If you’ve been charged with a crime of Domestic Violence, you need the immediate assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. The State of Florida has a “pro-prosecution” philosophy when it comes to crimes of Domestic Violence.
Domestic Violence cases are defined in Florida Statute 741.28 as:
“Domestic Violence” means any assault, 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 who is or was residing in the same single dwelling unit.
“Family or Household Member” means spouses, former spouses, adults 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, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have resided together at any time.
What does this mean for you? For starters, it is worth knowing that your bond on a domestic violence case will be set by the Judge at your “first appearance” or “advisory hearing.” Having an experienced attorney at this hearing can help you obtain a reasonable bond or a “release on your own recognizance” (ROR). If you do bond out of jail, you will probably be given a “no contact” order with the alleged victim in the case. This “no contact” order will remain as a condition of your bond or ROR until an appropriate motion is filed on your behalf and heard by the judge. The only person that can remove a “no contact” order is the judge!
When law enforcement responds to the scene of a domestic violence incident, they are trained to determine which person is the “primary aggressor.” Usually, that person is arrested. Oftentimes, the alleged victim does not want law enforcement to arrest this person.
When charged with a crime of domestic violence, immediate action is necessary. The attorneys at Blake & Dorsten, P.A. can attend your “first appearance” or “advisory hearing” to help you obtain a reasonable bond or ROR. It can also help you get a “no contact” order removed, thereby allowing you to return to your home.
If the alleged victim does not want you prosecuted, Blake & Dorsten, P.A. can file the appropriate paperwork and have early contact with the assigned Assistant State Attorney. Sometimes, early contact with the State Attorney’s Office can lead to your domestic violence charge being dropped, even before any criminal charges are ever filed. This can be extremely important down the road if you wish to have your criminal record sealed or expunged.
Even if criminal charges are filed against you, an experienced criminal trial attorney can try to negotiate a reduction to a lesser charge that would allow you to have your criminal record sealed or expunged. In some cases, you may qualify for a domestic violence diversion program in which your domestic violence charge will be dismissed upon your successful completion. However, this cannot happen unless you contact your attorney immediately.
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