Angie Stone. Oh Boy! Talk to most parents and they will tell you there have been times that they felt like knocking the teeth out of their children’s mouths (African parents I see you), especially during their teenage phase.
However, for many, they have managed to refrain from carrying out on those feelings. After the teenage phase is over, children can still tempt parents especially when they are in their 30s, are living with their parents and the house is full with grand children that create a mess and nobody bothers to clean the house. In such situations, it is easy for things to escalate quickly when grandma says, “clean up after your kids child!” In response, family members can be caught doing what they should not be doing in the first place leading to physical altercations where they hit each other with objects strong enough to take each other’s front teeth out.
Angie Stone, a three time Grammy nominated artist, is accused of actually knocking out her daughter’s front two teeth, yesterday, during a physical altercation loosely based on facts narrated above and alleged below. Needless to say, she got arrested. The story reported by news media seems to imply that Angie Stone is or will claim self-defense because she says her daughter first punched her in the face. Let’s look at the story a little closely.
The Alleged Facts
R&B singer Angie Stone was arrested Monday in Georgia for domestic aggravated assault … and the victim is her 30-year-old daughter.
Police in Dekalb County tell TMZ … 53-year-old Angie told police her daughter Diamond punched her in the face. Angie then told police she defended herself with a metal stand, but accidentally hit Diamond in the face … knocking out her front teeth.
Angie told police once she realized the mistake she put down the stand and tried to flee … but claims Diamond came after her again. A family friend eventually broke up the fight.
Diamond told police the argument started when Angie complained Diamond didn’t clean up after her children. Diamond was also taken into custody, but eventually released without being charged.
Angie — a 3-time Grammy nominee — was booked for aggravated assault.
Diamond’s Official Statement
People are so quick to pass judgment but never really know the full story. Never uphold people in wrong no matter who they are I’m crushed but I ain’t dead so for the people that praise “her” keep right on just know that it ain’t over. You so big and bad but had to use a weapon on me in a fight that you started. You giggled on the inside because you thought I was going to jail too. ?#?Wrong? I’m sick of putting up these fronts and because you took shit to another level I will too. I love all my family but I cannot take anymore abuse so I’m separating myself from it all. I pray God heals us from this but from where I sit there is no turning back cause if you ain’t wit me you against me. You so worried about to media and the press but I promise you this I will not rest until my story is heard!
Ms. Uduak’s Take & Analysis
This case occurs in Georgia and is treated as an aggravated assault, given the alleged fact that Stone used an alleged object to knock her daughter’s two front teeth out. I am a California based attorney who has done extensive criminal defense work. Therefore, I will focus on California law and speak generally about criminal assault cases in California. If you are in a situation like Angie Stone, you need to consult with a criminal lawyer in your specific state ASAP to help you.
Here we go with my analysis.
When you punch, hit, bite, scratch, spit, throw an object, water, drink etc. at a person, you have committed battery. Essentially, battery is the illegal use of force on another person which causes bodily injury or is deemed an harmful/offensive contact.
There are important elements that the Prosecutor (DA) will have to prove in a battery case to get a conviction against you.
Intent: You could INTEND to commit battery or it could be un-intentional aka criminal negligence.
Indirect Application of Force: Remember I said you could throw an object or substance i.e. water or drink at someone one and that could still constitute as battery? So, your takeaway is that you need not directly use force against someone to get battery.
Defenses: If you are in California where I practice, you would be charged with California Penal Code section 242. The claim here is that the battery/assault was aggravated. So, under California law, someone like Angie Stone could be charged with California Penal Code (CPC) section 243(d) (aggravated battery) or worse a 245(a)(1) (assault with a deadly weapon likely to cause grave bodily injury).
Let’s get back to the crime of battery in general under California’s criminal laws. What are your defenses? Typically, when criminal defense attorneys take on your matter, they will listen to you to ascertain what defenses there might be, if any, applicable to your actions.
- It was an accident.
- It was self defense.
- He/she consented.
- I was trying to help someone that was getting beat up (defense of others).
- I am a parent and I have a right to discipline my child.
What impact will a conviction of battery have on you?
- It becomes very tough for you to gain employment. In the case of Angie Stone, not necessarily since she is a celebrity singer. Nevertheless, for the average man or woman convicted of a crime, it can be quite tough.
- Sometimes it can be very tough to gain housing, and overall it is not good on your record.
What Kind of Time Are We looking At?
- Typically 6months in your county’s jail. Again focused on just plain old battery as a misdemeanor crime.
- Anger management.
- Informal probation, typically.
Does the DA limit the charges to only battery (242)
No. As I already stated, if you cause serious bodily injury, then in California, expect to see a charge of California Penal Code (CPC) 243(d) for aggravated battery and if the object you used could or caused great bodily injury, expect to see CPC 245(a)(1) charge of assault with a deadly weapon most likely to cause great bodily injury. Both sections of the code are usually charged as felonies with steeper implications.
In conclusion, folks, every family has its own problems. Certainly as attorneys, we see that all the time, especially if you do trial work. The trick with these kinds of altercation is to never put your hands on someone even if they are your family members. Prevention as they say is always better than cure.
However, life does happen… no judgment here. And because it does, it is a good idea to have a good criminal defense lawyer on speed dial to help you.
For further inquiries you may have, please email me at (email@example.com).
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