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I don’t care what you’re accused of doing. You are a human being and you deserve to have someone in your corner who will fight for you. I will not judge you; I’ll defend you. - Tim Flaherty

If you’ve been charged with a crime, call (850) 243-6097 to get a FREE consultation.

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Soldier Charged With Aggravated Assault With Firearm in Crestview Avoids Prison

Sometimes, we are not able to get our client’s charges completely dismissed. The next best thing is to carefully negotiate a plea bargain that still accomplishes our client’s main goals.

WS was a perfect example of this. He was charged with Aggravated Assault with a Firearm after being accused of pulling a gun during an argument with kids from his neighborhood in Crestview. He was in the Air Force and was very worried about the impact this case would have on his career, his family, and his freedom.

When I first met with WS and his wife, I could tell that these were very nice people. The kind of people who would usually never end up meeting with a criminal defense lawyer. They were devastated when I had to tell them that an Aggravated Assault with a Firearm charge carried a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison. I promised them that I would do everything possible to keep this from happening.

For the next 11 months, we worked on this case. We took depositions of the witnesses, visited the crime scene, talked to the neighbors, talked to the victim’s family. We also put together an extensive mitigation file of our client detailing his military service awards and achievements.

At one point, it looked like we were not going to be able to work the case out. The only other option was to set the case for trial, which I did. After we were set for trial, the prosecutor approached me and asked if I would consider a plea bargain. I reminded her that I had told her months ago we were willing to work the case out.

After a lot of back and forth negotiations, we were able to resolve the case. His charge was amended to a lesser offense with no jail time. He also received a withhold of adjudication, which means he was not deemed a convicted felon. In short, he was given the opportunity to continue serving in the military and to continue being there for his family.

If you are looking for this level of commitment and dedication from your criminal defense lawyer, do yourself and your family a favor and call me at (850) 398-8098. We don’t settle for the first offer. We dig in and continue working until we get the best result possible.

If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Crestview or anywhere in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 398-8098 for a free and confidential consultation. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


Battery Charge in Destin Dismissed

M.H. was a young man who got arrested on vacation in Destin with a group of friends. On the night he was arrested, he and his group went to a local bar and when they returned to their condo, a fight broke out and the police were called. Our client was the only one arrested. He was charged with Battery and was facing up to a year in county jail.

Because of the extensive injuries suffered by the alleged victim, the prosecutor was demanding a minimum of 6 months in jail and was threatening to send the case to felony court and our client to prison if we didn’t take the deal.

I don’t take threats lightly when my client’s freedom is on the line, but I also don’t take kindly to being bullied. Instead of rolling over, I dug in. I focused our research on Speedy Trial grounds because I knew the alleged victim would not be available to come to court for several months.

I set our client’s case for trial and filed the paperwork to maintain and ensure his right to a speedy trial.  In the end, the Judge agreed with my position and dismissed the case on the grounds that my client’s speedy trial rights would be violated had the case been allowed to continue.

Having rights is one thing, but they are no good to you unless you have someone on your side that knows how to execute them; how to make the State adhere to them.

I know what moves to make and when to make them. I know how to adapt my approach to each unique case and apply the right strategies to secure the best possible result for my clients.

If you were arrested for Battery in Destin, I can help. Call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 460-7470 for a free consultation. I can meet in person, or if you’re out of town, we can talk on the phone. Either way, I welcome your call.


Battery on Law Enforcement Charge in Destin Reduced

DC was charged with Battery on Law Enforcement after an altercation outside a bar in Destin. She had never been in any trouble with the law before, so needless to say, she was terrified. She also had a lot to lose. She was the manager of a retail store at the Sandestin Outlet Mall, and she knew that a felony conviction would destroy her career.

I was able to get the security tapes from the incident. I also tracked down all of the witnesses that were present, including several that the state wasn’t even aware of. All of them gave conflicting accounts about what happened, but there was one thing they were consistent on. It was not clear at all that the alleged victim in the case was a law enforcement officer.

