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An Experienced Orlando Law Firm

Attorney Steven Laurence has more than 25 years of experience practicing law and regularly litigates cases in the greater Orlando area. He provides counsel to clients who are facing legal issues in the areas of Divorce and Family Law, Probate Law, and Criminal Law. Mr. Laurence is listed by Martindale Hubbell as an AV rated attorney - its highest rating - and has been a Florida Supreme Court Death Penalty Qualified Attorney since 2004.

Orlando Attorney at Law - Steven Laurence

Orlando Attorney Steven Laurence has been in private practice in Central Florida since 1985. He has been a Florida Supreme Court Death Penalty Qualified Law Attorney since 2004 and is listed by Martindale Hubbell as an AV rated attorney, the highest rating available. In addition, he has been named by Orlando Home & Leisure Magazine as one of Orlando’s TOP 100 ATTORNEYS.

Today, Mr. Lawrence specializes in the following areas: Criminal Law (Homicide), Probate Law, Divorces, and Family Law.

A native of Louisiana, Mr. Laurence has always exhibited a strong work ethic and desire to achieve. As a high school senior, he was student body president and the American Legion Award recipient. He played football, basketball, baseball, golf, ran track, and participated in the band and chorus. Following high school, Mr. Laurence joined the National Guard and then entered the United States Army.

After his honorable discharge from the Army, Mr. Laurence attended and received his associate’s degree from Pensacola Junior College. He then attended Florida State University, where he walked on the football team in 1978. He received his bachelor’s degree from FSU and his law degree from the University of Arkansas. He took and passed both the Arkansas and Florida Bar exams in 1983.

Mr. Laurence’s first job in the legal profession was with the State Attorney’s office in Sanford, Florida. After two years, he entered private practice with the Sanford law firm of Cleveland and Bridges. In 1990, he and two other lawyers formed the Altamonte Springs law firm of Fisher, Laurence and Deen. Mr. Laurence has practiced in Altamonte Springs ever since. His support staff consists of Florida Registered Paralegal, Stacey Schuler and his Legal Secretary, Diana Cason.

Paralegal Team

Paralegal - Stacey Schuler

Stacey Schuler is a Florida Registered Paralegal and has been with Steven Laurence since 2013. Stacey served in the United States Navy for five years before starting a career at FedEx as a Senior Account Executive. After over a decade with FedEx, Stacey made the decision to follow her dreams of becoming a trial attorney. Stacey graduated from Seminole State College with an Associate in Science Degree in Legal Studies/Paralegal Cum Laude, and an Associates in Arts General Education, Cum Laude. Stacey went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies at the University of Central Florida (Go Knights!!!), and she is currently a second year law student at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida.

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Criminal Defense

A Florida Supreme Court Death Penalty Certified Attorney, Mr. Laurence specializes in homicide cases. Leveraging over 25 years of trial experience, The Law Office of Steven L. Laurence is uniquely qualified to provide trusted representation and council to clients charged with murder.

Wills, Estates, Trusts

Central Florida attorney Steven Laurence is experienced with all aspects of probate law, wills, estates, trusts, power of attorney, and living wills. We work hard to ensure your interests are represented.

Divorce & Family Law

Divorces are emotional and often involve good people going through a bad experience. Our job is to help you through the process both legally and emotionally. Mr. Laurence and his staff will lead you through the divorce process – there IS life after divorce.

Criminal Law Information

Generally, crimes are classified into categories or degrees as set forth in Florida Statute 775.082:

  • 2nd degree misdemeanors – up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine
  • 1st degree misdemeanors – up to 1 year in county jail and a $1,000 fine
  • 3rd degree felonies – up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine
  • 2nd degree felonies – up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine
  • 1st degree felonies – up to 30 years in prison and a $15,000 fine
  • 1st degree felonies punishable by life – up to life in prison
  • Capital felony – punishable by life or death

Sentences for conviction of crimes are scored under the Florida Criminal Punishment Codes set forth in Florida Statue 921.0024. Offenses are divided into levels from 1-10, with 1 being the least serious and 10 the most serious. Each level has a point value. To score an offense, you add the level of the offense, victim injury points, prior criminal history points, and legal constraint points. A point value less than 44 usually results in no prison time. If the point value is greater than 44, the prison sentence is calculated in months with a range of guideline sentences.

