Success Stories2022-02-07T13:38:44-05:00
St Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney
Sean McQuaid 2022 Awards
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I have developed a successful practice and premier reputation by being honest with my clients and putting their interests first, which is rare in the criminal defense business. You will always know where you stand with me and I return phone calls or texts promptly. I look forward to helping you throughout this difficult time and thank you in advance for trusting me with this important task.”

~ Sean K. McQuaid

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Success Stories

Racing Charge on Gandy Bridge Dropped to Reckless Driving

Facts: My client is 18 and is a senior in high school. One evening, he and a bunch of friends went to the Gandy Bridge and began racing on it. Of course, the Florida Highway Patrol was there waiting for them. My client was arrested for racing on a highway. The Case: He and his family hired me to defend the case. I asked him to do the 12 hour ADI school and 20 hours of community service. I explained to the prosecutor that he was a young kid in high school with no record. I sent in a copy of his high school transcript showing that he had decent grades. The Result: Once my client completed the ADI school and the community service hours, the state amended the charge to reckless driving. He got a withhold of adjudication (no conviction) and the fine was $500. He is eligible to seal his record too. He and his parents were very happy with the result and the fact that we kept his record clean.

By |January 27th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery Dropped to Disorderly Conduct

Facts: My client and his wife had been having marital problems for some time. One night, they went out to a restaurant and then made the mistake of going out to a bar after. They both had been drinking heavily and it did not go well. At the bar, it was alleged that my client became upset at his wife for flirting with other men. When they went to leave, they got into an argument in the parking lot and it was alleged that he shoved her. He then left her at the bar, which really got her mad. When the police were called and she reported what had happened, he was arrested for domestic battery. He bonded out, but was forced out of the home and could not have contact with his wife. The Case: He moved in with family and began doing the domestic violence classes. His wife hired a lawyer to represent her. He reached out to me and explained her position. She just wanted him to get help with his anger and drinking and then she would take him [...]

Domestic Battery Dropped 18 Days After Arrest

Facts: My client and her boyfriend had been drinking on New Year's Eve. They got into an argument and eventually, it turned physical. My client's boyfriend alleged that she jumped on his back and scratched him. The police were called and she was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery. The Court Case: At her first appearance, her boyfriend came to court and told the judge that he did not want her prosecuted. He asked for contact with her and it was granted. She was fortunate that the case was heard by a judge covering the holiday because the judge that normally handles these hearings would not have allowed contact. But, she was lucky and was released on ROR. She hired me to assist her in getting the case dropped. Her boyfriend also hired a lawyer to assist us in getting the case dropped. We had the boyfriend fill out a request not to prosecute and sent it to the prosecutor. The prosecutor also called him and verified that he was not injured and did not want to prosecute. I also called the prosecutor and [...]

By |January 20th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

DUI Reduced to Careless Driving, a Civil Infraction

Facts: My client was headed through the drive-thru at Wendy's in St. Petersburg. As he pulled out onto Dr. MLK Jr St, he was surrounded by SPPD officers. When they smelled marijuana on him, they gave him field sobriety tests and arrested him. He contacted us to represent him on the case. The Case: There were two issues in the case. The first was why did they stop him? It said on his arrest affidavit that the employees of McDonald's across the street reported that he was sleeping in his car in their parking lot. The second issue was whether he was even impaired. My client denied that he had been to the McDonald's that night. I sent out a subpoena to McDonald's, but the cameras did not catch anything. So, we had to wait for the police reports and their video. We eventually got the 911 call too. In it, the employees of McDonald's said that the person who was passed out was driving a black car and had a black shirt on. To our surprise, the dash cam video from SPPD [...]

By |January 17th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Jail Reduced to 60 Days From 365 on Third DUI

Facts: My client was charged with a DUI with a blow over 0.15. He had a public defender for months and contacted me because his case was a mess. It seems that he had prior DUIs out of state, but no one could figure out how many. The prosecutor in Pinellas County was asking for a lot of jail and threatened that the case was going to be increased to a felony. My client hired me to figure it out. I immediately had him start DUI school, the Victim Impact panel, and any other conditions he could complete. He was compliant, but then violated his bond when his ankle bracelet alerted for alcohol. Thus, he was sent to the Pinellas County Jail while I tried to figure things out. The Prosecutor announced in court that they were seeking one year in jail as a penalty. Things were not looking good. The Case: We first researched how many prior DUIs there were. We found two, not three as the prosecutor thought. But, even with two DUIs, this current case should have been a felony. [...]

By |January 16th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Misdemeanor Warrant for Failure to Comply Dismissed

Facts: My client was visiting Florida a year ago. He rented a boat and during the trip got a ticket for driving too fast in a no wake zone. He went back home and due to some mix up, the ticket did not get paid. He went on about his life until he got a notice in the mail that he had to be in court on a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest! He wrote to the judge and explained the situation, but he never heard back. He then hired me to straighten out the problem. The Case: I researched what had happened. When the boating ticket for $116 did not get paid, the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office charged him with Failure to Comply, a misdemeanor. A warrant for his arrest was issued. My client is a businessman from out of state who had never been in trouble before. He clearly never meant to commit a crime. The fact that he was now being charged with a misdemeanor and might have to go to jail over a $116 ticket was ridiculous. I [...]

