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Domestic Violence Lawyer in Miami
What Are the Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge?
In Florida, if you’re charged with domestic violence, the minimum punishment includes five days of incarceration. You may also be sentenced to time in state prison. There may be probation or community service ordered. A seasoned domestic violence lawyer in Fort Lauderdale can help you understand the potential outcomes in your case.
The degree of the charge can have a big impact on your sentence. Misdemeanors are usually punished with 60 days to one year in jail, but if you are charged with a second degree felony, you could be imprisoned for up to 15 years.
There are other mandatory penalties for domestic violence. The court may impose an injunction or no contact order; this can present issues if you are living with or co-parenting with the victim. You may need to participate in a batterers’ intervention program, go through 12 months of probation, and community service. You may lose your right to concealed carry.
A victim of domestic violence can also petition for an injunction or restraining order. If you violate the restraining order, you can be charged with a first degree misdemeanor, which can result in a sentence of imprisonment for a maximum of a year.
Schedule your free consultation with a Miami domestic violence lawyer by calling (305) 928-1669 if your case is in Miami. If your case is in Broward County, please call 954-737-3004. In all cases you can reach us by filling out a contact form.
Florida Statute § 741.28 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.”
Family or household members include:
- 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
- Persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married
Except for persons who have a child in common, family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Types of Domestic Violence Crimes
While the statutory definition of domestic violence lists some of the most frequent examples of this crime, it is important to note that the statute specifically includes “any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.” A conviction for any kind of domestic violence offense can have severe consequences, including possible imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record that can negatively impact possible employment or professional licensing concerns.
Some of the criminal charges relating to domestic violence that The Hoffman Firm handles include:
- Battery by strangulation
- Aggravated battery on a pregnant female
- Stalking/aggravated stalking
- Domestic assault/battery
- Child abuse/neglect
Orders of Protection in Florida
Criminal charges are not the only area of concern for a person accused of domestic violence. An alleged victim may also seek an injunction for protection against domestic violence, commonly called a protection order or restraining order.
An injunction hearing is a civil matter, completely separate from any criminal case. Both the alleged victim and the alleged offender are allowed to present their sides of the story at protection order hearings, but an alleged victim only needs to prove his or her case by a preponderance of the evidence—a much lower standard than the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt necessary in criminal cases.
Protection orders can carry stiff consequences for alleged offenders, including possible loss of child custody or visitation, loss of access to a shared home, and loss of the right to possess a firearm. Any violation of a protection order carries stiff penalties, including incarceration and fines.
Florida Resources for Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence | Miami-Dade County — Miami-Dade County Community Action and Human Services has a number of programs that offer protection and supportive services to victims of domestic violence and their dependents. The department operates two domestic violence centers or shelters (Safespace North & South), two transitional housing facilities (Inn Transition North & South), three Domestic Violence Outreach Units, and the Coordinated Victims Assistance Center (CVAC). On this website, you can find additional information about these services including contact information.
- Miami-Dade County
- Community Action and Human Services
- Overtown Transit Village
- North Building, 10th Floor
- 701 Northwest 1st Court
- Miami, FL 33136
- (786) 469-4600
Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence (FCADV) — FCADV serves as the professional association for Florida's 42 domestic violence centers, administering the state and federal funding earmarked for these shelters. On this website, you can learn more about FCADV’s centers and programs. You can also find statistics, publications, and other information relating to domestic violence.
Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges
Crimes of domestic violence typically involve disputes between loved ones. When police respond to a call relating to domestic violence, they often feel compelled to place somebody under arrest—even when there might be a complete lack of evidence to support any criminal charges.
In some cases of alleged domestic violence, alleged offenders may be taken into custody as the result of false or exaggerated allegations. Even when an alleged victim says that he or she does not want to press charges, it is the prosecutor handling the case that actually has the power to make such a decision.
If you were arrested for an alleged crime of domestic violence, you need to contact The Hoffman Firm as soon as possible for help protecting your rights and achieving the most favorable outcome to your case with the fewest possible penalties.
Domestic violence allegations arise in the heat of the moment. There may be differences in accounts about what happened. If there are no injuries, it may be possible to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge or possibly even a dismissal.
Some victims are not credible, or their claims may seem to be based on revenge. It may be appropriate to raise a Stand Your Ground defense in some circumstances. Domestic violence charges may arise in connection with someone defending herself or defending others. They could also arise in connection with defending property.
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