Legal Stories

Since the premiere of Jersey Shore in December 2009, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro has been a staple cast member, regularly causing scenes both on-screen and off. But, on May 13, 2021, Ortiz-Magro announced that he was stepping away from the popular reality show series.

The departure comes after a series of domestic violence incidents dating back to 2019.

The most recent incident, which occurred in April 2021, has prompted Ortiz-Magro to step away from the show and seek medical treatment for mental health issues.

Ortiz-Magro is leaving the show.

Does that mean he is heading to jail?

Let’s look at the legal implications of Ortiz-Magro’s multiple domestic violence incidents.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence?

In Florida, domestic violence is defined under statute 741.28 as, “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”

Domestic violence refers to situations that involve family members. Incidents may involve spouses and people related by blood as well as “persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married.”

All but one of Ortiz-Magro’s domestic violence incidents have involved Jen Harley, his on-again-off-again girlfriend and mother of his daughter.

Under Florida law, domestic charges can lead to penalties such as:

  • Probation
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Loss of rights such as a concealed carry permit
  • Enrollment in Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP)
  • No contact orders

Both Ortiz-Magro and Harley have been charged throughout the years in incidents that occurred in California and Nevada. Their cases follow laws of the states where the incidents occurred.

Related: The Best Criminal Defense Attorneys Have These 7 Qualities

Past Incidents

Ortiz-Magro and Harley began dating in 2017, and had their first legal incident in 2018.

In June 2018, Ortiz-Magro was reportedly caught in the seat belt outside of a car driven by Harley. Ortiz-Magro sustained a rash and bruised face from being dragged by the car. Harley was arrested, but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence.

In January 2019, Ortiz-Magro filed a police report against Harley. He stated that she threw an ashtray at his face. Harley was arrested four months after the incident. Charges were later dropped.

In October 2019, Ortiz-Magro was accused of “striking” Harley and “chasing her with a knife,” as reported by PageSix. It is also reported that while he ran outside after Harley, he was holding his 18-month-old daughter as well as the knife. Ortiz-Magro ran back into the house and locked himself inside with the toddler. Police broke down the door, and after a confrontation with Ortiz-Magro, they tased him before removing him from the house. This incident ended with a plea deal in which Ortiz-Magro received 36 months of probation and 30 days of community service and was required to donate $20,000 to a battered women’s shelter in Los Angeles.

In January 2020, Harley was said to have tried to poke Ortiz-Magro in the eye with eyeliner that she found in the trash can of their home. This led to Ortiz-Magro seeking and receiving an emergency order for protection against domestic violence against Harley.

Related: If You’re Arrested for a Crime, Immediately Take These 6 Steps

The Recent Charges

All of this leads up to the incident that took place in April 2021, when Ortiz-Magro was arrested again. This time for felony domestic violence against a different woman, his new girlfriend, Saffire Matos, as reported by PEOPLE Magazine.

Ortiz-Magro was arrested on suspicion, taken to jail, and later released on $100,000 bail. No details were released on the situation that led to the arrest.

Ortiz-Magro’s team says the situation was overblown. In a statement to PEOPLE, Ortiz-Magor’s lawyers said, “initial reports and unreviewed charges are often and in Ronnie’s case, wrong.”

Matos, the woman involved, also said the incident wasn’t what it seemed. She took to Instagram to say, “Ronnie and I are fine. There is a lot of misleading information floating around out there.”

What Does It Mean for Ronnie?

Ortiz-Magro was originally charged with a felony, but the case was downgraded to a potential misdemeanor after the district attorney declined to file felony charges. Because Ortiz-Magor was on probation at the time, he was only charged with a probation violation.

Related: Misdemeanor vs Felony: What’s the Difference? 

In this case, Ortiz-Magor may be leaving Jersey Shore, but he is not headed to jail. Despite what it may have seemed, his recent incident will not lead to substantial legal consequences.

Cases like Ortiz-Magro’s are messy. With many incidents and the media involvement that comes with a high-profile case, it can be easy to jump to conclusions. But, cases can’t be tried in the media; they need to be tried fairly in the court system.

All cases need fair representation and a criminal defense team to get to the truth. If you are involved in a criminal case, make sure you have legal representation.

Contact TJ Grimaldi to get a free consultation to discuss your criminal case. Request your free consultation or call 813-226-1023 today.

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