Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

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.
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.
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.
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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George Zimmerman is the man most prominently known to America as the neighborhood watch leader who fatally shot unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin in Central Florida in 2012.

Although he was acquitted of murder in the case, the 31-year-old hasn’t stayed out of trouble, mostly with regard to violent ends to his volatile romantic relationships. First it was his estranged wife, who accused him of threatening him and her father with a gun as they retrieved her belongings from their shared home. Then there were several accusations from ex-girlfriends that he’d gotten violent during break-ups. Last year, one ex-girlfriend reported to police he’d pointed a shotgun at her head and locked her out of their house.

Most recently, it was alleged he threw a wine bottle at an ex-girlfriend who had just moved out with her 5-year-old son. Zimmerman was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault. However, prosecutors have since announced they will not proceed with prosecution.
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The number of domestic violence reports, arrests and shelter resident counts increase every year around the holidays.

Experts who study the issue point to a number of potential factors: More frequent bouts of depression, loneliness, family tension, alcohol consumption and more time spent indoors and at home. It’s also a time when estranged relatives, ex-husbands, ex-wives, ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriends are more likely to be invited to family gatherings, and there is a heightened risk of a confrontation.

Additionally, no-contact orders are far more likely to be violated, as people try to set aside differences to make the holiday better for children and other loved ones. Unfortunately, even if both parties consent to the contact, it’s still illegal so long as the court recognizes the order as valid.
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A domestic violence injunction is intended in Florida as a means of protecting individuals from harm by those who have previously shown aggression or other dangerous tendencies.

Most often, people think of injunctions or restraining orders as being granted when a paramour physically attacks his love interest. It’s true this is often the case. However, what we are increasingly seeing is domestic violence injunctions granted in cases where no violence is reported, but rather the defendant is accused of “cyberstalking.”

Our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence injunction defense attorneys know the burden of proof is lesser with requests for protection than for criminal conviction. It’s not uncommon for an injunction to be granted, even when there is no criminal conviction or even arrest for the underlying actions alleged. With a cyberstalking allegation, it’s possible one could have an injunction against them without ever touching or even talking to the person filing the request.
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A domestic violence injunction is not as bad on your permanent record as a criminal domestic abuse conviction, but the person on the receiving end can still suffer serious consequences.
As a public record, it can be viewed by anyone, even when the allegations aren’t proven. This can have a direct impact on career and educational opportunities. It can also result in the restriction of gun ownership rights and other freedoms. Sometimes referred to as “restraining orders,” injunctions can arise out of a criminal case or be requested through a civil filing. They may also significantly impact the outcome of child custody and divorce proceedings.

Hiring an experienced domestic violence defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can help to effectively defend those facing injunctions or criminal charges. In many cases we can reduce the chances that a temporary order will be granted or that a temporary order will give way to a permanent one.
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A new report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that nearly a quarter of all violent victimizations in the country – including rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated and simple assault – stemmed from a domestic situation.
Analysts culled victim-offender relationship data from the National Crime Victimization Survey over the 10-year period, and determined that 15 percent were the result of intimate partner violence, 4 percent by immediate family members and 2 percent by other relatives. Casual or well-known acquaintances accounted for 32 percent of all violent incidents, while strangers accounted for nearly 40 percent.

Our Domestic violence defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale recognize that society has an interest in protecting victims of serious crime. However, too often the pendulum has swung the other way, making it far too easy for an exaggerated report or an incident of mutual violence to result in serious charges and lifelong consequences.
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