The Defense Group

THE DEFENSE GROUP

CENTRAL FLORIDA'S
CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS

FREE CRIMINAL DEFENSE CONSULTING

 

(407) 831-1956
(352) 742-9090


DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic Violence CrimesIf you were arrested for a crime of domestic violence (sometimes called Battery-Domestic on the arrest affidavit) anywhere in Central Florida, then you need to call one of the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Defense Group to discuss your case. The sooner you can get defense counsel involved, the better chance you have of a favorable result.

Often, entering a plea to any act of domestic violence is simply not an option. The implications of a conviction for this offense can include consideration in any late child custody proceedings. It may cause the Department of Children and Families to investigate and force you into another court proceeding. It may increase the likelihood that you become the subject of a domestic violence injunction.  Most people that enter a plea are never told that Florida law prohibits any domestic violence charge from being sealed after a finding of guilt even if adjudication of guilt is withheld. To be eligible to have this arrest record expunged, it is necessary that the charges be dismissed (or that you are acquitted at trial.)

The most important thing to remember is that just because you were arrested does not mean the case will be successfully prosecuted. Sometimes the call to the police was made in the heat of an argument, but the “victim” is uncooperative with the prosecution, While the “victim” cannot drop the charges, they can work with experienced defense counsel and often help accomplish a dismissal of the charges. These cases often involve "he said, she said" accusations that are not enough for the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard. This is especially true when the person accused of domestic violence is represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney at every stage of the case.  We can help!  Call us!

POLICE POLICY IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES:
Virtually every police agency in Central Florida has a firm policy about domestic violence calls. Usually, this policy is not written down in the Department policy manual. Make no mistake it is a policy nonetheless and it may cause an arrest where one is not warranted. Simply stated that policy is as follows:

“If you respond to a domestic violence call, and you see or hear any evidence whatsoever that anybody touched somebody else, then you must put somebody in jail. Do not leave the two people that had been arguing, free to get back into it tonight.”
This is a CYA (cover your assets) move by the police. They fear that unless they arrest at least one half of the conflict, and they leave, that later violence will be blamed on them for not making the arrest. They fear being sued by the victim of the later violence on the theory that the cops could have prevented it by arresting on the first call. The cops are more willing to “losing” (by a ruing that dismisses the charges) that they are to being sued.

More often, the police hear the “she said- he said” versions of the argument and then arrest the male. He is likely the larger of the two and therefore in the eyes of the cops the more likely aggressor. If there are young children in the household, the police are less likely to arrest both because then they have to deal with the children (too much work.) Old stereotypes still live on the streets so the cops are more likely to leave the children with “mommy” than dad, so Dad goes to jail. It also does not matter who called 911. Whether it was one of the parties to the augment, a family member or a neighbor, the “policy” holds true.

It is important to get to an experienced criminal law attorney as soon after you are released from custody as possible. We can help!  Call us!

Attorneys for Domestic Violence in Central Florida
The attorneys at The Defense Group are experienced in representing clients on a variety of domestic violence offenses from a misdemeanor for domestic battery to a more serious felony offense for aggravated domestic battery, battery by strangulation, or battery on a pregnant female throughout Central Florida

Call our office to speak directly with an attorney about the case. Our phones are manned 24/7/365. We will take the time to listen to your side of the story, and understand all of the facts and circumstances that are unique to your case.
We also represent clients charged with violation of probation in a domestic violence case. Call 407-831-1956  or  352-742-9090 to speak with an attorney about your case today. We can help!  Call us!


Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge in Florida
If you were charged with any form of domestic violence, then you need an experienced attorney for the following reasons:

  • Under Florida law, you are not able to immediately bond out of jail after an arrest for domestic violence because no bond will be set until after you see the judge at first appearance. The First Appearance Judge will set both the amount of your bond and set other conditions of release.
  • If you do not have an attorney representing you at your first court appearance within 24 hours after your arrest, the court will usually impose a "no contact" provision that will prevent you from returning to your home, seeing you children, or communicating with your spouse, or other purported “victim”  until a motion to modify this condition of your bond is granted after a court hearing. Any family member or even someone with whom you live in a “family like” relationship can be a “victim.”
  • Even if you run a home-based business and all your tools and files are in the home, you cannot return to the hoe without the court’s permission.
  • The charge itself is classified as a "crime of violence" and the mere allegation is extremely serious. You may be denied the chance to live in an apartment complex. You may be denied employment. Your right to possess firearms can be restricted or even terminated.
  • Even if you enter a plea of "no contest" and receive a "withhold of adjudication" on misdemeanor or felony charges, you will never be able to seal or expunge your criminal record for any domestic violence charge. This means that any employer will be able to view your mug shot on the law enforcement website and read embarrassing details about your arrest and prosecution on the clerk of court website. Additionally, private data mining companies like arrests.com or mugshots.com will build pages about you on the internet that display the mug shot and facts about the arrest.
  • The arrest and prosecution can be used against you in a divorce, family law, or child custody hearing. If you are charged in the future with a crime of violence this old charge may be introduced in the new case as proof of your violent nature.

