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Domestic assault charge against Don McClean is set for hearing

Domestic violence charges made by a spouse against the other spouse are often unpredictable in terms of the ultimate case outcome. In some relationships, the cause of the complaint may be a temporary aberration or it may be the symptom of years of domestic assault and violence against the abused victim. In Florida and elsewhere, these cases often are resolved by out-of-court agreements, especially where the parties want to try again and are at the same time willing to engage in substantial anger management efforts, including counseling and rehabilitation services.

The experience of a first-time domestic violence arrest in a longstanding marital relationship can possibly be an isolated incident or it may tend toward indicating a pattern of abuse. More likely, in cases of repeated, hardened abuse, there will be a record of several police interventions and charges filed. All of these issues stand out with respect to the recent allegations of misdemeanor assault made against singer-songwriter Don McLean by his wife Patrisha.

McLean was arrested on the assault charge by police in their Camden, Maine, home. His wife also obtained a protection from abuse order against him the next day. The singer issued statements denying that he did anything criminal, and particularly criticizing the use of allegations dealing with decades-old incidents in the protection petition.

A few days later, Patrisha McLean dropped the protection from abuse request and issued a statement, saying that her husband had a "big heart" and was "not a monster." She hoped that people would not judge him for things she said in the abuse petition, which she says should have remained private. For now, they are not getting a divorce.

However, the domestic assault charge is at this time going forward. On or before the court date set for later in February, the charge may be dismissed if the parties reconcile. If that is done in conjunction with a realistic plan to engage in counseling or other appropriate services, there may be a successful outcome for the McLeans. Generally, domestic assault charges in Florida may take a number of directions for resolution, which an accused will determine in consultation with an experienced defense attorney.

Source:, "Don McLean, wife Patrisha dismiss protection order", Will Robinson, Jan. 25, 2016

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The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424

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