In typical South Florida fashion, a 24-year-old has made national headlines after being arrested following a domestic violence incident during which he allegedly threw his own feces at his girlfriend, The Palm Beach Post reports.
While some may snicker, lawmakers have not joked around regarding similar incidents. In fact, in Florida, such a violation can result in a charge of aggravated battery in West Palm Beach, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
This is a commonly filed charge when inmates try to throw their own bodily fluids at jail and prison guards. Our West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers understand how serious a charge this is and while strange circumstances, it must be handled like any other criminal case.
According to Florida Statutes 784.045, aggravated battery is when someone uses a deadly weapon or causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement in committing a battery. A battery is intentionally striking another person.
In this case, a 19-year-old woman claims that her boyfriend, five years her senior, threw body waste at her during a recent argument. He was also charged with beating her during the same argument, The Palm Beach Post reports.
The 24-year-old was being held on $26,000 bond after being charged with battery, aggravated battery and criminal mischief. According to police, an officer was sent to the couple’s home, where the 19-year-old claimed the battery took place. She said he threw waste at her and also hit her with his hands and a bed board.
The news article doesn’t provide any details about what evidence the police have to back up her claims. According to The Miami New Times, the report states that the woman declined medical attention, despite a large abrasion on her chest. She was photographed and provided a statement. The man also had a small abrasion on his let arm.
It’s hard to imagine that a person could be beaten and hit with a bed board and not suffer permanent injuries that require medical attention. In this case, the woman claims she was the victim, but the man, too, was injured. Simply being arrested doesn’t necessarily mean police got the right person.
This is especially true in domestic violence situations. Often, it comes down to one person’s word against another’s, with little evidence to sway police either way. Whomever identifies as the victim usually is treated as such by officers, who tend to arrest the other person and consider them the suspect.
This can lead to serious charges as shown in this situation. But regardless of what one witness says, the state must have solid proof before they attempt to put someone in prison for a number of years. Our criminal justice system is based on proof beyond a reasonable doubt and that’s what the state must have, regardless of the circumstances and the charge.
If you are arrested in Fort Lauderdale or elsewhere in South Florida, contact Leifert & Leifert at 954-523-9600 or 561-988-8000 for a free consultation.
More Blog Entries:
Fort Lauderdale Man Charged With Shooting 12-Year-Old In the Stomach: August 15, 2011
Woman, 19, says boyfriend threw body waste at her during argument in West Palm Beach home, by Cynthia Roldan, The Palm Beach Post
Christopher Raphael Arrested for Throwing Poop at His Girlfriend, by Tim Elfrink, Miami New Times