Hurricane Irma Arrests

Peter D Aiken
Sarasota and Manatee Federal and State Criminal Defense Attorney
941 366 3506

The hurricane brought a lot of grief to a lot of people.
Arrests are already up and are going to increase.

Many people lost their jobs and out of desperation are going to come into contact with law enforcement.
There have already been a number of curfew violations.

There have been some arrests for grand theft and burglary and over the next several weeks probably more. Desperate people do desperate things. I anticipate that there will be arrests for “contracting without a license” as well as insurance fraud. There will probably be a number of property crime arrests as a result of people stealing items from their neighbors. I also anticipate there will be arrests for “defrauding a pawn broker” when people in desperation try and pawn stolen items.
There is also going to be a sharp increase in probation violations. The hurricane interrupted the drug business just as it impacted legal businesses. Sadly, the anxiety of a loss of employment or loss of shelter may push some people back into drug use.

If you are on drug offender probation, that is a real problem.

A dirty urine can get you violated. Do not slip. Do not feel hopeless. If you are addicted to pills (Oxycodone or Oxycontin), don’t do something stupid and try and get them on the street. A lot of the bootleg pills are really Fentanyl and you can end up overdosing. Drug addiction is a medical problem that causes you to come into contact with law enforcement. You need help, not jail. We handle all forms of drug crimes as well as the other types of crimes caused by drug addiction. Dealing in stolen property is the most common one when addicts pawn stolen items to support their habit. Defrauding a pawn broker is another common offense caused by addiction. For a lot of people, the next few months are going to be tough. Many people who live week to week have lost their jobs and are desperate.

Desperate people do desperate things….If you messed up and need legal representation…..

Call for a free consultation in Sarasota at 941 366 3506 or in Ft. Myers at 239 334 8890

Arrested for Date Rape or Statutory Rape in Sarasota or Bradenton?

State and Federal
Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506

Being falsely accused of a sex crime is a horrible thing. As a sex crime lawyer, I have seen innocent men falsely accused and under investigation facing malicious false accusations by women. The crime is actually called sexual battery. It can take the form of forcible rape or simple alleged non consensual sex in a dating setting. The police routinely believe the woman. The prosecutors almost always take the side of the accuser. Many rape reports and allegations are simply false and most have an ulterior motive by the accuser.

 

Statutory rape is having sex with an underage girl

 

Many times this involves a 15 year old female who was the real aggressor in a sexual situation. Many times the 15 year old lied about her age or even had a false identification. Do not assume a girl you meet in a bar or dance club is an adult. They sneak in with false identification. You may be arrested even if the girl came on to you and seemingly consented.

 

Date Rape

 

When it comes to date rape, some women want to blame their partners for their own indiscretion. Women and men drink too much or abuse drugs and sex occurs. Some women will not take responsibility for their own conduct and days or weeks later claim they were drugged or the sex was non consensual.This happens all the time in the college setting. Custody disputes in divorce cases often involve allegations of underage sex. Sometimes, money is the real reason. Athletes are common targets for false allegations. As a sex crime lawyer for over thirty years I have defended false allegations of sexual battery. These cases are defensible and a timely investigation is critical. Do not wait until you are arrested. Many times criminal defense lawyers can expose the false allegation before an arrest occurs.

 

How to defend against a false charge

 

Most of the time, there is a reason for the false allegation. It can be jealousy. It can be to gain custody of the child. The accuser can be mentally unstable or it can be done to get the man out of the house. In the past, I have defended men falsely accused by women who had consensual sex and when their boyfriend finds out, claimed they were raped. Many times, the true victim is the man that is falsely accused. Teachers are accused by disgruntled students. Stepfathers are accused by stepdaughters. Even wives can accuse their husbands and former spouses of sexual abuse.

 

Do not become a registered sex offender for life.

 

Do not go to prison on a false charge. Call today for a free consultation at 941 366 3506

 

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Arrested for Credit Card Fraud Theft or Embezzlement in Sarasota or Bradenton?

Peter D Aiken
Sarasota and Manatee Federal and State Criminal Defense Attorney
941 366 3506

For over three decades our firm has defended fraud cases of all types. In Federal Court our Sarasota criminal defense firm has vigorously defended Federal Indictments for Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, Social Security Fraud, Health Care Fraud and all forms of Tax Fraud.

 

In the Federal Arena

 

Peter Aiken, as a former Federal Agent and former Federal Prosecutor, has used his accounting background and white collar defense history to negotiate dispositions and try cases in front of juries in Tampa and Fort Myers. Recently, the Sarasota office of Aiken, O’Halloran and Associates has represented clients in cases involving credit card rings, identity theft and forgery. Generally, these cases are investigated by the FBI, Secret Service or the economic crime division of various local law enforcement departments like the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office, the Manatee Sheriff’s office, the Sarasota police department and the Northport police department.

Bank Fraud, Mortgage Fraud and Mail Fraud Defense

 

This type of defense comprises a substantial portion of our Federal Defense litigation. Recently, in Sarasota and Manatee Counties there have been a number of investigations into Elder Fraud where the State has prosecuted financial advisors and brokers for misappropriation of client funds.

Also, there have been recent cases where relatives and caregivers have been charged for unauthorized withdrawals, unauthorized purchases and other illegal acts. Given the demographics of Sarasota County, more prosecutions are expected for:

 

Crimes involving the Elderly

 

Allegations of employee theft often result in criminal prosecutions. These cases usually involve bookkeepers, cashiers, tellers, business partners and trusted employees who have access to money or financial records. Peter Aiken’s accounting background is a enormous advantage in investigating and resolving financial crimes. Often, it is another employee who has taken the money and blames someone else to cover his or her actions. These economic crime cases are defensible and hiring an experienced white collar crime lawyer may make a difference. We are experienced Elder Fraud Defense Attorneys in Sarasota and Bradenton

 

If you are under investigation for theft of embezzlement, call for a free consultation at 941 366 3506

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Are you a doctor, lawyer or other respected professional in Sarasota or Bradenton accused of a crime?

OFFICES: Sarasota
941-366-3506
Punta Gorda
941-639-6009
Ft Myers
239-334-8890

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When professionals are charged with a crime, a lot is at stake. A conviction can result in the loss of a professional license and an aggressive defense is a must. Over the years, Peter Aiken has defended professionals including Doctors, Attorneys, Real Estate Agents, Escrow agents, Accountants, Financial Advisors and Tax Return Preparers for a myriad of offenses. Successful defense is important because often the Courts hold professionals to a higher standard when it comes to sentencing and impose harsh sentences. When a lot is at Stake. If a professional, because of a hectic schedule fails to file an income tax return, or files a false or inaccurate tax return a conviction can have catastrophic consequences. If a doctor is falsely accused of a sexual advance or touching of a patient, If a lawyer is charged with a trust account violation or a financial advisor is charged with elder fraud winning is a must.

 

The loss of a professional license can be a career ending event

 

In Sarasota and Bradenton, the State attorney takes a hard line on crimes involving the elderly and professionals are aggressively prosecuted.Do not wait until you are arrested. Early intervention by a skilled criminal defense lawyer may prevent charges from being filed. Peter Aiken has defended professionals for over thirty years before the IRS, before Federal Grand Juries, in the Federal Courts in Tampa, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Fort Myers as well as the State Courts. As a former IRS special agent and former Miami Federal Prosecutor he understands the strategies employed by the Government. In white collar cases Peter Aiken’s background and degree in accounting gives him an edge in understanding how the Government will present and try a case.

 

Presenting a successful defense often requires special skills and a knowledge of the Federal law and rules of evidence

 

Defending Teachers, Professors and School Employees. Teachers are particularly at risk of being falsely accused of sex crimes by students or others. A disgruntled student or parent may lie, and in a rush to judgment, the police or State attorney may believe it. When a person is falsely accused of a sex crime it can end a career.

 

If you have been falsely accused or are under investigation speak with us today at no cost by calling 941-366-3506

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Crackdown on “Contractors” in Sarasota

Sarasota and Bradenton Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506
Representing the Florida Accused

There were a number of arrests of “unlicensed” contractors here in Sarasota over the last week. Law enforcement was running a sting responding to people on the Internet offering “handy man” type of services. There is a push to stop men from offering electrical, plumbing and repair services if they do not have a valid County license. Sadly, some of the men are just trying to put food on the table for themselves and their families by trying to find legitimate work. There is a problem with “unlicensed contracting” when it comes to some of the repairs and remodeling services offered, but hopefully, the State attorney’s office will be able to weed out the cases and decide who really needs to be prosecuted and who does not. As a criminal defense lawyer here in Sarasota, I try to keep people from getting a felony conviction and ruining their lives and their future. Many times we are able to negotiate a resolution avoiding court entirely.

