The Public Defender

Michael Graves


Michael A. Graves, Public Defender, was born on August 13th in Gainesville, Florida. He went to Palm Beach Gardens High School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He then went onto the University of South Florida to get his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. From there he went to Stetson University College of Law to get his J.D. He started his career right where he is now, the Public Defender’s Office. He started in the Sixth Judicial Circuit in 1982, fresh out of law school. He gained two years of experience there when he moved to Leesburg and transferred to the Fifth Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office where he currently is the elected Public Defender for Lake, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter and Marion counties. After 6 years in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, he moved to private practice where he stayed for 23 years. He partnered with Mr. John Spivey for 14 of his 23 years in private practice and Mr. Spivey is now his right hand man in the Public Defender’s office. During Mr. Graves’ experience practicing law for 33 years, he has had enormous amounts of trial experience in over 250 Jury Trials to Verdict and 15 of those trials were death penalty cases. He is no stranger to the practice of defense law. Aside from his career, he is also involved in a number of community events such as the Lake, Sumter and Marion County Public Safety Councils, Lake County Teen Court, and the Sons of Amvets, where he serves as a Judge Advocate.





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