Okaloosa County Criminal Defense Lawyer
Have you been arrested in Okaloosa County? Are the police investigating you or wanting to talk to you? Have you been charged with a DUI? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then finding the right Okaloosa County criminal defense attorney should be your #1 priority.
Defending Okaloosa County criminal cases is ALL we do
We understand that being arrested is a scary and stressful experience. It is our job to help you feel better about where you stand, not worse. We will not resort to scare tactics and we will not give you a sales pitch. Instead, we will give you honest, straight-forward advice about your case.
Whether you are a local resident, a visitor from out of town, or a military member, we can help. Tim Flaherty and his team at Flaherty Defense Firm have been practicing criminal defense exclusively in Okaloosa County for over 16 years. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so give us a call at (850) 243-6097.
Our Okaloosa County Criminal Practice Areas
This is not an exclusive list, but the following are the most common charges that we help clients with:
- Domestic Violence
- Assault and Battery
- Sex Crimes
- Drug Offenses
- Juvenile Charges
- Felony Traffic Crimes
- Bail Bonds and Arrest Warrants
An overview of the court system in Okaloosa County
For anyone who has been arrested in Okaloosa County, the case will be heard in one of two places: the Okaloosa County courthouse in Crestview, or at the Okaloosa County courthouse annex in Fort Walton Beach. The location is based on where the crime allegedly occurred, not where the defendant lives.
If you have a misdemeanor case in Crestview, your case will be heard by the Honorable Jim Ward. For a felony case in Crestview, the presiding judge is the Honorable Michael Flowers.
For misdemeanor cases in Fort Walton Beach, the cases are divided by the defendant’s last name. If your last name starts with A-K, your judge will be the Honorable Patricia Grinsted. If your last name starts with L-Z, your case will be heard by the Honorable T. Patterson Maney.
If you have been charged with a felony in the south end of the county, your case will be heard at the courthouse in Fort Walton Beach. The two circuit court judges that hear felony cases are the Honorable William Stone and the Honorable John Brown.
As for juvenile cases, the Honorable Terrence Ketchel presides over such cases in Crestview, and the Honorable John Jay Gontarek presides in Fort Walton Beach.
Tim Flaherty has practiced before all of these judges for years. He has a reputation as an honest, prepared, and skillful advocate for his clients. Having an attorney with that kind of reputation can make all the difference in your case.
How the prosecutors in Okaloosa County will evaluate your case
Dealing with prosecutors is a numbers game. They have hundreds of cases, so it is vital for us to get them to look at you as an individual and not just another case number. We take the time to build a full profile of our clients’ accomplishments, awards, character references, etc. Providing this information to the prosecutor at the appropriate time often means the difference between a conviction and a dismissal or reduced charge.
At the same time we are preparing mitigation, we are also carefully reviewing the evidence in your case. We are looking for weak spots in the state’s evidence that we can exploit to your benefit.
When we sit down to discuss your case with the prosecutor, we will have a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of our case as well as the state’s case. This allows us to negotiate better deals for our clients and it also helps identify which cases need to go to trial.
A lot of our clients are first offenders who made a mistake a need a second chance. For those clients, we will be aggressive in seeking a resolution that results in a dismissal of charges. For example, we will look at possibly a deferred prosecution agreement, or a referral to pretrial intervention. For our first time offenders, it is also very important that we keep the option open to have the record expunged or sealed when the case is over.
Serious felony cases are a different matter. In these cases, simply providing mitigation will not usually be enough. Defending felony cases is an art and it requires another level of skill and expertise to protect our clients from prison sentences and permanent felony convictions.
Flaherty Defense Firm is proud to say that over ½ of our cases are serious felony charges. We do not shy away from high stakes. We dig in and get to work protecting our clients.
Call an Okaloosa County criminal defense lawyer and get the help you need.
We understand that you may be “on the fence” about what to do next. Do yourself a favor and at least get some answers to your questions. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that all lawyers are the same, or even worse, that you don’t need a lawyer. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony crime in Okaloosa County, contact a criminal defense attorney at Flaherty Defense Firm 24/7 by calling (850) 243-6097 and put us to work on your defense.
Okaloosa County Resources
101 E. James Lee Blvd.
Crestview, FL 32536
1940 Lewis Turner Blvd.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Okaloosa County Clerk of Court
Okaloosa County website
Information about Court Programs and Judges: www.firstjudicialcircuit.org
Pretrial Services: (850) 689-5066
Veteran’s Court: (850) 609-5186
Mental Health Court: (850) 609-5044
Drug Court: (850) 651-7207
State Probation (felony cases): (850) 833-9132
JCS Probation (misdemeanor): (850) 398-4600
Police Departments in Okaloosa County: