Proven Criminal and DUI Defense
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.

Blog Posts

DUI Reduced in Fort Walton Beach for Military Member

LW was a military member who was charged with DUI in Fort Walton Beach. Due to his high profile status, he was told by his unit that if he was convicted of DUI, his career in the military would likely be over.

On the surface, it looked like LW had a weak case. He had agreed to take the breath test and the result was over 3 times the legal limit. He had also not done well on the field sobriety tests.

I subpoenaed the video evidence from the officer’s dashboard camera and found a few things to work with. I also reviewed all of the maintenance records for the Intoxilyzer 8000 that was used in the case. In short, I carefully reviewed and examined every piece of evidence in the case.

Even though the high breath alcohol reading worried me, I set the case for jury trial in Fort Walton Beach. Right before the trial, the Prosecutor approached me and asked if my client would consider a plea to a reduced charge of Reckless Driving.

LW gladly accepted the plea offer after being assured by his military command that it wouldn’t affect his military career since the plea was to a non-alcohol related charge.

If you entrust Flaherty Defense Firm with your defense, I will put 110% of my effort into saving your career. I will put my knowledge, expertise, and reputation to work for you.

If you have been charged with DUI in Fort Walton Beach and you’re in the military, give me a call today at (850) 243-6097 and see what I can do for you. The consultation is free.


Felony Child Abuse Dismissed in Fort Walton Beach

JA was charged with Child Abuse in Fort Walton Beach, a third degree felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Because he was in the military, he was facing the end of his career if he was convicted.

The charges stemmed from the use of corporal punishment (spanking) to discipline his son. Someone saw a bruise on the child at school and the police were called. DCF got involved and before JA could even process what was happening, he was thrown in jail.

After meeting with JA, it was clear that he was a good father who loved his kids, and a good soldier. He had no prior arrests on his record. His command had told him what would happen if he was convicted so I knew it was vital to secure a dismissal of all charges if possible.

Before meeting with the Prosecutor to discuss the case, I provided a file of mitigation. Fortunately, the Prosecutor was someone I had worked with before and I knew she would be fair and honest.

I was able to get JA into a diversion program that is called PTI in Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa County. This program ensures that the charges against someone will be dropped if the conditions are successfully completed.

JA got all of his requirements done and his case was dismissed. He was able to stay in the military.

When someone is facing felony charges, the stakes are high. With military members, it’s even more important to make sure there are no mistakes. Clients with a lot to lose hire me because they know they only have one chance to get it right. One chance to secure their freedom and their future.

If you have been charged with Child Abuse in Fort Walton Beach, Flaherty Defense Firm can help. Call me today at (850) 243-6097.


Help For Veterans Arrested In Okaloosa County

Veterans Court is the rehabilitative option for military members charged with a crime.

What is Veteran’s Court?

In response to an increase in criminal activity involving a select group of service members, Veterans Court in Okaloosa County was established. Veterans Court is specifically designed for service members who have gotten arrested after experiencing combat related mental health issues. A vast majority of service members entering the criminal system have suffered from mental health, substance abuse, combat related PTSD, cognitive functioning issues or traumatic brain injury as a result of their military service. Veterans Court is a diversion program for service members that have been exposed to elements during their service that have led them to the criminal court system.

Upon qualification, a service member can enter Veterans Court where they will receive counseling, career focused alternatives, treatment specific to the individual service member’s needs and medical assistance where needed. Veterans Court is a voluntary 12-18 month program that results in dismissal of the service member’s charges upon completion of the program. Veteran’s Court is designed to be rehabilitative rather than punitive.

How did Veteran’s Court start?

Senate Bill 138 was enacted in July, 2012 and Veterans Court began serving military members charged with crimes. Okaloosa County Judge T. Patterson Maney was instrumental in the enactment of this bill and as a result the Veterans Court initiative has been named the T. Patterson Maney Veterans’ Treatment Intervention Act. Due to his extensive military experience, **UPDATE**Judge Maney was the presiding Judge over Veterans Court for Okaloosa County until his retirement in 2018. The Honorable Angela Mason currently presides over Veteran’s Court. Veterans Court operates under Florida Statute §394.47891.

