If you have been arrested for domestic violence, call or email us today for your free initial consultation. Being charged with or convicted of domestic violence is extremely harmful to your reputation.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is an act like stalking, battery, and false imprisonment committed by one member of a household against another, by former love interests, or your spouse – even if you are now divorced. A child can batter a parent and, if they reside in the same home, it will likely be considered domestic violence. Most cases of domestic violence involve a battery of a current or former lover or spouse. Domestic violence always involves people who live or used to live together, with the exception of a couple who have a child together but have never lived together. Florida laws have become tougher as domestic violence awareness campaigns have taken hold. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, our Tampa domestic violence lawyers are prepared to provide you with an experienced and bold defense.
Our domestic violence practice areas include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual violence
- Domestic Assault
- Aggravated Assault
- Spousal Abuse
- Domestic Battery
- Aggravated Stalking
- Violating a Restraining Order
- Child Abuse
- Child Endangerment
- Child Abduction
- All Other Domestic Violence Crimes
Florida has a mandatory arrest provision in its domestic violence legislation. According to the law, police officers who are called to a location to intervene in a domestic dispute must arrest at least one of the people involved. Typically, they will arrest the person who appears, based on their after-the-fact assessment, to have been the aggressor or the most violent. To make this determination, they will examine the parties’ physical and emotional states. The law enforcement officers’ assessment may include examining bleeding or other injuries, taking note of crying or anger, and looking at damage to clothing to determine who the primary aggressor in the situation was. Unfortunately, since the law enforcement officials could not be present at the time of the issue, they do not always make the correct decision about which person to arrest. If you are the person arrested, you will likely face criminal domestic violence charges – sometimes even if your spouse or the other party does not want to press charges.
For the person who is arrested, there are many problems that emanate from the arrest. You may have to post a costly bond or you may miss days at your job because you had to go to court or were still behind bars. Additionally, you may not be allowed back into your home and your reputation will suffer as friends and neighbors hear about your arrest.
No Contact Orders and Injunctions
The judge may enter a no-contact order against you, which means that you cannot go near or contact the specified members of your household. For instance, if you are accused of hitting your wife, the judge will usually enter a no-contact order that prevents you from going into the home you share or otherwise contacting her. Of course, this may also mean that you cannot get in touch with your children.
Your spouse, romantic interest, or another person who has accused you of domestic violence may also seek an injunction against you, which is a civil (not criminal) remedy. An injunction is often called a restraining order and operates in a way very similar to a no-contact order.
If a judge has entered a no-contact order or an injunction against you, it is imperative that you obey – no matter how unfair it seems to you. If you do not obey, the person who obtained the order may notify authorities and you will be arrested again. You will also face additional charges for violating the no-contact order. Even if your former spouse asks you to come back or indicates that he or she wants to see you, do not violate the terms of the order.
Information About Domestic Violence
According to the state of Florida, the most common type of domestic violence is simple assault, comprising about 77 percent of all domestic violence cases. Although domestic violence is often portrayed as men beating women, that is not always the situation. About a quarter of the domestic violence assault arrests were female. Assault is “an intentional, unlawful threat by word or acts to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent. ” (Fla. Stat. 784.011) That means that the victim is afraid, due to the actions of the aggressor, that he or she will be subjected to violence.
We understand the complexity of domestic violence accusations. They often devolve into he said-she said situations and, with a solid defense, the prosecution may have a difficult time proving domestic violence has occurred when there are two conflicting stories. Sometimes, there are motives for making false accusations of domestic violence, like a pending divorce or a child custody dispute. Our Tampa domestic violence defense lawyers will dig deep to understand the details of your case and to mount an aggressive defense.
Experienced Tampa Domestic Violence Lawyers
Our Tampa criminal defense attorneys are experienced in all aspects of domestic violence, from issues surrounding your arrest to no-contact orders to trials with a judge or jury.