Getting charged with domestic violence in Florida is a serious crime. It comes with many penalties, and it’s not a conviction that you can get expunged from your criminal record. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, you need an expert Florida domestic violence attorney now.
What Is Considered Domestic Violence In Florida?
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any assault (including aggravated and sexual assault), and battery (including aggravated and sexual battery), stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, and false imprisonment of a person. Domestic violence is also defined as when one family or household member injures or causes the death of another family or household member when they are currently living together or used to live together.
Penalties—Because a domestic violence charge is far-reaching (meaning that it covers a multitude of criminal offenses), you are exposed to various penalties. Some penalties are mandatory once you’re convicted of this crime, such as serving one year of probation and twenty-six weeks in the Batterer’s Intervention Program. Other penalties include:
- 10 days for a first offense
- A Minimum Of 5 Days In County Jail If You’re Adjudicated Guilty
- An Order To Not Come Within 500 Feet Of The Victim’s Person Nor 100 Feet Of The Victim’s Car
Some penalties are at the judge’s discretion, but it’s important to know that Florida has several mandatory minimums that range from one year to five years. Whether you’re charged with a domestic violence misdemeanor or domestic violence felony affects the mandatory minimums you’ll face in addition to any other punishment the judge chooses. Doing or saying the wrong thing can only increase your time behind bars. For this reason, it is crucial that you seek the advice of legal counsel. Call Koberlein Law Offices today for a free consultation. You can reach us toll-free at 877.556.2889 or contact us online.
Mistakes To Avoid
If you’ve been charged with committing domestic violence, you may be angry or even shocked. From your point of view, you may think that you and the alleged victim merely had an argument that got out of hand. Maybe you want to apologize and work things out. As tempting as it may be to go over there or make a phone call, don’t. Contacting the alleged victim of a domestic violence crime violates an order of protection (restraining order). It also runs the risk of adding fuel to the fire of evidence that can be used against you in court. Below are other mistakes to avoid.
Delay—The moment you’re put in handcuffs and arrested, the process of gathering evidence to use against you begins. Once an officer starts interrogating you, they are looking for you to say or do something that will make your conviction that must easier. Therefore, don’t delay in seeking legal counsel. You have rights. As soon as your Miranda Rights are read, say that you want an attorney and stop talking until one arrives.
Personal Denial—Your first thought might be that this will all go away if you just explain your side. Unfortunately, talking to law enforcement agents is usually not to your benefit when you’re the one being charged with a crime. Disbelief that this is happening to you won’t help you either. Accepting that you’re being charged and that you’ll need to start building your defense, on the other hand, will help you.
Violations—We’ve already discussed that you shouldn’t call or go to where you know the alleged victim is. But you also can’t send a third party (e.g., your relatives or friends) to contact the alleged victim either. This may be seen as witness intimidation, which will come with more charges and sentence time. It also falls under violating an injunction of protection. Violating an injunction of protection is a first-degree misdemeanor, and you can serve upwards of one year in jail because of it.
Like with any criminal charge, there are several defenses that you can make. These are just some of the defenses that may be available to you.
- Lack Of Evidence
- False Testimony
- Defense Of Someone Else
- Standing Your Ground
Florida Domestic Violence Lawyers
Domestic violence cases are complex, and they come with dire consequences. How to handle a domestic violence charge is something best left to knowledgeable Florida domestic violence attorneys. Fortunately, Koberlein Law Offices is here to help you. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys knows what to do. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, call us toll-free at 877.556.2889 or contact us online.