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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    13

    Unhappy Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Florida

    Me and my pregnant wife of 4 months got into an argument Saturday night. That argument turned into a yelling match, after it escalated to the yelling I called my mother to try and have her help us calm down as she has done in the past... My wife refused to talk to my mother as she was not thinking clearly and just wanted to leave the house... She attempted to head for the door, I jumped up off the bed and ran to the door in front of her, I put my hands up right as she was nearing me, My hands touched her chest (not breast area) and I told her please its unsafe for you to go outside by yourself at 3am in the morning, can we please just sit down and discuss this. She then agreed. We sat down and were talking things through very calmly. 5 minutes later, I hear a very loud knocking at my door, so I look outside, It's the sheriffs office. I go downstairs open the door to hear the officer yell at me to "COME OUTSIDE NOW!" I said "Yes sir, let me hang up the phone with my mother". I hung up the phone and walked outside. My wife followed. They began to tell me how us arguing woke up the neighbors and how they stood outside downstairs and and heard us yelling back and fourth for 5 minutes. He said this in a very rude and loud tone of voice. I calmly asked the officer if he could please speak to me with respect and lower his voice a little bit. He replied with "You do not run the show here, I do" I said well then I guess I'll have to file complaint with your supervisor, what's your badge number. He replied with "Oh you want to talk to my supervisor, well you're talking to the supervisor right now... hold on a second". He then grabbed my wifes left shoulder and told her to come with him inside my house. The other officer standing outside told me to not talk or say anything, so I didn't. a few minutes pass and the other officer walks out of my house telling me to turn around and place my hands behind my back. I do so, and I'm handcuffed. we start walking towards the patrol car when i turn to ask him what I'm being charged for. He precedes to "slam" me into the ground below my feet face first, then shouts "Don't Resist me son" then picking me up by the hinges of my handcuffs escorts me to the backseat of the cop car. My wife is crying histerrically at this point and my mother arrives as I expected she would. She begins to ask what was going on... The officer explained to her that I was being arrested for domestic battery. Both my wife and my mother beg the officer not to arrest me that I did not hurt her at all. The officer claimed she had red marks on her chest, which my wife nor my mother could locate or identify. I was taken to jail. The next day I had my court hearing. I get called to the stand and the judge asks if my wife is present, I said no sir your honor. He said ok, and looked down at my paperwork. a few seconds pass and the prossecutor looks up and says "Your honor, Are you aware that the alleged victim is 3 months pregnant." The judge looks up at me and says "Mr Brown, in the state of Florida it is a felony charge to abuse your spouse if she is pregnant, we will set a new court date determining the status of your case to be bumped up to a felony charge on may 7th. You are to have no contact with Mrs. Brown and have a $503 bond." My mother bailed me out and we have been trying to figure out what to do. My wife has no marks I didn't touch her against her will. I did no act of violence to my wife, I have no previous record and I was supposed to be shipping out for Army boot camp in 2 weeks to be able to provide insurance for my pregnant wife so that she could goto doctors during her pregnancy. My wife has been talking with my mother and is wanting to know what she can do or say to get this to go away... this is ruining her life her future my life my future and my baby's life and future. I also have to add in, when the police "wrote my wife's statement" because she refused a statement, they put that I pushed her. She said to the officer when she read the statement, "I never told you he pushed me, I said he put his hand out and they touched my chest." The officer came back with a rude and loud voice "Are you calling me a lier." which scared my wife and she said no because she was in fear she would be in trouble if she said yes. This is all near the patrol car which I'm sure has voice recorder present. My wife even told my mother that she is glad I stopped her from leaving that night because she could have been harmed or kidnapped by some crazy person, we live in a bad side of town. I spoke with an attorney today and she didn't tell me anything I wanted to hear about how this would be easy to get dropped. She made it sound as if it was going to be hard for her to get this dropped. Ive done absolutely nothing wrong her, I'm not a criminal and in fact on probably one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. I often got picked on in school and at work because of that. I don't know how to be mean, and this is just horrible what's happening to me and my wife... I love her so much and would never do anything to hurt her. Please somebody give me something to have faith that this will go away and our life will go back to normal. because right now the state is ripping our lives away from us.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,031

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest/Charge

    I read about half before I went blind and couldn't read anymore...Paragraphs are your friend.

