Monday, May 17, 2010

What To Do When Domestic Battery Enforcement Goes Too Far in Largo, Florida

St. Petersburg Criminal Attorney and Former State Prosecutor Melinda Morris of the Morris Law Firm discusses what to do when you've been arrested for Domestic Battery.


You may have read about a 73 year old Largo, Florida grandmother of four being arrested by Largo Police for Domestic Battery.  It all started when her 18 year old granddaughter cursed at her grandmother which prompted a slap on the cheek.  The teen then dialed 911 and shortly thereafter the grandmother who had never been arrested landed in jail.  State Prosecutors ultimately dropped the charges after public outcry and intervention by a local radio DJ.

Why This Matters To You:

This case is a classic example of overreaching by the Police Department and black-and-white interpretation of Domestic Battery laws by law enforcement.
There are many cases of Domestic Battery where the arrest may not have been justified.  Unfortunately, not every case gets the positive media coverage that this case received.  Could your case be a similar example of law enforcement rushing to judgment without carefully examining the facts of the case?  Did the State Prosecutor file Domestic Battery charges that may not be justified?
In many Domestic Battery cases there are potential defenses that may be utilized to reduce the charges, or even have the charges dropped altogether:

  • Victim Recantation
  • Failure to Read Miranda Warnings
  • Lack of Intent
  • Alibi
  • Mistaken Identity
  • Self Defense
  • Defense of Others
  • Defense of Property

What To Do Next: 

If You Are Arrested For Domestic Battery:
  1. Don't speak to the police - ask to have an attorney present.
  2. Don't give a written statement – again, ask to have an attorney present.
  3. Contact an attorney immediately.

It is equally important to engage an attorney quickly as you have a very narrow window of time between when you are arrested and when the State Attorney’s Office makes a decision to file a criminal charge against you.  Hiring an attorney immediately to negotiate on your behalf with the state attorney’s office gives you the best chance of avoiding criminal charges for Domestic Battery.

If you have been arrested for Domestic Battery in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, or Tampa, Hillsborough County, FL, contact a St. Petersburg Domestic Battery Attorney to discuss possible defenses that may exist in your case. Call the Morris Law Firm at 727-388-4736 to discuss your case directly with an attorney.