Mother of Miami Heat Star LeBron James Arrested for Battery and Disorderly Conduct

April 13, 2011 by David S. Seltzer

A local incident that’s made the national news caught my eye as a Miami battery criminal defense attorney. As CBS4 reported April 7, the mother of Miami Heat Player LeBron James was arrested early on April 5 for alleged battery and disorderly intoxication outside the Fontainebleau Hotel. Gloria James is accused of slapping a valet at the hotel after he could not immediately produce the keys to her car. Reports said she was very intoxicated and fell down directly after the slap, then was taken into custody. A video shows her arguing with police officers after her arrest. The valet, Sorel Rockefeller, said he intends to sue Gloria James.

According to the New Times Miami, Gloria James had been partying at a club on the night of April 4. She returned to the hotel, where she’d left her car, and asked the valet to retrieve it, but reportedly didn’t claim it for 30 minutes. Eventually, Rockefeller or one of his colleagues left the keys with a cashier. When James returned to pick up the car, she got angry and asked “where are my [expletive] keys,” slapped Rockefeller in the face and fell to the ground. Responding police officers said that when they arrived, she was in the passenger seat of the vehicle, with another woman in the driver’s seat. James smelled strongly of alcohol and her eyes were bloodshot, officers said. She was also reportedly uncooperative with officers, shouting at them that “I don’t trust your kind.” She was released with a promise to appear, and LeBron James told the media that he’s helping to handle it. Gloria James has a 2006 DUI from Ohio, but no other prior charges were reported.

As a Fort Lauderdale assault criminal defense lawyer, I’m pleased that this family has the money to properly defend Gloria James from the criminal charges. A slap may not sound too harmful, but any unwanted touching, no matter how slight, is enough to support a charge of simple battery in Florida. In fact, defendants can face a related assault charge merely for threatening another person with battery, even if they don’t go through with the threat. If the reports are right, that doesn’t look like an issue in this case, but a battery charge is still a misdemeanor crime — and no one wants to see their mother convicted of a crime. Disorderly intoxication is also a misdemeanor, charged against people accused of causing a disturbance while drunk in public. An experienced south Florida criminal defense attorney may be able to defend the charges, or secure a favorable plea agreement, but it’s unlikely that James could do that on her own — especially with the public watching to see if she gets special treatment.

If you’re accused of a crime in Florida and you’d like to discuss your options for defending yourself, don’t hesitate before you call Seltzer Law, P.A. We understand that trouble with law enforcement sometimes happens after business hours, as this incident did, so we’re available to consult with potential clients 24 hours a day and seven days a week. To learn more or set up a free case evaluation, send us an email or call 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).