The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.

2500 Rhode Island Avenue
Suite B
Fort Pierce, FL 34947

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The Law Office of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A.

Our Cases

  • July 16, 2019

Spencer Scott (not his real name) is a “marine officer”, licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to operate a variety of vessels. Captain Scott’s career would have been negatively impacted by a guilty verdict. His clients are, after all, large corporations and wealthy individuals. Capt. Scott’s sister accused him of battery on 1/21/2018. She would, the next day, apply for a domestic violence injunction. The sister lost the injunction hearing, then appealed the ruling to the Fourth District Court of Appeal (DCA). Capt. Scott retained Jeffrey H. Garland to handle the appeal and the battery case. Attorney Garland was successful in securing a dismissal of the sister’s appeal by 4th DCA order dated 6/14/2018. Capt. Scott was always going to take this battery case to trial. At no time did he entertain any other option. After all, he had already…Read More

  • May 14, 2019

Jessica Daniel (not her real name) is a good mom who thinks misbehaving children should be reprimanded in some fashion. On August 16, 2018, Jessica was arrested, because a Port St. Lucie police officer disagreed with Jessica’s parenting practices. You see, Jessica had been visiting a friend in a nice part of Port St. Lucie. When it came time to go, Jessica’s five-and-a-half-year-old daughter threw a tantrum. She wanted to stay because she liked playing with the dog. Several houses away from the friend’s house, Jessica put the daughter out of the car onto the side of the road. This was the same street upon which the child had been previously playing. Jessica drove around the street corner but never lost sight of her daughter. From the moment Jessica put her daughter out of the car, until Jessica returned, was…Read More

Death Penalty Reversed
  • November 21, 2018

On November 8, 2018, the Florida Supreme Court issued a 15-page opinion reversing the death penalty imposed upon Eriese Alphonso Tisdale. Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland represented Mr. Tisdle on this appeal. Mr. Garland anticipates filing a petition before the United States Supreme Court seeking certiorari review. Mr. Garland will argue that any resentencing proceeding would violate double jeopardy principles. In Tisdale’s case, the jury was instructed that a vote of just 7 – 5 would constitute a jury recommendation of death. The jury voted 9 – 3 for death. After the jury trial was over, but before sentencing, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) struck down Florida’s death penalty procedure in Hurst v. Florida, 136 S.Ct. 161 (2016). SCOTUS found that the procedure was defective, because the jury did not make the sentencing decision, and because the jury did not…Read More

Indian River Criminal Defense Attorney Defends Second Amendment Rights
  • September 18, 2018

The client was upset that he was denied the opportunity to buy a firearm due to an erroneous background check. He retained Jeffrey Garland to “fix it”. Garland tracked the problem to a 1976 Martin County arrest for more than five grams of cannabis. At the time, that was a felony, but the records showed that it had been pled out to under five grams – which was a misdemeanor. Problem was that it was reported to FDLE as a felony. Garland collected certified dox on this 42-year-old case. The Martin County Clerk recognized the error and correctly re-reported it to FDLE, which “fixed” its records on 8/13/18. Gun rights restored! Indian River Criminal Defense Attorney If you have been charged with a crime and need the services of an experienced and qualified Indian River criminal defense attorney, contact The…Read More

Motion to Suppress Fenced Yard Wins Case
  • September 18, 2018

St. Lucie County deputies went to Armando Ring’s (not his real name) house on 4/5/18 to execute a misdemeanor arrest warrant for failure to appear. The deputies did not have a search warrant. As shown in the picture, Ring’s house was fenced, gated and posted against trespassers. The deputies disregarded the gate, fence and no trespassing sign to go knock on Ring’s door about midnight. The deputies announced who they were, but not their purpose. Deputies pushed the door open, as soon as Ring cracked it, and placed him under arrest. Incident to the arrest, the deputies found cannabis in his pocket. View of fence surrounding property Indian River County Drug Arrest Attorney Ring retained Indian River County drug arrest attorney Jeffrey Garland, who swiftly filed a motion to suppress, asserting that the police entry into Ring’s curtilage, without a…Read More

