Road Rage on the Rise

Sarasota and Manatee Criminal Defense Lawyer
Peter D Aiken

March 28 2017

It seems that everyday you hear of another road rage case involving a violent crime.

The latest shooting involving resulting in the arrest of a USF football player is directly the result of a road rage incident.

In this case, the man who allegedly pulled and pointed a gun first was shot by the alleged victim. You have to realize that in Florida, there are over two million people with concealed weapons permits carrying guns. You do not have to have a concealed weapons permit to carry a gun in a vehicle, as long as it is securely encased. This means in a container with a lid, like a console or glove compartment or, in a holster with a snap. It can be carried loaded, as long as it is “securely encased”. Road rage is a senseless crime that results from impatience. The fact that the car in front of you cut you off or is going to slow is no reason for you to lose your cool. I would be willing to bet that not a day goes by the we as drivers do not see someone losing it in traffic, honking their horn, making obscene gestures or riding someone’s tail. The next time you decide pull up and give someone the finger, think twice. They may think you are pointing a gun at them and blow you away.

If you make the mistake of pointing a gun, you can be charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and be looking at a stiff prison sentence.

If you fire the gun you can be charged with attempted homicide, aggravated battery or a firearms charge that results in a long minimum mandatory sentence.

Never lose your temper.
Nothing good comes of that.

If you are being tailgated, pull over and change lanes and let the wacko behind you go past. Nothing good comes of a confrontation. Remember, just because you have a gun or legally can use it does not mean you should. Deadly force should only be used to protect life. There is never a good reason to pull a gun just to scare someone. A gun should only be used in last resort when all else fails. You could end up getting arrested and have to stand trial when it all could have been avoided. The best weapon is common sense. If you use common sense, you can go a lifetime without ever reaching for a gun. As a criminal defense lawyer here in Sarasota and Bradenton I have defended men who lost their temper and did something stupid. It costs thousands to defend a serious felony charge. Weigh that against getting to work a few minutes late because someone in poking along in front of you. Do not be provoked by some hot head into pulling a gun.

If you or a relative have been arrested in Sarasota or Manatee and want to talk to a lawyer who understands self-defense and the stand your ground law call Peter Aiken at 941 366 3506 for a free consultation

Tasered….to Death by the police

Sarasota Criminal Defense Lawyer
Peter D Aiken

March 23 2017

Almost every week you read or see a media report about someone dying from and encounter with the police where a Taser is used.

Many times the police are called by a relative concerning a family member who is off his or her medication and acting strangly. Sadly, the police do not receive a lot of training in dealing with mentally ill people. Sadly, some police only know , or claim to know, how to use “force”, when often, there is a better way to deal with the situation. What we need is more police training when it comes to the mentally ill. That is a particular problem when it comes to the homeless here in Sarasota. Many are truly mentally ill and helpless. They simply do not understand.

Taser death statistics are alarming.

If a person has a heart condition or is on drugs, being Tasered can result in cardiac arrest (a heart attack) and often death. The police will always claim that the use of force (the taser) was justified but often, it was not. The police justify using a taser claiming that it is better than some other form of force like a billy club or a gun. The problem may have been solved however without any form of force. If you are curious, go on Google and do some homework on taser deaths.

You can form your own opinion.

What you do not hear about are the deaths in jail or prison where a taser has been used. As a Sarasota criminal defense lawyer, I often come into contact with people who have been the victim of police excessive force. A dead giveaway is when you look at their booking picture. I you see the face bloodied or black and blue, chances are that person will have been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer. The police make that charge to justify the beating. I have had clients who were allegedly “taken down” with a leg sweep and slammed head first into the concrete. There are some great dedicated cops that with experience have learned to properly use force. There are some others that took the job because they are bullies or were themselves bullied early in life, and have copped an attitude. A badge and a gun in the hands of a policeman with “little man syndrome” is a dangerous thing.

If you or a close relative have been charged with battery on a law enforcement officer or were the victim of excessive force and want to talk, call me at 941 366 3506

Don’t Touch That!

State and Federal
Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken

From the time we can first remember I am sure you recall your mom or dad telling you “don’t touch that”.

