Florida Woman Arrested for Turning in Her Abuser’s Guns

Photo of a Woman Behind Bars After Being Arrested and Charged With a Crime

In what can only be characterized as a strange twist, Courtney Irby, 32, was recently arrested and charged with one count of armed burglary after showing up to the Lakeland Police Department with guns belonging to her estranged husband. Irby claims Joseph Irby tried to run her over. So, one day after his arrest on a domestic battery charge, she entered her husband’s apartment without his permission, collected his guns and took them to the police station. Irby said she feared her husband would not turn the guns in himself, and believed he might use the guns to harm her once he was released from jail.

When Irby took the guns into the police station, she told the officer that she had to search for the guns in her husband’s apartment. The officer responded by asking Irby, “So are you telling me you committed an armed burglary?” When Joseph Irby was contacted in the Polk County Jail, he stated he wanted to file charges against his wife. She was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of grand theft of a firearm and one count of armed burglary. Courtney Irby spent five days in jail following the charges. 

According to the arrest affidavit of Joseph Irby, the couple had come from a divorce hearing when an argument ensued. As Courtney Irby attempted to leave the courthouse, her husband rear-ended her and attempted to run her off the road. Courtney Irby contacted the police, and Joseph Irby was subsequently arrested.

Courtney Irby’s arrest, however, has sparked public outcry. After all, Courtney Irby was concerned with her own safety and her husband had a history of violent behavior. The Lakeland Police Department was criticized by Democratic state Representative Anna Eskamani, who said individuals should not be prosecuted while trying to seek help and protection for themselves and their families.

Eskamani further noted that rather than incarcerating or re-traumatizing victims of domestic violence, Florida law enforcement needed better training in order to provide the necessary support. Joseph Irby was required under the terms of his domestic violence arrest to turn in his guns. Courtney Irby believed he would not do so. Eskamani said she wants to stress the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of domestic violence abusers. According to the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, in 2016, 105,668 crimes of domestic violence were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies, resulting in 63,193 arrests.

The Florida Legal System Isn’t Always Fair

Unfortunately, the Florida legal system isn’t always fair. Men are often treated differently than women, and minorities often face biases when being arrested and charged with crimes. Even the amount of money you make could influence the “fairness” of the legal system you enter. Depending on your income, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, or gender, you could face an uphill battle without the help of an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney on your side.

Contact Our Florida Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, it is important to contact our Florida criminal defense law firm quickly. At the Law Office of Jeffrey Thompson, we know that the legal system isn’t always fair. That’s why we fight so aggressively for our clients from the moment they’re arrested and charged with a crime.

We know that your future and your freedom are at stake, and we don’t take this lightly. With an office conveniently located in Melbourne, Florida, we serve all of Brevard County, Florida. Please contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer at the Law Office of Jeffrey Thompson today by calling (321)-253-3771. Your future and your freedom are at stake.

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