You’ve been charged with a serious offense or have already been convicted or even jailed. You’re afraid and have experienced the crushing weight
of the legal system.
is passionate about getting the best possible outcome for you, and has the skills and high-level
experience successfully handling both
Federal and appeals cases.
Don’t be discouraged.
Most attorneys, even those who say they specialize in criminal defense, practice in a broad range of areas. The bulk of their experience comes from trials for mundane state offenses such as DUI, minor drug charges and petty theft.
However, once you’ve been convicted and need to appeal, or if you’re facing serious state or Federal charges, you need an attorney with a different set of skills.
A Message from Fritz…
“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.”
Fritz Scheller’s lifelong passion has been helping others. Today he does that by standing beside men and women who’ve been accused of serious offenses; if convicted they stand to lose their liberty — at the least, their lives will never be the same.
It’s a family tradition. His grandfather was a judge, his father a professor at DePaul University and at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
After studying at the University of Texas as an undergraduate, Scheller attended the Stetson University College of Law — Florida’s oldest law school — where he was number one in his class and won the jurisprudence award for civil procedure.
Before graduating, Scheller transferred to the University of California at Berkley where he did community service and was in the top 1% of his law school graduating class.
Scheller became an assistant Federal defender in Orlando in 2000 and became a supervisor in 2002.
This experience gave him a deep understanding of how the Federal courts work and strengthened is commitment to fight for the rights of those accused of crimes.
In 2004, Scheller moved into private practice, working with noted criminal defense attorney Barry Cohen in Tampa and, after two years with the famously aggressive defender, opened his own practice in Orlando.
In addition to his work in Florida, Scheller has handled Federal cases in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan), the Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), the Western District of Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), the Western District of New York (Rochester) and the Eastern District of Virginia — a notoriously rigorous jurisdiction that oversees cases originating in Washington, DC.
His deep experience with Federal trial procedure led Scheller to become the CJ Counselor for the Federal Middle District of Florida, representing people who can’t afford to defend themselves against the Federal government in court.
This work, often involving difficult cases, keeps Scheller tuned in to changes in Federal court practices. He trains other attorneys and his written pleadings are well-known and used by lawyers in Federal courts across the country.
Scheller’s legal opinions have been published in premier law journals including Legal Arguments, Mercer Law Journal and Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.
Andrew Greenlee has an exemplary record pursuing appeals in the Federal Courts. His persistence and intimate knowledge of Federal procedure makes him a formidable advocate for those faced with a Federal conviction.
Andrew Greenlee clerked for United States District Court Judge Mary S. Scriven after graduating from the Florida State University College of Law with honors. While at Florida Statute, he was a member of the Moot Court Team and served on the Journal of Transnational Law & Policy as well as the Journal of Land Use & Environmental Law. Mr. Greenlee attended Emory University as an undergraduate, where he played on the varsity basketball team.
Mr. Greenlee is licensed to practice in Florida, where he has litigated in the First District Court of Appeal, the Second District Court of Appeal, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, the Fifth District Court of Appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Greenlee worked for several years at an appellate firm that practiced across the United States and also worked for a nationally recognized firm, Akerman LLP. Mr. Greenlee has extensive federal experience practicing before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
United States v. Hill et al., 776 F.3d 243 (4th Cir. 2015) (reversing denial of motion to suppress and remanding for further proceedings)
United States v. Kelley, 774 F.3d 434 (8th Cir. 2014) (remanding to trial court for clarification where district court denied request to proceed pro se without engaging in a Faretta inquiry on the record)
Dippolito v. State, 143 So. 3d 1080 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014) (trial court reversed remanded for new trial)
United States v. Bowling, 770 F.3d 1168 (7th Cir. 2014) (trial court erred when it denied defendant the opportunity to present mistake of fact defense; reversed and remanded for new trial)
United States v. Walton, 763 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 2014) (reversing denial of motion to suppress and remanding for further proceedings)
United States v. Wilson, — Fed. Appx. —, 2014 WL 6805101 (11th Cir. 2014) (district court erred by failing to correctly apply the pertinent grouping rules under U.S.S.G.§ 3D1.1(a) and criminal history rules under U.S.S.G. § 4A1.1)
Hirsch v. Hirsch, 136 So. 3d 622 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) (remanding to trial court to determine whether trial court violated supremacy clause when it interfered with former husband’s choice of beneficiary on his life insurance policy)
Original trials in which a defendant has not yet been convicted make up the bulk of the cases handled by Fritz Scheller Law. However, appeals — in which a defendant who’s been convicted seeks to overturn or modify a conviction or sentence — also constitute a substantial portion of the firm’s practice.
