Every fall millions of Americans avidly cheer for their favorite College or NFL team and boo their opposition. With the Jacksonville landing hosting Florida-Georgia activities this weekend, we are reminded of last year’s incidents during Florida-Georgia weekend that resulted with one person in the hospital and landed another fan in jail charged with aggravated battery.
Last year’s incident at Florida-Georgia was not uncommon. Back in 2011 a pre-season game of the Raiders and 49ers resulted in two fans being shot and another beaten. Last October a fan was stabbed on the way to a football game betwee49ers versus New York Giants game. Then again during the playoffs in January during the NFC Championship game an Atlanta Falcons fan was stabled in the neck right outside of the Georgia Dome. Back in February three teenagers were stabled when attending the Ravens victory parade. I bet not one of these fans thought they would end up in jail or the hospital that day.
Unfortunately the violence between fans and of fans continues. Just last weekend four fans at the Jets v. Patriots game allowed their team spirit to turn into violence against fans of the opposing team. This led three Patriots fans, and one Jets fan to be charged with simple assault and disorderly conduct. A verbal conflict is alleged to have escalated into a physical altercation when the Patriots fans kicked and punched the Jets fan. The Jets fan in return punched one of the Patriots fans. Most commentators are focusing on whether or not self-defense is a valid legal defense in that case. The Jets’ fan’s attorney stated, “it is clear that Kurt was defending himself, his mother and his friends from an attack.”
Self-defense statutes vary from state to state. In Florida, a defendant can claim self-defense in a non-deadly incident such as this, if the defendant reasonably believed that such action was necessary to defend himself or herself against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force.
However self-defense is an affirmative defense, which means that the person charged has to assert and demonstrate facts supporting self-defense at trial. A person who does not have a lawyer may not understand how to properly and legally assert self defense which may cause them to lose their case. A conviction for simple assault could get you 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. However the circumstances in the Jets v. Patriots incident, if it happened in Florida, may also have led to additional charges such as misdemeanor battery. If a person is charged with misdemeanor battery, that offense carries up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine.
Any time you or a loved one is charged with a criminal act in northeast Florida, it is important that you seek a Jacksonville Criminal Defense attorney immediately. As a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney who has represented hundreds of clients charged with assault and battery, I can fight to protect your rights and aggressively represent you.
If you would like to schedule a free consultation with a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, you can contact the Law Office of David M. Goldman at (904) 685-1200.