It might be a hot stove, and electrical outlet, an angry bee or something else that will hurt you.

There are dire consequences to touching something you should not.

That is particularly true when it comes to touching a minor.

We live in a crazy world where an accidental touch of a minor can be misconstrued. You could find yourself under investigation for lewd and lascivious touching for something as innocent as bouncing your granddaughter on your knee or letting her ride on your shoulders in the pool. Things that years ago were totally innocent now have been deemed to be something dark and evil. Sadly we are at a point in time where helping bathe a grandchild can get you arrested and charged with a sex crime. Potty training a child puts you at risk of being investigated by the DCF or worse yet the sex crime division of the local Sheriff’s department. When parents are getting divorced false accusations of sex abuse often occur. One parent or the other may make a false accusation as part of a custody dispute and you as a grandparent may find yourself falsely accused by someone with ulterior motives. The DCF has a history of getting these false accusations wrong.

As a sex crime defense lawyer, I can’t tell you how many times an innocent touch has been portrayed as something bad or evil. When the kids go to school, they are bombarded with classes and lecture about “Good touch…Bad Touch”. Even the children are brainwashed to think any touch of the privates is a “bad touch”. We live in dangerous times. A single dad putting ointment on a child’s vagina or a son’s penis can lead to a false arrest. The world has gone nuts when it comes to child sex crimes. If you are contacted by DCF or the sex crime unit of the local police department, pick up the phone and call me before you make a statement. You may know you have done nothing wrong, but they investigators sometimes take things a little out of context. Stepfathers are particularly at risk when it comes to false accusations of a sex offense. Stepdaughters may want to break up their mom and the new dad, and teenagers are notorious for making up total false stories about stepdads. They may want their biological dad back and falsely accuse the new man in their mom’s life. In-laws also may have ulterior motives in making a false accusation of a lewd and lascivious touching. When in doubt, be on the safe side and give a good experienced criminal defense lawyer a call before consenting to any interview.

It doesn’t cost anything for a free consultation.
If there is any doubt in your mind, call me at 941 366 3506 for a free confidential consultation over the phone.

Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child….. or Go to jail

Peter D Aiken – Sarasota
Sean C. O’Halloran – Ft. Myers
Andrew Banya – Punta Gorda

March 21 2017

Parenting is tough and depending on how you were raised by your parents, your view on spanking or corporal punishment can land you in jail.

Is it child abuse or child discipline?
At what age is a child too old to be spanked?
Should they ever be spanked?
Does spanking work?
Is spanking and effective form of discipline?

We live in a world where DCF can become a nightmare to well intentioned parents.

If your child goes to school with a bruise, or goes to the doctor after falling down or getting hurt, a report by a teacher or doctor or nurse can initiate a DCF investigation that takes on a life of its own. Many of the DCF investigators have never had children and have little or no experience dealing with kids out of control. For some children, “time out” does not work. In the perfect world, you should never strike a child. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect, and sometimes, parents in frustration will put the child over their knee and warm their bottom. Discipline is an important part of learning. In life, there are rules that have to be followed. As an adult, these are called “laws”. When kids grow up with zero discipline how can you expect them to follow “laws” as adults? Religion imposes rules. In Christianity, they are called the ten commandments. A civilized society has to have rules and laws or there will be chaos.

As a criminal defense lawyer, I often come into contact with the “law breakers”. Sometimes, it is intentional, and sometimes it is by accident or out of ignorance. Some of the people I represent have no clue that what they are doing is wrong and are simply a product of their troubled childhood. Some are truly “sociopathic” and do not comprehend the difference between right and wrong. If you are the grandparent or parent of a son or daughter who has been arrested, sometimes it is difficult to understand how the child could have gone so far astray. It is never too late to try to get them to change. Jail may not be the answer. For drug addiction, it rarely is. As a criminal defense lawyer, part of solving the legal problem, is understanding what caused it. That is the way to keep it from happening again. I raised four children and understand a parent’s challenges.

If you want to hire a lawyer who has “been there, done that” and want to talk about your son or daughter, you can call my office any day for a free consultation in Lee County at 239 334 8890 or in Sarasota at 941 366 3506

Visit Our Websites:

Sarasota Criminal Defense Website

Ft Myers Criminal Defense Website


She hit me first, why did I get arrested?

