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Steelers Linebacker Chickillo Charged with Assault in Alleged Domestic Dispute

The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo was arrested Sunday and charged with assault after a dispute with his girlfriend, according to the NFL website.

The alleged incident occurred at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pennsylvania, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, according to Pennsylvania police.

The State Police said they received a domestic disturbance call at 1:40 a.m. on Sunday. What started as an argument between 26-year-old Chickillo and his girlfriend became physical, according to police.

Chickillo “grabbed both arms and forced her against the wall, then threw her on the ground,” according to statements made to the police.

Chickillo was arraigned Sunday and released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. He is charged with simple assault, harassment and criminal mischief, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for October 30.

The girlfriend was given a summary citation, also known as summary harassment, which usually results in nothing but a fine, according to police.

Chickillo was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft and has played his whole pro career with the team in a reserve role.

He was not present Monday at the Steelers’ practice facility, where the rest of the team was practicing.

Many people who are arrested for domestic violence have no prior criminal record. In the past, law enforcement was able to use their discretion when deciding whether or not to make an arrest when responding to a “domestic violence” call. However, as time has gone on, high profile cases regarding domestic violence and murder have changed the way that police handle domestic violence disputes. Officers are now pretty much required to arrest one or both of the parties when responding to a domestic violence call. For anyone arrested, it is imperative to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who handles domestic violence cases as soon as possible. Our Florida Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton would prefer to get involved as soon as a person is released or bonds out of jail. Early intervention can make a huge difference in domestic violence cases. 

When police respond to the scene of a domestic violence call, they will typically take statements from the involved parties and document any visible injuries. The officers will try to conclude who the aggressor was and then arrest that person. In some cases, this is not the person who initially called 911. It is not uncommon for both parties involved to be arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.

Regardless of the situation, the accused will be taken to jail and will be required to post bond in order to be released. Even those accused that have no prior criminal records will be required to post bail. If bail is posted and the accused is released, they will be given a future court date for their arraignment. 

The best way to establish a strong defense to any domestic violence charge is to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who has tried and won these types of cases involving jury trials. Domestic violence cases are complex and can be difficult to understand. Every piece of evidence matters in these cases, including the early investigation of witnesses and victim statements and testimony from domestic violence trauma experts. How the story is told and how evidence is relayed is critical for avoiding a conviction. 

Unfortunately, we have seen many people bring false charges against someone for domestic violence. That is why we will work hard to build a case for your innocence and back it up with facts. The sooner we get involved, the sooner we can separate truth from fiction. No facts are unimportant in these cases. We need to know as much information as possible so that we can identify and flaws or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and determine the best way to move forward. This often entails interviewing witnesses and identifying documents that can be used to back up your version of the story.

If you or a family member have been arrested for a domestic violence offense, it is very important that you meet with a domestic violence criminal defense attorney immediately. As former prosecutors, our Florida Domestic Violence Attorneys at Whittel & Melton understand how to effectively defend clients charged with domestic violence offenses. When we are retained early enough, we have been able to get charges dismissed completely. Every domestic violence case has unique aspects, and we will do everything in our power to achieve the best possible outcome.

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