Are You Really Presumed Innocent?

4x5 Aiken_Partners_031(1)

Click Here to Contact Us
Under the law everyone charged with a crime is supposed to be presumed to be innocent. That presumption goes out the window if you are charged with a crime involving sex with a child. As a Sarasota criminal lawyer, I have been defending sex crimes now for over thirty years, and the reality is that if a mother or a child accuses a person of a sexual assault, most of the time, the detectives investigating the allegation are biased and prejudiced and assume the accusation is true. What most people do not realize is that in the context of divorce or custody proceedings, there is often a motive to falsely accuse someone.. A false accusation will result in an arrest and a no contact order. A false accusation can result in immediate possession of the family home by the parent of the accuser. The police start out trying to prove the accusation is true instead of doing a real investigation. A false accusation can destroy a person’s life forever if it results in an arrest.
If you are under investigation for a sex crime, in Sarasota, Lee, Manatee, Charlotte or adjacent areas, it is super important that you get immediate legal representation. Do not make a statement to anyone without talking to an experienced criminal lawyer. Family lawyers sometimes do not understand the importance of pro- active investigation and action. You cannot just sit and wait and hope things will work out. The best defense is a good offense and if you think you are about to be accused or have been accused of any improper conduct with a child seek immediate representation. In defending these types of cases having a private investigator on board early can result in the discovery of favorable facts and evidence that the police simply overlook. It is also important to preserve evidence, particularly when it comes to emails, texts and other communications. If a spouse or relative is accusing you, having a record of the communications often shows their true motives. Preserving photographs and video evidence is also important.
Do not wait for the police to come to you. For a free consultation in Fort Myers call 239 334 8890 and in Sarasota 941 366 3506




Should I Use the Public Defender in Lee County?



Should I Use the Public Defender in Lee County? Call Sean C. O’Halloran at 239-334-8890
If you or a loved one get arrested you will go before the Court within 24 hours at what they call a first appearance.  Before that happens, while you are in the jail, someone will ask you to fill out an application for a Public Defender.  Did you know that they charge you a fee simply for filling out the application?  They charge you a booking fee and they charge you a fee for every day you are in jail.  If you have been arrested and you are facing criminal charges you absolutely must have an attorney.  Even if you are guilty, you still need an attorney to guide you through the system.  Many people because of the lack of money are forced to use the Public Defender.  One of the questions I am often asked is “should I use the Public Defender in Lee County”
Some of the lawyers at the Public Defender’s office are experienced and qualified.  Others have little experience and minimal qualifications.  Would you want heart surgery performed by a doctor at a public health clinic?  If you are facing charges in 2015 in Lee County you really need to think about a way to hire a private criminal defense attorney.  Our Fort Myers criminal defense firm, like many others will work with you to find a way to provide a quality defense.  Often a relative or friend can put the fee on a credit card.  In some instances, we may be able to take an assignment of your bond collateral to secure our fee and in other instances, we may be able to work out a payment plan.  I have over thirty years experience.  As a former Prosecutor I have handled over the years thousands of serious felony cases for crimes ranging from Homicide, aggravated battery, drug trafficking, racketeering and numerous Sex crime offenses.  Many of the charges now, particularly violent crimes carry minimum mandatory sentences.  If you are facing 15 years in prison or in some instances life do you want some young inexperienced lawyer representing you?
When you are arrested it is generally a surprise to everyone.  It is like any other emergency. If your roof fell in, if your transmission failed or if you got some serious illness, you would find a way to pay for it.  It is the same with being charged with a serious crime like, Possessing or Selling Drugs, large quantity drug trafficking, burglary of a dwelling or dealing in stolen property.  Talk to your relatives and friends.  Sometimes an employer will help you.  Sometimes you may have to sell something you own on Craigslist to raise the money.  Find a way because it may make a big difference in your life.

Call for a free consultation Sean C. O’Halloran in Lee county today 239-334-8890. It costs nothing to talk to us.  Check out our qualifications and experience and compare them with other private lawyers

Click Here to Visit Our Fort Myers Criminal Defense Website




Legalizing marijuana is not only over due but absolutely necessary.  The drug war against marijuana is not only a losing battle but is absolutely harmful to the health and well being of the public.  Did our lawmakers learn nothing from Prohibition?  When alcohol was made illegal it was the birth of organized crime in America.  In a few short years a criminal empire was created that still exists today.  As a former prosecutor and a veteran criminal defense lawyer, I understand the pros and cons of legalization of pot.  The time is now to change this stupid law.

When the Feds cracked down on pot in the Seventies, it pushed the smugglers into Cocaine, a more compact product to smuggle.  When the Feds cracked down on cocaine the crack cocaine industry exploded.  When the Feds cracked down on crack with the terrible Federal Sentencing Guidelines it unfairly punished Blacks and the poor.  The latest push is to crack down on grow houses in Lee County.  Making locally grown pot hard to get has fueled to explosion in the synthetic marijuana market.  Our lawmakers are way out of touch with reality.  The war on pot is lost and the sooner our lawmakers realize it the better off we will all be.

Law enforcement is a huge industry in Florida.  We already have more people in jail than any country in the world.  The privatization of prisons now puts corporate America in the business of putting and keeping people in jail.  As a criminal lawyer, this sickens me.  My partner can remember the Sixties and Seventies and have many friends who still smoke pot.  The truth is that many highly respected citizens still are midnight tokers.  Many political figures still burn one every now and then.  It is so hypocritical for them to support these archaic laws.  Go rent a movie called “reefer madness”, get yourself some munchies and chill one night watching one of the funniest movies you will ever see.

