminal Defense Practice Areas

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DUI Defense Lawyer

DUI Defense

Don’t Let an Evening on the Town Lead to a Night in Handcuffs If you have been charged with a DUI in St. Petersburg, Florida, you may have many questions. Being charged with DUI is serious business that requires the help of a competent DUI lawyer. Christopher M. Sierra, PA will be there to help…

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Traffic Law

Traffic Law

You might think of a traffic ticket as no big deal, but it could have a big impact on your driving record if you don’t take the proper steps. Christopher M. Sierra, PA can help you when you’ve been charged with a traffic violation. Christopher M. Sierra, PA can effectively represent you against any charges…

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Drug Crimes Attorney

Drug Crimes

Being charged with a drug crime is a very serious offense. Finding the right criminal defense attorney to represent you is critical to avoid a possible negative outcome. Christopher M. Sierra can defend you in the St. Petersburg courtroom no matter what you’ve been charged with. We have spent years building cases for our clients…

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Christopher M. Sierra

Attorney At Law

After graduating from law school at Mercer University, Chris spent a few years working criminal appeal cases before joining his father’s firm. One of his strengths is that he can often settle a client’s case outside of court — which saves them a lot of time and money. However, if trial is necessary, Chris is ready to aggressively and fearlessly take on the job.



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"In the summer of 2019, Chris was very attentive and thorough with my legal needs. He was accessible after hours, and upfront about what the different scenarios might cost. Chris resolved my legal issue with efficiency and professionalism. I highly recommend him! Thank you Chris!"

Jen Burkley

"I came to Chris for help with a landlord who was wrongfully suing me. My landlord is also an attorney. I felt totally helpless and overwhelmed. Chris is so incredibly intelligent that he found holes in the case within the first few minutes of consulting me and reading the lease. Then he went to bat with my landlord and got him to totally back down. Chris won without ever going to trial. I will be using Chris for all legal matters from now on. His tenacity and power of negotiation make him the most skillful attorney I've ever met. I recommend everyone go to him."

Val Monroe

"Mr. Sierra answered every question I threw at him, knowledgeable on every legal aspect, gave me all options I could use. Anything you need with a legal situation, rest assured you'll be provided with what you need as Florida law is interpreted."

Paul Maclen

"Chris made time to see me shortly after I initially contacted him. He explained everything clearly and kept me informed during every step of my case. He went above and beyond by delivering documents to my home since I was recovering from a shoulder surgery and could not easily make it into his office. My case was resolved much to my satisfaction today and I would not hesitate to recommend Chris to anyone for their legal needs. I can just simply tell you he is a very caring person and a wonderful attorney. Thank you so much Chris!!"

Barbara Nathanson

"Not only did Mr.Sierra take on our very complicated and time consuming case when absolutely no one else would; he has acted quickly, efficiently and with great compassion for the suffering my family has wrongfully endured. He is truly one of the 'good guys' who will go above and beyond for his clients.. he actually answers his cell phone, responds quickly to emails and is extremely knowledgeable and experienced. I would highly, highly recommended Christopher Sierra to anyone looking for an attorney with empathy and expertise."

Kayte Bush