In Battery on Law Enforcement prosecutions, the state must be able to prove that the defendant knew that the alleged victim was law enforcement. Usually, this is easily proven if the person is wearing a uniform, displays a badge, clearly identifies themselves as a police officer, or is driving a marked police vehicle. None of those factors applied here.

I outlined all of this to the prosecutor at a court hearing and I set the case for trial. The prosecutor offered my client a reduced charge to a misdemeanor. No conviction on her record, no jail time. Just a fine and some community service.  While I was confident we could win at trial, my client knew she was facing 5 years in prison if the jury convicted her, so she decided to take the sure thing and accept the misdemeanor plea.

If you have been charged with Battery on Law Enforcement in Destin, Flaherty Defense Firm can help. Call me anytime, day or night, at (850) 460-7470.


Okaloosa County Aggravated Assault Charge Dismissed

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 Defense Firm has been standing up for people in Okaloosa County just like DW — people who need a fighter on their side. Give me a call and decide for yourself whether I am the right attorney for you.

If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Okaloosa County, Flaherty Defense Firm can help. Call me anytime, day or night, at (850) 243-6097.


Is It Possible To Get An Aggravated Assault Charge In Okaloosa County Reduced?

Aggravated Assault is a charge I see pretty often in Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa County. It covers a wide variety of factual situations where someone is accused of using either a weapon or a firearm to threaten someone.

Aggravated Assault with a weapon or firearm is serious. It’s a third degree felony with a possible 5 year prison term.

So I am automatically going to prison for 5 years?

No. This is where a creative criminal defense attorney who is experienced in dealing with these cases in Okaloosa County can make a huge difference. There is a charge that the Aggravated Assault case can possibly be reduced to. It is called Improper Exhibition of a Firearm.

This charge is not a felony, it’s a misdemeanor. It is found in Florida Statute 790.10, and it states that in order for someone to be found guilty of this charge, the State must prove that the Defendant carried a firearm and exhibited it in a threatening, careless, angry, or rude manner in the presence of someone else.

This charge still talks about threats. How is this different from Aggravated Assault?

They are very similar. They both deal with conduct that is threatening and reckless. The key difference is that with Aggravated Assault, the prosecutor must prove your intent was to threaten, not just that that was the result, but that it was the intended result. With Improper Exhibition, it is more result-based. If your conduct was threatening, you can be found guilty of this crime. If you didn’t intend to threaten someone, you are likely not guilty of Aggravated Assault.

Let me illustrate it with an example:

  1. Aggravated Assault:  You point a gun at someone that you want to scare and tell them you are going to kill them.
  2. Improper Exhibition: At a party, you get really drunk and start waving a gun around with no intent of harming anyone.

I am writing about this difference because the prosecutors in Okaloosa County almost always start out by charging the more serious felony charge of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

It is your criminal defense lawyer’s job to carefully review the facts of your case and determine whether an effective argument can be made to reduce the case from a felony to a misdemeanor.

I have successfully made that argument on behalf of my clients, and those clients were able to stay out of prison and were able to keep a felony off of their record.

Digging into a case’s minute details is what separates a really good defense attorney from an over-worked and inexperienced public defender, and it often makes all the difference in someone’s life.

Give yourself the best possible chance of staying out of prison and call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097. I am a highly effective Okaloosa County criminal defense attorney that knows how to get results for my clients.

Flaherty Defense Firm can give you the help you need when you need it the most. If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Okaloosa County, call me today at (850) 243-6097.


Fort Walton Beach Battery Charge Dismissed

For my client, T.O., life was good. He had a nice house, a good job, and he was getting ready to marry the woman he loved. What burst his bubble was a scorned ex-husband who was determined to make my client as miserable as he was.  T.O. was stuck in the middle of a long standing custody dispute between his fiancée and her ex-husband. While he did everything he could for more than 7 years to stay clear of the arguing exes, one day the situation blew up right on his doorstep.

