What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Charges in Florida?
Family Law

What You Need to Know About Domestic Violence Charges in Florida?

Under Florida statutes 741.28-741.31, domestic violence includes assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault or battery, stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a household or family member.

Regardless of a conviction, these charges can negatively affect you. Your reputation can be tarnished in addition to possibly serving time and having a permanent criminal record. It isn’t difficult to see why you’d want to avoid such charges at all costs.

However, if you’ve already been charged or are expecting domestic violence charges, hire an attorney immediately. A legal professional with an excellent grasp of Florida domestic violence lawsis a known asset. Contact an attorney today for a case evaluation. There could be legal options available to avoid further trouble. 


How Florida Prosecutes Domestic Violence

It’s important to know a victim does not need to press charges in domestic violence cases. The state will charge you. So even in cases where an alleged victim declines to press charges, the state can still prosecute. This is because Florida’s jurisprudence deems domestic violence to be a crime against the state, and not merely a crime against individuals. 

Florida law also allows police officers to make domestic violence arrests without allegations. They only need probable cause to do so. From there, it’s up to the state to decide whether or not to pursue the charges. Cases are generally weak without a cooperating witness or allegations, but that doesn’t stop the state from trying its luck.

What Are the Legal Penalties for Domestic Violence in Florida?

A domestic violence conviction could lead to serious consequences. While judges have some discretion, sentences are rarely suspended or ruled more lenient than the mandatory minimum. In most cases, you’ll at least face probation or a fine. Generally speaking, the more severe the charges, the more harsh the sentencing guidelines. 

Convictions can also carry additional penalties, like losing the right to bear arms. In some cases, you can’t have your criminal record expunged or sealed. If children were found to have been endangered, loss of parental rights could result from the charges, including being prohibited from entering a house that you own. These are only a few of the ways charges can hurt you.

Additional Ways Domestic Violence Charges in Florida Affect You

Being charged with domestic violence is known to cause significant social and societal backlash. You may be acquitted of domestic violence charges in a court of law, but the court of public opinion does not rest. This can lead to several issues that can directly affect your quality of life on many levels. Some examples include: 

  • Strained relationships
  • Public persecution
  • Loss of employment opportunities
  • Damaged reputation

Unfortunately, it’s normal to face some or all of these consequences that emerge in the wake of domestic violence charges. These things can amount to significant challenges to your health and well-being. Feelings of intense stress and social isolation can present serious challenges to mental and emotional health. 

If You’re Charged With Domestic Violence, Help Is Available

Domestic violence charges don’t have to become convictions. To protect your rights and your freedom, hire a reputable, experienced attorney specializing in domestic violence. Their professional skills and insight can empower you to avoid an unnecessary conviction.

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