Some of our Florida readers may be familiar with the name Johnny Manziel, the former Cleveland Browns quarterback who played with the team for two seasons. At the beginning of the year, Manziel was targeted by the Dallas Police Department in a domestic violence investigation involving a former girlfriend.
Manziel was indicted back in April on a misdemeanor assault charge which could have put him behind bars for one year and resulted in a fine of $4,000. The latest development in the case is that an agreement was struck with prosecutors to dismiss the charge. The agreement requires Manziel to complete an anger management course, participate in a substance abuse program, and attend a domestic violence impact panel. He is also required to not have contact with the former girlfriend.
For defendants, domestic violence cases are rarely easy. From handling the negative publicity of domestic violence charges to determining the best defense strategy in a domestic violence case, it is critical to have the help of an experienced advocate. In Manziel’s case, he and his attorney apparently determined that having the charges dropped was worth the terms of the agreement.
Settling with prosecutors, of course, is not possible in every case. And, to be sure, domestic violence defendants are not necessarily best served by accepting a plea deal when one is offered, particularly if the plea deal requires a guilty plea. Determining the best way forward in a domestic violence case requires careful consideration of the charges, the facts of the case, the risks of going to trial, the legal issues involved, and various other factors. A skilled attorney can help a defendant sort through these matters, come up with the best case strategy, and ensure that the defendant’s rights are protected in the legal process.