Criminal Court Success Stories

Okaloosa County – Walton County – Santa Rosa County

Here is a small sample of our client success stories.

(Click the links below to go directly to the area you wish to review)

Sexual Crimes
Drug Crimes
Disturbing the Peace
Burglary/Theft Crimes
Resisting Arrest
Violent Crimes
Financial Crimes
Child Neglect
Violation of Probation/Domestic Violence Injunction
DUI/BUI/Driving and Boating Crimes
Other Court Wins

Sex Crimes

2014-CF-2481
Sexual Battery on an incapacitated victim
State. v. J.T.C., Okaloosa County

The case dropped by the state on January 26, 2016.


Drug Crimes

2015-CF-2583
Trafficking in methamphetamine over 200 grams, knowingly driving while license suspended
State v. J.C., Okaloosa County

The charges were disposed of via a plea to the lesser-included charge of possession of a controlled substance and driving while license suspended on March 7, 2016. Adjudication was withheld and the defendant was sentenced to probation.

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2015-MM-2106
Possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics equipment
State v. A.G., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped by the prosecution on October 8, 2015.

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2015-MM-2990
Possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics equipment
State v. C.W., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of via pre-trial diversion on September 25, 2015, and the state dropped the charges on February 2, 2016 following the defendant’s completion of all conditions.

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2015-MM-2109
Marijuana possession, possession of narcotics equipment
State v. R.S., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped by the state on September 18, 2015.

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2014-CF-2863
Possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotics equipment
State v. M.L., Okaloosa County

The case was dismissed on June 18, 2015, following the defense’s successful motion to suppress.

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2014-MM-831
Possession of alcohol by person under 21 years of age
State v. K.S., Walton County

Possession of Alcohol by Person Under 21 years old. The client, realizing that it was a criminal charge, not an infraction, contacted our office to try to preserve their clean criminal record. The case was dismissed through diversion on June 3, 2014, and is proceeding towards expungement.

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2014-MM-773
State v. B.D., Walton County
Possession of Alcohol by Person Under 21

A college student with a bright future was here visiting our beaches on Spring Break when she was charged with a misdemeanor crime. During the Walton County Sheriff’s crackdown on underage drinking campaign, our client was arrested and taken from the beach to jail with several others. Once retained, we were able to obtain a deferred prosecution agreement. Subsequently, the case was dismissed on May 9, 2014.

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2014-MM-812
Possession of alcohol by person under 21 years of age
State v. E.F., Walton County

Possession of Alcohol by Person Under 21 years old; a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. The case was dismissed on April 29, 2014, pursuant to a negotiated Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA).

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2014-MM-563
Possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics equipment
State v. K.K., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on April 24, 2014 by pre-trial diversion


Disturbing the Peace

2015-MM-1497
State v. G.R., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on June 5, 2015 by pre-trial diversion.


Burglary & Theft Crimes

2015-CF-2423
Burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, petty larceny
State v. S.W., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped by the state on May 2, 2016, following the defense’s filing of a motion to suppress evidence.


Resisting an Officer Without Violence

2015-MM-1104
State v. J.B., Okaloosa County

The case was resolved with pre-trial diversion and deferred prosecution on June 15, 2015.

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2014-MM-1056
State v. Z.L., Okaloosa County

Military client charged with Resisting Arrest without Violence. A serious situation because he was facing up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine, and the possibility of a dishonorable discharge or separation from his career. But through extensive negotiations, a little legal leverage, and proper timing, we were able to successfully obtain a 90 day Deferred Prosecution Agreement with minimum sanctions. Subsequently, the case was dismissed on July 22, 2014.

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2014-MM-910
State v. B.T., Okaloosa County

Military client arrested for Resisting Officer without Violence, a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. The facts of this case were somewhat unique because the officer was not in official uniform, but working “special detail security” near a local bar in Destin, FL. When the officer provoked a scuffle, my client intervened to protect someone else and was arrested. Once we were retained on the case, we worked quickly and were able to achieve a dismissal on July 22, 2014.


Violent Crimes

2016-MM-2723
Domestic Violence Battery
State v. K.S., Okaloosa County

Case dismissed after setting for jury trial. No Prosecution filed on August 25, 2016.

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2015-CF-1929
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill, battery (touch or strike)
State v. E.E., Okaloosa County

The charges were disposed of with a no contest plea on May 27, 2016, and the defendant was placed in the Okaloosa County veterans court program. The case against the defendant was later dropped on August 12, 2016.

