In the State of Florida, domestic violence can occur between one family or household member against another family or household member. Domestic violence cases in Florida are very common, and there are special prosecutors in each county who focus specifically on the prosecution of domestic violence cases. The list of charges that can fall under domestic violence includes assault, aggravated assault, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, battery, sexual assault, and more. Domestic violence charges may also include allegations of physical, verbal, and emotional abuse. Florida Statute 741.28 outlines the definitions associated with domestic violence charges.
Why Is it Important to Hire an Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney?
If you are convicted of domestic violence, there are minimum mandatory sentences that are applicable depending on the type of domestic violence conviction. Once this happens, this conviction will be on your record permanently for employers, potential employers, government agencies, and others to see. This will affect your employability in certain types of jobs. This conviction can never be removed from your record.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, we recommend that you contact our experienced defense attorney immediately. Do not speak with the police or make any statements until you speak with a qualified attorney. I have handled hundreds of cases of domestic violence. I’ll investigate all the facts, obtain witness interviews, and review all pertinent documentation related to your case. Often, if there is a lack of physical evidence or eyewitness accounts, we can have the case dismissed. Unfortunately, there are many false cases filed in the courts today. I’ll work aggressively to have the case dismissed or charges reduced, ensuring the best possible outcome.
Penalties Associated With a Domestic Violence Conviction
The minimum penalties associated with a domestic violence conviction include the following:
- Mandatory counseling for domestic violence and domestic battery offenders, paid for by you. This can include a batterers' intervention program or anger management counseling.
- Fines, including court costs
- The conviction will be on your record permanently and can never be sealed or expunged.
- You can lose your right to possess a gun or ammunition under the Lautenberg Amendment.
- Upon arrest, your concealed weapons permit will be immediately revoked.
Other potential outcomes include:
- You may be barred from contacting the victim.
- You can lose the right to see your children.
- You can lose the right to enter your home.
- There could be serious consequences to your immigration status.
Conviction of domestic violence charges will change your life permanently. Your ability to obtain and even retain a job will be adversely impacted. You may lose your home and your family as well. A lot is at stake. And if you have a prior conviction, the penalties including jail time are even more severe. Don’t wait to contact an attorney.
Domestic Violence Defense Strategies
Every case is different and will be thoroughly investigated to determine the best course of defense. Some of the more common approaches that can be used are lack of intent, false allegations, defense of others involved in the situation, and even self-defense. We will seek out witnesses and evidence that can help support your case in court. We will also interview the alleged victim to gather additional information. We will consider whether there are other mitigating circumstances such as drug and alcohol abuse. Counseling for substance abuse and anger management may be considered in lieu of jail and other severe penalties.
In some cases, if this is your first offense for a domestic battery charge, you may be eligible to participate in a pre-trial intervention program (PTI) or a plea and pass agreement. The State of Florida Department of Corrections PTI gives qualified individuals the opportunity to participate in their supervised program. At the end of the program, if the individual successfully completes the requirements, the felony charge will be dismissed. This means no criminal conviction on your record. A plea and pass agreement works in a similar fashion. You will need to meet the requirements as outlined by the court. There will be several status checks along the way, but if you meet them all, the benefit can be a reduced charge or having the case completely dismissed.
Representation at Civil Injunction Hearings
If you are accused of domestic violence, often the accuser will file for a Civil Order of Protection, commonly referred to as a restraining order or stay-away order. This Civil Order of Protection can include no contact with the accuser, removal of custody, and the provision of temporary child support to the accuser. Violation of the order can and will result in your arrest. If a Civil Order of Protection is successfully filed against you, this will be on your record permanently and cannot be expunged.
As your domestic violence defense attorney, I will represent you at the civil injunction hearing and will work diligently to negotiate with the petitioner to have the case dismissed. I will ask for a continuance, so that we can develop a proper defense with witnesses and other evidence to support false or exaggerated claims against you.
What Can I Do as Your Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer?
Being accused of domestic violence is an emotionally stressful situation for all parties involved. As a domestic violence defense attorney, I have fought for the rights of many individuals accused of domestic violence. I can assist with determining the best course of action to avoid being convicted and suffering the severe penalties associated with the crime. I will work closely with all parties to ensure that you do not lose your right to see your children. I will also assist with restraining orders and orders of protection. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, or are facing charges, contact my office for immediate assistance. We provide an aggressive defense against domestic violence allegations in South Florida.
Contact us now for a consultation with an experienced attorney. I can help you understand the legalities of the charges against you and what you need to do to prevent a conviction. Let me put my experience to work for you in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami-Dade County.