Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers in Orlando, Florida
How to Beat a Florida Domestic Violence Charge
Domestic violence includes a whole host of different conduct that involves those who share children together (regardless of whether they share a residence or not) and household/family members. Notwithstanding, many domestic violence matters are not always clear, and all situations are dependent upon their individual facts and circumstances. In Orlando, Florida, claims of domestic violence are very serious and the repercussions of being charged with this crime can be devastating, even when the allegations are misleading, false, or exaggerated. Given the severe nature of domestic violence cases in Orlando, any person who faces these charges must consult with a skilled Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Attorney. To learn more about your legal rights and options, call Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057. Our legal team is ready 24/7 to provide you with stellar legal representation.
Per the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 104,914 incidents of domestic violence occurred in Florida back in 2018, with 83,980 (80%) categorized as simple assault. While 100,000 acts of domestic violence may be staggering, not all amount to criminal charges. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement also reports the following that occurred back in 2018:
- Criminal homicide – there were 196 incidents reported of domestic violence-related criminal homicide, with 70 involving spouses, 35 involving co-habitants, and 34 involving the alleged offender’s children.
- Forcible rape – there were 1,783 reported incidents of domestic violence-related forcible rape, with 287 involving the children of the accused. 376 of these incidents involved victims who qualify as “other” family members.
- Manslaughter – there were 19 reported cases of domestic violence-related manslaughter, with 11 involving the children of the alleged offender.
- Aggravated assault – there were 16,000 reported cases of domestic violence-related aggravated assault, with 4,513 involving co-habitants, 2,873 involving spouses of the alleged offender, and 2,950 involving victims described as “other.”
- Forcible fondling – there were 841 reported incidents of domestic violence-related forcible fondling, with 223 involving the children of the accused, and 308 involving those who qualify as “other” family members.
- Aggravated stalking – there were 160 reported incidents of domestic violence-related aggravated stalking, with 55 involving the spouses of the alleged offender, and 71 involving those who qualify as “other.”
- Simple stalking – there was a total of 384 reported incidents of domestic violence-related simple stalking, with 99 involving co-habitants, 93 involving victims who qualify as “other,” and 140 involving the spouses of the accused.
- Simple assault – there was a total of 83,980 reported incidents of domestic violence-related simple assault, with 24,614 involving co-habitants, 14,150 involving those who qualify as “other,” and 17,585 involving the spouses of the accused.
- Threat/intimidation – there were 1,551 reported cases of domestic violence-related threat/intimidation, with 322 involving victims who qualify as “other,” 389 involving spouses of the accused, and 304 involving co-habitants.
It is important to keep in mind that although many domestic violence cases involve true accusations, many raised in Florida are false, exaggerated, misleading, or simply fail to satisfy the definition of domestic violence. Notwithstanding, only a qualified Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer can help an alleged offender develop the strongest defense strategy possible.
What is Domestic Violence Under Florida Law?
Domestic violence involves violent conduct that occurs between those who qualify as household or family members. Under Florida Statute § 741.28(2), “domestic violence” is defined as “any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
The primary in quiry in domestic violence cases is whether the victim and the accused are household or family members pursuant to Florida law. In Florida, a household or family member is one of the following:
- Former spouses;
- Those who share a child in common, regardless of whether they are married;
- Those who hold themselves out to be a family;
- Those who reside in the same dwelling as a family; and
- Those who are related by marriage or blood.
Domestic Violence Protective Injunctions in Orlando
Domestic violence charges in Orlando are just one piece of the pie. To clarify, in many instances, an individual who is facing domestic violence charges in Florida may also be subject to what is known as a protective injunction. Protective injunctions in Orlando are civil, not criminal, remedies. It is vital to understand that an individual who is facing a protective injunction must adhere to all of its requirements, which, as provided by Florida Statute § 741.30, are as follows:
- The person looking to obtain a domestic violence protective injunction (known as the petitioner) must prove that he or she is a member of a household or family, and
- The petitioner or minor child is a victim of domestic violence; or
- The petitioner or minor child has a reasonable belief that he or she will imminently be in danger of being a domestic violence victim.
In order to obtain a domestic violence protective injunction in Orlando, the petitioner must first submit to the court clerk a court-approved form known as a petition. Once the petitioner files the petition, the judge overseeing the matter will examine it in order to determine whether it meets the requirements under Florida law. Given the severe nature of domestic violence injunctions in Orlando, most presiding judges approve what is known as a temporary injunction in order to protect the alleged victim from further acts of domestic violence.
