Articles Posted in Domestic Battery in Jacksonville

A Jacksonville corrections officer was arrested last week, accused of hitting his wife during an argument. The officer, a 14-year veteran of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was assigned to a desk job while the criminal case works its way through the system. The officer is charged with domestic battery, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in the county jail. The woman told police she and her husband were arguing and he pushed her onto a couch several times and then punched her in the arm, the newspaper reported. The woman did not call police at the time, but then chose to make the call the next day, the newspaper reported.

This is the second Jacksonville officer charged with domestic violence in recent weeks. Because officers are typically on desk duty until their case is resolved, the cases can often move a little quicker than a regular Jacksonville Domestic Battery Case. The same can be true for people in other lines of work, where someone is arrested on a Jacksonville DUI Charge or another charge but is not allowed to return to work until the case is finished. Defendants must weigh what is best for them personally and professionally when it comes to fighting a criminal charge – and sometimes those interests are conflicting. An employer may have a policy encouraging a guilty plea, though the suspect may think it is in his or her best interest to take the case to trial.
The opposite can be true for law enforcement. Many law enforcement agencies have a policy that prohibits them from employing people who have been convicted of a crime. In most departments that only applies to felonies, and not misdemeanors such as this Jacksonville Domestic Battery Case, but it could discourage an officer from agreeing to plead guilty and accepting some sort of probation in order to move on.

Jacksonville Domestic Battery Charges are typically misdemeanors, unless a weapon is involved or there is serious bodily harm. The cases can be difficult to prove at times because victims can have a change of heart as the cases proceed. They may decide they don’t want their husband or boyfriend to be facing a criminal charge and say they want to “drop” the Jacksonville Domestic Battery Charges. But once the case is filed, that decision lies solely in the hands of prosecutors. Now, the state typically does not move forward without the alleged victim in a Jacksonville Domestic Battery Case, though it certainly can if it chooses. Our Jacksonville Domestic Battery Attorney knows the ramifications an arrest can have on a person’s career and life. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney will work with you and discuss options so you can make the best decision for yourself in regards to your criminal case.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Domestic Battery Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

A Jacksonville police officer faces three misdemeanor charges, after being accused of assaulting his wife and her father during an argument this month. Clay County police were called to his home after the officer was allegedly threatening his wife and fighting with his father-in-law, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. He is charged with two counts of domestic assault, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in county jail and a $500 fine. He is also charged with resisting an officer without violence, a first-degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine.

The actual charges do not reflect the headlines and the takeaway from the media coverage on the Clay County arrest. In the police report, the officer’s wife claims he has pointed a gun at her in the past, and those details dominate the story. But he is not charged with any crime that involves a firearm. If he was, that would be a felony and he’d be looking at the potential of serving time in state prison. But the state would have difficulty trying to prove a case that the wife was threatened with a gun, but didn’t call police. Police did take the officer’s gun into evidence, the newspaper reported, so technically there could be the possibility of upgrading the charges in this Clay County Domestic Violence Case, though that charge appears to be more difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Either way, the arrest itself in this Clay County Domestic Assault Case will likely result in at least a placement on desk duty while the case resolves itself and could lead to a suspension or even termination.

Though they are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between assault and battery in Clay County Domestic Assault Cases. An assault is threatening someone – yelling at the person, raising a fist – anything that would indicate there is a serious possibility of violence. Battery is actual physical contact. So in this Clay County Domestic Assault case, the officer is accused of charging at his wife and then throwing punches at his father-in-law once the father-in-law stepped in and brought him to the ground, according to the newspaper report. But the punches never connected, hence the assault charges instead of battery. Domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, like the resisting charge, so it would have opened the officer up to more time in the county jail and a larger fine, but would remain a misdemeanor. Clay County Domestic Violence Cases can be difficult for the state, especially because in some instances the alleged victims end up not wanting to cooperate with police once the dust has settled. The charges, though, are very serious and our Clay County Domestic Violence Attorney can fully investigate the case against you or your loved one to help you determine the best course of action going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Clay County Domestic Assault Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The domestic battery charges that led a 31-year veteran of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office to resign rather than be fired have been dropped. The State Attorney’s Office said the victim in the case has recanted her story, leaving the state without enough evidence to prosecute the case, according to a report in the St. Augustine Record. While the St. Augustine criminal case is now gone, the damage is done for Randy Wayne Capo, whose law enforcement career is likely over even though he wasn’t found guilty of any crime.

