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Albert M. Quirantes | Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Flatulent Husband is Attacked by Enraged Wife Domestic Violence: Was it a Crime?

A 55 year old woman was arrested on domestic violence battery charges after attacking her husband, who had been repeatedly passing gas in their shared bed, it has been alleged. She has been accused of elbowing, kicking, and scratching her spouse.

Dawn Meikle will have to face a misdemeanor charge after the confrontation that took place at 3:20 in the morning in her Port St. Lucie home which she is sharing with Donald, her husband.

Donald told police that while in bed he had “farted” and Dawn reacted by elbowing him. This apparently had no effect on him as he continued the unpleasant act until Dawn in the end forced him out of the bed. It wasn’t long though when Donald climbed back into bed and he repeated the process which led to the same response by Dawn of elbowing and kicking.

Donald reacted by trying to stop his wife, who scratched him repeatedly on his chest. On examination, it was found he had scratches stretching across his chest and also his t-shirt was ripped in a number of places too.

When Dawn was questioned by police she told them that she had asked Donald not to continually fart in the bed and admitted she reacted in the way she did because he would not stop. Dawn was not left completely free of injury, as she cut her lip which she did not blame on Donald.

She also allegedly tainted the air with pepper spray when she went to the bathroom to keep him away. Dawn is now forced to face a domestic violence battery charge, which is a misdemeanor crime in Florida that carries up to one year in jail, high fines, a 26 week domestic violence class and if found guilty, even if adjudication is withheld, he can never seal or expunge the arrest and court records. He can’t carry a gun nor take a position which involves carrying a gun – not even in the military or police department.

This might sound like a trivial act, but Florida is known for its harsh penalties, whatever the crime but especially in domestic violence cases. If someone dials 911, even a farting, elbowed and scratched husband, the response will be to charge someone if there is any hint that a crime may have been committed, and even if it did not occur in the presence of a police officer as is required for most misdemeanors in Florida. This crime, even when elevated to a Felony domestic violence, will often cause an arrest based just on the word of another! To make things worse, the defendant may not post bond or get out of jail until he sees a first appearance magistrate usually within 24 hours – but the state may ask for an additional 24 hours to obtain probable cause! That’s serving up to 2 days in jail before having any charges proven against you, just on someone’s word.

Any misdemeanor charge in Florida, depending whether it’s a 2nd degree misdemeanor or 1st degree, can attract a penalty of up 12 months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines plus court costs in the hundreds of dollars. Domestic violence simple battery happens to be a 1st degree misdemeanor and could be a felony if the alleged victim is 65 years old or over. If a person convicted of domestic violence simple battery causes bodily harm to another, the Court must impose a minimum mandatory jail term of five (5) days up to one (1) year in the county jail. If anyone faces a charge like this it is important to hire a Florida criminal defense attorney who will determine whether defenses such as the Florida stand your ground law applies to grant immunity from prosecution or whether the charge is justified and the evidence is sufficient to withstand prosecution.

For a 1st offender it is important to try and get the charge no actioned, dismissed or nolle prossed. In this particular incident, it may be that the husband reconsiders whether the conduct was intentional or invited and allowed by him. In Florida, a victim cannot drop charges, as they are prosecuted by the State and the State vigorously prosecutes domestic violence cases. However, a domestic violence lawyer knows what questions to ask the victim who is unwilling to prosecute on a deposition if permitted by the Court or at trial, to secure an acquittal. A criminal conviction, even for a misdemeanor can have a grave effect on someone for life and may certainly affect their employment and career prospects immediately.

Negotiating a pre-trial diversion agreement (PTD) with the state is one option a criminal defense lawyer has, but it should not be the first option explored. Even pre-trial intervention (PTI) can cause a great inconvenience and exert great costs to a person accused of a crime. Domestic violence diversion usually involves at least 26 weeks of batterer’s intervention, drug and alcohol evaluations, treatment and the costs of all of this. The programs run between six months to a year and are run by private companies that contract with the State. These companies have an incentive to find that most defendants “need” additional treatment because it means additional money to them. A good aggressive domestic violence criminal defense lawyer should go the extra mile to take the case to trial and attempt to get this kind of case dismissed, then expunged.

Everyone is entitled to be represented by a criminal defense attorney in Florida and it’s a way of ensuring the prosecution or judge and jury do not overstep the mark when it comes to charging, proving or even sentencing for a crime. Take a advantage of the Free initial consultation and case evaluation we offer to better inform those accused of these crimes of their options and potential outcomes.

Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: 305-644-1800 or visit our homepage for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

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