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

Warrant for Worthless Check Fixed and Case Dismissed

Facts: My client had a storage unit for several years. One of her checks bounced, but she was not notified. She closed the unit and moved to Tampa. She had no idea there was a problem. No one from the storage unit ever picked up the phone to even call her, they just reported the check to the police. The police then referred the matter to the State Attorney's Office. A prosecutor filed a charge against her for a worthless check and a court date was set. The clerk sent the court notice to her old home in Pinellas County and of course, my client did not know about it. No one at any point ever called her to ask her to make good on the check. It is just amazing how this is the system that we have. She missed her court date because she never knew about it and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Fortunately, one of her old neighbors notified her that the police had come to her old home looking for her about a warrant. She called [...]

By |May 17th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Aggravated Assault Investigation Closed With No Charges

Facts: My client was involved in an argument with another man at a condo building over a bicycle allegedly blocking the walkway. During the argument, the man accused my client of putting a screwdriver up to his neck in a threatening manner. My client denied that he ever threatened the man. In fact, the man pulled out a knife during the incident and my client believed that he was the true victim of a crime. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office responded but did not arrest anyone. Both men claimed that they were the victim of an assault. The deputy decided to refer the case to the State Attorney's Office to decide if an aggravated assault had occurred. This is a felony and a serious matter, so my client wanted to be proactive. The Case: I knew that the case was being referred to a prosecutor, so I checked in every few days to find out when the investigation would be set. I wrote a lengthy letter detailing the history of the situation and why a crime was not committed. In the letter, I [...]

Stalking Injunctions Against Neighbor Dismissed

Facts: My client operates rental units on the beach. It is a condo building with multiple units. He is required to clean and maintain the properties. Within the same complex is a woman who used to be his current wife's boss. I will call her Ms.X. Through this relationship, he found out about the rental units and has done well. Ms. X and her fiancee also frequent the complex in order to clean and maintain units. Apparently, they have despised my client for a long time. Recently, there was an incident between my client and Ms. X's fiancee. The incident began when my client requested that he move his bicycle from the hallway and an argument began. During the argument, the fiancee claimed that my client held a screwdriver near him. My client alleged that the fiancee pulled out a pocket knife. They both called 911 and no one was arrested. A couple of days later, Ms. X and her fiancee filed stalking injunctions against my client. The Case: If the injunctions were granted, my client would not have been allowed back at [...]

By |May 1st, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

First DUI With Crash Reduced to Reckless Driving

Facts: My client was headed home from working as a bartender. He had some drinks after his shift and there was water on the road. He hit a patch of pooled water and his car slid off the road and into a traffic pole. The crash was significant and his car wound up being totaled. He also suffered an injury to his shoulder. The St. Petersburg Police arrived and began their investigation for DUI. He was eventually arrested and blew .13. He was taken to the Pinellas County jail and was released. The Case: Because there was a serious crash, I knew that he might not be eligible for the DROP program by the State. The DROP program would have guaranteed that he got a reckless driving charge instead of a DUI. I had my client begin completing all of the DUI requirements. It was his first DUI, so I was hoping that he would get some leniency. Once he completed the conditions, I wrote a letter to the State asking them to either let him into DROP or to give him a [...]

Second-Degree Fleeing or Eluding Charge Dismissed

Law enforcement arrested our client for Second-Degree Fleeing or Eluding - exposing him to up to 15 years in prison. However, the facts of the case made clear they were overreacting with that arrest. In fact, our client was on a motorcycle riding with three other motorcyclists. The officer got behind them and flashed his lights for less than two seconds. While two other drivers took off, our client pulled off the highway as soon as it was safe. Because the lights were only flashed and sirens were not used, he believed the officer was just flashing his lights to get them to slow down. Nonetheless, frustrated at the fact that the other two fled, the officer arrested our client and had him booked at the Pinellas County Jail. Despite having no criminal record, the first-appearance judge ordered that the client wear a GPS monitor and be prohibited from driving while the case was pending. Defense Attorney Alec Waid immediately contacted the prosecutor and began clarifying the context surrounding the officer's over-reaction. Mr. Waid also filed and argued a successful motion to have [...]

By |April 15th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Second Time DUI Reduced to Careless Driving

Facts: My client was visiting a friend in St. Petersburg. It was not a wild night and they were just hanging out. On the way back home to Tampa, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper was finishing up a stop on I-275. My client did not move over or slow down to the required speed. As a result, the Trooper stopped him for a violation of Florida's Move Over Law. My client admitted to having a couple of drinks, so the Trooper began a DUI investigation. He claimed that my client had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery, and glassy eyes. My client refused to perform the field sobriety tests and was arrested. He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and bonded out. But, he blew a .39, which was below the legal limit! So, the Trooper took a urine sample. My client's driver's license was not suspended. The Case: I was hired and my client disclosed that he had a prior DUI from a few years before. While that was going to be an issue, I knew that the whole case was [...]