T.O. was working inside his house in Fort Walton Beach when the ex-husband charged the front door demanding to be let inside. The ex was asked several times to leave his property. T.O.’s fiancée and her ex-husband were arguing loudly, and when the ex-husband lunged toward her, T.O. pushed him back and told him to leave his property immediately.  The ex-husband punched T.O. in the face and fled the property.

Law Enforcement showed up a few minutes later and arrested T.O. for battery against the ex-husband.  He explained to law enforcement that he was defending himself and was not the first one to charge or issue a threat.

Given the volatile relationship between these parties, the ex-husband wanted the maximum sentence.  His goal was to get my client thrown in jail.  I immediately began working on the framework for a defense that included defense of others, defense of property, and self defense.  T.O. had the right to protect his fiancée on their property.  They had no duty to retreat from their own property.

I prepared this case for trial and informed the State that nothing short of a dismissal would get this matter resolved. The State’s back was against the wall considering their “victim” was very angry and wanted revenge.  With witnesses ready, subpoenas served, and a jury waiting in the wings, the State agreed to dismiss the case.

If you have been charged with Battery in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097. I am ready to put our experience and expertise to work for you.


What Am I Facing For Battery On The Elderly In Fort Walton Beach?

At Flaherty Defense Firm, I defend a wide variety of serious felony cases in Fort Walton Beach. Some cases are able to be worked out. Others are far more difficult because of the nature of the charge and who the victim is.

One example is crimes against children. Another is the topic of this blog. A crime against an older person. Battery on the Elderly is a charge that prosecutors are very tough on. Usually, they will be seeking a substantial prison term if you are convicted.

Florida Statute 784.08 governs Battery on the Elderly charges. It defines an elderly person as anyone who is 65 years of age or older. It states that when you commit a crime of violence against an elderly victim, the charge will be enhanced.
Here are some examples:

  1. If the crime was simple Battery, the charge will be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a third degree felony with a possible sentence of 5 years in prison.
  2. If the crime was Aggravated Assault, the case will be reclassified from a third degree felony (5 years in prison) to a second degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
  3. If the crime involved the use of a deadly weapon, or if the elderly victim suffered great bodily harm, the charge will be enhanced from a second degree felony (15 years) to a first degree felony with a potential sentence of 30 years in prison.

It should also be noted that for any conviction for Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery on the Elderly, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison.

Like every other felony case I defend, I want you to know that your Battery on the Elderly charge is serious but it is also NOT hopeless.

Give me a call at (850) 243-6097 if you have been charged with Battery on the Elderly in Fort Walton Beach and I will put my experience to work for you.


Destin Aggravated Battery Charge Dismissed For Military Member

SC was looking at the end of his military career when he was arrested for Aggravated Battery in Destin. Aggravated Battery is a second degree offense punishable by up to 15 years in prison. He was accused of committing Battery against his pregnant wife.

My website, www.flahertydefensefirm.com, says that we are available 24/7. This case proves that this is not just a slogan. I actually mean it.

Here is what happened:

SC’s family called my office on a Saturday and talked to my paralegal, Brandy. They told her that SC was scheduled for a 1st appearance hearing before the Judge on Sunday morning at the courthouse. Brandy relayed the information to me and I called the family Saturday afternoon. After talking to SC’s parents, I agreed to take the case.

The first step I took was to let the police know right away that they were NOT permitted to question my client. I told them that he would not discuss the case with anyone except me and my staff.

Saturday night, I visited SC at the jail. I explained what to expect at the hearing the next morning and assured him I’d be there for him. That same night, I also met with my client’s wife, the alleged victim. I explained to her as well what to expect at the hearing.

Sunday morning, I appeared for the hearing. I was the only attorney there even though there were about 30 people on the docket. Some of them even had attorneys who didn’t bother to show up since it was the weekend (this is common).

