Hiring a criminal defense lawyer, a good one, is an important decision that should not be made based only on advertising. Here is Lee County, whether it be Cape Coral or Ft.Myers, if you have been arrested, for a felony or a misdemeanor, you really need to talk to a good experienced defense attorney before doing anything. Most lawyers do not charge for an initial confidential consultation either in person or by phone. Even with the Covid situation, an interview can be arranged.
To answer that last question, you need to talk to and meet with the Lawyer.
Take advantage of the free consultation. Call and talk or make an appointment!
There is no substitute for actually meeting the lawyer when possible. What is his or her(the attorney) demeanor? Does he or she (the lawyer) sound condescending or judgmental or is the lawyer compassionate. Does the lawyer have local experience before the local courts? The reality is, that in the world of advertising, reviews and ratings can be rigged. Do not rely on paid referral services or a bondsman’s recommendation or suggestion. Go meet the lawyer and form your own opinion.
If you want to talk and want an honest evaluation of your case and your chances…
Call for a free consultation and ask for Sean O’Halloran or Peter Aiken 239-334-8890
There is an old saying, “The fish would not have got caught if he hadn’t opened his mouth”
That is so true when it comes to criminal investigations. It is particularly true when it comes to sex crime investigations. In date rape cases, in child molestation cases, often the most damaging evidence is the person’s own admission. The cops are masters at getting you to make an admission. In a child sex case with a 15 year old, they may say something like “she says you forced her”, only to trick you into saying “no, it was consensual”. What the person does not realize is that a 15 year old cannot consent, and the response is an admission.
In tax investigations, in white collar crime investigations, the detective’s goal is to get an admission on key elements like “intent”. In sales tax investigations, always lawyer up.
If the police, or a detective, comes to talk to you, if you are not in custody, they do not have to advise you of your right to remain silent or your right to a lawyer. Nothing good comes of talking to a detective, particularly if you have the slightest chance of having done something wrong. If they ever say “you have the right to remain silent” you have to be stone crazy to say anything else. If they say, you have the right to an attorney, STFU, and call a good qualifiedexperienced criminal lawyer. Don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish”. Do not wait until you are arrested to talk to a good criminal defense lawyer.
As if things were not tough enough, losing a job, dealing with unemployment and not being able to go anywhere, more and more people find the stress unbearable and take it out on the people they love. Domestic battery arrests are up and that makes things a thousand times worse. If you get arrested for domestic battery (fighting with your wife, your girlfriend or other loved one), chances are the judge will enter a no contact order. That means you cannot go home and have to find somewhere else to live. And where do you get the money for that?
jobless and broke is bad enough, a no contact order is a disaster. Some people deal with the stay at home stress
with alcohol. News flash…Alcohol is a
depressant. If you were not stressed
before, dump a few beers on top of the stress, and your world is a thousand
times worse. Most spouses do not intend
to fight….it just happens. A lot of
times, neither one or the other calls the police, and it is a neighbor who
hears the shouting and yelling that calls the cops. When the cops come, they have a zero
tolerance policy and someone is going to jail.
Most of the time, it is the guy.
Many times we may be able to present a good argument to the prosecutor as to how and why the dispute occurred. Domestic battery does not mean someone has to be hurt. A simple push, a nudge or a poking of the finger can get someone arrested. As a criminal lawyer, I once handled a case where the husband threw a cup of cold coffee on his wife. No injury at all, but he got arrested anyway. Many times the husband is just trying to restrain a wife who has gone nuts over alcohol or jealousy, or worse yet, both. We often get hired by the very person they say was the victim. Cooler heads the next day sometimes prevail. If you or a spouse got arrested for domestic violence, simple battery, or worse yet, aggravated batteryand want to discuss the situation confidentially, give us a call.
Sean C. O’Halloran Experienced Ft Myers Criminal Defense Attorney
Here in Ft. Myers, arrests for possession and sale of cocaine seem to be on the rise. That could be because there is more cocaine in town or because of increased law enforcement efforts. With the coming Spring Break there are going to be cocaine arrests of party go-ers. When the quantity exceeds certain amounts, the State will file “trafficking in cocaine” which jacks up the penalties. Another technique the police use is to try and get someone to sell cocaine within a thousand feet of a school also to increase the sentence. If they are successful in making a “buy”, they will also go back to the seller over and over to run up the charges and increase the sentencing guidelines. If they can make a cocaine bust and get cocaine and guns to together, sometimes they filearmed trafficking, again to run up the penalties
With the new
technology, police can install surveillance cameras in high crime areas that
can go un-noticed for months to watch for “street dealers” and unusual activity
between cars and people walking up to cars. For Spring Break, the police may
even put surveillance cameras on poles at Ft. Myers Beach. You may just be hanging at the beach,
drinking and partying and not even know the police are watching.
