FELONY BATTERY REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR/ WITHHOLD OF ADJUDICATION AND EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION UPON PAYMENT OF RESTITUTION
MMC was initially arrested on February 24, 2009, on a charge of felony battery for an offense which occurred on January 22, 2009. He would be arrested later on, on March 19, 2009, for an additional charge of simple battery.
Following his arrest, MMC retained Jeffrey H. Garland to represent him in connection with the matter. Attorney Garland recognized that MMC was just 18 years of age at the time of his arrest and was still in high school.
The situation arose from a minor incident between two young men who were both driving. MMC followed the other young man home. Both attended the same high school.
It is probably fair to say that following someone to their house in order to confront them is not the best of choices. The situation escalated, because family members of the other young man did not understand what had occurred. A brouhaha ensued in which the other young man’s mother received a potentially serious injury.
To prove “felony battery”, the State would have to establish that MMC caused “great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement” to the other young man’s mother. While there were concerns about such injury on the day of the incident, these concerns gradually faded away as time passed. If the case had gone to trial, there was a real question whether the State could prove that the injury met this high standard.
There were other problems, as well, with the State’s prosecution. MMC was still a juvenile by just three days at the time of the incident.
The matter was resolved by a no contest plea to one misdemeanor and the “dropping” of the other misdemeanor. Adjudication of guilt was withheld. MMC agreed to pay restitution and court costs. Probation would end upon full payment of the financial obligations.
Anyone confronted with a “road rage” situation should think long and hard before following the other person and confronting them. Such situations are like to lead to extreme misunderstandings by those involved, their families and friends and law enforcement officials. It may be wise for other young people, if confronted with a similar situation, to either ignore the situation or to contact law enforcement for assistance. It would almost never be a good idea to follow the other person to their house in order to confront them.