Attorney Shon J. Douctre
OFFICE PHONE: 407-849-2949

Biography

About me – “The Duke of DUI

 

shon-jillTen years ago I started my own DUI criminal defense firm in Orlando called Private Counsel, LLC. Private Counsel is a private law firm with sections dedicated to all criminal defense work, traffic tickets, with an emphasis on helping people accused of DUI. DUI defense has long been my passion because anyone can get a DUI charge.  I have been lucky enough to represent some truly awesome people over the years.  Many of my clients have become inspiring success stories to me.  Due to working so closely with people on their cases, by the time the case is over, my clients are generally considered to be my friends and vice versa.  I am the type of lawyer who usually does not represent the “hard core” criminal per se. Rather, my clients are generally regular people who just got themselves into bad situation (from traffic tickets, to DUI, to felonies) and need my legal expertise.  Being the BEST DUI and Criminal Defense attorney in Orlando is my goal. I find my job as an lawyer (who actually helps people) to be very rewarding. I am very proud of the outcomes I have achieved over the years for my clients.

People sometimes ask, “How did you get the nickname ‘the Duke of DUI’”?  Many years ago, one of the attorneys who I would routinely assist with defending his DUI cases fondly began calling me “the Duke.”  The name stuck and to this day many of my peers, people at the local DHSMV, and my clients call me that.  Throughout my career as a Orlando DUI lawyer, I have proudly mentored and assisted many of my peer attorneys with their DUI cases.  In my circles, I am always happy to give advice, share new DUI information, and offer a second pair of eyes to anyone who wants my help.  Helping others succeed is important to me. I love helping people with issues. It is an honor to share new legal information, case law, and teach novel strategy approaches to other attorneys needing help with their DUI cases.

My law firm – VISIT: PRIVATE COUNSEL, LLC

What is Private Counsel, LLC?  The reason why my firm is named “Private Counsel” is an interesting story.  It all started back in 2002 when I was a young lawyer working as an assistant public defender (or APD) in Orange County.  I used to sit at criminal arraignments and each person would be called up one by one to approach the judge at the podium.  The judge would then typically ask the defendant, “do you need the services of the public defender or can you afford to hire private counsel?”  The word “Private Counsel” is criminal court jargon that generally defines “private attorneys” (also sometimes called “paid lawyers”) as opposed to public defenders – who are generally appointed for indigent persons. So, I thought to myself, what better name for a criminal defense law firm than the very term that describes a paid criminal defense attorney.  In addition, if the firm ever added attorneys, I would never need to change the letterhead, business cards, and business licenses.  That is why I named my law firm “Private Counsel.”

I love defending persons charged with DUIs because a large percentage of people accused of a DUI are really victims of over zealous police officers who love making DUI arrests for quotas.  Yes, I agree that some people are in fact guilty, but I am not one to judge.  Rather, I am sworn to ensure that no matter what the circumstances, no matter if someone appears to be guilty or not, all of my clients deserve to get the best possible defense and an excellent outcome. That is my mission on every case.  It is reassuring to tell my clients “no matter how difficult their DUI or criminal case may seem to them, you would be surprised that something can generally be done to help you improve your situation with the right legal knowledge.” I defend each and every person using the most sophisticated representation techniques while also following the highest standards of care and personal service.  I do not take too many cases so that I can offer excellent PERSONAL SERVICE. By hiring me, you gets the benefit of knowing I have dealt with so many prior DUI cases, so many judges, so many different legal issues, and so many jurisdictions that I almost never encounter a new DUI situation or case.  I am always dedicated to be prepared for anything the State Attorney can throw my direction.  My confidence in the courtroom will be evident to you when you hire me. While every case is unique and no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome, I can tell you that many times my clients never even step foot in a court of law before the case is resolved!  That is always one of my goals with each case.

I do not just do DUI defense. For the last ten years I have been defending all kinds of criminal charges and expunging DUI arrests (and other charges) too. In expunging and sealing so many good people’s records over the years since 2003, I began noticing that their “mugshot” was still up despite me getting a court ordered expungement on the case.  I found that more and more private companies were popping up to capitalize on the misfortune of people who have been arrested; wrongful or otherwise, by posting people’s mugshots and wanting money to take it down.  So, in 2013, after confronting this issue head on, I decided to learn this skill and do something about it. Through trial and error, I set out to offer more information and a better solution to combat this growing problem.

Consequently, I recently created a mugshot removal website called Mugshotremovalattorney.com.  As well, I also own and manage the sister domain called Mugshotremovallawyer.com. I own and operate both domains and both are dedicated to one thing – providing useful “mugshot removal information” to the public.  I wanted to be the first licensed Florida attorney to offer a website dedicated to providing “how to do it yourself” mugshot removal information from an attorney’s prospective, with legal services to sue – if needed.  As well, I felt the need to wrap in a discussion about “Mugshot law” and “Mugshot class action information”; along with helpful tips to delete one’s mugshot.  Through the site, I am dedicated to bringing balance and neutralizing the affects of Mugshot posting to my clients and others who need the advice of an attorney in this murky realm.

