Heroin and child abuse

Punta Gorda
Ft Myers

January 2017

There were two arrests here in Sarasota yesterday involving heroin overdoses.

According to the reports, a couple passed out with two kids in the back of the car at a local service station. This resulted in their arrest as well as the children being place with relatives. DCF will now become involved and he parent run the risk of losing their children. The good news is that both of the parents lived through the overdose. That is not the case in some instances. I recently represented a young man who came home and found the mother of their child dead in the bathtub with the crying baby in another room. There is some bad stuff in town. The heroin is often mixed with fentynal or elephant tranquilizer and shooting it can and will often result in death. If you are the parent of young adults, it has to be heartbreaking to watch them throw away their lives with a heroin addiction. Believe it or not, an arrest is a blessing. It brings the addiction to the attention of the Courts.

Addiction is a sickness.

It is a sickness that results in or causes crime.

Many heroin addicts turn to burglary or stealing from relatives to support the habit. Parents are between a rock and a hard place. If they turn their kids in for stealing from them, they feel guilt. The truth is, they are saving their lives. It is difficult to force an adult addict to get help. The addiction overpowers their free will and a person addicted to an opiate like Oxycontin, Percocet or Oxycodone simply cannot quit or seek help. Here in Sarasota we have “Drug Court”. Entry into this program can result in a life being saved.

If you have a child or relative hooked on heroin or one of the other opiates, or, if you have this problem yourself, you can get help. As a criminal defense attorney, but more importantly a fellow human being and a parent myself, my goal is not just to “win” or “beat the system”. I think it is important to save lives. Probation without treatment is a trap and a one way ticket to State prison. If you are the parent of a child who needs help or if your child or relative has been arrested for possession of heroin or worse yet, trafficking in heroin, give me a call at 941 366 3506, here in Sarasota or in Ft. Myers at our office their at 239 334 8890,

Click HERE for our Sarasota Criminal Defense Website

Click HERE to visit our Lee County Criminal Defense Website

Related Articles:

Drugged-Up Couple Found Passed Out in Car at Sarasota Gas Station; 2 Infants in Backseat: Deputies

Couple overdoses with infants in car in Sarasota County

Two sides to every story……Sometimes more

State and Federal
Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken

Everyone had heard that saying. That is particularly true when it comes to criminal trials. In every domestic violence case there are two or more versions of what happened. The alleged victim sees it one way and the person arrested for domestic battery see it differently. Often other family members and neighbors see it yet a third way. Often the way a person “sees it” is affected by alcohol or drugs or by bias or prejudice. The police rarely witness the domestic violence acts. They arrive on the scene after someone calls 911. I have found that the police are greatly influenced by the first person they talk to. They jump to a conclusion and rush to judgment, when often if they just waited and heard the other side, an arrest might not be made.

If a 911 call is made in a domestic situation, generally someone is going to jail. Half the time, it is the wrong person that is arrested. That is where a good lawyer can make a difference in the outcome. It is critical in defending domestic battery case to learn the truth about what really happened. A husband may have been acting in pure self defense simply restraining his wife from attacking and scratching him. A brother or sister may have been trying to protect themselves from an attack by a sibling high on drugs or alcohol. A mother or father may have been trying to restrain a child out of control. We live in a crazy world where kids are taught at school to call 911 and report physical abuse. Parents have a right to discipline children. That is a fine line to walk and the age and degree of punishment can lead to a false arrest for child abuse. We live in a world where some feel there is no justification for any “spanking” and that “time out” in the only remedy. The reality is that some kids are totally out of control and get their parents falsely arrested when all the parent was trying to do was help.

I raised four kids, have grandchildren, and at this point in life have a better understanding of family dynamics. There are always two sides to every story, sometimes more. In approaching criminal cases the truth is often a shade of murky grey somewhere in between. That is where an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make a huge difference between a wrongful conviction and an acquittal. In domestic violence cases where there is family turmoil, my goal is to restore sanity and reason and solve the family problem where possible. If you find yourself falsely arrested or a relative is sitting in jail on a bogus charge and want to talk, feel free to pick up the phone and give me a call at 941 366 3506

Oh no…Not Again

Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer
Peter D Aiken

As a parent of a child with a drug problem you dread getting a call in the middle of the night.

As a parent and grandfather, I have found that rarely is a call in the middle of the night good news. It is always bad news. If you have a spouse, brother, sister or relative with an addiction issue, the middle of the night call is usually from jail. The sad fact is that many kids end up with drug issues and addiction. Many are in denial and even after multiple arrests think they can deal with it on their own. Many kids with rich parents are spoiled rotten. The parents will never admit it, but sometimes, having life to easy can result in someone being “enabled”. Parents, thinking they are doing the right thing, giving their kids everything, create a situation where the kids turn to drugs. They already have everything else they could ever want. The kids grow up feeling entitled. They get a fancy car at 16, get anything they could ever want or think of and grow up with an attitude they can do anything they want to do. When they hit adulthood, they come into contact with the criminal justice system.

This is where reality sets in. Usually the first charge is for possession of marijuana or some other controlled substance.
Often it is for a DUI or under aged drinking.
Many times it is for possession of opiates like Vicodin or Percocet.

