Substitute Clay County school bus driver fired, state not filing charges in alleged choking incident

A substitute school bus driver in Clay County was fired this month for what some say was a choking incident with a 10-year-old student. The driver was fired after she was accused of putting her hand on the throat of a 10-year-old boy who refused to put away a cell phone on a ride home from school, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. While she is no longer employed, the larger issue would be criminal charges. Prosecutors have chosen not to file criminal charges in this potential Clay County Child Abuse case, the newspaper reported.

There is an important distinction in Clay County Criminal Court Cases on discipline that employers can levy and what is provable beyond a reasonable doubt in front of a jury. Prosecutors have the final say on when charges are filed in a Clay County Criminal Case. For example, once an arrest is made, the state has 40 days to determine whether the or not to file formal charges in a case. And, once charges are filed, the state has six months to take the case to trial, unless the defendant waives that provision and allows the deadline to be extended. There are several factors the state must consider when they are looking to file charges in a Clay County Child Abuse Case. In this case, the newspaper reported there were no video cameras on the bus, so law enforcement would have had to rely solely on statements from witnesses, as well as those from the suspect and the alleged victim. The stories from the boy and the driver, not surprisingly, differed significantly about exactly what happened and police said witness accounts were somewhere in between, the newspaper reported. That was apparently not enough for prosecutors, who appeared to make the right call in this potential Clay County Child Abuse Case. In order for a person to be convicted by a jury in any Clay County Criminal Case, that jury must be unanimous. If just one person on the jury does not agree with a guilty verdict, there is not a conviction.

If the jury cannot agree and is unable to come to a consensus, the result is a hung jury and a mistrial is declared. From there, the case essentially starts over from scratch. The state can decide to drop the charges, negotiate a plea agreement or take the case to trial again. If the Clay County Criminal Case ends up in trial a second time, an entirely different jury is chosen to hear the case. If you think you may be investigated in a Clay County Criminal Case, it can be beneficial to speak with a Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney before you speak with police. You have a right to remain silent and consult with an attorney, but must know that any statements you make to police can be used against you.

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 Criminal Defense Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.