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….

Hard time for Irma Crimes

Aiken and O’Halloran
SW Fl Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys
Ft Myers 239-334-8890
Charlotte 941-639-6009
Sarasota 941-366-3506
All Counties in Florida:

In the wake of hurricane Irma there is going to be a spike in arrests for crimes like burglary, dealing in stolen property and unlicensed contracting in counties like Lee, Charlotte, Manatee and Sarasota.

There is an old saying that says “desperate people do desperate things”.

Many people who lived week to week are now out of a job. Many people lost equipment and the temporary ability to earn a living. We are now on the road to recovery from Irma but there are still lingering effects of the storm. There have been arrests for price gouging during and immediately after the storm and there are going to be more arrests for unlicensed contracting in the next several weeks and months. There will be an increase in property crimes as people try and survive the hard times. If you or a relative have been arrested we may be able to help you avoid the consequences of a bad decision. Sadly, good people sometimes do bad things and a crisis can lead to a bad choice. Writing a worthless check or credit card fraud may have been what you had to do to survive, but it may have gotten you arrested. The State attorney has a lot of latitude is deciding what charge to file and how to resolve your case. As criminal defense lawyers in Sarasota ,Lee, Manatee and Charlotte, our job is to help you through these hard times. Restitution and probation are alternatives to jail. You don’t want to end up with a felony conviction as a result of an act done in desperation. If you made a mistake and need the legal help of a criminal defense lawyer, call us. Initial consultations are free

The Public Defender is swamped and most of the lawyers in the Public Defender’s office are overworked and underpaid. Hiring your own private lawyer may cost you a few bucks, but in the long run, may make a huge difference in the outcome. If you had a major illness, would you want to go to the public health clinic or your own doctor? Experience and hard work can make a difference in the outcome of a criminal case. Getting a good result is not an accident. There are immigration consequences to felony convictions and you cannot afford to run the risk of deportation.

If you want to talk, give us a call in:
Ft. Myers at 239 334 8890

Punta Gorda at 941 634 6009

Sarasota at 941 366 3506