If you're a service member accused of a crime in Fort Walton Beach or Okaloosa County, you are faced with two important questions:

  • Who can I trust to protect my civilian rights as a person accused of a crime?
  • Can my military career be saved?

Fortunately, at Flaherty & Merrifield, we have the answers to these and other questions about your legal rights and options. My name is Tim Flaherty.  Since 2001, I have been defending military members accused of crimes in Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and throughout Okaloosa County. Together with my partner Brandy Merrifield, we explore every option to save your career. Criminal defense is the only area of law we have ever practiced. If you are ready to work with local lawyers with a track record of success, you've come to the right firm. 

You Protect Our Country, Let Us Protect Your Future

As a service member, you are dealing with the consequences of your arrest on two different levels: You have the criminal case in civilian court, and you also have the military side to worry about. Whether you are stationed at Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field AFB, or Duke Field, or you are with 7th Group, we can help you. If you are stationed at another base but were here on temporary duty orders (TDYs), we can help you. Securing the right result on the civilian side can have huge positive impacts on the military side.

Civilian Charges That Can Threaten to End Your Military Career

In a civilian court, military personnel will face the same penalties as anyone else, in addition to any further sanctions or separation the military may impose. While we are prepared to defend our military clients with any type of criminal case in Fort Walton Beach, the charges we see most commonly for military members are:

No matter what you are charged with, we will not judge you or jump to any conclusions. Instead, we will listen to you and develop an effective defense strategy that gives you the best possible chance of success.

Potential Military Consequences

Chances are, the military will wait for the civilian court to make a decision before imposing any penalties or sanctions; however, that is not always the case. Right now, before your case has even been to court, your command may be deciding whether or not to:

  • Impose extra duty
  • Reduce your rank
  • Confine you to post
  • Submit a Letter of Reprimand (LOR)
  • Suspend deployment or PCS orders
  • Resolve the matter via Article 15
  • Court-martial or separation board

While no two cases or outcomes are the same for military personnel, what you can expect from us is clear and straightforward legal advice. We understand the pressure you are under from command to get this taken care of. We will do everything possible to get the result that will protect you and save your career.

You Fight for Our Freedom, We're Ready to Fight for Yours

Right now, you have been accused of a crime, not convicted. Now is the time to have experienced criminal attorneys working for you. We will evaluate the evidence, speak to witnesses, hear your side of the story, and formulate a defense to position you in the best light possible.

In some cases, having an attorney on board from the beginning can influence the formal charges filed against you. Sometimes, we are able to get the state to amend or dismiss the charges against our clients in the beginning. Although most cases resolve without a trial, we prepare every case as if it's headed to court. The prosecutors in northwest Florida know us and know that we will not back down without a fight. We will do whatever it takes to protect you and your career.

Contact Us to Discuss Your Civilian Arrest or Charges

If you are a member of the military who has been arrested in Fort Walton Beach or anywhere in Okaloosa County, we can help. Call Flaherty & Merrifield at 850-374-6273 or complete our contact form to schedule an appointment for a complimentary, no-obligation phone consultation. We'll be glad to talk with you about your charges, your options, and what we can do to help. Let us answers your questions and provide some much-needed peace of mind.