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.

What is an organized Scheme to Defraud?

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

What is an organized scheme to defraud? When the State Attorney really wants to load up the charges on you, they charge you with an organized scheme to defraud.  They use this charge as a “catch all” to run up the sentencing guidelines.  As with any fraud, it usually focuses on a “false representation” about a future act.  They come after builders and contractors who have not lived up to their promises.  This statute is often misused and people who merely went broke are unfairly targeted.

Try something….Go on Google and ask “What percentage of small businesses fail?”  You will be shocked at the answer.  Going broke does not make you a criminal.  Not being able to pay your past due Florida Sales Tax often is not intentional, but rather an act of desperation.  Not being able to live up to a contract, does not make you a crook.  As a white collar lawyer, in Sarasota, Ft Myers, Bradenton, Cape Coral, Palmetto, Port Charlotte, Hillsborough and St Petersburg over the years I have defended all types of cases involving fraudulent representations.  Many times, most times, it is not a matter of an intentional misrepresentation, but rather ignorance or simply not being a savvy business man or woman.  The sad truth is, most small businesses fail.  Even large businesses fail.  Bankruptcy many times is not a matter of choice. 

What are the most common business pitfalls?  Not remitting your payroll tax to the IRS is a huge one.  Not remitting Florida Sales tax that you collected is another.  That one will get you charged with grand theft in most instances.  The Internet has greatly expanded the way scammers operate. The internet has also led to normal people being wrongfully charged for simply making a bad business decision or mistakes.  Good People do make mistakes and get arrested, but in the real world, sometimes, agents, detectives and prosecutors cannot tell the difference between a mistake and an intentional fraud.

Hiring a good white collar crime lawyer is critical.  Many DUI lawyers simple do not have the technical background to understand complicated fraud cases. 

Peter Aiken is a former IRS Special Agent, a former Federal Prosecutor and forensic accountant. Peter D. Aiken has been defending complicated fraud cases for decades.  There is a world of difference between having prosecuted fraud cases and defending them.  Experience is ‘defending” is really important.  There are a lot of criminal lawyers who have backgrounds in prosecution, but many do not have real experience defending complicated tax cases, embezzlement cases, money laundering cases and Ponzi scheme cases. 

If you find yourself “under Investigation, have gotten a Federal Grand Jury “target letter” or are under investigation by an IRS Special Agent, do not try and talk your way out of it.  You will only dig yourself a hole and end up in Federal prison.  Most lawyers to do not charge for an initial consultation and all lawyers are sworn to confidentiality, even if you don’t end up hiring them.  If you find yourself in a “sticky” situation and have real criminal exposure, be smart enough to seek really good experience legal advice before you take another step.  If you need to talk, or have a question and want to confidentially discuss a problem, give us a call.