  • August 31, 2018

A Seminole Police Department (SPD) officer initiated a stop for speeding on a section of State Road 721 which was inside the Brighton Reservation. The SPD officer did not catch up to the SUV until it was well off the Reservation. SPD jurisdiction exists only on the Reservation. However, the law allows an SPD officer to stop a driver off the Reservation if the traffic infraction took place on the Reservation. Trouble is, the SPD officer acted like he still had police authority to search Ana Gomper’s (not her real name) SUV. Ana retained Indian River County criminal attorney Jeffrey Garland shortly after the incident. Garland promptly filed two motions to suppress after receipt of the discovery. Garland contended the vehicle search was “illegal” because Ana had refused consent. Even though the SPD officer had no jurisdiction, he searched the…Read More

Bahamian Not Guilty of Lewd Computer Solicitation and Attempted L&L Battery Based on Entrapment
  • August 8, 2018

A St. Lucie County jury found Lane Reynolds (not his real name) not guilty of lewd computer solicitation and attempted lewd and lascivious battery on August 1, 2018. The same jury found Reynolds guilty of unlawful use of a two-way communication device. This inconsistent verdict was, Attorney Jeffrey Garland believes, based upon government entrapment and jury instruction error. The conviction was set aside due to the jury instruction error on 8/6/18. At that time, Reynolds pled no contest to the unlawful use of a two-way communication device, which is a non-sex offender charge, receiving time served and probation in return. The evidence and testimony showed that St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office (SLCSO) investigators posted an “advertisement” on Craigs List, Treasure Coast Personals, in the Consensual Encounters chatroom. The undisputed evidence showed that anyone entering Consensual Encounters had to certify that…Read More

Jury Finds Defendant Not Guilty of Trespass After Notice
  • May 17, 2018

Matilda Harris (not her real name) was given a criminal summons for trespass after notice on 12/13/17. A Glades County jury found her not guilty on 5/11/18. Shortly after the incident, Matilda retained Indian River County criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Garland for her defense. Garland reviewed the evidence, then filed a motion in limine to preclude reference to the “trespass notice” until there was evidence that the owner or custodian of the property had given written authorization to the Glades County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) to issue a trespass notice. Of course, there was no such authorization. Separately, Garland secured photographs of the street, yard, and driveway where the trespass allegedly occurred. In addition, Garland obtained subdivision drawings and aerial photographs showing property lines and rights-of-way. At trial, Judge Jack Lundy overruled the defense motion in limine, thereby leaving the jury…Read More

Victory in Storage Wars of a Sort
  • November 14, 2017

Phillippe St. Jean (not his real name) exports stuff to Haiti using 40′ shipping containers. He rents a warehouse in St. Lucie County to store the containers for short periods of time until pickup by the shipping company. St. Jean made the common mistake of trying to help out a friend in need. The friend had separated from her husband, then got evicted. The friend had four children. Her husband ran off to Alaska, perhaps to escape abuse by his wife. The friend asked to store her shipping containers at St. Jean’s warehouse. St. Jean agreed, but the friend did not remove the shipping containers in the customary period of time. St. Jean lost business, and the friend offered no explanations (or payment). Tempers flared. On August 27, 2017, the “friend” called 911 and reported that St. Jean had battered…Read More

Pot and Paraphernalia Charges Tossed
  • October 26, 2017

Adolphus Stevens (not his real name) was arrested by Port St. Lucie police on 4/17/17 for possession under 20 grams of cannabis and for possession of drug paraphernalia. Stevens made the mistake, you see, of walking across a vacant lot in broad daylight in a residential area. Several minutes later, a PSLPD officer detained and searched Stevens.  Following the arrest, Stevens retained Port Saint Lucie drug possession lawyer Jeffrey Garland. Port Saint Lucie criminal defense attorney Jeffrey Garland spotted the lack of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Garland filed a motion alleging that the detention and search were conducted in violation of the Defendant’s right to remain free from unreasonable search and seizures. The motion to suppress anticipated that police would argue that Stevens was detained under the loitering and prowling statute; and that the pat down of Stevens was…Read More

