Is Probation in some cases a trap?

Attorney Peter D Aiken Criminal Defense Sarasota, Florida 941-366-3506
Attorney Peter D Aiken
Criminal Defense
Sarasota, Florida

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Is Probation in some cases a trap?

Unfortunately, sometimes what looks like a good deal can end badly.

This is particularly true if you are addicted to opiates. Many people get hooked on Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percocet and other opiates while suffering from real injuries. This is particularly true with people who got injured in an automobile accident. The doctors sometimes are a little careless when it comes to prescribing opiates when other less addicting medications could work as well. People with pending personal injury cases are particularly susceptible to getting hooked because sometimes the doctors are trying to document pain treatment for a personal injury settlement purposes.

If you become addicted chances are you will increase the dosage on your own.

Opiates require more pills to get the same result.

Before you know it, you are hooked.

When the scripts run out, I have seen people switch to heroin because it is easy to get here in Sarasota. If you have moved on to heroin, you now have a real problem.

There are not any old heroin addicts.

Heroin addicts end up dead or in prison.

Probation for a heroin addict is not an option. Treatment is the only answer. Methadone is not a good option. It is just another form of addiction where you supposedly get a legal substitute for heroin.
As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer my goal is to get people help. Drug Court if you take it seriously is a good option. It really does work if you follow the program. In my opinion, jail is not a viable alternative although in the short run, it forces a detox. The detox is tough but it may save your life. If you are addicted, get help before you run afoul of the criminal justice system. If you already have been arrested for drug possession or for obtaining an unauthorized script and you want to explore your options, give me a call at 941 366 3506

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Active Warrant for a Violation of Probation?

Sean C. O’Halloran
Experienced Criminal Defense Probation Violation Attorney
Ft Myers 239-334-8890
Sarasota 941-366-3506


If you live in Ft. Myers, Port Charlotte, Sarasota or Bradenton, did you know that the number one reason people get arrested is for a violation of Probation.

In Lee County, more people were arrested for a violation than any other reason.  It is easy to screw up and violate.  It can be something as simple as not letting your probation officer know that you moved.  It can be a dirty urine for either pot, pills or cocaine or something you have no control over, like not paying your costs of supervision, restitution or court costs.  Many people will plea to a charge and agree to pay restitution, and then later lose their job or benefits, and not be able to pay.  If your probation officer tells you he is submitting an affidavit for a violation to the judge, you need to reach out and contact a good criminal lawyer right away.  You may have used the Lee County public defender for your original case and that may be why you find yourself in a pickle now.  You may have agreed to restitution you cannot pay.  You may be an addict and had a slip while on probation.  You may have been ordered to get an anger management evaluation and simply forgot to get it or not had the money for it. You may have traveled out of County without permission.  If you are on sex offender probation, that is entirely another story.  The probation department is absolutely out to find some reason, no matter how small, to file a violation report.  Although in theory the goal of probation is rehabilitation, when it comes to sex offenders the goal is to put you in jail.
As criminal defense attorneys we deal with violations all the time.  As a sex crime lawyer, I handle sex offender probation violations and you have to take them seriously.  A sex offender probation violation will land you in State prison for years.  To prove a violation, the State has to show that the violation is willful and substantial. Our goal is to get you a second chance and get your reinstated and keep you from jail.  Many times when the warrant is executed and you are picked up, you are held without bond.  It is for that very reason, you have to hire a good lawyer before you are picked up.  Find a way to raise the money to do it.  A good experience criminal lawyer can make a huge difference in the outcome.
If you think you are about to be violated for a probation violationcall Sean O’Halloran at 239 334 8890 in Ft. Myers or Charlotte County at 941-639-6009, if you live in Sarasota County or Manatee County, call Peter Aiken at941 366 3506 for a free consultation.  Do not wait and get arrested call now



Probation can be a Slippery Slope to Jail


Did you know the number one reason people are arrested is for a violation of probation.  More people are rearrested for a violation of probation than any other reason.  Do not take probation lightly.  Probation is a second chance and the judges take it seriously.  Probation does restrict your lifestyle.  You can’t smoke weed anymore.  You can’t pop pills, get high or get rowdy like you used to.  If you are on probation for a DUI, you probably cannot drive and you really should not get drunk or tipsy.