I made a persuasive argument for a low bond. Despite the State’s argument to keep SC in jail, the Judge agreed with me and he was able to get out of jail.

Once he was out, I knew this would be a tough case to resolve. The alleged victim was pregnant, and she had suffered pretty severe injuries.

Fortunately for SC, My team and I have been defending serious felony cases for a long time. We know what we’re doing.

After months of hard work, SC’s case was eventually dismissed.

As I said before, advertising 24/7 access is not just a gimmick. It’s a benefit I offer to my clients and their families and it made a big difference in SC’s case. Without it, he would not have gotten out of jail at first appearance. And if he had settled for a public defender, he might have waited months for a bond hearing.

I was very happy to help SC get a second chance to reunite with his family, save his military career, and get his life back on track.

If you have been charged with Aggravated Battery in Destin, call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 and see what I can do to help you.


Aggravated Battery In Fort Walton Beach Dismissed

AD was in a lot of trouble when he came to meet with me about his case in Fort Walton Beach. He was charged with Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Victim and Domestic Battery by Strangulation. He was looking at a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of 34 months in prison.

One possible defense with battery cases involving pregnant victims is that the State must prove that the offender knew the victim was pregnant. In this case however, the victim was AD’s wife and she was 8 months pregnant so we knew that wouldn’t be a valid defense.

Before coming in to meet with me, he had talked to public defender and they told him that the best they could do for him was to accept the 34 month prison sentence.

With a baby on the way and a family that needed him at home and working, AD put his trust in me. I immediately told him to enroll himself in anger management classes along with alcohol counseling. I also met with the prosecutor to let them know that this family intended to stay together and work through their problems. I told the prosecutor that pleading guilty and going to prison was not an option for AD and that if the case wasn’t dismissed, we’d be setting it for trial.

About a week later, the State dismissed all charges against my client. He was able to reunite with his family and he promised to continue with the counseling that he needed.

If you have been charged with Aggravated Battery or Domestic Violence in Fort Walton Beach, I don’t know what the end result will be in your case. I do know however that I know what moves to make in order to give you the best possible chance at a favorable outcome.

If you have been charged with Aggravated Battery in Fort Walton Beach, and you are ready to put an experienced, professional defense attorney to work for you, call Flaherty Defense Firm right away at (850) 243-6097 and let’s get started on your defense.


Fort Walton Beach Aggravated Assault Charge Reduced To Misdemeanor

At Flaherty Defense Firm, I’ve been practicing criminal defense in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. It is my only area of practice. I do NOT practice family law, but sometimes, criminal cases veer into the family law arena, especially when it comes to domestic violence cases.

CB was charged with Aggravated Assault after an altercation between her and her husband’s ex-wife. Aggravated Assault is a 3rd degree felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

The argument took place during a custody exchange and CB got caught in the middle. She was accused of leaving the argument in her truck and then attempting to run over the alleged victim. The reason she was charged with Aggravated Assault was because the police and the prosecutor believed that she was using her truck as a deadly weapon to threaten someone.

The prosecutor assigned to CB’s case pushed hard for a felony conviction and some jail time so I knew the case would not resolve itself easily. I did a full investigation of the alleged victim’s background. I was able to get access to her facebook page where she had made several threatening messages against CB, including some that implied she was making the whole thing up. I also took depositions of the two arresting officers as well as the alleged victim, and from that was able to develop an effective defense strategy in the event the case went to trial.

Shortly before the trial, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the felony Aggravated Assault charge down to a misdemeanor. No conviction on CB’s record and no jail time.

Flaherty Defense Firm can help if you are facing charges of Aggravated Assault in Fort Walton Beach. Call me for a free consultation at (850) 243-6097 and I’ll get to work right away.

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10.0Tim Michael Flaherty

Call (850) 243-6097 for your free consultation.