  • October 10, 2017

Julie Banner (not her real name) retained Port Saint Lucie criminal defense Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland for her appeal. She had been convicted of DUI and sentenced, among other things, to 120 days in St. Lucie County’s Crossbar Hilton. She was not a happy camper. Attorney Garland moved for an appeal bond to secure Banner’s release pending appeal. An appeal bond was denied on the grounds that there was supposedly no reasonable likelihood of success on appeal. Attorney Garland appealed the trial court’s denial of appeal bond and was again given a “thumbs down”. Although the trial and appeal courts denied appeal bond, the conviction was reversed on 5/23/17. The appeal tribunal found that St. Lucie County Judge Yacucci had improperly excluded a defense expert witness. Funny how an appeal bond was denied because there were supposedly no grounds for…Read More

  • September 28, 2017

“Easy Rider” (not his real name) was arrested on 6/25/17 for having a concealed firearm at Earl’s Hideaway in Sebastian, Florida. Easy Rider was surprised because he showed the Sebastian police officer his concealed weapons license. The police officer asserted that the concealed weapons license did not work in Earl’s Hideaway, because it “is a bar which is primarily designed for the sale and consumption of alcohol”. The State subsequently filed an information charging Easy Rider with a violation of his concealed weapons license. Saint Lucie Criminal Defense Attorney Jeffrey Garland identified constitutional problems with Section 790.06(12)(a)(12), Fla. Stat. This provision declares that a concealed weapons license does not authorize carrying a weapon or firearm into certain establishments dispensing alcoholic beverages: (12) Any portion of an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises, which portion of…Read More

  • September 28, 2017

Pictures do not always tell the whole story. On 8/16/17, the jury returned verdicts of not guilty on charges of sale of cocaine, and possession of cocaine with intent to sell, in just 26 minutes. Evidence showed that a detective with the Okeechobee County Drug Task Force stopped the CI on 11/14/16 for an alleged traffic infraction. Per standard procedure, the narcotics detective ran a drug detection dog around the CI’s car. The K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs. A subsequent search of the vehicle uncovered .5 grams of cocaine. The CI was faced with a choice: either “cooperate” or be arrested. The CI chose to become a cooperating individual. The CI advised that he had just recently purchased the .5 grams of cocaine for $50. The CI was told that he would not be charged for the cocaine…Read More

  • June 6, 2017

“Landlord” was arrested on 1/17/17, for trying to repair water damage to one of his rental properties. The tenants had said they were anxious to get the repairs completed so that their children would not be exposed to mold. Turns out the tenants were a special breed of “squatters”, who specialize in avoidance of paying rent. The landlord had served the tenants with formal notice of failure to pay rent. In return, the tenants claimed that Landlord “battered” the wife as he was entering the home to document the insurance claim so that repairs could be done. The wife worked as a dispatcher at 911, so she got special treatment from Port St. Lucie police: they promptly arrested Landlord. The landlord just as promptly hired Port St. Lucie battery defense lawyer Jeffrey Garland to resolve the mess. Garland discovered that…Read More

  • June 6, 2017

Julie Banner (not her real name) was convicted of DUI at a jury trial in St. Lucie County. Judge Yacucci sentenced Banner to 120 days in jail. St. Lucie County DUI defense Attorney Jeffrey Garland was retained to pursue the appeal. Garland immediately moved for stay of sentence and an appeal bond. Judge Yacucci denied the motion on the basis that the appeal was not taken in good faith on grounds fully debatable. Judge Yacucci did, however, mitigate the sentence by 30 days. Banner was compelled to stay in jail to “serve out” the balance of the jail sentence. Garland appealed the denial of appeal bond, but that appeal was denied. Banner was resolved to challenge the unjust conviction, even though she was forced to endure a 90- day jail sentence, and to complete all probationary requirements. The appeal focused…Read More

