Recently, our criminal law firm represented a client who was charged with affray for being involved in a fight on South Howard Ave. Officers arrested our client after witnessing him fighting with three other people outside of a restaurant. Officers did not witness how the fight started and arrested all people involved in the fight. Our client, who holds a government security clearance and works as a defense contractor, was defending himself against the three men who started the fight. Due to his employment, a conviction for any offense could negatively affect his employment and clearance.
In review of the case, we determined that even though there were dozens of witnesses as to who started the fight, officers did not get statements or names from any of the witnesses. Florida law requires that members of the public be disturbed by any affray; in this case, the State had no members of the public to bring forward in court. Our client also had a valid claim of self defense to explain why he was forced to defend himself. Based on these facts we made a motion to dismiss the case to the court. The judge granted our motion and all charges against our client were dismissed.