Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Michael Lohan, father of actress Lindsay Lohan, was arrested Monday night in Tampa, Florida on suspicion of domestic violence.

Police responded to an alleged domestic violence call at Lohan’s home and arrested him for battery on his live-in girlfriend.

According to police, after Lohan, 51, was taken into custody he started complaining of chest pains. He was transported to a hospital and after checking himself out, he was placed under arrest.

Lohan was arrested in Los Angeles for his involvement in an alleged domestic violence in March where he was charged with one misdemeanor count of corporal injury to a cohabitant.

Allegations of Domestic Violence need to be handled quite carefully because of minimum mandatory sentencing guidelines for charges as well as increased public and media attention these types of cases draw in. Lohan’s celebrity status and previous criminal record could influence how the prosecution chooses to handle this case. Undoubtedly, an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney is needed for any type of Domestic Violence charge due to the extremely sensitive nature and high degree of emotion involved in these cases.

Typical Domestic Violence allegations can include battery, aggravated battery, assault, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, child abuse and violation of restraining orders. Most people think that domestic violence only covers abuse between spouses or partners, but the statutes covering this area of the law are really far more extensive. Domestic violence encompasses charges related to child neglect, elder abuse, stalking, threats, emotional abuse and other types of abusive behavior toward another person. Essentially, any threatening or violent act, regardless of intentions to inflict harm, could be grounds for prosecution under Florida Domestic Violence laws.

Domestic Violence charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Ultimately this decision is made by a prosecutor who bases the choice on victim and witness credibility, severity of injuries and the facts surrounding the case. In most scenarios, severe injuries such as broken bones and significant bruises will be charged as a felony. Slight injuries or no apparent injuries are usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, any prior acts of Domestic Violence or a criminal history may have bearing on how the prosecutor chooses to file the case. Consequences associated with a Domestic Violence conviction can range from brief jail sentences, counseling and community service to multiple years in state prison, fines and restraining orders.

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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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Charlie Sheen’s wife, Brooke Mueller, has accused the actor of threatening her with a knife in a Christmas Day emergency phone call to police that led to his arrest. is reporting that Meuller told police that Sheen had threatened to kill her during an argument about a possible divorce. Sheen was arrested that same day. According to her sworn affidavit, Mueller told police that Sheen grabbed her by the throat while straddling her on a bed, “then pulled out a knife, holding it to her throat, saying, “You better be in fear. If you tell anybody I’ll kill you. … I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done and they won’t leave any trace.”

Since the incident, Mueller has lawyered-up and has back peddled from her original version of events. She has asked the court to set aside the injunction she has put in place to protect her from Sheen. In Florida, it is a crime to make false sworn statements or to make false police reports to law enforcement.

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