CLEARWATER CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
ABUSE OF ELDERLY DISABLED OR PREGNANT IN TAMPA BAY
Abuse of the elderly, pregnant or disabled charges are extremely serious offenses which if not handled properly could ruin your reputation in the community, result in loss of employment and may be punished by jail, house arrest or probation with heavy fines depending upon your prior record, the severity of the charged misconduct, the severity of victim’s injuries and the facts surrounding the alleged misconduct. Because the victims of these crimes are especially sympathetic it’s imperative that you hire a Clearwater Criminal Defense Lawyer who is well experienced in the defense of these matters with an equal measure of firmness and finesse as well as legal knowledge.Robert Hambrick a Pinellas Criminal Law Attorney
Clearly, if you’ve been charged with abuse of an elderly, disabled or pregnant person need an experienced defense attorney who will listen to you and then take immediate action to uncover all of the facts, to speak with all of the witness, to search thru all of the discovery, to review all of the medical records, to understand and exploit all of the weaknesses in the police investigation and to persuade the prosecutors to dismiss, drop or reduce the criminal counts – all with the objective of obtaining a successful outcome for you by utilizing winning defense tactics and proactive litigation strategies.
Pinellas Criminal Defense Attorney Robert Hambrick understands there are many factors involved in an assault, battery, or domestic violence charge as charges can range in severity from a first-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Whether it is a bar fights, road rage, aggravated assault with a weapon finding all of the mitigating circumstances, Robert knows the criminal justice system, the laws, and the many options available for his clients.
EFFECTIVE FLORIDA DEFENSES FOR ELDERLY BATTERY AND AGGRAVATED BATTERY CASES
One of the most important functions of a Pinellas Criminal Defense Lawyer is to access all possible defenses to a criminal charge. In Assault, Battery and Abuse of the Elderly or Disabled or Battery on a Pregnant woman cases it’s crucial for the Defense to conduct an intense Defense investigation to establish all of the facts of the incident. An investigation can uncover evidence of any of the following defenses:
- Consent. An example of consent to an aggravated battery can be found in the death of the great escape artist and magician Houdini many years ago. At a demonstration of his magic he dared a lady in the crowd to hit him in his abdomen with as much force as she could. She did. Within two days he was dead as a result of the injuries sustained. Clearly, he consented to the touching so there was no legal charge of battery. Mutual Combat is a form of consent. In mutual combat there is implicit consent for a battery case. For example, not only in any heavy weight fight, Ali vs. Foreman or a hockey game, but a bar bet gone bet can invoke mutual combat.
- Self Defense. In Florida this is known as the justified use of force, is a defense to the crime of battery to defend yourself against another person’s unlawful attack. In Tampa Bay and Pinellas Florida law gives Floridians the right to use deadly force against intruders entering their homes or vehicles, no longer needing to prove fear for their safety, only that the person who is stabbed, shot with a firearm or even killed intruded unlawfully and forcefully. This makes a defense to charges of aggravated assault, simple battery, aggravated battery or even murder in some recent cases.
- In the past Florida law and common law required that a person attacked in a public place must retreat if possible. However, the law in Florida as it now stands is that someone attacked in public, “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force.” It’s important to immediately contact a Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney to investigate the facts of your case as the law in Florida also forbids the arrest, detention or prosecution of the people covered by the law, and it prohibits civil suits against them.
Because you won’t get a second chance in any allegation of assault and battery of the elderly or disabled in Florida your lawyer must take action as soon as possible. In assault & battery cases that involve the elderly or disabled or pregnant it is always important to initially present an accurate and effective defense by effectively marshaling all of the facts so the prosecutor and the judge see your side of the story. You need an attorney who is savvy, skilled, smart and aggressive. As a former prosecutor in Pinellas county, Robert knows both sides of the criminal defense system giving him an advantage, as he is able to anticipate the strategies of the prosecution. He knows the weak points in specific charges and how to defend against them. If you fail to defend your reputation or fail to defend yourself with vigor when you face the Judge in the courtroom.
HOW ELDERLY ABUSE CASES PROCEED THRU THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN PINELLAS & HILLSBOROUGH COUNTIES:
Your attorney must intervene with the prosecutors before formal charges are filed in an attempt to have the charges reduced, dismissed or nolle prossed. In Tampa Bay & PInellas this is how your assault & battery cases will be handled.
- The Tampa Bay abuse case is investigated by local law enforcement after an allegation of harm from the victim. Law Enforcement Officers bring the case to the attention of the Pinellas or Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office for review. The State Attorney’s Office makes a filing decision based on facts presented at what is known as an ‘invest’ which is usually conducted at the police headquarters of the investigating police department. The prosecutor assigned the case writes a review of the facts and circumstances of the case.
- Robert Hambrick will already be taking speedy action to help you upon learning which prosecutor is assigned to the case, knowing and exploiting the prosecutor’s strengths and weaknesses and using his knowledge about the way the system works to seek immediate reduction of trumped up charges or a no filing decision where there is no evident criminal conduct.
- It’s important to assert and array facts immediately so that a filing decision in any abuse case is not made until the Defense has pushed its own version of the facts.
- Once a filing decision has been made the case proceeds to a Pinellas or Hillsborough Courtroom.
- If it is a felony a Circuit Court Judge will handle the case, if it is a misdeamenor then a County Court Judge will handle the proceedings.
