Erik Brown, 36, is alleged to have committed a misdemeanor battery upon his brother in law in Port St. Lucie, Florida with, of all things, a Taco Bell burrito. The Burrito Battery occurred after a verbal altercation between the victim and his mother overheated. Brown, feeling the argument was disrespectful to his mother in law and the victim’s mother, launched the victim’s burrito at his face after the victim asked his mother to bring it to him, according to a police report. When interviewed by police Brown explained that the alleged victim was being disrespectful to the mother in law and had cursed at her. It was at that point Brown delivered the burrito to the victim. Upon police electing to arrest Brown, Brown proceeded to inform the victim that he would be promptly knocked out when Brown returned home. Brown was taken into custody and transported to the St. Lucie County Jail without further incident. He will be charged with battery per Florida Statute 784.03.
Regardless of the fact that Brown used his burrito as a weapon in his battery of his brother in law, he could only legitimately be charged with a Florida misdemeanor. Because any Tampa criminal attorney would be able to successfully argue that a burrito is not a deadly weapon, the prospect of a felony charge just isn’t there. For the State to prove that Brown is guilty of a misdemeanor battery they would have to show that Brown actually or intentionally touched or struck his brother in law against his brother in law’s will or that Brown intentionally caused bodily harm to his brother in law. Where things could get rather sticky for Brown is if this is charged as a domestic battery under 741.28. In this case if the State Attorney can show that Brown and his brother in law are related by marriage which clearly they are or that they either live or have lived together, they may elect to charge this battery as domestic in nature.
Should the State Attorney charge Brown with domestic violence, Brown would face a few repercussions not generally associated with run of the mill battery. Initially, if this case is considered to be “domestic” as it appears to on the police report, Brown would not be able to post bond prior to appearing before a Judge. This would require a night’s stay at a very bad publicly funded “Inn.” Inevitably there will be a no contact order issued which could effectively “evict,” at least temporarily, Brown from a joint residence with his brother in law. Should Brown ultimately enter a plea to a Florida domestic violence crime he would likely be put on a year of probation and ordered to complete a batterer’s intervention program under Florida Statue 741.281 unless the Court finds and articulates why it is unnecessary. Luckily for Brown, it seems as if he didn’t intentionally harm his brother in law. Because of this he will not be subject to a 5 day mandatory incarceration period under Florida Statute 741.283 should he be adjudicated guilty of the offense. Lastly, and often overlooked by many Tampa criminal lawyers is the fact that regardless of whether adjudication is withheld, should Brown plea to a domestic violence crime, he will never be able to seal or expunge the incident from his record as domestic violence is listed in Florida Statute 907.041 and is specifically disqualified from seal or expungement.
Hopefully for Brown the State Attorney elects not to charge this crime at all and sees it for what it is, a simple misunderstanding. In situations similar to this our Tampa criminal attorneys have been able to convince the State not to file charges as the incident is not worthy of prosecution. Every Tampa criminal attorney in our firm is experienced in dealing with unorthodox situations like this and have the know how to help you in your time of need. We’re available to our clients and future clients from 9AM to 5PM, Monday through Friday at 813-444-7435 or at 727-771-3847.