Sadly sometimes it is for possession of Heroin. Everyone thinks that it is only the kids in the Ghetto or the “hood” that get it trouble. That is not true. Rich kids get arrested too. As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, sometimes it is my duty to look long term and try and get the kids real meaningful help, even if they cannot see what is in their best interest. Probation without treatment is a trap and a one way trip to jail.
The truth is some young adults do not know what is for their own good. It is frustrating for a parent of an adult child. You cannot make them do anything. You cannot make them get treatment or help. It is frustrating to watch them self destruct. I personally think of my job as not just a lawyer but often a counselor. If I can change one life a year, over the course of my lifetime I will impact more lives than most preachers. If you have a child headed down the wrong path and want to talk about options, call me at 941 366 3506

Click HERE and read more about Attorney Peter D Aiken and his experience

From an Insult to an Aggravated Assault

Peter D Aiken
Criminal Defense Attorney
941 366 3506

January 19 2017

Most people don’t start the day looking for a fight or trying to get arrested. It just happens.

It is incredible how a silly argument can escalate into a serious felony like aggravated battery or aggravated assault. This often happens in the case of domestic disturbance between relatives or a husband and wife. It also happens all the time in traffic in road rage situations. You have to learn to keep your cool and not let little things provoke you. Does it really matter if someone gets your parking place? Does it really matter if they cut in front of you? There is no winner in most fights. If you hit someone and cause serious injury, you can be arrested for an aggravated battery instead of a simple misdemeanor.

If you use a weapon, a bottle, a tire iron or a rock, the simple battery is elevated to a major charge.

As a criminal defense lawyer I understand how this happens. Many times if a person hires a lawyer before the formal case is charged by the prosecutor, a deal for a lesser crime can be worked out.
Some lawyers adopt a wait and see approach, waiting to see what the State files. I believe it is critical to intervene and have input with the prosecutor before a final decision is made. It can make a huge difference in what the ultimate charge becomes.

You have an absolute right to defend yourself. Just because you have that right does not mean that it is the right thing to do. Self defense may be a defense but avoiding a fight entirely is a better option. Sometimes, you have no choice and have to stand your ground to protect your home or family. Pulling a gun should be an absolute last resort. You don’t want to get charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and end up in prison. What I am saying is that the best way to avoid getting arrested is to keep your cool and defuse the situation where at all possible.

If you get arrested and need good representation, feel free to call. It costs nothing for a free consultation and may put your mind at ease. Call me at 941 366 3506


Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence

State and Federal
Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken

January 16 2017

Of all the crimes you can be charged with, this is the one that is most likely to be a false accusation.

When 911 is called by a husband or wife, or by a “significant other” or neighbor, there is a high likelihood that when the police get there, someone is going to jail. The police do not want the situation escalating after they leave and result is something tragic so many times they will arrest one party or the other. Many times, they arrest the wrong person. They can end up arresting the person who actually made the call for help. I have handled these type of battery cases for decades, I have found that there is a built in prejudice in favor of the woman. It may be that the woman has attacked the man, scratched him or thrown things at him but when the police show up, particularly if it is a female officer, the man is in deep trouble.

A domestic battery case can destroy a family and set back the family finances for months. Some of the female judges set super high bonds in relatively minor cases and a man can sit in jail, lose his job, lose his car and lose his home over something that could have been prevented. I have found that ninety per cent of the time, alcohol is the number one cause. It does not matter if the woman comes forward the next day and tells the truth about what really happened. The police have already made an arrest and most of the time the prosecutors stick with the cop’s version of what happened. Having a good lawyer can make a difference in getting the family back together again. The Court will often at first appearance enter a no contact order. Most families cannot afford two domiciles so the man may end up living in his car. We may be able to get these types of situations resolved and reunite the family.

If a no contact order is in place, and if the order is violated, on partner can end up back in jail. Having good legal counsel, a good criminal lawyer, may make it possible to get the charges dropped or the no contact order modified to “no harmful contact”. Do not try and do this on your own. We may be able to get a hearing set quickly, get the bond reduced or the charges dropped. It does not cost you anything to call for a free consultation. Many times, I am hired by the so called “victim” to straighten out something that has gotten out of hand. If you need help with a battery case or an aggravated battery case feel free to call my office in Ft. Meyers at 239 334 8890 or here in Sarasota at 941 366 3506.

The truth about hiring a lawyer

Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer
Peter D Aiken

January 5 2017

We live in a world of advertising and marketing.

Hiring a lawyer, one who you can trust, and one who can win is an important decision that should not be based on “advertisements”.

Just like there a differences in the quality of cars, televisions and other products, there are huge differences in lawyers when it comes to training, experience and track record.

Sadly, like car salesmen, some lawyers will tell you what you want to hear to get hired. This is particularly true in criminal cases, where you want to hear that everything is going to be ok.
I have been defending people accused of committing crimes for four decades and have interviewed tens of thousands of potential clients.

No lawyer should give any client false hope or say what they want to hear just to get hired. The truth is the truth. On the other hand, I have found over the years that no case is 100% impossible.
Winning is a result of thorough investigation, hard work, a knowledge of the law, and most important, experience.

They do not teach experience in law school.

Being a former prosecutor helps but that is no substitute for experience in defending, not prosecuting cases. Good lawyers follow the law. Great lawyers create the law. The law changes every day with each new statute and court decision. What may have been the law last year, may not be the law this year. Experience in one area of the law, like DUI, does not mean you have experience in more complicated areas of law such as tax evasion or sex crimes. You would not hire a foot doctor for a heart problem.

Some lawyers are good at advertising but seldom set foot in the courtroom.

Good lawyers are not cheap. Would you want to buy the cheapest parachute or the cheapest life raft? What you are paying for hopefully, is knowledge, experience and results.

Do not be bashful about asking questions when you hire a lawyer, and verify the answers.

Most lawyers will provide a free initial consultation…If you want to talk…call 941 366 3506