A Jacksonville father finally caught a man his 15-year-old daughter had been saying was looking at her from outside the family’s Jacksonville home. After the daughter said she saw a silhouette in the lawn, the father ran outside and found James Lowery standing outside, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The father tackled Lowery and hit him several times before holding him on the ground until police arrived. Lowery could not explain why he was in the lawn, but did say he drank an entire bottle of wine earlier in the evening, the newspaper reported.
He was charged with three Jacksonville, Florida misdemeanors: trespassing, disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer without violence. The trespassing and resisting charges are both first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in the county jail. The disorderly intoxication charge is a second-degree misdemeanor and on that charge Lowery could serve up to 60 days in jail. In most cases, our Jacksonville Misdemeanor Crimes Attorney has seen sentences run concurrent, meaning Lowery is not likely to be sentenced to more than one year in jail for all three crimes – if he was to receive that much time. He was released from jail on a bond of about $9,000 for all three charges combined.
And despite the obvious beating Lowery took from the father — police described it in the newspaper as “minor injuries” but the jail mug shot shows a different story – the father is not expected to face any criminal charges in Jacksonville. First of all, Lowery was on the man’s property committing a crime and the father could argue he was doing what he could to keep Lowery there until police arrived. The law allows a certain amount of discretion for people to use the necessary amount of force to remove someone from their property, especially if the person was committing a crime. Though Lowery is not facing a prowling charge, not yet anyway, the evidence released to date points to the fact he was likely up to no good. More importantly, though not clearly spelled out in the law, is the fact that the state would have an extremely difficult time convincing a jury to convict the father of a crime in this case. That’s where common sense comes into play when prosecutors are determining charges. It’s highly likely that most jurors could see themselves doing the exact same thing to Lowery is they caught him in the lawn looking at their daughter. Heck, many of them might be thinking the dad let Lowery off easy.
There’s a fine line of how much force can be used in situations such as this, and most of it is up for interpretation – be it from prosecutors, a judge or, in some cases, a jury. Our Jacksonville Misdemeanor Attorney has seen many cases where someone in a similar situation to the father was charged with a crime. In this case, the state appears to be making the right call in not pursing charges against the father.
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 Criminal Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.