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Hillary Leigh Johnson

Criminal defense Attorney at Sarasota, FL

5.0   14 reviews
  • Licensed for 11 years
    State FL
    Acquired 2012
    Member in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Hillary

Learn Hillary’s areas of practice.

I was born and raised in Florida, and grew up in a family of law enforcement. My father was a major for the Florida Highway Patrol, and my brother is currently a trooper with FHP in Tallahassee. My dad was a large influence in my life, and I always knew I wanted to have a career in the law. I remember the stories my dad would tell me about people he arrested and how scared they were about what would happen to them next.


Before I decided to go to law school, I was very involved with softball while I was in high school in Fort Myers, and I was able to play in the high school championship game. I was also selected first team all state, a prestigious honor for softball players. As a result, I ended up receiving an athletic scholarship to play softball at Florida Gulf Coast University. Afterwards I went to Florida State University and earned my degree in Communication with a minor in Business.


After FSU, I decided to follow my passion for law and began law school at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. While I was there, I got involved with different school activities by serving as the Chairman of the Board of Advocates and the President of the Jones Public Interest Law Foundation. I was also selected to compete in trial competitions across the nation and I had several top 5 finishes. I enjoyed the trial competitions so much that I decided to take an internship with the State Attorney's Office in Panama City, Florida. While I was there I got to try criminal traffic and other misdemeanor cases before I graduated. It was an amazing experience and from there I knew I wanted to devote my career to fighting for people in the courtroom.


After graduating from law school, I worked as a lawyer for the Department of Children and Families where I fought for children who were caught up in an abusive family situation. However, I missed the criminal courtroom, and decided to work for the State Attorney's Office in Sarasota and Manatee County.


During my time at the State Attorney's Office, I gained much more trial experience prosecuting criminal cases including theft, trespass, criminal mischief, DUI, battery and drug trafficking. I also served as the lead DUI Prosecutor in the Manatee County office where I handled defense attacks on the Intoxilyzer and litigated hundreds of DUI cases. While there, I also completed the Advanced DUI School hosted by the Florida Prosecutor Attorney Association and received extensive training in the areas of Jury Selection, Search and Arrest Warrants and Social Media Evidence.

After leaving the State Attorney's Office, I came to MSPerryLaw where I now use my skills learned as a prosecutor to help those accused of crimes. Having experience on both sides, I realize I have a much stronger passion helping those accused of crimes get through the system and fight for their rights than I ever had prosecuting those same cases. Like my father, I understand how scary it can be for someone being charged with a crime. However, unlike my dad, I have chosen a path to become involved with those people to help them get through the criminal justice system. I truly believe that most of us are good people who either have been unjustly accused or have made a poor judgment in our lives. I can assure you that I will use all my experience and skills to either beat your case, or minimize the consequences in order to restore your freedom and reputation.


If you have been charged with a crime, I would be happy to speak with you to see how we can help you get through this very difficult time. As former prosecutors at MSPerryLaw, I believe we have the skills and passion necessary to get the best results for anyone accused of a crime. As such, I hope you will consider our firm should the unfortunate situation occur in either your life or in the life of someone you love.


The Law Place
2445 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, FL, 34237

