Rod Stewart, the famous British musician, and his son, were both charged with misdemeanor battery in Florida. The two pleaded guilty to the charge, but the judge withheld adjudication. What does that mean? Well, neither Stewart nor son will have a criminal conviction on their record. In this case, the plea deal is struck to avoid the attention and cost of a trial. Neither man will face jail time, probation, or even a fine.
According to a police report, Rod Stewart and his son were angry at being denied entry to a private party. The younger Stewart allegedly pushed the bouncer while the older Stewart threw him a shot in the ribcage. No one was injured in the altercation.
What happened to the case?
It’s certainly rare that a defendant pleads guilty to a crime and then is allowed to walk free without a criminal record, a fine, probation, or any debt to the state whatsoever. However, these deals can be brokered in cases where it’s not really clear what happened and the defendant might be able to claim that the other party is the aggressor. For instance, if the bouncer laid hands on either man prior to the altercation, that could be used as a defense to battery. With too much ambiguity surrounding the events, it looks like the prosecutor offered Stewart one last option to get a conviction on the charges, one which essentially got him off the hook for any penalty. Except, the prosecutor couldn’t even do that. The judge withheld adjudication meaning there is no criminal conviction on Stewart’s record. So, essentially, Stewart pleaded guilty to the crime, but the judge withheld adjudication of his plea and he got to go home without facing any penalties at all. The singer did, however, apologize to the bouncer.
Can I plead guilty to a crime to avoid a criminal record?
No, sorry. While this option is available to every defendant, it is exceedingly unlikely that a case that could be resolved in this manner would make it that far unless you’re, you know, Rod Stewart. If you’re just some schmoe, the prosecutor can walk away or the judge will dismiss the case based on lack of evidence. In this case, it was the bouncer’s word against the Stewart’s, so there was never, likely, enough evidence to get the conviction. To avoid a high-profile loss, the prosecutor asked Stewart to plead guilty in exchange for withholding of adjudication and zero penalties. It is highly unlikely that your attorney would opt for this because it would only be offered in the event that the prosecution genuinely couldn’t meet its burden of proof.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been involved in an altercation with a bouncer, you just might need a West Palm Beach criminal attorney. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. to discuss your situation in more detail and we can begin preparing your defense today.