By |January 12th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Warrant for Felony Possession of Marijuana Reduced to Misdemeanor

Facts: Two years ago, my client was in Clearwater on vacation with her family. She was from Michigan where marijuana is legal. She had a medical marijuana card in Michigan, but when the state made recreational marijuana legal, she let it lapse. She was heading to Clearwater Beach when she parked in a no parking zone and a Clearwater police officer on an ATV approached her. He smelled marijuana and asked to search the car. She told him that she had a jar of marijuana that she had brought with her from Michigan. In it was over 50 grams of marijuana. She said that she didn't know that you needed a medical marijuana card in Florida. He seized the jar and let her go. The Case: She went home to Michigan and two years later found a felony warrant from Pinellas County on a background check. The Clearwater officer had turned the case in to the prosecutor who filed the charge. The case has been sitting with an active warrant for two years. She had no idea. She hired me to fix the [...]

Stalking Injunction Filed By Neighbor Dismissed by Judge

Facts: My client and his wife own a house on the intercoastal in Indian Rocks Beach. It is a vacation home, so they come to Florida to relax on the water and near the beach. New neighbors moved in and began running a commercial fishing charter operation from their dock. This meant that every morning two or three men would park at the neighbor's house, go out on the boat for the day and then return in the evening. Once they returned, they would clean the boat, restock the coolers with ice, refuel the boat with a gas tank hooked up to a pickup truck, and otherwise prep for the trip the next morning. On occasion, flocks of seabirds would be on the deck trying to get scraps of fish or bait. The operation of the charter business upset my client who simply wanted peace and quiet. After asking his neighbor to stop without success, he knew he had to get the authorities involved. He took photos and videos of the workers of the charter business working on the boat. He then submitted [...]

By |December 21st, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery By Girlfriend With Rollling Pin Dropped

Facts: My client and her boyfriend live together in Treasure Island. Over Thanksgiving, they got into an argument while she was cooking. They began yelling at each other and she allegedly hit him with a rolling pin. She left the house angry. The boyfriend was not injured, but he called the police anyway. Treasure Island PD responded and took his story. She was not there, so they weren't able to speak to her. But, because he told the police that she hit him with a rolling pin, they had probable cause to arrest her for domestic battery. She came home later that evening and the couple reconciled. But, the following morning, the police cars were again circling her house. She knew that they were there for her and she called me. I knew that if they found her, they would arrest her. There was simply nothing that I could do to prevent that. We decided to turn her in directly to the Pinellas County Jail late at night so that she could be booked and then she would have her court date in [...]

By |December 19th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery Dismissed After Client Removed From DVP

Facts: My client had no prior record and moved to Florida to be closer to her mother and family. She had a longstanding feud with her sister, but moved in with her and her mother while she found a job and got established in Pinellas County. The conflicts with her sister over the care of their mother started immediately. There was a lot of tension in the home over who was doing what and when. One evening, my client was supposed to leave for work and her sister was late to turn over the caretaking duties. An argument ensued that became physical. There were no injuries, but the sister alleged that my client pushed her. She called the police. The police responded and arrested my client for misdemeanor domestic battery. The Case: I immediately had my client enroll in domestic violence counseling. The court issued no contact with the home, which meant that my client could not see her mother. Also, because her sister controlled the home phone, my client could not call to speak to her mother. My client's sister was very [...]

By |December 8th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Burglary with Battery Felony by Husband on Wife’s Ex Dropped

Facts: My client and his wife have been married for several years and have children together. He had never been in trouble before and owned a successful business. His wife had been married before and her son with her ex-husband is a teenager. The ex-husband has been a constant source of issues with the family. Needless to say, both the step-son and the ex-husband do not like my client. Over the years, the wife has reported many problems with her ex, but she still had to have contact with him due to the shared custody of their son. However, the most recent issue was the most severe yet. The wife was at her work for the weekly exchange of her son. During the drop off, an argument ensued that led her to call 911 on her ex. She also called my client, her current husband, in tears and asking for help. My client panicked when he got the call, jumped in his car and drove to her work to help her. When he got to the office, the ex was still there. He [...]

Aggravated Battery Against Neighbor Dropped to Disorderly Conduct

Facts: My client lived alone in his neighborhood. A few months before this incident, a fellow resident bought the home next to him and began remodeling it. Over the months, my client began to get annoyed by the constant debris and noise. But, the two men never had any words. One afternoon, while the renovations were going on, my client walked outside and found his neighbor's dog unleashed and going to the bathroom on his property. He picked up a small bag of fertilizer that was sitting next to the door and threw it toward the dog to scared it off. The bag didn't hit the dog, but the neighbor saw it and got mad. An argument ensued. The neighbor picked up a piece of wood from the construction and walked toward my client. My client responded by grabbing a 4' wooden level off his porch and chased down the neighbor. He struck the neighbor several times with the level. The police were called and arrested him for felony aggravated battery. It was a serious charge. The Case: Even though the neighbor picked [...]

By |December 5th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Stalking Charge Against Ex-Girlfriend Dropped

Facts: Several years ago, my client had a girlfriend. They broke up under bad circumstances and went their separate ways. They hadn't spoken in 3-4 years. One day, my client began thinking about her and was wondering what ever happened to her. My client had no way to contact her, so my client drove to where she worked. My client found her car, looked inside the windows, and then pulled on the door handles to see if it was open. All the doors to the car were locked and my client left. Unbeknownst to my client, the ex-girlfriend's co-worker was outside smoking a cigarette and saw the whole thing. The co-worker reported it and the business pulled the security footage. The ex-girlfriend immediately recognized my client and called the police. The charge was investigated as a misdemeanor stalking crime. It was sent to the Office of the State Attorney in Pinellas County for further investigation. The Case: I was hired and immediately contacted the investigating officer. He confirmed that he would not arrest my client unless he was told to do so by [...]

By |November 14th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

State Drops Charges Removing Out of State Warrant

The Case: My client was arrested for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Trespassing in 2011 for an incident that occurred while she (in her early 20's at the time) was intoxicated. The State Attorney's Office ultimately only filed the misdemeanor charge, but my client had moved out of Florida and the judge issued a warrant when she failed to appear for court. She contacted our office 10 years later when she found out about the warrant when her employer ran her background. The Result: Once my client learned about the warrant she contacted our office to see if we could help. She was worried about losing her job. We gathered information from her and reached out to the State Attorney's Office and let her employer know we were working on her case. My client had done substance abuse counseling after her arrest in Pinellas County and we provided proof of that to the prosecutor along with other mitigation. Ultimately, the prosecutor agreed to drop her charges and entered a Nolle Prosequi which resulted in her warrant being removed. My client was [...]

.000/.000 DUI Case Dropped Against Client

Facts: Our client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) after she was stopped for speeding after she crossed the Gandy Bridge. She had one drink earlier that night, but was sure she was fine to drive. The officer believed otherwise and arrested her for DUI. The Case: Our client was adamant she was innocent from the moment she contacted our office. She provided a breath sample of .000/.000% BAC and denied taking any controlled substances. At the time she hired us, her urine sample was pending. The Result: By working her case aggressively , we were able to get the prosecutor to provide the urine results much sooner than normal. We were also able to keep the client out of the courtroom while we worked her case. Once we had proof our client was not impaired by alcohol or controlled substances, the prosecutor agreed to drop the charges and our client also avoided the speeding ticket. While frustrated by her wrongful arrest, our client was grateful to have the experience behind her and is glad she is now eligible to expunge [...]

By |November 7th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Fishing Violation Reduced From Misdemeanor to $50 Infraction

Facts: Our client went off-shore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and caught a load of legal fish. Our client's girlfriend lives on the water near Coquina Key and our client went to her condo and fileted his catch on the dock. After spending time with his girlfriend, he took his boat and his catch by boat back to the Maximo Park Marina. When he arrived, FWC did a safety check of his vessel and my client informed the officer he had fileted fish on board. This is technically against the law, and my client was cited for a misdemeanor. The Case: My client has no prior record and holds a good job so avoiding a conviction was important to him. Given my experience as a prosecutor who handled fish & wildlife cases, I knew exactly what to do to maximize our client's chances for success. The Result: I contacted the prosecutor and given the mitigating circumstances and my client's lack of prior record, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the case to a civil infraction which only carried a $50.00 fine. My client [...]

By |November 4th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Client Avoids HTO Status and Jail Time on Driving on Suspended License Charges

Facts: My client was arrested for driving on a suspended license twice in the span of weeks. She was also cited for driving without insurance. The Case: My client reached out to us after she attended court and the prosecutor was seeking jail time. My client had a horrible driving record, and one more driving on a suspended license charge would cause her to qualify as a habitual traffic offender (HTO). HTO status would suspend her license for five more years. The Result: When she hired us, I looked into her driving history and was able to help her get a valid license almost immediately. This was just what we needed to negotiate with the prosecutor. I was able to convince the prosecutor that my client having a valid driver's license was more important than punishing her for driving without a license in the first place. Especially given the long term consequences. Ultimately, the state agreed to amend the charges such that my client was able to avoid HTO status and jail time.

By |November 2nd, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Grand Theft Charges Against Former Employee Dropped

Facts: My client is a green card holder from India who worked at a local gas station as a cashier. After working for several months, the owner accused him of stealing from the register and giving free merchandise and unauthorized discounts to patrons without management approval. Rather than handle the matter internally, the gas station called the police and my client was arrested for felony grand theft. After my client was arrested, he contacted our office for a consultation. We went over his case, potential defenses, and his relationship with his employer. After he hired us, we contacted the prosecutor and the business owner. The prosecutor was asking that our client repay just under $1,000.00 that the business was alleging he stole. However, in speaking with our client, after the business fired him, they did not pay him for his last two weeks of work for the business. This amount exceeded the amount the business claimed he stole. The Result: When we informed the prosecutor that the business had wrongfully withheld my client's pay checks, the prosecutor immediately dropped the charges. My client [...]

