Battery is an offense that occurs when an actor commits a harmful or offensive touching against another person, resulting results in harm to that person. To be liable, an offender need only have intended the touching, and not necessarily the harm that resulted. Recently, Andruw Jones, a former outfielder for the New York Yankees, was accused of committing battery against his wife.

The domestic violence accusation stems from an incident that supposedly occurred on Christmas day, when Jones’ wife asked him to help get their home outside of Atlanta ready for the holiday. Jones, who is accused of being intoxicated at the time, allegedly pulled his wife down a flight of stairs by her ankle, stated that he wanted to kill her, and grabbed her neck. According to the police report, she was able to push him away, and escaped to her parents’ house, where police indicate that they noted injuries on her neck.

When police arrived to arrest Jones, they claim that he seemed confused about the events, a point which they claim gives credence to the allegation that he was intoxicated at the time of the alleged battery. Jones was arrested for battery and was later released on bond.

Any time a public figure like this defendant stands accused of committing the crime of domestic abuse, the mere fact of the charge will likely cause severe damage to that individual’s reputation. Regardless of whether a defendant is found innocent or guilty, the stigma of a domestic violence accusation can have lasting consequences for one’s personal and professional life.

Nevertheless, anyone accused of domestic violence is entitled to a presumption of innocence until the charge is proven beyond a reasonable doubt. A defendant is entitled to an aggressive criminal defense and all that it entails, such as questioning witnesses, challenging the admissibility of evidence, and all other avenues of fighting the charges. A defendant need not accept the stigma of being a domestic abuser, but has the right to vigorously contest the charges.

Source: New York Daily News, “Andruw Jones’ wife said ex-Yankees Outfielder told her he wanted to kill her: police report,” December 26, 2012