A police officer for the City of Sunrise (Broward County) has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and one count of domestic battery after it is alleged that he struck his wife and then aimed his loaded gun at her and his wife’s son.
As is the norm with arrests involving police officers, the Sunrise Police Department suspended the accused officer with pay pending an internal investigation.
Aggravated assault with a firearm carries a three-year mandatory minimum prison term in the State of Florida with a maximum penalty of five years in prison.
Domestic battery is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in county jail.
Domestic violence cases in Broward County are handled by a specialized court division where the judge and the prosecutors are specially trained in dealing with domestic violence cases. This includes cases where the victim does not want to press charges. In my experience, the Broward State Attorney’s Office does not simply drop cases just because the alleged victim does not want to show up to court.
Due to the nature of the charge - aggravated assault with a firearm - the accused will automatically face three years in prison, day-for-day time. This mandatory minimum sentence can only be waived by the State Attorney’s Office.
Eric Matheny is a Broward domestic violence lawyer and a Miami domestic violence lawyer.