By |November 1st, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Prosecutor Agrees to Drop Nine Felony Charges

The Case: My client is married and an electrician by trade. He had subcontracted for a general contractor on a project, but the relationship deteriorated. After my client left the job, the former employer noticed that tools were missing from the job site and accused my client of stealing from the job site. My client had relocated so he was never interviewed by police. After the owner met with police, a warrant for nine felonies was put out for my client's arrest. When my client found out about the warrant, he contacted me and we went over his case. I was able to determine what the warrant was for and immediately set a motion to surrender. As my client had not been arrested in many years, I was able to persuade the judge to withdraw the warrant and he was released on ROR while we fought his case. The Result: Given my client's lack of prior record, the prosecutor offered PTI, but while PTI is usually a great outcome, my client was adamant he had done nothing wrong. Further, being on PTI would [...]

By |October 31st, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Pinellas County Risk Protection Order Dropped

Facts: My client was in the middle of a divorce with his wife. He had been married for a long time and was struggling. He was in therapy, but the situation between the couple was not good. They were still living together and the tension was increasing. One day, my client drank and it triggered a depression. He made statements about hurting himself and it worried his wife. She contacted law enforcement and he was Baker Acted. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office also filled out a Risk Protection Order (RPO). The petition for the RPO was granted by a Pinellas County judge. Once he got out of the hospital after 72 hours, the police served him with the RPO and took an old rifle that he had at the home. The Case: The case was postponed for a bit due to Hurricane Ian. My client continued to get therapy and his wife moved out. However, she was still supportive of him and did not want him to face negative consequences for this one time incident. I was able to have his counselor put [...]

By |October 18th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery by Father on Son Dropped

Facts: My client lives out of state and has an adult son living in Pinellas County. The son has a history of substance abuse and was pleading with his father for help. The father decided to fly to see his son and see if he could help. He stayed with his son at his house. One evening during the trip, the two were watching Monday Night Football together. The father went outside to smoke. When he came back in, his son accused him of wandering around looking for drugs. Shocked, they started to argue. During the argument, the son fell to the ground and injured his knee. The son called the police and the father was arrested for domestic battery. The Case: The father was released from the Pinellas County jail and permitted to go back home. He hired me from the airport and I got to work. We decided to put him into voluntary anger management. In the meantime, I spoke to the son and to the prosecutor about the case. There was a real issue about who instigated the incident. They [...]

By |October 14th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery Charge Against Wife Dropped

Facts: My client is married, has a three year old child, and is pregnant. She has never been in trouble before. She has a history of bi-polar depression. Recently, she has been struggling with her medication management because of the pregnancy. One evening, her mental health issues caused her to lose control. She began to argue with her husband and she threw a water bottle at him and grabbed the collar of his shirt, ripping it. The neighbors heard her yelling and called the police. When the police arrived, the husband said that he did not want her arrested, but they saw the ripped shirt and he admitted it was from her. They said they had no choice and had to arrest her for domestic battery. So, she was arrested, bonded out and could not have contact with her husband. Therefore, he moved out and she stayed at home with their child. The Case: My client understood that she needed help for her medication management. She set up an appointment with her psychiatrist and was also referred for follow up therapy. I had [...]

By |September 26th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

DUI Reduced to Careless Driving Citation

Facts: Our client was arrested for DUI in St. Petersburg, FL. He was stopped by a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Deputy because he was going 30+ miles over the speed limit. When the Deputy approached our client's vehicle she smelled the odor of marijuana and saw a pipe in the center console. Despite performing well on field sobriety exercises our client was arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana. After he was arrested for DUI, our client provided a breath sample of .000/.000, and agreed to provide a urine sample. Our client also admitted to smoking marijuana prior to driving. The Criminal Case: Our client, 19, had never been arrested before and he wanted to avoid a criminal conviction at all costs. We reviewed the video with him and agreed that the State Attorney could not prove that he was under the influence. We got to work negotiating his case. We took the hard line that a careless driving disposition was the only thing he would accept. Ultimately, we were able to convince the State Attorney who agreed to reduce his charge to [...]

By |September 23rd, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

20 Year Old Warrant For Child Neglect Charges Dismissed

Facts: Over 20 years ago, my client was separated from her husband and caring for three minor children alone. One night, she left the children at home thinking that they were asleep and went out to run errands. One child woke up, contacted a neighbor, who contacted the police. My client was arrested for felony child neglect. She bonded out, but did not hire a lawyer. Shortly thereafter, she moved out of state and eventually reunited with her husband. Meanwhile, in Pinellas County, a formal charge of child neglect was filed against her. She did not appear for court, and an additional felony charge for failure to appear was also filed. Therefore, there were two felony warrants for her arrest. Over the years, my client moved again to another state. She raised the children and they all turned out well. They loved their mother and had no idea about the charges. My client eventually went to work for an insurance company, but could not get her insurance license because she could not pass a background check. She decided that it was time to [...]

Battery on Bouncer at Jannus Live Dropped

Facts: My client was at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg with his girlfriend. A band was playing that they both traveled around to see. They tried to get closer to the stage and a bouncer approached them. The bouncer grabbed my client and told him that he needed to leave. My client resisted his removal and flailed his arms. In the process, the bouncer was struck and the St. Petersburg Police Department was called. My client was arrested for battery. The Case: He has no prior record and a good job. I reached out to the bouncer and he confirmed that he did not want to press charges. I spoke to the prosecutor, explained the circumstances, and sent in a copy of my client's resume. The prosecutor agreed to drop the charge. My client is now eligible to expunge his record.

