Orlando Criminal Lawyer

24+ YEARS OF SUCCESSFUL PRACTICE

Welcome to our Orlando criminal defense website, thanks for coming. You’re probably here because you, or someone you care about, may be in trouble. Relax. Believe it or not, there are Orlando criminal attorney professionals out there that deal with these ‘situations’ all day, every day. Criminal defense attorney John Guidry is just such a person. Since 1993, he’s defended thousands of serious criminal cases right here in Central Florida. Please, check out our reviews on Google and Avvo.

John's Office
John's Office

Yes, you're here because you have a problem. We solve problems. We're here to help. Otherwise, what's the point. In twenty four years of helping folks, we’ve seen it all, DUI, battery, robbery, probation violations, driving while license suspended, cocaine, trafficking, theft, possession, pretrial intervention, seal & expunge, diversion, and the list goes on and on.

In case you haven’t noticed, being arrested means a huge, expensive system of government is working against you. The police officers are against you. The prosecutors are against you. Sometimes even the Judge is against you. Relax. You’ve come to the right place. As an Orlando criminal lawyer, John Guidry will do everything possible to dismiss the charges, avoid or limit jail time. Yes, we will help you get your life back on track. Free consultations and payment plans are available, so come see criminal defense attorney John Guidry in Downtown Orlando, right next to the Orange County Courthouse.

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POSSESSION OF DRUGS & CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES

Sure, medical marijuana is now legal in Florida, but this hasn't stop the police from arresting folks for possession of cannabis. Even legal prescription drugs like Xanax and Oxycodone often lead to an arrest when there's no prescription bottle nearby. Possession of a controlled substance can lead to punishments as severe as prison, but even the mandatory one year driver's license suspension can impose quite a hardship for most families. You heard that right--every drug conviction carries a one year mandatory driver's license suspension. Yes, even simple misdemeanor possession of cannabis under 20 grams. I ask you, who can live in Central Florida without a valid DL? The good news is, there's hope.

And, there are plenty of ways to dismiss a drug charge.

We like to start with figuring out how the police found the drugs in the first place. Did they search for the drugs based upon a warrant? If so, was the warrant valid? Were the drugs found in a car? Most possession charges, like 90%, arise from traffic stops. And this may shock you, but not all traffic stops are legal. If the stop was illegal, the drug case gets dismissed. Sure, I've oversimplified things a bit, but you get the point.

So, even if the police did everything right in your case (a point I rarely concede, but it happens), dismissal is still possible. We have great court programs designed for dismissal, like Pretrial Intervention (PTI), Pretrial Diversion (PTD), County Diversion Programs (CDP), Veteran's Court, and Drug Court.

PETIT THEFT and GRAND THEFT

Years ago, everyone was afraid that Big Brother was watching. Now, Big Retail has cameras everywhere, monitoring your every move. And, more cameras means that we have more shoplifting arrests than ever before (I don't have the stats on this, but it sure seems that way!). In Florida, shoplifting is called Petit Theft. And, what makes a theft "petit" is that the dollar amount stolen must be under $300. Once the value exceeds $300, we call this Grand Theft.

There's a big problem with Petit Theft arrests--finding a job. Let's face it, most employers will overlook a DUI, but just like elementary schools won't hire former sex offenders, employers won't hire folks who have a petit theft on their record. So, even though this crime seems insignificant, you would be surprised how many people call me years later asking to have their record sealed because they can't find a job. This charge is a job killer, and as such, its got to be handled properly upfront. Naturally, that's where we come in. The bottom line is, don't take theft charges lightly.

There's many ways to attack a shoplifting charge or a grand theft charge, so just browse around my website to find the free answers you've been looking for. In general, we want to reduce felony grand theft charges down to misdemeanor petit thefts, we make this happen by exposing problems with the state's valuation of the goods involved, there's too many shoplifting arrests out there masquerading as felony grand theft charges, when they should really be simple misdemeanor petit theft charges.

VIOLATION OF PROBATION (VOP)

Probation officers make claims that the evidence simply doesn't support. As such, VOP's are beatable. The problem is, who wants to wait in jail while these things get sorted out? The waiting is the hardest part. So, the first thing we want to do on a VOP is to ask for a bond. Technically, we call this a Motion to Set Bond, meaning that, most violations of probation cause a warrant to be issued with "no bond". Not every violation of probation is eligible for a bond, but for those that are, we go for bond first. That gives us some breathing room to actually fight the charges.

Now, I have to tell you, I'm licensed to practice criminal defense in all 67 counties in Florida, but I typically confine my practice to Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County. Why am I bringing this up? Because violations are a bit different than other areas of criminal defense. Bottom line: you've got to know the judge you're dealing with. Every judge treats a violation differently. Let's say you've violated your Orange County probation with a dirty urine. One judge in Orange County will send you to jail, another judge will not even issue a warrant. As the old saying goes, "A good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge." I only know the judges in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole, so those are the only places I'll defend a VOP.

