Sarasota Criminal Defense Law


If you have been arrested on a Felony or Misdemeanor criminal charge in Sarasota or Manatee County Florida it is important to hire an experienced Sarasota and Bradenton criminal defense lawyer to guide you through the criminal legal process. My years of criminal defense experience make me that lawyer for you.


  • Felony | Misdemeanors
  • Drug Offenses
  • Assault 
  • Violent crimes (battery, aggravated battery)
  • Theft | Burglary
  • Probation Violations
  • Bond hearings 
  • Juvenile crimes
  • Arraignments
  • Sale | Delivery
  • Seal | Expunge records
  • Assault
  • Firearms | Weapons
  • Resisting arrest
  • Indecent exposure


  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Florida Bar
  • Sarasota County Bar Association
  • Teen Court of Sarasota, Inc., Board of Directors



Florida criminal law contains several types of felony charges 

(First, Second & Third Degree).  

Felonies of the First Degree

  • First degree felonies are punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. (Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082, 775.083.) 
  • This includes charges of: Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Sexual Assault, Aggravated Kidnapping, Large Amount of Drugs, and many others 

Felonies of the Second Degree

  • A conviction for a felony of the second degree can result in a prison term of up to fifteen (15) years and a fine of not more than $10,000. (Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082, 775.083.) 
  • This includes charges of: Selling Marijuana to a minor, Robbery 

Felonies of the Third Degree

  • Felonies of the third degree are the least serious types of felonies in the State of Florida. They are punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. 
  • This includes charges of: Theft of an automobile; Carrying a handgun without a permit.

Life Felony

  • A life felony is punishable by forty (40) years to life imprisonment in a state prison and a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars.
  • The defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.

Capital Felony

  • A capital felony is punishable by death or life imprisonment with out the possibility of parole in a state prison. 
  • The defendant may also be ordered to pay the victim restitution as ordered by the court.

Prior Felony Convictions

  • Individuals who have been previously convicted in Florida of two (2) or more felonies may be sentenced to a lengthy jail term under one of Florida’s recidivist sentencing schemes. (Fla. Stat. § 775.084.) 


Florida criminal law contains two (2) types of Misdemeanor charges 

(First & Second Degree).

First Degree Misdemeanor

  • A first degree misdemeanors is the most serious misdemeanor and is punishable by jail terms of up to one year and fines of up to $1,000. (Fla. Stat. §§ 775.082, 775.083.)  
  • Examples include: Simple battery; Bad Checks under $150; Boating under the Influence; Criminal Mischief (damage greater than $200 but less than $1,000); Disorderly Conduct; Domestic Violence/spousal abuse; Driving with a Suspended License with Knowledge; DUI/drunk driving; Driving with license suspended (2nd offense); Indecent exposure; Lewdness; Loitering & Prowling; Marijuana possession (under twenty grams); Petit (petty) theft (2nd offense); Possession of drug paraphernalia; Reckless driving; Resisting an Officer without Violence; Shoplifting (under $300); Solicitation for prostitution; Ticket Scalping; Trespass; Vandalism; Prostitution

Second Degree Misdemeanor

  • Misdemeanors of the second degree are the least serious misdemeanors under Florida law. A conviction can result in a jail term of up to 60 days and a fine of up to $500. 
  • If lawmakers fail to classify a misdemeanor, then it is punishable as a misdemeanor of the second degree. (Fla. Stat. §§ 775.081, 775.082, 775.083.)  
  • Examples include: Simple Assault; Criminal Mischief (where damage is $200 or less); Petit Theft (first offense); Simple Trespass; Driving on a Suspended License with Knowledge (first offense); Attaching Tag Not Assigned; No Valid Driver’s License; Disorderly Conduct; Disorderly Intoxication; Loitering or Prowling; No Motorcycle Endorsement; Harassing Phone Calls; Expired Tag More Than 6 Months (second offense)


  • Expungement is a court-ordered process in which your legal record of an arrest or a criminal conviction is "sealed," or erased in the eyes of the law. When a conviction is expunged, the process may also be referred to as "setting aside a criminal conviction." 
  • Some felony offenses are eligible for expungement in Florida. 
  • Before a person applies for expungement, the following criteria must be met: (1)  not been found guilty of a delinquent crime as a juvenile; (2) not pled "guilty" or "no contest" to the offense to be expunged; and (3) not been found guilty of a crime as an adult.
  • The expungee will also need to pay all associated court costs and fees as have completed probation before applying for expungement. 
  • Once the above criteria has been met, they may be eligible for expungement; it will be in the judge's discretion. Judges are usually very strict with these qualifications.

Crimes that Cannot be Expunged

  • Not all felonies can be expunged. 
  • The following is a complete list of felonies that are not eligible for expungement. If a person pleads "guilty" or "no contest" to any of the charges that are below, he/she will not be eligible for expungement or sealing: Arson, Domestic Violence, Child Molestation, Aggravated Assault, Drug Trafficking, Prostitution, Aggravated Battery, Sexual Battery, Pandering, Aggravated Stalking, Homicide, Lewd Conduct, Child Abuse, Murder, Robbery, Child Sexual Abuse, Manslaughter, Carjacking, Child Pornography, Kidnapping, Terrorism, Elder Abuse, Illegal Pornography and Burglary


  • Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer Stefan Campagna was born right here in Sarasota, Florida and has lived here his whole life. 
  • Having been a product of the local criminal justice system, he understands how Sarasota Prosecutor and juries thinks, and he is adept at reading people. 
  • He further understands exactly what a criminal conviction means here in Florida as well as the impact a criminal conviction can have on your future.
  • As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, Stefan Campagna, understands federal and Florida criminal law and the criminal process. 
  • His practice is dedicated to criminal law, and he stays on top of the latest developments, legislation and changes in the legal process. He credits his success to hard work and dedication.
  • When you receive information and advice from Mr. Campagna you can count on the accuracy of the information and the soundness of the advice, which is based on extensive criminal law experience.
  • His propensity to go to trial, his preparedness, and his tenacity and aggressive style all lead to better initial plea offers from prosecuting attorneys. 

Contact Us

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Office Appointment

Located next to the Sarasota County Criminal Courthouse and Jail.

Sarasota Criminal Defense Law

2070 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34237

(941) 780-7767


Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Saturday: By appointment

Sunday: By appointment