Articles Posted in Assault and Battery

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A 17-year-old Leesburg teen, who was expelled from Tavares High School for allegedly inappropriately touching female students, was arrested Friday for doing the same thing, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

The teen was charged with two counts of simple battery and trespassing. He remained in the Lake County jail Monday in lieu of $15,000 bail.

According to an arrest affidavit, the teen was a student at Tavares High, but was previously expelled for inappropriately touching female students. He was also trespassed from the facility.

He is accused of returning to the school on Friday at 7:15 a.m. where he allegedly hugged random girls.

“Statements were provided that he was asking the victims for ‘hugs,’ then he would grab their butts, and run his face in their breast area and try to kiss them …,” according to the affidavit.

The teen was arrested at 8:30 a.m.

He is scheduled for a court arraignment on Feb. 25.

Having a criminal conviction at a young age can negatively affect your child’s life for many years to come. Not only could they be facing jail time, but he or she could be denied college acceptances, driving privileges, jobs, student loans and other types of financial aid. A criminal conviction could even lead to your child getting suspended or expelled from school.

Juvenile Court is quite different from the adult legal system, but you need a Juvenile Criminal Defense Lawyer to help guide you through the system. There are things you need to know, like when your child will be released to you, the potential punishments and how the charge could impact the rest of your child’s life.

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Our criminal defense lawyers at Whittel & Melton are very pleased to announce that, according to Governor Rick Scott, Florida is on a path to a 44-year crime low.

The actual number of crimes across the Sunshine State is showing that crime rate is steadily on the decline.

8258120342_5be09894b2_zThe Florida Department of Law Enforcement has released its numbers for the first half of 2014, which shows there were more than 8,000 fewer crimes committed in the first six months of this year than in that same time period in 2013.

However, while the number of non-violent crimes is down, including robbery, burglary and stalking, the number of murders, forcible sex offenses, aggravated assaults and domestic violence are all on the rise.

In Central Florida, most of the counties are in line with the overall report, seeing a drop in criminal activity across the board.

The biggest decline occurred in Flagler County, with crime dropping nearly 11 percent. Sumter County actually saw the biggest rise in crime, with an increase of 2.4 percent.

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A Rock Harbor woman was arrested Monday night after police claim she used a belt in an attempt to strangle a 10-year-old boy.

According to reports, a second child witnessed the alleged incident and called a relative for help. The relative then called the Sheriff’s Office who responded to the residence at the 95.3 mile marker of the highway around 10:30 p.m.

When deputies arrived at the scene they allegedly found a 31-year-old woman who was so intoxicated she could hardly speak. Police claim the relative who reported the incident said the woman has ongoing issues involving alcohol.

woman_in_handcuffsBoth children relayed the same story to police, claiming that the woman placed a belt around the 10-year-old boy’s neck and began tightening it. They apparently told police that the woman said she was going to kill the boy while she attempted to strangle him.

The woman was charged with aggravated battery on a child and was taken to jail.

A charge for aggravated battery on a child in Monroe County can have severe consequences on your life. A conviction for this felony can lead to significant time behind bars and costly fines. While these penalties are serious, perhaps even more damaging is the lasting havoc these charges can wreak on your family life and personal reputation. In order to successfully fight these charges and protect your future, you must work with a criminal defense attorney who can safeguard your rights. A Monroe County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can help you aggressively fight these allegations.

In order to be convicted for aggravated battery on a child, prosecutors must prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt. Many of these elements can be difficult to prove, as there is often little to no evidence to clearly support these claims. As former prosecutors, we are very familiar with the tactics that the prosecution uses to present their case and can put this knowledge to work for you. Just because you have been arrested for a crime, this does not automatically mean a conviction will follow. There are many viable defense options that can combat these false or exaggerated charges and result in a positive outcome.

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A Sebring woman was arrested for assaulting another woman that apparently lives at the same home on Monday.

On Aug. 3 police with the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 30-year-old woman and charged her with battery and one count of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and two counts of attempted burglary of an unoccupied conveyance.

Deputies arrested the woman after the alleged victim claims she came onto her yard uninvited and “began yelling she lived there,” according to reports.

