Domestic violence is a serious issue in the United States and 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.
Have you been charged with crime of domestic violence? If so, you need an experienced Tampa defense lawyer from Taracks & Associates on your side to help you protect your name and your rights. There are several important things you must know when you are charged with a crime of this nature:
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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.
At Taracks & Associates our legal team has over 50 years of experience fighting domestic violence charges like the one you are facing today. We know the issues and, as former prosecutors, how to attack the State's case and protect your name and rights.
Our 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, we 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 firm is 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.
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.