- The First hearing is an Arraignment in which the Judge will make certain that the Defendant understands the nature of the abuse charges against him.
- The Judge will then calender the case for any pending evidentiary motions. Finally, when the evidentiary motions are disposed of, the Pinellas or Hillsborough Court will calender what is known as a Pretrial at which time the Defendant must choose to either plea or set the case for Trial.
As you can see from the Florida Statute below abuse is defined as any intentional infliction of physical or psychological injury upon an elderly or disabled adult and coupled with this statute is the neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult in which a caregiver is accused of failing to render proper care, supervision and services to maintain the victim’s mental and physical heath. Many of these cases are brought about during a Florida DCF investigation.
Battery on a Pregnant Woman:
Under the Florida law for aggravated Battery, “A person commits aggravated battery if the person who was the victim of the battery was pregnant at the time of the offense and the offender knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.” A Pinellas Criminal Defense Lawyer would tell you that an intentional unwanted touching of another person that would be a simple battery if committed against other victims becomes an aggravated battery when committed against a pregnant victim in the State of Florida, if the Defendant “knew or should have known that the victim was pregnant.” For example, if a lady is struck intentionally and if a reasonable person would know that she is pregnant from observing her condition a Defendant will be charged with the felony of Battery on a Pregnant woman.
825.102 Abuse, aggravated abuse, and neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult; penalties.Pinellas Courtroom at the Criminal Court Complex in Tampa Bay Florida
(1) “Abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult” means:
(a) Intentional infliction of physical or psychological injury upon an elderly person or disabled adult;
(b) An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury to an elderly person or disabled adult; or
(c) Active encouragement of any person to commit an act that results or could reasonably be expected to result in physical or psychological injury to an elderly person or disabled adult. A person who knowingly or willfully abuses an elderly person or disabled adult without causing great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the elderly person or disabled adult commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) “Aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult” occurs when a person:
(a) Commits aggravated battery on an elderly person or disabled adult;
(b) Willfully tortures, maliciously punishes, or willfully and unlawfully cages, an elderly person or disabled adult; or
(c) Knowingly or willfully abuses an elderly person or disabled adult and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to the elderly person or disabled adult. A person who commits aggravated abuse of an elderly person or disabled adult commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3)(a) “Neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult” means: 1. A caregiver’s failure or omission to provide an elderly person or disabled adult with the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the elderly person’s or disabled adult’s physical and mental health, including, but not limited to, food, nutrition, clothing, shelter, supervision, medicine, and medical services that a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of the elderly person or disabled adult; or 2. A caregiver’s failure to make a reasonable effort to protect an elderly person or disabled adult from abuse, neglect, or exploitation by another person.
For much more information about assault and battery case law, the latest assault and battery factual situations leading to reduction of charges or dismissal of cases and the best information on assault, aggravated assault and battery and aggravated battery defenses Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorney Robert Hambrick’s Blog: Your Best Legal Help Advice & Counsel — A Guide to Crime Investigation & Evidence Evaluation of Assault Battery Arrest Dismissal or Trial: From a Seasoned Pinellas & Tampa Bay Defense Lawyer.
MANY CASES OF FLORIDA ELDERLY ABUSE MAY HAVE LESSOR INCLUDED CHARGES THAT ARE LESS SIGNIFICANT
Many charges of abuse have less. Or included charges embedded within them, known as lesser included charges. Because every aggravated charge must first meet the criteria for simple misdemeanor. This means that even if the Pinellas Prosecutor makes a determination that the charge must be filed in the higher aggravated form, it’s still possible at a later time for the charge to be reduced incident to a plea or by legal motion to the presiding Pinellas Circuit Court Judge if the facts do not support the aggravated form or if the charge is taken to Trial the jury will be told in its jury instructions that it may come back with the lesser included offense.
Upon learning that you may be a target of a criminal investigation for abuse of a disabled, elderly or pregnant woman conducted by Tampa Bay Police, FDLE or a DCF investigation, you should contact the best Clearwater criminal defense lawyer you can find and remember the following:
- Never discuss the facts about the abuse allegations until after you have sought out legal advice from a criminal law defense attorney, because whatever you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Don’t make any statements. Don’t sign any admission statements. And if you are questioned about an alleged assault or battery remember that the Miranda Rights don’t always have to be given, unlike what you see in the movies. In fact Miranda Rights are only required for interrogations when you are in actual police custody.
- If a law enforcement officer investigating an assault or battery later says you were free to leave at the time he questioned you he sheds his obligations to read you your rights nor to honor the rights which are enshrined in our American Constitution.
- Remember you are innocent of abuse until proven guilty.
- Don’t let yourself be pushed into saying or doing anything which may come back against you later nor is it a good idea to offer an apology or regrets about whatever happened.
- As these assault and battery cases may involve false or exaggerated allegations that are often motivated by some financial incentive or other improper motive, it’s important to act fast for your defense — find a seasoned criminal defense lawyer to help you as soon as possible.
- Don’t consent to a search, if there is probable cause wait for a search warrant to be signed by a judge.
If you are under investigation or have been arrested for abuse of the elderly, disabled or pregnant, Clearwater defense lawyer Robert Hambrick is always available to give you a consultation without charge. Why not talk to Robert about your case so that he can help you find the best possible solution to your problem?