Panama City Criminal Defense Attorney

Our Case Results

At Albert J. Sauline, Attorney at Law, we focus on achieving the results our clients desire, inquiring from the very first free consultation as to what direction the client wishes to proceed. In accordance with Florida Bar Rule 4-7.13 and 4-7.14, the following are objectively verifiable results of just a sample of the matters we have handled.

Note: Results may not be typical. You may not have as beneficial of a result.

    • Drug Trafficking & Probation Violation Case - Bay County

      30-Mar-2015

      Case Number: 4

    • Traffic Citation Dismissed - Bay County

      Client was issued a speeding ticket on April 23, 2015 for speeding in a school zone. The client volunteers with a local charity, one which offers assistance to those suffering during their final days of life, and was on her way from doing such work to a volunteer meeting. With her mind on her volunteer work, the Client did not notice she had entered a school zone, and was cited by Panama City Police for speeding in a school zone. Upon retaining our law office, we filed our standard pleadings, such as Notice of Appearance, Written Plea of Not Guilty & Demand for Traffic Hearing, as well as our Discovery demand, serving said documents upon the law enforcement officer who issued the citation. As the process moved along, we were given a contested hearing date of July 7, 2015. However, on June 26 th, 2015, the Officer had a change of heart, requesting the Court dismiss the citation. It was great to see law enforcement recognize the client’s dedication to her volunteer work with those suffering their final moments on this Earth, allowing the matter to be dismissed at his own request once evaluating the entire situation.

      Case Number: 9

    • Client Found Not Guilty of Violation of Probation on Life Felony – Gulf County

      Prior to hiring Attorney Sauline, the Defendant had been convicted years ago of 2 nd Degree Murder, a Life felony in Gulf County, and served prison time followed by Felony Probation. While on probation, the Defendant was arrested in Bay County for Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Use), and Permitting an Unauthorized Person to Drive (i.e. knowingly letting someone without a driver’s license drive the Defendant’s vehicle). These criminal charges, along with failing to pay Court costs and fines, resulted in a Violation of Probation in Gulf County. The Defendant faced Life in prison as a maximum punishment for the violation. The Circuit Court in Gulf County chose to proceed to an Evidentiary Hearing for the Violation of Probation, rather than waiting for the Bay County criminal charges to be resolved in a Bay County Courtroom. Following an Evidentiary Hearing on the Violation of Probation, which was prosecuted by the “Major Crimes Division” of the Office of the State Attorney for the 14 th Judicial Circuit, the Circuit Court in Gulf County found the Defendant Not Guilty of all allegations, including Not Guilty of even failing to pay her Court costs and fines. Instead of receiving up to Life in prison, the Defendant was home with her family that evening and the Gulf County Violation of Probation was dismissed, with probation reinstated in Gulf County to all previous terms.

      Case Number: 10

    • Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon and Probation Violation Case - Bay County

      The Defendant had been arrested by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office for 2nd Degree Felony Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine, for allegedly striking an individual with a baseball bat. Said allegation, as well as an allegation of absconding, led to a Violation of Probation, as the Defendant was already on felony probation for 3rd Degree Possession of a Controlled Substance, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Thus, the Defendant faced up to 20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. In negotiating with the State, we were able to have the State not pursue (dismiss) the Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, and have the Defendant’s Violation of Probation resolved with no prison and no new felony conviction or new conviction at all, despite the absconding allegation being pursued by the State. In fact, by the Defendant working with the State, having an open dialogue between both sides and exchanging pertinent information my client wished to exchange, the Court reinstated the Defendant’s probation with all previous conditions and only a $250.00 court costs & fines assessment, as if no violation occurred with respect to punishment other than paying said court costs & fines.