Open Container Charge in St. Petersburg Dismissed

Facts: My client is 21 and goes to Eckerd College. He was out with some friends in downtown St. Petersburg. They were hanging out on the sidewalk all with beers in their hands. A St. Petersburg Police Officer with obviously nothing better to do approached them and told them that they could not drink outside the bar. The boys put down their drinks. But, my client misunderstood and sat down at a table with the beer bottle. He did not understand that he wasn't allowed outside at all with the drink. The officer walked over to him and arrested him for the open container charge. Although it is only an ordinance violation, the officer took him to the Pinellas County jail and booked him. The Case: The fact that this young man got arrested for an open container charge was ridiculous. He hired me to deal with the case. I filed my plea of not guilty and wrote a letter explaining what had happened. I asked for the case to be dropped. The Result: The prosecutor called me and agreed that the arrest [...]

Not Guilty in St. Petersburg DUI Trial for 2nd Time DUI

Attorneys Sean McQuaid and Ranger Jackson won a challenging DUI trial at the Pinellas Justice Center this week. The case stemmed from an arrest by St. Petersburg Police for DUI and Driving on a Suspended License. It was our client’s second DUI and he faced a lengthy jail sentence and 5 year driver’s license suspension. Going to trial was very risky. After hearing the case, the jury took only 17 minutes to acquit our client. He also avoided jail on the suspended license charge. It was an amazing job by Sean and Ranger! Our client is beyond grateful. This was the second time that our office represented this client. He had been charged with his first DUI in 2021. He had completed all of the penalties from that case but failed to reinstate his driver’s license. Thus, it was suspended and he was not allowed to drive. In April 2023, while driving North on 4th St. in St. Petersburg, an officer ran his tag and pulled him over for driving on a suspended license. When she spoke to him, he was evasive and [...]

DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving and No Conviction

Facts: My client was arrested for a first-time DUI. She had never been in trouble before. She was stopped for speeding and blew a .12. She was very scared and embarrassed. She hired me to help. The Case: I was aware that she was eligible for the DROP program in Pinellas County. I checked the police reports and video for any defenses and then applied for the program. She was accepted. The Result: The State Attorney reduced the charge to reckless driving. Adjudication was withheld meaning that she was not convicted. She will be off probation in three months and then can get to work on sealing her record. It was a good result and my client is very happy.

Aggravated Assault Charge and Injunction Dismissed

Facts: My client is dating a woman who is involved in a lot of family drama. As background, two homes were inherited by her family, and in each home lives an aunt. There have been a series of family disputes over who lives in the homes and a variety of problems associated with them. My client has tried to be supportive of her family, but due to the family animosity, it has been difficult. In the past year, the "other" aunt has allowed her son to move in with her. This son has a criminal history and is on probation. There have been family disputes over whether he should be allowed to live there. Arguments have become common as the family relationship has deteriorated. On the day of the incident, there was a dispute between this man and the aunt. My client responded to the property and eventually got into an argument with the "other" aunt about her son living there and causing problems. Later on that evening, my client went to the house to drop off ice cream for his girlfriend's aunt. [...]

By |February 14th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Jail Avoided for 3rd DUI With .266 Blow

The Arrest: Our client was arrested for Felony DUI and Resisting Arrest Without Violence in St. Petersburg, Florida. Another driver observed him driving poorly and our client ended up backed into another vehicle in a parking lot. He fled the scene, but police located him nearby. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and the St. Petersburg Police Department arrested him for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). As he was being arrested, he braced and tensed and was charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. After he was arrested, he provided a breath sample of .259/.266, over three times the legal limit of .08. The Criminal Case: Because he had two prior DUI convictions, and one was only several years ago, this DUI qualified as a felony DUI which comes with a mandatory 30 day jail sentence. Because his prior DUI was so recent and his blow was so high, oftentimes the prosecutor seeks even more jail time. Knowing this, after we were brought on we worked hard to do everything we could so that our client could avoid jail time. We advised [...]

Possession of Adderall and Marijuana in St. Pete Dropped

Facts: My client was out with friends in downtown St. Petersburg. He drank so much that he became rowdy. The police were alerted to his behavior. He was so out of it that he eventually passed out while being questioned. While he was being arrested for disorderly intoxication, his pockets were searched and the police found a pill of adderall and a vape pen. He was taken to the hospital and then to the jail. He was booked for felony possession of adderall, felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor disorderly intoxication. He was released and contacted me. The Case: My client had prescriptions for the adderall and the marijuana. But, because he passed out, he was unable to defend himself. Our goal was to protect his record. I knew that the prosecutor was going to be concerned with his drinking. I asked him to get an alcohol evaluation in case things went sideways. I then provided a letter with the prescriptions and a detailed description of his background. The Result: About three weeks after his arrest, all charges were dropped. My client is [...]