By |September 6th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Success Stories

Racing Charge on Gandy Bridge Dropped to Reckless Driving

Facts: My client is 18 and is a senior in high school. One evening, he and a bunch of friends went to the Gandy Bridge and began racing on it. Of course, the Florida Highway Patrol was there waiting for them. My client was arrested for racing on a highway. The Case: He and his family hired me to defend the case. I asked him to do the 12 hour ADI school and 20 hours of community service. I explained to the prosecutor that he was a young kid in high school with no record. I sent in a copy of his high school transcript showing that he had decent grades. The Result: Once my client completed the ADI school and the community service hours, the state amended the charge to reckless driving. He got a withhold of adjudication (no conviction) and the fine was $500. He is eligible to seal his record too. He and his parents were very happy with the result and the fact that we kept his record clean.

By |January 27th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery Dropped to Disorderly Conduct

Facts: My client and his wife had been having marital problems for some time. One night, they went out to a restaurant and then made the mistake of going out to a bar after. They both had been drinking heavily and it did not go well. At the bar, it was alleged that my client became upset at his wife for flirting with other men. When they went to leave, they got into an argument in the parking lot and it was alleged that he shoved her. He then left her at the bar, which really got her mad. When the police were called and she reported what had happened, he was arrested for domestic battery. He bonded out, but was forced out of the home and could not have contact with his wife. The Case: He moved in with family and began doing the domestic violence classes. His wife hired a lawyer to represent her. He reached out to me and explained her position. She just wanted him to get help with his anger and drinking and then she would take him [...]

Domestic Battery Dropped 18 Days After Arrest

Facts: My client and her boyfriend had been drinking on New Year's Eve. They got into an argument and eventually, it turned physical. My client's boyfriend alleged that she jumped on his back and scratched him. The police were called and she was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery. The Court Case: At her first appearance, her boyfriend came to court and told the judge that he did not want her prosecuted. He asked for contact with her and it was granted. She was fortunate that the case was heard by a judge covering the holiday because the judge that normally handles these hearings would not have allowed contact. But, she was lucky and was released on ROR. She hired me to assist her in getting the case dropped. Her boyfriend also hired a lawyer to assist us in getting the case dropped. We had the boyfriend fill out a request not to prosecute and sent it to the prosecutor. The prosecutor also called him and verified that he was not injured and did not want to prosecute. I also called the prosecutor and [...]

By |January 20th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

DUI Reduced to Careless Driving, a Civil Infraction

Facts: My client was headed through the drive-thru at Wendy's in St. Petersburg. As he pulled out onto Dr. MLK Jr St, he was surrounded by SPPD officers. When they smelled marijuana on him, they gave him field sobriety tests and arrested him. He contacted us to represent him on the case. The Case: There were two issues in the case. The first was why did they stop him? It said on his arrest affidavit that the employees of McDonald's across the street reported that he was sleeping in his car in their parking lot. The second issue was whether he was even impaired. My client denied that he had been to the McDonald's that night. I sent out a subpoena to McDonald's, but the cameras did not catch anything. So, we had to wait for the police reports and their video. We eventually got the 911 call too. In it, the employees of McDonald's said that the person who was passed out was driving a black car and had a black shirt on. To our surprise, the dash cam video from SPPD [...]

By |January 17th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Jail Reduced to 60 Days From 365 on Third DUI

Facts: My client was charged with a DUI with a blow over 0.15. He had a public defender for months and contacted me because his case was a mess. It seems that he had prior DUIs out of state, but no one could figure out how many. The prosecutor in Pinellas County was asking for a lot of jail and threatened that the case was going to be increased to a felony. My client hired me to figure it out. I immediately had him start DUI school, the Victim Impact panel, and any other conditions he could complete. He was compliant, but then violated his bond when his ankle bracelet alerted for alcohol. Thus, he was sent to the Pinellas County Jail while I tried to figure things out. The Prosecutor announced in court that they were seeking one year in jail as a penalty. Things were not looking good. The Case: We first researched how many prior DUIs there were. We found two, not three as the prosecutor thought. But, even with two DUIs, this current case should have been a felony. [...]

By |January 16th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Misdemeanor Warrant for Failure to Comply Dismissed

Facts: My client was visiting Florida a year ago. He rented a boat and during the trip got a ticket for driving too fast in a no wake zone. He went back home and due to some mix up, the ticket did not get paid. He went on about his life until he got a notice in the mail that he had to be in court on a misdemeanor warrant for his arrest! He wrote to the judge and explained the situation, but he never heard back. He then hired me to straighten out the problem. The Case: I researched what had happened. When the boating ticket for $116 did not get paid, the Pinellas County State Attorney's Office charged him with Failure to Comply, a misdemeanor. A warrant for his arrest was issued. My client is a businessman from out of state who had never been in trouble before. He clearly never meant to commit a crime. The fact that he was now being charged with a misdemeanor and might have to go to jail over a $116 ticket was ridiculous. I [...]

