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Domestic Violence

Domestic Abuse

Laws against domestic abuse are very strict and rightfully so. No one should be able to get away with harming another individual whether it is a family member or someone else. Unfortunately some try to use domestic abuse laws in order to gain an advantage in such matters such as divorce or child custody hearings

  • What are possible penalties for being found guilty of breaking domestic abuse laws?
  • How will a prosecutor decide how they are going to proceed with prosecuting the defendant on trial?
  • What actions will a criminal lawyer take to defend their client against charges of domestic abuse?
  • Is it possible to have domestic abuse charges/penalties reduced or dropped through classes, therapy or other alternative means?

Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic abuse as any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravating stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a family or household member by another who is or has resided in the same dwelling unit.

If you or someone you know is found guilty of charges of domestic abuse in Miami, Florida the penalties that are received can have consequences that are capable of lasting a lifetime. In order to avoid being found guilty of violating domestic abuse laws the experience, guidance and support of a Miami, Florida attorney is going to be needed. An attorney who has knowledge of all the domestic abuse laws will without a doubt be a defendant’s biggest asset.

The severity of the penalties depends on the specific domestic abuse laws that were broken and the charges a defendant is fighting. If convicted for charges for domestic abuse any of the following can be given to the guilty as penalties:

  • No contact aloud with the victim or your children
  • Not bing permitted into your place of residence
  • Counseling/anger management classes
  • Community service
  • A permanent criminal record

The Miami, Florida prosecution takes the domestic abuse laws very seriously. With that said, it is also important to know that defending someone who has been charged with breaking domestic abuse laws is not always easy. The state prosecution will decide how they are going to move forward with their case according to the following:

  • What was the severity of the domestic violence laws that were broken?
  • Did the alleged victim in the case have any injuries and if they did how serious were they?
  • What does the alleged victim hope to get out of the case?
  • What is the past criminal record of the defendant on trial?

In turn a defendants lawyer will try to build a defense for their client accused of breaking domestic abuse laws by investigating the following:

  • Does the alleged victim have any reason to lie about the charges for domestic abuse?
  • Is the alleged victim merely trying to gain an advantage for a divorce that they are going through? Are they trying to gain an advantage in a child custody hearing?
  • Does the alleged victim have a past criminal record of his or her own?
  • Did the defendant act in self-defense?
  • Were there any witnesses that saw how the events that ultimately led to domestic abuse laws being broken?

One course of action that an attorney may take is to try to get their client to be eligible for a domestic violence intervention diversion program. This type of program is only available for individuals who are first time offenders of violating laws against domestic abuse. The program usually lasts between 6 months and one year depending on the specific case. If the course is completed successfully there is a possibility that charges for domestic abuse will be dismissed and going to trial will not be necessary.

Domestic abuse laws can be very complicated. Making decisions how to proceed when being charged with violating laws against domestic abuse without the help of criminal defense attorney is a serious mistake. Charges for domestic abuse need to be taken extremely serious as the penalties can affect a person for life. The sooner that a criminal defense attorney is hired the better chance a defendant has to have charges for domestic abuse reduced or possibly dropped all together.

Yale Galanter

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