  • May 29, 2017

“Fisherman” was arrested in Martin County for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia on 12/30/16. He exercised his right to remain silent, figuring the deputy would not listen anyway. So Fisherman retained Attorney Jeffrey Garland. He turned down drug court because he “knew” there were no drugs. Attorney Garland contacted the Indian River Crime Laboratory directly for the results of drug testing. The lab responded that “no evidence items in regards to the case…have been submitted to the lab for analysis”. Thereafter, Attorney Garland wrote the prosecutor that the lab had reported that no evidence had ever been submitted for testing. Garland requested that the items be submitted for testing to determine whether heroin was present. Martin County Drug Possession Attorney Jeffrey Garland At the 5/17/17 docket call, Attorney Garland complained that there had been no drug testing. The prosecutor…Read More

  • May 24, 2017

“Cowboy” was arrested on 9/10/15 in Okeechobee County on a capias charging conspiracy to commit racketeering. The long-lasting drama would finally end on 5/22/17 when the charge was nolle prossed by the State. The State theorized that Cowboy had conspired with a racketeering organization because he had supposedly purchased an “eight ball” (about 3-1/2 grams) of methamphetamine from Jetta Frake on or about 3/29/15. Jetta was subsequently prosecuted in federal court for meth conspiracy involving 14 other people. Jetta went to federal prison, as did all the others charged in federal court, including Steven Oakes. See U.S. v. Steven Lee Oakes, et al, Case No. 2015-CR-14046MARTINEZ (So. Dist. of Fla.). The State prosecutors theorized that the Steven Oakes conspiracy met the requirements of RICO. That assumption seems fair enough. However, the State further theorized that each customer of the RICO…Read More

  • March 22, 2017

The mother on the other end of the phone was frazzled and upset. Her baby girl had just been sentenced to prison. The mother could not understand what went wrong or why. The mother retained Jeffrey Garland on 8/2/16 to look into the matter. Attorney Garland filed the motion for post-conviction relief (PCR) three days later. The PCR motion asserted that the pleas and sentences should be set aside due to ineffective assistance of counsel. The gist of the claim was that the drugs allegedly sold were never tested. The arrest affidavit showed on its face that the supposed Dilaudid a/k/a hydromorphone was really clonidine. The second alleged sale involved supposed heroin. Yet, the substance field tested negative for heroin. The detectives cannot be blamed for this travesty of justice, because they wrote in all capital letters on the arrest…Read More

  • February 27, 2017

Okeechobee Criminal Defense AttorneyPreston Rock (not his real name) was charged in Okeechobee County with three felony charges: conspiracy to introduce contraband, unlawful compensation for a public servant, and bribery. Rock was arrested on warrants in February 2015. All charges were dropped on 2/21/17. What happened? On 4/12/14, Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) investigators converged on the Okeechobee Correctional Institution (OCI) for a surprise inspection. Rock gave consent to search his pickup truck, which was parked in the public parking area of OCI. The pickup truck search uncovered approximately one kilo of loose tobacco, a pint of moonshine, several cell phone batteries, cell phone, and a “flip” cell phone. The subsequent forensic examination of the flip phone uncovered significant incriminating information relating to text messages and green dot credit card codes. DOC investigators theorized that Rock was involved in smuggling…Read More

  • November 9, 2016

George Lyman (not his real name) plead no contest on 2/9/15 with the specific understanding that his driver license would be suspended for six months. Martin County Judge Darren Steele followed the plea agreement and imposed the 6-month suspension. Turns out that the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) had different ideas. Lyman received notification that his license would be revoked for 10 years. Lyman felt cheated and misled. Lyman retained Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland on 6/11/16 to consider grounds for a post-conviction relief (PCR) motion. Attorney Garland investigated and on 7/22/16, filed a PCR motion alleging precisely what Lyman was complaining about. The PCR motion put forth three claims for relief: 1. Lyman’s lawyer failed to advise him what would be the actual period of revocation; 2. Lyman’s lawyer failed to advise him that prior uncounseled…Read More

