Domestic Violence Attorney Tampa, FL
Accused of Spousal Abuse or Family Violence?
Domestic violence is a serious crime that can leave victims with enduring emotional, psychological and physical scars. Victims of domestic violence can be, but do not have to be related to their abusers. In Florida, domestic violence can be committed against spouses, ex-spouses, blood relatives, roommates, children, or any other individuals living under the same roof.
At Taracks & Associates our Tampa domestic violence lawyers have over 30 years of experience fighting domestic violence charges in Tampa like the one you are facing today. We know the issues and, as a former prosecutor, how to attack the State's case and protect your name and rights. You need an experienced Tampa domestic violence lawyer from Taracks & Associates on your side to help you protect your name and your rights.
Florida Domestic Violence Guidelines
There are several important things you must know when you are charged with a crime of this nature:
- In Florida, you cannot immediately bond out of jail following an arrest for domestic violence. Instead, you must appear at a "first appearance" hearing in front of a Judge, who will set terms and conditions for your release. Often times, depending on what the alleged victim says, the Judge will order you to have no contact with the victim. This can make your life very difficult – you may not be able to return to your home or see your children. An experienced Tampa domestic violence attorney can seek a modification of this no contact order to allow you the right to enter your home, speak with your spouse, or visit your children.
- The arrest and subsequent prosecution can be used in other legal proceedings, including a divorce, timesharing, or injunction hearing. Remember, any testimony you give (or gave) at first appearance can also later be used against you in another hearing.
- An arrest for domestic violence can have an impact on other rights, such as owning a firearm. Additionally, crimes of domestic violence are generally frowned upon by society and having a charge like this on your record can make obtaining employment difficult – if not impossible. Furthermore, you may not be able to have your record sealed if you enter a plea of no contest or guilty in a domestic violence case, even if you have your "adjudication withheld."
Florida Domestic Violence Penalties
In Florida, there are several different common domestic violence charges. A simple misdemeanor domestic violence battery charge is the most common. This charge, while the least severe, still carries up to twelve months imprisonment and a $1000 fine. Other charges, like felony battery or domestic violence battery by strangulation, are serious felonies that carry terms of imprisonment up to five years and fines of up to $5,000.
Defending Against Domestic Violence in Florida
Our Tampa domestic violence lawyers' first step is representing our client at the first appearance hearing. There, we will fight to have our client released on their own recognizance or issued a low bond. Additionally, depending on the facts and our client's position, we may request that our client be permitted to have contact with the alleged victim and/or permitted to return to the home where the incident occurred. In many cases, the incident was a misunderstanding and the victim may want to testify on our client's behalf. In this case, we will accompany your spouse to court and help him or her understand what must be done in order to get our client back in the home and with his or her children.
Second, our Tampa domestic violence attorneys attack the charge itself at the intake stage, hoping to have the charges reduced or dismissed before formal charges are filed. This step can prevent our clients from having serious felony charges filed against them, and may even result in the entire case being dismissed. Aggressively attacking the case early on may also save you thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, and legal fees, and may result in you being assigned to a more understanding division, such as a misdemeanor domestic violence division, as opposed to a standard felony division.
Third, if and when a charge is actually filed we look to poke holes in the State's case. Our number one goal is always to help our client have the charges dismissed or, alternatively, avoid a conviction in a manner that would allow him or her to obtain a sealing or expunction of his or her criminal record. We know that often times these cases stem from misunderstandings or little fights that end up blown out of proportion. Our Tampa domestic violence lawyers are dedicated to helping good people avoid the harsh consequences associated with a conviction of a crime of domestic violence, including the social stigma attached. Often times, within months of your arrest we can have your actual record sealed or expunged, preventing anyone from seeing your record on the clerk's website. Additionally, we will fight to have your mug shot removed from third party websites.
Domestic Violence Injunctions in Florida
What is a domestic violence injunction (DV injunction)? In the State of Florida, those alleged of family violence may have an injunction placed against them. Simply put, this is a type of restraining order that a person can file against their spouse or significant other if there was violence or threat of violence.
If you have been issued a DV injunction, you have the right to contest it. Although this is not equal to a criminal conviction, the provisions are similar to criminal penalties. Also, those that violate the terms of their injunction may be found guilty of a criminal offense.
Domestic Violence Battery Case Dismissed
Carrying a Concealed Weapon Charges Dismissed
Possession of a Controlled Substance, D.V. Battery Charges Dismissed
Conspiracy to Commit RICO Violation, Fradulent Use of Credit Card Sentence Reduced
Street Racing Charges Dropped
Petit Theft Charges Dismissed
Possession of Cocaine Charges Dismissed
Possession of Marijuana No Conviction
Possession of Marijuana No Conviction
Contempt of Court Released from Custody