Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

NFL star running back, Ray Rice, has been all over headlines lately after a video surfaced that shows Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, in the face… knocking her out cold. TMZ.com first posted the full video on September 8, 2014. The video shows Rice hit Palmer inside an elevator, then drags her out after he knocks her unconscious.

Rice was indicted for aggravated assault as a result of the domestic violence incident that took place. The incident occurred in Atlantic City; Palmer was also charged with assault by Atlantic County, but the charges against her were later dismissed. Other States label offenses differently in some circumstances. In Florida, Rice’s conducted would be labeled as battery, rather than assault. A battery occurs when a person is touched or struck against the person’s will. An assault occurs when a victim is put in fear of being touched or struck. The fear has to be reasonable and the person threatening some sort of harm must have an apparent ability to follow through with the threat.

A battery or assault offense can carry a range of degrees in Florida, and accordingly there is a range of possible penalties that apply. Additionally, domestic battery convictions result in the loss of firearm rights, even in cases where the offense is not a felony offense. Criminal defense lawyers most often look to self defense as a shield against battery or assault charges. In cases like Ray Rice’s case where the attack is on video and clearly shows that self defense is not an available defense, an experienced criminal defense attorney that can negotiate on behalf of the defendant is invaluable.
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Through the evolution of technology, people no longer communicate the way that they used to. Where as most business and social interactions used to always take place face to face, in today’s tech world that is no longer the case. Now a substantial amount of social interaction and business interactions are through email or social media sites such as Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. Although this has been great in many respects, there have also been many downfalls for clients in the legal system. This has been extremely true for people who have had domestic violence injunctions or restraining orders issued against them.

In years past when an alleged victim took out an injunction for protection in Florida, the prohibited conduct was normally clear. Do not call the victim. Do not go within 500 feet of certain addresses. If you called the person, there was a record of the call, which would mean that you violated the terms of the injunction and would go to jail on a misdemeanor violation of injunction. This is no longer the case. With the inventions of social media sites, violating an Injunction or commonly known as a restraining order has become more complicated and potentially more dangerous for the person who has an injunction against them. As a result, there have been allegations that a person may violate an injunction and not even know it.

Just this week it was reported that a Google+ invite to a former girlfriend landed a man in jail. The police reported alleged that an ex girlfriend had just broken up with the man and obtained a restraining order against him. Shortly after receiving the injunction, the girlfriend discovered an invitation to join one of his Google+ circles. She called the police and they arrested the man for this one act. Upon first look many people would think this is no different than the woman who was arrested for violating an injunction for a “poke” on Facebook. In the Facebook case the evidentiary issue was whether it could be proved that it was actually the woman herself or her involvement that caused the poke or had another person had access to her computer.
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Jacksonville Criminal AttorneyAre you a victim of repeat violence? Have you been the victim of violence from your domestic partner? Are you in fear of your or your children’s well being and safety? Are nonlegal methods of diffusing the situation just not working? If you answered “YES” to any of the previous questions you may be eligible for a Jacksonville Restraining Order. Additionally, as a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, I can assist you in getting the protection you need and get the violence stopped before you or your children are seriously injured.

Jacksonville Restraining Orders are available anyone that is a victim of violence. Many Jacksonville residents believe that they must be the victim of some type of “physical violence” before they can petition the court for an injunction, but this is not true. Violence includes the crimes of assault and stalking which do not require physical contact whatsoever. Under Florida Statute Section 784.11, an assault occurs when a person intentionally and unlawfully threatens to do violence to the person of another coupled with the apparent ability carry the violence out. The victim of the assault must be in fear that the violence is imminent and will readily take place. Stalking can also result in a Jacksonville restraining order. Under Florida Statute Section 784.048, stalking occurs when a person “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks” and other person. The harassment must cause substantial emotional distress and fail to serve a legitimate purpose.

If you believe that you need a Jacksonville Restraining Order, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney that will Petition the Court for an Injunction for Protection.

Record-SealAs a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I receive numerous calls regarding a person’s past Florida Criminal History and their desire to have it sealed or expunged. However, I am not always able to assist due to the statutory confines of the Florida Statutes. Therefore, in order to clarify some immediate questions, the offenses listed below cannot be Sealed or Expunged.

Florida Statutes § 943.0585 and § 943.059 list several criteria that must be satisfied before allowing a Florida Criminal record to be Sealed or Expunged. One of these criteria is that the crime does not fall into a number of certain crime categories. These include:

  1. Aggravated Assault

GavelRecently a Duval County Teacher was arrested on charges of Child Abuse. The alleged incident took place on April 2, 2012. According to the report, Kristopher Hunter, the teacher, kicked the student in the back and also slammed the boy against the wall. The boy had to seek medical treatment for the injuries he sustained during the incident. The student’s name has not been released due to his age. However, it was revealed that the incident occurred between a teacher and a student of Arlington Middle School.

The act of child abuse is defined under Florida Statute § 827.03. Under that Statute child abuse is defined as “intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child; an intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child.” As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I have received numerous calls regarding child abuse. What some may not know is child abuse is considered a 3rd degree felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and/or $5,000 in fines.

Applying the law to the facts above, it could be established Mr. Hunter was guilty of Child abuse. Mr. Hunter committed an intentional act, kicking and slamming the child, which could reasonably be expected to result in injury, the child was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. Therefore, if the State can prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt” he could be convicted.

Atlantic Beach Domestic Violence AttorneyAtlantic Beach Domestic Violence Accusations are very serious charges. What do you do when you have been accused of Domestic Violence? How do you defend yourself when someone has accused you of domestic violence in Atlantic Beach, Florida?

