Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Former Detroit Lion Enters Pretrial Diversion Program After Domestic Battery

Former Detroit Lion Enters Pretrial Diversion Program After Domestic Battery


In mid-April 2024, former NFL player Cameron Sutton was accepted into a batterers’ intervention program in Hillsborough County with the intent of resolving the misdemeanor battery case against him. Sutton had been wanted in Florida after allegedly battering a woman in early March. Domestic battery is a serious offense in Florida, but in some cases, it is possible to go through a pretrial diversion program instead of a trial.

Only Some Cases Qualify

Florida takes domestic violence offenses seriously, and most people charged with these types of offenses will face serious penalties if convicted. The state’s definition is wide, covering any crime resulting in physical injury or death to a victim with a specific relation to the perpetrator (spouse, unmarried co-parent, and a few others). However, the legislature does recognize that some cases that qualify as domestic violence are more severe than others. Sutton’s case allegedly involved little harm to the victim.

Pretrial diversion programs are generally intended for first offenders or for cases where little to no physical harm to the victim has occurred – almost always misdemeanors. That said, most domestic violence cases are disqualified from pretrial diversion programs because they are either committed by those with previous records, or because the nature of the offense itself is too violent – for example, those which involve strangulation or choking, or “degrading acts” like spitting on one’s victim.

Specific Requirements Must Be Met

If you are in a position where you may have the opportunity to enter a pretrial diversion program instead of facing a trial, know that you must submit a guilty plea (among other requirements) in order to be accepted. If the program’s requirements are completed satisfactorily, the guilty plea will be vacated (essentially dropped). If they are not, a state’s attorney has the right to pursue the case further.

Do not assume that the diversion program will be easy; Sutton and most other participants must complete a batterers’ intervention program, as well as a mental health evaluation. Contact with one’s alleged victim is also barred. Effectively, the participant is on probation until completion of the program. Violation will put a person back into the legal system, awaiting a possible conviction.

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

The outcome of Sutton’s case remains to be seen as of this writing, but your case needs fast action. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help you understand your options, and to protect your rights in court. Call our office at (561) 721-0552 to speak to an attorney.



Facebook Twitter LinkedIn