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A man facing domestic violence changes in need of an attorney

What started out as a simple argument between loved ones, family members, or spouses can sometimes escalate into a drama-filled experience that affects everyone long after the fight is over. Tensions flare, voices rise, and before you know it, someone has become physically violent. What may begin with a simple grab of the arm or pushing can turn into full-fledged blows involving punches or choking. The police show up, and someone is arrested and taken into custody. The ordeal that follows—and its ramifications—can drag on for years.

If you have been arrested for domestic violence in South Florida, call Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal today for your free initial consultation at 888-626-1108 or contact us online.

At Weinstein Legal, domestic violence defense attorney Matt Shafran, knows how fast these cases can intensify and the serious consequences that can follow. Early intervention by an experienced domestic violence lawyer is the key to getting the charges reduced or dismissed.

Although domestic violence charges can be the result of false accusations by a spiteful partner or spouse, do not try to resolve a domestic violence case without an experienced criminal domestic violence attorney. As a former prosecutor with years of experience in the criminal justice system, Mr. Shafran knows what is involved in handling a domestic abuse case.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in South Florida

In Florida, domestic violence or domestic battery is a first-degree misdemeanor, with penalties that can include up to one year in jail or a year of probation and a $1,000 fine. Depending on the injuries, if the alleged victim is pregnant, or allegations of choking or strangling are involved, the case becomes a felony and potential punishment is severely increased.

In addition, the consequences of these penalties may also make it difficult to find employment, housing, and if children are present, DCF will get involved.

Additional Penalties Related to Domestic Violence in Florida

In addition to jail time or probation and a fine, there are other mandatory penalties assigned to domestic abuse. If accused of this type of crime, you could face penalties such as:
  • A permanent criminal record
  • Injunction of no contact with the alleged victim
  • Community service
  • Loss of concealed carry rights and other civil rights
  • Completion of a 26-week Batterer’s Intervention Program (BIP)
  • 5 days in jail if you are found guilty and there is bodily injury

Can the Domestic Violence Charge Be Removed from My Record?

If you plead guilty to a domestic battery or domestic violence-related charge, it will stay on your record permanently. Florida law declares that a person who commits an act of domestic abuse, battery, or any other domestic violence-related crime is ineligible to have their record expunged or sealed.

Your best course of action is contacting a spousal abuse lawyer as soon as possible to craft a defense strategy.

Types of Domestic Violence Crimes

In Florida, domestic violence can occur between anyone you have a romantic relationship with, share a home with, or would consider a family member. While the term generally applies to abuse or violence between spouses, there are many relationships that fall under the domestic abuse umbrella. If you are charged with committing a harmful or violent crime against a family or household member, the charge will be a type of domestic violence.
The following may qualify as domestic violence crimes:
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • Aggravated battery
  • Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon
  • Battery
  • Battery of a child
  • Battery by strangulation
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Sexual assault or battery
  • Stalking or Cyberstalking
  • Violations of protective injunctions

Building and Defending Your Case

Developing an effective defense strategy generally involves a multi-pronged approach. The good news is that in Florida, domestic violence charges are often made with little evidence. More often than not, it’s one person’s word against another. For this reason, you should never agree to a plea deal before consulting an attorney, who can help you explore all potential legal remedies.

Your attorney for domestic violence will begin by taking the following steps:

  • File Legal Motions to Dismiss Your Case: these are formal requests to the judge asking that your case be dismissed. These may include motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence, motion to limit your liability, and motion to dismiss. A granted motion to dismiss will result in a complete dismissal of your case.
  • Investigate the Facts to Challenge the Prosecutor’s Evidence: the criminal charges in your case may have been filed based on incomplete evidence, or evidence the prosecutor was unable to discover. We will examine all the facts presented in your case, subpoena documents if necessary, and make sure that all the evidence is presented.
  • Prepare a Persuasive Character Packet: we prepare a detailed profile of your character that can be presented to the judge or prosecutor. The goal of this profile is to demonstrate that you are not a criminal and do not deserve to be sent to jail or end up with a permanent criminal record. It will highlight your good character, potential exonerating circumstances surrounding the incident, and lack of a serious criminal record.
  • Successful defenses in domestic violence and domestic abuse cases include:
    • Confusion about the facts of the underlying incident
    • Absence of injuries
    • Self-defense
    • Stand Your Ground Law
    • Vindictive victim
    • Lack of corroboration by others
    • Defense of others
    • Defense of property
    • Mutual confrontation
    By having an experienced domestic violence or domestic battery attorney on board your case as soon as possible, your chances of having the charges reduced or dismissed before going to trial are significantly higher.

    Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Domestic Violence Case

    A conviction for domestic violence can be a life-changing event. It can result in jail time, fines, loss of custody or visiting rights with your children, ability to own a firearm, and have a lasting impact on your ability to get or keep a job.

    Hiring an experienced domestic abuse lawyer increases your chances of getting a fair defense. A skilled criminal domestic violence lawyer will have the knowledge required to develop the best strategy for your unique circumstances. When you hire a private domestic abuse attorney, such as Matt Shafran, it sends a message that you are dedicated to fighting the case.

    Contact Weinstein Legal for a Free Initial Consultation

    Matt Shafran and the Weinstein Legal team will work hard to protect your rights. If you have been arrested for domestic violence in South Florida, call Matt Shafran at Weinstein Legal today for your free initial consultation at 888-626-1108 or contact us online.