Fort Lauderdale law does not precisely define spousal abuse as a criminal offense. Domestic violence and spousal abuse are used in a somewhat similar fashion. Florida and Ft Lauderdale use the terminology of domestic violence. Underneath that umbrella, there are specific instances involving spouses.
As far as criminal cases are concerned, individuals are not charged with spousal abuse, they are charged with domestic violence or battery. There is a degree of stigma associated with these particular cases. An allegation of domestic violence can have a negative impact on any other proceeding involving family law such as the dissolution of a marriage or child custody issues.
It is an offense that has long-term and wide-ranging consequences many times down the road if not handled correctly, which is why it is instrumental that you get in contact with a Ft. Lauderdale spousal abuse lawyer. An experienced domestic violence attorney will have worked on spousal abuse cases before and can understand what kind of defense will work the best for you.
Consequences of Being Charged With Abuse
The consequences of an accusation of spousal abuse depend on the allegations. Any individual accused of spousal abuse or domestic violence can be subject to the potential penalties of the crime alleged. For example, a domestic violence situation involving a simple battery is a misdemeanor. The person is subject to the penalties associated with that offense.
However, there is minimum mandatory sentencing for domestic violence cases. For example, someone charged with domestic violence battery, at a minimum, is placed on probation and ordered to attend domestic violence counseling or battery investigation. In a case where an individual is accused of domestic violence battery and there is proof of a physical injury, the charge carries a minimum mandatory sentence of five days in the county jail.
When the allegations are of a more serious nature such as a felony offense like strangulation or aggravated battery, the potential penalties are equivalent to the crime being alleged or prosecuted. For example, an allegation of strangulation is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison.
What Someone Accused of Spousal Abuse Can Expect
When someone is accused of spousal abuse in Fort Lauderdale, they can expect law enforcement to become involved in the case and investigate the allegation. Compared to other types of crimes or investigations, it is relatively easy to face an arrest for domestic violence or for spousal abuse.
A person should expect a high degree of scrutiny from the Ft Lauderdale Police Department for an allegation of domestic violence. Once law enforcement completes their investigation, the case is turned over to the State Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution. The person should expect a similar degree of scrutiny and vigilance for any investigation done by the State Attorney’s Office. A Ft. Lauderdale spousal abuse lawyer can be equally vigilant in defense of their client.
Waivers of Prosecution
The State Attorney’s Office takes allegations of spousal abuse and domestic violence quite seriously. They have a pro-prosecution approach. They do take into account waivers of prosecution but those are non-binding. That means the decision to prosecute rests with the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale and not the complainant or the alleged victim. The State Attorney’s Office must go forward with the prosecution in good faith when they believe a crime was committed; even though an alleged victim might not want them to pursue the charges.
A waiver of prosecution can be persuasive in informing the State Attorney’s Office of the alleged victim’s position regarding the prosecution. However, it is non-binding and the decision to prosecute rests with the State Attorney’s Office. They have a pro-prosecution policy for domestic violence cases or spousal abuse cases in Fort Lauderdale.
Importance of Consulting a Spousal Abuse Lawyer
Spouses who are alleged victims of abuse in Florida are considered the alleged victims of domestic violence. Spousal abuse in Florida is anything that constitutes domestic violence between spouses. There are many long-ranging impacts for facing a domestic violence or a spousal abuse-related charge. Domestic violence cases cannot be sealed or removed from an individual’s record even when the adjudication is withheld.
The large degree of stigma associated with these types of cases along with the manner in which they are prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office in Fort Lauderdale almost mandates that an individual must have experienced and intelligent representation in a domestic violence case. If you have been charged with spousal abuse, seek the services of a Ft. Lauderdale spousal abuse lawyer who can defend you against these charges.