Peter D Aiken – Sarasota
Sean C. O’Halloran – Ft. Myers
Andrew Banya – Punta Gorda

March 2017

The police have a zero tolerance when it comes to domestic violence.

If a call is made to 911, 99% of the time an arrest is going to be made.

Most of the time it is the man who gets arrested, even if he is the one who called 911. The arriving officers generally encounter a crying woman and talk to her first. They are swayed by the first story they hear and most of the time believe the woman over the man. The woman could have attacked the man, she could have scratched him, thrown something at him or jumped on him, but they still believe the woman. This is particularly true if one of the responding officers is a female.

The deck is stacked against the man in the typical domestic case.

The prosecutors in the State attorney’s office who handle domestic cases are many times a woman. The judges in many of the misdemeanor Courts are also women. Defending a man in this type of situation is a challenge I have taken time after time.

In theory, the truth will prevail but getting the truth before the Court take some work.

As a defense attorney, I have found that alcohol is involved in most of the cases. Combine that with a little jealousy and you have a recipe for a domestic violence arrest. Most of the time, both parties have been drinking. These types of arrests are not just limited to a man and woman situation. Domestic partners get into spats also. Once again, alcohol and jealousy are the number one causes. A domestic violence arrest triggers a lot of consequences. Generally it results in a no contact order forcing one of the parties to temporarily move.

If they work together, the no contact order creates even more hardship.

I have seen men end up living in their cars while the cases run their course.

As a criminal defense attorney, my job is to bring the situation to a speedy conclusion with a good result. Hiring a lawyer greatly increases the chances of that happening. If a domestic case results in an arrest for battery or worse yet aggravated battery and you need a lawyer, call 239 334 8890 in Ft. Myers or if you are in Sarasota you can call me at 941 366 3506


I pawned some stuff that wasn’t mine…What now?

Peter D Aiken – Sarasota
Sean C. O’Halloran – Ft. Myers
Andrew Banya – Punta Gorda

March 14 2017

Did you know you can get charged with a second degree felony for dealing in stolen property and you can get charged with defrauding a pawn broker if you take something that is stolen to a pawn shop?

Many times, a person addicted to drugs, will steal from their parents or relatives and then give the stuff to a friend to pawn for drug money. The person pawning it may not know is was stolen but they can nonetheless get in deep trouble.

Never pawn something that is not yours.

If someone asks you to pawn something for them and offers you a part of the money, beware. There has to be a reason if someone wants you to pawn something for them.
If someone owes you money and offers to pay for it with jewelry or something else that looks suspicious, be careful. Unfortunately, kids, hooked on drugs often steal from parents and grandparents. They think they will never be suspected. These kids know better than to pawn the stolen items themselves so they have someone else go in and leave their fingerprint.

Do not get duped into going in and pawning something that is not yours.

When there is theft reported, the first thing the police do is run the names of the people that are suspects through recent pawn databases. The item stolen may have only been worth $50 and the original theft charge only a misdemeanor but when the item is pawned, you can end up getting charged with dealing in stolen property.

If you have been arrested for dealing in stolen property you may have been the victim yourself to someone else’s criminal conduct.

You may well have been tricked or duped into doing something stupid just to help a friend.

If you need representation and want to talk to an attorney before going to arraignment or court, call 941 366 3506 for free consultation


Click HERE to Visit our Florida Criminal Defense Law firm website


Should I take a plea or go to trial?

Peter D Aiken
Criminal Defense Attorney
941 366 3506

If you are facing a criminal charge ultimately you have to make a decision on what to do.

It is often the toughest decision of your life.

Many times, you get an offer of probation.

Probation can be a good thing, a second chance, but, it may also be a trap depending on your lifestyle.

