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03 Oct 2012

Think Your Daughter in Law Is Mean?/ This One Had Grandma Put In Jail

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BA was arrested for assault and trespass on September 10, 2007. This initial arrest arose out of a situation which supposedly occurred on August 4, 2007.  At that time, BA was attempting to see her grandchildren.  It is noteworthy that BA was 48 years of age at the time and had no prior criminal record.

BA had been given custody of the two grandchildren for several years by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF).  DCF had determined that BA’s son and wife were not qualified as parents.  BA was the only mother these very young children had known.

Following this initial arrest, BA retained Jeffrey H. Garland to represent her.  The State filed an Information alleging assault and trespass.  In response, Attorney Garland made it clear to the State that the matter would be tried.  BA maintained her complete and total innocense.  Consequently, the State filed a Nolle Prosequi on October 10, 2007.  This effectively terminated the prosecution.  BA rightfully thought that she had won.

Thereafter, on October 29, 2007, the State re-filed the charges under a new Information.  The case was set for trial on January 29, 2008.

The defense investigated the complaining witnesss criminal history, which was extensive.  The theory of defense revolved around the following issues:

1.    BAs daughter-in-law knew that DCF could take her children away and award them to BA, since BA had demonstrated herself to be a fit and loving foster parent over the course of several years.  The daughter-in-law was motivated to create a criminal charge against BA to avoid losing her children through DCF action.

2.    The daughter-in-law was breaking up with BAs son.  BA’s family was very tight and wished to maintain a close relationship with these children.  The daughter-in-law was seeking to avoid any contact with BA and with BA’s family, and was divorcing BA’s son.

Attorney Garland did not waive speedy trial and announced ready for trial.  The State, once again, nolle prosequied all charges at the January 29, 2008 docket call.

Patience and persistence are virtues in the defense of criminal cases.  The State has the power to bring charges and to bring the charges up again.  Those charged with criminal offenses must be patient in allowing the procedures to run their course, and they must be persistent in pursuing the evidence which establishes innocence.

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