You sunk my Battleship? I’ll F’ing Kill You!!!! – Unless GPS technology saves your life…. Drat, Drats, and Double Drat!
John Richard Valenzuela, a 68 y/o Utah resident, is in custody charged with “unlawful detention involving domestic violence” (in FL we call this “false imprisonment”), aggravated assault involving domestic violence, criminal mischief involving domestic violence, damaging or interrupting electronic communications (in FL we call this either “tampering” or “obstruction”) and intoxication, and the victim is his 17 y/o daughter. Sadly, none of the 10+ stories I found had still shots of either one of them, but this is as close to John’s image as I could get…
Richard “Dick” Milhous Dastardly, a/k/a “Dick Dastardly”, a Hannah-Barbara “bad-guy” who, upon tasting defeat, Dastardly would utter his catchphrases, “Drat, drat, and double drat!”, “Triple drat!” and even “Curses, foiled again!” His other main catchphrase was “Muttley, do something!” Anyhow, why did this father have this meltdown with his daughter? Excellent question! Apparently, according to him anyhow, she cheated while they were playing a game of “Battleship” (I sh*t you not).
And that may very well have cost the teenager her life, but for GPS technology. As her father violently wigged out on her she had presence of mind to grab a cell phone and run out of their trailer, repeatedly dialing 911. While the cell phone in question was not connected to any cellular service, and the teen therefore could not speak with 911 operators, the phone (as ALL CELL PHONES ARE SUPPOSED TO DO – caps intentional) still contacted 911, providing GPS coordinates, pinpointing the location of the repeated calls. When the cops arrived they observed pops pointing a rifle at his daughter inside of the trailer (apparently he had first dragged her back in by the hair).
Needless to say, John won’t be getting the “Father of the Year” award, but I will give him my “Douche of the Day” award as a consolation.
Memo to the Folks (about Domestic Violence): Sadly, DV cases can, and will, occur. Almost anyone can be a victim (man, woman, parent, child, sibling, cousin, roommate, etcetera), and booze can fuel an otherwise “simple” DV case and turn it into something both significantly more serious and exponentially more dangerous.
Domestic Violence (DV) cases present wrinkles for everyone in the system (the Defendant, the State and the Court), as they almost always involve emotional charged folks who’s lives are either interdependent or interconnected, the potential for repeat or escalated violence is almost always high and there is more often then not the likelihood that a victim will, for whatever reasons, wish not to prosecute the perpetrator.
For these reasons, in FL DV cases Defendant’s suffer aggressive prosecution (more aggressive than many other offenses), the State feels obligated to “force” all victim’s to “help themselves” (which serves the dual purpose of covering its own ass in the event of a subsequent violent altercation) and the Court engages in pure self-protection (no Judge wants to read her/his name in the paper as being responsible for “cutting loose” the repeat DV offender who re-injures, more seriously injures or kills a victim when the Court could have acted to prevent the same from occurring).
These are the practical realities of DV cases that we all must live with and it is for these reasons that there is a mandatory 24 hold (a statutorily required cooling-off period) for anyone booked into a FL jail for any DV case and that DV victim’s are afforded special protections, are required to be evaluated (if only by responding officers who have a DV “checklist”) and are required to be provided information about alternatives to returning to “life” with the alleged perpetrator
Fortunately, in many cases, and particularly those where the offense did not result in any serious injury and ultimately amounted to an unfortunate but otherwise understandable incident, there are a few ways to try to effect the State’s decision to prosecute. The best advise that your husband is going to get on a given case is to find himself a local criminal defense attorney (in his case in the 305 area), make an appointment, show up on time and bring with you as much relevant paperwork or information as possible.
As for you, in Florida the State Attorney is empowered to bring criminal charges to bear on behalf of all of the people of the State, the victim being only one of those millions of people (albeit usually an important one to the success of their case). If you do not wish to cooperate with the State then you are entitled to have them consider your wished.
In Florida victims of crimes have rights, both constitutional (s. 16, Art. I of the Florida’s State Constitution) and by statute. If you want to increase your odds at having the State pursue your interests then you can hire your own criminal defense lawyer to serve as your Victim’s Right’s Advocate.
Again, no one can control what the State does on behalf of the people, but you will increase your odds at achieving a favorable outcome if you have an effective victim’s rights advocate pursuing your agenda. Many criminal defense lawyers serve as effective victim’s rights advocates.
For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.
At Michael A. Haber, P.A. “Its all about reasonable doubt”!
Michael A. Haber, Esq. is prepared to speak with you about your case!
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