okaloosa county criminal defense attorneyIf you are the target of a sex crime investigation in Okaloosa County, or if you have already been charged, you may feel overwhelmed, depressed, and convinced that your situation is hopeless. Please believe me when I tell you that this is NOT true. Now is the time to regroup, reassess, and start taking steps to defend yourself.

Right now, the prosecutors and police are planning how they will convict you and sentence you to prison. If you are looking for a defense team to help you fight back against these allegations, you have come to the right place.

My name is Tim Flaherty. I’m the owner of Flaherty & Merrifield. Since 2001, we have been defending sexual offenses right here in Okaloosa County. In that time, we have learned that the only way to win these cases is to attack every aspect of the State’s case. We know that these cases can be won with a perfectly executed, comprehensive defense strategy. As Okaloosa County sex crimes defense attorneys, we have successfully helped people accomplish these strategies in the past.

Sexual Assault Charges in Okaloosa County

All sexual assault allegations in Florida are felony offenses. The potential penalty ranges from 5 years in prison to a mandatory life sentence. There is a long list of potential sexual offenses that we defend in Okaloosa County, but the most common charges include the following:

Sexual Battery

Sexual Battery is outlined in Florida Statute 794.011 and includes what most people would consider “rape.” Sexual Battery is committed when someone penetrates the vagina, anus, or mouth of someone else without that person’s lawful consent. The penalty for Sexual Battery ranges from 15 years in prison to a life sentence.

Lewd or Lascivious Behavior

There are several different L & L crimes contained in Florida Statute 800.04. This charge includes allegations of touching, fondling, or molesting a child who is under the age of 16. This statute also covers allegations of “statutory rape” which takes place when a suspect has “consensual” sexual intercourse with someone who is under 16. Because of the victim’s age, they are not legally allowed to consent to sex. The penalty for Lewd or Lascivious crimes ranges from 5 years in prison up to a life sentence.

Capital Sexual Battery

Capital Sexual Battery is a sexual battery that is committed on a victim who is under the age of 12. This offense is punishable by a mandatory life sentence in prison if convicted.

Solicitation of a Child for Sex Using a Computer

This charge is usually brought in conjunction with Traveling to Meet a Minor charges. Usually, law enforcement sets up a sting operation that lures people into having sexual conversations with someone they believe to be a minor, but is actually an undercover officer. If convicted, the penalty ranges from 5 to 15 years in prison.

Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sexual Activity

This charge is normally filed along with a separate charge of Solicitation of a Child for Sex Using a Computer. In most scenarios, law enforcement sets up a sting where they pose as an underage person. Once they “trap” the person into agreeing to have sex, plans are made to meet up in person. Once the suspect starts to travel to the meet location, the police can make the arrest for Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sexual Activity. This charge is punishable by 15 years in prison.

How can an attorney help if I am charged with a sexual crime?

It’s unfortunate that society tends to consider someone “guilty until proven innocent” when they are charged with sexual misconduct. This prejudice is against your rights under the Constitution. As Okaloosa County sex crime defense attorneys, we will diligently protect all of your rights under the law in all cases involving accusations of criminal sexual conduct. We have a thorough knowledge of Florida law related to sex offenses. We will leverage our trial experience and expertise in defending these cases to fight for the very best result possible in your case.

When you’re ready to put a professional Okaloosa County defense attorney to work for you, call us at (850) 243-6097. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Contact an Okaloosa County Sex Crime Attorney

If you or a loved one have been charged with a sex crime in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation.

Brandy Merrifield
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Florida Criminal Defense Attorney