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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False Imprisonment Charges in Fort Walton Beach

I see this charge a lot when someone is arrested for Domestic Violence and there is an allegation that the suspect blocked the alleged victim from leaving, or prevented them from calling the police by taking their phone from them.

What is False Imprisonment?

Florida Statute 787.02 defines False Imprisonment as follows:

“Forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against his or her will.”

What is the penalty for False Imprisonment?

In Fort Walton Beach and throughout Florida, this charge is a 3rd degree felony offense which means that it is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5000.00 fine. Under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines, False Imprisonment is a Level 6 offense, which means it carries 36 points.

What defenses are there to False Imprisonment?

Prosecutors and cops love to “tack on” this charge to any domestic violence arrest where there is any allegation that someone was restrained in any way. However, the prosecutors in Fort Walton Beach are usually smart enough to realize that this charge is difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, just by setting the case for trial, I am successful in getting the False Imprisonment charge dismissed.

If the prosecutor won’t agree to dismiss, another strategy I have used is to set a deposition of the alleged victim. At the deposition, I am able to question the accuser in detail about the allegations with the hope of exposing holes in their story, or establishing that there really wasn’t enough evidence of confinement or restraint to continue with the False Imprisonment charge.

Obviously, every case is different. The advantage of hiring Flaherty Defense Firm is that I have been defending criminal cases right here in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. That means I have the experience to adapt our strategies to fit the circumstances of your case.

Call a Fort Walton Beach False Imprisonment Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with False Imprisonment, call the firm that gets results. Here at Flaherty Defense Firm, I am ready to put my expertise to work for you. Call anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at (850) 243-6097.


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.


Domestic Violence Strangulation Charges Dismissed in Okaloosa County

MC had two charges in Okaloosa County. He was charged with one count of Domestic Violence and one count of Domestic Violence Strangulation. The allegations centered around two separate incidents on different dates against his ex girlfriend.

Because my client had a lengthy prior record involving crimes of violence, I knew from the start that the prosecutor would be hesitant to negotiate with me, and I knew they would definitely not want to dismiss either charge.

When MC met with me for the first time, I told him that our strategy would be to develop an alibi defense for both charges and set them both for trial. He agreed with this strategy, and while he was very worried, he told me he would put his trust in me to do the best I could with a very difficult set of facts.

Our client provided us with 3 alibi witnesses who were prepared to testify that he was with them the entire day the felony Strangulation supposedly took place. I gave their statements to the prosecutor. Their first response was a 2 year prison offer.

Needless to say, that offer was rejected and I set both cases for trial. Within a couple weeks, the misdemeanor case was dismissed so we focused on the felony. Depositions took place where I continued to poke holes in the State’s case. I told the Judge we were ready for trial.

3 days before the trial, the case was dismissed. My client was extremely happy and relieved. He was also very grateful that I continued to fight for him over several months. He also told me that before he hired me, he met with a public defender who told him he was going to prison and there was nothing that could be done.

I don’t ever guarantee final results for my clients. However, I do guarantee that I will never, ever tell a client to just accept a prison sentence without doing everything possible to achieve a better result.

If you have been charged with Domestic Violence or Domestic Strangulation in Okaloosa County, give Flaherty Defense Firm a call at (850) 243-6097 and see what an effective criminal defense attorney can do for you. The call is free and confidential.


Fort Walton Beach Domestic Violence Case Dismissed

Domestic Violence cases between siblings are tough. No matter how they turn out, most of the time the relationship between the siblings is changed forever. It also puts a huge strain on the parents of the two siblings when one of their kids was the aggressor and one was the victim.

When I take on Domestic Violence cases in Fort Walton Beach between siblings, I explain that my ethical duty is to defend them — not to repair their family relationship — not to protect anyone except my client. If I can do that AND protect the family relationships, I am happy to do it. But I will always choose the strategy that gives me the best chance of winning my client’s case.

JD’s case presented such a dilemma. He was accused of Battery in Fort Walton Beach against his brother. He told me that it was his brother who had started the argument, and it was his brother who was the one who got physical. However, JD told me that he would not allow me to blame his brother.

As a criminal defense attorney, I am required to adapt to many different circumstances with each client’s case. In JD’s case, I helped my client’s brother write a statement that explained what happened, but I did it in a way that kept him from getting himself into trouble. JD was fully on board with this strategy, and it worked.

I gave the brother’s statement to the prosecutor. I also told him that JD was not going to accept any guilty pleas. I made it clear that we expected a dismissal, and that given the unique circumstances between two brothers who truly loved each other, it was the right thing to do.

The prosecutor dismissed the case. JD and his brother were never required to testify against each other in court, and they were able to reconcile. All in all, a very happy ending to a terrible experience for this family. I was glad to be able to help.

If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence in Fort Walton Beach, I’m sure you are looking for results. Call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 and let’s talk about it.

