If someone in your family has accused you of domestic violence battery, you need to understand the serious nature of these charges, and take measures to start building your defense immediately.
At Hillsborough Defense, our goal is protect your record, so these charges do not haunt you for the rest of your life. Let us help you with a free initial consultation, so you can understand your rights in a domestic violence case.
What is domestic violence in Florida?
Florida law 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.”
It further defines the family or household member as a spouse, former spouse, anyone related through blood or marriage, and people who are living together as if they are a family. In addition, people who have a child in common together, even if they have never been married, are included in this definition.
Understanding the consequences of domestic violence arrests in Florida
If you have been charged with domestic violence, the state of Florida takes the charges very seriously. Stiff penalties await if you are convicted.
First, after your arrest for domestic violence, you will not be able to post bond until you have seen a judge, which will happen within the first 24 hours of your arrest. If you are allowed bond, it will be with the condition that you cannot have any contact with the alleged victim or the victim’s place of residence, even if this is your home as well.
In every domestic violence case, the State Attorney’s Office will decide whether to prosecute. The State Attorney can decide to proceed with the prosecution, even if the alleged victim does not wish to. If, after a heated argument, your family member makes an accusation, then later rescinds that accusation, you could still face a trial. This is why it’s vital to contact us right away to start building a domestic violence defense to protect your record.
Domestic violence cases are also unique because they cannot be sealed or expunged with a guilty or “no contest” plea. Again, this is a reason that you need a lawyer to guide you through the days ahead. Should you choose to plead “no contest” or guilty, the charges will be visible on your record. This will impact your life for many years after the incident. Should you be convicted later of domestic violence again, your past charges will turn your new one into a felony charge with up to 5 years in prison.
If you are convicted of domestic violence, you will face a number of potential consequences. These include:
- No contact with the victim
- Treatment for alcohol and drug use
- Psychological evaluation and treatment
- Participation in a family violence counseling program.
If the victim suffered bodily harm, jail time is a possibility as well. Jail times for domestic violence charges can be lengthy. Someone with no criminal record who is convicted of Aggravated Domestic Battery can spend up to 15 years in prison.
Don’t face the process alone
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence charges, don’t enter the process ahead without the right help. Especially in a domestic violence case, even a plea that stops the proceedings does not stop the potential penalties. If you head to court alone, you could make a mistake with lifelong consequences and affect your future job prospects, finances, insurance, and relationships.