Cocaine Arrests in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral on increase

Sean C. O’Halloran Experienced Ft Myers Criminal Defense Attorney 239-334-8890

 February 11 2020

Cocaine Arrests in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral on increase

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 file armed trafficking, again to run up the penalties

A drug arrest can ruin a college career.  It doesn’t have to be a hard drug like Cocaine or Heroin.  It can be a designer drug or even prescription drugs like

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.

The same goes for men.  It may be in a jacket or pants pocket, totally forgotten from months before.  As a criminal defense lawyer handling cases here in Lee County, I have had cases where a relative or friend borrows a car, a coat or piece of clothing then only to get arrested for something they had no idea was in their “possession”.

So, what is “Possession’?  You can have actual possession where 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.

Do not assume that because you have been arrested you will be found guilty.  Your car stop may have been illegal.  The search of your room may have been illegal.  If there was more than one person in the car you may have a fantastic defense.  Before you take drug court or some diversion program or probation, you really need to talk to a good criminal defense lawyer.

It may be weeks before a public defender actually has an office visit with you to discuss the specific facts of your case.  Sometimes “Diversion” or “Probation” can be a trap.  This is particularly true if you are a regular “user”.   Talking to a good criminal defense attorney may keep you from making a terrible mistake Most private lawyers don’t charge for a free initial consultation . If you are under investigation for possession of cocaine in FortMyers or have been arrested in Ft. Myers for cocaine possession and would like to know what you can do next…

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I cannot afford a lawyer….Will one be appointed for me?

Sean C. O’Halloran Aiken and O’Halloran Criminal Defense Law Office Fort Myers 239-334-8890 Sarasota 941-366-3506

February 7 2020

I cannot afford a lawyer….Will one be appointed for me?

On 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.

Talking to a criminal defense attorney before you are contacted by the police is absolutely critical.  We run into this all the time in Child pornography investigations and cases.  The police come with a search warrant.  They will take the suspect to a police SUV in the front yard where they secretly video tape a questioning.  They then ask things like “who had access to the computer”, “who else lives here”,  “Have you ever used Bittorrent or Utorrent or a peer to peer file sharing program”?  Sometimes they do not make the kiddie porn arrest that day and merely take the computers for future forensic examination. 

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….

How do I post bond for a friend or relative in Ft. Myers?

Sean C. O’Halloran Aiken and O’Halloran Criminal Defense Law Office Fort Myers 239-334-8890 Sarasota 941-366-3506

January 31 2020

How do I post bond for a friend or relative in Ft. Myers?

If you are reading this, it is probably because a loved one or a relative has been arrested.  Many people do not understand how the bail bond system works and reading this can save you some serious money.

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..

Here is how bond works.  You can post bond at the jail if you have the money.  If it is a low bond, and you have the money on hand, it is easy.  If it is a big bond you really need to talk to a lawyer first.  The lawyer may be able to get the bond reduced and it may cost you much less.

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, a criminal 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.

If a person was on probation when they got arrested on a new charge, you may be wasting money by bonding them out immediately.  You may pay the bondsman the fee, only to find out the next day your loved one is rearrested on a probation violation with no bond set.  In that case, you will have totally wasted the fee paid to the bondsman.

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.

Many times 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. 

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My husband got arrested for battery…..What now?

  • Sean C. O’Halloran
  • Aiken and O’Halloran
  • Ft Myers Criminal Defense Call: 239-334-8890

My husband got arrested for battery…..What now?

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 actual domestic violence and abuse in Ft Myers and there are situations where the women have been subjected to acts of violence, but in 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 girlfriendA 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 order can 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 or criminal defense firm is to help the family deal with this problemThe 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.

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How to find a good DUI lawyer in Ft. Myers

One of the most common reasons the average everyday ordinary person gets arrested if for driving under the influence.  Getting arrested is a traumatic experience and being cuffed, transported, searched, booked and printed is humiliating.  For many people this is their first contact with the criminal justice system and it can be overwhelming.  There are real consequences to a DUI conviction and having an experienced, good criminal lawyer can make a world of difference in the outcome.  There are hundreds of criminal defense lawyers here in Lee County and choosing the right one to represent you is a daunting challenge.  Never make a decision based solely on advertising or price.  Most importantly, do not wait to talk with a good criminal attorney because you may miss many deadlines that can impact your license.  The Public Defender many times only gets appointed too late to deal with deadlines and generally only deals with the criminal court issues and not your license issues.