If someone accuses you of domestic violence, you need to watch what you say. In many cases, when the Jacksonville Beach Sheriff’s Office responds to a domestic dispute, someone ends up going to jail. You do not want your words to be misconstrued and used against you.

  • If you have been arrested for Atlantic Beach Domestic Violence, you will go before a judge for first appearance court. Here, you will (a) receive a bond or (b) accept a plea deal. The majority of the time, accepting a plea deal is one of the worse things that you can do. Usually, the Atlantic Beach Domestic Battery Sentence will include extensive probation and you will not be able to get the charge sealed. It is best to discuss the case with an Atlantic Beach Domestic Violence Attorney before doing anything.

Riverside Criminal Defense LawyerDo you have a Riverside Criminal History that is keeping you from getting that apartment you want, prevented from getting that ideal job, or refused a loan because of your past? If so, I can help. However, in most cases, you must act now and not wait until the case has been resolved.

As a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am often confronted with the question, “Why should I hire a Riverside Criminal Defense Lawyer?” The answer is simple; to protect your rights and to protect your FUTURE. As a Riverside Attorney, I can work for you to get the best outcome possible given your current situation. Most importantly I can take three avenues to make assist you in having a better future.

First, I can work with the State Attorney or Prosecutor to attempt to influence their filing decision and get the charges dropped. Just because you have been arrested for a Riverside Criminal Offense, does not automatically mean there will be a conviction. However, the filing decision is made early in the legal process, so time is of the essence in this approach.

Police-ReportAs a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I hear about a multitude of Criminal issues and I am not surprised all that often. However, I have recently been overwhelmed with the amount of inquiries concerning the filing of False Jacksonville Police Reports. This action, when taken, can lead to serious penalties for the wrongly accused and the person filing the report. Most people I speak to do not realize the severity of their actions and were just angry, jealous, or upset when making the report. But, their actions have now led to an arrest and possible conviction of an innocent Criminal Defendant.

Florida Statute § 817.49 defines the crime of filing a false police report. It reads, “whoever willfully imparts, conveys or causes to be imparted or conveyed to any law enforcement officer false information or reports concerning the alleged commission of any crime under the laws of this state, knowing such information or report to be false, in that no such crime had actually been committed, shall upon conviction thereof be guilty.” Filing a False Jacksonville Police Report is a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or fines not exceeding $1,000.

As a Duval, St. Johns, Clay, and Nassau County Criminal Defense Lawyer people who file false police reports only make my representation of Criminal Defendants more complicated. Therefore, next time you are angry, upset, or jealous of another, think twice before deciding to file a false police report. It could end negatively for all parties involved. So, if you are facing a Jacksonville, Duval, St. Johns, Clay, or Nassau County Criminal Charge and believe the accusations are false, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer today. That decision could prove to be invaluable in your case.

JailJacksonville Arrests occur all the time and when you caught of guard and arrested by the Jacksonville Police, you may not know what to do or say. That is why the advice and counsel of a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer could prove to be invaluable. In Jacksonville, first appearance court (also known as bond hearing), most Jacksonville Criminal Defendants will not be represented by a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer. Under Florida law, a Jacksonville Criminal Defendant is entitled to appear before a judge within 24 hours of his arrest. Due to this Florida law, Duval County first appearance court is held twice a day, every day.

As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer, I have seen many Jacksonville Criminal Defendants stand before a judge without representation. Although there is a Jacksonville Public Defender present in the room, this is only one Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to represent all the Jacksonville Criminal Defendants for day. It is not possible for a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney to zealously and adequately represent that many Jacksonville Criminal Defendants at one time.

That is why Jacksonville Criminal Defendants who hire a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to represent them at their bond hearing have the benefit of one lawyer for just one client. Also, an experienced Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer will give the judge favorable and valuable information about the Jacksonville Criminal Defendant to the judge at the bond hearing. This evidence will allow the judge to consider these mitigating factors in hopes of lowering the bond or releasing the Jacksonville Criminal Defendant on ROR.

Crime-Scene1As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer most of my clients call me after they have been arrested in Jacksonville, Clay County, Nassau County, or the surrounding area. An arrest in Jacksonville, Clay, St. Augustine, or Nassau County can happen in one of two ways. The first way is the traditional arrest, that we all know of or have seen, that involves being placed in handcuffs and take to the local Florida Police Station. However, as an alternative, the officer can just issue a Notice to Appear and let you go on your way. A Notice to Appear is a piece of paper that acts as an arrest, but you are not actually taken into custody by the Jacksonville, Clay, or Nassau Police. You will have to make a court date to address the criminal charge in Jacksonville. A notice to appear is normally issued to people who have never been in trouble before and is up to the police discretion.

If you have been arrested in Jacksonville, Clay, or Nassau County you will be taken to a pretrial detention center. Once at the pretrial detention center, you will be searched, fingerprinted and seen by a jail nurse. Once your medical evaluation is over, you will be told to change into the jail clothes and put on one of six floors at the jail.

While in detention, before your first appearance before the judge, the police may try to interrogate you and try to gain valuable information in proving their case. However, you have the right to remain silent and as a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer I strongly advise you to exercise that right. As a Jacksonville, Clay, or Nassau Criminal Defendant, you must remember that the police are not there to help you, they are there to justify their arrest. When approached by the police at the pretrial detention center, ask to speak to a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer and don’t say anything else to the police. It could prove to be the difference between a conviction and having the charges dropped.

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