A former police officer in Jacksonville now faces sex charges in Jacksonville after a Florida Department of Children & Families investigation and then police internal investigation.
News4Jax.com recently reported that the officer appeared in court.
Sex crimes in Jacksonville are among the most difficult to defend against because they are so serious and will usually get intense media attention that can take away from the fairness of a defendant’s trial. An experienced and aggressive Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer, however, can work not only to control the media but also defend the case in the courtroom.
According to the news report, the 25-year law enforcement veteran is scheduled for arraignment in a few weeks. He faces six counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and one count of capital sexual battery on a minor. He faces up to life in prison, if convicted.
Two of the counts of lewd and lascivious acts were allegedly on a victim between 12 and 16, while the other four acts that he allegedly committed happened to a victim under 12, a police report states.
According to the news station, the man resigned from the sheriff’s office after his arrest.
Every case is different and must be assessed based on the individual facts. What charges police file upon arrest often change once a prosecutor reviews the case. Simply put, state attorneys know the law better than police and will charge what they think they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, not just probable cause, the police officer’s standard of proof.
And an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney can be an advocate on behalf off the defendant from the very beginning, rather than once charges have been formally filed. Once that happens, the state is usually unwilling, or unable to change them.
As the case progresses through the court system, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. That may come in the form of improper police work that can lead to excluding incriminating statements or evidence that wasn’t properly obtained or stored.
It also may mean using recent court cases in other, but binding jurisdictions that can lead to favorable rulings before the cases gets to trial or during trial. In some cases, though, a trial isn’t a smart move. If the evidence is too overwhelming, an experienced attorney can advocate for a plea deal that reduces the penalties — prison time, probation, restitution or all the above — and best benefit the client.
Some defendants believe what they see on TV — that during trial someone’s going to come storming in during testimony and shout “I know who REALLY did it” to the shock and surprise of all in attendance. That’s not going to happen, though.
An experienced lawyer knows how to review the case and determine what the best course of action is. It very well may be going to trial or it may be seeking a plea deal that allows the defendant to live life after prison. And strong pre-trial work, including shooting holes in witness testimony or showing contradictions to the state’s theory only makes that plea agreement more favorable to the defense. Simply waiting for an offer isn’t going to get it done. But a plea may be in the best interests of the client.
If you need a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call Mussallem and Associate, PA at 904-365-5200 for a free consultation.