Price is something most people have to consider, but getting a bargain lawyer is like buying a bargain parachute.  There is an old saying in life that “you get what you pay for” but you have to balance that with the reality of not over paying for good representation.  So how do you go about selecting a really good DUI lawyer here in Ft. Myers or Cape Coral?  Experience is a factor that should be considered.  How long has the lawyer been handling DUI cases?  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”?

  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”?

Your next decision, “who to hire” is an important one so take the time to actually go meet with the lawyer that is going to represent you.  There may be good solid defenses in your case.  The police may have violated your rights.  The “stop” may have not been valid.  The breathalyzer results may not be admissible in Court.  A good DUI lawyer may find a defect in the State’s case.

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.

Christmas Party DUI Arrests

Here in Ft. Myers and Cape Coral over the next two weeks Driving under the Influence arrests are going to spike.  In the days before Christmas, many of us are attending holiday office parties and Christmas gatherings.  Many people who normally do not drink will have one or two drinks and become impaired.  For people who are not used to alcohol, it only takes a little bit, one or two drinks, to affect their ability to drive.  This is particularly true for non drinkers.  People can build up a tolerance to alcohol and some people can function after three or four drinks, where some become impaired after just a little bit of alcohol.

If you find yourself arrested for DUI over the holidays, it is probably because of a bad decision to drink and drive.  You now face an important decision on getting legal representation and hiring the best lawyer for a DUI is critical.  Not all lawyers understand the complexities of DUI law.  Imagine how losing your license for six months or a year will change your life.  Imagine how it will affect your job, your insurance rates and your family.  There will be checkpoints over the holidays here in Lee County and many people are going to get stopped and many will be charged with driving under the influence.  Who do you hire to represent you?

Some people either do not have the funds to hire a good dui lawyer or cannot raise the money and will use the Public Defender.  Sadly, the Public Defender deals only with the criminal aspects of the case and not many of the license pitfalls that occur administratively.  Having your own private DUI lawyer is critical to getting a good result that covers both your criminal case and your license issues.  At Aiken and O’Halloran, we have decades of experience in defending DUI arrests.  It is important to understand the consequences of pleading guilty.  Even if deep down you really were impaired, resolving your case for a lesser charge may be possible.  If there was a collision, or worse yet an injury, it is critical to avoid a conviction if at all possible.

Most law firms, including ours, do not charge for a free consultation, and there are many time deadlines you may miss if you wait until your court date to consult an attorney.  Hiring a lawyer should not be based on advertising alone.  Sean O’halloran, here at Aiken and O’halloran will be more than happy to answer questions you may have on how to go forward.  Experience does count when it comes to defending DUI cases, you may have defenses you are unaware of.  Do not assume you are “legally guilty” and simply plea guilty at your first arraignment.  If you need information on the options and decisions you now face, we can help you in that process.

Profile Stops, Illegal detentions and bogus drug arrests

Were you stopped, searched and arrested in Ft. Myers of Cape Coral?  Did the police make it look like a routine traffic stop?  Did the officer claim he smelled marijuana?  Did they bring a drug dog?  Did they claim your tint was too dark or your tag light to dim?

The police often make up reasons to make a profile stop to justify a detention and search of a vehicle. They know what to say and what to put in their reports.  They know how to make an illegal stop look legal.  The simple fact is, if you look out of place in the neighborhood, or are in a high crime area, they will find a reason to stop and search your car.  They are not supposed to make racial profile stops, but they do.  They will disguise it as a traffic stop for rolling through a stop sign or failing to signal a turn.  They will find a reason.  They may claim they smell marijuana when they come up to the car.  They may then ask to search or take their time writing a bogus ticket while the drug dog is one the way.

Having an experienced drug lawyer, a criminal defense lawyer, experienced in handling illegal stop cases is important.  You need a lawyer that knows the law when it comes to illegal searches and seizures.  You may be able to get all of the evidence suppressed and win the case.

Many people do not know the law.  Many people go to the Early Resolution Court (ERC) and jump at a probation offer, not knowing that they may have had a very valid defense.  The Courts want to move the docket.  The public defender may have a lot of cases.  The prosecutor may have a lot of cases and there is subtle pressure to move things along.  You really should know your options before you jump at a probation offerMost criminal defense law firms do not charge for a free consultation.  At our firm, the initial consultation is free.  You need to look before you leap because probation may ultimately not be the right thing for your lifestyle.

