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.
Even though a domestic battery charge is a misdemeanor, it is considered a crime of violence. This charge can follow you for the rest of your life if you are convicted. Often times, police are called to diffuse the situation, not to actually make an arrest. Once the arrest is made, the state of Florida is now involved in your family life and it takes a lot to get them out of it.
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 Lawyer, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.