    But based on what I did read...You prevented your wife from leaving the house. Can't do that. It is not a false charge. Presumptively your wife is an adult that can decide for herself if she wants to leave the house or not...You have no right to stop her. She does not have to talk with your mother. Frankly for you to be involving your mother in this is really strange. Your attitude with the officer also was not very smart under the circumstances. After waking your neighbors up with your screaming till the wee hours, you have the audacity to get snarky with an officer over HIS tone?? Dumb.

    She attempted to head for the door, I jumped up off the bed and ran to the door in front of her, I put my hands up right as she was nearing me,

  3. #3

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest/Charge

    Technically it doesn't matter if you touched her with your pinky or a sledge hammer - an adult is allowed to leave at 3am, even in a bad neighborhood, even if there is a serial killer standing in your front yard with a chainsaw. She's allowed to make that decision, regardless of how stupid or dangerious it might be.

    When the fight turns from verbal to physical, like you touch them in an attempt to keep them from leaving, by definition this is kidnapping/false imprisonment. Because she's your wife, this is one of several crimes which then fall under the general umbrella of domestic violence (so would things like assault, battery, sexual assault, stalking, etc.). When the fighting is loud enough and long enough for neighbors to be calling the police to report a fight, and one party indicates that ANY kind of touching happened, there's going to be an arrest for domestic violence. This is mandated by law in Florida, it's not up to officer discretion - they MUST err on the side of caution and make the arrest based on probable cause due to the totality of circumstances that includes ANY type of touch. Just by circumstance that your wife was pregnant, that "ups" the charge from misdemeanor to felony. There doesn't need to be any type of injury or mark, although it will likely work in your favor that there wasn't - you might end up getting the charge reduced. But the attorney you spoke with is correct - it's NOT all going to go away. You can certainly shop around for other attorneys and other opinions, but it sounds like the prosecution is particularly interested in pursuing this case, most likely because of the pregnancy.

    Whatever you do in the meantime, absolutely do NOT do ANYTHING to even hint that you've violated the restraining order. If she calls you, don't answer. Don't leave notes, send emails, pass messages through friends, etc. - this will only result in even DEEPER troubles and additional criminal charges. Get yourself a criminal defense attorney asap and do EVERYTHING they tell you to do.

    Keep in mind that under federal law, if you are convicted of domestic violence, there isn't going to BE any boot camp to ship out to because you will not be allowed to keep a firearm.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    Well, not the answers I wanna hear. She stated in the police statement that it was not against her will and that I was doing my job as a husband to protect her... She was in an unstable train of mind and threatening to kill herself. That qualifies as she needed some sort of help and to not be let out onto the streets alone. I did not want to baker act her as that would serve us no good, she's not a U.S. citizen yet and that would just have her deported. And you cannot tell me you've never put your hands on your spouses shoulder to try to calm them down or reason with them... that is not a crime... I don't know where this country has gone to where that has to be seen as a crime. I understand there are violent men out there that abuse women every day. I get that, but what I don't get is the people like me, non-violent trying to do my job as a husband to protect and provide for my wife and I'm treated as a criminal. What kind of husband would I be if I did not stand in her way and let her go and she killed herself, got raped, got kidnapped, or any number of things, Because I am her sponsor I am directly responsible for anything that happens to her, so that puts me in a hard situation on this... Even she understood why I did it and agrees with me 100% that I should have stopped her... she was not stable enough to make that choice on her own.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    Baystategirl... My mother was involved because my wife and her really get along and she listens to my mother when she is mad at me because she doesn't listen to me at all when she's mad. I did not argue with the officer as to his tone. I simply asked him nicely to not treat me like some punk kid to treat me with respect as I was giving him. There was no call for the rude loud tone of voice I received right off the bat. Nor was there a call for him slamming me into the ground. There also wasn't a call for the police to falsify my wife's statement and treaten her when she told him he lied on the statement. Fact of the matter is, the cops were pricks They made up the fact that she had red marks on her chest, which she did not and stated to the police that she did not have red marks. They put down that she said I pushed her... They lied, and when she tried to correct them, they threatened her... my mother tried to say that's not right and they yelled at her saying they would make my charges more severe if they didn't shutup. If it comes down to a court trial can I use the patrol cars voice recorders to prove that the police falsified her statement and would not admit to it or let my wife correct them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    If you want to go off on a rant about how you had to restrain her because she was going to kill herself, get raped, get murdered, get kidnapped, and have all sorts of other things inevitably happen to her the moment she stepped out the door, well, by all means take your case to trial and see if the jury agrees with you.