A good criminal defense lawyer can help you make an “informed decision” but ultimately, it is 100% your call. There are a lot of factors to be considered.
What is the downside if you go to trial and lose?
Are you facing a minimum mandatory sentence?
What is the maximum and minimum penalty?
How strong is the evidence against you?
Do you have factual defenses?
Do you have legal defenses?
Are you using the Public Defender?
Is your lawyer experienced?
What is the judge’s history when it comes to sentencing?
Does this judge have a history of slamming people who go to trial?
What are the collateral consequences of a felony conviction?
Will I lose my job?
Will I lose a professional license?

I have been representing professionals like doctors and lawyers now for over thirty years. If you hold a professional license, there is no such thing as a minor offense. If you are a school teacher, a health care professional, a massage therapist or a person who can lose your ability to earn a livelihood, you have to know what you are doing in resolving a criminal case. If you are under investigation for tax fraud, Medicare fraud or sales tax fraud and have not yet been charged, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. We may be able to keep the charges from ever being filed. An arrest is a public event and you end up with your name coming up on pretty much forever. Your photograph ends up on Getting to a good lawyer early may be the best thing you have ever done.

Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. Do not wait until you are arrested or it is too late prevent being picked up. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, over the years, I have kept a lot of people from being arrested. The best criminal case is the one you never hear of. The best arrest is the one that never happens. The best result is when your friends and neighbors never even know you were under investigation. What you say to a lawyer is privileged. If you want to talk in confidence, call me at 941 366 3506. The initial consultation is free.

Is There Really any Justice?

State and Federal
Criminal Defense Attorney
Peter D Aiken

March 2 2017

Is the criminal justice system fair?

Does it really work?

The answer to that question depends on whose eyes you are looking through. The victim of a crime sees it one way, the police another, the prosecutor yet another and the defendant and his attorney still another. If you are black or Hispanic in a basically white community, do you really get justice? If you are charged with a sex crime, are you going to get a fair shake in the Courts? If you are poor, do you get the same “justice” as someone rich? Are the judges on the side of the prosecutors and cops? Is there a double standard when it comes to police misconduct? Does the truth really matter? As a criminal defense attorney, I get these questions all the time. Many people have lost faith in our criminal justice system.
We are a country of laws. The laws are passed by the Legislative branch of Government. The legislators are elected officials and in theory are supposed to represent the will of the people. The sad truth, is, that to get elected, some candidates resort to fear mongering and exaggerate so called “problems”. The truth is that bad laws create bad situations.

If marijuana was legalized fifty years ago would we have the Mexican cartels?

Did prohibition cause the rise of organized crime?

Should prostitution be a crime?

Would we have human trafficking if prostitution was legal?

Is drug addiction a medical problem or a medical issue?

The laws are enforced by the police and the prosecutors. State attorneys are elected officials.
Sheriffs are elected officials. To get elected, they do the same thing the legislators do. How many times have you heard “I will be tough on crime”. Grady Judd is a prime example. In Polk County, they run sex stings and create crime and then claim they are protecting the citizens of their community. The answer is crime prevention, not criminal prosecution. If people had education and opportunity would they not be less likely to turn to a life of crime. As a criminal defense lawyer, and as a taxpayer, I would rather educate someone than incarcerate someone.

Judges are elected officials. In the criminal Courts however, most of them are former prosecutors. Some who have only ever worked for the State unfortunately at times seem to be biased. A judge’s true role is to be fair, not tough. For some, that is a hard line to walk. In my experience, in doing this for over thirty years, I have found that the older judges seem to have better “perspective”. With age, comes wisdom.
The criminal defense lawyer provides the only check and balance in an unfair system.

We are the ones who push to change unfair laws. We are the ones who cross examine in search of the truth. We are the ones who challenge the police when they exceed the law. We are the ones that appeal unfair rulings. We are the ones who challenge unconstitutional laws. We are the ones who keep us from becoming a “Police State”. We are the ones who challenge racial profiling. We are the ones who expose illegal search and seizures. We are the ones who fight “forfeitures” and police misconduct. We are the ones who sue the police when they beat someone. We are the ones who expose horrific prison conditions. The next time you hear someone like Nancy Grace slamming a defense lawyer, the next time you hear some TV commentator professing outrage at a not guilty verdict, think twice.

If your husband, brother, father or child gets arrested, remember, the system really is not fair and justice is hard to come by. Get the best criminal defense lawyer in town