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2015-MM-3635
Domestic violence battery
State v. B.H., Okaloosa County

The case against the defendant was dropped on May 31, 2016, following the defendant’s failure to comply with pre-trial diversion.

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2015-CF-1607
Battery on a person 65 years of age or older
State v. J.F., Santa Rosa County

The case was dropped by the state on February 24, 2016, after depositions and discovery.

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2015-MM-1427
Battery
State v. J.W., Walton County

The case was disposed via pre-trial diversion on February 19, 2016.

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2015-MM-2821
Domestic violence battery
State v. Y.N., Okaloosa County

Prosecution was deferred on the charge on September 3, 2015, and the charge was dropped on January 20, 2016, following the defendant’s completion of domestic violence education.

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2015-MM-1360
Two counts of domestic battery
State v. J.B., Santa Rosa County

The case was dropped by the state on November 10, 2015.

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2015-MM-1561
Domestic violence battery
State v. J.F., Okaloosa County

The charge was dropped by the state on June 18, 2015.

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2014-CF-2895
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill
State v. L.O., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped by the state on April 25, 2015.

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2014-CF-2496
Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill
State v. K.O., Okaloosa County

The case against the defendant was dropped on December 9, 2014.

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2014-MM-2808
Battery causing bodily harm, contributing to the delinquency of a minor
State v. D.L., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped on November 3, 2014, following the defense’s filing of a motion to dismiss information.

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2014-CF-1932
State v. M.S., Okaloosa County
Felony battery, aggravated battery on a pregnant woman

This client was charged with two very serious felonies with 20 years of sentencing exposure. Count one was Felony Battery with a Pregnant Victim which as charged is a second-degree felony with a potential penalty of 15 years in prison. Count two was charged as Felony Battery, which is a third-degree felony with a possible penalty of 5 years in prison. To make matters worse, this client was also on felony probation at the time of the arrest for these new charges. The VOP added an additional 5 years of prison exposure, plus the classification as a Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern.

Facing a very difficult situation and a client desperate to get out of jail, we pushed forward. The new felony charges were defensible and could be won at trial, but we also needed to get her case to court—and before the Judge as soon as possible. So we set her case for a hearing to set the bond, knowing that with Violent Felony Offender of Special Concern classification, obtaining a bond was still a very tall order. However, in this scenario, as a criminal defense attorney, we have to be opportunistic for our clients, especially those in jail–with little hope. As the bond hearing approached, we reached a last-minute deal with the prosecutor in which the new charges would be completely dropped and she would be reinstated on her previous violation. And that is exactly how it turned out. On the court date, she was released from jail and any offender classifications or enhancements were avoided. We were also able to maintain a withhold of adjudication on the previous Felony VOP case. This turned out to be a key detail (often overlooked by many attorneys) because she was able to avoid a formal felony conviction on her criminal record–and thus avoid the permanent label of being a convicted felon. The case was dropped by the prosecution on September 8, 2014.


Financial Crimes

2014-CT-1546
Financial responsibility violation
State v. M.U., Okaloosa County

When this client came to my office, he felt like the police officer was not being fair with him and he feared that the same thing could happen in front of a Judge. Looking back, I believe his fear was real. Being a middle-eastern immigrant, he had experienced some level of discrimination since moving to United States. When he asked me to help him with his case, I knew he needed a real advocate.

The client was involved in a single vehicle car accident in Fort Walton Beach. It was during a rainstorm and his vehicle hit some standing water on the road and started to hydroplane. He slightly lost control of the vehicle and slid into a culvert drain on the side of the road where the water was pooling. When police arrived at the scene, they investigated my client and gave him two citations. One was a second-degree misdemeanor for Failure to Show Proof of Insurance. This was a criminal traffic offense. The second was a civil infraction for Unlawful Speed (too fast for road conditions).

Once we were able to present his defenses on the misdemeanor charge, we were able to get that case dismissed without going to trial. As to the traffic case, it would have been easy to just pay the ticket and let it go, but we decided to take a stand and set the case for an infraction hearing. The defense attorney in me doesn’t like to give an inch when it comes to injustice, no matter how small. And the issue was so clear: How could the officer cite my client for speeding if he arrived after the accident-and after the fact. At the hearing, I made my argument and summarily moved to dismiss the case.

The Judge agreed and rightfully dismissed the infraction.


Child Neglect

2016-CF-106
Child neglect without causing bodily harm
State v. F.C., Walton County

The case was disposed of on May 19, 2016, with pre-trial diversion.

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2014-CF-1318
Child neglect without great bodily harm
State v. S.P., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of via pre-trial diversion on July 21, 2014. The state dropped the charges against the defendant on February 9, 2015.


