Sadly, some form of domestic violence occurs every minute of every day in Florida (See FDLE Official Statistics 2014 here). In my experience, most cases could have been prevented through marital and financial counseling or alcohol management. Violence is never a solution, but when it does happen, a good attorney should make every effort to resolve the underlying issues.

What is Domestic Violence?

In Florida, a battery is the touching of another person against their will. Assault, on the other hand, is the threat of violence. Many people incorrectly interchange the terms. However, Florida classifies many different crimes as domestic violence.

Section 741.28, Florida Statutes, defines “Domestic Violence” as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated 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 family or household member.

You don’t have to be married for domestic violence to occur either. A “family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons 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 are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.

I Have Been Charged With Domestic Battery, What Does That Mean?

Domestic Violence is a politically charged subject in Florida and is prosecuted aggressively – usually by specially trained prosecutors. In fact, section 741.2901, Florida Statutes, ensures that prosecutions be aggressively dealt with from the start. That means within 24 hours of your arrest, a prosecutor has reviewed your criminal history and will convey this information to the court.

Did you know?

Even dropped batteries or violent charges could be used against you at first appearance! Ensure that you contact an attorney immediately to discuss your case and review any facts that may help you obtain a reasonable bond!
If accused of Domestic Violence, you need to know the:

Definition of Domestic Violence
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Defenses to Domestic Violence

Even though domestic violence cases are often the result of mutual fault, do not attempt to resolve a domestic violence case without an experienced attorney, because a plea results may result in:

Mandatory Jail Time if there were injuries,
Permanent Criminal Record,
Treated as a Deportable Offense for Immigration Purposes,
Ineligible for Sealing or Expungement, and
Mandatory Counseling.

So contact Michael Fayard for a free consultation. (941) 306-1310

Definition of Domestic Violence

Commonly associated with a fight between a husband and a wife, domestic violence refers to a range of criminal offenses committed by one family member against another. (see above).

Domestic Violence occurs when a family member injures or commits any violent offense against another family member. Some examples are:

Assault or Battery,
False Imprisonment of Kidnapping,
Sexual Battery (Rape),
Stalking,
Any offense resulting in physical injury or death.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

In addition to the statutory penalties applicable to any criminal offense, Domestic Violence charges also carry the following enhanced penalties.

Minimum Mandatory Jail Time of Five (5) days in Jail,
Mandatory 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 a misdemeanor, and
Your concealed weapons permit will be revoked.

Defenses to Domestic Violence Battery

Defending domestic violence cases are difficult, because deeper issues usually caused the altercation in the first place. These include:

Alcohol, Drug, or Substance Abuse,
Child Custody Disputes,
Injunctions Proceedings,
Mental Health Issues
Pending Divorce, or
Spiteful Family Members.
Financial Issues

With these things in mind, the best way to approach a domestic violence case is to develop a plan that will not only result in the dismissal of the case, but also bring harmony between you and the accuser.

Treatment and Counseling

This allows you to address underlying issues that caused the altercation and develop positive habits that will help you avoid future conflicts.

I find this important because if the underlying issues are not addressed, many people find themselves right back at square one, which is something that should be avoided.

Did you know?
In my experience as a prosecutor, I have seen the same defendant charged over and over again! Don’t be one of these individuals! Let me help you end the cycle!

Victim Outreach

At first appearance, you may not be allowed to return to the home or contact the victim. However, an attorney may be able to resolve these issues quickly.

I may be able to contact the victim to expedite the dismissal of the case or reach a mutual understanding regarding counseling, custody of children or financial issues.

Did you Know?
Under Florida law, the victim cannot drop charges, only the State Attorney can.

I AM A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? CAN AN ATTORNEY HELP ME?

Absolutely!!! If your spouse is entitled to an attorney in a criminal case, why should you consider being in an inferior position? Although the Office of the State Attorney will help you, they are not your attorney. Each assistant has many cases and cannot dedicate the time necessary to help you the same as a private attorney.

Although many law enforcement agencies have victim advocates to assist you temporarily, it is important that you know your rights.

An attorney is essential to help a victim with:

Obtaining an Injunction
Temporary or permanent child custody
Divorce
Housing
Counseling

Did you know?
A victim may be entitled to damages? Contact Attorney Michael Fayard at (941) 306-1310 for a free consultation.

I have dealt with many cases. I know how difficult this time can be for you. Everything from lost time at work to questions from your children can be hard on the victim. An attorney who is compassionate and caring will help you in this difficult time of transition.

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