Domestic Violence Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
Sometimes situations get out of control. Other times, false allegations are made. Whatever happened, if you have been charged with domestic violence, it is important to work with a tough domestic violence attorney in Fort Lauderdale who protects your rights right away.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, call 954-533-2756 for a free consultation. The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., can make help even before charges have been filed.
You Can Still Face Charges, Even Against The Victim’s Wishes
Under Florida law, domestic violence cases are brought by the state. In a purely legal sense, it is the state itself and not a particular individual that is considered the victim. This means that you are not going to walk just because an alleged victim ultimately does not want to press charges. It means that the state may still bring its case, calling the victim a witness. Domestic violence is defined broadly in Florida and includes a wide variety of offenses, such as:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Domestic battery by strangulation
- Sexual assault
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated stalking
- False imprisonment
- Any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death by one family or household member against another family or household member
While some forms of domestic violence are charged as misdemeanors in Florida, some carry a felony charge with enhanced penalties if children are present during the domestic violence encounter. Felony domestic violence includes charges of aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual battery, and domestic battery by strangulation.
Domestic violence under Florida Statutes Sections 741.28 – 741.4651 defines the crime. It also governs who can be charged with domestic violence. The law says that domestic violence may occur between:
- Spouses and domestic partners or former spouses and domestic partners.
- Cohabitating couples or couples who lived together in the past.
- A parent and a child.
- Family members, including stepfamily members and in-laws.
Why You Should Talk To An Attorney As Soon As Possible
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, it is important to get a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence attorney as soon as possible — within days of the arrest is best, and before a case is filed. The chance of getting a case dismissed in domestic violence court is greatest before the state attorney’s office actually files charges. There is often a two- to the three-week period between the alleged offense and the charge being filed, and that time frame can be critically important for the opportunities it presents to me to speak with the Fort Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer filing the case and providing affidavits and other documentation to possibly keep the case from being filed at all.
At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., domestic violence attorney in Fort Lauderdale, I begin working on the case as early as possible. Often I can prevent the domestic violence case from ever being filed.
Defenses Against Domestic Violence in Florida
There are several defenses against domestic violence charges that may apply in your case, depending on the circumstances surrounding your alleged offense. These defenses, if applicable in your case, may help you disprove the charges against you. For example, it might be shown that:
- The alleged victim fabricated the accusation of domestic violence. This might be substantiated by the victim’s lack of bruises or other injuries.
- An eyewitness saw an alternate version of what the alleged victim claimed happened.
- You were acting in self-defense to protect yourself from harm at the hands of the alleged victim.
- You were acting in the defense of others, such as your minor children, when the incident occurred.
- You were defending your property when the incident occurred.
- There is an overall general lack of evidence to support the charges against you.
The Ramifications of a Domestic Violence Conviction in Florida
Being convicted of a domestic violence charge in Florida results in several penalties. First off, if there were injuries to the alleged victim in the case, then jail time is mandatory. How much jail time depends on which form of domestic violence of which you are judged guilty. For instance, domestic battery convictions may carry a maximum sentence of five years. An aggravated battery may result in 15 years behind bars.
A conviction also comes with:
- A permanent entry on your criminal record.
- Effects on your immigration status, including deportation.
- Fines of up to $15,000.
- Mandatory counseling for batterers.
How My Experience Can Benefit You
As a Fort Lauderdale domestic violence lawyer, I worked as an assistant public defender for three years before starting my own law practice. During that time, I defended hundreds of people with cases ranging from misdemeanors to first-degree felonies. This gave me the experience necessary to help you achieve the best possible results in your domestic violence case. I know the Fort Lauderdale courts — and I am not afraid to fight hard to protect your rights in the courtroom.
Contact Me For Criminal Defense
For legal representation in any criminal matter in Florida, please reach out to me online or call me toll-free at 954-533-2756.