We can help!  Call us!

Domestic Violence Charges are Handled Differently Throughout Central Florida
Some counties assign misdemeanor domestic violence cases into a special domestic violence division where prosecutors with the State Attorney's Office concentrate on nothing but the prosecution of these unique types of cases. In other counties, domestic violence cases are distributed among the sitting judges, but the prosecutor’s office assigns specially designated prosecutors to handle these cases.
Florida Statute 741.2901 sets special rules for prosecutors in domestic violence cases. It provides for "specialized" prosecutors. It requires each state attorney's office to: 

"develop special units or assign prosecutors to specialize in the prosecution of domestic violence cases…. These prosecutors, specializing in domestic violence cases, and their support staff shall receive training in domestic violence issues."
The statute also requires: 

"[t]he state attorney in each circuit shall adopt a pro-prosecution policy for acts of domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28, and an intake policy and procedures coordinated with the clerk of court for violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence. The filing, non-filing, or diversion of criminal charges, and the prosecution of violations of injunctions for protection against domestic violence by the state attorney, shall be determined by these specialized prosecutors over the objection of the victim, if necessary."

This “pro-prosecution policy” has done away with the “good old days” when the wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, or other victim could simply go to the prosecutor’s office and fill out a form to “decline prosecution,” and the case would be dropped. Now these specially incentivized prosecutors encourage the “victim” to come to their office where they get them to repeat the allegation of violence so they can’t change their minds later and they inform the “victim” that since they are not prosecuting the charges, they cannot drop them, Only the prosecutor can do that and the office policy is to not drop them.

You also need an experienced attorney, focused on these unique types of criminal cases to defend you against the charges and to mount an aggressive defense. We can help! Call us!


Potential Penalties for a Domestic Violence Charges in Central Florida
In Florida, the penalties for a domestic violence charge can include:

  • incarceration (jail time or prison time) or a lengthy probation sentence;
  • completion of a Batterers Intervention Program (26-29-week course);
  • completion of community service hours; and
  • "no contact" or "no violent contact" with the victim in the case - a violation of this condition can cause an arrest without bond for violation of probation and a separate charge of Felony Aggravated Stalking.

The best way to minimize these consequences is by seeking aggressive and experienced representation at each stage of the case. We can help!  Call us!


Types of Domestic Violence Cases in Central Florida
Domestic violence offenses include both felonies and misdemeanors. Different types of domestic violence-related charges in Florida include:


Domestic Violence and Domestic Battery Links
The Spring - Domestic Violence Shelter in Hillsborough County - Hillsborough's only certified domestic violence prevention and emergency shelter agency. The Spring provides sanctuary to more than 50,000 abused adults and their children.
National Center for Victims of Crime - Dating Violence - Web page published by the NCVC describing what dating violence is and what to do if you or someone you know is a victim.
American Bar Association - Commission on Domestic Violence - Visit the website for the ABA's Commission on Domestic Violence for on how to protect yourself and your children in an emergency situation involving domestic violence or abuse. The ABA's Commission on Domestic Violence is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Learn more about its work over the past two decades to end domestic violence, and protect those unjustly accused.
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence - The FCADV provides leadership, advocacy, education, training, technical assistance, public policy and development, and support to domestic violence center programs. Find the FCADV's directory of Domestic Violence centers in Florida.


Finding an Attorney for Domestic Violence Charges in Central Florida
If you were arrested for an act of domestic violence in Hillsborough County, FL, then call to speak with an experienced attorney who can discuss your case with you. The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm fights to protect clients charged with domestic battery and other types of domestic violence allegations in Hillsborough County, Polk County, Pasco County, Hernando County and the surrounding areas.
Take the appropriate steps to protect your future, your career, and your family by contacting an experienced attorney for domestic violence battery cases. The decisions you make now may have a lasting impact on your future divorce, family law or child custody hearing.
Learn more about frequently asked questions in domestic violence cases and defending women arrested for domestic violence.
Call The Defense Group at 407-831-1956 to talk about the facts of your case today.

 


 
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