Background – This is who I am

Before ever realizing I wanted to become a lawyer, I joined the United States Navy www.navy.mil  at the age of seventeen.  Prior to joining the Navy in 1987, I graduated from Liberty High School in Youngstown, Ohio. Liberty township is a small town just outside of Youngstown, Ohio near the border of Pennsylvania. I grew up in a modest Ohio home with only my mother raising me.  My mother was a high school teacher who went on to be a college professor (Ph.D in Academic Education) at Penn State University.  Liberty was a depressed socioeconomic area, but overall decent place to grow up because it was so small. My high school only had about a hundred students, so I pretty much knew everyone.  Growing up there taught me a lot about what I wanted out of life and what I did not want.  I was not the best student in middle and high school and got into a bit of trouble in my rebellious adolescence.  Luckily, I made it through unscathed.  Had I not went into the military at such a young age, there is no telling where I would be now. Growing up in Ohio, most young men either worked in fast food, started in the building trades as an apprentice, went to college, or joined the military.  All the good jobs in Youngstown were reserved for those lucky enough to work at a car assembly plant, a factory, the post office /UPS, or a steel mill.  I was not one of those people and I did not have those connections to get a good paying job.  In addition, at that time in my life, I did not feel I had the brains (really the academic confidence) for college because I did not apply myself in school as a youth. However, after working as a Pizza Hut stock boy and a grill cook at Wendys for a few months prior to High School graduation, I realized the military was my only viable choice by default.  At this stage in my short life, I had no idea I would ever become an attorney.

I chose the Navy by utter chance.  One day in high school in 1986, they told us if you take the ASVAB (ie. the military aptitude test), you get to leave school when your done.  I said “sure”!  So, I took the ASVAB and literally “christmas treed” it to get out of school as early as possible that day.  Ironically, a few days later, a Navy recruiter called me and told me I did phenomenal on it.  He said with my ASVAB grade I could be anything I wanted in the NAVY; including a Nuclear Electronics Technician!  Shocked, I said “ok” and started the process to sign up.  Being only seventeen years old, I had to get my mother’s consent. With great pleasure, she said “yes.” Consequently, my path to the NAVY was set in motion.  I left for the Navy on July 23, 1987.  My first stop was San Diego, CA for eight weeks of boot camp.  Boot camp was hard for me, but I made it through and graduated with a new found confidence.

After boot camp, I attended Basic Naval Electronics & Electricity School (B.E.E. School), also in San Diego, to learn my prospective naval trade.  After graduating B.E.E. school a few months later I was sent (in February of 1988) to freezing cold Great Lakes, Michigan for my advanced electronics schooling. The weather was horrible, it was far more strict than San Diego, and I had to make all new friends.  It was not long before I realized I hated it and requested to be withdrawn in large part because the Navy wanted me to extend my service obligation from four years to six years in order to allow me to graduate from the school.  Being only eighteen years old at the time, I was unwilling to sign for an additional two years, so they sent me to the navy fleet to pick a new trade for myself.

In March of 1988, I was fortunate to be sent to the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk (Aircraft Carrier – CV-63) based out of Philadelphia, PA.  From there, I spent the balance of my four year enlistment on the Kitty Hawk.  While on the Kitty Hawk, I chose to become a fire fighter (also called a Damage Controlman – or D.C.).  I advanced from E-2 paygrade (ie. a general recruit) to E-5 (medium level supervisor/fire investigator) by 1990.  A “fire investigator” or DC 2 (Damage Controlman Second Class) is a first responder who accesses the fire and devises a strategy for confronting the shipboard fire/emergency by cutting off power and flammables to the space, coordinating desmoking and dewatering equipment, and laying out the fire team’s approach so that we could safely fight the fire.  It was a great and rewarding job.

However, one day in the summer of 1988, while I was stationed in Philadelphia, a sequence of events showed me that I may want to be a lawyer.  One hot day while on the Navy base I came in contact with a base police officer.  This officer pulled me over for recklessly driving at 20 mph!  As a result of that traffic stop, I was issued seven traffic tickets, which were all bogus.  I felt I was innocent so I contested them.  Due to the seriousness of these allegations, I was at substantial risk of losing my driver’s license, losing my base driving privileges, and getting in trouble with my supervisor.  Going to traffic court in Philadelphia at eighteen years old against a sworn police officer was very risky and scary.  I did not have much choice as I could not afford an attorney, nor did I know one.  So, I got in my dress white sailor suit and went to court by myself.

On the day of trial, the judge asked the officer what happened and then heard argument from me.  Ultimately, the judge sided with me and dismissed all the tickets!  Somehow, someway, an eighteen year old sailor with no legal experience beat a sworn base police officer in a court of law. I remember walking out of the courtroom on a cloud of air. Right then, an attorney came up to me in the hallway and said, “you should be an attorney, you did a great job kid!”  That was the first lawyer I ever remember meeting in my life.  While I never got the man’s name, I thought to myself being a lawyer would be cool job.  Thereafter, I looked into it and found I would have to go to college for four years and then law school in order to accomplish that objective.  I was not dissuaded.

