Aside from driving charges like DUI or driving while license suspended, assault and battery charges levied against individuals are a close third in the total number of arrests for criminal charges in the State of Florida. An arrest for a battery often occurs in the house, in front of children, friends, or family members. The stigma attached to having a battery conviction can have dramatic consequences, since it is a crime of violence.
Most domestic battery arrests occur in the home, and most simple non-domestic battery arrests occur in bars or public places. Regardless of the type of battery, they both usually begin by someone calling the police on a recorded 911 call. In many instances the “victim” does not want to have the Defendant arrested. Florida law enforcement is trained to arrest individuals if they believe they can prove who the primary aggressor(s) is, or if there are visible signs of injury. It is important to remember, that burden for an arrest in Florida is probable cause. That does NOT mean that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the charge you were arrested for. Getting a trained battery lawyer on your side must be done fast, as evidence such as videos, witness statements, receipts, and pictures of injury to alleged defendants will disappear as time goes on.
Once someone is arrested, your paperwork will make its way to several different offices. Those offices may include the clerk’s office, the department of child and family services, the state attorney, and possibly the media. The State Attorney will receive all of the paperwork in your case and immediately set up a file. An assistant state attorney assigned to your case will review the police report and often interview the “victim” before deciding what charges, if any, to file. The time period between the arrest and the formal filing or not filing of charges is what we refer to as a critical window period. That means that the State Attorney has your file, and if our firm can send an investigator’s report or letter detailing our position to the state attorney, we will try and prevent charges from being filed. The state attorney is ethically bound to only file charges that they think they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt. A “victim” that is unwilling to cooperate or is willing to sign a waiver of prosecution does not necessarily mean the case is going to be non-filed or dropped. Under Florida law the State Attorney has the ultimate say in determining if charges will be filed. A prosecutor will often order the 911 tape and speak with any witnesses (both law enforcement and civilian witnesses) before making their ultimate decision. If the State decides to file charges, then your case will be set for an arraignment date. An arraignment date is a formal reading of the charges filed against you, and requires your mandatory appearance unless represented by counsel. A case will typically go from arraignment to a pre-trial or disposition date, which could be a window period of 30-45 days. In the meantime, unless modified, all of your pretrial conditions will be in effect until the case is disposed of.
The criminal defense attorneys at The Grieco Criminal Law Center have decades of combined experience in handling criminal cases. We are aggressive and fight hard and fast. We immediately get involved in your case, explore all the facts and possible defenses, and any necessary investigation of the victims. We are here to help you and you can reach us at anytime.