A lot of the men arrested are in their fifties and sixties and just trying to find work. My suggestion is for men to go ahead and get a license. It is important that the license be for the exact type of service offered. In some cases, when the men respond to someone calling for their service, they are solicited to perform another type of service (like electrical or plumbing), and when they offer to do so, are arrested.
The other thing being targeted is contractors that use employees that are not covered for “workman’s compensation”. This is sad when the worker is an extra day laborer hired just for that day or just for that job. Working for a living beats being homeless or being unemployed.

I wish the cops here in Sarasota would exercise a little discretion in deciding who really needs to be arrested and who just needs a warning or some advice on how to get the proper license. I know times are tough for some of the guys arrested but having a good defense attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome.If you have questions or want to discuss this call 941 366 3506

How do I get someone out of jail? How do you post Bail?

Sarasota and Bradenton Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506
Representing the Florida Accused

Most families never have to deal with this issue. When you get that call from a son, daughter, husband, wife or friend in jail, many people do not know what to do. When a person gets arrested, they are supposed to be allowed a phone call. Most of the time it is to a relative.

Who should you call next?

If there is a reasonable bail bond, call a bondsman. If the bond is huge or no bond has been set, call a lawyer immediately.

There are two ways to post a bail bond. If you have the money, you can go to the jail and “post bond” by putting up the money. Most people use a bondsman. A bondsman charges a 10% fee, called a premium, to post the bond. If the bond has been set high many people make the mistake of posting bond without trying to get the amount reduced. For example, if the bond is $100,000 and the family posts bond with a bondsman, they can end up spending $10,000 with the bondsman and then end up with no money for a good criminal defense lawyer. If they go to the lawyer first, the lawyer may be able to get the bond reduced and save them a fortune. As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, all too often I see families spend everything they have on bail bond. The people in jail panic and beg their relatives to “get me out”. A lot of families do not think ahead. Bond is only temporary and secures release until the case is concluded. An experienced criminal defense attorney can make a huge difference in the long run. The money is better spent on getting good solid legal advice and winning the case.

I am not saying not to post bond, I am just saying that the lawyer may save you a bundle in “premium” which in the long run frees up money for a successful criminal defense.

Finding the best criminal defense lawyer in Sarasota or Bradenton is a challenge. You cannot rely on advertising alone. Some lawyers may be great at handling tickets or a DUI cases, but have little or no experience with serious charges like sexual battery, child pornography or trafficking in Fentanyl. The type of lawyer you need depends on the type of crime your loved one is charged with. You would not hire a foot doctor for a heart problem, so why would you hire a ticket lawyer for something really serious. Look at the lawyer’s real experience, not just the so called ratings or reviews. Look for education and the number of years he or she has actually tried cases. Experience really does count. It is a lot like hiring a good mechanic. You pay for the guy that knows what screw to turn and how far to turn it before it breaks.

Ask the lawyer if he or she is going to handle the case personally. Some lawyers, like the ones you see on TV, are great at signing up business, and then shuffle it off on an assistant to handle.

If a loved one has been arrested and if you have questions, call me at 941 366 3506

When words get ugly and talk turns to action

Peter D Aiken
Sarasota and Manatee Federal and State Criminal Defense Attorney
941 366 3506

Here is Sarasota, other than for dui, one of the principal reasons a person gets arrested, is for domestic battery. It is one thing for a couple to argue, it is quite another for that to come to blows. I have been handling battery and aggravated battery cases for over 30 years. Most of the time, alcohol is the cause. Sometimes it is over money or jealousy, but most of the time it is because someone, or both, may have had too much to drink.

