Criminal Defense in Tampa FL
Jenny M. Thomas has devoted the majority of her career to criminal defense. She has conducted many jury trials in criminal cases through verdict and has more than seven years of experience fighting for individuals charged with a criminal offense.
Jenny is originally from Upstate New York and spent seven years in Ohio before making the Tampa Bay area her home in 2001. After completing her undergraduate degree at the University of Findlay in Ohio, Jenny graduated from law school at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, FL, in 2004. Prior to law school, Jenny worked as an adoption assessor and social worker in Ohio with special needs and high risk foster children.
During law school, Ms. Thomas completed an internship at the Alaska Public Defender’s Agency, worked as a certified legal intern at the Sixth Judicial Circuit in and for Pinellas County and provided indigent legal services at Gulfcoast Legal Services. While in law school, Ms. Thomas was honored with the William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award, was a Nominee for Inclusion in The National Dean’s List, and served as a Public Service Fellow from 2002-2004.
Hillsborough County Attorney
After law school, Ms. Thomas gained experience as Assistant Public Defender for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit in Hillsborough County, FL, where she worked from 2005 until 2009. While at the public defender’s office, Jenny Thomas successfully represented clients in misdemeanor and felony cases including serious drug trafficking, armed robbery, home invasion burglary and felony weapons offenses. She has a vast understanding of litigating cases and ensuring that constitutional rights are upheld for individuals subjected to unlawful search and seizure by law enforcement. Let Jenny help you with your case in the Tampa Bay area.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GOOD REFERENCE LETTER
A good character letter humanizes you to the prosecution and the Judge. You immediately become a living, breathing individual to the people making important decisions in your life when people are willing to put good things about on paper. This makes the Court view you as an individual not just a defendant or a case number.
The following are some helpful guides to your friends, neighbors, pastors, family and other loved ones when they are drafting letters on your behalf.
- Address the letters, “The Honorable Judge of the Circuit/County Court”. Don’t address the letters to your attorney, the prosecutor or the probation officer.
- The writer should start by introducing themselves. Include facts like who they are, what they do for a living, and how long they have known you, the client. They can brag about themselves a bit here if they want to. This information lets the Court know about the author and their relationship with client and what client’s reputation in the community is.
- The writer should explain how they know the client (school, job, church, social, family, etc.)
- If you have been candid with the writer about the legal problems, the writer should let the court know. This could be positive to show that client has accepted responsibility and is remorseful. However, client should only be discussing that he/she is in trouble NOT the facts of the case. Please do not include facts about the case or admissions.
- Each letter should include one or two positive personality traits of the client (honesty, family man, good parent, hard worker, etc.) and use example to illustrate the opinion. Character evidence may not be admissible at trial but it is important and will be considered in a reference letter.
- The letters should never make negative remarks about the judge, the prosecutor or any other officer of the court, law enforcement or the alleged victim or witnesses in the case. The letter should never minimize the seriousness of the charged offense or offer excuses. Focus on positive attributes of the client.
- Get letters from everyone that will write one. Family, friends, preachers, teachers, employers, employees, co-workers, etc. The more letters, the better.
- If the client has children and they are old enough, they should write letters also.
- Spouses or significant others should also write one, assuming they will be positive.
- All letters need to come through the attorney first. No one should write letters and mail them to the court. The attorney and client need to review the letters to ensure that the content is something that we would want everyone to read and consider.