      Case Number: 6

    • Burglary with Firearm & Probation Violation Case - Bay County

      The Defendant was subject to an investigation by the Springfield Police Department, and subsequently was formally charged by the Office of the State Attorney with Burglary while Armed with a Firearm, an offense punishable by a minimum of 10 years day for day in prison with no early release, up to a maximum of Life in prison, per Florida’s 10-20-Life statute, and fines up to $15,000. This allegation also violated the Defendant's felony probation, as the Defendant had been on probation for 3rd Degree Felony Grand Theft, punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. Thus, the Defendant faced a maximum sentence of Life plus five years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines. In negotiating with the State, we were able to keep the Defendant out of prison all together, having the possible Life sentence felony charge of Burglary while Armed with a Firearm reduced to mere 2nd Degree Felony Burglary, and having the Defendant’s Violation of Probation resolved without prison. By the Defendant working with the State, having an open dialogue between both sides and exchanging pertinent information my client wished to exchange, we were able to resolve the Defendant's case with no prison, receiving only two years of community control, followed by three years of standard probation, as well as required court costs & fines, and other standard conditions.

      Case Number: 5

    • DUI Involving Accident - Washington County

      Our client was charged by the Florida Highway Patrol with Driving Under the Influence following a crash of his vehicle. Upon arriving at the scene of the single vehicle crash, the Trooper observed our client outside of his vehicle, wandering around looking for his lost dog. Never did the Trooper observe our client behind the wheel of his vehicle. During the civil crash investigation, the Trooper obtained a statement from our client, at which time our client admitted to driving the vehicle involved in the wreck. Upon concluding the civil crash investigation, the same Trooper announced he was beginning his criminal investigation for Driving Under the Influence. The Trooper, however, forgot to once again ask the client who was driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. Florida Statute 316.066(4) prohibits self-incriminating statements made during a civil crash investigation from being admitted during a criminal prosecution, as law enforcement must “change hats” by announcing the initiation of a criminal investigation and then once again ask the same question(s). Therefore, with no admission statement and the Trooper never having seen our client behind the wheel, the Driving Under the Influence single vehicle accident case was dismissed in its entirety. This is an example of the importance in hiring an attorney who focuses 100% of his caseload on Criminal Defense, knowing the technicalities of Florida DUI law.

      Case Number: 3

    • Felony DUI Case - Holmes County

      The Defendant was charged with Felony Driving Under the Influence (3 rd offense – priors) by the Florida Highway Patrol after wrecking his vehicle in Holmes County. The Defendant had two prior DUI convictions, and was driving westbound on Interstate 10 at 8:00 am when his vehicle went off the side of the roadway and landed in the woods, striking a tree. The arresting officer did not suspect a DUI until noticing an ignition interlock device installed in the Defendant's vehicle, as such are common when someone has multiple prior DUI’s so that the individual must blow into the device before driving the vehicle. Suddenly, the arresting officer began a DUI investigation. A blood sample was taken at the hospital, and the Defendant was clean for alcohol, but was found to have Alprazolam in his system. After much negotiating with the State, we were able to secure a misdemeanor Reckless Driving with no driver’s license suspension, no prison and no jail time whatsoever. Such a successful outcome was able to save the Defendant’s career, permitting him to continue traveling for work to care for his family. Such is an example of working through the process, maintaining a reasonable approach when negotiating with the State, and holding credibility through integrity when advising the State to take a closer look when analyzing a particular case to determine what is really going on with the situation.

      Case Number: 8

    • Possession of Semi-Automatic Firearm - U.S. District Court, N. District of FL

      Defendant was arrested while on a United States Naval Base in Panama City Beach for allegedly being in Possession of a Semi-Automatic Firearm with Ammunition, in violation of 18 USC 930, Federal Code. Such is punishable by up to one year of incarceration, as well as fines. After retaining our office to represent him, and negotiations with the Federal government, we were able to secure a Dismissal of any and all charges by the Assistant United States Attorney per Rule 48(a) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, thereby permitting the Defendant to walk free with no plea required, no fines, no probation, no incarceration, and no conviction on his criminal history. Thus, the Defendant has a clean record with respect to this arrest and prosecution of this firearm offense alleged to have taken place on a Naval Base, and prosecuted in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida – Panama City Division. Such is an example of the success which occurs through reasonable discussions and negotiations with the Federal Government on behalf of our clients, respecting the position of the government while advocating for our clients.

