Local police officer arrested for domestic battery in Jacksonville

A Jacksonville Sheriff’s officer has been arrested for domestic battery in Duval County, making him the tenth employee of the office arrested in 2017.  According to an article in the Florida Times Union, the officer allegedly bit his wife’s wrist and finger during an argument.  Police say they observed bite marks on the wife and made the arrest.  The officer was released on his own recognizance and has another pending court date.

When a call comes into Jacksonville 911 alleging a domestic disturbance, someone is going to jail.  In order to make any arrest, the officer has to have probable cause.  Probable cause means more likely than not, a crime was committed by the person being arrested.  Unfortunately, Jacksonville police do not always have probable cause to make an arrest in every domestic battery call, even though they almost always make an arrest.  In the case above, there were bite marks as well as the testimony of the alleged victim.  It is unclear whether or not the officer gave his side of the story.  He, as well as every other citizen, has the absolute right to remain silent.

The officer was released on his own recognizance, also referred to as ROR in Jacksonville.  This means he was released without having to post a bond.  This is not always the case, especially with domestic violence charges in Duval.  Judges have to consider whether the accused is a flight risk as well as considering whether or not the  person is a danger to the community or the alleged victim.  The judge in the offier’s case added the condition that he have “no victim contact”.  No contact means no contact, even through a third person.  If it is proven the officer did have contact with his wife, he could be placed back in jail while his case is pending.

The jacksonville.com report also indicates that this officer has had a history of internal complaints as an officer, which include citizen complaints.

In order to be convicted of domestic battery in Jacksonville and Florida, the state attorney’s office must prove that the suspect intentionally touched the victim against their will or intentionally caused bodily harm.  The officer’s case is now in the hands of the prosecutor assigned to it.  That prosecutor will make a decision on whether or not to file the case as charged.

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 Duval County Domestic Battery Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.