Protect your rights with Flaherty Defense Firm
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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Arrested on Spring Break in Destin, Okaloosa, or Walton County

Welcome to the Emerald Coast, notably the world’s whitest beaches and the premier spot for Spring Break 2016. While you enjoy some downtime from academic stress, our area offers a wide array of fun in the sun.  You will likely leave with many memories and a sunburn, however, make sure you don’t leave for home with an arrest!

Click here to read a letter from Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department on Spring Break 2016: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/assets/pdf/DA297219.PDF

Click here to read a letter from Walton County Sheriff’s Department on Spring Break 2016: http://www.nwfdailynews.com/assets/pdf/DA294218.PDF

If you or a friend has been arrested in Destin, Okaloosa, or Walton County, contact Flaherty Defense Firm today. For over 16 years we have been protecting the rights of spring breakers. Our consult is free but the peace of mind is priceless, call our office 24/7 at (850) 243-6097.

Contact a Destin Spring Break Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Law Enforcement is out in full swing to arrest vacationers for any violation of law they come across. Minor in Possession of Alcohol is the most common arrest we see for spring breakers. Unlike many other beaches you may have visited, the Okaloosa and Walton County Sheriff’s Departments will not issue a warning. You WILL be arrested if you are caught with alcohol and are under the age of 21.

Common arrests we see during spring break include:

Minor in Possession of Alcohol-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 60 days in county jail or 6 months probation

Disorderly Intoxication-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 60 days in county jail or 6 months probation

Open House Parties

  • Up to 60 days in county jail or 6 months probation

Possession of marijuana-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation
  • Driver’s license suspension

Possession of Tobacco by Minor-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation

Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor-felony offense

  • Up to 5 years in prison

Possession of Drug Paraphernalia-misdemeanor offense

  • Up to 1 year in jail or 12 months probation

Possession of a Controlled Substance-felony offense

  • Offenses range from 5-30 years in prison

I was arrested for Minor in Possession in Destin, do I have to come back for Court?

If you have a private attorney, we can protect your rights and ensure you do not have to return for court. If you were arrested in Okaloosa or Walton County for minor in possession and do not have a private attorney, you will be required to return for court. If you chose not to return for court a warrant will be issued for your arrest.

What if I have class and can’t come back for Court in Walton County?

Missing a court date because you are scheduled to attend class is not a valid excuse. If you fail to appear, your bond will be revoked and there will be a warrant issued for your arrest. Instead, give us a call at (850) 243-6097 and let us take care of this for you.

What happens if I get arrested on Spring Break in Okaloosa or Walton County?

If you are arrested, there is nothing you can say or do to avoid being taken to jail. You will be transported to either the Okaloosa County Jail in Crestview or Walton County Jail in DeFuniak Springs. You will be entitled to a phone call after a lengthy booking process. More often than not you will be given a bond and a notice to appear for your court date. In serious offenses, such as felony charges, you may have to see a judge the morning after your arrest before a bond will be set.

I was given a Notice to Appear in Okaloosa County, can I just pay the fine?

You can pay the fine to avoid having to come back for court but you will be signing away your future potential. By paying the fine on the notice to appear you are admitting guilt. You will be giving up your constitutional right to fight your case and have an outcome that won’t impact your future.

I committed the crime, why should I fight it?

In most cases guilt is relative. What is important is preserving your right to fight your case whether or not you feel that you committed the crime. Failure to fight your case could result in an automatic guilty conviction which will impact your future.

A guilty conviction, even a misdemeanor can NEVER be erased!

How Can a Destin Spring Break Defense Attorney Protect My Record?

If you were arrested for any offense while on Spring Break in Okaloosa or Walton County, your record is in jeopardy. At Flaherty Defense Firm we will work toward an outcome that will allow your record to be wiped clean or expunged. In Florida, this can ONLY happen with certain results. If your case is dismissed you will qualify for a record expungement. An expungement is the “magic eraser” for your record. It will remove the arrest, charges, and all documents regarding the arrest from the public record. You can only apply to have your record expunged one time in your life. If your case is “withheld”, you will NOT qualify for a record expungement.

Being arrested is the most terrifying thing you will go through. Selecting a criminal defense attorney that will fight to defend you should not be.

You are in a strange place with laws that you are not familiar with. Now is not the time to leave your future in the hands of the unexperienced. If you need sound legal advice and a team that is willing to fight to protect everything you have worked for, Call Flaherty Defense Firm today. If you were arrested during Spring Break in Okaloosa or Walton County, contact our office 24/7 at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.


Arrested in Destin For Minor in Possession (MIP)?

If you are reading this blog you or a loved one has been charged with Minor in Possession, also known as MIP in Destin. Unfortunately, with the beautiful beaches, droves of Spring Breakers, and increased tourism comes an increased police force. The heightened police force equates to hundreds of Spring Break arrests with the most common being Minor in Possession.

