Orlando Criminal Lawyer

25+ 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.

Yes, you're here because you have a problem. We solve problems. We're here to help. Otherwise, what's the point. In twenty five 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, an arrest triggers our huge, expensive government machine to begin 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.

Most possession charges, maybe 92.45%, arise from traffic stops. And this may shock you, but not all traffic stops are legal. If the stop was illegal, your drug case gets dismissed. Its not quite that simple, 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 because we have great programs designed for dismissal.  The Big 5 are 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, retail stores has cameras everywhere. More cameras mean more shoplifting arrests. In Florida, shoplifting is called Petit Theft and its a misdemeanor. 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 and grand theft is a felony.

There's a big problem with Theft arrests--finding a job. 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 theft on their record. So, even though shoplifting 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, so its got to be handled properly upfront. 

We have great defense options on shoplifting and grand theft charges, 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, typically by challenging the state's valuation of the goods involved. 

VIOLATION OF PROBATION (VOP)

Violations of probation 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, because most violations of probation cause a warrant to be issued with "no bond".  Getting you out of jail on your VOP arrest 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 VOP's differently, and this is especially true of dirty urine violations. 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. 

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". Actually, you don't have to know. I'll figure it out. I've been working on these cases for decades, and if there's a way to get you driving again--we'll find it.

Driving while license suspended charges get serious once they become a felony, and this upgrade happens if you're caught driving as a Habitual Traffic Offender, or if you have 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 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?  Will this charge haunt me forever?

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!).  Your case can be dismissed.  Gone.  Dropped.

As you search for someone to help you, you'll probably hear a lot about pretrial diversion (PTD). Basically, 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).  Jump thru the hoops, and your case is dismissed.  Yes, it can be tricky to get into the program, but that's what you have an attorney for.  

Also, Orange County and Osceola County have instituted DUI Diversion programs tailored to fit the needs of a first time DUI. Yes, this program is a tad more expensive than the typical diversion program, but it's worth it. 

Diversion isn't the only path to dismissal.   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. 

And, 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

John's Office
John's Office
What criminal defense site would be complete without reminding you of the obvious: 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. Call John.

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