Articles Posted in Domestic Battery in Jacksonville

Former Jacksonville Jaguar football player, Roy Miller, will continue with the diversion program he was accepted to on April 9th.  According to a story on News4Jax, Miller was arrested in November of last year for a charge of Domestic Battery in Jacksonville.  He was released on his own recognizance, which means the judge did not require him to post any bond to get out of jail and subsequently appear in court.  Miller was placed in what is called the Pretrial Intervention Program, also called “PTI”.  Entry into a diversion program is discretionary, meaning that the State Attorney’s Office must make the decision to put you there.  People in the diversion program must complete a series of conditions in a certain amount of time.  Miller, for example, has to perform community service hours, participate in counseling and pay fees.  If the program is completed successfully, the Jacksonville criminal charge will be dropped.

There are a couple of things that make Miller’s case unusual.  First, the fact that he was placed in the diversion program to begin with.  It is very rare for a criminal defendant to be offered diversion for a domestic battery charge.  Although the charge is a misdemeanor and not a felony, obviously it is considered a crime of violence.  Diversion programs are usually reserved for non-violent crimes, such as theft crimes.  Domestic violence charges in Jacksonville usually do not make the list.

The second unusual part of this case is that the alleged victim, Miller’s wife, petitioned the county court to re-open the case and consider the possibility of kicking Miller out the diversion program.  According to the news report, the wife claimed that she was not given the opportunity to speak on her own behalf to the judge.  The victim of any case, particularly cases in which violence is alleged, are given the opportunity to address the court before sentence is decided and imposed.  These cases are very “victim driven”, meaning what the alleged victim tells the State Attorney’s Office and the Judge presiding over the case are given a lot of weight.

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.

A St. Johns County police deputy was recently arrested.  According to an article in the St. Augustine Record, the officer was arrested for domestic battery, which is a first degree misdemeanor in Florida.  The deputy allegedly hit a woman in the face at his house.  His St. Johns County bond was set at $500.00 and he has been released.

In Jacksonville and all over Florida, a battery is committed when someone intentionally touches or strikes the victim against his or her will or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.  The battery becomes “domestic” when the victim is a family or household member.  This includes spouses, ex-spouses, blood relatives, people who have children in common and people who reside together as if a family or who have lived together as a family sometime in the past.  A simple battery, without the domestic part, is a misdemeanor charge, punishable by up to a year in jail.  When the charge becomes domestic, punishments can be more severe.  The court may impose mandatory jail time and the defendant may have to complete a twenty-four class batterers’ intervention program.  This is an intense program that is completed while the defendant is on domestic battery probation in Florida.  If there is a violation of probation, the defendant can be placed back in jail to address the violation.

In addition to simple and domestic battery, there are also higher levels of battery in Florida.  A person commits an Aggravated Battery when they intentionally committed a battery and in the process, caused great bodily harm or permanent disability to the victim or used a deadly weapon.  The elevated battery charge becomes a felony, punishable by prison time.  If the victim of a battery is pregnant, this also converts the misdemeanor battery to a felony.  If a person has been convicted of prior misdemeanor battery charges, the State Attorney’s Office may charge any subsequent battery charge as a felony in Florida.

A former Jacksonville football player will not be prosecuted any further on the domestic battery charge that allegedly occurred last year.  The player was taken into custody in 2015, according to an article in the Florida Times Union, for allegedly head-butting his wife while the two were arguing.  Police were dispatched to a domestic dispute that resulted in the player being detained under Florida’s Baker Act provision, which allow police to detain someone if they pose a danger to them self or others.  The State Attorney’s Office investigated the case and chose not to file formal misdemeanor charges.  A possible insanity defense and no victim cooperation were cited as some of the reasons for the decision.

When police are dispatched to a domestic dispute/battery/assault, someone is going to jail.  The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, as well as other law enforcement agencies, will usually separate the parties to get each person’s story.  If one party has visible injuries, they are most likely going to be considered the “victim” and the other party is going to be arrested.  Domestic battery, in Florida, is defined as touching someone against their will or intentionally causing physical harm to someone.  That someone has to be a spouse, family member, or person they live with “as a family”.  If convicted of domestic battery in Jacksonville, a suspect will have to be placed on probation for 12 months to complete a batterers intervention program as well as other special conditions.  This is the minimum punishment when adjudicated guilty of domestic violence.  The maximum punishment is one year in jail.

Once a battery arrest is made, the prosecutor’s office will assign the case to a particular prosecutor.  That prosecutor has the discretion to file or not file the case.  The beginning of a battery case is the most important because formal charges have not yet been filed.  The value of hiring an experienced Duval County domestic battery attorney is that the attorney can meet with the prosecutor before the decision is made.  The alleged victim’s input is very influential on what the assistant state attorney decides to do.  A victim’s advocate will contact the “victim” to see if they want to press charges or not.  Even if the victim tells the prosecutor they do not want the case to go any further, the prosecutor can still press forward if they think they have a viable case.

A Clay County middle school teacher is facing two felony charges after police say he stole a gun from a car and then went to an ex-girlfriend’s home.  Police said the man got the gun and went to the woman’s home, where he knocked on the door and argued with her once she answered, finally leaving after she says she asked him to do so several times, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The man drove off on his own, but police spotted his vehicle a short time later and he was arrested. The man is now facing two serious felony charges – though neither of them is related to the confrontation with the woman. He is charged with two counts of armed burglary, connected to taking the gun from the vehicle. Armed burglary is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in state prison. Since he is charged with two counts, the man, now 36 years old, is looking at up to 60 years in state prison if convicted of both counts and sentenced to the maximum on each charge.

While armed burglary sounds like a person went into a vehicle or a building and took something while he or she was armed, that is not always the case in Clay County Gun Crimes Cases. If a person, becomes armed during a burglary, that can qualify the crime as an armed burglary. For example, what appears to be the charge in this Clay County Theft Case is the man broke into a car and took a gun. Because he was armed at the time the robbery ended, the state has him charged with armed burglary. That always seems like a back-door way to charge a person with the most serious charge possible, but at the end of the day it can be up to a jury of the man’s peers to decide. Since his arrest, the man has already been removed from the classroom while the case is pending, which is common for teachers and other public employees charged with crimes – especially felonies.

Our Clay County Gun Crimes Attorney represents people on all types of charges involving guns, from armed burglary as in this case, or cases involving the discharge of a weapon in which Florida’s 10-20-Life laws apply. Our Clay County Criminal Defense Attorney will thoroughly investigate the case against you or your loved one and lay out your options so you can make the best decision going forward.

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.

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.

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

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.

Contact Information