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.


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.

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.

Who is the best criminal defense lawyer in Ft. Myers?

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

When a person gets arrested in Ft. Myers or the Cape, this is one of the first questions they ask.

The real question should be “who is the best lawyer for me, for this kind of charge Lawyers are in some respects like doctors.  You would not want a foot doctor working on your heart.  All lawyers go to law school and have to pass a test for minimum qualification, but there expertise and experience in a particular area is something you should be looking for.  Do you want a ticket lawyer handling a serious sex charge or serious felony?  Most lawyers advertise, but as in all of life, you have to take advertising with a grain of salt.  Just because some lawyer may claim he is the best, does not mean he is the right lawyer for you.  Here are the things you need to consider:

What was I arrested and charged with?

Are you in State Court or Federal Court?  State court covers 90% of most cases.  In State Court, it can be either a misdemeanor in County Court or a Felony in Circuit Court.  It makes a huge difference because the consequence in Circuit Court are different.  State County Court covers things like DUI, petit theft, domestic battery, and other relatively minor offenses.

Circuit Court covers felonies like drugs, violent crimes, grand theft and sex offenses.  A felony charge is a big deal because it can land you in State prison.

Does the lawyer have experience in this type of case?

All lawyers are not created equal.  Some may have lots of experience at advertising.  Some may only try and sign you up and refer you to someone else to handle.  Some may tell you what you want to hear to get you to hire them.  Some may have little experience actually trying cases.  How long has the lawyer practiced here in Lee County Is he or she going to actually handle your case?  How many trials has the lawyer actually handled where he defended someone?  Many criminal defense lawyers are former prosecutors and that is a great way to learn, but there is a world of difference between prosecuting a case and defending a case.  Experience in your particular type of case is a huge factor to consider.

Does the lawyer have local experience?

It is important to know the lay of the land and understand the judges and prosecutors where your case is being handled.  Does the lawyer have experience in negotiating with the local prosecutors?  Has the lawyer been before your judge before?  Does the lawyer understand the local policies and procedures?

Can I afford to hire the best lawyer for me ?

Sadly, most people struggle to raise enough money to hire a good private lawyer.  Getting arrested is a crisis just like a hurricane or some other disaster.  A conviction can have terrible consequences.  Most people have to rely on relatives and friends to help.  Some lawyer charge low fees and are “cheap”.  Ask yourself this.  Would I want to buy the cheapest parachute or the cheapest life raft?  You have to strike a balance between what you can afford and what you need.  Free representation with the Public Defender may not be the best choice.  If you have a serious illness, with dire consequences, do you want to go to the Public Health Clinic?

Do you homework on the lawyer’s background.

Hiring a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based on advertising alone and you should have faith in the lawyer you hire just like the faith you have in your doctor.  Talk to the lawyer.  Does he inspire confidence?  Does he have experience?  Is he polite or condescending?

Go meet with him and form you own opinion.  Is this the person I want standing beside me in Court?  Can I trust him with my future?

The bottom line is that some lawyers claim they are the best.  Talk is cheap.  No good ethical lawyer will ever claim he is the best.  The real issue is “Who is the best for me”

Research the lawyer.  Check his or her ratings.  Some lawyer pay for advertising with national companies and services and ratings are not always accurate.

Bottom line…..Make a well thought out informed decision on who to hire.

CLICK “HERE” To Visit our Lee County Criminal Defense Website

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

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

What is a bail bond? What does it cost? What should I do?

If a loved one has just been arrested and called you from jail, what should you do?  Chances are, they are panicked, upset, crying and begging you to “get me out of here”.  Their only thought is “I want out now”

When a person is arrested, the following day, they are taken before a judge for “First Appearance”, if they have not already bonded out.  If it is a minor charge, a DUI, or a misdemeanor, chances are, you can get them out by either posting cash, or hiring a bondsmanIf it is a serious felony such as a sex crime, trafficking in drugs, aggravated assault or sometimes a domestic battery, your first call should be to a criminal defense lawyer.

A bondsman charges a fee called a “premium” to post a bail bond.  By law, in Florida that fee is set at 10% of the bond.   That means that if the bond is set high, for example at $100,000, it will cost you ten thousand dollars in a “fee” to the bondsman to get them out.  Many times, a good lawyer can get that bond reduced to a reasonable lower bond and save you a ton of money.  You may be able to save enough to pay for the lawyer.  Using a bondsman is often a very wise and good decision, and I highly recommend doing so.  Before you do that though, talk to a lawyer because the amount of the bond might get reducedYou need a lawyer at your loved one’s first appearance.  It can make a huge difference in the amount of the bond the judge sets.  It may save you an enormous amount of money.  If your spouse or relative calls from jail, your next call should be to a criminal defense lawyer.  Most defense lawyers are reachable 24/7, and an initial consultation is generally free.  As a Lee County criminal defense attorney, I want to see them out of jail also, but talking to a lawyer immediately can save you a bundle.

If you get a call from a loved one in jail, and want to talk, Call 239 334 8890

Probation Violations….Why they occur?

Did you know that more people get arrested in Ft. Myers for probation violations than any other reason?  Probation violations are on the rise in Lee County.  People are getting arrested on no bond holds.  They find themselves sitting in jail waiting for a probation violation hearing.  Why are probation violations on the increase?

One of the answers may be that more and more people are being placed on probation in the Early Resolution Court (ERC).  Although well intended, sometimes the Early Resolution Court may work to a person’s disadvantage.  If you are an addict, and you get placed on probation, unless you get help with your addiction, chances are, you are going to get violated and you are going to jail.  Sadly, to save money, many people are simply pleading “no contest” to charges they could have beaten.  The police sometimes violate the rights of the people they arrest.  They may make a “profile stop” because of a person race or ethnicity.  They may detain a person longer than necessary on a traffic stop to allow time to bring a drug sniffing dog.  They may make a “pretext stop” claiming that a driver’s tint is too dark or the tag light is not working.  They may induce a person to unknowingly consent to a search of a vehicle.

Unless a good, qualified, experienced criminal defense lawyer looks into the facts, many times really good defenses are overlooked.  It may be unwise to simply rush into a plea, just to save the cost of hiring your own defense lawyer.  Sometimes in life “free” is not the best way to go.  There is an old saying in life that “you get what you pay for” and in my opinion, no person who has been arrested should make the decision to enter a plea without having a one on one confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Most lawyers, including our criminal defense firm, do not charge for an initial consultation.  If you have been arrested, and the judge at first appearance has set you for an appearance at “Early Resolution Court”, think long and hard before proceeding without a lawyer’s advice.

Many people opt for using the Public Defender, even though they can really afford to hire a private lawyer.  That may or may not be a wise decision.  If you have criminal charges pending, feel free to call for a confidential free consultation 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