Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

Published on:

A St. Petersburg police officer has been charged with domestic battery.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the man was arrested Monday following an altercation with his live-in girlfriend.

The alleged incident occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday. The man was arrested Sunday.

Published on:

The good news is that overall crime is down in Flagler County, but the bad news is that violent crime is up in many categories.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Uniform Crime Report, the rates of rape, aggravated assault, burglaries and stolen vehicles all increase in 2015. There was also one murder in the county, up from zero in 2014.

Flagler County’s sheriff says his deputies have managed to keep the crime rate low for a long time. And despite increases in key categories, the overall crime rate is still down .6 percent.

The increase has been blamed on population growth. In the last four years, the county’s population has grown by about 10 percent.

The sheriff said whenever they start to see a spike in crime in specific areas, they flood the zones with patrols.

Statewide, crime is also up in several categories, although overall crime is down 1.6 percent.

In 2015, the crime rates rose in the following categories:

  • Murder: 5.7 percent
  • Rape: 6.1 percent
  • Fondling: 2.0 percent
  • Aggravated Assault: 3.9 percent
  • Motor vehicle Theft: 12.4 percent

The report also breaks down domestic violence-related crime by category. Overall, domestic violence-related crime is up .5 percent.

Continue reading

Published on:

A former Miami-Dade County police director and mayor is facing a domestic violence-related charge following a fight with his longtime girlfriend.

A Coral Gables police report claims the man turned himself in Wednesday, and he was charged with battery.

The arrest report describes that the man’s girlfriend went to his home Saturday to return a cat, and the two began to argue. The woman told police that the man grabbed her by both arms and pinned her against a wall. The report accuses the man of yelling profanities at the woman and spitting at her.

Investigators said the woman’s injuries were consistent with her statement.

The woman and her teenage daughter told police a pattern of domestic violence had developed since 2013, according to reports.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, the best thing you can do to help your case is to get an attorney involved now. Time is of the essence when it comes to these cases. Prosecutors file charges very quickly in regards to domestic disputes, so it is important that an investigation is conducted as soon as possible so that the best defense strategy can be applied. Each case is unique and varies based on facts specific to the case. However, it is best to not delay in obtaining legal representation so that your chances of reducing the charges or obtaining a favorable outcome is not compromised.

It is impossible to predict what will happen with your case without knowing the facts. Punishment varies in each case and depends on whether there are any prior offenses, the extent of any injuries, whether there were any weapons involved, the conduct alleged, whether physical or verbal violence occurred, including making a criminal threat or stalking.

Continue reading

Published on:

Kurt Busch is accused of smashing his ex-girlfriend’s head against his motor home wall Sept. 26 at Dover International Speedway, according to the conclusions of a Kent County (Del.) family court commissioner who granted the woman’s request for a protective order last week.

Busch is scheduled to race Sunday at Daytona International Speedway, where he is slated to start 24th in the Daytona 500.

NASCAR has not disciplined Busch at this time. The organization is waiting for the findings and for a possible decision by the Delaware attorney general’s office on whether charges will be filed for the alleged Sept. 26 assault.

“The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that, on September 26, 2014, Respondent [Busch] committed an act of domestic violence against Petitioner by manually strangling her by placing his left hand on her throat, while placing his right hand on her chin and face and smashing her head into the wall of his motorhome,” commissioner David Jones wrote in his findings and conclusions.

8736203623_6c8f58b75d_zAs part of his decision, Jones requires for Busch “to be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional” and complete any further steps for treatment that person recommends.

Busch apparently told police that his ex entered his motor home uninvited, adding that they had broken up a week earlier, and that he cupped her face with his hands while repeatedly asking her to leave.

Jones released his opinion last week, stating that he believes the ex-girlfriend’s version of the events that night was more credible. He added that Busch’s version of events does not make sense and does not match up with the evidence.

Busch has asked Jones to reconsider the ruling.

Domestic violence refers to any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense that results in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.

Domestic violence cases in Florida are usually very sensitive cases that are highly fueled by emotion. These types of cases usually have increased public and media attention, especially when involving a celebrity. A conviction for domestic violence also carries minimum mandatory sentencing, so these cases need to be treated very carefully by an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Even if you have no previous criminal record, you need to have a defense attorney fighting in your corner.

Continue reading

Published on:

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.

Continue reading

Published on:

According to reports released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Wednesday, crime in Broward and Palm Beach counties took a plunge in 2013 and stayed in line with the state’s total decrease in criminal offenses.

In its 2013 Annual Uniform Crime Report, the state agency concludes that criminal activity, ranging from rapes and murders to robberies and burglaries, have steadily dropped in Florida over the past five years.

The overall crime rate fell by about seven percent in Broward County. With that said, the report relays that there were 46 more forcible rapes in 2013 compared to 2012. The biggest category of crimes to drop was robberies, decreasing by about 13 percent.

crime sceneIn Palm Beach County, the overall crime rate plunged by about three percent in 2013. Conversely, there were nearly 100 more vehicle thefts than in 2012.

