Another Shooting in Ft. Myers


Yesterday there was the eleventh death in Ft. Myers this year from gunfire. This happened the same day the police were scheduled to give a presentation on the efforts to combat gun violence. No one seems to want to report the race of the victims of these shootings or the perpetrators. Only four of the homicides have been solved but almost all of them are in what is referred to as “the hood”. There is an epidemic nationwide of black on black homicides from firearms. Have the police tempered their presence and investigations out of fear of being called racists? Why has gun crime gone up so dramatically in the last year in Ft. Myers?
We live in a society where you cannot watch TV for an hour without seeing some show involving guns and violence. The video games mostly involve graphic violence. The rap music involves violence. Almost all of the movies involve gun violence. Has society conditioned our youth, and are we now living with kids that are almost sociopathic when it comes to violence? It has become accepted. Years ago, I went to a fourth grade class in a predominantly black neighborhood to speak. I asked them how many of them had actually seen a dead person. Every hand went up. Every one of the kids had been exposed to gun violence and death. We live in one of the most violent times in American history. The kids in the hood think nothing of “popping a cap in yo ass”. The problem in America is not guns.  The problem is the glorification of shooting and killing to the point it has become ingrained in our youth.
As a criminal defense lawyer, I have noticed a dramatic change in our youth. Violence has become a way of life and carrying a gun commonplace. Increasing the penalties with minimum mandatory sentences hasn’t seemed to work. We need to address the underlying cause of the problem. Guns and gun violence are a symptom of a much deeper underlying problem. Drugs and guns go hand in hand. Many of the shootings may be drug related. Dealing drugs for some is seen as the only way to make a living. With no family structure, no education and no opportunity, for some, it is the only way out. As a society, we need to come together and address the issues of education, poverty and opportunity. We need to treat the cause

Fifty Rounds fired in Ft. Myers Shooting on Thomas Street in October 2015


On Monday there was a shooting exchange on Thomas Street here in Ft. Myers. The police claim that so many shots were fired, each side had time to reload. The police had advance notice of a possible shooting but were unable to stop it. This comes on the heels of the shooting at Zombiecon several weeks ago. All across America gun violence is up and there seems to be no end. Most of the victims are black and fall victim to other young black shooters. Gun violence is now the number one cause of death for young black men.
Many young black men carry guns in self defense. Many feel the need to protect themselves from gang violence or robbery. Many have a minor conviction that keeps them from obtaining a concealed weapons permit and run the risk of getting a concealed weapons charge out of sheer necessity. There is an old saying “better to be tried by twelve than carried by six”.
Carrying a gun does not make you a thug. Protecting yourself and your family is important. As a Ft. Myers criminal defense firm, we have been defending gun charges for years. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon can land you in State prison. You may have a valid defense and before pleading to this charge, think twice. There may be a technical defense if the gun was found as a result of an illegal search or in a jointly occupied car. It may not be your gun. You may not have put it there. You may now have known it was there. Someone else’s prints may be on it. Remember, fingerprints can be on the bullets in the clip, as well as on the gun itself. If the gun was found in a house or apartment, someone else may also be living or staying there. There may be witnesses who can prove it is not yours. You may have a good defense.
How do you find the best lawyer for a gun charge? Do your homework. Some lawyers are big on billboards and television ads. Some get their business from bondsmen and some from slick Internet ads. If you go on the Internet, you will find all kinds of lawyer referral services where the lawyers pay for top spots. The simple answer is “ask around” and look for a local lawyer with real experience and real satisfied clients. Sean O’Hallornan was raised here in Ft. Myers. His dad is a lawyer here and Sean was a prosecutor here for years. He knows the system here. In a criminal justice system where over 90% of the cases get resolved without a trial, you need a top notch negotiator with real in Court experience, not just some slick advertiser. If you or a loved one caught a gun charge, Call 239 334 8890 for a free consultation


What is a Lawyers Free Consultation?


What is a free consultation?

Does it cost money to talk to a lawyer? Many lawyers charge an hourly fee just to speak to them about retaining their services. You should not have to pay a fee to initially discuss your situation. Hiring a lawyer is a big decision and choosing the best lawyer for a criminal case is a decision that should not be based on advertising but rather a personal interview. If your loved one is in jail, you need a criminal defense attorney that will go to the jail and speak with him, or her, in person, and that should not cost you money. At our criminal defense firm, all of our initial consultations are free. We will meet you in person, or go to the jail if necessary, so the person under arrest can see the lawyer in person before making a decision.

What if I am under investigation?

If you find out the police want to talk to you, or find out someone has accused you of a crime, do not wait until the police come, or you are arrested, to talk to a lawyer. Get in for a free consultation immediately. Many times, hiring a lawyer in the beginning can make a huge difference.A good criminal attorney may be able to speak to the detectives or the prosecutor and may be able to keep you from being arrested. This is particularly true in sex crime investigations. Finding and preserving evidence that you did not do it, and getting sworn statements from witnesses, in the very early stages is critical. Many people do not want to hire an attorney until after they have been picked up. That is a mistake. Simply picking up the phone and speaking with an attorney may give you the satisfaction of knowing that if something bad does happen, you have a lawyer on stand by.

Here in Ft. Myers, some lawyers charge simply to talk to them and others do not. WE DO NOT.

Here are some rules to live by:
Never make a statement to the police without talking to a lawyer first.
Never consent to a search or your car or house….demand a search warrant.
Never surrender your computer or cell phone……demand a warrant.
Never give investigators a password to your phone or computer.
If they read you your rights, shut up and demand to see a lawyer
Never let them bully you or trick you into talking.

If you follow these rules, your chances of winning are greatly increased

Our job is problem solving. We are in Lee county, in Fort Myers and do this for a living. Call Sean C. O’Halloran for a free consultation
239 334 8890

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


Heroin Trafficking Arrests up in Bradenton and Sarasota


Over the weekend, there were two more arrests in Manatee County for trafficking in Heroin. Ever since the crackdown on pills and the Florida Data Base for prescriptions, heroin trafficking has increased. Heroin is not limited to the “Ghetto” or the “hood”, and heroin use is now touching middle class families as well as some of the more affluent residents here in Sarasota.
The danger is when heroin is cut or mixed with other drugs and when cut like that, it poses a high risk of death. Heroin overdoses are up and heroin sales are increasing. Many people get into dealing in order to support their habit. The money they make selling heroin is all used to purchase heroin for themselves. It is a tough habit to break and opiate addiction always has a bad ending. If a person gets arrested for trafficking here in Sarasota or Manatee, they face long minimum mandatory prison sentences.
Did you know America leads the world in the number of people in prison? Did you know the number one reason is drugs? In my opinion, drug addictions should be treated as a medical issue. Treatment is the answer not prison. Prevention, not prosecution, should be our focus. As a criminal defense lawyer, over the years, I have handled thousands of drug cases. Probation is not necessarily the best answer for a hard core addict. That will usually result in a probation violation arrest soon after being placed on probation. Sometime, a short stay in jail is the only way to successfully detox. Everyone want to bond out immediately. Why? They need a fix and their body is crying out for the drug. Sometimes you have to tough it out for a few days and clear your head. What you have to avoid is spending a large portion of your life in State prison.
If a loved one has been arrested and is in jail for heroin, call 941 366 3506 and talk to me free