By |February 7th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Two Friends Arrested for Disorderly Intoxication on NYE Have Cases Dropped

Facts: My two clients are young women who were out in downtown St. Petersburg on New Year's Eve. They ordered an Uber and were walking toward where the Uber pickup location was. As they walked, two other women began making comments and an argument started. Because the police were everywhere that evening, they quickly responded and wound up arresting one of the women. Seeing her friend being put in handcuffs, the other friend tried to intervene, and she wound up being arrested too! They both were charged with disorderly intoxication and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. They bonded out later that morning. The Case: I had a feeling that because it was New Year's Eve, the police were going to be very strict. I assumed that there were a lot of arrests that night and that the prosecutors were going to be lenient. Both of my clients had good backgrounds and I wrote a letter explaining how this incident was out of character. The Result: One month after the arrests, all charges were dropped for both of them. They are now eligible [...]

By |February 6th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery by Husband on Wife Dropped

Facts: My client and his wife are married and were at home drinking. Also present was my client's best friend. All three drank excessively and the night got out of control. My client started getting upset with how his friend was talking to his wife and an argument started. During the argument, it was alleged that my client wrestled his wife to the ground. My client left the home and the friend called the police. The police responded and eventually arrested him for misdemeanor domestic battery. He was taken to the Pinellas County jail and released with a CAM ankle monitor. The Case: The allegations in the arrest affidavit made my client seem like he was out of control. I immediately had him enroll in the Batterer's Intervention Program, which is the anger management for domestic violence cases. I also spoke to his wife, who did not want to prosecute. I had her sign a request not to prosecute. I then submitted a letter to the prosecutor explaining the situation and showing proof that he was in counseling. The Result: It took two [...]

By |February 5th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Disorderly Intoxication at Five Bucks Drinkery Dropped

Facts: My client was out with friends and bar hopping in downtown St. Petersburg. He wound up having a dispute over his bill at Five Bucks Drinkery. Security got involved and kicked him out. Once he was out on the street on Central Ave, the police swarmed him. He was quickly arrested for disorderly intoxication and taken to the Pinellas County jail. The Case: My client had never been in trouble before and it was not an aggravated situation. I wrote a letter to the prosecutor explaining his background. My position was that he did not need counseling and that the arrest was punishment enough. The Result: Just over two weeks after the arrest, the charge was dropped. The prosecutor agreed that the arrest was sufficient to teach him a lesson. My client will not have to go to court at all on this charge. He was very happy.

By |February 2nd, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

1st Time DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Facts: My client was out to dinner with his wife in downtown St. Petersburg. He did not live in St. Pete, so was not familiar with the area. As they headed home, they approached an intersection that had been closed due to an accident investigation. The police had hung crime scene tape, but there was a glare and it was hanging low. My client did not see the tape and drove through it. He was stopped by the St. Petersburg Police Department. He was asked to do the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail. The Case: He was eligible for the DROP program since he had never been in trouble before. He took the DUI school, did 20 hours of community service, and completed the Victim Impact Panel. The Result: The case was amended from DUI to reckless driving. He was sentenced to 9 months of probation with early termination and had to complete a few other conditions. He can now move on with his life.

Boating Under Influence Reduced to Reckless Operation

Facts: My client was stopped by Florida Fish & Wildlife for operating his boat on a full plane inside the Dunedin Causeway Bridge. After he was stopped, the officer put him through a series of field sobriety tests. He was arrested for BUI and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. He refused the intoxilyzer test. The Case: My client had never been in trouble before and it was a weak case. The tests that the Fish & Wildlife officer had him perform were on the boat in the water and impossible to do. There was no video either. I had my client complete the Coast Guard Safety course and then we submitted a mitigation letter to the prosecutor asking for a reduction of the charge. The Result: The prosecutor agreed to amend the BUI to a reckless operation of a vehicle. My client had to pay an $800 fine, 6 months of probation, and get an alcohol evaluation. It was a good result and my client was very happy. He can get off probation in 3 months and get on with his life.

By |December 8th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Misdemeanor for Allowing Unlicensed Husband to Drive Reduced

Facts: My client is married and owns a car. Her husband's driver's license has been suspended for years, yet he continued to drive. She knew about it, but he needed to get to and from work, so he took her car. She had no idea that it was a crime to let him drive her car. In any event, he was followed home by the Largo Police and stopped. He was arrested for driving with a suspended license. When they asked her about it, she admitted that she knew his license was suspended. So, the police issued her a citation for a misdemeanor. The charge was permitting an unlicensed person to drive. The Case: She was clearly upset because she had never been in trouble before and had no idea that by allowing her husband to drive, she could be charged with a misdemeanor. She hired me and I had seen this same case many times before. I had her take a Victim Impact Panel, which is an online class sponsored by MADD. I then contacted the prosecutor, explained the circumstances, and asked [...]

