Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

City police in Hollywood are taking aim at those previously arrested for domestic violence, vowing beefed up penalties and scrutiny – up to and including unannounced, uninvited police checks on individual residences. police

The Miami Herald reports the letter, an effort initiated by the city police department’s Domestic Violence Unit, is a way of stopping domestic violence acts that may occur in the future at the hands of designated “C list” violators. The city says it is simply targeting repeat domestic violence offenders with the intent to halt the cycle of repeat abuse. They call this approach “focused deterrence.”

There are many, though, who have been highly critical of this approach – including the Broward Public Defender’s Office, which called the tactic an abuse of power. Essentially, they say, the police are punishing and/ or harassing people for an offense that hasn’t yet occurred and may not ever occur.  Continue reading

The intoxication defense is not one that is often used in criminal cases because it is rather difficult to successfully assert. The crux of it, though, is that a defendant, due to intoxication, did not understand the nature of his or her actions or know what he or she was doing, and therefore had limited culpability. pills

The defense typically only applies in very limited circumstances, and often depends on whether intoxication was voluntary or not and the level of intent required by statute for the particular charge at issue.

Recently in Broward County, a defense lawyer on a domestic violence case revealed his intent to assert the intoxication defense on behalf of a U.S. Air Force veteran who served overseas and was suffering severe post-traumatic stress disorder, back pain and depression at the time of the alleged incident.  Continue reading

A senior at Florida International University who played on the football team’s tight end was reportedly the victim of a domestic violence attack that has ended his career. waterboil

The Miami Herald reports the Panthers’ 2017 NFL Draft prospect suffered severe burns on his head, neck, back, arm and shoulder after his girlfriend reportedly dumped boiling water on top of him. The woman, Mary Gaspar, 20, is reportedly five months pregnant with Jonnu Smith’s child, and has been charge with a single count of aggravated battery. Gaspar is also a student at the school, a junior who lives on campus.

The couple were reportedly arguing in Smith’s dorm when defendant is alleged to have boiled the water and walked over and poured it on top of Smith. She reported she was livid over Smith’s failure to attend to their relationship and was feeling extremely stressed out and emotional. When Smith reportedly did not act strongly enough to the boiled water on his skin, Gaspar allegedly started to strike him with her fists. Continue reading

It’s estimated that more than 2,000 people die every year in domestic violence incidents in the U.S. Of those who die, more than 70 percent are women and in more than half of all cases, it’s a firearm that is used to carry out the crime.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Although the issue of availability of firearms is a controversial one in this U.S., but there is little denying the fact that the link between firearms and fatal domestic violence is strong. Just living in a state with a higher rate of gun ownership increases a female’s risk of suffering a fatal gunshot wound in a domestic violence, according to Boston University researchers. That study, released in January, indicated that for every 10 percent increase in gun ownership in a state, there was a 10.2 percent increase in gun-related murders of females.

Additionally, while firearms aren’t necessarily the fuel in domestic violence incidents, their presence does increase the lethality of an attack and also increases the number of victims (i.e., children, grandparents, friends, strangers, etc.). This phenomenon was chronicled recently in a comprehensive article by The Trace. Another thing the presence of a firearm does – whether it’s lethal or even fired – is increase the severity of the charges and the possible punishment. Continue reading

A 20-year-old woman reportedly engaged to a 62-year-old man was shot dead, as was a 50-year-old male friend, allegedly by her fiance who police say was jealous. brokenheart

Authorities told the Sun Sentinel that George McCray, who has a long list of prior felony convictions, shot the pair after discovering the two talking outside victim Sania Copeland’s apartment. This was around 8 a.m. McCray allegedly returned five hours later to carry out the shooting.

According to family members, McCray had told Copeland that if he couldn’t have her, no one could.

McCray is now charged with two counts of murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Continue reading

We hear so much these days not only about domestic violence in general, but also about instances of abuse allegedly carried out by sports stars – and football players in particular. football

According to a USA Today database of NFL player arrests – 821 in total – dozens are for domestic violence, including Denver Broncos’ Montee Ball in February (for allegedly striking his girlfriend in the face), Kansas City Chiefs’ Justin Cox (twice arrested for domestic violence in eight months), San Francisco 49ers’ Raymondo McDonald (allegedly assaulting a woman holding a baby), Detroit Lions’ Rodney Austin (accused of pushing the mother of his child and damaging her phone), 49er Bruce Miller (accused of misdemeanor domestic violence battery).

Those incidents occurred just within the last 12 months. It was so bad in recent years that in December 2014, the NFL announced a new domestic violence policy that includes a more extensive list of prohibited conduct, counseling and services for victims and families, independent investigations and a baseline suspension of six games for any violations that involve assault, battery, domestic violence, dating violence, child abuse or sexual assault.  Continue reading

A Florida woman has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing her husband seven times in their West Palm Beach home.
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West Palm Beach police reported 39-year-old Christina Balazi was arrested after her husband of 10 years was transported to a local hospital with knife wounds, which were not believed to be life-threatening. The alleged victim reportedly told investigators while at the hospital that his wife suffers from bipolar disorder, and that the stabbing occurred while the pair were being intimate in their home.

Our South Florida criminal defense attorneys understand that as funding for mental health services has been slashed drastically in recent years, what used to be treated at localized treatment centers has now been shifted to emergency rooms, the Department of Children and Families and the criminal justice system. In the event there are allegations or evidence of violence, persons who suffer from mental health issues don’t end up receiving care that could address the underlying issues – they end up in jail.
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Recently in Boynton Beach, a woman was arrested for aggravated child abuse. Her 15-year-old daughter was reportedly found bleeding with numerous marks on her head and arms after she’d allegedly been beaten with a belt. teenager1.jpg

Although the relationship between the woman and the girl was redacted from the police report, it is indicated the woman allegedly found a boy in her room and began hitting her with a belt as punishment. At least, that’s the story the girl told police. The woman denied knowing how the bruises came to be on the girl’s body.

This might seem a clear case of child abuse: Strike a child, get arrested.
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A Boca Raton woman was arrested on charges of domestic violence – but only after she called police alleging she had been the victim.

According to the Sun Sentinel, a 53-year-old woman called 911 following an argument with her husband. She alleged in the phone call that her husband struck her with a closed fist and threw dishes at her.
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Initially, she told the dispatcher the attack occurred in the bedroom shared by the couple. But when officers arrived, her story changed to indicate the assault had taken place in the bathroom. Officers noted a smashed dish soap holder on the floor.
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“Extortion” sounds like one of those charges that might commonly be associated with 50s-era mob bosses.
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However, we are seeing an increasing number of extortion charges filed with the advent of technology.

Our increasing reliance on technology makes companies vulnerable to threats of targeting their websites or databases if they don’t comply with some demand. Secondly, there is more personal – sometimes even embarrassing – information available with just a few keystrokes. The ease with which that information can potentially be disseminated publicly has created a situation where such threats carry significant weight.
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