Stephen M. Bernhardt, Esq.
Stephen Bernhardt grew up in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois before attending high school in the Memphis, Tennessee area. After graduating high school, Bernhardt attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. Bernhardt graduated cum laude and went on to attend Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida. After spending multiple years in the First Circuit as a prosecutor, Bernhardt moved to the Tampa Bay area, where he remains today. Bernhardt is married with three amazing children and enjoys spending his free time with his family doing the many fun activities available in the Tampa Bay area.
After leaving the State Attorney’s Office, Stephen began practicing civil law for one of the largest creditors’ rights firms in the United States. Within months, Stephen became the lead litigator for the firm’s Florida office and handled countless civil hearings and trials. Ultimately, Bernhardt left that firm to start Bernhardt Riley, PLLC. Using the knowledge Stephen has gained throughout the last decade, Bernhardt Riley maintains a sharp focus and dedication to ensuring each client’s specific situation is handled with the utmost professionalism, attention to detail, and integrity.
Stephen remains active in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys giving back to the community whenever possible. While keeping up the activities of his three children, Stephen also participates in various charities, local high school shadowing programs, and supports BIKERSCAP, a non-profit organization that has been building laptops for underprivileged students for many years. While in law school, Bernhardt received special certificates for his studies in the area of Sports Law and for his Pro Bono work for the community. Stephen is also a member of the Clearwater Bar Association, St. Petersburg Bar Association, the Hillsborough Bar Association, and the Palm Harbor Chamber of Commerce.
Stephen focuses his practice in the areas of Criminal Defense, Debt Defense, and Personal Injury. Stephen’s Criminal Defense practice includes a wide range of crimes including DUI, Battery, Petit Theft, Grand Theft, Drug Possession, Drug Sales, Burglary, Robbery, and many other charges. Bernhardt Law will often handle the expungement of a charge after the case is resolved if the client qualifies for expungement. Stephen’s Debt Defense practice generally includes defense of credit card and auto loan deficiency lawsuits. Stephen also handles personal injury cases of many types. See our practice areas page for more details.