First Time Domestic Battery Charge Dropped

Facts: My client is an older man who owns a nice home and is retired. His girlfriend and her daughter moved in and lived with him for about a year. The relationship was not going well and there were constant arguments. My client finally decided to break up with her and asked her to move out. She refused. About three weeks later, he woke up one morning and found that his girlfriend's daughter was having her boyfriend also stay over at night. This started a big argument. During the argument, his girlfriend claimed that he pushed her to the ground. She called the police and he was arrested for domestic battery. He was also ordered out of his own house. The Case: I did some investigation and found several prior domestic violence cases that his girlfriend was involved with. I knew that I was dealing with someone who knew the system and could be dangerous if the case was not handled properly. My client was pushing me to go nuclear and file an eviction lawsuit, but I asked him to be patient. I [...]

By |November 13th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Eleven Felonies Expunged in Three Months

Facts: Our client came to us and was very frustrated with her previous lawyer, who had been unresponsive for months regarding her expungement. Our team got right to work on her behalf and was able to secure her an expungement of all eleven felony charges in just under three months. Our commitment to our clients begins the day you hire us and we are dedicated to working our fullest on your behalf.

By |November 8th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery With Punch on Girlfriend Dropped

Facts: My client is a young man and has been dating his girlfriend for a year and a half. One evening, he was drinking and they began to argue. He punched her in the face during the argument. She was not injured. He then called the police and reported himself. When St. Petersburg PD arrived at his apartment, he told them that he made a mistake and hit her. He was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery, taken to the Pinellas County jail and released on supervised ROR. The Case: It was the first time that he had been in trouble and he took it seriously. He felt really bad about what he had done and wanted to make it right. I had him start anger management classes. They were once a week. I also spoke to his girlfriend who confirmed that she did not want to prosecute. But, the fact that my client had called the police on himself and admitted to hitting her was a big problem. I knew that we were going to need to show that he had already been [...]

By |November 7th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery by Brother on Brother Dropped

Facts: My client was at his apartment with his roommate. His brother was staying the night because they had to go to a work event in the morning. They were drinking and a fight began. During the fight, my client punched his brother in the face twice and they wrestled. My client left the apartment and his brother called the police. My client was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and taken to the Pinellas County jail. When he went to court the next morning, the judge released him with a CAM ankle monitor and told him that he could not go back home. The Case: The first issue that we needed to handle was the court order preventing my client from going back home. The brother did not live there, so we set a hearing and asked the judge to correct that issue. It worked and my client was allowed to go back home within a few days. There was a prior incident between the brothers, so that concerned me. My client was very apologetic and I recommended that he begin anger management. [...]

By |November 3rd, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Prison Avoided for VOP Involving Multiple Drug Felonies

Facts: My client has a long history of substance abuse. He gets sober for a while but seems to always have a relapse. I started representing him in 2021 when he was stopped for DUI and the police found fentanyl, alprazolam, and paraphernalia in his car. I was able to avoid a felony conviction then and get him probation with drug counseling. The second time that I represented him was when he was arrested again in 2022 for DUI, driving on a suspended license, possession of fentanyl, and possession of paraphernalia. The new charges violated his original probation and he sat in jail until I was able to get his case resolved. We found a sober living facility that would also allow counseling. He was released to the facility and successfully completed the program. In 2023, he violated his probation again by testing positive for cocaine. He was held in the Pinellas County Jail while I handled the case. The Case: The prosecutor and the judge had had enough and wanted to send him to prison. The Judge wanted him to serve 3 [...]

30 Days of Jail Avoided for DUI With Crash

Facts: My client had a relapse with alcohol. Although she had been sober for years, she fell off the wagon. One night, she got impaired and rear-ended another car. She was arrested and refused the Intoxilyzer. She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and released with a CAM monitor on her ankle. It was not good. She had a prior DUI from several years before, so she needed to get her life straightened out. The Case: My client was just as motivated to stay sober as she was working on the case. She got back into AA meetings. She did DUI school and did the counseling. She did the Victim Impact Panel. She reported the accident to her insurance company and cooperated with them. She did everything right. We reviewed the police reports and the video and she was clearly impaired, so this case was all about minimizing the consequences. Because this was a second DUI outside of 5 years, there was no mandatory jail time required. But, the prosecutor wanted her to do 30 days of jail as a penalty. The [...]

Domestic Violence Injunction by Girlfriend Dropped

Facts: My client and his girlfriend lived together in his home. They had been dating for a couple of years, but it was not going well. She accused him of drinking too much and he had asked her to move out. Things were not looking good. One morning, she accused him of pushing her during an argument. She filed a domestic violence injunction and he was forced to leave the home. There are more facts to this case that I won't discuss, but he was out of his home and was in a bad spot. The Case: I knew that he was going to need to get an alcohol evaluation and do anger management. He started both. At the same time, I reached out to her and asked her whether she would agree to postpone the injunction hearing for a month to see how things were going. She agreed and I filed a motion to continue the case with the judge. The Result: My client continued with his treatment and his girlfriend agreed to drop the injunction. It was a good result and [...]

