On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
A Daytona Beach official is facing criminal charges after an argument in the early morning hours of Oct. 19 outside a gated community in Pelican Bay allegedly turned violent. The 47-year-old city commissioner is accused of striking a 66-year-old man, and he has been charged with battery. A police report indicated that the commissioner may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the alleged altercation, but he is not facing drunk driving charges as officers said that they did not observe him behind the wheel of a vehicle.
According to the alleged victim, the argument began when the commissioner exited his SUV at the entrance to the gated community at about 1 a.m. He was reportedly upset about being delayed by the vehicle in front of him. The second man claims that he was struck first above the right ear and then in the eye. He claims that the incident turned violent when he attempted to take the commissioner’s keys after accusing him of being drunk.
An attorney representing the commissioner stated that his client could be exonerated after video footage and physical evidence have been examined and witness testimony heard. Police claim that the commissioner was unsteady on his feet and had slurred speech when they arrived at the scene.
Police reports and the statements of law enforcement officers are often the foundation of a criminal case, but sometimes prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers may also need physical evidence or eyewitness accounts to build a case. However, in some instances, witness accounts and police reports may contradict each other, and a defense lawyer might be able to weaken the prosecution’s case by focusing on the inconsistencies.
WFTV.com, “Daytona Beach commissioner accused of DUI, punching 66-year-old veteran“, October 20, 2014