Capo was arrested in St. Johns County in May after neighbors heard a disturbance and called police. At the time, his girlfriend told police Capo slammed her face into the floor several times and head-butted her in the rib cage, the newspaper reported. The two had been struggling over Capo’s cell phone, which he wanted back after his girlfriend accused him of cheating on her. When police arrived, the girlfriend had blood on her nose. Capo was arrested for domestic battery, which in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, and was released the following day. His arrest touched off an internal investigation within the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office that recommended Capo be fired. Capo resigned before the sheriff could sign the termination papers. Unfortunately in an employment situation, workers do not have the same rights they have as citizens in the criminal justice system. Capo is innocent until proven guilty in the court system. But by the time that case played out in court, he was already assumed guilty by his employer – guilty enough that they were prepared to fire him. Capo could choose to fight the action in a civil case, and perhaps he will, but in the end he chose to resign – forced or not.

Domestic battery cases in Jacksonville are often sticky situations for the state. Alleged victims that tell police things in the heat of the moment can sometimes change their story – or even recant completely, as Capo’s girlfriend did in this case. This could be because the victim is afraid of the suspect, or it could be because the victim is in fact lying. The only people that know that are the two involved. The state could decide to go forward anyway, but it doesn’t play well in front of a jury to have the victim on the stand saying she doesn’t want the case prosecuted. If she doesn’t care, why should a jury? As challenging as it may be for Capo to piece a career back together following a domestic battery arrest, it would be infinitely more difficult after a conviction. Our St. Johns County Criminal Defense Attorney has represented hundreds of domestic battery clients in Duval, Clay and Nassau Counties, many of which were “he said, she said,” cases such as this. If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in St. Johns County or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our St. Johns County Domestic Battery Lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney at our Duval County Domestic Battery Law Firm has represented hundreds of people charged with all kinds of violent crimes in Florida. There are several Jacksonville crimes that are considered violent, such as Domestic Battery, Domestic Violence Assault, Aggravated Battery, etc. A man featured in the television show, “Swamp People” has been arrested in Orlando on domestic battery and assault charges. According to an article on, Noces LaFont Jr. had an argument with his girlfriend that allegedly ended in him punching her and trying to burn her. The two were lodging at a hotel in the Disney area. LaFont was issued a bond and bonded out of the Orange County jail.

To be convicted of the crime of Domestic Battery in Jacksonville, the state attorney’s office must prove the following elements beyond every reasonable doubt:

1. LaFont intentionally touched or hit the girlfriend against her will or
2. LaFont intentionally caused bodily harm to his girlfriend.

To be convicted of Assault in Duval County, the state attorney’s office has to prove:

1. LaFont intentionally and unlawfully threatened, by word or act, to do violence to his girlfriend
2. At the time, LaFont appeared to have the ability to carry out his threat
3. The act of LaFont created in his girlfriend’s mind a well-founded fear that the violence was about to take place.

If a defendant is convicted of a Jacksonville Domestic Violence charge, that person is facing up to a year in county jail as well as mandatory probation. Domestic Battery probation includes a 26 week batterers’ intervention class and heavy financial penalties. If someone is convicted of Assault in Duval County, the person is facing up to 60 days in jail because assault in Jacksonville is a second degree misdemeanor.

At the time the article was written, it was unknown whether LaFont hired a Florida Criminal Attorney, but expect that he will. In addition to possible jail time and a harsh probation, being convicted of a “violent” criminal charge will follow you for the rest of your life. The government can take away your privilege to purchase firearms and future potential employers will think twice before hiring someone with a “violent” past. As a Duval Criminal Defense Counsel, when I am hired on a domestic battery case in Jacksonville, the first thing I do is conduct a thorough interview of my client. We go step by step. Often times, our Jacksonville Battery Defense Law Firm gets a call from the alleged victim in the case. He or she often tells our criminal attorney that what is contained in the police report is inaccurate and that they do not want to press charges. While it is beneficial for an alleged victim of domestic violence to say that they do not want the person charged, it is not dispositive. The state attorney can still bring the Duval battery charges if they think they can prove the case in other ways, like through pictures. That is why it is so important to talk to our experienced Jacksonville Domestic Battery Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem as soon as possible.

If you are arrested for any criminal charges in Duval, Clay or Nassau County, contact our Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem at (904) 365-5200. Consultations are always free and our Duval County Criminal Lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As a Jacksonville Domestic Battery Attorney, I have read hundreds, if not thousands of arrest and booking reports associated with domestic violence charges in Florida. It is very easy to get arrested for Domestic Battery in Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns Counties. Most of the time, it only takes one person telling police someone touched them. A St. Johns County sergeant, Randy Capo, learned how easy it was when he was arrested in May after someone in the neighborhood called police. According to a report in the Florida Times Union, Capo allegedly wrestled his girlfriend and hit her in the chest with his head. Capo submitted his resignation before the police department could terminate him. After hiring a St. Johns criminal defense attorney, Capo’s violent charges were dropped.

