Talib’s Toughest Charge

August 24th, 2009

Still out there is the untold, unknown other side of the story in the case of Aqib Talib allegedly punching a taxi driver repeatedly last week, which left Talib charged with simple battery and a free trip to the Pinellas County Jail.

So far, Talib hasn’t talked publicly about it. Though his alleged victim stepped right up to the microphone.

Joe’s not going to write about that now. Regardless, the battery charge seems to be a case of one guy’s word against another’s. That’s always suspect. And Talib surely will hire a high-priced attorney to torpedo the cabbie’s story.

Today, Joe is going to look at what could be the tougher charge for Talib to shake: resisting (arrest) without violence.

Nobody in the mainstream media seems to care much about that, but it carries the same first degree misdemeanor charge as the alleged battery. NFL warden Roger Goodell surely will care quite a bit.

The resisting without violence charge is going to be a tough one for Talib to lawyer his way out of. The maximum punishment is a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Here’s what the state of Florida must prove in order to convict someone of Resisting Officer without Violence: (Legal geeks can verify all this on the Florida Supreme Court’s Web site.)

1) Defendant (Talib) resisted, obstructed or opposed the victim (the arresting officer).

Published reports taken from the arrest affidavit say the arresting officer told Talib to get out of the taxi three times but he wouldn’t cooperate. 

2) At the time, the victim (arresting officer) was engaged in the lawful executing of a legal duty or executing a legal process.

It sure seems lawful for the officer to require Talib to get out of the taxi as Talib was accused of battery, the alleged victim was at the scene, and the officer was there investigating.

3) At the time, the victim (arresting officer) was an officer or person legally authorized to execute process.

Yes, this was a real Florida Highway Patrol officer at the scene.

4) At the time, defendant (Talib) knew the victim (arresting officer) was an officer or person legally authorized to execute process.

It’s going to be tough for Talib to prove he didn’t know the officer was a cop. Think flashing lights, car door open and officer barking at Talib to get out.

Might Pinellas County drop this charge against Talib?

Don’t bet on it, says criminal attorney David Haenel, of the firm Finebloom & Haenel, which represents clients in Pinellas and across the Bay Area.

“The state attorney’s office in Pinellas County doesn’t drop a lot of things. There’s not a lot of preferential treatment,” Haenel said.

But Talib could walk away without a stain on his criminal record, Haenel said.

After the state attorney’s office considers the battery and resisting charges, Talib’s criminal history (While Talib has had his share of fights and fines throughout his football career, Joe is unaware of any other criminal charges filed against him), and interviews with the cab driver, officer and witnesses, the state attorney’s office may allow Talib into a diverson program, Haenel said.

But that recommendation will come solely from the state attorney’s office, said Sgt. Larry Kraus, a Florida Highway Patrol spokesman.

Today Kraus said the FHP will not drop the charge of resisting without violence against Talib.

Key components in the cases against Talib are the sworn statements from those at the scene, specifically the men who shared the taxi ride in question with Talib. The arrest affidavit did not include the names of those passengers, who are assumed to be Buccaneers players.

The absence of their names and statements doesn’t mean much now.

Joe will write more about these likely witnesses on Tuesday. 

4 Responses to “Talib’s Toughest Charge”

  1. Pete Says:

    Does not mean anything really at this point, few in the State’s attorney’s office will pursue JUST a resiting w/o violence. Waste of their time and its not sensational enough of a career builder to take on.

    All the cases I have worked on resisting arrest w/o violence was a secondary charge added on only on those people who had public defenders. Those who had private counsel almost never had it-even when charged by it.

    Unlikely he would even get probation for it without the other charge.

    A good lawyer can do wonders, a great lawyer can get you off.

    If the battery charge goes away then I doubt the state will waste much time on just that.

  2. kyle Says:

    So Bernie McCabe is going to tell the world it’s OK to not listen to the cops if you didn’t really do it. Not going to happen to a celebrity. The longer this goes, the more screwed Talib is.

  3. Jeff Says:

    Talib’s attorney(s) will get him off. The NFL will have little, if any, grounds to suspend him. Even if they do, 1, 2 games max and for what (if the charges don’t hold)?
    I’m not defending his actions by ANY means, but I didn’t see a whole lot of “damage” by the video. It’s he said, she said and right now it’s real quiet.

  4. MTM Says:

    Sweet the Buc’s finally have a player with legal issues. Now they can soak up the spot light. Oh wait that charge is not good enough. It will be back page on BSPN.