How can I qualify for Veteran’s Court?

Any person who has been charged with a crime, other than the crimes listed in Florida Statute §948.06(8)(c) that has been identified as a current service member, a former service member who has served in combat related zones suffering from PTSD, substance abuse disorder, traumatic brain injury or psychological problems as a result of the combat service is eligible. The qualification process involves the service member’s referral to the Veterans Court Coordinator’s office for their county. The coordinator’s office will evaluate the criminal case, the service member’s medical and military file and conduct a psychological interview of the service member. Based on the information provided, the coordinator will determine eligibility for entrance into Veterans Court.

There is an extensive list of qualifying offenses that will keep you from entry in to Veteran’s Court. For a complete list see Florida Statute §948.06(8)(c).

DUI cases are included in the ineligibility list; however, Flaherty Defense Firm has been successful in admission to Veterans Court for some of our Okaloosa County clients charged with DUI.

If I am eligible, will Veterans Court save my military career?

The military reviews every charge on a case by case basis. It has been my experience that service members who entered and completed Veterans Court were able to save their military career because the program allowed for complete dismissal of the charges.

If I am eligible, will my charges be dismissed?

Yes. Provided you complete the program as directed, your charges will be dismissed at the conclusion of Veterans Court.

I was accepted to Veterans Court; does that mean I automatically get in?

Unfortunately, no. Just because you have met the criteria for Veterans Court and have been accepted does not mean you are automatically entered into the program. In some cases, the criminal charge that you were arrested for may disqualify you for a Veterans Court Diversion. In other cases the nature of the arrest or your actions while engaged with law enforcement could prevent your entry into the program.

Once you have been accepted into Veterans Court it is my job to ensure you are able to enter the program. Acceptance and meeting the Veterans Court criteria is not the only step you must take. In addition to acceptance, the State Attorney prosecuting your case must approve your entry to the program. The next step after the State’s acceptance is the presiding Judge allowing your entry.

What can Flaherty Defense Firm do to get me into Veterans Court?

I will work with you to secure your entry into the program. I will review all aspects of your case to determine whether or not success at trial is an option. I will evaluate the details of your case to persuade the State Attorney to reduce or dismiss the charges against you. I will explore your military background in connection with the charges and Veterans Court eligibility to influence your acceptance. In short, I will take actions necessary to protect your future.

If you are a service member or former service member and have been charged with a crime, please do not hesitate, contact me today. Since 2001, I have been serving military personnel like you in Okaloosa County. I understand the challenges you face to save your career and I know how to combat the charges you are facing. Each military client presents a set of unique circumstances and no two cases are alike. Trust your defense to a firm that knows how to embrace your unique circumstances and help you put the pieces back together.

You have fought for us. Now I will fight for you. It would be my honor to defend you and protect your future.

If you or a loved one are a service member or former service member charged with a crime in Okaloosa County, contact Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation. Together we will discuss your eligibility for Veterans Court. I am available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for you.


Defending DUI Charges For Military Members

If you are in the military and you have been charged with DUI in Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Okaloosa County, you don’t need me to tell you that your career is on the line. With that in mind, it is critical that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who will challenge every aspect of your case in an effort to win your DUI case.

Anticipating the Immediate Consequences of a DUI Charge

Usually, the military will wait to see what happens in civilian court before taking action on the military side. In some cases, they will impose certain sanctions, including the following:

  • A letter of reprimand
  • Non-deployment status
  • Enrollment in alcohol or drug treatment or counseling
  • Reduction in rank or pay
  • Inability to reenlist

With your career and everything you have worked so hard for on the line, I would like for you to call me and let me help. You’ve spend your career defending all of us. Now let me return the favor and fight to save your career.

Call a Fort Walton Beach DUI Attorney for Military Personnel

I am committed to protecting my military clients from the devastating consequences that come from a DUI conviction. Call me today at (850) 243-6097.

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10.0Tim Michael Flaherty

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