When I started Flaherty & Merrifield in 2004, I knew that I wanted to exclusively practice criminal defense law. What I didn’t really plan on was that eventually I would end up defending more sex crime charges than just about any other firm in Okaloosa County.
Any time a client is charged with a sex crime in Okaloosa County, a prison sentence is a very real possibility. Over the years, I have successfully resolved many of these cases. Some were won at trial, some were dismissed, and others were reduced to lesser charges. Getting a sexual charge reduced is important because usually that means my client is able to stay out of prison and is able to avoid having to register as a sexual offender.
Everyone Deserves a Defense Attorney Who Will Protect Their Rights
DC was charged with Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition (L & L) in the presence of a minor under the age of 16. This charge is a second degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison. DC was accused of exposing his genitals in a lascivious manner in the presence of a minor child.
Upon hearing such an allegation, the disgust that most people feel is understandable. Anything involving sexual allegations against a child is something that any rational person would be repulsed by.
My job as a criminal defense attorney is to look for solutions to often impossible situations. I knew that DC would not likely “win” his case. He was captured on a security video committing the crime, and after being confronted by the police, he made a full confession.
My Client Got the Help He Needed
When he came to meet with me, I was very realistic with him. I told him that it was more likely than not that he would go to prison for what he had done. But I also told him that there were things he could do to help himself. I instructed him to immediately enroll himself in sex offender counseling and to also return to the mental health therapy that he had been in before.
After several weeks in therapy, I was able to get DC’s therapist to write a letter indicating that DC was considered a low level risk to reoffend and that he had been actively participating in his therapy.
I had a series of meetings with the prosecutor. The first meeting did not go well. Her first inclination was to recommend a lengthy prison sentence followed by probation. Over the course of several more meetings, and after providing her with the therapist’s recommendation, the prosecutor eventually agreed to reduce DC’s Lewd or Lascivious charge to a non-sexual charge. She offered to allow him to plea to a probation sentence with no felony conviction on his record.
DC made a very wise decision when he decided to trust me with his defense. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve developed a reputation in sex cases as an attorney who gets results.
If you have been charged with Lewd or Lascivious Exhibition or any sexual offense in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 243-6097 and we will put our experience to work for you.