The average Minor in Possession charge in Destin generally occurs on the beach. Law Enforcement Officers can be in plain clothes or full uniform and approach any person that they believe to be under the age of 21 and consuming alcohol. It is law enforcement’s typical practice to question almost every person in possession of a red solo cup. Once law enforcement has made contact, there is little to no chance that you can talk your way out of a citation or arrest.

What do I do now that I have been charged with Minor in Possession in Destin?

Simple. Call my office immediately to discuss your options. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side will not only offer you peace of mind but protect your future.

What makes you different than other attorneys?

At Flaherty Defense Firm criminal law is the only law I have ever practiced, which means my firm is dedicated 100% to fighting your case. In addition to a dedicated criminal practice I offer 24/7 communication. Call my office today and let me answer your questions and ease your mind.

Will I have to come back to Florida for Court?

If you do not have an attorney prior to your court appearance you MUST be present, unless you have been excused by the Court. Failure to appear will result in an immediate bench warrant for your arrest and will not be resolved until you return to Florida to face the Court.

My citation says I can pay a fine and not go to Court, what is the danger in that?

That is correct, the citation says you can pay a fine and never come back to Destin for Court. What the citation does not tell you is that by doing so you have given up your right to challenge the charge against you. You have given up your right to make the State prove their case against you. You have also given up the right to have your case decided favorably. By paying the citation you will receive either a misdemeanor conviction or a withhold of adjudication. A conviction will follow you forever. A withhold of adjudication, although a decent result, will mean the record can never be expunged (wiped clean). An adjudication withheld only qualifies for a record seal, which is not the same as a clean slate.

Little known facts about a Minor in Possession conviction:

  • You can be sentenced up to 60 days in county jail;
  • You can be sentenced up to 6 months probation;
  • You will face a mandatory driver’s license suspension of up to 6 months;
  • You will forever have a guilty misdemeanor conviction on your record that can never be erased; and
  • You will be required to disclose your conviction to future employers, schools, and licensing boards.

A conviction will follow you for the rest of your life.

Right now you have more questions than answers. I can help. A simple mistake as a young person should not follow you for the rest of your life. If you are looking for a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and protect your future, call my office today. My team is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for you.

Flaherty Defense Firm can give you the help you need to fight your Minor in Possession charge. If you have been arrested or given a citation for Minor in Possession MIP in Destin, call me today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation. 


What Should I Do If I Got Arrested On Spring Break In Destin?

Spring Break is almost upon us which means white beaches, beautiful weather, crystal clear water and, if you’re not careful, possibly an arrest record. If you are spending your Spring Break in Destin or Walton County you need to be aware that law enforcement will be cracking down hard on any underage drinking.

If you or a friend get arrested on Spring Break in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Miramar Beach, Grayton Beach, or anywhere in Okaloosa or Walton County, contact Flaherty Defense Firm today to discuss your options at (850) 243-6097.

Some Spring Break arrests come with life long consequences such as jail, probation, suspension of your driver’s license or denial of financial aid. Do not leave your future to chance or the Public Defender. If you are a college student vacationing for Spring Break you need a local attorney fighting for you.

Common Spring Break arrests include:

I was arrested in Walton County, do I have to come back for Court?

If you have been arrested in Walton or Okaloosa County, your presence will be required in court if you do not have a private attorney. The fact that you are a student and may not have means to travel back to Florida will mean little to the Florida Court. Choosing to simply ignore the arrest and not come to court will result in a failure to appear bench warrant being issued for your immediate arrest.

If you hire me to defend you, the first thing I will do is file paperwork that will excuse you from all court appearances and authorize me to attend court on your behalf.

I was issued a Notice to Appear. What does that mean?

A Notice to Appear is a criminal citation that requires a court appearance. If you have been issued one by law enforcement you are required to be present for Court. Failure to appear will result in a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have hired a private attorney however, your appearance can be waived and you may never have to return to Florida for court.

My citation says I can pay a fine and not have to come back to Court, is that bad?

While you have the option of paying a fine if you are issued a criminal citation like a Notice to Appear, this does not mean that your record will be clear. By paying the citation you have admitted guilt. In some cases your record will show that you were convicted (adjudicated guilty) of the offense. In other cases the record will show that adjudication was withheld (not a conviction). In either case a withhold of adjudication or a conviction disqualifies you from having the record expunged (completely removed from your record).

If I am successful in having the case resolved through diversion however, your case will be dismissed and the arrest will be able to be expunged.

What if I am guilty or feel like I committed the crime?

Whether or not you feel responsible for the crime alleged, you have a right to defend yourself and fight your case. Your good student record, community service and plans for your future can help position you in a favorable light that can provide for a good resolution of your case. An experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can protect your future.

If you want peace of mind, straight forward answers and a clean slate, you have come to the right place.

If you have been arrested on Spring Break in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Grayton Beach, Okaloosa Island, or anywhere in Walton County, call me today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.

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10.0Tim Michael Flaherty

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