Why do people get violated?

Probation officers have hundreds of cases assigned to them.  If they can find a reason to violate you, it is one less person for them to supervise.  Many are just looking for some good reason to violate you and get you off of their caseload.  Many probation officers have an “attitude” and will bust you for some silly technical violation.  If you haven’t paid restitution, haven’t paid your costs of supervision or haven’t paid your court costs, look out.  When it get close to the end of your probation, your officer will file an affidavit for a violation of probation with the Court and an arrest warrant will issue.  You will wake up in jail, waiting for a probation violation hearing and sit there for weeks.  You will wake up in jail, waiting for a probation violation hearing and sit there for weeks.  Pay attention to your probation terms.  If you do not have the money, write a letter to your probation officer explaining why you cannot pay.  The Court is not supposed to violate you if you do not have the ability to pay.  In the meantime, however, you may sit in jail for weeks waiting for a violation hearing.

Another common reason for a violation is a dirty urine.  Never admit to smoking or using.  Never admit to smoking or using.  Never admit to smoking or using
Never change your address without letting them know.  Do not wait until your next report date, Notify your PO immediately of any change in your status.  If you are on house arrest or community control, follow the schedule religiously.  Be where you are supposed to be, when you are supposed to be.

If you slip and use coke, meth or pot, get some help immediately.  Drug addiction is a sickness and being addicted to Opiates or Heroin is an illness that needs treatment, not imprisonment.  If you find yourself going down that path again, check into a rehab.  Your probation officer is much more likely to give you a break if you are trying to help yourself.
As a Sarasota Probation violation Criminal Defense attorney,I handle probation violations almost every week.

If you get on the front end of the problem, you are much more likely to stay out of jail or prison.  If you think you are going to have a problem of a violation, call for a free consultation in Sarasota at 941 366 3506 or you can call our Probation Violation Lawyers in Ft. Myers office at 239 334 8890

Summer Misdemeanor Crime is up: FDLE Arrests Shop Clerks who fail to check ID


Call 239-334-8890 ft Myers

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Sarasota 941-366-3506


Summer Misdemeanor Crime is up: FDLE Arrests Shop Clerks who fail to check ID
Our alcohol laws do not make any sense.  This certainly isn’t news to military personnel who volunteer to put their lives on the line as they are deployed to foreign combat theatres where they are likely to be attacked with modern weapons or improvised explosive devices.  Many will return home from such a tour of duty to be told that the State does not believe they are responsible enough to enjoy a beer with dinner.
Ask the average person on the street which crime they feel damages society the most, and few will answer that they lie awake in bed at night petrified that some shopkeeper somewhere might sell someone under 21 a beer.
In other countries (virtually ALL other countries, by the way) kids are taught how to drink before they are taught how to drive.  Removing the “forbidden fruit” phenomenon helps to combat some of the more dangerous binge drinking and drug use we see at college campuses in this country.
Removing the “forbidden fruit” phenomenon helps to combat some of the more dangerous binge drinking and drug use we see at college campuses in this country.  The person (possibly an adult old enough to be deployed in a foreign combat zone) goes into the store and attempts to purchase alcohol.  If they are successful in purchasing alcohol, the clerk is arrested.
Arrested, you ask?  Yes, arrested.  Taken to jail.  Taken to jail.  Given a jail uniform.  Placed into the general population.  What if the person has no criminal history?  Doesn’t matter.  They are going to jail. After the fact possibly facing challenges of trying to get or keep a job while taking on demanding terms of probation.
Hopefully we can all sleep more soundly tonight.
If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for an alcohol related offense, or the result of a “compliance check” at a local liquor store, contact our office for a free consultation. Call Peter D Aiken of Aiken, O’Halloran and Associates in Sarasota and Manatee County 941-366-3506  Lee County 239-334-8890

Is Your Loved One in Jail on a Probation Violation?