If the judge approves at temporary injunction, the accused, known as the respondent, will be served with a copy of the petition as well as the temporary injunction order. The respondent must adhere to all of the terms of the injunction or else he or she will face criminal sanctions. The respondent must then, fifteen days later, appear in court to defend himself or herself. At this point, it is vital for the respondent to contact a qualified Orlando Domestic Violence Protective Injunction Defense Attorney to learn more about his or her legal options as well as what defense, if any, apply to his or her case.
During the final hearing, both the respondent and the petitioner have the chance to present their side of the story in court. They also have the right to submit evidence such as documentation and witness testimony. The judge will then review the matter and decide whether a final domestic violence injunction warranted. If the judge approves a final domestic violence injunction, the respondent must follow all of the requirements listed therein. If he or she does not adhere to the terms of the final domestic violence protective injunction, he or she will face criminal penalties.
Additional Protective Injunctions in Orlando
In Florida, there are a number of additional injunctions that a petitioner can obtain in Orlando. Under Florida Statute § 784.046, an individual can seek the following types of injunctions:
- Dating violence injunctions
- Repeat violence injunctions
- Sexual violence injunctions
Also, under Florida Statute § 784.045, a person who claims that he or she has been the victim of stalking may seek a stalking injunction in Florida, which protects him or her from further acts of stalking and cyberstalking (i.e., using electronic means such as texting and emailing a victim with the purpose of stalking him or her). If you are facing the prospects of any of the aforementioned injunctions, it is vital that you contact an experienced Orlando Protective Injunction Defense Attorney as soon as possible, as an injunction comes with various requirements that can limit your constitutional rights.
What You Should Know About No-Contact Orders in Orlando
Once an individual is placed under arrest for allegedly committing an act of domestic violence, he or she will be placed in jail under the initial court case is held, which is typically 24 hours after the person’s arrest. In some instances, it may be longer if the arrest happened at night. In Florida, a person who is facing domestic violence charges may be the subject of a Standard No-Contact Order, which means that he or she cannot have verbal or physical contact with the alleged victim, even if a domestic violence injunction is not being sought. The alleged offender must adhere to all of the terms of the No-Contact Order, as failing to do so could lead to criminal penalties. Per Florida Statute § 741.29(6), an individual who is in violation of a No-Contact Order will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which is associated with a one-year jail term and a monetary penalty of up to $1,000. If an alleged victim does not pursue criminal charges against the accused, both parties can seek to modify the No-Contact Order by filing what is known as a Motion to Modify Conditions of Release with the court.
Domestic Violence and Battery as Defined Under Florida Law
Many domestic violence cases involve some type of battery. Therefore, it is vital that you understand what qualifies as battery under Florida law. Per Florida Statute § 784.03(1), a person may face battery charges if he or she intentionally and actually strikes or touches another individual against his or her will, or intentionally inflicts bodily harm on another individual. Under Florida Statute § 784.041(1), a person may face felony domestic violence charges if, during the course of engaging in the acts that give rise to battery, he or she inflicts great bodily harm, permanent disfigurement, or permanent disability.
The Punishment for Being Convicted of Domestic Violence Battery in Orlando
It is a first-degree misdemeanor to commit domestic violence battery, also referred to as domestic battery under Florida statutory law. If a person is convicted of domestic battery, he or she may face a maximum one-year jail term and be required to pay a monetary fine of up to $1,000. A person who commits felony battery will be subject to third-degree felony charges, which carries with it a jail term of up to five years and a monetary penalty of up to $5,000.
In addition to monetary fines and jail time, a person who is subject to a domestic battery conviction may also face the following repercussions:
- No-contact order;
- A minimum jail term of five days if the individual is convicted of domestic battery and the crime resulted in bodily injury;
- A domestic violence protective injunction;
- The requirement to attend a Batterer’s Intervention Program;
- The requirement to do community service; and
- The loss of the right to own/possess ammunition and firearms.
