The recent arrest of a Hillsborough County sheriff’s deputy illustrates how devastating battery charges can be even for someone who is an upstanding citizen or has a spotless criminal record.
According to news reports, Pasco County officials arrested the deputy after an argument on a public street allegedly got physical.
Although the deputy appears not to have been convicted at this time, he already has been placed on unpaid leave and is the target of an administrative investigation.
Battery charges, including domestic violence battery charges, carry the possibility of fines, jail time and mandatory counseling.
In the right circumstances, authorities may charge a Tampa Bay resident with a felony even if they have no prior criminal history.
As the recent news report illustrates, even the possibility of a battery conviction can cost a person their job.
On a related point, many trades and professions will impose discipline on those convicted of battery, especially if there is a domestic violence component in the mix.
Teachers, health care workers, law enforcement officers and those who work with children could find themselves unable to earn a livelihood even after one misdemeanor conviction.
Other possible consequences for a domestic violence battery included the following:
- A parent may have their custody and visitation rights revoked or restricted.
- A person may get banned from owning a firearm.
- If a Florida resident is not a United States citizen, they may face deportation.
Those accused of a battery need a legal defense
Many upstanding Floridians get accused of battery.
Those in this difficult circumstance should make sure they understand their rights and alternatives, as there is a lot of potential fallout from a conviction. This is true even if they have no experience with the justice system and the prosecutor is offering what seems like a good deal.
Good people do make mistakes, so sometimes it is best to understand one’s rights and have help making the most of a bad situation. However, in many cases, it makes more sense to require police and prosecutors to prove their case.