Criminal Defense Lawyer in Orlando, Florida


Zealously Advocating for Your Rights and Freedom – Orlando DUI Defense Lawyer

Providing Diligent Criminal Defense Founded on Experience and Commitment

If you or a family member is under investigation for a crime, or you have already been arrested and charged, you are probably experiencing a wide range of emotions that include fear, stress, embarrassment, and even anger. Many people end up making their situation worse because they do not immediately seek legal advice from a proven criminal defense law firm. Law enforcement agencies in Orlando and throughout Florida are extremely aggressive in conducting criminal investigations, but Orlando criminal defense attorney Beryl Thompson McClary can sometimes prevent formal charges from even being filed by limiting the scope of the law enforcement investigation. She might challenge search warrants, expose suggestive lineups, or limit the scope of police interrogations.

Beryl Thompson McClary, Esq. works diligently and aggressively to fight for our clients from the moment our law firm is retained through successful resolution of their criminal case. She takes great satisfaction in putting her clients’ fears to rest and making sure they are informed about all significant developments in their case. Our goal to make sure that our clients’ cases are resolved with the least impact on their everyday lives. Miss Thompson-McClary is a former prosecutor who has handled over 350 trials, which distinguishes her from most other criminal defense attorneys. This experience also includes handling hearings in over 120 administrative cases.

What Can Our Orlando Criminal Defense Law Firm Do For You?

At our Orlando criminal defense law firm, we believe that every citizen deserves competent, aggressive criminal defense. When the government arrests you, state and federal prosecutors have virtually infinite resources at their disposal to seek a criminal conviction. We are committed to using the full scope of our expertise and resources to protecting your freedom and safeguarding your future. Attorney Thompson-McClary has represented hundreds of those charged with misdemeanors and felonies at both the state and federal level, as well as those charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Orlando and throughout Orange County, FL.

When facing serious DUI or criminal charges, our experienced Orlando criminal defense law firm can provide assistance with the following:

  • Seek dismissal of the charges or acquittal after trial

  • Prevent evidence from being used that was illegally obtained

  • Negotiate for reduction in charges, diversion, or other forms of alternative sentencing

  • Expose lies or embellishment of the facts by police, witnesses, or the accuser

  • Conduct an extensive investigation including use of professional forensic investigators

  • Secure ballistics experts, polygraphist, or other experts to seek a reduction in charges, dismissal, or acquittal

Because Beryl Thompson, McClary, Esq. has experience representing clients in criminal cases on both sides of the aisle – prosecutor and defense attorney – we are uniquely positioned to provide effective legal representation in your criminal case:

  • Our office handles cases of all sizes from minor misdemeanors to major felonies.

  • We have built a reputation for representing high-profile defendants like celebrities, professional athletes, professionals, and CEOs.

  • We will seek your immediate release from custody with no bail or a bail reduction.

  • We may be able to prevent the State Attorney’s Office from even filing charges against you

  • There is no need to worry and wait because we are available to speak with you 24/7 and offer a free confidential consultation.

  • We prepare for trial because we know how to get a better plea agreement based on aggressive trial preparation.

  • After handling over 350 trials, Miss McClary-Thompson has no hesitation in following a case through to trial rather than pleading the case out after the first or second hearing.

  • We are committed to keeping client’s informed at all stages of their criminal case.

  • We will explain the legal issues and criminal court process in straightforward, understandable, and candid terms.

  • We also handle early terminations of probation and record expungements for those wanting to get their prior convictions dismissed.

  • Our criminal defense legal team will leave no stone unturned in fighting to keep you out of jail, which includes

  1. Seeking a dismissal of charges or a “not guilty” plea at trial

  2. Negotiating alternate sentencing, such as house arrest, counseling, and/or

community service.