If someone calls 911, even a neighbor, and the police respond, nine times out of ten, someone is going to jail. The police have a zero tolerance for domestic disputes, and are afraid that if they don’t take someone away, the argument can turn to real violence. Did you know that police are at their highest risk responding to a domestic violence call? If there is a 911 call and it is alleged that the person is armed or has a gun, the situation can turn ugly really quick.

An arrest for simple battery or aggravated battery between a husband and wife or domestic partners has dire consequences. When the person arrested goes before the judge, the judge automatically enters a “no contact” order as a condition of bond. This has catastrophic consequences for the average working family. The husband may not be able to come home and end up living with friends or relatives, or even in his car, until his lawyer can get things worked out. It takes weeks for the State Attorney to make a decision in most cases and in the meantime, the family is separated, jobs lost, kids upset and things are in chaos.

As a Sarasota and Bradenton criminal defense lawyer, my goal most of the time is to try and restore the family unit. Sometimes, if things have gone too far, this is not possible, but often, counseling is a better alternative to someone going to jail. What the judges should do is look to the cause. If alcohol was involved, one of the conditions of release should be, no drinking. When possible, if the core relationship is good, I work towards getting the couple to examine what went wrong. If things have gone too far, then the better approach is to bring the case to a speedy conclusion whether that is some kind of deal or trial. Some lawyers sit on cases and continue them forever, but in my view, a pending criminal case is like a bad tooth. It doesn’t go away, and the sooner you address it, the better.

If you or a loved one has been arrested, call 941 366 3506 and we can talk

 

Fentanyl dealers under attack in Florida

Sarasota and Bradenton Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506
Representing the Florida Accused

July  2017

Yesterday, June 11th 2017, Governor Scott signed into law the latest House Bill 477 increasing the penalties for people convicted of trafficking in Fentanyl.

This is in response to the epidemic of fentanyl abuse and the number of deaths from overdoses. The dealers are coming under attack by law enforcement, and you can expect to see homicide charges filed in overdose cases where they can identify the supplier of the fentanyl. The penalties are going through the roof and any dealer charged with trafficking in fentanyl, if convicted can expect to receive a long minimum mandatory sentence. This new effort is supposed to be combined with more availability for treatment but bed space is still a big issue at the rehab facilities
.
I have been blogging on this for a year. There needs to be a civil commitment of a person who overdoses for at least ten days. If this was enacted it would help identify the addicts and get them help before they go on to overdose. As it stands, if a person addicted, overdoses and is revived, there is no mandatory treatment and they are free to go. Stiff prison sentences addresses part of the problem, but not the underlying cause which is addiction. I wish the legislators and law enforcement had thought out the problem a little better when they passed the law creating the drug database for opioid pill users. No one really anticipated the fact that the addicts when deprived of the opiates (OxyContin, oxycodone and Percocet) would simply switch to the alternative heroin.

Fentanyl, because of its strength and availability, has now replaced heroin and now people are dropping like flies
.
The legislature needs to look at the pawn shop laws and change them. The pawn shops facilitate addicts by making it easy for them to sell stolen items. I recently had a case where a local pawn shop took in over 300 items from an addict in a year. Not once was any item redeemed. The items were all new. The addict obviously was stealing them from his employer and there is no possible way the pawn shop can claim they are not a willing participant in dealing in stolen property. Preventing crime associated with addiction should be the goal. Punishment of the addict seldom accomplishes anything.

As a Sarasota and Bradenton criminal defense lawyer I can honestly say, more punishment is not the answer.

If a person is arrested for Trafficking in Fentanyl, they are going to need a good lawyer.

Law enforcement, the prosecutors and the Court’s are going to show no mercy. The penalties are going to be harsh, and there will be little sympathy from the jurors in cases of death. The prosecutors are also going to try and deprive people of being able to hire a good defense attorney and will try to prevent them from bonding out by requiring a nebbia hearing with respect to bond premiums and collateral. If a relative is arrested on a trafficking charge, they are in for a long uphill battle. As a former federal agent, former federal prosecutor and thirty year veteran criminal defense lawyer, I see the writing on the wall.

The Fentanyl war has begun

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Drug Arrests in Sarasota

Sarasota and Bradenton Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506
Representing the Florida Accused

Drug offenders are friends and family members to someone.. Can you help?