Additional Domestic Violence Offenses in Florida
As noted above, domestic violence offenses span beyond battery and simple assault. Under Florida statutory authority, several crimes involving household and family members fall under the purview of domestic violence where most of the offenses are categorized as serious misdemeanors and felonies. A person who is the subject of domestic violence charges may face the above-listed penalties, which could end up affecting his or her constitutional rights. Examples of domestic violence-related crimes in Florida, aside from battery and simple assault, are as follows:
Aggravated Domestic Battery with Serious Bodily Injury
Aggravated Domestic Battery with Use of a Deadly Weapon
Domestic Battery by Strangulation
Aggravated Battery on a Pregnant Victim
Assault or Battery on Person Over the Age of 65 Years Old
Violation of a Domestic Violence Protective Injunction
Violation of a Dating Violence Injunction, Repeat Violence Injunction, or Sexual Violence Injunction
Violation of a Stalking Injunction
Stalking, Aggravated Stalking, and Cyberstalking
Kidnapping, Kidnapping Child Under Age 13, and Aggravated Kidnapping
False Imprisonment, False Imprisonment of Child Under Age 13, and Aggravated False Imprisonment
Homicide/Murder, and Attempted Murder
Manslaughter, Aggravated Manslaughter of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult, and Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child
Weapons and Firearms Offenses
Abuse and Neglect of Children
Child Abuse, Aggravated Child Abuse, Child Endangerment, and Child Neglect
Newborn Infants, and Treatment of Surrendered Newborn Infant (not a crime if infant is surrendered to emergency personnel)
Contributing to the Delinquency or Dependency of a Child
Nonsupport of Dependents
Sexual Performance by a Child
Unlawful Desertion of a Child
Sex Crimes and Lewd/Lascivious Behavior
Sexual Assault/Sexual Battery, Forcible Rape
Lewd or Lascivious Offenses Committed Upon or in the Presence of Persons Less than 16 Years of Age, including Forcible Fondling
Offenses by Adult Involving Minors, Intent of Legislature in Prosecuting Such Offenses
Forcing, Compelling, or Coercing Another to Become a Prostitute
Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Elderly Persons or Disabled Adults
Abuse, Aggravated Abuse, and Neglect of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult
Lewd or Lascivious Offenses Upon or in the Presence of an Elderly Person or Disabled Person
Exploitation of an Elderly Person or Disabled Adult
Injunction for Protection Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult
Violation of an Injunction for Protection Against Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult
Death Resulting from Apparent Drug Overdose and Reporting Requirements
Poisoning Food or Water
Desertion, Withholding Support, and Proviso
Depriving Crime Victim of Medical Care
Perjury by Contradictory Statements
False Reports to Law Enforcement Authorities
False Information to Law Enforcement During Investigation
False Official Statements
Verbal or Written Threats, and Extortion
Written Threats to Kill, Do Bodily Injury, or Conduct a Mass Shooting or an Act of Terrorism
Tampering with a Witness
Trespass in Structure or Conveyance
Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance
Bigamy, and Incest
Developing a Solid Defense in an Orange County Domestic Violence Matter
Those who face domestic violence charges must have a strong defense strategy. With an Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Attorney, an accused can create a defense strategy that has the potential of positively affecting one’s outcome in his or her case. At attorney will address all of the elements of one’s domestic violence case, and consider various factors when creating a defense strategy, including the alleged offender’s criminal background (if applicable), whether grounds exist to obtain a reduction of the charges (such as a reduction of a felony to a misdemeanor charge) or an outright dismissal of the case, and the nature of the domestic violence charges.
There are a variety of different defenses that apply in domestic violence cases. For example, an Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Attorney may present the following defenses to the court:
- The alleged victim was not injured;
- There is insufficient evidence in the matter to warrant a conviction;
- Defense of self;
- Defense of others;
- Mutual combat;
- Stand your ground;
- Vindictive victim;
- Defense of property; and
- Consensual confrontation.
The Sealing and Expunging of Domestic Violence Convictions in Orlando
Any individual who is the subject of a domestic violence case, whether pursuant to a trial or a guilty plea, will be subject to a permanent record that cannot be sealed or expunged. As such, anyone who conducts a background check on the offender will be able to see that he or she was convicted of domestic violence in Florida. Notwithstanding, it is still important to consult with a skilled Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer to learn more about your legal rights and options in this regard.
Negotiations Pursued Early in the Case is Beneficial in an Orlando Domestic Violence Case
As with all criminal cases, early negotiations is beneficial and can be pursued with the help of a skilled Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Attorney. A lawyer who regularly handles domestic violence cases is in the best position to seek a dismissal or reduction of the charges. For instance, a skilled negotiator may be able to seek a reduction of the charges from a serious felony to a misdemeanor, which may result in little to no time in jail. Call a deft Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer today in order to learn how early negotiations in one’s case may make a significant difference.
Attending a Domestic Violence Course May Make a Difference in Your Case
There are instances in which an alleged offender can take measures to positively impact his or her case. For instance, an alleged offender can mitigate the damages associated with a domestic violence charge through attending a domestic violence course (as well as seeking mental health counseling). This is vital if the parties wish to continue being in a relationship moving forward. Contact a skilled Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer to determine whether this is warranted in your case.
Contact the Orlando Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys at Musca Law Today!
If you are facing domestic violence charges in Orlando, call the experienced and diligent Orlando Defense Attorney at Musca Law today. Our team of legal advocates is available 24/7 to discuss with you your legal rights and options. Contact us today at (888) 484-5057 to learn more about your legal rights and options. Don’t wait - your freedom and livelihood depend upon it!