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5.0 / 5.0
  14 customer reviews
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Posted by anonymous | December 5, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very helpful and available
Tenacious, professional and knowledgable. She did a great job! Highest recommendation.
Posted by Audrey Irias, c/o Roberto Irias | February 22, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, efficient & on our side.
Ms. Johnson has been very helpful from day one. She took the time to explain to me the process before I was even her client, just to make sure I knew all the possible outcomes. She told us exactly what we needed to do and she came through on her end. She responded to all my emails, even on the weekend, within the hour. (Loved that!) On the day of the arraignment, she was able to achieve the best situation possible for us, for which we will forever be grateful. She is extremely professional, polite and knowledgeable. I would hire her again in a heart beat.
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Posted by anonymous | January 19, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hillary was absolutely amazing in handling my case. She is without a doubt a total professional and an expert in what she does. If anyone is wanting the best representation, I would without a doubt recommend Hillary. Thank you for all you did for me!!
Posted by Josh | January 4, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Lawyer Ever!
I cannot sing Hillary's praises high enough, she has been an absolute pleasure to deal with and is always there whenever I need to talk to someone and she does it with a great attitude. Hillary was extremely flexible with the help I needed from her and to be frank if you choose another lawyer when you could choose her then you would be foolish to do so. Not only was Hillary lovely to deal with but she was also very effective in my court case and provided me with a favorable outcome. Thanks again for all your help Hillary!
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Posted by Omelio Perez | January 3, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent service, I recommend it 100%
Wonderful lawyer, she won my case without any problem, what I like most is the seriousness and good treatment that also gives you the guarantee that everything will be resolved and things will be fine. I am very glad that they have bilingual service, because my first language is Spanish, overall I would recommend this lawyer and this company, I am very grateful for the help. Maravillosa abogada, ganó mi caso sin ningún problema, lo que más me gusta es la seriedad y el buen trato que también me da la garantía de que todo se resolverá y las cosas va a estar bien. Estoy muy contento de que tienen servicio bilingüe, porque mi primer idioma es el español, en general recomendaría este abogado y a esta empresa, estoy muy agradecido por la ayuda.
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Posted by anonymous | November 24, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent, Dedicated Criminal Lawyer
Hillary Johnson, a former prosecutor, reviewed my case and due to her skills and expertise was able to arrange a dismissal of the charge. She is highly motivated and exceptionally familiar with Florida criminal law and court procedures. She knows exactly where to go and how to get there. I could not be more pleased with her professional services.
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Posted by matthew | May 27, 2015
My experience with Miss Johnson has been nothing less than incredible. She has hastily honored any need I had in a professional but "down to earth" manner and as well has kept me completely on page with understanding all my options clearly. I am thankful to have used her as a lawyer.
Posted by Almos | March 23, 2015
best lawyer when you need one
Esq. Johnson was prompt to call us back when we initially contacted their office about our traffic case. She explained the legal situation clearly. She was responsive to questions through e-mails and phone calls. She was extremely efficient, prompt and thorough and our case prevailed. we were very satisfied with the accomplishment and we recommend her to everyone.
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Posted by Jwilson620 | February 18, 2015
Excellent Defense
Hillary Johnson has a broad understanding of the system, and achieved the absolute best outcome possible for my case. Charges dismissed and the records expunged. I highly recommend Hillary Johnson and the team at MS Perry Law.
Posted by anonymous | January 2, 2015
Hillary Johnson Review
Besides all the above mentioned qualities, one thing that Hilary Johnson has that other lawyers dont is compassion. She sympathised with us even though the issue at hand was our own doing. She did her best to get us the best possible deal. She has worked in Manatee County before and that helped quite a bit. She kept us informed whenever possible and was very patient even though we were calling her every second day. I would definitelty use her should I need a lawyer and would strongly recommend her.
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Posted by Connie | December 18, 2014
Outstanding Representation
I had the pleasure to have this phenomenal young woman represent me in an traffic ticket citation that I received due to a pedestrian claiming that I hit her with my car on a major highway near my home. She was very patient, personable, professional and guided myself and the witnesses that I brought to court with me thru out this entire process. She helped me prove without a doubt that I was innocent of the charges against me and that the pedestrian and her witness had fabricated their story of the events. In closing I recommend her very highly . Thanks again Connie Thanks again.
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Posted by fred | December 9, 2014
Between attorney fees (reasonable) , counseling fees (WAY too high), and court costs (the ONLY money the county/state made on this ridiculous episode) EVERYTHING worked out as well as could be hoped for, Thanks to Hilary and Michael what could have been a real life changing experience only changed a few months of our lives waiting to see how things would end. Result...the only thing that remains is a depleted bank account.
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Posted by Jay | September 30, 2014
Very satisfactoy results
Hillary did an outstanding job working within the system to achieve the dismissal of the charges against me. She utilized her knowledge of the prosecutors office and all the information in my best interest to reach the favorable ruling. Many thanks to Hillary.
Posted by Kayla | June 22, 2014
She's a wonderful woman!
I initially hired Michael Perry as my attorney after being charged with a DUI. I believe Hillary joined the practice in the middle of my case, and thankfully she took over. As soon as I met her I felt calm and comfortable around her, she explained everything clearly and provided me with different scenarios and perspectives of the possible outcomes. Regardless of knowing her for a short period of time, I felt like I could really trust her. During my trial she was incredibly knowledgeable in specific laws and regulations, her cross examinations were impressive to watch. A very classy woman. I knew I had to hire someone with insight on being open minded. She won my case and set me free! I was never meant to be convicted and without her on my side my life would have remained in a state of mystery for some time.. I can't thank her enough!
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  • Free Consultation 60 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.3 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • The Law Place
  • 2015 - Present
  • Attorney
  • MSPerry Law
  • 2014 - Present
  • Assistant State Attorney
  • Office Of The State Attorney, 12th Judicial Circuit
  • 2013 - 2014
  • Attorney
  • Florida Department Of Children & Families
  • 2012 - 2013
View all work experience