Violation of Probation/Domestic Violence Injunction

2015-MM-497
Violation of domestic violence injunction
State v. S.M., Okaloosa County

Disposed of on May 6, 2015, via pre-trial diversion. The case was dropped by the state on March 9, 2016.

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2010-CF-505
Felony violation of probation
State v. J.L., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on November 24, 2014, via plea agreement and the defendant was sentenced to time-served.

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2001-CF-1386
Violation of probation (original charge of criminal mischief causing damage in excess of $1000)
State v. E.B., Okaloosa County

The defendant was sentenced to time-served after absconding from probation for 8½ years.


DUI/BUI/Driving and Boating Crimes

2016-MM-2284
Boating Under the Influence
State v. J.P., Okaloosa County

BUI dismissed on September 2, 2016 just prior to jury trial.

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2016-CF-417C
DUI and Carrying a concealed firearm
State. J.S., Okaloosa County

The charges were disposed of on July 7, 2016, with pleas to the lesser charges of reckless driving and carrying a concealed weapon or device.

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2016-CT-518
Driving Under the Influence (DUI with injury and/or property damage)
State v. D.L., Okaloosa County

DUI dismissed on July 6, 2016 after prosecution conceded Motion to Suppress.

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2016-CT-1251
Driving Under the Influence
State v. D.P., Okaloosa County

The defendant’s DUI was disposed of with a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving on June 30, 2016.

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2015-CT-2337
DUI
State v. J.A., Okaloosa County

The case against the defendant was dropped on April 21, 2016, following the granting of the defense’s motion to suppress.

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2015-CT-2960
Reckless driving
State v. L.C., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of via pre-trial diversion on February 4, 2016. The state dropped all charges against the defendant following his successful completion of driver improvement school.

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2015-CT-2713
Operating a vehicle without a valid license
State v. Y.G., Okaloosa County

The case was dismissed on January 25, 2016, following a successful judge trial.

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2015-MM-1461
Leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving
State v. D.C., Walton County

The charges were disposed of by a plea and deferred prosecution on January 19, 2016.

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2015-CF-2525
Racing on a highway
State v. C.C., Okaloosa County

The charge was disposed of by pre-trial diversion contract on January 16, 2016. The case was dropped by the state on August 30, 2016.

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2015-CT-1286
DUI with injury and/or property damage
State v. A.D., Okaloosa County

The charges were disposed of with a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving on December 11, 2015.

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2015-CT-2003
DUI
State v. L.S., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of with a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving on December 3, 2015.

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2015-CT-1498
DUI
State v. G.V., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped on November 18, 2015, following an order granting the defense’s motion to suppress evidence.

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2015-CT-267
DUI
State v. J.H., Okaloosa County

The case was dismissed by the state on April 30, 2015, after the filing of a motion to dismiss.

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2015-CT-1815
Racing on a highway
State v. T.J., Okaloosa County

Prosecution was deferred on the charge on September 10, 2015. The case was dropped by the state on April 27, 2016, following the defendant’s completion of driver improvement school.

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2015-CT-1816
Racing on a highway
State v. K.J., Okaloosa County

Prosecution was deferred on the charge on September 10, 2015. The case was dropped by the state on April 26, 2016, following the defendant’s completion of driver improvement school.

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2015-CT-975
DUI with injury and/or property damage
State v. L.M., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of via plea agreement on August 7, 2015.

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2015-MM-1985
Health safety, violation of vessel regulations
State v. A.T., Okaloosa County

The case was dropped by the state on August 4, 2015, following the defense’s filing of a motion to dismiss.

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2015-CT-848
Reckless driving
State v. G.C., Okaloosa County

The charge was disposed via a deferred prosecution agreement on June 4, 2015. The charge was dropped on June 11, 2015, following the defendant’s completion of a driver improvement school.

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2014-TR-10518
Failure to yield
State v. A.W., Okaloosa County

The charge was dismissed on January 16, 2015.

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2014-CT-2919
No motorcycle endorsement
State v. C.B., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on December 19, 2014, via a plea agreement with adjudication withheld.

2014-CT-2308
Leaving the scene of a crash
State v. D.S., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on December 10, 2014 via pre-trial diversion.

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2014-CT-1202
DUI
State v. W.B., Okaloosa County

The case against the defendant was dropped on November 17, 2014, following a successful defense motion to suppress.

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2014-CT-2148
DUI
State v. J.F., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on November 6, 2014, with a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving.

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2014-CT-2314
Driving while license suspended or revoked
State v. D.P., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on October 13, 2014, via plea agreement.