By |January 12th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Warrant for Felony Possession of Marijuana Reduced to Misdemeanor

Facts: Two years ago, my client was in Clearwater on vacation with her family. She was from Michigan where marijuana is legal. She had a medical marijuana card in Michigan, but when the state made recreational marijuana legal, she let it lapse. She was heading to Clearwater Beach when she parked in a no parking zone and a Clearwater police officer on an ATV approached her. He smelled marijuana and asked to search the car. She told him that she had a jar of marijuana that she had brought with her from Michigan. In it was over 50 grams of marijuana. She said that she didn't know that you needed a medical marijuana card in Florida. He seized the jar and let her go. The Case: She went home to Michigan and two years later found a felony warrant from Pinellas County on a background check. The Clearwater officer had turned the case in to the prosecutor who filed the charge. The case has been sitting with an active warrant for two years. She had no idea. She hired me to fix the [...]

Stalking Injunction Filed By Neighbor Dismissed by Judge

Facts: My client and his wife own a house on the intercoastal in Indian Rocks Beach. It is a vacation home, so they come to Florida to relax on the water and near the beach. New neighbors moved in and began running a commercial fishing charter operation from their dock. This meant that every morning two or three men would park at the neighbor's house, go out on the boat for the day and then return in the evening. Once they returned, they would clean the boat, restock the coolers with ice, refuel the boat with a gas tank hooked up to a pickup truck, and otherwise prep for the trip the next morning. On occasion, flocks of seabirds would be on the deck trying to get scraps of fish or bait. The operation of the charter business upset my client who simply wanted peace and quiet. After asking his neighbor to stop without success, he knew he had to get the authorities involved. He took photos and videos of the workers of the charter business working on the boat. He then submitted [...]

By |December 21st, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery By Girlfriend With Rollling Pin Dropped

Facts: My client and her boyfriend live together in Treasure Island. Over Thanksgiving, they got into an argument while she was cooking. They began yelling at each other and she allegedly hit him with a rolling pin. She left the house angry. The boyfriend was not injured, but he called the police anyway. Treasure Island PD responded and took his story. She was not there, so they weren't able to speak to her. But, because he told the police that she hit him with a rolling pin, they had probable cause to arrest her for domestic battery. She came home later that evening and the couple reconciled. But, the following morning, the police cars were again circling her house. She knew that they were there for her and she called me. I knew that if they found her, they would arrest her. There was simply nothing that I could do to prevent that. We decided to turn her in directly to the Pinellas County Jail late at night so that she could be booked and then she would have her court date in [...]

By |December 19th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery Dismissed After Client Removed From DVP

Facts: My client had no prior record and moved to Florida to be closer to her mother and family. She had a longstanding feud with her sister, but moved in with her and her mother while she found a job and got established in Pinellas County. The conflicts with her sister over the care of their mother started immediately. There was a lot of tension in the home over who was doing what and when. One evening, my client was supposed to leave for work and her sister was late to turn over the caretaking duties. An argument ensued that became physical. There were no injuries, but the sister alleged that my client pushed her. She called the police. The police responded and arrested my client for misdemeanor domestic battery. The Case: I immediately had my client enroll in domestic violence counseling. The court issued no contact with the home, which meant that my client could not see her mother. Also, because her sister controlled the home phone, my client could not call to speak to her mother. My client's sister was very [...]

By |December 8th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Burglary with Battery Felony by Husband on Wife’s Ex Dropped

Facts: My client and his wife have been married for several years and have children together. He had never been in trouble before and owned a successful business. His wife had been married before and her son with her ex-husband is a teenager. The ex-husband has been a constant source of issues with the family. Needless to say, both the step-son and the ex-husband do not like my client. Over the years, the wife has reported many problems with her ex, but she still had to have contact with him due to the shared custody of their son. However, the most recent issue was the most severe yet. The wife was at her work for the weekly exchange of her son. During the drop off, an argument ensued that led her to call 911 on her ex. She also called my client, her current husband, in tears and asking for help. My client panicked when he got the call, jumped in his car and drove to her work to help her. When he got to the office, the ex was still there. He [...]

Aggravated Battery Against Neighbor Dropped to Disorderly Conduct

Facts: My client lived alone in his neighborhood. A few months before this incident, a fellow resident bought the home next to him and began remodeling it. Over the months, my client began to get annoyed by the constant debris and noise. But, the two men never had any words. One afternoon, while the renovations were going on, my client walked outside and found his neighbor's dog unleashed and going to the bathroom on his property. He picked up a small bag of fertilizer that was sitting next to the door and threw it toward the dog to scared it off. The bag didn't hit the dog, but the neighbor saw it and got mad. An argument ensued. The neighbor picked up a piece of wood from the construction and walked toward my client. My client responded by grabbing a 4' wooden level off his porch and chased down the neighbor. He struck the neighbor several times with the level. The police were called and arrested him for felony aggravated battery. It was a serious charge. The Case: Even though the neighbor picked [...]

