What is Domestic Violence?
According to Florida law, domestic violence can be physical or emotional abuse between parties involved in a domestic relationship (typically anyone involved in a family or “household” relationship). Domestic violence most commonly occurs between spouses, couples who live together, and family members. Types of domestic violence cases are:
- Assault or battery
- Sexual abuse
- Threatening or intimidation
- False Imprisonment
Penalties and Consequences of Domestic Violence Arrests
Florida law has strict penalties in domestic violence cases. Some of the following penalties are possible with a domestic violence conviction:
- Jail Time – Imprisonment is a common penalty in domestic violence cases. Even in misdemeanor cases, guilty parties could face up to one year in jail. Additionally, Florida imposes a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days in cases where domestic violence results in an injury to the victim and 15 days if a child is a witness to the violence.
- Aggravating Factors – Prosecutors look at the circumstances of a domestic violence case to determine if they can impose enhancements that can raise charges and penalties. For example, if you have a previous conviction for domestic violence or battery, or if the alleged victim is in a special class (i.e. pregnant, elderly, etc.), the new domestic violence charges may be treated as a more serious felony.
- Court-ordered classes – As part of a sentence, convicted individuals are often required to complete anger management or domestic violence courses, many times at their own expense.
- Firearms restrictions – Under Florida law, individuals who have been convicted of domestic violence are prohibited from owning, using, or possessing a firearm. This prohibition also applies while the case is “pending”.
What I can Do
There are many potential defenses to domestic violence matters. It is likely that the prosecutors will only know one side of the story before they make a decision to prosecute your case. If hired early enough, I will make sure that the prosecutor hears your side of the story, and makes a decision whether to prosecute after knowing all the facts, not just the facts that the “alleged victim” gave them.
Sometimes, the prosecutor may not even discuss the case with your loved one, who is now a complainant, before filing it. Your loved one may not want you to be prosecuted, but the prosecutor may not know that before they file formal charges. With me on your side, I will make an effort to convince the prosecutor not to charge you at all, or to charge you with reduced charges, therefore opening you up to a less severe penalty. It is never too soon to start mounting your defense! Call me now to learn more about how I defend these cases before the case is formally filed.