Soccer Player Faces Battery Charges for Punching Referee

February 1, 2023 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes

When it comes to competitive sports, it is not uncommon for things to get heated in the midst of the game. However, it does not give athletes the right to become violent toward others. In a recent case from Miami, a soccer player is now facing battery charges after allegedly committing battery against one of his referees.

This article will provide the case details along with relative information pertaining to criminal charges for battery in Florida. 

What was the Case?

Miami-Dade County Police have arrested Nelson Aviles-Rolon after being caught on camera kicking a referee. According to the report, Aviles-Rolon became angry with the referee after getting a red card during a match on January 8th, 2023 at the Kendall Soccer Park.

The referee reported to authorities that he gave Aviles-Rolon a red card violation and explained that he would be ejected from that game along with suspending him for the next month. The soccer player then became angry and punched the referee in the face, which caused him to fall to the ground.

Aviles-Rolon was approached by another official, who he also punched—this time in the back of the head as he tried to intervene. While the first referee was still on the ground, the defendant proceeded to kick him.

Another soccer player was able to restrain Aviles-Rolon, who then fled from the scene before police arrived. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue responded to the incident and took the referee to an urgent care for treatment.

Over two weeks after the incident, Aviles-Rolon surrendered to police, where he is now facing multiple counts of battery.

Battery Charges in Florida

When a person is accused of hitting someone else and it is reported to the authorities, the accused person may be charged with battery. In Florida, a person can be charged with simple battery or aggravated battery.

Florida Statute Section 784.03 defines battery as the intentional touching or striking of another person against their will, or if a person has caused intentional harm to another person. In Florida, a person accused of simple battery can face a first-degree misdemeanor. A first-degree misdemeanor has a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

However, if there are any of the following aggravating factors:

The charges against the accused person can be enhanced to a charge of aggravated battery. Codified under Florida Statute Section 784.045, a person has committed aggravated battery if they have intentionally and knowingly caused serious bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or uses a deadly weapon. In addition, a person has committed aggravated battery if they have physically touched or hit a pregnant woman while knowing she was pregnant.

In Florida, a person accused of aggravated battery can face a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony has penalties of up to a $10,000 fine and 15 years in prison.

Requirement of Intent

In order to prosecute a simple battery charge, intent is required to be established in the case. In other words, the defendant must have intended to strike the victim or acted in a way to imply intent to strike the victim.

In an incident in which the defendant accidentally touched the victim, or did so in a way that is incidental to other conduct not aimed at making contact with the victim is not sufficient evidence of the requirement of intent.

Consent and Mutual Combat

One of the main elements of a battery allegation is consent. If the defendant and the victim had gotten into a fight with one another—or a “mutual combat”—it isn’t sufficient grounds for a battery conviction.

In other words, if two people assent to a physical altercation, it implies that both are consenting to physical touch, as is a consequence of physical fights. That would then put both parties at fault for the altercation. If a case of mutual combat goes to trial, it is the job of the jury to determine if both parties consented to the fight.

Important: Florida has a new anti-riot law where the mutual combat defense would likely not apply. 

Does not Require Injury

One important thing to note from a battery case is that the physical altercation does not have to result in an injury for the charges to be filed against the defendant. It is sufficient evidence that the defendant intentionally touched the victim without their consent. The existence of the victim’s injury—or lack thereof—becomes irrelevant when the allegation is that the defendant touched the victim without their consent.

Defenses to Battery Charges

Although a battery conviction comes with harsh penalties, it is also a criminal charge that can be easily defended. Some of the most common defenses to a battery charge are as follows:

  • Lack of Evidence
  • Conflicts in the Evidence
  • Lack of Intent
  • Accidental Touching
  • Mutual Combat
  • Consent
  • Use of Force under the Stand Your Ground Law
  • Self-Defense
  • Defense of Others

To determine which defense is applicable to your case, we highly advise speaking with a legal representative in your area.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Physical altercations are never a good idea—in some cases, they can lead to criminal charges. If you or someone you know has been accused of battery, your first step should be speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney near you.

Don Pumphrey and his team have years of experience representing clients accused of criminal offenses, including battery charges. We will work alongside you to build a strong defense for your case. Our top goal is to earn your freedom. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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