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Domestic violence charges dropped vs. Paul Simon, Edie Brickell

Domestic violence incidents sometimes can be difficult to investigate. It is not always clear who the aggressor was, or if all parties involved committed some sort of assault.

When one person has been significantly harmed, it is likely the duty of the prosecution to pursue domestic violence charges against the assailant. But other times, it may make more sense to drop the charges, as has happened in the case of musicians Paul Simon and Edie Brickell.

Readers may recall that Brickell and Simon, who have been married since 1992, were both charged with disorderly conduct after police responded to an apparent fight at their home late in April. Officers said they heard screaming and found the couple in their home studio.

Police said that Brickell had slapped Simon. Both had minor injuries; Simon had a small cut on his ear and Brickell’s wrist was bruised slightly.

The couple later reached a plea deal with prosecutors that will have the charges dropped, if Simon and Brickell have no further legal trouble for 13 months. Similar plea deals may be available for anyone charged in a domestic violence case, depending on the circumstances.

Even before the defendant in a domestic assault case gets the chance to confront the charges in court, his or her life can be immediately and dramatically affected. If an order of protection is place on him or her, he or she may not be go home or see his or her children. This is on top of any criminal penalties that may come after a conviction. Thus, it is important to take these charges very seriously.

Source: New York Daily News, “Paul Simon and Edie Brickell domestic disturbance charges dropped,” Erik Badia and Larry McShane, June 17, 2014

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Lerner & Lerner, P.C.

Former prosecutors with more than 50 years of combined experience

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