The mother of Miami Heat star LeBron James was arrested for assault at a Miami Beach hotel.
Ms. James was taken into custody after an incident at the Fontainebleau Hotel at 4441 Collins Ave., according to Miami Beach Police. Police have not given the details of her arrest, but said she was released early Thursday morning.
Assault is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail. An assault occurs when somebody, by word or act, puts another person in fear of imminent harm.
An assault must be a threat of imminent harm, that is - it must appear that the threatened harm will occur immediately. For instance, standing 50 feet away from somebody and shouting to them that you will punch them...that will likely not constitute an assault because the harm is not imminent.
Now if you stand 6 inches from somebody's face and say the same thing, that would constitute an assault because the harm is imminent.
A police officer doesn't know the elements of a crime the way that a criminal defense attorney does. So what often happens is that situations that may be no more than verbal arguments turn into arrests for assault when the police are called.
As well, police often interpret verbal arguments to be assaults. It seems as if the charge of assault is a catch-all when cops don't know what else to charge.
If you or a loved one are facing assault charges in Miami-Dade or Broward, call me.