There are many crimes that make up “domestic violence” charges in Jacksonville and all over Florida. Florida crimes such as assault, battery, sexual battery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, and stalking are considered “domestic” if the victim is a family or household member of the defendant. A “family or household member” is your spouse, ex-spouse(s), people who are related to you by blood or marriage, your child’s other parent or people who are living together as if a family or have done so in the past. The crime of Domestic Battery in Jacksonville and all over Florida is a first degree misdemeanor. Along with the maximum of one year in jail, domestic violence charges carry other mandatory punishments if a defendant is convicted. If you enter a plea to a domestic battery in Florida, the court must order a minimum of one year probation for the defendant to complete the Batterers’ Intervention Program. A person convicted of this Jacksonville violent misdemeanor must also serve 5 days in jail unless the judge waives this requirement.

Having a Duval County domestic battery on your record will hurt you more than you know. In addition to being convicted of a crime, this is considered a violent crime. The government may prevent you from obtaining a concealed weapons permit as well as prohibit you from buying guns from gun dealers. Future employers may think you have violent tendencies and opt for someone without the criminal history. If you are arrested for any Florida violent charge, contact an experienced domestic battery attorney. Our Jacksonville Domestic Violence Attorney has handled hundreds if not thousands of domestic charges and is available to discuss your case. Call The Mussallem Law Firm for a FREE CONSULTATION at (904) 365-5200. Our Jacksonville Domestic Battery Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Florida Department of Children and Families has shut down a Westside Jacksonville child care center after the operator continued to watch children despite a Jacksonville battery conviction. The operator was arrested in October 2010 and pleaded no contest in the next morning. Battery is one of the charges that allows the state to revoke a child care provider license, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.

After the conviction, state licensors told her to stop working at Tiny Blessings Day Care Center, but she refused. The state of Florida then took her to court and an administrative judge revoked her license. The business was shut down last week. This case highlights the importance of knowing the effect specific criminal charges will have on any licensing or governing body that regulates your profession. For example, people who drive a taxi or truck for a living can be out of work after a Florida DUI conviction. Issues like this often arise when people enter a plea in the jail courtroom the day after their arrest. The temptation is to get out of jail, do whatever is needed in the short term – not thinking of long-term costs.

If you are arrested in Jacksonville, you will be taken to a courtroom, referred to as J-1, within 24 hours of your arrest. The best option is to plead NOT GUILTY. This will give you time to consult with an attorney to determine the best way to proceed for you – personally and professionally. Often times, charges can be reduced or other punishments can be arranged – such as community service – that could allow people to continue work and being productive member of society. If you or a loved one is arrested, make sure you call a criminal attorney before just trying to get rid of the charges the morning after. An experienced Northeast Florida criminal defense attorney can analyze the state’s evidence against you and provide you with a proper defense strategy.

If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm, PA at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation. Our Duval County Criminal Lawyer is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As a Jacksonville Domestic Battery Attorney, I have represented hundreds of people who have been charged with Domestic Violence in Northeast Florida. Many of my prior clients, and their alleged victims, had no idea how serious domestic charges and a domestic battery arrest is. If the police are called out to a domestic disturbance, it is almost guaranteed that someone will be arrested. Often times, people call the police thinking that the officers will come out and separate the two parties or make the aggressor leave the house. The truth is, the officers don’t want to take the chance of something violent happening when they leave. The result is, somebody is going to jail. That person is usually the one who did not call the police.

Once you are arrested for Domestic Battery the state attorney’s office has to make a decision about your case. The prosecutor will discuss the circumstances of your arrest and any evidence collected with the police officer. He or she will also attempt to make contact with the alleged victim. In our Duval County Domestic Battery Law Firm, we are often contacted by the named victim in the case and that victim often times wants the domestic violence charges dropped. The alleged victim will be asked to take a class at the state attorney’s office before their desires are listened to. Even then, if the prosecutor on the case thinks they can prove their case even without the cooperation of the victim, they could still proceed.

If you enter a plea to a domestic battery charge in Florida, there are certain minimum mandatory punishments. Florida law mandates that a person be adjudicated guilty (convicted) of the domestic charge, but an experienced criminal attorney could negotiate with the prosecutor and a withhold of adjudication is possible. Twelve months of probation is also mandated and you will have to complete the Batterers’ Intervention Program through the Salvation Army. This is a 26 week class that must be completed to the satisfaction of the workers in charge. Homework and absolute attendance is required. If you violate the probation, you could be arrested on a violation of probation in Jacksonville and facing the same amount of jail time as your were on the domestic battery. Domestic Battery in Florida is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail.

That is why it is so important to consult with an experienced Northeast Florida Domestic Violence Attorney if you have been arrested on battery charges in Duval, Clay, or Nassau Counties. Our Jacksonville Domestic Battery Attorney is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (904) 365-5200 for a free consultation.