For my client, T.O., life was good. He had a nice house, a good job, and he was getting ready to marry the woman he loved. What burst his bubble was a scorned ex-husband who was determined to make my client as miserable as he was. T.O. was stuck in the middle of a long-standing custody dispute between his fiancée and her ex-husband. While he did everything he could for more than 7 years to stay clear of the arguing exes, one day the situation blew up right on his doorstep.
T.O. was working inside his house in Fort Walton Beach when the ex-husband charged the front door demanding to be let inside. The ex was asked several times to leave his property. T.O.’s fiancée and her ex-husband were arguing loudly, and when the ex-husband lunged toward her, T.O. pushed him back and told him to leave his property immediately. The ex-husband punched T.O. in the face and fled the property.
Law Enforcement showed up a few minutes later and arrested T.O. for battery against the ex-husband. He explained to law enforcement that he was defending himself and was not the first one to charge or issue a threat.
Given the volatile relationship between these parties, the ex-husband wanted the maximum sentence. His goal was to get my client thrown in jail. I immediately began working on the framework for a defense that included defense of others, defense of property, and self-defense. T.O. had the right to protect his fiancée on their property. They had no duty to retreat from their own property.
I prepared this case for trial and informed the State that nothing short of a dismissal would get this matter resolved. The State’s back was against the wall considering their “victim” was very angry and wanted revenge. With witnesses ready, subpoenas served, and a jury waiting in the wings, the State agreed to dismiss the case.
If you have been charged with Battery in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty & Merrifield at (850) 243-6097. We are ready to put our experience and expertise to work for you.