USF Football Player Arrested for Domestic Violence

May 10, 2023 Criminal Defense, Domestic Violence

When a person in Florida is accused of turning violent towards another person, there are several criminal charges that they may face. For couples or family members, violence can typically lead to a domestic violence charge. According to the Department of Justice, domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship which is used by one partner to gain power or control over the other partner. Domestic violence can include physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological abusive behavior.

In one recent Florida case, a USF football player is now facing felony charges for domestic violence. This article will provide the case details, along with information on the relevant charges and how a defense attorney can assist in college students’ cases.

Case Details

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from a victim on April 29th, 2023, to report a domestic violence incident. According to the report, USF football player Michel Dukes, 22, allegedly strangled the victim.

The strangulation happened after the two were having a verbal argument in the victim’s home at 4300 Shire Court. During the discussion, the argument turned physical, and Dukes allegedly grabbed the victim by the neck to strangle them.

Dukes has since been arrested and is facing one felony charge of domestic battery by strangulation.

“I applaud this victim for coming forward,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “We do not tolerate domestic violence. There is never a reason or excuse for this type of behavior. Our Victim Advocates will ensure this individual gets connected with any and all resources.”

Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Florida

Under Florida Statute Section 784.041, a person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the defendant knowingly and intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member of a person with whom he or she is in a relationship with, so as to create a risk or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck.

Domestic battery by strangulation is considered a third-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Domestic Violence Offenses

A criminal case is considered a domestic violence offense if the crime involves an act of abuse or violence committed by one member of a household or family against another.

Under Florida Statute Section 741.28, “domestic violence” is considered as any of the following offenses when committed by a family or household member:

“Family or household member” includes any spouse, former spouse, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as a family. Apart from parents who share a child in common, the law considers family or household members as anyone who currently or previously resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

Importance of Defense for College Athletes

Any person who is accused of a crime in Florida should consider working with an experienced defense attorney. For young college students, this is especially true. Getting convicted of a criminal offense has long-lasting effects which can impact your future. College students convicted of a criminal offense not only face legal penalties but may also face punishment by their university such as suspension or expulsion. College athletes may lose their spot on the team, their scholarship, or their placement at the university.

By working with a skilled college student criminal defense attorney, you can receive the following benefits:

  • Protection of legal rights – A defense attorney will work to ensure that your rights are protected throughout the entire process.
  • Knowledge of the legal system – Working with a defense attorney means you’ll have a skilled professional who is knowledgeable in the legal field, which can help in providing guidance and advice to the defendant.
  • Investigation and evidence collection – For a defense attorney to build your case a strong defense, they will investigate your charges, gather evidence, interview witnesses, review police reports, or any other important information pertaining to your case.
  • Negotiation with prosecutors – A defense attorney can help negotiate with the prosecutor(s) to reduce your charges, obtain a plea bargain, or dismiss the case completely.
  • Trial representation – A defense attorney will represent you and your case if it goes to trial. This can include cross-examination of witnesses, presenting evidence, and making arguments to the jury.

To find out if working with an attorney suits your case, contact the attorneys at Pumphrey Law Firm.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

In Florida, cases involving domestic violence are prosecuted harshly due to their violent nature. If you or someone you know has been accused of domestic violence, it is in your best interest to speak with a legal professional as soon as possible. By working with a defense attorney, you can start building a strong defense for your case and work towards gaining back your freedom.

Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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