My client is 30 and went for a bike ride in Ft. DeSoto Park in Pinellas County. He had been drinking before the ride. I guess he just wanted some fresh air, but it was a bad choice.
When he got there, there were two teenage boys hanging out. Somehow, they had words and my client grabbed one of the boys by the wrist. The kids left and went home. The parents called the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to report the incident. Although no one was injured, the police arrested by client for child abuse, which was a felony.
I knew that my client had to address the drinking issue. We got him enrolled with a counselor and he started going to AA. He also voluntarily took drug screens monthly to show that he was clean and sober. He took the case very seriously. We all knew that even though all he did was grab the kid by the wrist, the kid was under 18, so it was a big deal. He also realized that he had to get his drinking under control because he should not have been arguing with two teen boys. And, he should not have been going to the park after drinking.
After several months of sobriety, the prosecutor agreed to drop the charges. No one really wanted a case like this to have to go to court.
My client was very happy because having a child abuse charge on his record just sounds really bad and he did not want to be associated with that. He also is in the process of opening a business, and a child abuse charge would have been a disaster for him.