Utah Jazz reserve center Jeff Withey has been accused of domestic violence by his former fiancée who has filed a report with police in Manhattan Beach. According to an ESPN.com news report, his team has released a statement saying they are “collecting information” and this point and won’t have any comment until they “have a better understanding of the situation.” Manhattan Beach officials said police are investigating the allegations. No charges have been filed yet.
Both Sides Issue Statements
TMZ reported that the complaint was filed by Kennedy Summers, a former Playboy Playmate, whose engagement to Withey was broken off in October. She made the allegations to the Manhattan Beach Police Department when the Jazz was in Los Angeles for their first-round series against the Clippers.
Summers’s publicist issued a statement saying she needs to protect herself and decided to come forward “so this doesn’t happen to her or others in the future.” Withey’s attorney released a statement saying the allegations were nothing but “salacious and patently false.” He called it a “vicious and calculated attempt by an angry former girlfriend” intended to damage Withey’s reputation.
Domestic Violence Cases: What You Need to Know
Domestic violence cases often get publicity only when celebrities are involved or when arrests are made in public places, often involving violence or force. However, domestic violence arrests are extremely common in California. In addition to criminal consequences, domestic violence arrests and convictions also cause other repercussions including loss of child custody or restraining orders that tear families apart. Here are a few important things everyone should be aware of with regard to domestic violence cases.
Dropping the Charges
The charges don’t go away. The victim cannot drop the charges. Once the alleged victim in a domestic violence case makes the allegations by notifying the police of the alleged incident, she cannot take it back. The victim may be asked to provide testimony in the case. However, the state takes over and files the charges. From there on, prosecutors have absolute control over the process. This is rather unfortunate because many victims who later try to recant their allegations in an attempt to reconcile with the defendant are unable to do so.
They can’t take back their accusations and nothing they can do will result in the charges being dropped. The decision to drop the case rests in the hands of the prosecutor alone and will be made based on whether or not there is sufficient evidence to convict the defendant. If the prosecutor believes there is enough evidence to get a conviction, he or she will proceed with the case and file charges.
The Danger of Deportation
If you are not a U.S. citizen, you could face deportation or be barred from re-entry into the country. You could also lose your chance of getting citizenship, even if you try through legal channels. Domestic violence convictions can jeopardize your immigration status. This is why non-citizens who are facing domestic violence charges should contact an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer right away to find out how they can protect their rights.
Restraining Orders or Protective Orders
A temporary restraining order or protection order will be issued, even if the victim doesn’t want one. This could have devastating consequences for defendants. If your spouse or partner receives a protective order, you may have to move out of your home, if that’s where the alleged victim resides.
You may also be restricted from seeing your children and may be allowed to have only supervised visits with them. This is an extremely serious consequence of a DUI conviction, which most people don’t even consider. If you violate the restraining order, you could be arrested and charged and face additional penalties.
Loss of Gun Rights
You could lose your gun rights for the rest of your life. If you work in law enforcement or the military, you are not automatically excluded from this penalty. If you lose your gun rights, you simply cannot own or otherwise possess a firearm.
Loss of Employment/Licenses
While the penalties for a domestic violence conviction are quite harsh, there may be other consequences even if a person is only arrested and not convicted. While offenders may be facing jail time and fines as the result of a conviction, there are other deeply concerning issues they need to recognize. Some of the more serious accusations may lead to felony charges and this could threaten a person’s employment status.
Professionals could have their livelihoods jeopardized. Those who hold certain professional licenses may lose them as the result of a domestic violence conviction. Those convicted may also find it challenging to find any type of gainful employment because of the stigma that arises from such a conviction.
There are several available defenses for those facing domestic violence charges in Southern California. For example, if you did not intend to cause harm, then you did not commit the offense. Another common defense in domestic violence cases is false accusations. Unfortunately, it is extremely common for vengeful or angry partners or spouses to falsely accuse individuals of domestic violence.
We have also seen cases where a spouse or partner makes domestic violence accusations to get custody of children. Yet another plausible defense in domestic violence cases is self-defense. In such cases, defendants must prove all the elements of the case to the jury in order to not be found guilty. Primarily, you must prove that you believed physical force was necessary to defend yourself against the danger.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Last but not least, you need an experienced domestic violence attorney on your side who will fight for your rights every step of the way. At the Law Offices of Randy Collins, our criminal defense attorneys absolutely understand the emotional and financial toll a domestic violence arrest and conviction can take on an individual. We also understand the many different ways in which it can seriously affect families. If you have been arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and are seeking quality legal representation, call us at for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.