When the alleged victim did not respond, the woman apparently began punching her numerous times on her head and face with a closed fist.

The alleged victim claims the woman tackled her to the ground and tried to fight her. She eventually escaped and ran into her house and called 911, the report said.

The woman was allegedly spotted trying to get into several vehicles, according to witnesses.

According to the arrest report, the woman appeared to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

handcuffs.jpgThe circumstances surrounding an arrest for assault or battery can be quite confusing, as this case demonstrates. It is important to understand that assault and battery are actually two separate offenses, but they are often linked together in cases involving violence. Assault is defined as attempted violence against another person or threatening to use violence against them, whereas battery is actually hitting, striking or making unwanted physical contact with someone else. Both assault and battery charges carry serious consequences in the state of Florida if you are convicted of either of these crimes, including:

• Jail or Prison Time
• Steep Fines
• Probation/Parole
• Anger Management Classes
• Revocation of Your Driver’s License
In addition to the above penalties, a conviction for assault or battery count as strikes under Florida’s Three Strikes Law. This means that if you are convicted, your sentencing can be quite harsh if you have previously been convicted of a similar crime or are on probation or parole at the time the offense was committed. With that said, if you have been charged with assault or battery in Sebring or the surrounding area, you should contact a Highlands County Criminal Defense Lawyer at Whittel & Melton so that you can make sure your rights and best interests are protected.

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The University of Florida’s Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity has been suspended and is currently under investigation for hazing by campus police.

According to the University of Florida spokeswoman, the fraternity was suspended after a student suffered severe injuries over the weekend from what investigators believe was hazing.

The UF Vice President of Student Affairs claims an investigation started as soon as hazing allegations were brought to light.

The off-campus organization is currently suspended from holding meetings or operating as an organization until police conclude their investigation.

University of Florida Police has not said how many students may have been involved in the alleged hazing events. Investigators believe that the so-called hazing took place between January 9 and February 4. They were apparently alerted to the situation Saturday.

According to police, they are looking into incidents that may have taken place on and off campus.

UF President Bernie Machen sent an e-mail to all students Tuesday warning them that hazing is prohibited by UF regulations, and is also classified as a crime in Florida.

This recent incident at UF happened just three months after a Florida A&M University drum major died as a result of an alleged hazing ritual.

Hazing was established as a crime in Florida in 2005 after a University of Miami student drowned as a result of fraternity hazing. Under the Chad Meredith Act, Florida’s broad definition of hazing refers to conduct in which students are inducted, affiliated or initiated into an organization which uses careless or premeditated methods that threaten the physical or mental safety of another person. Common hazing rituals can include:

• Whipping
• Branding
• Forced Alcohol Consumption
• Extreme Weather Exposure
• Forced Food or Beverage Consumption
• Forced Isolation
• Extended Periods of Sleep Deprivation
With increased media attention being placed on this type of crime, an increased amount of universities and students are finding themselves in the hot seat for hazing. The penalties for hazing in Florida can range from expulsion from school all the way up to felony charges. It is important to understand that a person accused of hazing can be with additional offenses that comprised the hazing offense. Felony charges of aggravated battery can be charged when suspected hazing results in great bodily harm. Likewise, if a person dies from alleged hazing events, murder may be charged.

It is best to not waste any time before contacting a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney after an accusation has been made regarding hazing. It is extremely important to seek the advice of legal counsel before making any statements to school officials or police. These crimes are not simple cases, and without the proper legal guidance the outcome can be devastating. At Whittel & Melton, our attorneys understand that while the penalties for hazing are severe, a criminal record can be even more detrimental to your future. We will thoroughly examine every detail of your case in order to achieve the most positive outcome for your unique situation.

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Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. was sentenced to 90 days in jail Wednesday after pleading guilty to domestic violence battery charges and harassment stemming from an alleged altercation between him and his ex-girlfriend in September 2010.

He will report to jail to start serving his sentence on Jan. 6.

The reduced plea deal will allow Mayweather to avoid a trial on felony allegations that he struck his ex-girlfriend and threatened two of their children at his ex’s Las Vegas home.