  • November 4, 2016

Darnell Compton (not his real name) was arrested on 8/27/16 in Port St. Lucie for felony child neglect. Police had been notified that a 1-year old toddler had been left alone in a car. The car was parked outside of a Walgreens store at about 2:00 A.M. The child’s mother was also arrested for the same charge, plus several drug charges. Mr. Compton retained Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland 10 days later. Garland immediately identified the primary problem as Compton’s DUI probation. Unless something was done, Compton would be charged with a violation of his misdemeanor probation (VOP) based on the felony arrest. Compton would be locked up on that VOP – unless was something was done – without bond. Attorney Garland identified that felony child neglect required proof that the accused was a “caregiver” for the child. In this case,…Read More

  • October 26, 2016

Cicily Jones (not her real name) hired Jeffrey Garland on 2/26/15 to appeal her conviction for resisting without violence. The trial took place before Judge Yacucci in St. Lucie County. Attorney Garland argued on appeal that the evidence was insufficient to prove the “lawful execution of legal duty”, which is an element of the charge. Fortunately, Jones hired Garland just after the guilty verdict was returned. Although Garland did not try the case, he was able to timely file a motion for judgment of acquittal within 10 days of the verdict. Garland raised the failure of proof issue, a matter which the trial lawyer failed to recognize or preserve. The nut of the claim involved the State’s failure to introduce the arrest warrant into evidence. St. Lucie County deputies broke into Jones’ house without the arrest warrant which, they claimed,…Read More

  • July 26, 2016

Tugboat Captain’s Coast Guard License Saved Via Motion to Correct Sentencing Error Tugboat Captain’s Coast Guard License Saved Via Motion to Correct Sentencing Error Blaine Masters (not his real name) was charged with felony DWLS. After paying for not one, but two other lawyers, he plead out to the felony and got “just” 120 days in jail with no probation. He was adjudicated guilty of the felony. After learning what would happen to his license to operate tugboats, Blaine consulted with Attorney Jeffrey Garland. After a cursory review of the discovery and driving history, Garland realized that there was no legal basis for the felony charge: Blaine was guilty of only a 60-day misdemeanor. Garland filed a Motion to Correct Sentencing Error on 7/13/16 – just eight days after Blaine was sentenced. The State agreed that the sentence was illegal.…Read More

  • May 24, 2016

Roscoe Riley (not his real name) was charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering in Okeechobee County. The information alleges a conspiracy to violate unspecified provisions of Chapter 893, dealing with controlled substances. Attorney Garland sought, without success, to dismiss the charge for failing to properly outline the scope and purpose of the conspiracy. The motion was denied. Curiously, Defendant Riley was charged in a single-person information – even though the so-called “organization” supposedly involved several dozen participants. The discovery showed that Riley’s involvement, if involved at all, was as a retail customer of small amounts of methamphetamine. Each of the transactions occurred, supposedly, in Glades County. Okeechobee Criminal Attorney Jeffrey Garland sought, again without success, to dismiss the charge on the basis that retail customers cannot be participants in an enterprise selling and distributing methamphetamine. The court rejected arguments that…Read More

  • May 24, 2016

Retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander Russell Miner (not his real name) retained Attorney Jeffrey H. Garland to “clean up” old and erroneous entries on the criminal history maintained by FDLE. A FDLE examiner advised that an arrest for possession of cannabis under 20 grams remained “active”, even though the date of arrest was 6/14/1974. The St. Lucie County Clerk of Court advised that the case could not be reported as “dropped”, even after the passage of over 41 years. After conferring with the client, Attorney Garland sought to file a demand for speedy trial. However, the Clerk’s office advised that it could not accept the demand, because the case did not have a case number compatible with electronic filing. After some five weeks, the Clerk’s office advised Attorney Garland that the 1974 case was now equipped with a case number…Read More

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