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Domestic violence case against Tennessee athlete dismissed

Just because you have been charged with domestic violence or assault, doesn't mean that you will face conviction, or even a trial. Charges were recently dropped against Tennessee wideout Josh Smith after an alleged domestic violence incident at his home, which he shared with two friends. We often think of domestic violence involving dating or married couples, but the law is based on proximity between the two parties, not just relationship. In this case, the parties were roommates who got into an altercation after a night of drinking.

One of Smith's roommates went to the bathroom and Smith forced his way into the room out of concern. Many details are unclear, but the roommate apparently pushed Smith and they began fighting. The parties' third roommate entered the room and refused to leave. As a result, the three men ended up in a scuffle. Smith admitted to kicking the first roommate in the face when trying to stop the other two from fighting. Smith then called his parents for help once he saw the severity of the first roommate's injuries. Smith's parents drove the first roommate to the hospital and Smith's brother drove Smith. Smith was later charged with domestic assault.

The first roommate urged prosecutors to drop the charges after Smith agreed to perform community service and pay court fees. Once Smith provides proof that he has completed his requirements, the judge will dismiss the charge. The alleged victim has also agreed to drop his civil lawsuit against Smith.

However, Smith is required to stay away from the first roommate until the domestic assault charge is dropped in July. Once the charge is dismissed, Smith can file a petition to have the records expunged, essentially erasing all public records of the altercation. If you find yourself charged with domestic violence after an altercation, call a qualified attorney to work on getting your charges reduced or dismissed.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, "Vols WR Josh Smith dodges criminal and civil actions after domestic assault with roommate," Don Jacobs, June 7, 2017

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