      Case Number: 1

    • Drug Trafficking & Firearms Possession Case - Washington County

      Defendant was charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine, more than 14 grams but less than 28 grams, a First Degree Felony offense for which there is a mandatory minimum of 3 years in prison, up to 30 years in prison, and a mandatory fine of $50,000. Law enforcement also charged the Defendant with being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm, a Second Degree Felony Offense which is punishable up to 15 years in prison with a mandatory minimum of 3 years in prison. Despite the Defendant having 12 prior felony convictions, and the Federal government considering bringing firearm charges on their own in United States District Court, our office was able to have the entire matter dismissed following a Motion to Dismiss, as the State had no DNA or fingerprints implicating our client, nor any admission statements or statements from anyone at all implying the drugs and gun belonged to the client. There was never any actual possession of these items, as the gun was under a sofa cushion outside of plain view and the drugs were in a bag on the other side of another individual sitting on the couch, not even next to our client. The bag was not clear, and no drugs were in plain view. Such is an example of the success which occurs through proper investigation of a Criminal matter using the tools of discovery provided to a Defendant under the Rules of Criminal Procedure.

      Case Number: 2

    • Multiple Drug Charges Case - Bay County

      The Defendant was on vacation with friends when she was arrested by the Panama City Police Department for numerous drug offenses, including being formally charged by the Office of the State Attorney for 1st Degree Felony Trafficking in Oxycodone with 4 grams to 14 grams (punishable up to 30 years in prison and a minimum mandatory day for day prison sentence of three years and mandatory $50,000 fine), 1st Degree Felony Trafficking in Hydrocodone with 4 grams to 14 grams (punishable up to 30 years in prison and a minimum mandatory day for day prison sentence of three years and mandatory $50,000 fine), 3rd Degree Felony Possession of Bath Salts (MDPV) with Intent to Sell or Distribute (punishable up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine), 3rd Degree Felony Possession of Amphetamine (punishable up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine), 3rd Degree Felony Possession of Oxymorphone (punishable up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine),3rd Degree Possession of Hydromorphone (punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine) and First Degree Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (punishable up to one year in the Bay County Jail and a $1,000 fine). As such, the Defendant faced up to 80 years in prison and one year in the Bay County Jail, with a minimum mandatory three year day for day prison sentence for Trafficking in Oxycodone (4 grams to 14 grams) and a separate minimum mandatory three year day for day prison sentence for Trafficking in Hydrocodone (4 grams to 14 grams). The Defendant also faced up to $121,000 in fines, with a minimum mandatory fine of $50,000 for each of the trafficking offenses (i.e. at least $100,000 mandatory fines between those two drug trafficking charges). In negotiating with the State, we were able to achieve a resolution which consisted of no prison and no mandatory minimum drug trafficking fines. The State agreed to reduce the Trafficking of Oxycodone and Trafficking of Hydrocodone to 2nd Degree Felony Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute the Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, and have the Defendant plea to the remaining original charges, with the Defendant receiving 10 years of regular probation (not even a drug offender probation) and the standard court costs & fines (no mandatory minimum trafficking fines or prison). Again, the Defendant received no prison, no mandatory drug trafficking fines, not even house arrest. Furthermore, the Defendant received time served on all charges except for the Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute of Oxycodone and Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute of Hydrocodone, meaning should she violate her felony probation, her potential prison exposure was cut by 20 years since she received time served on the four remaining felonies, and no jail exposure on the misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia either since such was time served as well. Thus, she is only on probation for Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute Oxycodone and Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute Hydrocodone.

      Case Number: 7