If the police respond to a domestic battery in Jacksonville, does someone HAVE to go to jail?

As a Jacksonville Criminal Lawyer, I have hundreds of people charged with Domestic Battery. Even though this is a misdemeanor in Florida, a domestic battery charge carries significant consequences.

JSO officers commonly tell people that if they are called out to a domestic battery call, they are required to arrest someone. This is not accurate. A police officer can arrest someone only if they can testify that there is probable cause to believe a crime has occurred. That means, based on the evidence they have in front of them, more likely than not the suspect committed the crime.

In many domestic battery cases in Jacksonville, there is no injury on the alleged victim. Even though there are no scratches, bruises, or red marks, a police officer can make an arrest for domestic violence if he or she believes there was an intentional touch against someone’s will.