Criminal charges, including domestic assault or battery, often involve those who might seem unlikely suspects. The fact is, no one is immune from the law. In fact, high profile suspects often tend to receive harsher penalties, as police and prosecutors are eager to “make an example” or prove a point. They know the public is watching closely.
Business executives, professional athletes, celebrities, and most recently, a federal judge, have all been charged with domestic abuse. Cases involving domestic abuse or assault tend to involve complex fact scenarios and “he-said, she-said” claims. For any defendant, consulting with a legal advocate as soon as possible is key to protecting your rights. A conviction can result in serious penalties as well as a damaging criminal record and loss of reputation.
In a recent case, an Alabama federal judge was arrested and charged with battery after accusations that he assaulted his wife in Atlanta. According to reports, police responded to reports of an altercation at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta. The case sheds light on the complexity of domestic abuse allegations, as well as the lasting consequences of a criminal charge. Our Birmingham domestic assault defense attorneys understand the complex nature of these cases and treat all clients with dignity and respect. We understand the damaging outcome of a criminal conviction and will explore every defense opportunity to minimize charges and penalties.
Police reports allege the 55-year-old U.S. District Court Judge for the Middle District of Alabama in Montgomery was arrested and accused of domestic battery. A woman on the scene was treated for injuries, but declined transport to the hospital. Records indicated the defendant was being held in jail without bond.
He is well-known and respected in the legal community, and could face additional disciplinary action if convicted. The case is a reminder that anyone can end up under the scrutiny of the law and face criminal charges. Experienced advocacy and defense is critical to ensure that you are not over-charged or over-penalized for your crimes.
Domestic abuse charges can carry stiff and immediate penalties. Some examples include restraining orders, a long-term jail sentence, hefty fines, and professional penalties. Upon conviction, you may not be able to enter your home or see your children. You could lose child custody or have your visitation rights severely curtailed.
One way to prevent the damaging consequences of a domestic abuse allegation is to defeat the underlying charges. An experienced attorney can review the facts of your case, talk with witnesses and the victim and look at ways to argue for reduced charges. In some cases, the underlying domestic abuse or battery charges can be dismissed or defeated before the case ever advances to the trial phase.
This case is a reminder that criminal defendants come from all walks of life. The defendant-judge presided over the bribery trial of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy in 2006. The jury found both defendants guilty on the charges that the governor solicited a $500,000 donation in return for a seat on the hospital regulatory board. The judge ordered jurors to continue deliberating even after they said they reached an impasse. A appeal for a new trial after alleged juror misconduct was denied. A second appeal alleging that the judge should have stepped down was also denied.