Arrested in Manatee County, Sarasota County or Lee County for a weapons violation?

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Call our Sarasota and Bradenton weapon violation lawyers today at 941-366-3506, or Fort Myers firearm violations attorneys at 239-334-8890

Fort Myers and Sarasota Weapon Violation Attorneys Also Serving Bradenton
In the last couple of weeks there have been many gun and drug related arrests in Manatee, Sarasota and Lee Counties .

If you have been arrested in either Manatee County, Sarasota County or Lee County for a weapons violation, do not wait until arraignment. The prosecutor is deciding what charge to file against you right now.

Attorneys Peter Aiken and Sean O’Halloran are both former prosecutors. They know how prosecutors think. You may have a defense, and if it is raised NOW, your case may end before it goes to court.

• It may not have been a weapon (common pocket knife).
• It may not have been concealed.
• It may not legally be a firearm (such as an antique).
• You may not legally be a convicted felon.
• It may not have been brandished or displayed.
• It may not have been used as a weapon.

We have more than 40 years of experience defending weapons charges. Contact us as soon as possible.

Hire a private lawyer now. If you wait until arraignment or wait until a public defender is appointed, you may miss a chance to have your case dismissed or your charges dropped.

Bradenton, Sarasota and Fort Myers Guns and Firearms Attorneys

Our attorneys handle all gun crimes. If you are a convicted felon and you got caught with a firearm, you are facing a return to prison. You could be prosecuted in federal court. There are defenses. You may have been illegally stopped or searched.
If you were charged as a felon in possession of a firearm, you could face a minimum mandatory sentence. You could be sentenced under the 10-20-Life Law.

We investigate, prepare and defend firearm and pistol violations for:
• Carrying concealed firearms
• Machine guns and silencers
• Road rage with guns
• Aggravated battery with firearm
• Shooting into buildings (drive by shootings)
• Guns at school
• Guns in purses, briefcases or suitcases
• Concealed weapon permit violations

If you have a domestic violence conviction, you lose certain gun rights and privileges. If you are not a U.S. citizen, a gun charge could result in deportation or exclusion from the United States. Gun charges are serious and we take them seriously.

 

Contact us online to schedule a free in-person or telephone consultation.

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Call our Sarasota and Bradenton weapon violation lawyers today at 941-366-3506, or Fort Myers firearm violations attorneys at 239-334-8890

Heroin Cases on the Rise in 2015

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Sarasota Office 941-366-3506

Punta Gorda Office 941-639-6009

Fort Myers 239-334-8890

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Heroin Cases on the Rise
As I predicted two years ago, heroin addiction and heroin prosecutions have skyrocketed in Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota County. There were thousands of people who for various reasons became addicted to opiates like Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycodone. In past years the addiction led to doctor shopping and the explosion of pain management clinics. When the State cracked down on the pain clinics and tightened up the laws and established the state wide data base for prescriptions, many of the addicts could no longer get their supply from pharmacies. The net result was the heroin filled the gap and many people who could no longer get the opiate pills switched to shooting up on heroin. Now those people are getting prosecuted and there has been an explosion of prosecutions for possession of heroin, sale of heroin and trafficking in heroin. The penalties are huge and many people face mandatory sentences in State prison.
What do I do if I am arrested for a heroin charge?
By the time you or a loved one reads this, withdrawal has probably already set in. If you bonded out and you are an addict you need to get medical help immediately. If you continue to use while on bond and get arrested, your bail bond will be revoked and you will sit in jail cold turkey and have many tough days. I may be able to solve your legal problem but only you can solve the immediate problem which is your addiction. You cannot do it alone, Get help now.
Should I take a plea deal?
Unless you address the chemical dependency issue you are setting yourself up for failure by pleading and taking probation. If you are a heroin addict, and are not in remission, your probation is almost certain to be violated. More people get arrested for a probation violation in Ft. Myers and Sarasota than for any other reason. As a criminal defense lawyer and a drug lawyerI have learned that you have to think ahead. Probation is a trap for an addict. We may be able to get you into drug court where you can get help with your addiction. If you successfully complete the drug court program you criminal charge will be dropped and you will not end up being a convicted felon. If you have been arrested in Ft. Myers for a drug charge like possession of heroin or possession of an opiate, call today for a free consultation. You can reach us at our Ft. Myers criminal defense office at 239 334 8890
If you have been arrested in Bradenton or Sarasota call Peter D Aiken at 941 366 3506 today
Our firm also handles drug trafficking cases in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee County

Sarasota Office 941-366-3506

Punta Gorda Office 941-639-6009

Fort Myers 239-334-8890

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SUMMER BREAK STUDENT NIGHTMARE

