How Courts Determine The Guilty Mind

Mens Rea: How Courts Determine the Guilty Mind In many cases, an experienced criminal defense attorney in Orlando, FL may find himself arguing on behalf not on the innocence of a defendant’s actions but on their intentions. Courts will often measure two factors in determining guilt: actus reus, meaning the actual physical act of the…

J. Scott Herman To Represent Villages Man

J. Scott Herman to Represent Villager in Aggravated Assault Charge Orlando criminal defense lawyer J. Scott Herman will be representing a Villager facing multiple criminal charges in relation to an unusual incident involving drugs and a handgun. Patrick McGowan, 67, was arrested on August 19 after a strange incident in his home in the Village of…

Most Common Criminal Defense Cases

Thousands of criminal cases are filed and tried in the state of Florida every month. According to OSCA’s Statistical Reference, Guide to Florida’s Trial Court, out of over 170 thousand criminal fillings in 2015 over 89 percent resulted in a guilty verdict. In Orlando alone, over 73 percent of criminal filings were faced with a…

Marijuana Citation Postscript

After receiving much criticism, the criminal marijuana citation (which was unique to Orlando, Florida) has been eliminated, effective May 1, 2016.

As described in a prior blog, the criminal marijuana citation allowed individuals to go directly to the Clerk of the Court, pay a fine, and end their criminal case. 

Sounds like a traffic ticket, right? Unfortunately, it wasn’t that simple. Most people who chose this quick fix didn’t know they would end up with a criminal record for possession of cannabis.  Some still don’t know. In fact, most clients I speak with tell me that they only found out about having a marijuana charge on their record until years later, after they were denied employment or housing. 

J. Scott Herman Inks Deal Allowing Accused Line Dance Instructor to Avoid Prosecution

Last month, Orlando, Florida criminal defense attorney Scott Herman secured a deal for a Villages line dance instructor who had been accused of punching another woman at a town square that will allow her to avoid prosecution.

Janet Hilgenfeld, 64, of the Village of Winifred, was accused of punching a 54-year-old Villager on Aug. 7 at Spanish Springs Town Square. She had been at the square line dancing with friends when the incident occurred. Janet admitted to police that she had hit the woman and was issued a notice to appear in Lake County Court to answer to a charge of misdemeanor battery.

Destruction of Evidence helps Attorney J. Scott Herman get a Not Guilty verdict in Jury Trial

In late September, Attorney J. Scott Herman won a criminal jury trial for a client charged with theft from Walmart in Orlando.  A six person jury in Orange County found the client Not Guilty of all charges, completely exonerating the individual.  During the destruction-of-evidence-300x208course of his representation, Mr. Herman was able to figure out that Walmart had destroyed the surveillance video of the day of the alleged crime.  Walmart’s loss prevention officer stated the actual theft was not committed in an area that the camera system viewed and that was the reason the video was erased.  However, Mr. Herman was successfully able to argue to the Judge and Jury that the rest of his client’s time in the store was relevant to the crime alleged, most importantly whether she entered the store with a bag full of previously purchased items or not.

Red Light Camera Ticket Refunds to be Given by Orange County

Based on the results of a class action lawsuit, Orange County has agreed to refund over $41,000 dollars to drivers that were cited for a red light camera tickets and paid them, between Aug. 1, 2012 and May 6, 2013, at one particular intersection, located at Hiawassee and Clarcona- Ocoee Road in Orlando.  After traffic engineers evaluated the yellow light at this intersection, it was determined that the yellow light only lasted 4 seconds, instead of the required 4.3 seconds, that the State of Florida mandates.  This means that the county was able to cite many more drivers for crossing under the light while the light was turning red, due to the 0.3 second shortened light time. Innocent drivers were cited and paid the ticket, not knowing they had the chance to contest it. 


So you got a “civil ticket” for your possession of marijuana under 20 grams and the officer was “cool” and did not arrest you. The ticket advises you to pay a fine at the clerk of court and you will never have to appear in front of a Judge. Clients have even told me that it would not go on their record. Which raises the question: Do you want to take legal advice from the individual charging you with a crime?

You friends tell you that you will save the expense of hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney.

So what’s the catch?

Attorney J. Scott Herman receives Not Guilty Verdicts in Jury Trial

On October 13, 2014, Attorney J. Scott Herman went to trial on behalf of one of his clients charged with four felony offenses. The trial was conducted over the course of 3 days in front of the Honorable Judge Lawrence Semento, in Lake County, Florida.

Although his client made several incriminating statements to the police, attorney Mr. Herman created reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors, along with the assistance of attorney Mark Conan.