By |December 5th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Stalking Charge Against Ex-Girlfriend Dropped

Facts: Several years ago, my client had a girlfriend. They broke up under bad circumstances and went their separate ways. They hadn't spoken in 3-4 years. One day, my client began thinking about her and was wondering what ever happened to her. My client had no way to contact her, so my client drove to where she worked. My client found her car, looked inside the windows, and then pulled on the door handles to see if it was open. All the doors to the car were locked and my client left. Unbeknownst to my client, the ex-girlfriend's co-worker was outside smoking a cigarette and saw the whole thing. The co-worker reported it and the business pulled the security footage. The ex-girlfriend immediately recognized my client and called the police. The charge was investigated as a misdemeanor stalking crime. It was sent to the Office of the State Attorney in Pinellas County for further investigation. The Case: I was hired and immediately contacted the investigating officer. He confirmed that he would not arrest my client unless he was told to do so by [...]

By |November 14th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

State Drops Charges Removing Out of State Warrant

The Case: My client was arrested for Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer and Trespassing in 2011 for an incident that occurred while she (in her early 20's at the time) was intoxicated. The State Attorney's Office ultimately only filed the misdemeanor charge, but my client had moved out of Florida and the judge issued a warrant when she failed to appear for court. She contacted our office 10 years later when she found out about the warrant when her employer ran her background. The Result: Once my client learned about the warrant she contacted our office to see if we could help. She was worried about losing her job. We gathered information from her and reached out to the State Attorney's Office and let her employer know we were working on her case. My client had done substance abuse counseling after her arrest in Pinellas County and we provided proof of that to the prosecutor along with other mitigation. Ultimately, the prosecutor agreed to drop her charges and entered a Nolle Prosequi which resulted in her warrant being removed. My client was [...]

.000/.000 DUI Case Dropped Against Client

Facts: Our client was arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) after she was stopped for speeding after she crossed the Gandy Bridge. She had one drink earlier that night, but was sure she was fine to drive. The officer believed otherwise and arrested her for DUI. The Case: Our client was adamant she was innocent from the moment she contacted our office. She provided a breath sample of .000/.000% BAC and denied taking any controlled substances. At the time she hired us, her urine sample was pending. The Result: By working her case aggressively , we were able to get the prosecutor to provide the urine results much sooner than normal. We were also able to keep the client out of the courtroom while we worked her case. Once we had proof our client was not impaired by alcohol or controlled substances, the prosecutor agreed to drop the charges and our client also avoided the speeding ticket. While frustrated by her wrongful arrest, our client was grateful to have the experience behind her and is glad she is now eligible to expunge [...]

By |November 7th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Fishing Violation Reduced From Misdemeanor to $50 Infraction

Facts: Our client went off-shore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and caught a load of legal fish. Our client's girlfriend lives on the water near Coquina Key and our client went to her condo and fileted his catch on the dock. After spending time with his girlfriend, he took his boat and his catch by boat back to the Maximo Park Marina. When he arrived, FWC did a safety check of his vessel and my client informed the officer he had fileted fish on board. This is technically against the law, and my client was cited for a misdemeanor. The Case: My client has no prior record and holds a good job so avoiding a conviction was important to him. Given my experience as a prosecutor who handled fish & wildlife cases, I knew exactly what to do to maximize our client's chances for success. The Result: I contacted the prosecutor and given the mitigating circumstances and my client's lack of prior record, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the case to a civil infraction which only carried a $50.00 fine. My client [...]

By |November 4th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Client Avoids HTO Status and Jail Time on Driving on Suspended License Charges

Facts: My client was arrested for driving on a suspended license twice in the span of weeks. She was also cited for driving without insurance. The Case: My client reached out to us after she attended court and the prosecutor was seeking jail time. My client had a horrible driving record, and one more driving on a suspended license charge would cause her to qualify as a habitual traffic offender (HTO). HTO status would suspend her license for five more years. The Result: When she hired us, I looked into her driving history and was able to help her get a valid license almost immediately. This was just what we needed to negotiate with the prosecutor. I was able to convince the prosecutor that my client having a valid driver's license was more important than punishing her for driving without a license in the first place. Especially given the long term consequences. Ultimately, the state agreed to amend the charges such that my client was able to avoid HTO status and jail time.

By |November 2nd, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Grand Theft Charges Against Former Employee Dropped

Facts: My client is a green card holder from India who worked at a local gas station as a cashier. After working for several months, the owner accused him of stealing from the register and giving free merchandise and unauthorized discounts to patrons without management approval. Rather than handle the matter internally, the gas station called the police and my client was arrested for felony grand theft. After my client was arrested, he contacted our office for a consultation. We went over his case, potential defenses, and his relationship with his employer. After he hired us, we contacted the prosecutor and the business owner. The prosecutor was asking that our client repay just under $1,000.00 that the business was alleging he stole. However, in speaking with our client, after the business fired him, they did not pay him for his last two weeks of work for the business. This amount exceeded the amount the business claimed he stole. The Result: When we informed the prosecutor that the business had wrongfully withheld my client's pay checks, the prosecutor immediately dropped the charges. My client [...]

By |November 1st, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Prosecutor Agrees to Drop Nine Felony Charges

The Case: My client is married and an electrician by trade. He had subcontracted for a general contractor on a project, but the relationship deteriorated. After my client left the job, the former employer noticed that tools were missing from the job site and accused my client of stealing from the job site. My client had relocated so he was never interviewed by police. After the owner met with police, a warrant for nine felonies was put out for my client's arrest. When my client found out about the warrant, he contacted me and we went over his case. I was able to determine what the warrant was for and immediately set a motion to surrender. As my client had not been arrested in many years, I was able to persuade the judge to withdraw the warrant and he was released on ROR while we fought his case. The Result: Given my client's lack of prior record, the prosecutor offered PTI, but while PTI is usually a great outcome, my client was adamant he had done nothing wrong. Further, being on PTI would [...]