Successful Criminal Defense – Felonies and Misdemeanors

Our criminal defense law firm has successfully represented hundreds of people charged with crimes in Orlando and throughout Florida. While we can handle misdemeanors and felonies in state and federal courts, some of the criminal cases we handle include:

  • Narcotics Crimes: Drug Possession, Drug Trafficking, Drug Conspiracy, Drug Possession, Marijuana Cultivation, Drug Manufacturing

  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

  • Financial Crimes: Embezzlement, Fraud Against the Government, Fiduciary Crimes

  • Organized Crime

  • Sexual Offenses: Rape, Sexual Battery, Sexual Assault

  • Crimes of Violence: Domestic Violence, Robbery, Assault and Battery, Murder

Fighting for Your Future – We Know What Is At Stake

At the Law Offices of Beryl Thompson-McClary, P.A., we understand that a felony or misdemeanor conviction can have a staggering impact on your life. A criminal conviction may result in a broad spectrum of penalties that could include:

  • Incarceration in jail or state prison
  • Substantial fines and orders to pay restitution
  • Probation
  • Participation in drug rehabilitation, anger management, and similar programs
  • Suspension of your driver’s license
  • Loss of certain rights including jury service, right to vote, and possession of firearms
  • Imposition of an immigration hold and other adverse immigration consequences
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle

While these consequences can have a stressful and disruptive impact on your life and that of your family, there are other negative effects that can impact your future even after you have fully served a criminal sentence. You may find roadblocks in obtaining housing, employment, higher education, and occupational licensing, as well as experiencing damage to your reputation. We know what is at stake and will provide an impassioned and meticulously prepared defense.

Special Issues Involving Celebrities Accused of Crimes

Beryl Thompson-McClary, Esq. has developed a reputation for tenacious but discrete representation of high-profile individuals accused of crimes, such as celebrities, professional athletes, CEOs, professionals, and entertainers, and others. She is sensitive to the reality that lingering accusation and negative publicity can destroy reputations, earning potential, and even careers. We have law offices in Orlando and practice in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard, and Volusia counties.  To schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney, you can call our office at 888-640-2999.

Drug Possession in Florida

Drug possession is an offense committed by someone who did not make or sell the illegal substance; instead, he held it for personal use.

Possession of most controlled substances such as marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, bath salts of spice, LSD, ‘club drugs’ and heroin may be charged as felony according to Florida’s laws.  Florida Statutes Section 893.13 explains the details of drug possession laws.


Meanwhile, the statutory elements of a drug possession charge are the following:

  1. The illegal nature of the controlled substance: The seized drugs must be proven by the prosecutor to be monitored substance under the laws of Florida. The presentation of evidence requires scientific analysis by a crime lab.
  2. The defendant’s knowledge of the drug: The prosecutor must show that the accused knew about the illegal nature of the controlled substance and its presence.
  3. The defendant’s control of the drug: The prosecutor must prove that the accused have control over the whole process or the production of the substance. A prosecutor likely has a more straightforward case if the accused had the drugs on the defendant’s body or in a container held by the defendant.


To be charged with drug possession, it must be proven that the accused exercises a significant degree of care of the drug. In most drug arrests in Florida, drugs were found in the home or car; thus it is not clear who possesses the drugs.

The accused must have full knowledge of possession. If the person is unaware of the presence of the illegal drugs, then no crime is committed.


Penalties for Drug Possession

A felony in Florida, specifically in drug possession is divided into three degrees. It is first, a second or third-degree felony. Otherwise, the charges will be filed as a misdemeanor.

First-degree Felony: Possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana, and certain other drugs. It is punishable by one year jail time and a fine of $1,000.

Second-degree Felony: Possession of chemicals used to manufacture drugs like methamphetamine, GHB or ecstasy. It carries the potential for up to fifteen years jail time and fines of $10,000.

Third-degree felony: The possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine or other illegal drugs, excluding marijuana, this is punishable by prison time up to five years, and a fine of $5,000.

Felony possession of the first degree received the harshest penalties and is the most severe possession offense; possession of any Schedule One drug (such as heroin) more than ten grams can lead to 30 years in prison plus $10,000 in a penalty for whoever will be convicted.

