A criminal allegation that involves the use of violence against another party is always a serious matter. However, the stakes are much higher if you face allegations of domestic violence.
In addition to criminal penalties, domestic violence convictions may force you to adhere to a new protective order and serve a mandatory jail sentence. These orders will require the two parties to cease all contact and may affect your job, housing, and even the care of your children.
A Hollywood domestic violence Lawyer could help defend you against allegations of domestic violence. The experienced criminal defense Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could work with defendants to explain what constitutes domestic violence, how to fight against the allegations in court, and the steps to take to combat the imposition of restrictive protective orders.
When is a Criminal Allegation Considered Family Violence?
There is no formal charge of domestic violence in Florida. Instead, domestic violence is a term used to describe an alleged criminal act committed against certain alleged victims. According to Florida Statute §741.28, offenses that may lead to allegations of domestic violence include any criminal offense that results in the injury or death of a family or household member, such as:
- Sexual battery
Family or household members are defined as spouses, former spouses, people with a child in common, people related by blood or marriage, and those who have lived together as a family. In this way, a Court may mark an offense as domestic violence even if the two parties are not related. A Hollywood domestic violence lawyer could explain the law and how it may affect your case.
Penalties for a Domestic Violence Conviction
Charges for a domestic violence incident must be based on an established criminal statute. Therefore, a conviction will typically lead to the punishment attached to the specific underlying offense. However, Florida law has created additional punishments for any criminal offense that the Court classifies as domestic violence.
According to Florida Statute §741.283, anyone found guilty of a first-offense domestic violence crime that involved the intentional infliction of bodily harm must serve a minimum of ten days in County Jail. These penalties increase to a minimum of 15 days for a second offense, and 20 days for any subsequent conviction. The Court also has the power to grant an injunction. Under Fla. Stat. §741.30, the alleged victim may petition a Court to:
- Order the defendant to refrain from additional domestic violence
- Order the defendant to move out of a shared home
- Change any existing child custody or visitation orders
- Take any other steps deemed appropriate by the court to protect them
A temporary order may go into effect for a period of 15 days. After a full hearing, the Court may order a permanent injunction. Even without a criminal conviction, an injunction could throw your life into chaos. A hard-working domestic violence Attorney in Hollywood could fight back against an injunction while simultaneously preparing a strong defense in the principle criminal case.
Work With a Hollywood Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence charges could seriously interrupt your life and freedom. In addition to any criminal punishment for a conviction on the underlying charges, domestic violence may require a mandatory minimum prison sentence. The Court may impose an injunction that forces you to move out of your home, lose custody of children, or even to leave your job.
It is essential that you protect your rights from an initial arrest to the end of the case. Working with a Hollywood domestic violence Lawyer could provide this protection. One of our dedicated attorneys at Leifert & Leifert could help you with every stage of the case. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation and begin reviewing your case with a legal representative.