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frisbee1

Domestic Violence arrest in Ocean City NJ

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My 21 yr old son was recently arrested for domestic violence in NJ. His girlfriend at the time lied on the police report stating my son hit her. She had bruises on her from wrestling with girlfriends. She bit my son's ear, broke his television and threatened to hurt his dog. When the police showed up, he advised them of the damages and his injury to his ear. The police only documented the bruises on her and not on my son. He also had scratches on his back. He was the only one arrested. The police report did not mention of the broken tv and only states he had a slight scratch on his ear and he refused treatment. He sent me a picture of his ear and it is definitely a  bite and not a scratch. (I live in FL). On June 7th, I sent her a message on Facebook asking what happened. She responded on facebook that she is going to make sure the charges get dropped so he does not get in trouble for something he did not do, she did not know all of this would blow up like it did and also apologized to me. She also told my son that the police report that my son picked up a copy of did not match up with what she originally told the police. His first appearance was on June 22 and was informed if he is found guilty he will spend 6 months in jail. He advised me the other day that 2 of her friends are willing to be witnesses for him. My main question is: is the facebook instant message admissible in court? If it is, I will gladly travel from FL to NJ to attend his court in hopes that he does not go to jail for something he did not do. Also, are there any pro bono attorneys in Ocean City NJ? I do not have the means to help  him obtain an attorney. Thank you in advance for any help or suggestions.

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Do you have a printout of the instant message conversation?  If so, you should make sure your son's defense attorney receives a copy.  The attorney will know to put it to its best use.

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Hi frisbee1,

 

Welcome to the community and thanks for posting! Sorry to hear about your son’s situation. The Facebook conversation sounds like an important piece of evidence, and your son’s criminal defense attorney (once one is appointed) should definitely hear about it. The exchange is technically hearsay, however, arguably this statement could come into evidence as a hearsay exception because it is an inconsistent prior statement of a witness (presumably your son’s girlfriend will be a witness at trial). It will likely be helpful for you to travel from Florida to New Jersey to testify in the trial so that you can authenticate the Facebook message.

 

As others have stated, your son should speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We have helpful resources in our Learn About the Law section about obtaining a court-appointment defense lawyer, and public defenders by state.

 

Best of luck and keep us posted!

The FindLaw.com Team

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