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2014-CT-1870
Racing on the highway
State v. R.M., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on September 10, 2014, with a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving.

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2014-CT-1869
Racing on the highway
State v. R.R., Okaloosa County

The case was disposed of on September 10, 2014, with a plea to the lesser charge of reckless driving.

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2014-CT-1351
State v. S.C., Okaloosa County
Third Offense DUI reduced to Reckless Driving.

Out of town client was here in Destin on vacation. While out with friends, it was alleged that his car hit another vehicle in the parking lot of a restaurant. Although there was minimal damage, the police were summoned to the scene and my client ended up being arrested for DUI with Property Damage. The bad news, this could be his third DUI in the last 10 years, which would qualify as a felony (punishable by up to 5 years in prison). The good news, he had a fairly good case because there was minimal evidence of “impairment.” The client did not participate in field sobriety exercises and did not submit to the Intoxilyzer breath test. Knowing the stakes, and wanting to keep the case in misdemeanor court before it would be transferred to circuit/felony court, we quickly reviewed the discovery and video evidence. The case was fairly strong and we felt confident about our chances before a jury, so we set the case for trial. This was a measured strategy because we figured it would be unlikely that the prosecutor would enhance the charges unless they were certain they could win it. In the end, we were able to get what we wanted from the outset, get the DUI reduced and avoid jail time.

On September 9, 2014, our client was convicted of the lesser charge of reckless driving ONLY.

Other Court Wins

Walton County Case Number 2014-MM-115X
Criminal Mischief Charges Dismissed and Proceeding toward Expungement.

Record EXPUNGED

Military client charged with criminal mischief while visiting Sandestin. The truth is—he was basically charged with a crime by police for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. Alleged to have taken part in damaging some property, evidence was fairly weak and circumstantial. And while it would have been a great trial case, we also wanted to put ourselves in position to qualify for an expungement, which would not be possible even after a “not guilty” trial verdict. We finally decided to opt for a deferred prosecution agreement that presented no risk to the client and also put us in position for a clean dismissal and eventual record expungement.

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Santa Rosa County Case Number 2014-TR-1224X
Excessive Speed Over 50 MPH over Posted Limit.

Infraction and fines substantially reduced.

Military client cited for speeding on a bridge when an unmarked police car paced his vehicle in excess of 100 mph. When he called my office, he was especially concerned about two things. First, whether or not he could be charged with Racing on the Highway, Fleeing and Eluding, or Reckless Driving through a subsequent warrant application by the officer; and second, how the results of this case could affect his top secret security clearance in the military. The bottom line: not only were we able to keep the case in traffic court (and no arrests were made); but we were also able to get the ticket greatly reduced in order to minimize any career ramifications.

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Okaloosa County Case Number 2014-CJ-21X State v. FM

Juvenile client charged with Lewd and Lascivious Molestation

The client was facing the prospect of being charged as an adult and prison; or the case remaining in juvenile court, still facing delinquency adjudication, assignment to a long-term residential treatment facility, and juvenile sex offender status.

In the end, we not only avoided the severe sanctions, but were able to get the felony charges dismissed prior to trial and the case was resolved with a lesser, misdemeanor charge without any sexual references whatsoever.

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Okaloosa County Case Number 2014-MM-213X

Client was here for the summer and was out partying with some friends during the Billy Bowlegs festival. During the festival, he fell off a boat – and when the Fish and Wildlife officers swarmed in, they charged with Disorderly Conduct (Breach of Peace). He was facing 60 days in jail and a $500 fine and potentially the loss of a collegiate scholarship. We knew the charge was overblown and undeserved so we dug in and fought back.

Case was dismissed at the first court date and will eventually be expunged.

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Okaloosa County Case Number 2014-MM-247
State v. JRM

Client was a military spouse that lived out of state. During a traffic stop near where she lived, she found out about an active Okaloosa County warrant for a misdemeanor level worthless check (NSF) from an old account. Shocked, she immediately contacted our office to see what could be done. Logistically, it was nearly impossible for her to travel back to Florida to resolve the warrant.

In the end, not only did we get the arrest warrant recalled, but she also avoided probation.

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Walton County Offense Report WCSO 14-OFF-00328X

Client retained during a pending investigation for domestic violence battery, which is a misdemeanor of the first degree, and punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine. This was a rare situation because we were contacted prior to the warrant going active. Once retained, we were able to intervene immediately and helped prevent the warrant from being issued by the court.

The investigation eventually closed out with no arrest and no charges being filed.

Later, we were able to obtain the police report showing the case investigation, and verification that the matter was closed without further application for another warrant – and the client finally had some closure