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

Success Stories

Warrant for Worthless Check Fixed and Case Dismissed

Facts: My client had a storage unit for several years. One of her checks bounced, but she was not notified. She closed the unit and moved to Tampa. She had no idea there was a problem. No one from the storage unit ever picked up the phone to even call her, they just reported the check to the police. The police then referred the matter to the State Attorney's Office. A prosecutor filed a charge against her for a worthless check and a court date was set. The clerk sent the court notice to her old home in Pinellas County and of course, my client did not know about it. No one at any point ever called her to ask her to make good on the check. It is just amazing how this is the system that we have. She missed her court date because she never knew about it and a warrant was issued for her arrest. Fortunately, one of her old neighbors notified her that the police had come to her old home looking for her about a warrant. She called [...]

By |May 17th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Aggravated Assault Investigation Closed With No Charges

Facts: My client was involved in an argument with another man at a condo building over a bicycle allegedly blocking the walkway. During the argument, the man accused my client of putting a screwdriver up to his neck in a threatening manner. My client denied that he ever threatened the man. In fact, the man pulled out a knife during the incident and my client believed that he was the true victim of a crime. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office responded but did not arrest anyone. Both men claimed that they were the victim of an assault. The deputy decided to refer the case to the State Attorney's Office to decide if an aggravated assault had occurred. This is a felony and a serious matter, so my client wanted to be proactive. The Case: I knew that the case was being referred to a prosecutor, so I checked in every few days to find out when the investigation would be set. I wrote a lengthy letter detailing the history of the situation and why a crime was not committed. In the letter, I [...]

Stalking Injunctions Against Neighbor Dismissed

Facts: My client operates rental units on the beach. It is a condo building with multiple units. He is required to clean and maintain the properties. Within the same complex is a woman who used to be his current wife's boss. I will call her Ms.X. Through this relationship, he found out about the rental units and has done well. Ms. X and her fiancee also frequent the complex in order to clean and maintain units. Apparently, they have despised my client for a long time. Recently, there was an incident between my client and Ms. X's fiancee. The incident began when my client requested that he move his bicycle from the hallway and an argument began. During the argument, the fiancee claimed that my client held a screwdriver near him. My client alleged that the fiancee pulled out a pocket knife. They both called 911 and no one was arrested. A couple of days later, Ms. X and her fiancee filed stalking injunctions against my client. The Case: If the injunctions were granted, my client would not have been allowed back at [...]

By |May 1st, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

First DUI With Crash Reduced to Reckless Driving

Facts: My client was headed home from working as a bartender. He had some drinks after his shift and there was water on the road. He hit a patch of pooled water and his car slid off the road and into a traffic pole. The crash was significant and his car wound up being totaled. He also suffered an injury to his shoulder. The St. Petersburg Police arrived and began their investigation for DUI. He was eventually arrested and blew .13. He was taken to the Pinellas County jail and was released. The Case: Because there was a serious crash, I knew that he might not be eligible for the DROP program by the State. The DROP program would have guaranteed that he got a reckless driving charge instead of a DUI. I had my client begin completing all of the DUI requirements. It was his first DUI, so I was hoping that he would get some leniency. Once he completed the conditions, I wrote a letter to the State asking them to either let him into DROP or to give him a [...]

Second-Degree Fleeing or Eluding Charge Dismissed

Law enforcement arrested our client for Second-Degree Fleeing or Eluding - exposing him to up to 15 years in prison. However, the facts of the case made clear they were overreacting with that arrest. In fact, our client was on a motorcycle riding with three other motorcyclists. The officer got behind them and flashed his lights for less than two seconds. While two other drivers took off, our client pulled off the highway as soon as it was safe. Because the lights were only flashed and sirens were not used, he believed the officer was just flashing his lights to get them to slow down. Nonetheless, frustrated at the fact that the other two fled, the officer arrested our client and had him booked at the Pinellas County Jail. Despite having no criminal record, the first-appearance judge ordered that the client wear a GPS monitor and be prohibited from driving while the case was pending. Defense Attorney Alec Waid immediately contacted the prosecutor and began clarifying the context surrounding the officer's over-reaction. Mr. Waid also filed and argued a successful motion to have [...]

By |April 15th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Second Time DUI Reduced to Careless Driving

Facts: My client was visiting a friend in St. Petersburg. It was not a wild night and they were just hanging out. On the way back home to Tampa, a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper was finishing up a stop on I-275. My client did not move over or slow down to the required speed. As a result, the Trooper stopped him for a violation of Florida's Move Over Law. My client admitted to having a couple of drinks, so the Trooper began a DUI investigation. He claimed that my client had an odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery, and glassy eyes. My client refused to perform the field sobriety tests and was arrested. He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and bonded out. But, he blew a .39, which was below the legal limit! So, the Trooper took a urine sample. My client's driver's license was not suspended. The Case: I was hired and my client disclosed that he had a prior DUI from a few years before. While that was going to be an issue, I knew that the whole case was [...]