So, after four long years of service, I finished my Naval service obligation in July of 1991.  I proudly received an honorable discharge which was the biggest accomplishment in my short life to date.  While I was in the Navy, Desert Shield and Desert Storm also transpired.  I received the National Defense Medal for my service during those conflicts.  I left the service with far more confidence and pride than when I went in.

After the service, I quickly attended Pennsylvania State University (State College, Pennsylvania) www.psu.edu with the aid of the G.I. Bill for my undergraduate degree in the Fall of 1991 (attendance 1991-1995) before ultimately commencing law school in Florida in 1996-2002 at Barry University School of Law (Orlando, Florida)  www.barry.edu/law (with honors – Cum Laude).  While at Penn State in 1994 and 1995 respectively, I was inducted in the Kappa Tau Alphawww.kappataualpha.org and Golden Key National Honor Societies www.goldenkey.org for academic success. I also played baseball for Penn State from 1993 to 1994. Academic and sports suddenly became an important thing in my life, so I excelled.

As a kid, I always loved Florida, so I moved to there to seek my Juris Doctorate (or J.D.) because Penn State did not have a law school at that time. So, in 1996 I chose Barry University for Law School because I loved Orlando and wanted to be somewhere close to the family I had there. While attending Barry School of Law, I worked for many private law firms in a variety of legal capacities to gain experience and support myself. I started in 1997 as a law student file clerk for the local Orlando law firm of Rissman & Wiesberg, et. al.  In two years, I advanced to the position of Law Office Manager for The Center for Professional Legal Services of Greater Orlando.  After leaving The Center in 1999, I worked consecutively as a Contract Litigation Paralegal for: the National law firm of Baker & Hostetler, LLP, Dempsey & Sasso, and then for Willie Gary “The Giant Killer” of Gary, Williams, Parenti, Sperando, et. al. www.garylawgroup.com 

I took and passed the Florida Bar in 2002.  Prior to forming my first law firm named Gonzalez & Douctre, LLC; I worked as an attorney in the capacity of an Assistant Public Defender (or PD) for Orange County, Florida.www.orlandopubdef.com  I was hired at the Public Defender’s office by an attorney named Faye Allen in November of 2002.  Luckily, Faye saw something in me and gave me my start in the criminal defense field. The PD is how/where I learned the craft that ultimately made me the successful attorney I am today.  I will forever be grateful to her and the PD’s office for that experience.  I was lucky to practice law and learn criminal defense with some fantastic Public Defenders while I was there.  After I left the PD, Faye later moved on to become a County Judge for Orange County.  Faye is a person I will always look up to and thank forever for my start.        

Over my 10 plus years as a public and private attorney I have had the privilege to represent many great people on an expansive range of criminal and traffic charges. Absent murder cases, I have done a tremendous variations of types of cases.  As I progressed through leaning how to defend so many criminal and traffic cases, DUI soon began to be my favorite type of case to work on.  So, I sought and achieved my certification as a Breathalyzer Operator and Breathalyzer Maintenance Technician in 2004.  I have detailed knowledge of the machine and how it works for case work on my DUIs. I have handled thousands of cases and matters (both criminal and civil) in my career as a lawyer thus far.

I am joined in practice since 2005 by Attorney Jill Hampton. She and I met as public defenders and have formed a life long friendship and partnership.  As well, I am a former member of the American Bar Association www.americanbar.org and of the Central Florida Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association. www.cfacdl.org  Additionally, I belong to both the United States Middle District of Florida Federal Bar.

Secondary area of practice – Gun Trusts

As a secondary practice area, I drafts Firearms Trusts, commonly called “Gun Trusts” for those clients who seek legal Class 3 ownership. I provide all legal services necessary to get my clients into the Class 3 community.  For more information, please visit http://www.class3classifieds.com and click the NFA (National Firearms Act) Ownership page. See Florida Gun Trust Attorney http://www.class3classifieds.com/gun-trust-attorney for more information and details on this secondary area of my practice.  I also have a page dedicated to Florida Gun Trusts on this site.

Community work – giving back to Orange County &  its children

I recently became a Guardian Ad Litem (or GAL) for children.  With my newly acquired education as a GAL for the Orange County Legal Aid Society, I provide my time to assist the courts with being a Guardian to disadvantaged and displaced children. Being a Guardian Ad Litem is an incredibly rewarding experience. Being a voice for the best interests of children in Orange County, Florida is one of the greatest accomplishments in my career.  I am very happy my paths in life have led me to the GAL program.

Main areas of practice:

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 2002
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida, 2002

Education

  • Barry University School of Law, Orlando, Fl.  www.barry.edu/law
    • J.D. (Juris Doctorate)
    • Honors: Cum Laude
  • Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA  www.psu.edu
    • B.A. – 1995
    • Honors: Golden Key National Honor Society, 1994
    • Honors: Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society, 1995
    • Honors: Dean’s List seven times
    • Major: Advertising/Marketing

Honors and Awards

  • Certificate of Achievement Moot Court Trial Team, Barry University School of Law

Offices Orlando

Private Counsel, LLC
733 Colonial Drive
Orlando Florida 32804
Ph | 407-849-2949
Fx | 407-849-2951

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