My first encounter with an Orlando Attorney. This is a pause in the underlying story to talk of an unrelated case.

A few months after the second robbery, I visited my son to make sure that he was doing well. I checked his grades and his room. I talked with him about the importance of keep a tidy room. He seemed very happy to see me but I could tell that he wasn’t as enthusiastic as he had been about his college. I did not bother to probe further. A week after I returned home, my son called and told me that he was being detained. He said that he was accused of trying to pick up a hooker. He told me that it was not true. It appears that a Caucasian woman stared talking to him when he was he stopped at a stop sign. His story is that he did not think twice about talking with her. Remember, my son grew up in a predominantly white Catholic school and was very comfortable talking with different races. He said that when she started asking him for money, he pulled off. When he pulled off, a police car pulled behind him and said that he was being detained for solicitation to commit prostitution. My son said that he did not ask the lady to commit any sexual acts. He swore up and down that it wasn’t true. I believed him. He said that they also searched his vehicle and did not find anything. He did not have any prior criminal history. He didn’t even have a traffic ticket. Since I believed my son, I decided to hire an attorney. I thought that attorneys were suppose to look out for the best interest and outcome for their client. I quickly learned that most attorneys are only looking at the quickest way to close a case. Take the money and run. He wanted my son to do a pre-trial diversion program because that was the easiest thing to do. If we were looking for the easiest way, we would have used a public defender. A public defender would have gotten the same results. My son had zero criminal history or activity; getting a pre trial diversion program would not have been a problem. Our attorney’s defense was that, in the diversion program, the State would drop the charges which would enable my son to avoid a conviction and ultimately a criminal record. Well, it sounds good if the person committed the act but my son swore up and down that he did not. Later, our attorney said that they had a audio of the incident. Our response was okay, please provide the audio.  I asked my son over and over if he did this. I told him that if he did, I would stand by him. I told him it was a misdemeanor. He held firm that he did not do it. Weeks passed by and an audio still wasn’t produced. My son said that they would never produce an audio because he did not solicit the woman. He was right. they could not locate the audio tape. One time we were told that it was lost. Then we were told that it was never made. Whatever the reason, there wasn’t any tape. The following is an excerpt from an email I sent the attorney, “My son has always stated his innocence. In one of our conversations, I asked you if you would be able to get the tape. You told me yes. This is why I retained you. He told me they had 15 days to produce a tape,. Later, something else kept coming up about the tape. They couldn’t locate it, etc. The tape was lost. The tape was never made.” That attorney said for us to start the process for the pre-trial diversion while we try and get the tape. Then he said that he could have the judge make them submit the tape but then they might pull the pre-trial diversion off the table. I later realized that this was a ploy. I told the him that it doesn’t seem fair that the truth is not important. He responded to me with the following, He said that the real problem with my reasoning is that I am assuming that just because my son gives his side of the story, the State Attorney will suddenly disregard what the officer alleged actually happened.  The only thing that could potentially disprove the officer’s sworn statement is an audio recording of the incident.  He then goes on to say that, “it looks like there will be no recording.” He said that there was nothing in any of the evidence provided to him that indicates a recording was made.   He said that he still made a separate direct request to the Sheriff’s Office for documentation that reflects the existence or nonexistence of a tape.  If by chance there was a tape, and if the tape covers the entire incident, and if what was recorded is exactly what my son described, then it might be worth it to reject PTD and go back to court.  Even under these circumstances, it may not be possible to convince the prosecutor to resolve the case without a trial. He then explained to me that if there is a trial, it is his word against the officer’s. I got the impression that he was saying the jurors always find in favor of the policeman. I couldn’t understand the reasoning. They said they had an audio and then they didn’t. How convenient. He then said that even if he is found not guilty after a trial, he would be ineligible to expunge his record.  In Florida, the legislature has basically forced a first time offender to either take pretrial diversion, or lose their right to expunge. Wow, what a great state. It should be noted that the attorney did not even try to put in any motions for dismissal. He didn’t even try. He also withdrew from the case without notice. Ultimately, a different attorney got the case dismissed but later went on to commit other atrocities.


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