The judge ordered Mayweather to perform 100 hours of community service and pay a $2,500 fine.

Mayweather may have pleaded guilty to the charges to end the uncertainty surrounding his criminal case so that promoters could finalize the plans for a super-fight next year between Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao.

Now that the case has been resolved, promoters have mentioned a likely date for the mega-brawl between the two boxers to take place in June.

Domestic violence cases can be quite complex and are usually prosecuted aggressively by the State. When law enforcement is called to the scene of a domestic dispute, they are often urged to make an arrest in an attempt to diffuse the situation. Even though it is not always clear who the at-fault party is in a domestic violence situation, police usually regard the first person to report the alleged incident as the victim. Due to the special laws that apply to domestic violence arrests, it is extremely important to consult with a Domestic Violence Attorney as early on as possible. There is usually evidence that needs to be obtained quickly, including photographs, telephone records and any potential witness statements.

Most people tend to think that domestic violence arrests are limited to disputes between spouses or partners, but domestic violence extends to include any criminal offense committed by one family member against another. Domestic violence covers a wide range of criminal offenses including:

• Kidnapping
Sexual Battery

Assault and/or Battery

• Stalking
Child Abuse

Domestic violence charges can be filed as misdemeanors or felonies, and the filing decision is made exclusively by the prosecutor and is based on facts unique to the case. A misdemeanor or felony conviction for domestic violence can include jail time, counseling, community service, fines and a stay-away order from the victim.

It is important to understand that if any type of assault or battery is apparent, police will typically make a domestic violence arrest. Even if there are no noticeable injuries, prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office will not necessarily drop charges due to a victim’s request. While prosecutors can pursue domestic violence charges with or without the supposed victim’s cooperation, this does not always mean charges will be filed. Early intervention by an experienced Florida Domestic Violence Attorney may persuade the prosecutor to decline filing formal charges against you. There are a variety of factors that may make a difference in your case, and the Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton can discuss your potential options.

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LeBron James’ mother was arrested for simple battery and disorderly intoxication Thursday morning after a confrontation with a valet at Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau hotel. The 43-year-old woman allegedly hit a valet around 5 a.m.

According to NBC Miami, the woman requested her SUV from the valet who retrieved her car and brought it to the valet ramp. After the car was left running for supposedly 30 minutes while the woman spoke with other hotel guests, the valet turned off the SUV and gave the keys to the valet cashier.

The arrest report shows that the woman came looking for her car a short time later, yelling profanities at the valet. She allegedly slapped the valet across the face with her hand, lost her balance and fell to the ground.

Once police arrived at the hotel, James’ mother was in the car with another woman behind the wheel. James’ mom apparently would not speak to police about what happened, but the other woman told officers they had a verbal argument.

James’ mother was transported to the police station where it was noted she smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes. Police reports show she was apparently uncooperative and refused to have her picture taken. She was released to Miami Heat executive Steve Stowe Thursday morning.

James’ mother was arrested on DWI charges in 2006 in Cleveland while James was with the Cavaliers.

Simple battery is any type of non-consensual, harmful or insulting physical contact with the intention to harm. In order for a person to be convicted of battery there must be proof that the offense was deliberate and meant to impose harm on the other party. There are different degrees of battery, but the charge James’ mother faces is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by any combination of one year in jail, one year of probation or a fine up to $1,000. Simple battery can range from snatching a person’s wrist to chucking an object at them. The important thing to note on a simple battery charge is that no one has to be injured; un-consensual contact is the only requirement.

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Texas police arrested Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Aqib Talib Tuesday for his connection with a shooting last week in Garland, Texas. The 25-year-old football star will be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Talib’s mother turned herself in Tuesday morning and was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and a felony possession of a firearm from a previous conviction.

Talib and his mother were allegedly involved in a domestic disturbance on March 21 with Talib’s sister’s boyfriend. Police arrived at the scene after a 911 caller reported fighting and the sounds of gun shots around 7: 30 p.m.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, Talib allegedly tried to pistol-whip the boyfriend with a handgun which was dropped in the struggle. Police reports indicate the boyfriend supposedly grabbed the gun and ran while the mother produced another gun and fired at least three times at the boyfriend before Talib took the gun from her and fired at least twice more.

