Whenever I am introduced to a person for the first time the conversation inevitably goes “What do you do for a living”? My response is that I am an attorney. Naturally the next question is “What kind of attorney?” I proudly respond, I am a criminal defense attorney and have been one for the past twenty five (25) years. The next statement is almost always the same: “How can you defend those people?”
In the over 25 years practicing criminal law I have met only a small handful of defendants who are inherently evil or malicious. I then explain that “those” people are regular, “normal” everyday people and that the cases that the media and television present are the exceptions and not the rule. What I have come to discover is that most people have encountered the criminal justice system due to an addiction whether it is drugs and/or alcohol or have acted in a manner due to an error of judgment or lapse in judgment.
• Imagine that you are driving home from working a long day at your job, possibly a double shift, & you are extremely fatigued. An officer observes your vehicle swerving over the road and riding on the curb. The Officer effectuates a stop on the vehicle and jumps to the conclusion that you are operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The Officer conducts a DUI investigation and then places you under arrest for this offense. Are you not entitled to a proper defense? Are you not entitled to present your evidence? Should the Court just convict you on the Officers’ observations and opinions alone?
• Imagine Police Officers appear at your home and ask you to step outside. They present you with an arrest warrant and without any prior notice you are placed under arrest, handcuffed, put in the back of a patrol car and taken to jail. The charges are unknown to you until you appear before a Judge at first appearance. The State charges you with Grand Theft. Someone you do not know has filed a police report alleging that you stole property several months prior and that you are the party responsible for this offense.
To quote a well known television program:
In the criminal justice system the people are represented by 2 separate yet equally important groups; the police who investigate the crime and the district attorney who prosecute the offenders.
I would add a third group vital to the criminal justice system: that of the CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY. It is the criminal defense attorneys’ function to protect a persons’ constitutional rights; to ensure that a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and to give each and every defendant an opportunity to present a defense and hold the State up to its burden of proof.
My sole responsibility as a criminal defense attorney is to treat each and every defendant as a person who is entitled to an aggressive defense of their rights. I consider it my obligation to protect a persons’ freedom and liberty with the utmost care and in doing so to provide a defendant with the best legal representation that I can. My mission is to work hard to preserve my clients rights, their interests and successfully navigate them through the entire legal process while keeping them informed every step of the way.
HISTORY: I am a graduate of Brooklyn Law School. I was a Public Defender with the New York City Public Defender’s office where I was responsible for defending indigent clients charged with multiple criminal offenses. I relocated to the State of Florida and secured employment as a Prosecutor in Seminole County. In 2000 I decided to return to the practice of criminal law that I truly enjoyed; that of defending people. I have diligently represented thousands of people in both Federal and State court level. It is my passion and belief that all people regardless of financial status are entitled to an aggressive defense and therefore, I accept payment plans for my clients.
On a personal level when I am not running from court to the jails and meeting with clients, I juggle three children; one who just started college, a daughter in the 8th grade and a daughter in 4th grade. The busier I am the happier and more productive I am.
• Member of the New York Bar
• Member of the Florida Bar
• Member of the Middle District
• Member of the American Bar Association
• Member of Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Tracey Kagan Law
209 E. Ridgewood St.
Orlando, FL 32801
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