Domestic violence is one of the most common origins of criminal charges in the state of Florida. Importantly domestic violence in and of itself is not a criminal offense, but a description of a category of offenses. Domestic violence can take the form of numerous types of criminal offenses from battery to assault all the way up to murder. Domestic violence offenses often come with additional baggage due to the emotional nature of the allegations and the close relations of the parties involved. Domestic violence cases are also treated with an increased level of seriousness by the prosecution and the judiciary who have a desire to keep the victims of domestic violence out of harm’s way. If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, it is important for you to retain a skilled Sarasota domestic violence defense lawyer to manage the complex personalities often involved in such cases.
While prosecutors and judges are often looking out for the alleged victims of domestic violence offenses, the system is designed to infringe on the rights of those accused of the crime. Domestic violence defendants are stripped of some of the rights other criminal defendants are entitled to. These idiosyncrasies of the domestic violence system make it all the more necessary to speak to a lawyer who will aggressively defend your rights and fight to present the truth to a biased system.Elements of Domestic Violence Battery
Again, domestic violence battery is not a separate offense but a special classification that requires additional elements. Normal criminal battery is an offense that can be proved by the prosecution by a showing that the defendant touch or struck the victim unlawfully and against their will. There is no requirement for injury to qualify as a criminal battery. Battery is a criminal offense with many potential defenses including self defense or defense of others.
A battery offense becomes a domestic violence issue depending on the relationship between the victim and the defendant. In order to qualify as domestic violence, the violent crime must take place between two or more “family or household members.” The Florida legislature has defined a household member as “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.”
If the domestic violence battery is alleged, there are additional procedures that police must follow that impose increased burdens on those accused of the offense. First, police are required to make an arrest of one or both people involved when domestic violence is claimed. If they do not make an arrest, they must prepare a detailed report which justifies the decision. This results in less intensive investigations and police siding with one party over another instead of conducting a fair investigation. Because of this process, the arrestee will often feel treated unfairly. If you are arrested for domestic violence battery, a Sarasota domestic violence defense lawyer can conduct an investigation and present evidence on your behalf.
Additionally, defendants arrested for domestic violence battery are not entitled to immediately receive a bond. Often, they will be required to spend the night in jail before being brought before a judge who will enter a no contact order, typically bar the defendant from the location of the incident, and set a bond. And if convicted of domestic violence battery, you can be sentenced to mandatory probation or jail under some circumstances.Speak With Our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law are prepared to put forward the best defense for your case. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at 941.462.1789.