Domestic Violence Cases in Florida
Criminal defense attorney representing clients facing State & Federal criminal charges.
Domestic violence is a serious and complex issue in Florida, and it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the legal process involved in domestic violence cases. If you have been arrested or charged with a domestic violence crime, you should immediately retain an experienced domestic violence lawyer to defend you and protect your rights.
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any act of assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense that causes physical injury or death to one family or household member by another family or household member. The definition of "family or household member" is broad and includes current or former spouses, blood relatives, persons who reside together as if a family, and persons who have a child in common, regardless of whether they have lived together or been married.
Procedure for Domestic Violence Cases
The criminal process in a domestic violence case starts with the filing of a police report. If the police determine probable cause exists to believe that a domestic violence crime has been committed, they will make an arrest. The arrested individual will then be taken to jail and will have a first appearance hearing before a judge. At this hearing, the judge will determine if there is probable cause to believe that the defendant committed the crime and if the defendant should be released on bond.
If the defendant is released on bond, the next step in the criminal process is arraignment. At the arraignment, the defendant will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to trial. If the defendant pleads guilty or no contest, the case will proceed to sentencing.
At trial, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the crime of domestic violence. The defendant has the right to a fair and impartial trial, the right to an attorney, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to present evidence. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge will determine the sentence, which can range from probation to imprisonment, and the length of the sentence will depend on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant's prior criminal history.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
The consequences of a domestic violence conviction in Florida can be severe and far-reaching. The specific penalties for a domestic violence conviction will depend on the circumstances of the case and the defendant's prior criminal history. However, some common penalties for a domestic violence conviction include imprisonment, fines, probation, restraining orders, and mandatory attendance at domestic violence classes or counseling. Imprisonment sentences can range from a few days to several years, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant's prior criminal history. Fines can also vary widely, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the defendant's prior criminal history. Probation is a period of supervision that requires the defendant to meet certain conditions, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, community service, and substance abuse treatment. A restraining order prohibits the defendant from contacting the victim or coming within a certain distance of the victim, and it can have a significant impact on the defendant's life and future. In addition to the penalties listed above, a domestic violence conviction can have a significant impact on the defendant's future, including difficulty finding employment, obtaining a professional license, and retaining custody of their children.
Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Lawyer
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Florida, it is essential to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate the criminal justice system, protect your rights, and defend you against the charges. They can also advise you on the potential consequences of a conviction and help you understand your options for plea bargaining or going to trial.