Domestic violence is a relatively common criminal charge in Palm Beach Gardens. Relationships with family members, spouses, and domestic partners often present many challenges, and frustration and emotional stress can often lead to instances which may be reported to local law enforcement under the label of such a charge.
Understanding your charges and potential penalties with a local criminal attorney’s help may significantly improve your ability to pursue a successful outcome in court. To that end, a Palm Beach Gardens domestic violence lawyer from Leifert & Leifert could examine your case and advise you on strategic legal options.
Domestic Violence Laws in Palm Beach Gardens
The term domestic violence is often used as a blanket term to describe several actions such as assault, battery, and sexual assault that occur in a domestic setting or context, as established in Florida Statute §741.28. Therefore, a domestic violence charge may be based on actions that involve physical harm against a spouse or other family member, or actions that produce a reasonable fear of such harm.
There are several possible penalties for a domestic violence charge in Palm Beach Gardens. A person who is convicted of “intentionally causing bodily harm to another person” through domestic violence may incur a minimum of:
- 10 days in jail for a first offense
- 15 days in jail for a second offense
- 20 days in jail for a third or subsequent offense
Incidents involving minors may incur more serious penalties. These may include longer periods of incarceration or potentially altering custodial rights. In these situations as well as any other involving domestic violence, a Palm Beach Gardens attorney could advise you of our options and help you construct a solid defense strategy.
How Might Self-Defense Influence a Domestic Violence Charge?
Individuals who are accused of or charged with domestic violence in Florida may be eligible to utilize various defenses that could help mitigating legal penalties or potentially get their charge dismissed. With the help of a domestic violence defense attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, you could have an easier time determining which of these defenses may best apply to your circumstances.
In some cases, self-defense is a valid legal defense in Palm Beach Gardens. Generally, you may claim you acted in self-defense when facing domestic violence charges if you had to reasonably use force to protect yourself from an attack or other imminent harm, typically if your spouse or family member attacked you first. In such a scenario, you may be legally justified in using enough force as reasonably necessary to stop the attack.
Protective Injunctions Against Domestic Violence
If a court determines that a person is in “immediate and present danger” of further domestic violence, the court may grant a temporary injunction without the need for a hearing. Such an injunction commonly includes forbidding a person accused of domestic violence incident from accessing the residence of the person who brought the complaint. Under Fla. Stat. §741.30, the duration of a temporary injunction of this nature typically does not exceed 15 days.
If domestic violence charges result in a conviction, the court may grant a permanent injunction. Typically, these permanent protection orders are meant to prevent further incidents that may result in a person being harmed.
Contact a Palm Beach Gardens Domestic Violence Attorney
Defending against a domestic violence charge can be stressful and emotionally draining, especially if an incident of self-defense was taken out of context and resulted in serious charges. Fortunately, a Palm Beach Gardens domestic violence lawyer could examine your case and help set the record straight. Call Leifert & Leifert today to set up an initial consultation.