Have you heard that Kevin Gates was found guilty of battery by “kicking” a fan at a 2015 concert? Yes, he was just sentenced to six months in jail. As a lawyer, I wasn’t as surprised at his conviction, but his sentencing left me asking why? In trial you roll the dice and hope to not crap out, you never know how a case will turn out. In this case, Mr. Gates crapped out when he was found guilty! On October 26, 2016, the New Orleans rapper was found guilty of battery and sentenced to 180 days in a Polk County Jail. 180 days for simple battery? 6 months away from his family, career, his life?
With limited facts, if representing Kevin Gates, Simmons Law would use the most common defense of self-defense to fight the battery case. In order to establish self-defense, an accused must generally show: a threat of unlawful force or harm against them; a real, honest perceived fear of harm to themselves (there must be a reasonable basis for this perceived fear); no harm or provocation on their part; and there was no reasonable chance of retreating or escaping the situation.
Based on the short video clip, Kevin Gates could have felt threatened by fans grabbing at him when he swiftly kicked towards the fan. Alternatively, Kevin Gates could have been in fear due to the large crowd at the sold out concert; for an entertainer safety is important. Additionally, Kevin Gates did not provoke the “fan” to touch him first, another factor for self-defense. Overall, The Court’s ruling bothered me because the Judge went above the recommendation of the States Attorney for a questionable case (Yes that video was questionable!). Was the Judge in this case attempting to prove a point with Kevin Gates, a husband, father, entertainer, but also a black man in the US “justice” system by sentencing him this way?
Kevin, lesson learned, some “fans” aren’t fans. Fans, lesson learned, do not create dangerous situations for the entertainers you support by grabbing them, etc.
In the State of Georgia, A person commits the offense of battery when he or she intentionally causes substantial physical harm or visible bodily harm to another. A person who commits the offense of battery is guilty of a misdemeanor. Punishment for misdemeanors generally a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by confinement in the county or other jail, county correctional institution, or such other places as counties may provide for maintenance of county inmates, for a total term not to exceed 12 months, or both; IF YOU ARE FACING A CRIME, HIRE COUNSEL IMMEDIATELY, SIMMONS LAW CAN BE REACHED AT 404-461-8422.