As a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney I was excited to hear about and see the developments of Jacksonville’s NEW Courthouse. However, that excitement quickly faded away after time and time again the Courthouse failed fire inspections. It was a multi-million dollar project and to be held-up for fire safety violations is unacceptable. This inability to open the Courthouse and the already abandonment of the OLD Courthouse has left the judicial system in a state of confusion and delay. One case that has been affect by the delays in opening is Cristian Fernandez’s Sexual Battery Case.
Fernandez has been charged with the Sexual Battery of his 5 year old brother. A suppression hearing was scheduled for later next week have been rescheduled for June 28, 29, and July 2. Also the trial date has been reset; August 27th. These delays are directly connected to the new Courthouse not being open. Therefore, this child has to remain in custody and wait for the legal system to open back up before he can seek justice.
The suppression hearings will cover the admissibility of Fernandez’s confession to the offense. The State contends the Officers acted appropriately and that Fernandez understood his Rights when they were explained to him. However, his Defense team feels differently. They state Fernandez denied the allegations 9 times during the interrogation before finally confessing. The defense is claiming coercion.
The Judge will have to make these determinations and the scope of expert witnesses questioning of Fernandez. This case is still in the initial stages and as more time passes a full understanding of what actually occurred will be revealed. If you should find yourself facing a Jacksonville Criminal Offense, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney today. It could prove to make all the difference in your case.