The court can deviate with a sentence below the guidelines only if it finds grounds for a “downward departure,” which is addressed in Florida Statute 921.0026 on mitigating circumstances.

Probate Information

In the state of Florida, if someone dies without a will, the distribution of their estate is covered in Florida Statute 732.101-403. If someone dies with a will, it is covered in Florida Statute 732.501-901.

Probate of Estates in Florida is covered in Florida Statute 733. When someone dies in Florida, their assets and debts must be legally distributed and paid or discharged. That process is called probate. Our Orlando Probate law services require the appointment of a personal representative who assists the attorney in the administration of the estate. Personal Representative fees are addressed in Florida Statute 733.617, and attorney fees are addressed in Florida Statute 733.6171.

Our Orlando Probate services include:

  • The filing of a petition for probate
  • Filing of the will (if there is one)
  • Designation of and appointment of the personal representative
  • Publication in a local newspaper
  • Creditor letters
  • Claims
  • Objection to claims / Satisfaction of claims
  • Distribution and accounting of assets and debts
  • Payment of attorney fees, personal representative fees and costs

The Probate process usually takes about nine months to a year to complete.

Estates (Ancillary Administration) is covered in Florida Statute 734, which deals with administration and probate of wills or letters of administration for foreign states or territories. Estates (Summary Administration) is addressed in Florida Statue 735 and deals with estates of less than $75,000.

Trusts generally are legal documents designed to eliminate the need for probate. Taxation is an issue in trust law and the Federal Estate Tax Exemption is $5.12 million in 2012, but drops to $1 million in 2013. Florida’s Trust Code is covered in Florida Statute 736 and deals with living trusts, express trusts, charitable or non-charitable trusts, revocable or irrevocable trusts, and more.

Divorce & Family Law Information

In the state of Florida, divorce is controlled by Florida Statute 61. Florida is a no-fault divorce state, which means that why you are getting divorced does not matter in the eyes of the law. Neither party has to allege or prove grounds for a divorce, such as adultery, mental or physical cruelty, etc. The reason for the divorce is not of concern to the court – the only issue that must be resolved is if the marriage is “irretrievably broken.”

If your marriage is “irretrievably broken,” then the court can grant a divorce. During the course of a divorce case, issues that may be discussed and resolved include:

Distribution of assets and debts for consideration:

  • Children
  • Time sharing
  • Child support
  • Health insurance
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Marital home
  • IRAs
  • 401Ks
  • Savings accounts
  • Loans
  • Cars
  • Stocks
  • Retirement accounts
  • Checking accounts
  • Mortgages
  • CDs
  • Bonds
  • Household furnishings
  • Credit cards
  • Lines of credit

In Florida, assets and debts are subject to “equitable distribution,” which is another way of saying that they will be divided roughly equally. Each spouse is entitled to approximately half of all assets and is responsible for half of all debts.

Issues regarding children, such as timesharing and contact, child support, daycare expenses and health insurance, begin at Florida Statute 61.13. Generally, it is in the best interest of children that they spend significant time with both parents, unless the court feels that it would be detrimental to the children.

Child support is determined by statutes and essentially is accomplished by taking both parents’ incomes, adding them together, and referencing a table that can be found in Florida Statute 61.30 that tells you what child support would be for your two respective incomes.

Alimony is addressed in Florida Statute 61.08 and was amended effective Jan. 1, 2011. The law’s criteria for alimony is need vs. the ability to pay, but is specifically affected by the length of the marriage: less than 7 years, between 7 and 17 years, and longer than 17 years. Each category has different rules that apply to the length of alimony, type of alimony, and potentially, amount of alimony.

Areas of Practice
  • Criminal Defense
  • Homicide
  • Probate
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • Family Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • Divorce
  • Alimony
  • Criminal Defense - Homicide

    Put 25 years of experience on your side when it matters the most. Death Penalty Qualified Attorney Steven L. Laurence has the trial experience necessary to provide trusted representation and council. Our team enters the courtroom fully prepared to defend every aspect of the case. We leave nothing to chance.