If you have multiple drug convictions or other felony convictions, you can send us an email or call us; so we can discuss legal remedies regarding your case.


Fraud in Florida

Fraud is a criminal offense. It affects our life, economy, and society. It costs Americans to spend multi-billion dollars to solve cases of fraudulent activities every day.

Fraud is an offense where one takes advantage of another; usually for their financial gain. The act uses trickery or deceit. Every one of us is prone to fraud; in fact, one of six American adults has his identity compromised and is at risk to fraud schemes.

Our law forbids various fraudulent acts. The punishment associated with fraud includes misdemeanors to felony criminal offenses.

Fraudulent activity is illegal by the federal law. Thus, upon the prosecution, you can have two penalties: state and federal level.

Here are some of the types of fraudulent schemes that you should be careful of:


Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage or real estate fraud is a misstatement of a material which relates to the property relied on by a lender to fund a loan; according to Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The most common mortgage fraud involves reselling properties for profit, qualifying assets to higher investment value and lower costs on purchases and using identity credit to obtain property for another buyer who may not qualify.

Identity theft and income falsification is the most common result of mortgage fraud scams. Property ownership can now be falsified, and a borrower can obtain a fraudulent mortgage on a property that they never have.


Money Laundering

Under Florida Statues Section 896.101, money laundering is a financial transaction used to conceal money and other proceeds from criminal activity. Activities such as wire transfers and bank deposits can qualify as financial transactions under money laundering.

The sentence for perpetrators of the money-laundering scheme depends on the value of the deal. According to the law, a third-degree felony may imprison you for up to five years. A second-degree felony is for fifteen years while a first-degree felony is thirty years maximum. Moreover, conviction to money laundering may require you to pay the penalty to the state.

Welfare Fraud

Welfare Fraud is a generic term in Florida to describe a broad fraudulent conduct. It intends to illegally receive, retain, misappropriate, seek, or use both state and federal public assistance.

Section 414.39 of Florida Statutes states that welfare fraud comes in different forms; it includes failure to disclose a material fact and aiding or abetting someone to receive assistance to which he or she is not entitled.

Lastly, felony or misdemeanor may be charged on offenders of Welfare Fraud in Florida, depending on some services received.

Overall, scammers still exist even today, and they are increasing in number no matter how hard our government fights against it. For you to keep your family and your investment safe, it is important to educate yourself and be always ready.

The examples mentioned above are just some of the many types of frauds in today’s society. If you are a victim of fraud, it is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible. You can visit us and save your money and time from fraudulent schemes.  


Sometimes unexpected things happen. Imagine that a member of your family was accused of committing a crime. It’s a kind of offense where large transactions are involved, and somehow your relative got blamed for participating in it. In this kind of scenarios, you have to know your rights! If what you want is to protect your loved one who is charged with embezzlement, then I am here for you.


Embezzlement is a severe crime. It is commonly known as “employee theft” in which funds have been unfairly or unlawfully used because an employee is given access to certain funds by the company.


This particular type of fraud is presented with factors which include conveyance, intentional actions, acquired property through the relationship, and a hooked fiduciary relationship linked with both parties. These factors need to be proven as well.


With everything you have heard on TV, crimes are typical, which, in some cases, make criminal trials standard as well.  Arguments are keenly used for defenses. In my care, I can guarantee all the defendants that their guiltlessness will be justified.


If what you are looking for is a lawyer who possesses remarkable qualities, then allow me to dig in with it. See my exceptional qualities so that you will be guaranteed with an ideal selection.

Expungement of Criminal Records in Florida

Expungement of your criminal record means that any information about your criminal conviction is cleared from official documents which are available to the public.

Anyone can easily access criminal records in Florida’s law enforcement agencies; this is bad news for those who are arrested in Florida. Getting a job, building a relationship, buying properties and traveling would be tough for you and your family.

Luckily, those individuals who have no convictions in Florida, regardless of where or when the conviction occurred, are eligible to seal or expunge their criminal record.