 

 

 


Do I need a lawyer for my Destin Domestic Violence case?

No one plans on getting arrested. No one budgets for needing to hire a criminal defense attorney. I realize that the last thing you want to spend money on is a lawyer to help you out of your Destin Domestic Violence case.

If a client comes to see me with a case that I don’t think they need an attorney for, I tell them that. I will NOT take money from someone unless I truly feel like I can help them.

Domestic Violence cases in Destin are one type of case where I definitely think you should at least consult with an experienced criminal lawyer before making any decisions or entering any kind of plea in court.

Why do I say this?

When someone with a Destin Domestic Violence case goes to court unrepresented, the prosecutor knows that the person doesn’t know the law — doesn’t know the full consequences of the plea decisions they make. Some prosecutors will take advantage of this and offer plea deals that sound good on the surface but have far-reaching implications. It is the fine print that they don’t tell you about that will stay with you forever.

What kind of plea bargain will they offer for a Domestic Violence Charge?

The prosecutor will usually offer something called a withhold of adjudication. This means that the person is not technically convicted of the crime. Sounds good right?

WRONG. If you ever want to be able to expunge this Domestic Violence case from your record, you will not qualify for a record expungement if you received a withhold of adjudication. The only way a Domestic Violence case can be expunged is if the case is dismissed completely.

How do you get a Destin Domestic Violence case dismissed?

There are two ways to get your case dismissed:

  1. Convince the prosecutor to do the right thing and drop the case, or
  2. Complete a pretrial diversion program that guarantees a dismissal

That’s it. Those are the only two ways you will ever be able to expunge your Domestic Violence arrest from your record. The prosecutor will NOT tell you this. They will not explain that once you take the plea, it will be too late to ever take it back. That is why it is so important to do everything possible to get the right result.

For a Domestic Violence charge in Destin, Flaherty Defense Firm can help. Call us at (850) 243-6097.


Destin Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed

JM was charged with Domestic Violence in Destin after an argument with his wife. JM was a pharmacist and he was very worried that a conviction for Domestic Violence would affect his licensure and his ability to support his family.

JM had never been in trouble before and certainly never thought he would need the services of a criminal defense attorney. He was upset and embarrassed about putting himself in the position he was in, and he needed my help.

The first thing to focus on was getting the No-Contact Order lifted so that he could communicate with his wife. I contacted JM’s wife and helped her complete a sworn affidavit that requested contact with her husband. She also requested that the charges be dropped.

I sent the sworn affidavit to the prosecutor with a message that this case needed to be dismissed or we would be taking it to trial. The prosecutor dismissed the case against JM. He was able to reunite with his wife. With my help, he was able to have the arrest for Domestic Violence expunged from his record so it wouldn’t affect his license.

I have helped hundreds of clients accused of Domestic Violence in Destin. I would be happy to put my experience to work for you.

If you have been accused of Domestic Violence in Destin, call Flaherty Defense Firm at (850) 243-6097 and I will get to work right away.


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.


Okaloosa County Domestic Violence Dismissed.

Police officers have a tough job. Often times, they are called to the scene of a domestic violence incident and they have to make split second decisions about whether to arrest someone, and if so, which party to arrest. However, in a lot of the domestic violence cases in Okaloosa County lately, the police are not using any discretion or judgment at all. They get called to a scene, and they arrest the male.

MG’s case was one where a little bit of good judgment would have prevented this case from ever happening. MG was a retired Air Force Master Sgt. who lived with his wife. Their marriage was under a lot of stress as MG was embarking on a new career. After a heated verbal argument with his wife, she called the police and alleged that her husband had hit her, even though he hadn’t. When the police showed up, she tried to tell them that he hadn’t hit her, but they wouldn’t listen. MG was charged with Domestic Violence.

MG was looking to me to correct this injustice. I knew how important it was to get the Prosecutor to take a hard look at the case so they could see that a mistake had been made. I started by meeting with MG’s wife and getting a sworn affidavit from her where she admitted that MG had not hit her. She also stated that she wanted the charges dismissed.

After setting the case for trial and showing up for the court date in Okaloosa County, I told the Prosecutor that they still had a chance to do the right thing and drop the case. To their credit, they did just that and dismissed all charges.

Because MG was starting a new career, I knew how important it was to make sure his case was handled properly. I also knew that it was critical to expunge the record of his arrest so it could not hurt him in his future career. As soon as the case was dismissed, I filed for the expungement.

I was proud of the work I did for MG. At Flaherty Defense Firm, there is no such thing as a “minor” case. Every case is important to the person that has been arrested, and I take every case, and every client, seriously.

If you have been arrested for Domestic Violence in Okaloosa County, call me today at (850) 243-6097 for a free consultation and let me put my experience to work for you.

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10.0Tim Michael Flaherty

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