    The Law Office of Steven L. Laurence thoroughly independently investigates your case to provide the solid foundation necessary to properly defend you at trial. We leave no stone unturned, and take the time to fully interview and dispose every witness. Cases are won in the details. We provide experts for every aspect of the trial process, and when necessary perform psychiatric evaluations of the parties involved. The circumstances surrounding every case are key. Our team of mitigation specialists explore every detail to ensure that every avenue of defense is at our disposal.

    If you or a loved one are faced with homicide charges, rely on our 25 years of experience and proven trial record. The Office of Steven L. Laurence is ready to protect your rights.
    • Probate

      When a loved one dies in Florida, their assets and debts must be legally distributed and paid or discharged. That process is called probate. The Office of Steven L. Laurence can guide you through the probate process, and administer the estate to guarantee that all accessed are distributed equitably. The average probate lasts nine months to a year. We utilize forensic accountants when necessary to ensure that all assets, creditors and debt have been identified. Trust in an experienced counsellor to help you and your family during this often complicated time. Contact the Offices of Steven L. Laurence today.
      • Wills

        A will leaves your property to whomever you want when you die. If you do not have a Will, the State of Florida will write one for you! This might result in your property NOT going to the people you want. A Will can also simplify the process of probate (the administration of your will in the courts) after your death, by appointing a Personal Representative (some states call this person the Executor) to help ease the probate process so that your heirs can receive their property more quickly. Contact The Office of Steven L. Laurence to establish your will today!
      • Trusts

        A trust is a document wherein you, as the Settlor or Grantor, during your lifetime, establish rules for the management and distribution of your property upon incapacity or death. Any competent adult can set up a revocable trust and any competent adult can serve as Trustee. Many clients serve as the initial Trustee of their own trusts and name as successor Trustees, their spouse, a relative, or a financial institution. The heirs to whom your trust property will be distributed are the beneficiaries. Most of the time, the beneficiaries are spouses, children, grandchildren, but they can also be charities.

        Establishing a trust can allow your heirs to receive your assets without having to submit to probate. A revocable trust allows you to provide for the management of your assets if you become incapacitated, or to manage your assets on behalf of minor children.
      • Estates

        Steven L. Laurence has served as the administrator of numerous Florida estates. If your family is facing probate, contact our offices to ensure a fair, thorough and equal distribution of assets for the estate.
    • Divorce & Family Law

      When families are in need, the law office of Steven L. Laurence is here to help. Whether you are facing a simple divorce, or a much more complicated situation, we take the time to thoroughly and independently investigate your case.

      Divorces often involve good people going through a rough time in their lives. Our office relies on years of trial experience when crafting a strategy to meet your needs and protect your rights. We take the time to build a time sharing history when addressing issues of child custody and parenting plans, and when necessary our experts perform psychiatric evaluations. We provide forensic accountants that develop a financial timeline to ensure an equal distribution of wealth and to help determine alimony, child support, and insurance payments.

      If you are facing Divorce or Family Law issues the trusted members of the Office of Steven L. Laurence are here to help.
      • Domestic Violence

        The Law Office of Steven L. Laurence leverages years of criminal defense experience when investigating domestic violence cases. Our office works to quickly file restraining orders against the offending party to protect you or your loved ones. When divorce also involves a criminal case, our team is with you, protecting your rights every step of the way.
      • Alimony

        We build a timeline of finances to ensure an equal distribution of wealth. Our forensic accountants take into account pre, current, and post marital property when determining our case for alimony. We help resolve tax issues, and work to fully represent your financial interests. Contact our office for a free consultation.
    Recent Awards
    & Accolades
    2014 AV Preeminent Attorney
    January 01, 2014
    2013 AV Preeminent Attorney
    January 01, 2013
    Orlando's Top Lawyers
    October 01, 2012
    2012 AV Preeminent Attorney
    January 01, 2012
    Orlando's Top Lawyers
    September 01, 2011
    PRR AV Preeminent Attorneys 2011
    January 01, 2011
    PPR AV Preeminent 2011 Lawyers.com
    January 01, 2011
    PPR AV Preeminent Attorneys 2011 Judicial Plaque
    January 01, 2011
    2011 AV Preeminent Icon
    January 01, 2011
    Orlando's Top Lawyers
    November 01, 2010
    PRR AV Preeminent Attorneys 2010
    January 01, 2010