Police in Jacksonville, Florida and the surrounding counties of Clay County, Nassau County and others make a lot of arrests for domestic battery and similar domestic violence related charges. What often happens is there is some incident, whether it is an argument, a disturbance or an actual physical altercation, and someone calls the police. The police arrive and have to make an assessment of what happened after the fact. It can be a difficult thing to do since one or both of the parties are highly emotional and are not in the right frame of mind to discuss the incident rationally. The police often make quick decisions to arrest someone, often the male, write a report and move on to the next case. The report is often one-sided and paints a picture that appears more serious and incriminating than what actually occurred. The result may be a domestic battery charge against someone that is not warranted.
At Shorstein & Lasnetski, LLC, we analyze a lot of domestic battery cases and the evidence that the police contend supports the charge. There are several ways for criminal defense lawyers, especially those experienced in domestic battery cases, to defend against domestic battery charges. Once the incident is over, the alleged victim usually calms down and decides she does not want to prosecute. If done the right way, this can be an important tool for a defendant in a domestic battery case. Additionally, once the alleged victim calms down, she will often discuss how the actual facts of the incident are different, and less serious, than what was initially reported and what is in the police report. The police do not often conduct a full investigation when they respond to a domestic battery call. If the alleged victim is claiming an injury, the police may not document it with pictures which calls into question the existence or seriousness of the injury. If an altercation allegedly occurred, did the police take pictures of the surrounding area, i.e. the room in the home where it supposedly occurred, to show that something did happen there? If there were any witnesses such as roommates, neighbors or guests that would have seen or heard a disturbance, are there written or recorded statements?
When we investigate domestic battery cases, we always ask these questions and others and often find that a complete investigation was not done. With these holes in the domestic battery case and the alleged victim’s intention to drop the charges (or even without this last element), domestic battery cases will often have several good avenues of defense that result in good results for the client.