Sammie Lee Hampton, 23, of Port St Lucie, was booked into the county jail Sept. 3, charged with child abuse without great bodily harm, after a teacher told authorities he slapped a child. In an affidavit, police said Hampton’s actions left a 4-year-old girl with a handprint on her face that was still apparent two days later.
The events leading up to Hampton’s arrest began Aug. 31, when a teacher allegedly noticed a mark on the child’s face. The teacher then called police and the Florida Department of Children and Families, and Hampton was charged, arrested and jailed. He was released the next day on a $3,750 bond.
As a St Lucie Child Abuse Lawyer, Jeffrey H. Garland has seen situations like this all too frequently. Local residents have been arrested and locked up on charges that raise serious questions, rest on misunderstanding, could be interpreted a variety of ways, or are simply weak. Despite this, public sentiment and the media can combine to deliver an immediate, premature “guilty,” sometimes causing long-term harm.
Take Hampton, for example. His arrest was not only reported in the original TCPalm story, it appeared on the same site, the same day, in a second article titled, “St. Lucie County felony arrests: Sept. 4, 2015.” Meanwhile, another website posted his mugshot. Hampton, remember, had not been to trial, let alone found guilty. But now, a simple search – perhaps by a prospective employer or landlord – will immediately pop up “felony,” “child abuse” and “mugshot.”
Attorney Garland believes in justice, and the vital principle that everyone has the right to a fair hearing. His years of experience as a St Lucie Battery Defense Attorney mean he is qualified to go after the facts, not just rely on claims that don’t hold up. He works to ensure the accused gets every right they deserve, and he will stand with them throughout, a trusted advocate who’s there when it counts most.
Everyone has the right to skilled, committed legal representation, and when the charge is one like child abuse, domestic violence or battery, it is critical to talk to a Port St Lucie criminal lawyer sooner rather than later.
If you or someone you know is in a situation like this, talk to a lawyer who has the experience and knowledge you need. Call the Law Offices of Jeffrey H. Garland, P.A., at (772) 242-6380.