    But really, you should get a lawyer to advise you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,096

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    Let's take a step back here.

    Under current Florida law, you did commit domestic violence upon your spouse. During an argument loud enough to wake the neighbor and have them call the police, you physically restrained your wife. By your own admission.

    Your answer is that you were restraining her because she was in an unstable state of mind and it was dangerous outside. You are neither an accredited psycologist or a law enforcement professional. You are simply not trained to make a conclusive decision on either point.

    What you could have done if you SUSPECTED your wife was in an unstable state and/or was going to go walk about in a bad neighborhood was to call the police and let THEM make the decision.

    I agree with the above. Get a good attorney and listen to them. I would recommend a strategy of "I did this but here is why" rather than "I didn't do it"... but that is between you and your lawyer.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    Quote Quoting philfut1
    View Post
    Well, not the answers I wanna hear. She stated in the police statement that it was not against her will and that I was doing my job as a husband to protect her... She was in an unstable train of mind and threatening to kill herself. That qualifies as she needed some sort of help and to not be let out onto the streets alone. I did not want to baker act her as that would serve us no good, she's not a U.S. citizen yet and that would just have her deported. And you cannot tell me you've never put your hands on your spouses shoulder to try to calm them down or reason with them... that is not a crime... I don't know where this country has gone to where that has to be seen as a crime. I understand there are violent men out there that abuse women every day. I get that, but what I don't get is the people like me, non-violent trying to do my job as a husband to protect and provide for my wife and I'm treated as a criminal. What kind of husband would I be if I did not stand in her way and let her go and she killed herself, got raped, got kidnapped, or any number of things, Because I am her sponsor I am directly responsible for anything that happens to her, so that puts me in a hard situation on this... Even she understood why I did it and agrees with me 100% that I should have stopped her... she was not stable enough to make that choice on her own.
    If she's not stable enough to make those decisions for herself, then she needs to be an in-patient somewhere. Otherwise, this exact situation occurs. Again, the law says that YOU don't get to make and ENFORCE decisions FOR her (things like those require legal intervention such as power of attorney, Baker Acting, or otherwise legally recognized methods to control the actions of another adult AFTER their own incompetency has been established). If she needs to be confined for her own safety, she needs to be under the watch an care of trained mental health professionals (because a COURT will accept their PROFESSIONAL opinion of what's best "for her own good"). It's only a matter of degree to go to the exterme of "well I kept her tied to the bed to keep her from hurting herself, I decided what and when she would eat because her own decision making was putting a few pounds on her, I didn't let her talk to friends or family that I thought would upset her". I'm not saying this is what was happening in your case, only explaining WHY the dynamic of the law works the way it does.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    Well Ill have to say this again... in our particular situation.. Calling the police would have ended her up being baker acted... and thus having her deported because she is not a legal citizen and is not in status as of yet. So I did what probably anybody would have done to protect her... She even agrees it was not against her will what I did...and is on my side 100% about all of this. The only person not on my side of this is the law... which was only violated due to some asshole cop who was desperate to make an arrest. I've spoken to other officers and they were shocked when they heard why I was arrested and how the police treated me during the situation. What I don't get at all here is why everyone that has responded has been on the laws side of this... instead of the right side where I did absolutely nothing wrong.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Wrongful Domestic Battery Arrest And Charge

    And to add to things... and this comes from my wife directly. "The only harm and suffering I've endured from any of what has happened, is that now my husband can't join the army which we've been working so hard to get him into, and now I won't have insurance to provide for my baby... so what do I do when I'm a victim of the state, they're abusing me. My husband was protecting me, and I thank him for it, so why are we both being punished for him keeping me alive and with him, instead of dead or deported, which either way would result in me not being with him anymore."

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