By |October 31st, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Pinellas County Risk Protection Order Dropped

Facts: My client was in the middle of a divorce with his wife. He had been married for a long time and was struggling. He was in therapy, but the situation between the couple was not good. They were still living together and the tension was increasing. One day, my client drank and it triggered a depression. He made statements about hurting himself and it worried his wife. She contacted law enforcement and he was Baker Acted. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office also filled out a Risk Protection Order (RPO). The petition for the RPO was granted by a Pinellas County judge. Once he got out of the hospital after 72 hours, the police served him with the RPO and took an old rifle that he had at the home. The Case: The case was postponed for a bit due to Hurricane Ian. My client continued to get therapy and his wife moved out. However, she was still supportive of him and did not want him to face negative consequences for this one time incident. I was able to have his counselor put [...]

By |October 18th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery by Father on Son Dropped

Facts: My client lives out of state and has an adult son living in Pinellas County. The son has a history of substance abuse and was pleading with his father for help. The father decided to fly to see his son and see if he could help. He stayed with his son at his house. One evening during the trip, the two were watching Monday Night Football together. The father went outside to smoke. When he came back in, his son accused him of wandering around looking for drugs. Shocked, they started to argue. During the argument, the son fell to the ground and injured his knee. The son called the police and the father was arrested for domestic battery. The Case: The father was released from the Pinellas County jail and permitted to go back home. He hired me from the airport and I got to work. We decided to put him into voluntary anger management. In the meantime, I spoke to the son and to the prosecutor about the case. There was a real issue about who instigated the incident. They [...]

By |October 14th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery Charge Against Wife Dropped

Facts: My client is married, has a three year old child, and is pregnant. She has never been in trouble before. She has a history of bi-polar depression. Recently, she has been struggling with her medication management because of the pregnancy. One evening, her mental health issues caused her to lose control. She began to argue with her husband and she threw a water bottle at him and grabbed the collar of his shirt, ripping it. The neighbors heard her yelling and called the police. When the police arrived, the husband said that he did not want her arrested, but they saw the ripped shirt and he admitted it was from her. They said they had no choice and had to arrest her for domestic battery. So, she was arrested, bonded out and could not have contact with her husband. Therefore, he moved out and she stayed at home with their child. The Case: My client understood that she needed help for her medication management. She set up an appointment with her psychiatrist and was also referred for follow up therapy. I had [...]

By |September 26th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

DUI Reduced to Careless Driving Citation

Facts: Our client was arrested for DUI in St. Petersburg, FL. He was stopped by a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Deputy because he was going 30+ miles over the speed limit. When the Deputy approached our client's vehicle she smelled the odor of marijuana and saw a pipe in the center console. Despite performing well on field sobriety exercises our client was arrested for DUI and possession of marijuana. After he was arrested for DUI, our client provided a breath sample of .000/.000, and agreed to provide a urine sample. Our client also admitted to smoking marijuana prior to driving. The Criminal Case: Our client, 19, had never been arrested before and he wanted to avoid a criminal conviction at all costs. We reviewed the video with him and agreed that the State Attorney could not prove that he was under the influence. We got to work negotiating his case. We took the hard line that a careless driving disposition was the only thing he would accept. Ultimately, we were able to convince the State Attorney who agreed to reduce his charge to [...]

By |September 23rd, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

20 Year Old Warrant For Child Neglect Charges Dismissed

Facts: Over 20 years ago, my client was separated from her husband and caring for three minor children alone. One night, she left the children at home thinking that they were asleep and went out to run errands. One child woke up, contacted a neighbor, who contacted the police. My client was arrested for felony child neglect. She bonded out, but did not hire a lawyer. Shortly thereafter, she moved out of state and eventually reunited with her husband. Meanwhile, in Pinellas County, a formal charge of child neglect was filed against her. She did not appear for court, and an additional felony charge for failure to appear was also filed. Therefore, there were two felony warrants for her arrest. Over the years, my client moved again to another state. She raised the children and they all turned out well. They loved their mother and had no idea about the charges. My client eventually went to work for an insurance company, but could not get her insurance license because she could not pass a background check. She decided that it was time to [...]

Battery on Bouncer at Jannus Live Dropped

Facts: My client was at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg with his girlfriend. A band was playing that they both traveled around to see. They tried to get closer to the stage and a bouncer approached them. The bouncer grabbed my client and told him that he needed to leave. My client resisted his removal and flailed his arms. In the process, the bouncer was struck and the St. Petersburg Police Department was called. My client was arrested for battery. The Case: He has no prior record and a good job. I reached out to the bouncer and he confirmed that he did not want to press charges. I spoke to the prosecutor, explained the circumstances, and sent in a copy of my client's resume. The prosecutor agreed to drop the charge. My client is now eligible to expunge his record.

By |September 6th, 2022|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
St Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney
Sean McQuaid 2022 Awards
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