Eligibility of Expungement


Under the laws in Florida, you need to have the following to avail of expungement:

  •    Must not plead as guilty, and your records have not previously been sealed
  •    You have a juvenile record, and you are a minor
  •    You were subject to an arrest that was “contrary to law or by mistake.”


Ineligibility of Expungement

Even if you meet the qualifications mentioned above, sometimes you may be ineligible for expungement. As such, you will be disqualified from expungement if:


  • You have a conviction or finding of guilt as an adult, or you were found delinquent as a juvenile, of a crime, including misdemeanors, felonies, and even driving under the influence
  • You have a conviction as an adult or were found delinquent as a juvenile for the crime you wish to seal or expunge
  • While on probation you violated the terms of your sentence and a judge, therefore, converted a withhold to an adjudication
  • You were found guilty, or plead guilty or no contest to certain offenses and have a withhold of adjudication, even if you were a minor
  • A previous criminal record was sealed or expunged in any other state or jurisdiction
  • You are waiting for an expungement in another case
  • You have an open criminal case, need to complete community service hours, are on probation, or you still owe a court-ordered financial obligation such as restitution.


Benefits of Expungement of Records

There are many advantages of expungement of your criminal records, and the office of Attorney Beryl Thomson McClary can help you in the process.

First, expunging your record will remove your information in public record and on websites, making it inaccessible online; this will be done by the Clerk of Court, State Attorney’s Office, FDLE and other agencies.  

Next, expungement will allow you to deny your arrest or your criminal conviction.  The law states that:

“You may lawfully deny or fail to acknowledge the arrests covered by the expunged or sealed record.”  

You can get a fresh start if you qualify to seal or expunge your criminal record. You can get a new house, live peacefully and work accordingly. Although the process takes some effort and money, at least this will be a good investment for you in the future.

If you want to legal advice on the process of expungement, you can send us a message or call us. We aim to help you and find remedies for your legal issues.



Murder is a homicide crime that involves intentionally killing a person without any valid excuse such as self – defense. For such crime, the killing is done with malice aforethought. Malice aforethought is in four various states of mind which include the intent to kill, a reckless disinterest to the human life’s value, an intention to execute severe bodily injury, and the motive to commit violent felonies.


If someone you know has been accused of murder, you can help him out by contacting a reputable criminal defense attorney. But, before choosing, it is imperative to ask your potential lawyer some questions first. You must also bring up essential items/proofs that will help the lawyer assess your case. These items include bail papers, a copy of the police report, paperwork which the police presented to the accused, and documents the blamed received from the court that shows charges and court appearance date.


Background and Experience


You may check out where I last attended law school, where I graduated, and how long have I been practicing in this field. Consider checking my courthouse appearances and how I negotiate plea agreements for the prosecutor’s office. If you want to know how often I go on trial with my clients, then count on me with reputable replies. It is best if you consider checking my volunteer experiences as an Executive Board Member of Pine Hills Community Council. You can even check my bar associations and professional organizations profiles.


Assessment of the Case


If what you are eyeing for is a criminal defense lawyer who can deliver you a brilliant idea of what is to come, then permit my vast expertise to lead the way. You may ask me about some legal options that you may need for your trial or plea agreement. You also need enough knowledge and expert guidance for the different stages of the procedure which covers arraignment, motions hearing, filing of motions, disposition, and trial.


Legal Fees


Usually, clients will ask me about how much I charge them. That depends on the case. But if your trouble is cash, I can provide you competitive rates.

I can give you the best course of action to take, but at the end, you have the right to listen to your decisions. I am giving you the freedom to think about the next steps to take, but feel free to talk to me so that we can discuss more of it.  I’m flexible enough to consider to you the charges that will suit you best.


It is utterly necessary to ask these questions before facing me. Though I may tell you everything about how I can defend the case, still it is imperative in your step to check out your views as well. I will answer all your questions as honestly as I can. I hope you give me the chance to prove my credentials.