When a domestic violence incident happens in the home that results in a criminal charge, it is crucial to contact an experienced attorney who can explain the law enforcement and court processes and help navigate the confusion of a criminal charge. A Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer can offer you advice about next steps, including advice on whether or how to return to your accuser and home, and help work toward the best resolution for you and your family. To begin working on your case consult with a defense attorney in Ft. Lauderdale.
Defining Domestic Violence
In Florida, and specifically Fort Lauderdale, domestic violence is defined by statutes in Chapter 741. The definition of domestic violence is in Florida Statute 741.28 which defines domestic violence as any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated 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 family or household member. The term household member is defined in the same statute. A household member includes spouses, former spouses, blood or marriage relative, people residing together as a family or have done so in the past, and parents of a common child regardless of whether they were married in the past.
Defining Family or Household Member
For the purposes of the domestic violence crimes, the state of Florida defines family or household members as:
- Spouses who have lived together in the past or present
- Ex-spouses who have lived together
- Persons related by blood or marriage who have lived together in the past or present
- Persons who have lived together as a family in the past or present
- Parents who have a child in common (whether or not they have ever been married)
Because the relationship between the parties involved is an important aspect of a domestic violence case, it is essential to ensure that the facts are investigated and presented correctly.
Laws related to domestic violence are found in the Florida Statutes Sections 784.011 – 784.085. These statutes include definitions and penalties related to crimes that often come into play in domestic violence cases, including:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual violence
- Dating violence
- False imprisonment
- Violations of Injunctions
When one of these crimes is committed by a family or household member against another member of the family or household and it results in harmful or offensive contact,, kidnapping, injury or death, the crime is considered domestic violence and should be handled with the help of a Ft Lauderdale domestic violence attorney.
Impact of an Accusation
When someone is accused of domestic violence, they should expect a vigorous prosecution. A number of years ago the State Attorney’s Office in Broward County designated a special prosecution unit for domestic violence that handles only domestic violence related cases. In addition, the Fort Lauderdale has a domestic violence unit in the court system with designated domestic violence judges. Someone accused of domestic violence should expect a fairly vigorous prosecution and should also consider hiring a domestic violence defense attorney who has a great deal of experience who has been practicing for a number of years.
Help from a Lawyer
After an arrest and charge with a crime related to domestic violence, contact Ft. Lauderdale attorneys will lead to a free initial consultation and intake meeting to discuss and assess your case. At the first meeting, an attorney will walk through the ins and outs of your case and provide advice on the appropriate steps to take. If you are facing false accusations of violence, it is important to communicate your history with your attorney.
If an injunction has been issued preventing someone from contacting or approaching another person, it is important to follow that injunction to the letter. Doing otherwise could result in increasing legal problems that might aggravate the existing charge. As a Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence attorney works on a case, gathers evidence, and prepares for trial, we will advise you as to whether it would be preferable to negotiate a plea or whether it would be more advantageous to fight the charges in court. We will also discuss the significance of a waiver of prosecution and what effect that may have on the government’s case.
If you have been charged with any domestic violence offense, you likely have many questions and concerns. Experienced attorneys can offer you advice about your next steps, as well as properly represent you in court. Contact a Ft. Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer today to begin building the most robust defense possible.