Domestic violence charges can have a damaging impact on a person’s life. An individual might find themselves alienated from their family and friends. The social stigma can also tarnish someone’s name within their community. An individual might also find it more difficult to secure housing and employment. Even if the person charged with domestic violence is not from the Fort Lauderdale area, it is to their benefit to hire a local defense lawyer.
Rules and customs change from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and an individual should have an attorney representing them who has full knowledge of those local domestic violence practices and will have experience defending domestic violence charges in Ft Lauderdale.
Essential Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases
When it comes to defending domestic violence charges in FT Lauderdale, and any case in general, the more information an individual can give their attorney, the better the defense can be. However trivial the individual might think a piece of information is, the attorney can decide as to whether it is helpful or not. That includes anything that leads to a viable defense in a case such as injuries sustained by the other party, emails threatening violence, and text messages threatening violence or wrongdoing.
Many of these cases involve individuals trying to set up the other person. They may threaten to get a person in trouble or make their life miserable. Anything of that nature can show a motive as to why an individual would falsely claim that they were a victim of domestic violence is most helpful.
When defending domestic violence charges in Fort Lauderdale, a common defense in domestic violence cases is a lack of evidence. An allegation of domestic violence battery does not even require a physical injury. The technical definition of misdemeanor battery is harmful or offensive touching.
Evidence of an actual injury would certainly help the prosecutor’s case but it is not required. Lack of evidence can be a defense because misdemeanor simple battery does not require physical injury and therefore the case may be lacking in any physical evidence to corroborate the alleged victim’s version of events. For example, when somebody claims that they were pushed or shoved, one would not expect to see any physical evidence of those allegations. When a person does not have any physical evidence, the case is easier to defend.
Self-defense is also a common defense to many allegations of domestic violence and is usually argued in court (unless it is a clear-cut case of self-defense as looked upon by law enforcement at the time of the initial allegation). An individual is entitled to use non-deadly force against an individual if they believe such force was necessary to defend against the imminent use of unlawful force. There are often situations where the person who initially appears to be the alleged victim winds up being the aggressor.
Self-defense to a domestic violence charge is the same as any other charge. A person is justified in using non-deadly force where a person reasonably believes that the conduct is necessary to defend against another’s imminent use of unlawful force.
Defense of Others
Defense of others is much the same as if the person is defending themselves. A person may be justified in using non-deadly force in defense of others. An individual is justified in using non-deadly force and has no duty to retreat if they reasonably believe that such conduct is necessary to defend another person against another’s imminent use of unlawful force.
Benefits of an Attorney
Although domestic violence cases are governed by state statutes, each jurisdiction handles their cases differently. Prosecutors and judges have some degree of discretion with respect to how they handle most cases and specifically, domestic violence cases. When attorneys do not know the local procedures and customs, they have a hard time adequately representing their clients. For example, they may not know if there are diversion programs available for first-time offenders. These programs vary from county to county and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When the programs are offered, the rules are different depending on the jurisdiction.
A local domestic violence attorney knows whether prosecutors are amenable to other resolutions other than probation and counseling. An experienced domestic violence defense attorney will know which prosecutors are willing to change the charge to avoid the minimum mandatory penalties for domestic violence.
Local attorneys also understand how the judges react to certain fact patterns and their sentencing tendencies. When gathering evidence, being familiar with local law enforcement procedures also helps the attorney easily obtain police records, phone records, 911 calls, and things of that nature. That can be beneficial to an individual charged with domestic violence in Fort Lauderdale. Most importantly, an experienced lawyer will have experience defending domestic violence charges in Fort Lauderdale and can use defense strategies that best suit your case.