Open Container Charge in St. Petersburg Dismissed

Facts: My client is 21 and goes to Eckerd College. He was out with some friends in downtown St. Petersburg. They were hanging out on the sidewalk all with beers in their hands. A St. Petersburg Police Officer with obviously nothing better to do approached them and told them that they could not drink outside the bar. The boys put down their drinks. But, my client misunderstood and sat down at a table with the beer bottle. He did not understand that he wasn't allowed outside at all with the drink. The officer walked over to him and arrested him for the open container charge. Although it is only an ordinance violation, the officer took him to the Pinellas County jail and booked him. The Case: The fact that this young man got arrested for an open container charge was ridiculous. He hired me to deal with the case. I filed my plea of not guilty and wrote a letter explaining what had happened. I asked for the case to be dropped. The Result: The prosecutor called me and agreed that the arrest [...]

Not Guilty in St. Petersburg DUI Trial for 2nd Time DUI

Attorneys Sean McQuaid and Ranger Jackson won a challenging DUI trial at the Pinellas Justice Center this week. The case stemmed from an arrest by St. Petersburg Police for DUI and Driving on a Suspended License. It was our client’s second DUI and he faced a lengthy jail sentence and 5 year driver’s license suspension. Going to trial was very risky. After hearing the case, the jury took only 17 minutes to acquit our client. He also avoided jail on the suspended license charge. It was an amazing job by Sean and Ranger! Our client is beyond grateful. This was the second time that our office represented this client. He had been charged with his first DUI in 2021. He had completed all of the penalties from that case but failed to reinstate his driver’s license. Thus, it was suspended and he was not allowed to drive. In April 2023, while driving North on 4th St. in St. Petersburg, an officer ran his tag and pulled him over for driving on a suspended license. When she spoke to him, he was evasive and [...]

DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving and No Conviction

Facts: My client was arrested for a first-time DUI. She had never been in trouble before. She was stopped for speeding and blew a .12. She was very scared and embarrassed. She hired me to help. The Case: I was aware that she was eligible for the DROP program in Pinellas County. I checked the police reports and video for any defenses and then applied for the program. She was accepted. The Result: The State Attorney reduced the charge to reckless driving. Adjudication was withheld meaning that she was not convicted. She will be off probation in three months and then can get to work on sealing her record. It was a good result and my client is very happy.

Aggravated Assault Charge and Injunction Dismissed

Facts: My client is dating a woman who is involved in a lot of family drama. As background, two homes were inherited by her family, and in each home lives an aunt. There have been a series of family disputes over who lives in the homes and a variety of problems associated with them. My client has tried to be supportive of her family, but due to the family animosity, it has been difficult. In the past year, the "other" aunt has allowed her son to move in with her. This son has a criminal history and is on probation. There have been family disputes over whether he should be allowed to live there. Arguments have become common as the family relationship has deteriorated. On the day of the incident, there was a dispute between this man and the aunt. My client responded to the property and eventually got into an argument with the "other" aunt about her son living there and causing problems. Later on that evening, my client went to the house to drop off ice cream for his girlfriend's aunt. [...]

By |February 14th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Jail Avoided for 3rd DUI With .266 Blow

The Arrest: Our client was arrested for Felony DUI and Resisting Arrest Without Violence in St. Petersburg, Florida. Another driver observed him driving poorly and our client ended up backed into another vehicle in a parking lot. He fled the scene, but police located him nearby. He performed poorly on the field sobriety tests and the St. Petersburg Police Department arrested him for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). As he was being arrested, he braced and tensed and was charged with resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. After he was arrested, he provided a breath sample of .259/.266, over three times the legal limit of .08. The Criminal Case: Because he had two prior DUI convictions, and one was only several years ago, this DUI qualified as a felony DUI which comes with a mandatory 30 day jail sentence. Because his prior DUI was so recent and his blow was so high, oftentimes the prosecutor seeks even more jail time. Knowing this, after we were brought on we worked hard to do everything we could so that our client could avoid jail time. We advised [...]

Possession of Adderall and Marijuana in St. Pete Dropped

Facts: My client was out with friends in downtown St. Petersburg. He drank so much that he became rowdy. The police were alerted to his behavior. He was so out of it that he eventually passed out while being questioned. While he was being arrested for disorderly intoxication, his pockets were searched and the police found a pill of adderall and a vape pen. He was taken to the hospital and then to the jail. He was booked for felony possession of adderall, felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor disorderly intoxication. He was released and contacted me. The Case: My client had prescriptions for the adderall and the marijuana. But, because he passed out, he was unable to defend himself. Our goal was to protect his record. I knew that the prosecutor was going to be concerned with his drinking. I asked him to get an alcohol evaluation in case things went sideways. I then provided a letter with the prescriptions and a detailed description of his background. The Result: About three weeks after his arrest, all charges were dropped. My client is [...]

