Was it really a traffic stop?

If you got arrested in Sarasota for a drug crime as a result of a traffic stop you might want to read this.  In theory, police are not supposed to make profile stops, but in the real world, they do all the time.  If you are in a certain neighborhood, in what the police call a high crime area, and you do not look like you “belong” there, the police will find some way to justify a traffic stop.  They may claim you tag light was too dim.  They may claim that you rolled through a stop sign.  They may claim that your tint looked too dark (this is their favorite).  They simply make up a reason to stop, detain and question you.

In some cases, the officer then claims he smells marijuana and he asks permission to search the vehicle.  Sometimes people do not realize that if they smoked in the preceding hours, their car or their clothes smell like burnt weed.  The human nose adjusts to a smell in four minutes.  The person may no longer smell it, but an officer just coming up to the car may legitimately smell it.  The police may use their “belief” that they smell marijuana to detain you for a drug dog search.  The length of the detention is important.  They should only be able to detain you long enough to write a legitimate ticket.  They take their own sweet time writing it delay you until the drug dog to arrive.

Next comes a full scale search of the car.  If you are charged with possession of a controlled substance in Sarasota or Manatee, or worse yet trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in MDMA, or fentanyl and your case involved a car stop, you need to examine carefully the circumstances surrounding the stop.  This is where a good experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyer becomes really important.

If your defense attorney can prove it was a bad stop or an illegal and unlawful detention, you may be able to win the case on a search and seizure issueAn experienced drug lawyer can make a huge difference in the possible outcome.  You may have made one mistake already.  Do not make a second one shopping for the cheapest lawyer.  Having a good Sarasota or Bradenton drug attorney may make a difference.

If you have questions or want to talk, call 941 366 3506

Getting a ticket for smoking weed in Sarasota?

Sarasota may finally be headed in the right direction when it comes to marijuana.  It is only a matter of time until simple possession of recreational marijuana is legal in Florida.  Like it or not, that is going to happen.  The State will become addicted to the money it brings into the coffers, just as Colorado and Washington have.  If the Government had legalized marijuana fifty years ago, there would not be Mexican or Columbian cartels.  Hagen Brody is leading the charge to make simple possession of Marijuana a ticket, instead of an arrest.   Yeah for Hagen Brody.

In the meantime, people are still getting arrested in Sarasota for possession of a controlled substance.  They get booked, printed, humiliated and worse yet, there names and faces go onto Mugshots.com.  How do you think that looks to a prospective employer in the future?  Many arrests for possession of marijuana are the result of an illegal stop or an illegal search.  Before you opt for the Public Defender, and before you opt for a plea, talk to an experienced Sarasota criminal defense lawyerFor the little bit of money that it costs you might find there is a way to win the case entirely.  Generally, initial consultations with defense lawyers like me, are free.

If you have been charged with a sale of a controlled substance either here in Sarasota or in Bradenton, you really need to talk to a private criminal defense attorneyA ”sale charge” can land you in jail.  You can even be charged with distribution of a controlled substance if you give a friend some weed.  Did you know that if you give a friend a Percocet or OxyContin for a horrible toothache, you are committing a felony?  Did you know that if someone gives you a controlled substance, such as Xanax, to help you sleep, you are committing a felony by possessing simply one pill?  They say that “ignorance is no defense” and over and over as a Sarasota criminal defense attorney I talk to people that simply did not know they were violating the law.

If you accidentally violated the law, if you did not know it was a crime, don’t make another mistake by pleading to something to simply “get it over with”.  You will lose your driver’s license for a year for a drug conviction.  Think about that.  Probation may sound great and using the Public Defender may sound like a great idea, but think twice.  You need to make an informed decision, weighing your options, weighing your risks and thinking ahead.  You probably already made one mistake in getting arrested.  Not hiring a good, qualified, experienced defense lawyer may be yet another mistake.  If you want to know your options or discuss how to proceed, call 941 366 3506.

Busted with drugs in Sarasota

A drug conviction can have a long term effect on your future.  Even in the short term, you can lose your driver’s license and many times, that makes it difficult to get a job or to get back and forth to work.  If you are addicted to pills, and have been arrested in Sarasota or Manatee for possession of a controlled substance, you need help, not jail.  Addiction is a treatable illness.  You may be in denial.  That is one of the first symptoms of addiction.  You may think, “I can quit anytime”, but you find yourself, over and over, taking another pill.  You may think that you are not getting high, but just taking a pill to take away the pain from an injury.  You may think that if a doctor prescribes hydrocodone or oxycodone, because it is prescribed by a doctor, you are not an addict.  You really need to do some real hard thinking. How long have I been taking these?  Is it interfering with my life? Has it affected my relationship with my spouse, my parents or my employer?

Getting arrested may seem like a nightmare, but it can be a turning point in your life.  If you are using heroin something worse, getting arrested may be a blessing in disguise.  As a drug lawyer here in Sarasota, I understand addiction.  Solving the legal problem is only part of the answer.  It does you no good to plea to probation if you have no chance of making it successfully.  The simple answer is that you need help.  You need a real comprehensive plan to solve both the legal and personal problem.  You do have options and as a criminal defense attorney here in Sarasota, my goal is to try and make a difference in a person’s life.  You can get help and guidance through the legal system is a giant first step.  If you need to talk or have comments on this issue feel free to call at 941 366 3506

Drug Trafficking and Sales

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Arrested in Lee, Charlotte , Sarasota or Manatee for Illegal Drug Sales or Drug Trafficking?

In most cases, trafficking of marijuana, cocaine, heroin or opiates carries a minimum mandatory prison sentence. You can be prosecuted in either federal or state court.

We have more than 30 years of experience defending trafficking cases. We will represent you at bond reduction hearings and work to get you released on bond while your drug charges are being fought in court.

Drug trafficking does not mean that you were selling drugs.

Marijuana Growing Defense Attorneys

Merely having a certain amount of a controlled substance on your person, in your car or in your house is enough to get you arrested for drug trafficking. If you have over 25 pounds of pot or over 25 marijuana plants, including seedlings, the prosecution may accuse you of operating a grow house, and you could be charged with trafficking in marijuana. You can be charged with trafficking in drugs by merely having a certain quantity of oxicodone, Oxycontin, fentynal, dilaudid, heroin or Xanax. You could be facing up to 25 years in prison.

Knowing how to defend comes from knowing how to prosecute. Do not wait until arraignment to hire a private attorney.

The police may have made serious mistakes in getting a search warrant or illegally detaining you on I-75. If you were arrested for trafficking by the Florida Highway Patrol, the Sarasota Sheriff’s Office , Manatee Sheriff’s Office, Lee Sheriff’s office, Charlotte Sheriff’s Office or Cape Coral’s Police Department, we may be able to prove you were illegally stopped or held too long while a drug dog was brought to the scene. We may be able to convince the prosecutor not to file charges.

If your car or truck was seized and you received a notice of forfeiture, we may be able to get your vehicle back.

Call us  today our drug trafficking or illegal drug sales defense lawyers or Contact us online. As former a federal and state prosecutors, We have worked these drug cases from both sides. We offer free consultations and appointments or walk-ins are welcome.

The Drug Offender Defenders


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A successful defense in a drug case is no accident!

Drug Defense is not for the inexperienced lawyer

The lawyers at Aiken, O’Halloran and Foley have a lifetime of hands on experience.

  • Peter Aiken Former Federal Agent and Former Assistant U. S. Attorney
  • Sean O’Halloran Former Lee and Charlotte Felony drug prosecutor
  • Bob Foley Former FBI Special Agent in Charge

Whether your case is in State Court or Federal Court, we offer aggressive dedicated actual hands on trial experience for all types of drug offense cases in Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee County.

Three seasoned drug lawyers taking on the toughest cases

All lawyers are not created equal …

  • Trafficking…..Cocaine, Fentanyl and Heroin, marijuana
  • Possession….Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Xanax and other Opiates
  • Marijuana…..Importation, Distribution, Grow Houses and Sale
  • Pharmaceuticals….Forged Scripts, Doctor shopping, Burglaries
  • MDMA…..Designer Drugs, Ecstasy,  Synthetic controlled substances
  • Amphetamines…Crystal Meth, Adderall and Barbituates
  • Steroids and other regulated controlled substances

You may have a solid defense and not know it…Was your stop legal?  Were you unlawfully detained?  Was the Search Legal?  Were you advised of your rights?  Did they pressure you to confess?  Was there more than one person in the car or the house?

You may not be a good candidate for probation…Sometimes it only sets you up for failure.  Taking the easy way out with a plea, waiving a legitimate defense may come back to haunt you when you have a probation violation. Know your rights before you give them up.  Talked to an experienced drug lawyer first!

Call for a free confidential no obligation consultation

Sarasota and Bradenton  941 366 3506 

Ft. Myers and Lehigh Acres 239 334 8890

Cape Coral and Pine Island 239 984 4994

Punta Gorda 941 639 6009

Our job is not to judge you; we are here to defend you. Call today for a telephone consultation or to schedule a free consultation at any of our four offices. Contact us today.

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