Defenses to Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence has become a top priority in our criminal justice system. Where at one time law enforcement responded to domestic disturbances as peace keepers who often let off individuals with warnings, increasing focus on domestic abuse has led to policies that often require officers to make an arrest, particularly when they notice physical signs of battery. Under Florida law, domestic battery is defined as the intentional touching or harming of a member of one’s family or household, including spouses, siblings, and others in domestic relationships.
When an arrest is made and charges of domestic battery are brought against a defendant, it can create a number of consequences that impact nearly all facets of a person’s personal and professional life, as well as their future. In fact, domestic battery convictions commonly result in penalties that exceed standard battery charges, and may include:
- Terms of imprisonment, including mandatory jail sentences
- Fines and fees
- Court-ordered domestic violence classes
- Loss of civil rights, including the right to own a firearm
- No contact court orders
- Immigration or professional repercussions
Due to the complex nature of domestic violence charges, public sentiment, and government protocol, arrests are not unusual. You are not alone if you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence. Most importantly, you also have rights and options for defending yourself against the government’s version of the facts in charges made against you. After all, most domestic violence arrests are made without a law enforcement officer witnessing the crime itself, which means the government will construct a narrative only through the use of available evidence, much of which can be carefully reviewed and challenged.
Because every criminal case and allegation is unique, defense strategies should always be tailored to the unique facts and circumstances involved. When reviewing our client’s cases, our legal team pays particular attention to the nature of the allegations, law enforcement conduct, and all facts involved in the government’s complaint. By leveraging our attorneys’ experience as former Florida prosecutors who have handled domestic violence cases from the “other side,” we are able to effectively determine the most appropriate defense strategy to mitigate charges and penalties, or disprove allegations entirely in order to secure a case dismissal.
Depending on the nature of your case, possible defense strategies may focus on:
- Factual discrepancies about the incident (what happened, when, how, and why)
- The absence of injuries or questionable injuries and how they may have been sustained
- Allegations not corroborated by physical evidence or other forms of evidence
- The nature of a relationship between alleged victims and defendants (false accusations)
- Self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property
By preparing every case as if it were headed to trial, our legal team provides further support in ensuring that the best possible resolution can be reached, either through negotiations with prosecutors, pretrial motions, or aggressive litigation. We can also work with clients to address other related issues, including no contact orders. Our goal is always focused on helping our client secure the best possible resolution given the circumstances, and to help them avoid penalties that can greatly hinder their rights, freedoms, and futures.
If you have questions regarding a domestic battery charge or any other domestic violence offense in Fort Lauderdale or any of the surrounding communities of South Florida, do not wait to make the most important call you can. Our criminal defense attorneys at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. are available 24/7 to help. Contact us today for a FREE consultation.