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Domestic Violence & Due Process
Domestic violence is a serious crime that leaves its mark on victims. However, those charged with committing such offenses are still entitled to due process and a fair trial. If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, know that you have rights that cannot be taken away, and you have the right to speak up when you are being denied.
When Do My Rights Apply?
The concept of due process means that everyone has the same rights, unless they have specifically been barred from exercising them. When someone is accused of a crime, they have several rights that not only apply, but are brought to their specific attention – the Miranda warnings seen on television and in film are a prime example, reminding arrested people that they have the right to remain silent, that they have the right to an attorney, and more.
In domestic violence cases specifically, it is important that you are aware not only of your Miranda rights, but also of when your rights apply. For example, it is a common misconception that an alleged domestic violence victim can simply ask for a domestic violence injunction (DVI), without having to back up their allegations. In reality, not only must the request for a DVI be accompanied by a petition, but the petitioner must not refer to matters not mentioned in their filing.
All Too Easy To Be Denied Rights
If you have been charged with a domestic violence-related offense, it is crucial that you have experienced legal help to protect your rights, simply because it is easy for due process violations to happen, whether maliciously or ignorantly. Domestic violence is such a hot-button issue – a wish to conclude a speedy trial or a judge’s personal politics can lead to suboptimal outcomes in court.
An example from a Florida case a few years ago illustrates how simple it can be. An alleged victim sought protection from domestic violence by petitioning the relevant court for a DVI. After a particularly damning admission, the judge barred the accused from cross-examining the victim or presenting further evidence. The appellate court reversed the verdict, sternly stating that “Parties are entitled to a full hearing prior to … issuing a permanent injunction.” Both sides must be permitted to present all the relevant evidence.
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
Being charged with a domestic violence offense is frightening for most people. If you find yourself being denied your due process rights, it can leave you even more scared and feeling like you have nowhere to turn. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney can protect your rights while you navigate the legal process – call Perlet & Shiner, P.A. today to speak to an attorney.