The most common cocaine arrest is for possession and this generally occurs when the police find cocaine on a person they are arresting for something else. A person may get arrested for DUI or arrested for driving on a suspended license, or public intoxication, and when they go to tow the vehicle and inventory the car, the cops often find drugs. As a Ft. Myers criminal defense lawyer, I have had cases where a woman gets arrested for a small quantity of cocaine found in her purse she has totally forgotten about. It may have been there from her partying weeks or months before. You know how cluttered women’s purse can be. It can just be a tiny amount of residue in a tiny bag.
So, what is “Possession’? You can have actual possessionwhere the drug is on you, and you can get charged with “constructive possession”, when the police find cocaine, pot, or some other drug in an area under your control, such as a car or hotel room.
television shows you hear the police advising people of their rights saying
“and if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you. It is on the Miranda card that you see police
reading to people. Well, television is
not reality and most of the time, the cops do nothing to get you a lawyer at
the most critical time you need one…before they question you.
If you are under investigation or think you are going to get arrested you need to talk to a criminal defense attorney before you even think about talking to law enforcement. The Public Defender does not get appointed until you are already arrested, booked and going before a judge. By then, they may have already gotten a confession or an admission out of you. Most criminal defense lawyers do not charge for a free confidential consultation.
This is particularly true when it comes to sex investigations or leaving the scene of an accident investigation. The police need your admission as the final link in their case. Nothing good comes of waiving your right to remain silent and talking to the police. You will not talk your way out of an arrest. The police do not have to advise you of your rights until you are in custody and by then it is too late.
Never speak without an attorney present. Never voluntarily give up your computer unless they have a warrant. Never give up passwords or anything until you get legal advice. When it comes to sex crimes and sex crime investigations, the police questioning, and a person’s answers may well be the most important part of the case. You may be facing serious prison time if you have downloaded or watched child porn. You can get charged either in State Court or Federal Court for Internet solicitation of a minor. An admission that you were the one sitting at the computer is often the missing link the police need.
Do not be bullied into talking. Lawyer up and keep your mouth shut….
When a person gets arrested, unless it is a really serious crime, they are entitled to be released on bond pending disposition of their court case. There is a “bond schedule” setting amounts for different offenses and if you call the jail, they will tell you the bond amount. For some offenses, the person cannot immediately bond out, and in that case, they have to be taken before a judge within 24 hours for what is called an initial appearance. Whether or not to immediately post bond is an important decision. Your loved one will be calling you frantically saying “Get me out…get me out”. If it is a serious case it is critical that you talk to good criminal defense lawyer before you make the decision on bond. You may lose a lot of money if you make a hasty decision..
You might be contacted by a bondsman over the telephone. They watch the arrests and they want the business. A bondsman in Florida charges a 10% (ten percent fee) called a premium to write and post a “bond” that guarantees the person will appear. Many times, that is the quickest and easiest way and there are lots of good reputable bondsmen. For example, if the bond is $1500, it will cost you a $150 fee to get someone out. If the bond is huge, $50,000 for example, it can cost you $5000 just for the bondsman’s “fee” and you don’t get that money back at the end of the case. If it is a big bond, acriminal defense lawyer may be able to get it “reduced” in a bond reduction hearing. For example, if the $50,000 bond got reduced to $10,000 you would pay a $1000 fee to the bondsman, instead of $5000 and you would save you $4000.
A good criminal defense attorney may be able to save you enough money on the bond to pay a lot of his fee. Many people in desperation spend all of their money on bail bond and then have no money to hire a lawyer and end up with the Public Defender. That is a huge mistake.
having a lawyer at the “initial appearance” can make a huge difference. It may result in “pre trial release” with no
monetary bond. In that case, it costs
you nothing for bond.
