Bond Out or Hire a Lawyer?



When people are arrested for a serious felony like trafficking in heroin, lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor or sexual battery, judges at initial appearance often set super high bail bonds. The relatives have to make a decision as to whether or not to bond their loved one out of jail. On the one hand, they are getting frantic calls saying “get me out of here” but on the other hand have a limited budget. All too often, as a Ft. Myers criminal defense lawyer I see families spend every last dime on bail bond and then be stuck with the public defender for trial. Hiring a top notch criminal defense lawyer should be the number one priority. Bail Bondsmen, by law, have to charge a 10% fee for writing and posting the bail bond. That fee can be huge if the bond is high. People are better off hiring a defense attorney who can then go to Court and get the bond reduced in a bail reduction hearing. The money saved can go a long way in providing a top quality defense. The challenge, in this the day of lawyer advertising, is finding the best criminal defense lawyer in Lee County. There is a world of difference between criminal defense lawyers in terms of their experience and success rate. If a lawyer claims he is the “best”, look out. If a lawyer says “I know the judge”, walk away. If a lawyer is referred by bondsman, take that with a grain of salt and do your own homework on that lawyer’s reputation. In the real world, in Ft. Myers, some of the bondmen have a relationship with certain lawyers and you have to be careful that there is not an ulterior motive behind the referral.
Another common problem is that lawyers have similar names or names that sound alike. If you are calling an attorney, be sure you are getting the one you are actually trying to reach. I am Sean O’Halloran and am exclusively a criminal lawyer. I am partners with Peter Aiken, a thirty year veteran criminal defense lawyer. There are other lawyers with my same last name, so it is easy to get confused. Be sure you are getting “the” Sean O’Halloran.
No lawyer can ethically claim to be the “best”, although in this town, some do. What you really need is the lawyer that is “best” for your particular type of case. You need a lawyer that has extensive experience with your particular types of case and set of facts. For example, if you are arrested in an Internet Sex Sting, you might want to consider Peter Aiken who has handled over thirty such cases in the last four years. If you have drug arrest in Ft. Myers or an aggravated battery or domestic violence case, you may wish to consider someone like myself, Sean C. O’Halloran, that actually prosecuted those types of cases in Punta Gorda and Ft. Myers. Many lawyers are former prosecutors. Some have just recently come out into private practice. You want a lawyer that has actually been defending criminal cases for a long time, not someone new to the defense field. Hiring a lawyer is a decision that should not be based on Billboards or slick advertising. Do your homework. Go meet with the lawyer. Ask detailed questions about experience and then decide “Is this the lawyer I want standing beside me in Court”?
A good lawyer will tell you the truth, not just what you want to hear. Everyone wants to hear “It will all be OK”. Do not fall for false promises. If you or a loved one have been arrested in Lee, Charlotte of Sarasota County and want good honest answers, you can call anyone of our three offices or call now to speak with me, Sean O’Halloran at 239 334 8890