By |February 7th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Two Friends Arrested for Disorderly Intoxication on NYE Have Cases Dropped

Facts: My two clients are young women who were out in downtown St. Petersburg on New Year's Eve. They ordered an Uber and were walking toward where the Uber pickup location was. As they walked, two other women began making comments and an argument started. Because the police were everywhere that evening, they quickly responded and wound up arresting one of the women. Seeing her friend being put in handcuffs, the other friend tried to intervene, and she wound up being arrested too! They both were charged with disorderly intoxication and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. They bonded out later that morning. The Case: I had a feeling that because it was New Year's Eve, the police were going to be very strict. I assumed that there were a lot of arrests that night and that the prosecutors were going to be lenient. Both of my clients had good backgrounds and I wrote a letter explaining how this incident was out of character. The Result: One month after the arrests, all charges were dropped for both of them. They are now eligible [...]

By |February 6th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery by Husband on Wife Dropped

Facts: My client and his wife are married and were at home drinking. Also present was my client's best friend. All three drank excessively and the night got out of control. My client started getting upset with how his friend was talking to his wife and an argument started. During the argument, it was alleged that my client wrestled his wife to the ground. My client left the home and the friend called the police. The police responded and eventually arrested him for misdemeanor domestic battery. He was taken to the Pinellas County jail and released with a CAM ankle monitor. The Case: The allegations in the arrest affidavit made my client seem like he was out of control. I immediately had him enroll in the Batterer's Intervention Program, which is the anger management for domestic violence cases. I also spoke to his wife, who did not want to prosecute. I had her sign a request not to prosecute. I then submitted a letter to the prosecutor explaining the situation and showing proof that he was in counseling. The Result: It took two [...]

By |February 5th, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Disorderly Intoxication at Five Bucks Drinkery Dropped

Facts: My client was out with friends and bar hopping in downtown St. Petersburg. He wound up having a dispute over his bill at Five Bucks Drinkery. Security got involved and kicked him out. Once he was out on the street on Central Ave, the police swarmed him. He was quickly arrested for disorderly intoxication and taken to the Pinellas County jail. The Case: My client had never been in trouble before and it was not an aggravated situation. I wrote a letter to the prosecutor explaining his background. My position was that he did not need counseling and that the arrest was punishment enough. The Result: Just over two weeks after the arrest, the charge was dropped. The prosecutor agreed that the arrest was sufficient to teach him a lesson. My client will not have to go to court at all on this charge. He was very happy.

By |February 2nd, 2024|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

1st Time DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

Facts: My client was out to dinner with his wife in downtown St. Petersburg. He did not live in St. Pete, so was not familiar with the area. As they headed home, they approached an intersection that had been closed due to an accident investigation. The police had hung crime scene tape, but there was a glare and it was hanging low. My client did not see the tape and drove through it. He was stopped by the St. Petersburg Police Department. He was asked to do the field sobriety tests and was arrested for DUI. He was taken to the Pinellas County Jail. The Case: He was eligible for the DROP program since he had never been in trouble before. He took the DUI school, did 20 hours of community service, and completed the Victim Impact Panel. The Result: The case was amended from DUI to reckless driving. He was sentenced to 9 months of probation with early termination and had to complete a few other conditions. He can now move on with his life.

Boating Under Influence Reduced to Reckless Operation

Facts: My client was stopped by Florida Fish & Wildlife for operating his boat on a full plane inside the Dunedin Causeway Bridge. After he was stopped, the officer put him through a series of field sobriety tests. He was arrested for BUI and taken to the Pinellas County Jail. He refused the intoxilyzer test. The Case: My client had never been in trouble before and it was a weak case. The tests that the Fish & Wildlife officer had him perform were on the boat in the water and impossible to do. There was no video either. I had my client complete the Coast Guard Safety course and then we submitted a mitigation letter to the prosecutor asking for a reduction of the charge. The Result: The prosecutor agreed to amend the BUI to a reckless operation of a vehicle. My client had to pay an $800 fine, 6 months of probation, and get an alcohol evaluation. It was a good result and my client was very happy. He can get off probation in 3 months and get on with his life.

By |December 8th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Misdemeanor for Allowing Unlicensed Husband to Drive Reduced

Facts: My client is married and owns a car. Her husband's driver's license has been suspended for years, yet he continued to drive. She knew about it, but he needed to get to and from work, so he took her car. She had no idea that it was a crime to let him drive her car. In any event, he was followed home by the Largo Police and stopped. He was arrested for driving with a suspended license. When they asked her about it, she admitted that she knew his license was suspended. So, the police issued her a citation for a misdemeanor. The charge was permitting an unlicensed person to drive. The Case: She was clearly upset because she had never been in trouble before and had no idea that by allowing her husband to drive, she could be charged with a misdemeanor. She hired me and I had seen this same case many times before. I had her take a Victim Impact Panel, which is an online class sponsored by MADD. I then contacted the prosecutor, explained the circumstances, and asked [...]