In domestic violence cases, having a defense lawyer at the initial appearance may keep the judge from imposing very restrictive conditions such as “no contact” with a spouse.
If a relative has been arrested, your first call should be to the lawyer. Know your options before you make a bad decision.
We often get calls from women whose husbands or boyfriends have been arrested for domestic battery in Lee County. Most of the time it is because of an argument that got out of hand, and most of the time it involves alcohol. Years ago, if you called 911, the police would show up and talk to the people involved and calm things down. Now, if you call 911, someone is going to jail.It is true that there are cases of actualdomestic violence and abuse in Ft Myers and there are situations where the women have been subjected to acts of violence, butin my experience as a Ft Myers criminal lawyer, I have found that most of the arrests do not involve serious abuse. Many times it is just yelling and screaming, and many times it is because both parties have been drinking.
When the police get a 911 call, they will generally show up within minutes. They will generally interview the caller first, and often form an opinion before even talking to the man. “Battery” can be something as simple as poking someone with a finger while arguing. It does not have to involve injury. A battery is simply a “non consensual touching”. I have had cases where the wife has gone ballistic and attacked her husband slapping, scratching and screaming and all the husband has done is try to restrain her with a hug. The police almost always assume it is the man’s fault and arrest him and haul him off to jail, even over the objection of the wife or girlfriend. A domestic violence arrest can tear a family apart. The man is taken before a judge in the morning and most times, the judge enters a no contact order as a condition of bond. This can wreck the family. Most working couples or families cannot afford to have two places to live, one for the wife and one for the husband. Many families only have one car and both the husband and wife work. A no contact ordercan have a financially devastating impact on the average family. A domestic violence prosecution takes on a life of its own and is like a snowball rolling downhill. All of this begins with a 911 call.
Unless the arrest involves a pattern or real physical abuse, our goal at orcriminal defense firm is to help the family deal with this problem. The no contact order needs to get lifted and changed to “no harmful contact”. We will most times contact the State Attorney’s office and try and reason with them. Many times, even if the wife does not want to go forward, the prosecutor will not want to hear it. The prosecutors almost always believe that there is major abuse and many feel they have an obligation to protect the woman, and many times, this is simply not true.
There are real consequences to a domestic battery conviction. Say good bye to your concealed weapons license and if convicted, you can end up doing time in County jail.
Often we can resolve these cases with counseling or anger management sessions. If alcohol is the underlying cause, we can help there too. Having an experienced good lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome.
Jumping on the problem before it gets out of hand also can make a difference. We may be able to convince the prosecutor to drop the case or file a reduced charge if the original charge was aggravated battery. No two cases are the same and many times the wife and the husband want to reconcile and restore their relationship. Many times it is the wife that actually hires us to be the husband’s criminal defense lawyer.No two cases are the same and many times the wife and the husband want to reconcile and restore their relationship. Many times it is the wife that actually hires us to be the husband’s criminal defense lawyer.
If a loved one has been arrested because of a 911 call, at our criminal law office, it costs nothing for a free consultation. Most Fort Myers criminal defense lawyers will not charge you to simply come in and talk about getting help. Our philosophy where possible is to save the family relationship are get things back to normal. Help often is only a phone call away. Call Today People make mistakes: We are Not Here to Judge You, We are Here to Defend you.
Does the lawyer actually try DUI cases or does he have a reputation with the prosecutors for simply pleading the cases. Does the lawyer have prior experience as a prosecutor? It helps greatly to have a lawyer that knows the ropes and has handled DUI cases from the other side. You need to actually go and meet with the DUI lawyer, sit across the desk from him or her, and then ask yourself, “is this the lawyer I want standing beside me in the courtroom”?
Hiring a good experienced DUI lawyer is important. A DUI conviction in some cases, can land you in jail. It can cost you your license. It can affect your employment both now and in the future. It will affect your insurance rates. Most lawyers, including our firm, do not charge for an initial free consultation. You may be considering using the Public Defender but ask yourself this “if I was really sick, do I want to go to the public health department clinic”?
Even if you really were guilty, do not assume that you should plead guilty just to get it over with. A good lawyer may get the charges reduced and save your license. Take advantage of the “free initial consultation”, meet with the lawyer, discuss the facts of your case and then make an informed decision as to who you want representing you. If you drove under the influence, you have already made one bad decision. Don’t make another one by hiring the wrong lawyer.