In Florida, there is a criminal process that must be followed in all cases – including domestic violence. If you are accused of domestic violence, a state attorney may charge you with an accusation of crime using one of two ways:
- Filing and information, or
- Impaneling a grand jury to return a true bill.
What is important to realize is that if you are arrested, law enforcement is not in charge of the criminal process. They arrest you for the alleged crime, but they cannot charge you with the crime. Instead, the state attorney or assistants must make charges in criminal cases.
The Accusatory Process
Domestic violence cases are very complex. It will start with a complaint – whether it is from a spouse or domestic partner – to the local police. The police will investigate and may bring you in for questioning. It is important that, at this stage, you contact a criminal defense attorney. An attorney can ensure that you do not self-incriminate during the questioning process. He or she can also ensure that you are not being accused of a crime which you did not commit. Sometimes, allegations of domestic violence come about out of spite; even so, there is often limited evidence to prove the case other than the alleged victim’s testimony.
After you have been arraigned for domestic violence, you will be entitled to a reasonable bond. This amount is set by the court. Generally, you will need to post bond with the court, where the bond is a binding agreement to pay money if you do not appear for your scheduled court date. Bonds can be cash or a surety – depending on the bond total and the judge’s discretion. Surety bonds require the assistance of a bondsman. This individual will file a bond with the court on your behalf, which guarantees your appearance. If you are arrested for additional offenses after the bond, your original bond can be revoked without notice.
After your first appearance, your attorney will assist you with the bond process and can advise you as to which method is best, depending on the charges and bond amount set by the court.
Case Filing Decision
The state’s attorney office will review the case filing package on your case, typically within two weeks of your arrest. If you are already in custody for the domestic violence case, then they may make their decision within 21 days. If you are not in custody, the actual decision will take 30 days to finalize. Once the state has enough information, the Clerk’s Office will post the charges; you will then be notified of your arraignment date.
Defending Your Case
Domestic violence cases are very complex. Additionally, there are many emotions involved in these types of cases. It is important that you have a criminal defense team by your side that understands these cases, as well as the process in which you will be charged. Contact The Armstrong Law Group, P.A. today regarding your domestic violence arrest. You can schedule a consultation 24 hours a day by calling 904-356-8618 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.Read More
Domestic violence is a serious accusation and can include assault, stalking, battery, and even harassment that has been perpetrated by someone against a family member or household member – not necessarily husband and wife, which most people think of when they hear the term domestic violence. Florida has statutes that define domestic violence and even outline specific punishments for those convicted of these heinous offenses. If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, it is important that you hire an attorney to represent your case.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Accusations
If you are charged with domestic violence, you will need a criminal defense attorney to establish a strategy that accomplishes one of two things:
- Your attorney may attempt to show that the prosecution has not and cannot prove their case – meaning they cannot convince a judge or jury beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
- Your attorney may offer a defense that absolves you of your actions.
Many domestic violence cases turn into he-said-she-said situations, meaning it could be your word against that of an alleged victim – and you may have difficulty proving your innocence when someone blatantly accuses you of harming them. That being said, just because someone accuses you of domestic violence does not mean you will automatically be convicted. The prosecution still must establish a case strong enough to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty.
Tactics Used in a Defense Strategy
Your defense strategy will depend on the circumstances of your particular case. Some things your defense attorney may consider include:
- If the victim was even under the protected status class of individuals for domestic violence. For example, a coworker who you have no relationship with, who lives in another residence, cannot accuse you of domestic violence.
- Did the alleged assault, stalking, or harassment actually occur? Your attorney may be able to prove that the victim fabricated his or her story via physical evidence.
- Was it actually you that committed the crime? Sometimes, you may be falsely accused for the actions of another person. Your attorney can work to prove that, while the victim was assaulted, you were not the actual assailant.
- The violence was due to self-defense. There are instances where someone can be accused of domestic violence, but their actions were done in self-defense, because the real instigator of the crime was the victim. For example, an ex-girlfriend attacks you with a knife and attempts to harm you. You defend yourself by hitting and disarming her. When first responders arrive, she tells them that you attacked her – without mentioning she attacked you first with a knife. In this instance, your attorney would then show evidence that she was the aggressor, and you were acting in self-defense.
Speak with an Attorney
If you have been arrested or you are being questioned for domestic violence, it is important that you speak with an attorney. Domestic violence charges carry harsh penalties; therefore, you need an attorney by your side to protect your rights. Speak with an attorney today at The Armstrong Law Group, P.A. by calling 904-356-8618 or by filling out an online contact form.Read More
When emotional confrontations get out of control, the situation can turn violent. Oftentimes these situations can involve domestic partners, elderly persons, children or other family members. When the situation has escalated to the point where you’ve committed an assault against another individual or you’ve been charged with an assault against another person inside the home, you need an attorney who will help you through this legal battle.
The Challenges of Florida Domestic Violence Laws
When you find yourself on the other side of the law with domestic violence charges, the state of Florida’s legal system can be difficult to navigate. As a result, charges could remain on your record for a long time. This situation is likely to occur if substantial evidence has been discovered and your case has been prosecuted. However, if there are discrepancies in your case that could assist in the dismissal of charges brought against you, a domestic violence attorney can represent you to ensure that your case is properly reviewed.
How a Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help You
You’re probably wondering how a domestic lawyer can help you clear your record particularly if you’ve been found guilty of assault and battery. You may have tried to file a motion to have your case reviewed again but haven’t been successful on your own. Despite these challenges, you can acquire legal assistance from a domestic violence attorney who is familiar with the litigation process of domestic violence cases. Many clients have relied on the expertise of criminal defense attorney Tim Armstrong in these areas:
- Array/fighting – This type of violence is reviewed according to municipality code or county laws.
- Child abuse – This area of abuse relates to a child’s physical and mental injuries inflicted by an adult.
- Domestic battery – This type of domestic violence is a serious crime under Florida’s law.
- Simple battery – This area of domestic violence pertains to the intentional and harming of another person.
- Spousal abuse – This type of abuse can occur between two parties and needs to be thoroughly evaluated.
Call for Legal Help Today
When you’re ready to receive the type of legal help you need, contact Timothy Armstrong, P. A. Call (904) 356-8618 or complete a contact form and we will be in touch within 24 hours.Read More