My name is Dustin Stephenson and I am an attorney in Panama City, Florida. My office specializes primarily in criminal defense; however I also handle other various legal matters, such as wills, estate planning, and probate, and some personal injury matters.
I was born and raised here in Panama City and I have spent my entire legal career in the courtrooms of this area. After graduating with honors from the Florida State University – College of Law in 2000, I began my legal career as a prosecutor here in our State Attorney’s Office. I spent nearly seven years there and during that time, worked as the senior attorney in the County Court division, as the chief of the Juvenile Division, and as a lead attorney in one of our Circuit Court Felony divisions. While there, I was directly responsible for handling literally thousands of cases, ranging from simple traffic infractions to DUI manslaughter, simple drug possession to meth labs and drug trafficking, and all sorts of violent crime involving drugs, guns, robbery, rape, and homicide.
I left the State Attorney’s Office in 2007 to enter private practice. In 2008 I became the youngest attorney in the history of the 14th Circuit to earn Board Certification in Criminal Trial Law, which is the highest professional distinction granted by the Florida Bar. I am one of only a handful of practicing attorneys in the 14th Circuit to have earned Board Certification in Criminal Trial Law. In 2008 I became the youngest attorney in the history of the 14th Circuit to earn Board Certification in Criminal Trial Law. In 2009, I opened my own office and continue to represent people from all walks of life that have been charged with a crime. At this point in my career, having worked on both sides of the equation in criminal law, I have successfully handled a very wide range of criminal cases in both State and Federal Court.
Having handled matters from civil traffic infractions all the way to life felonies and federal drug trafficking indictments – and most everything in between – I am equally adept at negotiating a successful resolution, arguing legal technicalities in a motion, or presenting your case to a jury.
Outside of the courtroom, I have also served as adjunct instructor at Gulf Coast Community College, and have volunteered with the Underwater Crime Scene Investigation Program at Florida State University. I am also a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Florida Bar Association, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Bay County Bar Association, Bay County Inn of Court, and I serve on the Design and Planning Committee of the Downtown North CRA in Panama City, Florida. I also enjoy sports, FSU football, hunting, fishing, and spending time with my family.