Fritz Scheller Law has submitted appeals all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which hears just 1% of the cases submitted.
Pursuing an appeal is very different from defending a client in an original trial. There’s already been a conviction and your attorney is looking for mistakes made by the judge in the original trial that could convince a panel of appeals judges to overturn the conviction or modify the sentence.
Spotting these mistakes takes both extensive knowledge of applicable law and lengthy trial experience.
But not all good trial lawyers make good appeals attorneys. A good trial lawyer has to think on his feet and work the perceptions and emotions of a jury. Appeals are heard not by juries but by hardened, seasoned judges. It requires the willingness to do a week’s worth of research on a single point and then write 100 detailed pages of analysis compelling enough to a trained legal mind to overturn or reverse the trial court’s decision.
Appeals in Federal courts are the most difficult. They require not only a high level of legal scholarship but also a high level of writing ability. Federal appeals judges pick apart motions word by word.
It’s scary when you’re staring down the barrel of a Federal prosecution. The Federal government has extraordinary investigators and skilled prosecutors who win 98% of the cases they bring to trial.
We’ve won 60% of the Federal trials we’ve defended — a success rate that’s 30 times the average.
If you believe that you’re the target of a Federal investigation, you need to consult an experienced attorney immediately: Your liberty and your economic well-being are in serious danger.
Fritz Scheller Law is very experienced in defending clients from Federal prosecutors, and is especially skilled in arguing mitigation — a critical specialty in Federal cases.
These are primarily economic crimes committed in the course of running a business or practicing an occupation. Fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery are all considered white collar crimes.
Although usually not associated with violence, the effects on the victims can be just as severe as a physical attack. For this reason, law enforcement and prosecutors treat these offenses very seriously. These crimes are notoriously difficult and costly to prosecute — and defending yourself against an allegation of white collar crime can be just as difficult.
If you’ve been charged with a white collar crime you should call an attorney experienced in defending white collar cases as soon as you know you’re being investigated.
Beginning your defense before you’ve been charged gives you the best chance of achieving a favorable outcome.
Fritz Scheller Law is superbly equipped to investigate and defend you when you’ve been charged with a white collar offense.
Business can be charged with violations of administrative and civil regulations. They can also be charged with crimes, and when that happens, the owners, officers and investors are often the targets of criminal prosecution. Like white collar crimes, business violations can be complex and highly technical.
The Internal Revenue Service administers the Federal tax code, which has grown to about 75,000 pages of regulations. The chance that you may run afoul of something on one of those pages is pretty high. However, most people are never investigated or prosecuted for minor violations.
However, if the IRS targets you, you’re in for a fight. The IRS can levy civil penalties, charge you with criminal offenses, freeze assets, confiscate property and bank accounts and bankrupt you with enormous fines.
And that’s for making an error through negligence.
If the IRS believes you intentionally defrauded the government, it may charge you with a crime. It was a Federal auditor who took down famous mobster Al Capone in the 1930s after prosecutors had tried and failed to convict him on a variety of other charges. Convicted of tax evasion, he spent eight years in a Federal penitentiary.
If you’re being investigated by the IRS, you need to speak to an attorney experienced in tax prosecutions immediately.
If you’re found guilty of the manufacture, possession, transport or sale of a prohibited substance such as cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone or marijuana you will likely face harsh punishment: incarceration in a state or Federal jail, stiff fines, forfeiture of property and loss of professional licenses or accreditations.
A skilled attorney who knows how the courts apply the law in drug cases is essential success in defending yourself against these charges.
Especially for those with previous criminal records, firearms charges are extremely serious.
If you’re a convicted felon, it is illegal for you to possess a firearm. Even if you legally possess a firearm, if you’re convicted of having that weapon while engaged in drug trafficking or committing a violent crime (a 924c charge) it can increase increase your sentence from an additional five years up to life in prison.
There are varying degrees of charges that can be brought in the area of battery, but it generally involves touching another person with the intent of being offensive or causing harm. The simplest cases are usually classified as misdemeanors while more serious cases — such as when the victim is permanently injured — are felonies.