Aiken and O’Halloran of SW Florida
Ft Myers



Call SARASOTA: 941-366-3506   FORT MYERS 239-334-8890

Florida Probation Violation Attorneys Aiken, O’Halloran and Associates

Is Your Loved One in Jail on a Probation Violation?
Contact us so that we can arrange to go talk to your loved one in jail
More people get arrested for a probation violation in Sarasota County than any other reason. Maybe pleading guilty was not a good idea. Maybe probation is NOT for you.
Many people without private attorneys plead to probation just to get their case over with.
Sarasota, Bradenton and Ft Myers Bond Hearing Attorneys
Sometimes, probation is a trap. Consult with one of our experienced criminal lawyers at Aiken, O’Halloran & Associates before pleading to probation. If a probation violation warrant resulted in your arrest and you are in jail on a no-bond hold for a violation, our Florida bond hearing attorneys may be able to help. If you committed a technical violation such as:
•    Dirty urine or pee test
•    Missed a probation appointment
•    Did not pay court costs or fees
•    Did not pay probation costs
•    Moved without telling your probation officer
We may be able to get you reinstated if you committed a new offense and got arrested for:
•    Drug use or possession
•    Prescription fraud
•    Driving on a suspended license
•    DUI
•    Domestic violence
We may be able to get you into rehab or treatment. The truth is many violations occur because you are addicted, have a chemical dependency to alcohol, cocaine, pills or marijuana. Addiction is a sickness that can be treated.
Probation Violations Are Not Hopeless
The criminal defense lawyers at Aiken, O’Halloran & Associates will work to keep you out of jail. We will try to convince the prosecution and the judge that your mistake or error in judgment should not put you back in jail. There are alternatives such as:
•    Probation reinstatement
•    Modification of probation
•    Drug offender probation
•    In-patient drug treatment
•    Drug rehab
•    Probation extensions
•    Probation termination
Call our Sarasota  and Fort Myers probation violation lawyers today at 941-366-3506 or 239-334-8890 for a free consultation or contact us online to learn about your options.



How Can I Get Off Probation Early



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If you are on probation in the State of Florida, depending on the nature of the charges and the sentence, and depending on how you have done so far, you may be eligible for what is known as an “early termination”.  Hopefully, your lawyer mentioned this to the judge at the time of sentencing.  If he did, it helps.  Generally, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, at the time of sentencing will say something like “and no objection to early termination”.  Hopefully, your lawyer has negotiated this term as a part of your plea deal.

Most of the time at the half way point of your probation sentence, assuming your court costs and costs of supervision have been paid, the probation officer will have no objection.  I always tell clients to double up on their payments on court costs.  That way, at the half way point, all of the costs will have been paid.  If part of your sentence involved serving community service hours, you have to have them done.  That is also why as an experienced criminal attorney, I tell people to get those hours done as soon as possible.  The other thing that you absolutely have to get done is to pay any restitution.  Generally, lack of money is a person’s biggest problem.

We routinely handle early termination hearings at a modest fee.  Remember, if you can get off probation early, do it.  Remember, if you can get off probation early, do it. Many times I have seen people get a probation violation in the last few months of their probation. Sadly, most of them could have been off probation had they only taken the time to get hold of a lawyer and get an early termination.

If you are on sex offender probation, it is more difficult but not impossible.  The conditions of sex offender probation are extreme and often include wearing an electronic monitor and being subject to a curfew.  An early termination is a big deal and greatly reduces the likelihood of getting violated.  It is important to have established a good relationship with your probation officer.  If you need an early termination of probation, call Sean O’Halloran or Andrew Banyai, in our Ft. Myers office at 239 334 8890


Probation Officers….Under Staffed, Under Paid and Over Worked


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Probation Officers….Under Staffed, Under Paid and Over Worked

The Florida Department of Corrections is in crisis.  The caseloads have grown and the Department is having trouble hiring qualified applicants to perform a tough job.  The Department is underfunded and the starting salaries are so low that it is next to impossible to get and keep dedicated employees.  The starting salaries are about ten thousand dollars below other starting salaries in law enforcement.  So why does this matter?  The high case load puts pressure on probation officers to reduce their case load by violating people for relatively minor technical offenses.  Probation is supposed to be a second chance for men and women who have committed minor crimes.  Probation is supposed to be a form of rehabilitation and not necessarily punishment.

If you are on probation you may have run into a probation officer with “attitude”.  Successfully completing probation is tough enough without dealing with an officer whose goal is to violate you.  This is particularly true if you are on sex offender probation with all of the harsh restrictions and law enforcement pressure to find a reason to put you in jail.  The truth is that probation officers are in a tough spot and trying to deal with low salaries, long hours and a frustrating job.  Do not let their problem become yours.

