Florida's Domestic Violence Laws
Domestic violence legislation stipulates what the rules are for penalizing individuals who cause psychological or physical injury to other people who are either family members or intimate partners in a relationship. Additionally, it deals with all the civil protections offered to victims of that abuse.
Convictions for domestic violence in most countries require that both the defendant's behavior and relationship to the victim satisfy certain criteria. Statutory terms which define the specifics of the offense vary from state to state, but normally, both the behavior and the connection have broad definitions.
For instance, a normal state statute may prohibit any behavior which causes injury to the victim or poses a threat of injury that puts them in immediate risk, or in realistic fear for their physical safety. Whether that behavior forms the foundation for a misdemeanor or felony will be dependent on the injury's severity. In regard to which types of connections between the defendant and the victim meet the requirements, any present or past family, or intimate relationship will often qualify.
Step one after being accused of domestic violence in Florida would be to comply with the orders of the court. The veracity of the allegations does not matter, the mere possibility that they are true is a serious problem. You are facing criminal charges and a likely civil restraining order to prevent any contact with the accuser. Violating this will lead to jail time and will make any defense against the charge difficult.
A no-contact order prohibits any physical contact between the parties involved. Indirect contact must also be avoided. This will mean zero phone calls, text messages, emails and social media contacts, as well as any communication via a mutual acquaintance or other third party. The safest strategy would be to ignore the accuser entirely and contact a lawyer experienced in domestic violence for assistance.
Legal Options After an Arrest
After contacting a lawyer and reviewing the relevant details, a suspect charged with domestic violence should fully comprehend the seriousness of their position.
Deciding which route to pursue is not a simple matter. On one hand, getting an acquittal through trial means you walk away a free person, vindicated in the eyes of law. On the flip side, plea bargaining eliminates the uncertainty of trial, and permits the defendant to avoid the unpleasant effects of a potential guilty sentence. While a skilled Florida attorney will be able to offer insight on options, the choice to plead or proceed to trial rests squarely with the suspect.
Obviously, the strength of evidence against the defendant plays a critical part. Recorded statements from the accuser will also be an important aspect to consider. The prosecution can proceed even when an accuser changes their mind or decides they no longer wish to press charges. Medical assessments, video surveillance, and also the testimony of law enforcement also play significant roles in the result of a trial.
Pursuing Civil Remedies
Along with calling the authorities promptly and cooperating with the prosecution, victims can pursue civil actions. As covered earlier, the most typical form of civil action is referred to as a restraining order. Restraining orders are readily available for victims of abuse in all states. They may be obtained free of charge.
Civil actions may also require the abuser to move from their family home and pay spousal or child support. The judge may include provisions requiring the abuser to surrender firearms, go through substance abuse counselling, and much more. Restraining orders can be obtained in a crisis short-term or on a long-term basis.