Joseph R. Johnson (Federal Criminal Defense Attorney)

Joseph R. Johnson

For more than 30 years, Joseph R. Johnson has successfully handled a diverse range of state and federal criminal cases in Florida, including federal appeals. An experienced trial lawyer, he has handled more than 200 jury trials. He is admitted to practice in several federal criminal courts, including the U.S. District Court for the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. He has argued numerous notable federal cases, winning the reversal of a guilty verdict and a precedent-setting sentence reduction case. Before becoming a federal criminal defense lawyer, he worked as a Florida state trooper and an assistant prosecutor, giving him unique insight into the criminal justice system. Johnson represents federal criminal cases involving drug trafficking, firearms violations, fraud, sex offenses, child pornography, immigration violations, and more. Johnson has argued several notable federal criminal cases, including winning a federal appeal that was selected for publication in the prestigious Federal Reporter, the widely recognized and relied-upon source for published federal appellate court opinions.

Johnson Wins Federal Appeal, Sets Precedent

In UNITED STATES v. GARY WASHINGTON, 714 F.3d 1358 (11th Cir. 2013), Johnson represented a defendant in a credit card fraud case who had pleaded guilty to credit card fraud. Federal prosecutors sought a sentencing enhancement alleging that there were 250 or more victims, leading the judge to impose a sentence of 8 years and 9 months in prison.

However, Johnson argued that prosecutors failed to produce evidence as to the number of victims. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new hearing at which the defendant’s sentence was significantly reduced. This case was published nationwide in the Federal Reporter Series and is now binding case law in the Eleventh Circuit.

Having a case selected for publication in the Federal Reporter Series is considered an extraordinary accomplishment of substantial distinction and recognition within the legal community. It signifies a lawyer’s exceptional skills in advocacy, legal reasoning, and the ability to shape the development of the law. Cases published in the Federal Reporter are considered to have full precedential value and are binding authority that lower courts must follow. This means the legal arguments and rulings set forth in these cases carry significant weight and influence.

Johnson Wins Acquittal on Federal Weapons Charge and Gets Drug Conviction Overturned

In 2020, Johnson defended an Orlando man on federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. A conviction on either charge would have meant decades in federal prison for his client. In a jury trial, Johnson won an acquittal on the firearms charge and had the conviction on possession with intent to distribute cocaine overturned on appeal. In the appeal, Johnson argued that the trial court was wrong in not suppressing evidence obtained in violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Johnson Gets Federal Conviction Reversed

In UNITED STATES v. RASHICA SHAGUANA FORD, No. 18-14128 (11th Cir. 2019), Johnson successfully appealed the conviction of a Sarasota woman who was found guilty of federal conspiracy to commit arson and faced a sentence of 20 years in prison. Johnson got her conviction thrown out by pointing out that the trial court allowed the prosecution to play a recording of a witness interview in front of the jury that had not been properly verified and authenticated, pursuant to the Federal Rules of Evidence.

Johnson Gets Federal Sentence Reduced

UNITED STATES v. MADAIRES BOYD, 6:04-Cr-71-Orl-19KRS; 06:05-Cv-1106-Orl-19KRS (2006). Johnson represented a defendant whose trial attorney had not followed up on the man’s request to appeal his lengthy prison sentence. The attorney claimed he had not even met with the defendant after his sentencing hearing. Johnson’s research turned up county jail records showing that the defendant’s trial attorney had indeed met with him at least three times after the initial sentencing. Johnson filed a notice in the United States District Court revealing this new evidence and succeeded in getting a new hearing at which the defendant’s sentence was reduced.

Joseph R. Johnson is a bilingual criminal defense attorney who speaks English and Spanish.