Always keep your appointments, even if the officer does not.  Document each visit and get confirmation that you are paying restitution, court costs and probation fees.  Keep a record of your receipts.  I suggest paying with money orders and keeping a copy for yourself.  Do not wait until your probation is almost over to get the fees paid. Do not wait until your probation is almost over to get the fees paid. Do not procrastinate and put off getting a drug evaluation or treatment.  The best way to not get violated is to not give them a reason.  At our criminal law office we defend probation violations regularly.  The violation still must be proved up to the judge and proved to be willful and substantial.  Having a real lawyer experienced in probation violations can make a difference.  If you are about to be violated or have a loved one in jail sitting with no bond on a violation, give us a call for a free consultation.  In Ft. Myers, call 239 334 8890 and if you are in Sarasota call 941 366 3506.  Do not wait until you are picked up.




What Happens if You are Arrested for a Sex Crime?




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What Happens if You are Arrested for a Sex Crime?
If you or a loved one get arrested for a sex offense, there are important things you should know.  Lately, there have been hundreds of arrests in Internet Sex Stings like Operation Green Shepherd IV in Manatee and Operation PredaTour 2015 with Operation Volusia Broadband in Volusia county .  A number of stings have run in Orlando, Jacksonville and Manatee, Sarasota, Lee, Volusia and Polk Counties.  In all of these cases, the original bond is set high, often in an amount you cannot pay.
The first obstacle is getting you out of jail and released on bond.  Most of the time we can get the bond reduced at a bond reduction hearing.  If you use the public defender, this process may take much longer.
If you do get released, many times there are restriction you have to comply with even before you are found guilty.  You will be ordered not to use the Internet.  This is a huge problem because that is the way you may be able to find a qualified lawyer.  Do not rely on the recommendations of a bondsman in selecting an attorney.  He may have a selfish motive in seeing you hire a particular attorney.
Your most important decision is selecting a qualified experienced attorney that knows how to defend sex cases.  There is a huge difference between sex cases like rape, statutory rape, sexual battery and lewd and lascivious touching.  Defending Internet cases is much more complex than the ordinary sex crime case.
Not all attorneys are created equal.  Their experience varies greatly as well as their results.  Do your homework in selecting the attorney that will guide you through this complex criminal justice system.  Interview several criminal lawyers before making your decision.  Some will tell you what you want to hear to get hired.  Good lawyers are honest and truthful with you and tell it like it is.  Sex cases are tough and you need a tough lawyer working on your side.  Most lawyers like myself do not charge for a consultation.  Make your choice carefully. If someone you know has been arrested in an internet sex sting, never give up hope, that person is innocent until proven guilty, together we can discuss sex sting defense options. call me, Peter D Aiken in Sarasota 941.366.3506 or Sean C. O’Halloran in Fort Myers 239.334.8890

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My Probation is about to be Violated….What do I do?



My Probation is about to be Violated….What do I do?

I hear this question all the time.  Unfortunately, even with good intentions, people end up in a situation where they are facing a probation violation.  Many times it is simply because they cannot pay restitution, fines or Court costs.  Many times the probation officer is unsympathetic and just looking for a reason to file a violation.  A probation violation has to be willful and substantial.  Not having money or being poor or broke is not a reason.  They have to prove you have the ability to pay.  If you lose your job or make so little you can barely survive, not paying your fines and costs is not your fault.  If you get an attorney before the violation it may make a difference.  We may be able to prevent a warrant being issued and keep you from being arrested.

People also get violated for changing their address without notifying their officer.  Most of the time was it because the person had to move, not because they wanted to.  Always contact your probation officer the day you change locations.  People also get arrested for a dirty urine.  The tests are not perfect and many times if all you have is one bad test we can prevent the violation or get you reinstated.  If you get a new arrest, you can count on getting violated.  It becomes really important to beat the new arrest and win the new charge.  You will end up sitting in jail on the violation while you fight the new charge.  Good people do make mistakes and no one is perfect.  Probation is a second chance and sometimes people simply mess up and blow it.  We regularly represent people who make mistakes.  Our job is to help you through the system and hopefully keep you out of jail.  Call today at 239 334 8890 for a free consultation.