As an attorney trying pot cases I have seen a change in the attitude of juries.  Half the prospective jurors will admit to smoking weed in their life.  The other half will simply lie about it.  How many of the judges smoked?  How many of the young prosecutors smokes pot in college?  It is time to change the law.  If you have questions, or god forbid you have been busted for possession of Marijuana, sale of marijuana or cultivation of marijuana in a grow house, call today for a free consultation.  As a drug lawyer , I understand and will vigorously defend you. Call Sean O’Halloran today for a free consultation 239-334-8890

Click “Here” to visit our Fort Myers Criminal Defense website at

Drug Offenses


4081124_1[1]4x5 044

Florida Supreme Court Says Guilty Until Proven Innocent is A-OK When it comes to Drug Offenses
In a completely mind-blowing opinion, the Florida Supreme Court released its opinion in Florida v. Adkins, a challenge which will affect cases of possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of oxycontin, possession of adderall — indeed, possession of every controlled substance and, in the future, potentially possession of every kind of illegal contraband.
Here’s what’s happened.  Over the last ten years or so, Florida Courts have repeatedly emphasized that Florida’s Controlled Substances Act — its law making illegal drugs illegal — must have the element of “knowledge” in order for it to be fair.  In other words, if someone is honestly unaware they had an illegal drug in their possession, it is unconstitutional for them to be found guilty of drug possession and sentenced in criminal court.
Hogwash! said the Florida Legislature, and in response to all of these rulings, passed a new amendment to Florida’s Controlled Substances Act that the government shouldn’t have to prove someone had knowledge of drugs found in their possession, rather, there should be a presumption that the person knew of the substance and it is up to them to prove their innocence.
Anytime anyone in government suggests it should be up to an accused to prove their innocence, reasonable people should stop and take note, because that is absolutely not how a wise justice system is run.  It has been nearly universally recognized among civilized peoples since literally the Roman Empire that an accused should stand innocent until he or she is proven guilty.

So take note, Florida.  When it comes to drugs, you are now guilty until you prove yourself innocent. A good defense can make the difference. Call today for a free consultation 239-334-8890

click “HERE” to visit our Aiken And O’Halloran Ft Myers Criminal Defense Website


Cheat on your Sales Tax in 2014-2015? Look out…..Here comes the State



Click Here to Visit our Fort Myers Criminal Defense Website

Cheat on your Sales Tax? Look out…..Here comes the State
The simple fact is the State needs the money.  The Florida Department of Revenue knows this and has launched a crackdown on businessmen who may have underreported their sales tax.  If you collected sales tax and under reported it on your monthly sales tax report, even if you had a good reason, you can be arrested and prosecuted for grand theft.
The State takes the position that the money is theirs at the point you collect it, and not remit it, you have stolen the money.
Many times, particularly in hard times at the end of the month you simply may not have the money to send in.  It is easy to become careless and not remit it.  It is worse to file a false sales tax return and not report what you collected.  The State has ways of determining your true sales.  The State has ways of determining your true sales.  They look at your purchases.  They look at what others in the industry are reporting. Peter Aiken is a former criminal investigator for the Internal Revenue Service and former Federal Prosecutor and thirty year veteran criminal defense tax lawyer and understands how to poke loopholes in their estimates and projections.  We work closely with local accountants and CPAs.  Our number one goal as a criminal Defense firm, and my number one goal as a criminal lawyer is to keep your sales tax investigation from becoming criminal.  I have offices in Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Punta Gorda and can meet with you on short notice.  Do not think you can talk your way out of a problem.  You can get more money in life, but you cannot get more time.  If you go to jail for evasion of sales tax or grand theft you will wish you had hired a good tax crime lawyer.  The State is taking a close look at used car dealers, liquor stores and restaurants and head shops in their latest crackdown.  If you get a letter telling you that you are going to be audited for sales tax, or worse yet, you are under investigation, call Sean C O’Halloran today for a free consultation. 239-334-8890

Embezzlement, the Other Side of the Story

4x5 Aiken_Partners_031(1)


Most people who get charged with grand theft for stealing from their employer did not start out with the intent of stealing. Often employees who have fallen upon hard times simply intended to borrow a few bucks for a short period of time and intended to pay it back. Many times a cashier, a bookkeeper, a salesman or another trusted employee will make a terrible mistake in judgment and pocket a small amount of money with the absolute intent to return it.
There are other instances where a person is falsely accused of stealing because a fellow employee who knows how to work the system has actually taken the money. These are the really sad cases because an arrest for a crime you did not commit will damage your reputation terribly. You can find your face on Mugshots and even if you get your case dismissed it will still be there. I have been handling employee theft and embezzlement cases for over thirty years. As a criminal defense attorney, if I am lucky enough to get into the case early, often restitution can be arranged before criminal charges are filed thus avoiding and arrest and criminal prosecution. Often the Employer feels betrayed if it was a trusted employee and the first step is to show remorse on behalf of the employee. We may be able to intervene in these cases and work out a situation to avoid and embarrassing arrest.
Hiring an attorney before you are arrested often can make a huge difference in resolving a bad situation. If we get in early enough we may be able to negotiate a payback plan that makes the employer whole and keeps a person out of the criminal justice system. If you have been fired and are under investigation for embezzlement, call today before it is too late to avoid criminal charges being files.
Sean O’Halloran: Ft. Myers 239-334-8890
Peter Aiken: Sarasota 941-366-3506
Andrew Banyai: Punta Gorda 239-639-6009