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A parent’s worst nightmare is the call from their straight A college student or underage student on Summer Break that he has been arrested in Florida for an offense that can destroy his or her career before it starts. Each year, hundreds of college kids are arrested in Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas and Lee County for offenses at the beach at resorts, dance clubs and after hours parties. Usually the arrests start out for some minor offense like open container, misdemeanor marijuana possession or public physical altercation. Sometimes, off duty police officers work at the bars and even the slightest resistance will result in an arrest for resisting arrest, a misdemeanor, or worse yet resisting arrest with violence. If there is a physical altercation the officers will often charge a major felony such as battery on a police officer. A simple night of fun, socializing and sometimes drinking can be a life altering experience for your child or young adult.
As an experienced criminal defense law firm we handle numerous student crimes including offenses such as using a false identification. This charge can be filed as either a simple misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. Something as simple as changing the date on a driver’s license can result in your child being charged with a felony. Another charge such as possession of marijuana , heroin or designer drugs can result in a blemish to your child’s future employment opportunities not to mention a possible two year loss of a drivers license. The reality is that unless even minor charges are handled correctly you child’s future can be ruined. If your child is arrested, do not let him plead guilty simply to get it over with. There may be valid defenses and as criminal defense lawyers we may be able to beat the case or get him into some alternative program that will result in the charges being dropped. Our criminal defense firm may be able to have his arrest record expunged so in the future a Google search or a public records search may not disclose it. We live in the age of the Internet and a simple indiscretion now needs to be addressed properly. If your child is charged with DUI, you need to have good representation because it may result in a jail sentence and for sure will affect your insurance rates and reputation.
Contact Peter Aiken at Aiken , O’Halloran and Associates at our Sarasota County Criminal Defense Law Firm 941-366-3506 or our Lee County Criminal Defense Firm for a free consultation 239-334-8890. Call us 24/7. We take all major credit cards. We may be able to resolve your student’s case without him or her ever having to come back to Florida.

If your son or daughter is in jail, we will go visit them at your request. Do not wait … help is only a phone call away. 941-366-3506 or 239-334-8890

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Internet Sting Cases on the Rise

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Major Problems with Minors
Over the last five years, it seems you can’t go a week without reading or hearing about an Internet sex sting. A sex sting was run in Volusia County Florida that resulted in the arrest of both men and women. A sex sting was run in Volusia County Florida that resulted in the arrest of both men and women. Another Internet Sting was run in Bradenton and Palmetto with multiple arrests. The truth is that there are predators out there, but they are the police, preying on young gullible men who answer social media ads thinking they are talking to adults. It is far easier for the police to run one sting and arrest twenty unsuspecting men for traveling to meet a minor that it is for them to catch the real pedophiles. An arrest for traveling to meet a minor or solicitation of a minor is a major huge problem. Everyone assumes the worst and assumes you are guilty. Generally high bonds are set, people lose their jobs and many times the families abandon them. Many times these men are victims themselves of police entrapment.
As a sex crime lawyer, I have now handled cases in Lee, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Seminole, Brevard and Polk County. The pattern is always the same although in recent months the police tactics have changed a little. Many times, the police post ads on Craigslist in the casual encounters section for “women seeking men”. In recent months the police seem to be focusing on “men seeking men”. The police now candidly admit that they lie when they post the ads in adult sites. The undercover officers will usually in the first few chats say something like, “I lied, I am really 14 but I am mature for my age”. They then with seductive emails, texts and chat will try and lure and entice the person into traveling to meet them either at a house of nearby convenience store. Although they claim that the person arrested is doing the luring, seducing and enticing, most of the time it is the police that bring up sex. It is the police that invite travel. It is the police that say bring condoms and it is the police that are really doing the seducing. The general public has no idea of what the police are really doing and usually after the Sting, the local sheriff goes on television with his spin version of how he is keeping his County safe. This is the ultimate lie. If a loved one has been arrested in one of these stings, do not assume they are guilty of Internet solicitation. Nothing is worse than being falsely accused of committing a sex crime. There are defenses to these entrapment cases but it takes an attorney that knows the ropes, knows what the police are really doing and knows how to defend it. If you or a loved one have been arrested, you can call my office or visit my site at sarasotadefender.com or aikenandohalloran.com for more information. Sarasota 941-366-3506 Fort Myers 239-334-8890

Are You Really Presumed Innocent?

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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

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Should I Use the Public Defender in Lee County?

 

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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

IS IT FINALLY TIME TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA?

 

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IS IT FINALLY TIME TO LEGALIZE MARIJUANA?
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

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Drug Offenses

 

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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 www.aikenandohalloran.com

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

 

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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