Stacey Dash was arrested for domestic battery after an incident Sunday night in New Port Richey, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
The 52-year-old “Clueless” actress was taken into custody after an argument with a male, whose name was redacted in an incident report obtained by CNN. She is accused of pushing and slapping him.
The report states that police were called to a home Sunday evening “to respond to a domestic dispute” between the two.
According to the report, “The victim sustained red scratch marks to his upper left arm from being pushed.”
Dash was taken into custody and transported to the Land O’ Lakes detention facility without incident. She posted bail and was released on Monday morning, according to a spokesperson for the Pasco County Sheriff.
Prosecutors have become extremely aggressive about pursuing allegations of domestic violence in the state of Florida. While family violence against a spouse, significant other or anyone else with whom one resides is a serious issue, domestic violence allegations are among the most common to be made up, exaggerated or used for an ulterior motive.
Many Florida domestic violence charges arise out of the context of a marriage or bad family living situation that is deteriorating or a child custody dispute to give one parent leverage against the other. In many of these situations, an ordinary family disagreement is exaggerated by one person who may later try to recant once they have had time to cool down. Unfortunately, Pasco County prosecutors can and often do pursue these cases even when the alleged victim has recanted and does not wish to continue with pressing criminal charges.
Domestic abuse charges may arise out of a wide range of situations even when there is no actual contact and the alleged victims suffer no actual injury. Acts that may constitute domestic violence include but are not limited to the following:
- Acts of intimidation or threats of harm
- An open handed slap
- Marital rape
- Punching, shoving or kicking
- Sexual abuse
Domestic battery is defined as intentionally causing unwanted touching or striking of another person or causing bodily harm to the person. The difference between a battery charge and a domestic battery charge is the relationship between the defendant and the victim.
A domestic battery charge can arise when the alleged victim is a family member or household member of the defendant. A family member or household member under Florida law includes wives, husbands, ex-spouses, individuals related by blood or marriage, co-parents even if never married, individuals who live together as a family and individuals who lived together as a family in the past. With the exception of co-parents, one of the required legal elements that must be proven in these cases is that the defendant and victim currently or previously lived together in the same residence.
In the state of Florida, domestic battery is classified as a first degree misdemeanor, with penalties that may include up to one year in jail or twelve months probation, and a $1,000 fine. Prosecutors might rely on minor injuries like bruising or swelling in the neck area to support this aggravated version of the domestic violence offense. Because allegations of choking or grabbing of the throat and neck area are common in domestic violence cases, people sometimes face severe felony charges based on relatively minor signs of injury.
Being convicted of any battery charge, regardless of whether it is domestic violence or not, can cause very serious consequences. A conviction can affect a person’s freedom, livelihood, reputation and finances. Any individuals facing such charges should choose to consult with a criminal defense lawyer who has extensive knowledge and experience with domestic violence cases, aggravated battery, and simple battery charges. Our Pasco County Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton have handled numerous domestic battery and domestic violence cases, so we know your rights and can go over all of your legal options that may be available to you given the particular circumstances of the case.
We are dedicated to protecting the rights of those facing false or exaggerated domestic battery allegations and overzealous police and prosecutors. We will carefully analyze the facts and relevant law enforcement tactics to mount the best possible defense against these charges. We strongly recommend that you get in touch with us as soon as possible after your arrest so that we can be proactive in your defense. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to serve you throughout Pasco County, including New Port Richey, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Land O’Lakes, Hudson, Holiday, Lutz, Trinity and Wesley Chapel.