The boyfriend, a registered sex offender in Texas, was taken into custody and charged with aggravated assault with bodily injury and interference with an emergency phone call relating to an incident that happened at his home earlier in the day.

Talib’s bail was set at $25,000. Talib’s mother’s bail was set at $25,000 for the assault charge and $5,000 for the possession charge.

Talib was arrested in 2004 for burglary, got into a public fight in 2008 with a teammate, hit and injured former Bucs cornerback Donald Penn in 2009 and was charged with battery after he hit a cab driver last year.

Talib is facing a second-degree felony conviction punishable with prison time anywhere from 2 to 20 years. He could receive community-control probation instead of prison time if he has no prior felony offenses, but like the article does mention, this could be a far reach if a handgun is actually fired at someone. The probation period for a second-degree felony can last up to 10 years. For Talib to continue his career with the Bucs, if probation is granted, he would have to receive permission from Florida authorities that they would supervise a Texas probationer. This would also have to be agreed upon by the NFL, which is currently under a work stoppage where teams are not allowed to contact players or make any transactions, which includes releasing players.

There are varied possible consequences for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Punishments can be determined through possible defenses, conditions neighboring the crime, the degree of any injuries incurred, whether a weapon was used, past criminal record of the defendant, and in some circumstances the victim’s personal history.

Any time an offense involves a weapon other criminal charges can be filed to supplement the aggravated assault charge. When a deadly weapon is involved, like the use of a handgun, enhancements with statutory sentencing guidelines are likely. Depending on the jurisdiction and the sentencing official, additional time may be added to the sentence.

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A Spring Hill, Florida man is facing battery charges after allegedly attacking his girlfriend and another man and his girlfriend after their attempts to mediate the brawl.

According to a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office report, the 30-year-old Spring Hill man is charged with battery and domestic battery following the fight between the man and his girlfriend Saturday night.

The Hernando Today reports that the man supposedly smashed his girlfriends head into the front door of the bar and punched her in the face in the midst of an argument.

Another bar patron and his girlfriend witnessed the fight and stepped outside to stop the Spring Hill man.

According to the report, the Spring Hill man got inside his vehicle and drove toward the other man. He allegedly lunged out of his car, slapped the bar patron’s girlfriend across the face and scratched the man’s forehead.

The bar patron evidently tackled his assailant to the ground in a headlock.

Once deputies arrived at the scene, they noted the Spring Hill man was very intoxicated. He was transported to the Hernando County Jail where he is being held on a no bond status for domestic battery and $1,000 for two separate battery counts.

Florida criminal law has designed a series of crimes under the general category of Domestic Violence. In this case, domestic battery is the unlawful touching of another and the element of the crime under Florida Domestic Violence criminal laws. In many cases, domestic battery results in a felony charge with severe penalties including extended jail time, restitution, fines, anger management courses, parole and probation.

The difference between a misdemeanor battery charge and a felony battery charge is if there was serious bodily harm. A battery is a misdemeanor if there is unlawful touching, but no serious harm. A battery can become a felony if there is serious bodily injury or permanent disfigurement. Florida felony battery has both statutory and case law definitions that describe the nature and extent of injuries suffered by a battery, but they vary with every situation. Ultimately, a jury has the supreme decision on whether a battery conviction is a felony or misdemeanor.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneer cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested last week for misdemeanor battery and resisting arrest without violence.

According to reports, Talib was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol and booked into the Pinellas County jail after a cab driver reported that Talib had verbally threatened him and struck him, knocking his hat off his head.

This incident is the third time the player publically lost his cool–at the 2008 NFL rookie symposium Talib got into a fist fight with fullback Cory Boyd, a fellow draft mate of the Buccaneers, and he also got into a fight with teammate Donald Penn at an offseason workout.
It is unclear how the Buccaneer’s front office will handle the most recent incident, but in the criminal arena, Talib could face one year in jail for each of the misdemeanors.

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