Domestic Violence Lawyer in Orlando
In many cases, domestic relationships involve emotional extremes. There are moments of intense love, and moments of intense dislike. Sometimes, those moments of dislike erupt into violence. In Florida, even if the defendant did not physically injure the alleged victim, the defendant can still be convicted of domestic battery. This offense has severe direct and collateral consequences, mostly in the form of a protective order or an adverse effect on a current or future family law proceeding.
At Sercombe Law, our aggressive domestic violence attorneys know something about passion. Our passion for justice and individual rights fuels our dedication to your defense. Regardless of the facts and circumstances, we stand up for your rights in court. At the same time, we also give defendants the tools they need to avoid future run-ins with the law.
Breaking Down a Domestic Battery Charge
As a preliminary matter, the offense must meet the legal definition of “domestic violence” in Florida. In most cases, that’s not a problem. The vast majority of these instances involve legal husbands and wives. But in other cases, the defendant and alleged victim may be indirectly related by blood or marriage (e.g. parent in-law), or they may be current or former dating partners. These relationships are harder to establish in court.
Most domestic battery cases are first-degree misdemeanors. At a minimum, a conviction means one year of probation. This court supervision period usually includes multiple conditions and requirements which are quite restrictive. The judge may also impose jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. If the defendant has a prior domestic battery conviction, inflicted serious bodily injury upon the alleged victim, or some other aggravating circumstances are present, domestic battery may be a felony.
In the wake of a domestic violence charge, many alleged victims seek civil or criminal protective orders. Such orders could direct the defendant to pay support, avoid all contact with certain family members, and surrender firearms. Additionally, any domestic abuse allegations have serious ramifications on divorce or family law proceedings, even if the allegations involved a prior relationship.
Finally, domestic abuse convictions can never be sealed or expunged. A conviction follows you forever.
Criminal Defense Attorneys and Domestic Battery Charges
The alleged victim cannot “drop” the charges. Only the prosecutor can dismiss a criminal case. However, most Orlando domestic violence attorneys reach out to alleged victims to find out if they are determined to pursue the matter. Many times, that’s not the case.
At Sercombe Law, we frequently advise our domestic battery defense clients to seek psychological evaluation and treatment. These self-improvement classes are not an admission of guilt or weakness. They certainly cannot hurt your defense, and they often convince prosecutors to see these allegations in a different light.
There may be some defenses to the crime as well. For example, a few alleged victims fabricate or inflate allegations to obtain leverage in a divorce or other civil proceeding. In other cases, the alleged victim may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, so memory is an issue.
Domestic battery convictions can ruin peoples’ lives. Contact Sercombe Law today to learn how we can help you today.
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