SEAL & EXPUNGE

What happens when you are denied something really important? You want a better job, but never seem to get the call back. You want a better apartment, but the leasing agent tells you "your application was denied by corporate" (Who is "corporate" anyway? And, why is it always bad news from them?)

At some point, folks will ask themselves why this rejection keeps happening. My question is, how can I help you out of this? The best way out of this situation is to erase the criminal history that's holding you back.

We handle sealing and expunging throughout the State of Florida. You must hang in there with us, because this process takes quite a while. After all, we're dealing with the government. And when I say "the government", I mean several government agencies, none of which are efficient. My law firm handles seal and expunge cases faster than anyone out there, but it still takes eight months or more to finish the process. I think it was Willie Nelson that said, "Why is divorce so expensive? Because its worth it." Well, the same rule applies to sealing and expunging. It is time consuming, but its worth it. No, it's not that expensive, we're reasonable.

DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED AS AN HTO

If you were to call me, right now, and tell me that you've been arrested for driving while license suspended--what do you think my first question will be? My first question is, "Can you get your license back?" The answer is, often, "I don't know". The good news is, you don't have to know. I'll figure it out. I've been working on these cases for decades, and maybe a suspended license isn't that big of a deal to most folks--but in Central Florida, its hard to live without driving (except for Downtown Orlando, you can get by without a car, but that's it...).

Our first line of attack on a driving while license suspended charge is to find a way to get you a valid license. Often, this involves appealing an old citation conviction that you've probably forgotten about. Also, we sometimes find an error on your driving record that we must convince DMV to correct (Its shocking to think that the government makes mistakes, but they make plenty of mistakes, trust me).

Driving while license suspended charges get serious once they become a felony. A misdemeanor driving while license suspended gets upgraded to a felony if the driver was driving as a Habitual Traffic Offender, or if the driver has two prior convictions for driving on a suspended. Some judges are a bit harsh on these felony cases, and that's a shame because this crime is often the result of just falling on tough times.

If you were not charged with a crime, but have received a dreaded DMV notice in the mail proclaiming a five year suspension as a habitual traffic offender (HTO), we can help reverse your five year HTO suspension, just give us a call to get started.

FIRST OFFENDERS - PRETRIAL DIVERSION -  INTERVENTION - DUI DIVERSION

Will I go to jail on my first offense?   Is there any way to get this case dropped?

You have questions, and I have answers.  I have good news for first offenders, and, I have good news for second and third time offenders as well (don't want to leave you out!).  Florida has quite a few options to chose from when it comes to first timers.

As you search for someone to help you, you'll probably hear a lot about pretrial diversion (PTD).  Basically, if your attorney can convince the prosecutor to let you into this program, your case will be completely dropped.  Dismissed.  In return, you'll have to take some classes, do some community service, and test negative on all random drug screens (yes, even the theft cases get drug tested--everybody does).   Dismissal is a good thing, but your criminal record will still be visible even after dismissal, so make sure the records get expunged afterward (see above).

It was once thought that all hope was lost for first time offenders for Driving While Under the Influence (DUI), but Orange County and Osceola County have instituted DUI Diversion programs tailored to fit the needs of this particular offense.  Yes, this program is a tad more expensive than the typical PTD program, but it's worth it.  And yes, DUI diversion is the most difficult diversion program to obtain for a client, but again--its worth it.  

Diversion is the most common path to dismissal, but there are several other ways to get there.  Pretrial Intervention (PTI), for example, is an even better option for many folks because (a) you can have a prior record, and (b) PTI doesn't require the prosecutor's approval.  But wait, there are even more paths toward dismissal.

Many counties now have a Drug Court Program, and the good thing about drug court is that folks can enter the program even though they have a prior criminal history.   Orange County, Seminole County, and Osceola County all have excellent drug court programs, and all charges are dismissed upon completion.  Now, you must have some sort of drug problem to enter, but the felony dismissal is well worth it for those who qualify.

Another path to dismissal is Veteran's Court.  This program is run in conjunction with the Department of Veteran's Affairs, and leans toward being a drug treatment program similar to the drug court program--but run through the VA.  Again, this is an excellent program, and I highly recommend it for those citizens struggling with addiction and who have access to the benefits of the VA.

YOUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

You have Constitutional rights. Use them. Don’t talk to the police until you’ve called us first. Your right to remain silent is important (you can’t talk your way out of a ‘situation’, don’t even try it, anything you say can and will be misquoted and misused against you). Don’t consent to a warrant-less search of your car or home without first exercising your right to legal counsel. The Fourth Amendment gives us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. How does this apply to a car stopped on East Colonial Dr. for a window tint violation? How does this apply to the search of a citizen because an officer allegedly smells an odor of cannabis? Our criminal ‘justice’ system is a maze, and John has the tools, training, and experience to protect your rights and obtain a favorable outcome.

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