Caleb Grotberg of Portland Oregon is accused of using his dreadlocks to choke his girlfriend in a domestic violence attack. She told officers that Grotberg attacked her during the night and gave police a detailed description that helped police find Grotberg in the neighborhood where the incident occurred and arrest him. Grotberg was charged with assault, kidnapping, attempted assault, menacing and strangulation; all are domestic violence felony crimes.
Being arrested for domestic battery by strangulation in Jacksonville is a serious felony criminal offense with serious penalties including prison time. Under Florida’s Domestic Battery by Strangulation Statute, § 784.041, the State must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
– The defendant intentionally and knowingly impeded the normal breathing and circulation of the blood of the victim against her will by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the alleged victim or by blocking the nose or mouth of the victim.
– By doing so, the defendant created a risk of great bodily harm to the victim; and
– The defendant was in a domestic relationship with the alleged victim under either of the following circumstances:
o in a dating relationship with the victim, which means a continuing and significant romantic or intimate relationship; or
o a family or household member of the victim.
In many cases, when law enforcement are called out on an emergency call for a domestic battery allegation, one of the parties involved is going to be arrested. In fact, many times, one of the first things the responding officer says to the accused when arriving at the scene is that “someone is going to jail.” Law enforcement are trained to ensure the safety of any potential victim, and as such, make arrests for domestic battery even in cases in which they have a difficult time determining the “primary aggressor.”
Many of these cases involve no visible signs of injury. Domestic battery can involving any offensive touching, including throwing an object in a manner unlikely to cause any physical harm. Even a push or shove can result in an arrest for domestic battery. Because of this, approximately 30 states have passed domestic battery laws that do not require signs of physical injury, most of them praised for bringing some of the worst domestic violence offenders to justice. Considering that many of these strangulation laws do not require signs of physical injury for a conviction, some are worried that the State may be allowed to excessively prosecute.
Furthermore, if one is found guilty of a domestic violence offense, one’s arrest record will be permanent. A Domestic Violence charge cannot be sealed or expunged. This means anyone can look up one’s record and see the domestic violence conviction. This is very detrimental to those trying to obtain a job, as many employers automatically assume that the person is violent regardless of the facts.
One in a situation like this should immediately obtain an experienced Jacksonville domestic violence defense attorney to fight for one’s case and ensure one’s rights and defenses are known and protected. One should not waste time when the solution to one’s predicament is out there waiting.
The Forbess Law Firm has been aiding clients who face criminal charges in Jacksonville for years and is here to provide aggressive criminal defense to anyone accused of a crime. If you or a loved one requires a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, contact our firm today. We are available through our website or by calling us at 904-634-0900.
Additional Sources: Man accused of strangulation with dreadlocksTeresa Blackman, KGW.com