Do I need a lawyer for Early Resolution Court in Ft. Myers?

If you were arrested for a felony in Ft. Myers or Cape Coral, at your first Court appearance the judge may have discussed Early Resolution Court with you.  Resolving your case this way may or may not be a good deal.  You may be tempted to save the money, and not hire a  Lee County criminal defense lawyer and take your chances on resolving the case by yourself.  That could be a huge mistake.  The early resolution Court is designed to expedite the court process and unfortunately, the “quick and easy” resolution may not be the best.  As an experienced criminal defense attorney, I must emphasize,  you need to know that whatever decision you make, needs to be an informed decision, where you weigh you understand your options.  You may have been falsely arrested or falsely charged You may have been illegally stopped or illegally detained and illegally searched.  You may not have been properly advised of your rights.  You may have been in a car or house with someone else, and the drugs found may not have been yours.  You may have a good solid defense and not know it.

Some people, even though they can afford their own lawyer, to save some money, use the public defender.  The simple truth is, the public defender is many times overwhelmed with an enormous caseload and does not have the time for a simple one on one interview in his office.  Have you tried to get in touch with the public defender lately?  Before you make any decision that can impact your life, you need to sit with an experienced lawyer.  You need to have a detailed discussion about the facts of your case as well as your personal history.  Probation may be nothing more than a trap for you, depending on your lifestyle.

Early resolution Court is not a bad thing, but before taking that leap, talk to a good qualified private lawyer.  An initial consultation, either over the phone, or in person at most lawyers offices costs nothing.  There may be consequences to a quick and easy plea that can get overlooked.  Some crimes can result in a driver’s license suspension.  Some crimes have penalties that increase with each conviction.  Some crimes have immigration consequences.

Hiring a good criminal defense lawyer is an important decision that should not be based on advertising alone.  Check out our qualifications and experience and if you want a free confidential consultation, give us a call at 239 334 8890

Do I really need a lawyer? Why not just take the ERC offer?

Aiken O’Halloran and Foley
Experienced State and Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys
Ft Myers 239-334-8890
The Cape 239-984-4994
Charlotte 941-639-6009
Sarasota 941-366-3506

Aiken O’Halloran and Foley

June 22 2018

If you get arrested in Lee County, either in Cape Coral, Ft. Myers or Leheigh, and your offense is a third degree felony or serious misdemeanor, if you do not immediately bond out, you will be taken before a judge within 24 hours. At that first appearance, you may be told that your case qualifies for ERC. That means you could be going to Early Resolution Court. You may be told that you do not need a lawyer and be advised to just “save your money” and take the deal they offer you. That really helps the judges and prosecutors because it makes the cases go quickly and reduces their workload. The truth is that, ERC may or may not help you or be in your best interest.

You may be offered “probation” at the early resolution court hearing. Although that may sound like a good deal, chances are, at the time you are offered that, you probably have not had an opportunity to have had a one on one meeting with the public defender or any lawyer. People often see the public defender for the first and only time in the courtroom. They may only get seconds with the public defender before having to make an important decision that can change their life. Probation may sound good, but it can be a trap. What if you are genuinely not guilty? What if it was someone else’s drugs? What if you really did not commit the crime? What if you are an addict or an alcoholic? What if you had a prescription for the drugs? What if you were only defending yourself? What if the arresting officer lied about why he stopped you? What if it was an illegal search?

If you take a plea deal and give up a good defense, it may be the biggest mistake of your life.

At our criminal defense office we handle probation violations and all too often, by the time people get to us, they have already given up a good defense, taken probation and now violated. Most lawyers, including the ones at our criminal defense office do not charge for an initial consultation. There is no downside to talking to a real good criminal lawyer before you make an important decision. A bad decision may have resulted in you getting arrested. Don’t make another bad decision and give up important rights without talking to a lawyer.
Our Constitution provides that you have a right to an attorney. The law says that “if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you”. The simple fact however is that all lawyers are not created equal. Doctors are not the same. Where would you go if you were really sick? Would you want to go to a really good doctor you selected or take your chances at the Public Health Clinic? That is a no brainer. You should always talk to a good qualified experienced lawyer.