First Time Domestic Battery Charge Dropped

Facts: My client is an older man who owns a nice home and is retired. His girlfriend and her daughter moved in and lived with him for about a year. The relationship was not going well and there were constant arguments. My client finally decided to break up with her and asked her to move out. She refused. About three weeks later, he woke up one morning and found that his girlfriend's daughter was having her boyfriend also stay over at night. This started a big argument. During the argument, his girlfriend claimed that he pushed her to the ground. She called the police and he was arrested for domestic battery. He was also ordered out of his own house. The Case: I did some investigation and found several prior domestic violence cases that his girlfriend was involved with. I knew that I was dealing with someone who knew the system and could be dangerous if the case was not handled properly. My client was pushing me to go nuclear and file an eviction lawsuit, but I asked him to be patient. I [...]

By |November 13th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Eleven Felonies Expunged in Three Months

Facts: Our client came to us and was very frustrated with her previous lawyer, who had been unresponsive for months regarding her expungement. Our team got right to work on her behalf and was able to secure her an expungement of all eleven felony charges in just under three months. Our commitment to our clients begins the day you hire us and we are dedicated to working our fullest on your behalf.

By |November 8th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery With Punch on Girlfriend Dropped

Facts: My client is a young man and has been dating his girlfriend for a year and a half. One evening, he was drinking and they began to argue. He punched her in the face during the argument. She was not injured. He then called the police and reported himself. When St. Petersburg PD arrived at his apartment, he told them that he made a mistake and hit her. He was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery, taken to the Pinellas County jail and released on supervised ROR. The Case: It was the first time that he had been in trouble and he took it seriously. He felt really bad about what he had done and wanted to make it right. I had him start anger management classes. They were once a week. I also spoke to his girlfriend who confirmed that she did not want to prosecute. But, the fact that my client had called the police on himself and admitted to hitting her was a big problem. I knew that we were going to need to show that he had already been [...]

By |November 7th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Domestic Battery by Brother on Brother Dropped

Facts: My client was at his apartment with his roommate. His brother was staying the night because they had to go to a work event in the morning. They were drinking and a fight began. During the fight, my client punched his brother in the face twice and they wrestled. My client left the apartment and his brother called the police. My client was arrested for misdemeanor domestic battery and taken to the Pinellas County jail. When he went to court the next morning, the judge released him with a CAM ankle monitor and told him that he could not go back home. The Case: The first issue that we needed to handle was the court order preventing my client from going back home. The brother did not live there, so we set a hearing and asked the judge to correct that issue. It worked and my client was allowed to go back home within a few days. There was a prior incident between the brothers, so that concerned me. My client was very apologetic and I recommended that he begin anger management. [...]

By |November 3rd, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Prison Avoided for VOP Involving Multiple Drug Felonies

Facts: My client has a long history of substance abuse. He gets sober for a while but seems to always have a relapse. I started representing him in 2021 when he was stopped for DUI and the police found fentanyl, alprazolam, and paraphernalia in his car. I was able to avoid a felony conviction then and get him probation with drug counseling. The second time that I represented him was when he was arrested again in 2022 for DUI, driving on a suspended license, possession of fentanyl, and possession of paraphernalia. The new charges violated his original probation and he sat in jail until I was able to get his case resolved. We found a sober living facility that would also allow counseling. He was released to the facility and successfully completed the program. In 2023, he violated his probation again by testing positive for cocaine. He was held in the Pinellas County Jail while I handled the case. The Case: The prosecutor and the judge had had enough and wanted to send him to prison. The Judge wanted him to serve 3 [...]

30 Days of Jail Avoided for DUI With Crash

Facts: My client had a relapse with alcohol. Although she had been sober for years, she fell off the wagon. One night, she got impaired and rear-ended another car. She was arrested and refused the Intoxilyzer. She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and released with a CAM monitor on her ankle. It was not good. She had a prior DUI from several years before, so she needed to get her life straightened out. The Case: My client was just as motivated to stay sober as she was working on the case. She got back into AA meetings. She did DUI school and did the counseling. She did the Victim Impact Panel. She reported the accident to her insurance company and cooperated with them. She did everything right. We reviewed the police reports and the video and she was clearly impaired, so this case was all about minimizing the consequences. Because this was a second DUI outside of 5 years, there was no mandatory jail time required. But, the prosecutor wanted her to do 30 days of jail as a penalty. The [...]

Domestic Violence Injunction by Girlfriend Dropped

Facts: My client and his girlfriend lived together in his home. They had been dating for a couple of years, but it was not going well. She accused him of drinking too much and he had asked her to move out. Things were not looking good. One morning, she accused him of pushing her during an argument. She filed a domestic violence injunction and he was forced to leave the home. There are more facts to this case that I won't discuss, but he was out of his home and was in a bad spot. The Case: I knew that he was going to need to get an alcohol evaluation and do anger management. He started both. At the same time, I reached out to her and asked her whether she would agree to postpone the injunction hearing for a month to see how things were going. She agreed and I filed a motion to continue the case with the judge. The Result: My client continued with his treatment and his girlfriend agreed to drop the injunction. It was a good result and [...]

By |October 20th, 2023|Categories: Success Stories|Tags: , , |0 Comments
St Petersburg Criminal Defense Attorney
Sean McQuaid 2022 Awards
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