DW was charged with Aggravated Assault and Domestic Violence in Okaloosa County. The allegation against her was that during a fight with her former boyfriend, she pointed a gun at him. Aggravated Assault with a Firearm carries a 3 year mandatory minimum sentence.
DW told me from the start that she wanted her day in court. Based on what she told me about what had happened, she had acted in self-defense. She had been sexually assaulted by the former boyfriend and his friend the night of the incident. They had also beaten her up. Finally, DW had had enough and pointed her gun at them and demanded that they leave.
You would think, based on this terrible and sad story, the police would have arrested the two rapists/assailants, but instead, they arrested her! They told her that since it was their word against hers, and there were two of them, they were going to believe their version of what happened.
I promised DW that I would never ask her to plead guilty to something she didn’t do. I also assured her that I would fight the case at trial if the prosecutor didn’t do the right thing and dismiss the charges.
I visited the crime scene and took photos. I basically did the job that the police should have done in the first place. I also documented all of DW’s injuries and resulting medical expenses and compiled the extensive criminal history of both of the two men.
When my investigation was complete and I had all of the information I needed, I provided all of it to the prosecutor and let him know in no uncertain terms that I was demanding a full dismissal of all charges. No deals. No plea bargains. The only options were a dismissal or a trial.
Once the State Attorney reviewed the information that I provided, he dismissed all charges.
Anyone can be arrested at any time and for any reason. I know that is a scary thought.
When the unthinkable happens, it is natural to think that eventually someone will see that a mistake has been made, and order will be restored. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating here. When you have been accused, freedom will not just be given to you. It must be fought for and taken.
Since 2001, Flaherty & Merrifield has been standing up for people in Okaloosa County just like DW — people who need a fighter on their side. Give us a call and decide for yourself whether we are the right attorneys for you.
If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Okaloosa County, Flaherty & Merrifield can help. Call us anytime, day or night, at (850) 243-6097.