The state has cracked down on pills and opiate arrests continue to skyrocket. The crackdown on Florida pill mills has dramatically limited the number of scripts being written by pill mill doctors. This has not stopped people that are addicted from trying to get pills like Percocet, Vicodin, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone , Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Carfentanil and Fentanyl . Often prescription pads are stolen from doctor’s offices and forged. Often nurses and medical office employees are themselves involved. Another common offense is having someone else, with a real medical condition, visit a doctor and obtain a prescription, have it filled, and then sell the pills to you.

 

Doctor Shopping

 

Florida now has a drug database that is tightening the noose on people “doctor shopping”. For many people visiting multiple doctors is now all but impossible. As a drug lawyer, over the years, I have represented doctors, pharmacists and addicts. The DEA is now really monitoring the number of pills going to each pharmacy and tracking trends. When they see a drug store or pharmacy getting an unusual quantity of a particular controlled substance, an investigation is almost a guarantee. The addicts are between a rock and a hard place. Many people have a chemical dependency that is almost uncontrollable. If a person is arrested as a result of an addiction to pills, chances are, they need treatment, not incarceration.

 

Drug Court Diversion

 

We may be able to get your case in Sarasota or Bradenton in ”Drug Court” and keep you from getting tagged with a felony record. Treatment is a better option than jail. If you are addicted, you need help, not prosecution. Over the years, Peter Aiken has defended nurses and doctors that find themselves addicted. Other health care professionals also end up with a drug dependency and for them, a conviction can cost them their license. Avoiding a felony conviction is always our number one goal. If you or a loved one gets arrested, give us a call for a free consultation at 941 366 3506

 

Non Prescription Pills and Steroids

 

Athletes sometimes use performance enhancing drugs. Body builders use steroids and often get these unlawful items through the Internet. Our firm had defended people getting drugs from China, India and Eastern Europe.
The Federal Government including Customs, the DEA and the Postal Department regularly intercept drugs shipped into the County and often law enforcement makes a “controlled delivery” followed by a search, a seizure and an arrest. Steroid crimes are sometimes prosecuted in Federal Court in Tampa and Fort Myers. The most common method for smuggling and selling drugs is the Internet.

 

Internet Drug Crimes

 

We defend Internet drug crimes. Money laundering is also often charged if the Feds are involved and huge money seizures and forfeitures can and do result from Federal investigations.

 

If you a family member or friend are under investigation or have been arrested call Peter D Aiken today 941 366 3506.. Your initial consultation is free

 

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My son is in the Sarasota Jail….What should I do?

Sarasota and Bradenton Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken
941-366-3506
Representing the Florida Accused

It is the late night call you never wanted to get. A son or daughter calls from a recorded jail phone asking for help. They have been arrested and don’t know what to do. For the laymen, it is a complicated process to find out what is going on. For an experienced criminal defense lawyer, it may take only minutes or seconds to find out what the charges are, how much the bond is going to be and what your child is facing. For some parents, ones with kids on drugs, this call has been expected for a long time. For others, it comes as a shock. Before you do anything, get in touch with a good Sarasota criminal defense lawyer immediately. Look for a defense attorney with experience and not a “newbee” who may or may not know the ropes.
Where and when possible, hire a private attorney, as opposed to waiting for a court appointed lawyer to “get to it”. Most private lawyers, including myself, can be quickly reached on the phone or the Internet. Before you spend all of the family’s money on bail bond,talk to a good criminal defense lawyer. He may be able to get the bond reduced and save you a bundle. I see so many relatives in a panic spend everything they have on bond and they not be able to afford a real defense. Bond is only temporary but what actually happens in the case is permanent.

If you can reach a private lawyer before the “first appearance”, he or she can go to the jail, interview your relative or friend, and show up at jail court and hopefully secure a release.

Do not wait for the appointment of the public defender.

Getting to a good private experienced criminal defense lawyer quickly can, and often does, make a huge difference in the ultimate outcome of the case. Hiring a good lawyer, often referred to as “lawyering up”, can result in valuable evidence not being lost. Timing is critical in criminal investigations. Securing photographs, documenting events and preserving evidence is a must. I have been defending criminal cases for over thirty years. Prompt action makes all the difference in the world. Check out my web page or my qualifications and experience and if you want a free consultation give me a call at 941 366 3506.

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