Defenses To Charges Of Domestic Violence
When one is charged with domestic violence, they can suffer real damage to their reputation and their livelihood, even if they are in fact innocent of the charges against them or the situation is more complex than meets the eye. It can be easy to feel like giving up – but you have the right to defend yourself and your reputation. There are commonly accepted defenses to domestic violence offenses in Florida, and an experienced attorney can help you use them to protect your rights.
A Broad Definition Of Domestic Violence
Florida does not recognize one singular crime of domestic violence; rather, it is defined in state law as any criminal offense which results in “physical injury or death” to a “family or household member.” A “family or household member” can be a spouse, ex-spouse, co-parent, relation by blood or marriage, or anyone who is (or was) residing together with you as a family member. Thus, if you, for example, allegedly struck your spouse, you might be charged with battery. The existence of domestic violence would either be used to charge you with a more serious offense – say, felony battery instead of misdemeanor battery – or to make a sentence harsher upon conviction.
This may seem like a lot to take in, but in truth, having such an expansive definition of domestic violence can often help state authorities to weed out weaker cases – after all, if there is no evidence to charge the alleged abuser with the underlying crime, they cannot be found guilty of a domestic violence offense. Still, it is always better to go on the offense if you have been falsely accused.
Several Potential Defenses
As one might imagine, the best defense to a domestic violence-related charge is to be able to show your innocence. Perhaps the facts of the situation are at issue, or perhaps you can establish that the alleged victim was confused or made a mistake; however, if the facts are not in doubt, the situation may have evolved in a direction you had no intention of taking. For example, your alleged victim may have tried to attack you, and you were merely defending yourself or your home – this is what is known as the “stand your ground” defense.
If you are able, you may also be able to establish that your alleged victim has the proverbial ax to grind. The concept of the “vindictive victim” is not always welcomed by a judge or jury, but if you have evidence to back up your assertions, it can be a persuasive defense. While false domestic violence allegations are not as common as the average person may believe, they do happen, most often for revenge-based reasons.
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
While each situation is different and what is good for one case may not be good for another, you always have the right to defend yourself against bogus allegations. A West Palm Beach criminal attorney from the firm of Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. can help ensure you get your day in court. We are ready and willing to try and help you with your case. Call us today at 561-721-0552 to speak to an attorney.