If you’re not a United States citizen you may be subject to administrative proceedings that could result in you being forced to leave the U.S. Formerly known as deportation, the process is now called removal. Typical causes for removal proceedings might be if your visa has expired and you have not left the U.S., or you’ve committed crimes in the U.S. during your residence. Immigration law is highly technical, and the hearings are held before an administrative law judge appointed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
If you’re facing removal, your attorney should be intimately familiar not only with the law but with the intricate steps of the administrative hearing and the removal process.
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and anabolic steroids have come under intense scrutiny by state and Federal prosecutors. In addition to the headline cases involving athletes, many cases have been brought against compounding pharmacies and others.
Unlike most other drug cases, the use of HGH and steroids is prosecuted under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act rather than the Controlled Substances Act. If you’ve been charged with trafficking or sale of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) or steroids, you need an attorney with experience not just with drug cases, but with HGH/steroid trials.
Fritz Scheller Law has successfully defended complex cases alleging the sale of HGH and has experience with the intricacies of these cases.
Child pornography is illegal contraband under federal law, which defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (someone under 18 years of age). There are also state statutes banning the making, selling and possession of child pornography. Penalties are severe. If you’re charged with violating the Federal statute — which may require nothing more than using a computer that was shipped from out of state — you’re facing a minimum 5 to 15 years for a first offense and substantial fines for possession and up to 30 years for producing child pornography.
Visual depictions include photographs, videos, digital or computer generated images indistinguishable from an actual minor, and images created, adapted, or modified, but appear to depict an identifiable, actual minor. ﾠUndeveloped film, undeveloped videotape, and electronically stored data that can be converted into a visual image of child pornography are also deemed illegal visual depictions under federal law.
ﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠﾠ The legal definition of sexually explicit conduct does not require that an image depict a child engaging in sexual activity. ﾠA picture of a naked child may constitute illegal child pornography if it is sufficiently sexually suggestive.
Fritz Scheller Law is focused on serious criminal offenses, Federal cases and appeals. To be successful in these areas of the law, an attorney must have extensive trial litigation experience, a comprehensive knowledge of applicable law, meticulous investigative and analytical skills and the mettle to stand up to the power of a Federal prosecutor.
To succeed in complex trials and Federal appeals court, being aggressive in the courtroom is not enough. Exceptional preparation, thoughtful analysis, high quality writing and effective presentation are all required.
In warfare, the greatest victories are won before the battle actually begins through research, preparation and choosing where and how to attack.
Likewise, in court, what happens before the trial usually determines the outcome.
Especially in state cases, we too often see people who are charged just because they’re arrested. The police often fail to do a thorough investigation.
At Fritz Scheller Law, our approach encompasses all of these phases of representation, from a thorough investigation right through trial and appeal.
If you’ve been accused or convicted of a crime, Fritz Scheller Law is committed to providing you with the vigorous and effective defense guaranteed you by the U.S. Constitution.
A successful defense always begins with thorough investigation. What did law enforcement miss or ignore in their investigation? What did prosecutors misinterpret? Fritz Scheller Law employs expert investigators, including former FBI agents, who have the skills and the determination to find the facts.
When the facts are known, it’s time to build a defense that’s solidly grounded in the law and the events that led to your accusal or conviction. Especially in Federal court and in appeals courts, emotional pleas will not succeed. Your attorney must effectively present a compelling reason under the law to dismiss or defeat the charges against you.
In cases where the prosecution’s evidence and arguments are strong, it may not be possible to defeat the charges. Especially in Federal court, it’s the defense’s obligation to present evidence that mitigates the offense. Why did the defendant commit the crime? Are there extenuating circumstances — sickness, a dependent spouse, history of charitable work — that might sway a judge to hand down a more lenient sentence?
At Fritz Scheller Law, we are very compassionate with our clients. We understand that the legal jeopardy they’re in affects every part of their lives. We try to see them through the process by seeing them as a whole person, not just as a defendant in a criminal case.
At Fritz Scheller Law, we're focused on getting the best possible result for our clients. We employ the best investigators and prepare the strongest case possible before seeking to get your charges dismissed, defeated or mitigated.
Contact Fritz Scheller
200 East Robinson Street
Orlando, FL 32801 -1970
t: 407. 792.1285
© 2015 Fritz Scheller P.L. All rights reserved.