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.

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Okaloosa County Aggravated Assault Charge Dismissed

DW was charged with Aggravated Assault and Domestic Violence in Okaloosa County. The allegation against her was that during a fight with her former boyfriend, she pointed a gun at him. Aggravated Assault with a Firearm carries a 3 year mandatory minimum sentence.

DW told me from the start that she wanted her day in court. Based on what she told me about what had happened, she had acted in self-defense. She had been sexually assaulted by the former boyfriend and his friend the night of the incident. They had also beaten her up. Finally, DW had had enough and pointed her gun at them and demanded that they leave.

You would think, based on this terrible and sad story, the police would have arrested the two rapists/assailants, but instead, they arrested her! They told her that since it was their word against hers, and there were two of them, they were going to believe their version of what happened.

I promised DW that I would never ask her to plead guilty to something she didn’t do. I also assured her that I would fight the case at trial if the prosecutor didn’t do the right thing and dismiss the charges.

I visited the crime scene and took photos. I basically did the job that the police should have done in the first place. I also documented all of DW’s injuries and resulting medical expenses and compiled the extensive criminal history of both of the two men.

When my investigation was complete and I had all of the information I needed, I provided all of it to the prosecutor and let him know in no uncertain terms that I was demanding a full dismissal of all charges. No deals. No plea bargains. The only options were a dismissal or a trial.

Once the State Attorney reviewed the information that I provided, he dismissed all charges.

Anyone can be arrested at any time and for any reason. I know that is a scary thought.

When the unthinkable happens, it is natural to think that eventually someone will see that a mistake has been made, and order will be restored. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way.

I have said this before, but it bears repeating here. When you have been accused, freedom will not just be given to you. It must be fought for and taken.

Since 2001, Flaherty Defense Firm has been standing up for people in Okaloosa County just like DW — people who need a fighter on their side. Give me a call and decide for yourself whether I am the right attorney for you.

If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Okaloosa County, Flaherty Defense Firm can help. Call me anytime, day or night, at (850) 243-6097.


Is It Possible To Get An Aggravated Assault Charge In Okaloosa County Reduced?

Aggravated Assault is a charge I see pretty often in Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa County. It covers a wide variety of factual situations where someone is accused of using either a weapon or a firearm to threaten someone.

Aggravated Assault with a weapon or firearm is serious. It’s a third degree felony with a possible 5 year prison term.

So I am automatically going to prison for 5 years?

No. This is where a creative criminal defense attorney who is experienced in dealing with these cases in Okaloosa County can make a huge difference. There is a charge that the Aggravated Assault case can possibly be reduced to. It is called Improper Exhibition of a Firearm.

This charge is not a felony, it’s a misdemeanor. It is found in Florida Statute 790.10, and it states that in order for someone to be found guilty of this charge, the State must prove that the Defendant carried a firearm and exhibited it in a threatening, careless, angry, or rude manner in the presence of someone else.

This charge still talks about threats. How is this different from Aggravated Assault?

They are very similar. They both deal with conduct that is threatening and reckless. The key difference is that with Aggravated Assault, the prosecutor must prove your intent was to threaten, not just that that was the result, but that it was the intended result. With Improper Exhibition, it is more result-based. If your conduct was threatening, you can be found guilty of this crime. If you didn’t intend to threaten someone, you are likely not guilty of Aggravated Assault.

Let me illustrate it with an example:

  1. Aggravated Assault:  You point a gun at someone that you want to scare and tell them you are going to kill them.
  2. Improper Exhibition: At a party, you get really drunk and start waving a gun around with no intent of harming anyone.

I am writing about this difference because the prosecutors in Okaloosa County almost always start out by charging the more serious felony charge of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.

It is your criminal defense lawyer’s job to carefully review the facts of your case and determine whether an effective argument can be made to reduce the case from a felony to a misdemeanor.

I have successfully made that argument on behalf of my clients, and those clients were able to stay out of prison and were able to keep a felony off of their record.

Digging into a case’s minute details is what separates a really good defense attorney from an over-worked and inexperienced public defender, and it often makes all the difference in someone’s life.

Give yourself the best possible chance of staying out of prison and call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097. I am a highly effective Okaloosa County criminal defense attorney that knows how to get results for my clients.

Flaherty Defense Firm can give you the help you need when you need it the most. If you have been charged with Aggravated Assault in Okaloosa County, call me today at (850) 243-6097.


What Am I Facing For Battery On The Elderly In Fort Walton Beach?

At Flaherty Defense Firm, I defend a wide variety of serious felony cases in Fort Walton Beach. Some cases are able to be worked out. Others are far more difficult because of the nature of the charge and who the victim is.

One example is crimes against children. Another is the topic of this blog. A crime against an older person. Battery on the Elderly is a charge that prosecutors are very tough on. Usually, they will be seeking a substantial prison term if you are convicted.

Florida Statute 784.08 governs Battery on the Elderly charges. It defines an elderly person as anyone who is 65 years of age or older. It states that when you commit a crime of violence against an elderly victim, the charge will be enhanced.
Here are some examples:

  1. If the crime was simple Battery, the charge will be enhanced from a misdemeanor to a third degree felony with a possible sentence of 5 years in prison.
  2. If the crime was Aggravated Assault, the case will be reclassified from a third degree felony (5 years in prison) to a second degree felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
  3. If the crime involved the use of a deadly weapon, or if the elderly victim suffered great bodily harm, the charge will be enhanced from a second degree felony (15 years) to a first degree felony with a potential sentence of 30 years in prison.

It should also be noted that for any conviction for Aggravated Assault or Aggravated Battery on the Elderly, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years in prison.

Like every other felony case I defend, I want you to know that your Battery on the Elderly charge is serious but it is also NOT hopeless.

Give me a call at (850) 243-6097 if you have been charged with Battery on the Elderly in Fort Walton Beach and I will put my experience to work for you.


Fort Walton Beach Aggravated Assault Charge Reduced To Misdemeanor

At Flaherty Defense Firm, I’ve been practicing criminal defense in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. It is my only area of practice. I do NOT practice family law, but sometimes, criminal cases veer into the family law arena, especially when it comes to domestic violence cases.

CB was charged with Aggravated Assault after an altercation between her and her husband’s ex-wife. Aggravated Assault is a 3rd degree felony with a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison.

The argument took place during a custody exchange and CB got caught in the middle. She was accused of leaving the argument in her truck and then attempting to run over the alleged victim. The reason she was charged with Aggravated Assault was because the police and the prosecutor believed that she was using her truck as a deadly weapon to threaten someone.

The prosecutor assigned to CB’s case pushed hard for a felony conviction and some jail time so I knew the case would not resolve itself easily. I did a full investigation of the alleged victim’s background. I was able to get access to her facebook page where she had made several threatening messages against CB, including some that implied she was making the whole thing up. I also took depositions of the two arresting officers as well as the alleged victim, and from that was able to develop an effective defense strategy in the event the case went to trial.

Shortly before the trial, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the felony Aggravated Assault charge down to a misdemeanor. No conviction on CB’s record and no jail time.

Flaherty Defense Firm can help if you are facing charges of Aggravated Assault in Fort Walton Beach. Call me for a free consultation at (850) 243-6097 and I’ll get to work right away.

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