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How to find a good criminal defense lawyer
If you or a loved one had been arrested, finding and hiring a good lawyer is a daunting task. You cannot rely on advertising alone. Being good at marketing or advertising does not necessarily mean that the lawyer is good in the Courtroom or effective in negotiating with prosecutors. Some lawyers advertise all over Florida and claim to have multiple offices in each County. Generally, these lawyers will speak with you on the phone and then refer your case to some local relatively inexperienced lawyer. You need to know that the lawyer you are talking to, the lawyer you are hiring, is the lawyer who will be by your side in the Courtroom. Experience and reputation are huge.
Things you need to know
Look into a lawyer’s education, background and experience. How long has he been defending cases? Does he practice in State and Federal Court? Has he ever been a prosecutor? Does he have law enforcement experience? Has he or she handled my type of case before? Does he specialize in certain types of cases? All lawyers are not created equal. Insist on meeting personally with the lawyer. Does he make a good professional appearance? Does he understand the law? Does he listen to your problem? Does he understand your concerns? Is he being honest or just telling you what you want to hear? Does he promise specific results? Do not be tricked or fooled by false promises…. Every person wants to hear 'Things Will Be OK'
Picking a lawyer is like choosing a doctor
All lawyers go to law school and have degrees. All lawyers have to meet minimum requirements of the Florida Bar Association. All lawyers have to pass a test and have a license. Their level of experience varies greatly. There is a world of difference between handling tickets and DUI’s and trying homicides, defending sex offenses and complex criminal felony cases. If you have a serious case, a felony where the stakes are high, you want a lawyer who knows what he is doing. Talk is cheap. Do your homework. Do not rely only on advertising or slick TV commercials. When you meet with the lawyer do not be bashful. Have a candid discussion about real experience and real qualifications. Compare the lawyer’s qualifications and experience with other. Do not rely solely on a recommendation by a bondsman. If you had a heart attack would you go to a foot doctor or a heart specialist? Price is always a concern. Good representation does not come cheap. Should you use the Public Defender? Ask yourself, would I go to a public health clinic if I was seriously ill? You get what you pay for in life. Would I buy the cheapest parachute or the cheapest medicine?
Call today for a free consultation 941 366 3506
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I am a fourth generation Floridian. My undergraduate degree is in accounting from the University of South Carolina. After graduation, I served in the United States Treasury Department as a special agent with the Intelligence Divisions. The enforcement training regimen consisted of basic training in Federal Criminal Investigation, which included techniques of interrogation, surveillance, photography, forensics and report writing. Specialized training included investigating and prosecuting Federal Criminal Tax Violations. Formal legal training included a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami. After joining the Department of Justice, I served for several years as a trial attorney in the US Attorney’s Office in Miami, Florida handling a wide range of Federal violations including tax prosecutions, drug prosecutions, firearms prosecutions, and other Federal violations. I left the United States Attorney’s Office to join the firm of Cohen and Hogan then located on South Beach. At the time, Cohen and Hogan was one of the best known criminal defense firms in Miami, specializing in complex Federal criminal litigation involving wiretaps, racketeering, and major fraud cases.
In 1974, I moved my practice from Miami, Florida to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where as a sole practitioner expanded my practice to include State criminal defense. I practiced in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida from 1974 to 2002. During that period of time, I developed one of the largest Federal criminal practices in Broward County and represented people throughout the United States in various Federal venues. Many of these cases were complex multi-defendant conspiracies. My Federal Trial experience includes jury trials in Los Angeles; Salt Lake City; New York City; Cleveland, Ohio; Florence, South Carolina; Georgia; Virginia and North Carolina and handled relating proceedings in other states, including Mississippi; Michigan; Illinois and Massachusetts. My admissions to the Appellate venues include the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the United States Supreme Court. I am at this time a member of the bar of four (4) states including Florida, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. In terms of trial experience, I have participated in approximately 200 jury trials encompassing almost every conceivable type of criminal violation, including homicide, drug violations, conspiracy, racketeering, firearms violation, securities violation, wire and mail fraud, wildlife violations, income tax fraud, sales tax fraud, employment tax fraud, high seas violations, explosives violations, embezzlement, theft, counterfeiting and forgery, labor law and racketeering violations, bribery and smuggling. Over the years, my clients have included a congressman, a number of judges, politicians, and people from every walk of life from the clergy to the homeless. As a Federal criminal practitioner, I have also extensively represented witnesses and targets before Federal grand juries and in that capacity, over the years, represented numerous organized crime figures involved in gambling, extortion, prostitution, loan sharking, and racketeering.
In 2002, I expanded my practice to include the Southwest Coast of Florida and formed a partnership with Sean C. O’Halloran, a former State Prosecutor in both Charlotte and Lee County. Mr. O’Halloran is the son of a prominent lawyer and a native Fort Myers resident. The combination of my 30 years of experience and his local knowledge and reputation culminated in the expansion of our practice to Sarasota County and Charlotte County. We now maintain offices in all three counties.
I encourage you to compare my qualifications and experience with any other criminal defense attorney in the State of Florida. Don’t be fooled by attorneys who tell you what you want to hear.
•100% of Practice Devoted to Criminal Defense
•U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 1983
•U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida, 1972
•U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
•U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1981
•U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1982
•U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1984
•U.S. Supreme Court, 1975
University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida J.D. – 1971
Juris Doctorate degree in Law
University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina B.S. – 1965
Major : Bachelor of Science in Accounting
Professional Associations and Memberships
•AVVO AV | Peer Review Rated for Ethical Standards & Legal Ability | Preeminent
•Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
•Sarasota County Bar Association
Past Employment Positions
•U.S. Treasury Department / IRS Intelligence, Special Agent, 1965 – 1971
•U.S. Department of Justice, Trial Attorney, 1972 – 1973
•Cohen & Hogan, Miami FL, Trial Attorney, 1974
Contact me today for a free consultation at (941) 366-3506 . All Replies Are Confidential: Comments are to my E-mail only. When you click Post Comment or Reply ,it only goes to my confidential e-mail. I will contact you promptly. Please leave how you want to be contacted and your contact information. Again all information is confidential.