A St. Petersburg attorney got a public reprimand this month from the state Supreme Court over a 2019 domestic violence incident with his then-wife that required he attend a domestic violence intervention program.
The day before that reprimand, the attorney, Gregory Hoag, was arrested on a domestic violence charge involving his current girlfriend. It’s his third domestic violence arrest.
An arrest affidavit says around 11 a.m. on Dec. 12, Hoag and his girlfriend of 11 months got into an argument at his home. The affidavit by St. Petersburg police says when Hoag’s girlfriend said she was going to call the police, Hoag “then grabbed both of the victim’s arms and tried to get the victim’s phone. (Hoag) pressed his forehead against hers while he continued to yell at her and prevent her from calling police.
“The victim sustained a visible injury to her right arm during the incident.” Hoag was arrested on Dec. 15, posted $15,000 bond on Dec. 17 and has pleaded not guilty to witness tampering and felony battery. The battery charge is a felony by Florida law because Hoag has a prior conviction for misdemeanor domestic battery.
That prior conviction isn’t from his March 2001 arrest on a misdemeanor battery charge. Hoag pleaded not guilty, and eventually entered a domestic violence deferred prosecution program on June 5, 2001. Online Pinellas County court records say Hoag completed the family violence deferred prosecution program and the case was dismissed. So Hoag officially didn’t have a battery conviction in May 2019 when he committed battery against his wife and the mother of his three children.
Hoag, now a medical malpractice/personal injury attorney at Trentalange & Kelley, was a name partner at Masterton, Hoag & Smith in May 2019 when, according to an arrest form, he pushed his wife, grabbed her by the throat, and caused minor injuries to her right arm. Hoag pleaded no contest to misdemeanor domestic battery and received probation that involved not drinking alcohol, being available for random urine tests, and going through the 29-week domestic violence intervention program. He completed his probation on June 10, 2020.
Hoag admitted violating Florida Bar professional misconduct rules. The state Supreme Court issued a public reprimand and required Hoag to enter a three-year rehabilitation contract with Florida Lawyer’s Assistance, which provides support to attorneys with substance abuse or mental health issues. The court signed the reprimand and order on Dec. 16. Hoag spent that day in Pinellas County jail after his most recent arrest.
BY DAVID J. NEAL