If you want an unbiased evaluation of your facts and the law, feel free to give us a call and discuss in confidentiality the fact surrounding your stop and arrest in Ft. Myers, Lehigh or the CapeGive us a call at 239 334 8890

Destroy your bump stock now or face a Federal Felony

If you own or possess a bump stock for an AR-15 or AK-47 rifle you could face Federal arrest and prosecution if you do not immediately destroy it.  The ATF has posted diagrams of the acceptable way of destroying them.  You may have paid good money for one of these devices, but if you get caught with one, you are facing penalties for illegal possession of a machine gun.   This can land you in Federal prison under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  It is simply not worth it.  Destroy them now

As a Federal criminal defense lawyer I am advising you to destroy them now.  What you face in terms of arrest, jail time and legal fees is simply not worth it.  You may be thinking, “no one knows I have it”, “I hate to throw away the money”, but, you have to bite the bullet and permanently get rid of it by way of destruction.  Do not try and sell it or even give it away. You can expect the ATF to begin tracing the people who purchased these over the Internet.  Basically, the Feds have determined that there is no legitimate domestic need or use in making a select fire assault rifle fully automatic.  The Las Vegas mass shooting is responsible for this clarification of the law.

Over the years, at our Ft. Myers criminal defense firm we have handled many types of firearms cases, including silencers and other types of destructive devices.  The Federal Courts come down hard on these types of violations and it is not worth going to jail for possessing something that you think is “cool”.  The same goes for silencers.  I have been in Court when a Federal prosecutor argues to a judge that a silencer is an instrument of death.  People claim that there is a legitimate use in hunting or target practice, but the truth is that these weapons are intended for one primary purpose.  I am a believer in the Second Amendment and handle lots of firearms cases, but you really need to think twice about violating a Federal firearms law.

Many people are not going to comply with this new regulation.  If you illegally possess one of these devices, you run the risk of accidently getting caught with it in your home or in your car.  If you are reading this blog too late and need help give us a call at 239 334 8890

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

Who is the best criminal lawyer in Charlotte County?

Most lawyers advertise, and as in all of business it is difficult to determine whether or not the service will live up to the claims in advertising. If you want to find the best DUI lawyer in Punta Gorda or the best criminal lawyer in Port Charlotte the first step is to decide what type of lawyer you are seeking.


Many times, it depends on the type of case. Some lawyers specialize in traffic tickets, DUI cases and misdemeanors. Other lawyers handle mostly felonies and serious cases. Choosing the best lawyer depends on your specific needs.


All lawyers are not created equal. Some lawyers have years of experience and some have relatively none. Some criminal law attorneys have a background as a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer or other special skills, in addition to the minimum qualifications for being eligible to practice law. Would you want a “ticket lawyer” handling a serious felony charge like trafficking in drugs, DUI homicide or some charge carrying a minimum mandatory sentence in State prison?


You need to go beyond the lawyer’s ad and actually Google the lawyer. If you are dealing with a firm, how long have they been in business? How many cases have the lawyers handled? What type of cases do the generally handle? Although reviews are helpful, as we all know, reviews can be manipulated. Nothing beats an in person interview with the lawyer. Meet and see him in person. As you talk to the lawyer, ask pointed questions. As yourself, is this the lawyer I want standing beside me in the courtroom? Can I trust my freedom to this lawyer?


If you get charged with a sex crime, and are facing thirty years or possibly life, would you want a lawyer that has handled lots of sex crime cases? If you have a probation violation in Punta Gorda, would you want lawyers that have been there for ten years, knows the system, and have handled hundreds of similar cases?


The bottom line is, do not choose a lawyer based solely on advertising.


If you want the best, do your homework. Some lawyers specialize in advertising and simply refer cases to other lawyers for a living. They seldom if ever show up in Court. If you are looking for the “real thing”, spend a few hours on the Internet researching their qualifications and experience. Do not shop for the cheapest lawyer when your freedom is at stake. Do not opt for the public defender if you can afford your own lawyer. Do not fall for the trap of probation if a good lawyer could have won your case. Would you want to buy the cheapest parachute? Do you want the cheapest life raft? Chances are, a mistake in judgement got you into your current situation. Don’t make another mistake by hiring the wrong lawyer.

Click here: To Visit Our Aiken O’Halloran and Foley Criminal Defense Website