Written by Kenneth L. Foote
Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
If you've been charged with a crime of Domestic Violence, you need the immediate assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The State of Florida has a "pro-prosecution" philosophy when it comes to crimes of Domestic Violence. In Florida, Domestic Violence generally means that a person has been charged with committing a violent act against someone they have or had relationship with -- be it a family member, boyfriend or girlfriend, or husband or wife. Domestic Violence encompasses charges of Stalking, Harassment or Abuse. Domestic Violence cases can be complicated because in many situations law enforcement are required to make an arrest whenever a domestic call is made, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the call to police or who was at fault. Domestic Violence is a sensitive topic that carries social consequences in addition to possible legal ramifications.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence please call 1-877-903-6683 to discuss your case with an experienced domestic violence defense attorney immediately.
Domestic Violence cases are defined in Florida Statute 741.28 as:
"Domestic Violence" means any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one "family or household member" by another who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.
"Family or Household Member" means spouses, former spouses, adults related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.
What does this mean for you?
For starters, it is worth knowing that your bond on a domestic violence case will be set by the Judge at your "first appearance" or "advisory hearing." Having a skilled and experienced domestic violence defense attorney at this hearing can help you obtain a reasonable bond or a "release on your own recognizance" (ROR). If you do bond out of jail, you will probably be given a "no contact" order with the alleged victim in the case. This "no contact" order will remain as a condition of your bond or ROR until an appropriate motion is filed on your behalf and heard by the judge. The only person that can remove a "no contact" order is the judge.
When law enforcement responds to the scene of a domestic violence incident, they are trained to determine which person is the "primary aggressor." Usually, that person is arrested. Oftentimes, the alleged victim does not want law enforcement to arrest this person.
When charged with a crime of domestic violence, immediately contact the domestic violence defense attorneys at the law offices of K.L. Foote. Our experienced attorneys, who are former prosecutors will attend your "first appearance" or "advisory hearing" to help you obtain a reasonable bond or ROR. It can also help you get a "no contact" order removed, thereby allowing you to return to your home.
If the alleged victim does not want you prosecuted, the domestic violence defense attorneys at K.L. Foote will be able file the appropriate paperwork and have early contact with the assigned Assistant State Attorney. Sometimes, early contact with the State Attorney's Office can lead to your domestic violence charge being dropped or reduced, even before any criminal charges are ever filed. This can be extremely important down the road if you wish to have your criminal record sealed or expunged.
Even if criminal charges are filed against you, an experienced domestic violence defense attorneys can try to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge that would allow you to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. In some cases, you may qualify for a domestic violence diversion program in which your domestic violence charge will be dismissed upon your successful completion. However, this will not happen unless you contact your attorney immediately.
Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers
Domestic Violence cases in Florida are usually very sensitive cases involving a great degree of emotion. As a result of minimum mandatory sentencing and increased public and media attention, Domestic Violence cases need to be treated very carefully by an experienced domestic violence defense attorney. Even if you have no criminal record whatsoever, a sentence in a domestic violence case (even if adjudication is withheld) cannot be removed from your record by way of a records seal or expungemenet.
The domestic violence defense lawyers at K.L. Foote look for ways to achieve dismissal of the charges or seek alternative resolutions that will look towards the possibility of records expungement or sealing. Please call us to schedule a consultation
Enhanced Domestic Violence Penalties
If convicted of domestic violence in Florida you.
- Minimum Mandatory Jail Time of Five (5) days in Jail
- Mandatory 26-29 Week Batterers Intervention Program
- Ineligible to ever be Sealed or Expunged from your criminal record
- Forfeit your right to have a gun while on probation, even for misdemeanor
- Your concealed weapons permit will be revoked
- You will not be able to posess a firearm
Contact One of Our Florida Domestic Violence Defense At Attorneys for a FREE Consultation.