Most crimes have been on the decline across the country over the last few years. However, domestic violence, or domestic battery, cases have increased by 10% in Jacksonville, Florida according to a recent Jacksonville news article. There is no question that domestic battery is a serious crime. However, domestic battery is also probably the best example of a crime where people often get arrested without justification.
For example, we recently handled a case for a client in Jacksonville where the young woman and her boyfriend got into a heated argument. He grabbed her by the shoulders during the argument. She grabbed his arm at some point. Neither was injured in the slightest. He was scared that she might call the police so he called the police first. Because he called the police first, the young lady was arrested for domestic battery. This was clearly a race to call 911 with the loser getting arrested for a very serious charge. This is not an uncommon situation. In many situations, whoever calls the police and gives his or her story to police can get the other person arrested. The police are often at a disadvantage. They were not present for the incident and often do not have (or do not look for) independent witnesses to question to find out what actually happened. They make an arrest based on incomplete and very biased testimony from someone who is looking to get back at his/her husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. In many situations, like the example above, no one should be arrested. However, it often seems like the police feel like they need an arrest to justify the trip out to the scene. Fortunately, in the case of our client, we made it clear that our client was arrested in error, and the domestic battery charge was dropped.
As mentioned, domestic battery is a serious crime, and should be treated as such when violence occurs. However, many of these domestic battery arrests are the result of a flawed investigative process and need to be defended vigorously. If you have been arrested for a domestic battery or other domestic violence charge in the Jacksonville, Florida area, feel free to contact us for a free consultation to learn your rights.