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Officers' response to domestic violence call under investigation

Sometimes arguments between couples get out of control and lead to one partner assaulting the other. When this occurs in Florida, officers must follow specific procedures when responding to domestic violence complaints. This is for the protection of everyone involved in the situation, including the person facing allegations of assault. If the accusations of domestic violence are false, the defendant could use the police reports as part of his or her criminal defense.

A Jacksonville, Florida, man stands accused of shooting his girlfriend on the morning of December 4. The night before, the 23-year-old victim had contacted police to report that her boyfriend had assaulted her while they were arguing. The police who responded to the call spoke to the woman but the man was not at the residence the couple shared.

The defendant allegedly returned to the home the following morning and shot the woman in front of a third person who was living with them. The couple's two children were also in the house when the incident occurred.

Unfortunately, the police who responded to the domestic violence call did not write a report documenting the details of the complaint, and the law enforcement is currently investigating the issue. Florida requires police to document all claims of domestic assault. This creates a record of the incident that can be used by the victim to obtain a protective order against the perpetrator or by the accused to fight false domestic assault charges that may result in a damaged reputation or other serious consequences.

It is important that people facing domestic violence charges learn what their rights are under Florida law, so they can mount an effective defense. It is also a good idea to collect all evidence pertaining to the case including any police reports regarding alleged incidents.

Source:, "JSO investigating officers' response to domestic violence call," Dec. 8, 2012

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The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
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