Domestic Abuse Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The legal implications of a domestic abuse charge can come with significant penalties that will impact your immediate life and your future. Since Florida is a zero-tolerance state for anyone charged with domestic abuse or domestic battery, you will need the help of a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer to help you navigate the legal consequences of such a charge.
The other party who may need legal help are the victims of domestic abuse. One of the hardest things a victim will ever do in their lifetime is to stand up to their abuser in a courtroom. Sadly, many won’t get to that legal platform since victims often fail to report their abusive situations. If you need help bringing a case against an abusive partner or person in your life, please give the office of Gabriela C. Novo a call to discuss your legal options. This is free, entirely confidential, and it doesn’t mean that you have to pursue a case, but you should know your legal rights.
Florida Domestic Abuse Statistics
In 2016, Florida law enforcement reported responding to over 105,000 domestic abuse calls which resulted in more than 63,000 arrests. Domestic abuse is happening to vulnerable populations and children which can have a devastating impact on both.
We are going to discuss some of the legal ramifications involved in these kinds of cases, and why working with a domestic abuse lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will be crucial to your situation.
Definition of Domestic Abuse and Violence in Florida
Florida code defines domestic abuse, as violence committed against a family member (or resident) within a dwelling. Victims are typically spouses, children, cohabitation relationships, ex-relationships, unmarried co-parents, and other family members. The laws define the act of abuse or violence as assault, battery, aggravated assault or battery, sexual assault or battery, stalking or aggravated stalking, and kidnapping. How a person is charged with these crimes depends on the circumstances of the case.
The difference between a criminal charge and an aggravated criminal charge comes down to whether or not the accused person used some sort of weapon in the commission of the crime. Also, taken into consideration is the physical damage they caused as a result of the abuse. For example, if someone hit another person with their hand, versus hitting them with an item like a bat. The use of a weapon typically has a more significant impact on someone physically and creates an even higher level of emotional fear and trauma. Aggravated charges carry higher penalties and longer prison sentences.
It should be stated as well, that in Florida, not all abuse comes in the form of one person hitting another person. Other types of abuse include sexual violence, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, and economic abuse.
Prosecuting Domestic Abuse in Florida
Cases for domestic abuse will take place in either the criminal or civil courts. The designation of which court will depend on the circumstances of the event. Your Fort Lauderdale domestic abuse attorney will be able to explain how best to proceed with your particular case. Here is a better look at domestic abuse charges and penalties.
Felony and/or Aggravated Battery
Felony battery charges will be brought against a person who has previously committed a battery and was convicted. Felony battery charges can also be filed based on the degree of injury involved. This would be the case, even if those convictions were based on misdemeanors. Injuries after this sort of event will likely impact the severity of the sentencing of the person accused and convicted. In Florida, when you are convicted of a crime, you are given a set of points. Prosecutors will use these points (as determined by law) to determine the process of the sentencing. Every previous point will be taken into consideration when sentencing individuals.
Every domestic abuse case has a unique set of events. We encourage you to speak with an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Fort Lauderdale to understand what kind of complications or charges you may be faced with.
Options for Those Accused of Domestic Abuse or Violence
There may be options to have your charges mitigated or dropped. This depends on the facts of your case. Early intervention with a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence law firm can be the difference between time served or time dropped. Arrests don’t have to lead to convictions, and if your lawyer can work with the plaintiff’s lawyer or the state’s attorney before charges are brought, you may have options. Many factors will be considered in the time between arrest and potential charges. This can include the extent of injuries, alcohol or drug factors and the position of the victim.
Another option might be an intervention program, known as the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, (DVIP). You and your lawyer will go over your case to determine whether or not you qualify for this program, which will require you to apply for it. If successful, you have a good chance that the charges for domestic violence will be dismissed.
Plea Deals in Domestic Abuse Cases
A successful domestic violence attorney will seek for ways to negotiate with the prosecutor of your case. This will be based on the facts of what happened during the event, but if there is room for a plea deal, an adept attorney will find it. Before you rely on Google with a “domestic abuse attorney near me in Fort Lauderdale” search, consider understanding the experience of the lawyer and their track record or connections.
Your fast action may be the difference between a lengthy criminal conviction and that of a deal or a dismissal of the charges. That will all depend on if you hire a qualified Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney, or hope that an appointed state defense attorney will work hard in your favor. We encourage you to call and connect with us online so we can learn more about your case. We can move quickly to help you get the best possible outcome.