Criminal Defense



The Florida Keys law offices of former prosecutor Maggie Gutierrez has over 23 years of criminal law experience to aggressively and successfully represent you for any type of arrest or criminal case.  

If you are arrested in Monroe County, Florida (Key West, Big Pine Key, Marathon, Islamorada, Plantation Key & Key Largo) you need aggressive former prosecutor Maggie Gutierrez to represent you from arrest to first appearance and until your case is resolved.  


Contact Florida Keys attorney Maggie Gutierrez if you are arrested for these crimes:

Traffic Cases:

Driving Under the Influence

Boating Under the Influence

Driving While License Suspended or Revoked

All traffic tickets


Theft Crimes:

Petit Theft

Retail Theft

Grand Theft


Miscellaneous Misdemeanors:


Disorderly Conduct

Possession of an Open Container


Misdemeanor and Felony Drug Charges:

Possession of Paraphernalia

Possession of Marijuana

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Possession of Cocaine

Possession with Intent to Sell



Assault & Battery Cases:

Domestic Battery

Simple Battery

Aggravated Battery


Aggravated Assault


All Major Felony Cases

The Arrest / Summons to Appear

Every criminal case starts either with an arrest or a summons to appear in court.  An arrest lands a person in jail.  A summons orders a person to appear in court on s specified day.

Your First Appearance

For someone who has been arrested and booked into jail the first appearance is usually within 24 hours of the arrest.  It involves being brought before a judge and the judge makes a determination regarding probable cause and typically will set or amend the terms of pretrial release.  A person can bond out prior to the first appearance if a bond has been set for that offense.  Some offenses, such as domestic violence, require that the accused person first see a judge at first appearance before any conditions of pretrial release have been set.

Arraignment on a Criminal Case

An arraignment is a court date when a judge informs the accused what the formal charges being charged against him or her are.  This court date is usually about 30 days after the arrest.  This is also where the accused makes his or her initial plea.  If the accused has hired a criminal defense attorney prior to the arraignment the attorney will waive the appearance of his client to the arraignment and enter a plea of not guilty for him or her.

Criminal Defendant Pretrial Motions and Hearing

Between the arraignment and the first pretrial hearing most of the defense motions need to be filed.  The defense attorney can ask for additional time but that request will also be considered a waiver of speedy trial time periods.  Motion hearings can be set either before or after the first pretrial hearing date.  The pretrial hearing is where the court wants to know whether the case will be set for trial, continued, or set for plea.

Discovery (State's Evidence)

Every defendant is given a "reasonable" time to prepare for trial.  However, it is difficult to prepare when the prosecutor is obligated to give the defendant the discovery (evidence, or copies thereof) and hasn't.  Discovery is an ongoing obligation by both the state and the defendant.

Criminal Plea Negotiations and Plea Offers

"Acknowledging guilt and accepting responsibility by an early plea respond[s] to certain basic premises in the law and its function. . . . Plea bargains are the result of complex negotiations suffused with uncertainty, and defense attorneys must make careful strategic choices in balancing opportunities and risks. The opportunities, of course, include pleading to a lesser charge and obtaining a lesser sentence, as compared with what might be the outcome not only at trial but also from a later plea offer if the case grows stronger and prosecutors find stiffened resolve. [The risks], in addition to the obvious one of losing the chance for a defense verdict [at trial], is that an early plea bargain might come before the prosecution finds its case is getting weaker, not stronger. The State's case can begin to fall apart as stories change, witnesses become unavailable, and new suspects are identified." - PREMO v. MOORE. U.S. Supreme Court. Case No. 09-658.  22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S749 (Jan 19, 2011).

Criminal Trial

We all have a right to a trial if we are accused by the state of committing a crime.  The trial shall be conducted before a jury of our peers.  Today, we live in such a large community the term "peers" becomes quite watered down.  But this right is one of many that the accused has to defend himself.

Criminal Sentencing

A sentence occurs either after a plea of guilty or no contest or after a jury verdict of guilty.  A sentence is either a term of incarceration or a fine or both.  A judge can withhold the sentence and place a defendant on probation.  Probation is in lieu of a sentence but there are times when a judge can impose a split sentence (sentence followed by probation).  The maximum sentences are determined by the law and are based on the level of offense and nature of the crime.