  • Faulkner University, Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
  • 2012
  • Florida State University
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 2009
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • N/A

Sample of Legal Cases

  • State of Florida v. Cutajar
  • State of Florida v. Shaller
  • Pre-Trial Diversion
  • State v. Kona
  • Pre-Trial Intervention
View all legal cases


  • National College of DUI Defense
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Manatee County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • Member
  • 2015 - Present
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Sarasota County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Inn of Court, Manatee County, Florida
  • Associate Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Sarasota chapter)
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Young Lawyers Club
  • Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Florida Bar
  • Member
  • 2012 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Completion
  • Trial Lawyer's College Cross Examination
  • 2015
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Advanced DUI Prosecution
  • 2013
  • 3rd Best Advocate
  • Faulkner University
  • 2011
  • Scholar Athlete
  • Florida Gulf Coast University
  • 2001
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (11)
Given (5)
Endorse Hillary
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 26
Relationship: Other
"Ms. Johnson is a zealous advocate with integrity. She is easy to talk to and responsive. Working with Hillary is always a pleasure. I endorse this lawyer without hesitation."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 10
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Without hesitation, I endorse Ms. Johnson. I had the pleasure of working with her on several criminal defense matters, and her tenacity and work ethic is unmatched!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 04
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I had the opportunity to work with Hillary as a prosecutor and then against her as opposing counsel. Hillary is a a tremendous advocate for her clients, and she is a highly-skilled litigator. Through working with her, it is clear that she is a very intelligent lawyer who is knowledgeable in all areas of criminal law, Because of her skills, personality, and professionalism, she is highly regarded in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I've know Hillary for several years and it is rare you find someone so dedicated to her profession and committed to her clients' cases. Her reputation among her peers is impeccable and she is constantly working to gain knowledge to assist in the defense of her cases. She is stubborn in the courtroom and refuses to back down to the prosecutors. I would highly recommend Hillary to anyone in need of an excellent criminal defense attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 11
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I first met Hillary several years ago when she was a state attorney. I immediately saw her tenacity and professionalism as I worked out cases with her on a daily basis. She then managed to become the lead state attorney within the DUI division and we realized that she was a rising "superstar". We hired her out of the state attorney's office and she has been a die-hard defender of the constitution in a way that is extremely beneficial to our clients. I endorse Hillary without hesitation."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 01
Relationship: Co-worker
"I first met Hillary when she was a prosecutor. At that time she was always very professional even though an adversary. Her legal talent was so impressive I remember coming back to my office suggesting we hire her. Before that could happen Hillary had accepted a position with a different law firm where she began her career as a criminal defense attorney. Her passion as a defense attorney is exactly how she was when she was a prosecutor. Fortunately for me our firms have now merged and Hillary and I are co-workers. She has great legal talent and confidence. I endorse Hillary Johnson."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 09
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. I had several cases against Hillary when she was a prosecutor in Sarasota/Manatee Counties. Not only was she a great attorney she was ethical and fair. She was so impressive we persuaded her to leave the State and bring her qualities to work with us."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 30
Relationship: Supervised lawyer
"I have know and worked with Hillary as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney. She is highly skilled, knowledgeable, and a fighter for her clients. I highly endorse her."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 10
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Hillary Johnson is one of the finest lawyers I have had the pleasure of working with. She is direct and results oriented. There are few lawyers I trust more to handle a case in a genuine and professional manner. I have the utmost confidence in her abilities as an attorney."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Hillary Johnson. She works hard to obtain the best result possible for her clients. She is aggressive, yet professional, and has no fear in the courtroom!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Ms. Johnson is a skilled, knowledgable and professional attorney. A true pleasure to work with."
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Criminal defense
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Criminal defense