FDLE computed the same number of murders in 2012 and 2013 in both counties — 80 in Broward and 74 in Palm Beach.

When you are charged with a crime in Florida, the consequences can be devastating. Criminal charges have the ability to haunt you for the rest of your life, sometimes going as far as limiting your ability to find a job, own or rent a home and even maintain or build new relationships. Even if you do not serve any jail time, a criminal conviction can still negatively impact your life.

A criminal investigation can progress rather quickly. What you may think is nothing right now could lead to your arrest tomorrow. The sooner you involve a criminal lawyer with your charges, the better the outcome for you. A South Florida Criminal Defense Attorney at Whittel & Melton can thoroughly analyze every aspect of your case and begin evaluating possible defenses and strategies right away. From early on, we will look for ways to help you avoid a criminal conviction.

We handle all of the following types of criminal cases, including:

  • Sex offenses, including rape, child molestation, child pornography, prostitution, indecent exposure, child abuse and sexual assault
  • Drug crimes, including possession, sale, distribution, grow house and trafficking
  • Violent crimes, including kidnapping, burglary, assault, battery, robbery, domestic violence, murder, manslaughter and weapons charges
  • White Collar Crimes, such as Internet crimes, fraud, forgery, identity theft and RICO
  • Juvenile Offenses
  • DUI Charges, including DUI Manslaughter and DUI Serious Bodily Injury

Continue reading

Published on:

A spokeswoman for the Florida Democrat announced that U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida will not be charged in a domestic incident involving his wife.

A judge granted a temporary protective injunction against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson after his wife filed paperwork accusing the Orlando congressman of shoving and injuring her during an incident earlier this month.

Lolita Grayson’s petition for the injunction claimed her husband pushed her against a door, causing her to fall to the ground, during a confrontation on March 1 at their home on Oak Park Road near Windermere.

Alan_GraysonThe incident came just less than two months after Lolita Grayson filed a divorce petition stating that their marriage of nearly 24 years was “irretrievably broken.”

Rep. Grayson was first elected to Congress in 2008 but lost his 2010 re-election bid.

He ran again in 2012 and won.

Domestic violence accusations are not taken lightly by police and prosecutors. These serious allegations can ruin a person’s reputation and take away their freedom. Being wrongly accused of committing acts of domestic violence can significantly impact an innocent person’s life forever. A conviction for domestic violence or a related crime carries devastating penalties, including jail or prison time, probation, fines, loss of contact with loved ones, impact on child custody and visitation rights and will leave a permanent stain on your criminal record. These cases are prosecuted quite aggressively and charges can still be pursued even if a victim declines to press charges.

Continue reading

Published on:

A Sarasota man and woman, both 21, were arrested Monday on charges of felony child abuse after the woman’s 3-year-old daughter died from a slew of injuries, including broken ribs and internal bleeding.

The man and woman are currently being held in jail without bail in connection to the toddler’s death on April 11.

Police allege that on April 10 the girl received treatments for asthma, vomited and had complained about being in pain. The couple apparently told a family friend they were taking the girl to a doctor’s appointment, but investigators claim that did not happen.

According to reports, the friend called 911 the next day, after the couple refused to take the girl to the hospital. The friend told deputies that the child was “flopping” around and became non-responsive.

928419_a_childs_eyes.jpgThe child was later pronounced dead. The mother told doctors the child had suffered from asthma, however an autopsy of the child revealed that blunt force trauma to the toddler’s abdomen caused a lacerated and crushed liver, other severe internal injuries and bleeding, which is what investigators believe caused her death.

The medical examiner noted that the young girl also had two broken ribs and various bruises on her body.

Police claim the injuries to the child occurred while she was being solely cared for by the couple.

Both the man and woman have a criminal record. Five of the woman’s previous arrests were for violent offenses, including aggravated battery causing bodily harm. Records show the man has been arrested at least 10 times, for a various charges including battery, driving without a license and selling cocaine.

Continue reading

Published on:

St. Petersburg, FL – A 23-year-old man was arrested Nov. 15 for aggravated child abuse after authorities claim he caused a laceration to a 4-year-old boy’s kidney while the child was in his care.

Deputies claim the man hit the young boy so hard that he urinated blood.

The boy was taken to the hospital where doctors allege the laceration to his kidney was caused by “trauma,” and not an illness or other medical condition.

517526_sad_boy_2.jpgThe boy’s mother told police she had left her son in the man’s car while she was at work.

The boy apparently told police that the man hit him.

The man was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail. He is being held without bail.

The crime of aggravated child abuse is a very serious felony offense. For charges of this kind to stick in Florida, prosecutors must be able to prove that the accused willfully and knowingly committed child abuse, and in doing so, caused significant bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. Criminal acts against children are taken quite seriously in the state of Florida. In fact, these cases are usually passed along to experienced prosecutors with the hopes of achieving a conviction.

Continue reading

Published on:

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.

Continue reading

Contact Information