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I Swear I’m Innocent!


Being charged with a crime of domestic violence, particularly if you have never been in trouble with the law before, can be a terrifying and shameful event even if you know you are guilty – but if you are truly innocent, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the system. Florida law defines domestic violence broadly, and if you have been charged with any of the crimes under that umbrella, know that you have the right to mount a defense. The right legal help can make a difference.

Broad Definition May Lead To Problems

Domestic violence in Florida is not one single offense; rather, it is an umbrella term covering any criminal offense that results in “physical injury or death” to one of the alleged perpetrator’s “family or household member[s].” The latter term has a specific definition – namely, spouses, ex-spouses, unmarried co-parents, family related by blood or marriage, and people who are (or were) residing together as a family. Violence against anyone who does not fit in one of these categories can still result in criminal charges, but not under this specific statute.

This is quite a broad definition, which may give victims some peace, but may also increase the risk of false allegations against those who lack intent or ability to commit crimes of violence. While law enforcement will, of course, investigate every allegation, the investigation often comes too late for the defendant, who may be branded a criminal or tainted by allegations even if they are later found innocent in a court of law. If you have been charged with domestic violence, but you truly believe that you committed no crime, it is crucial that you protect yourself the right way.

If You Are Charged

Perhaps the most important thing for a person who has been falsely charged with a crime of domestic violence can do is remain calm. As the standard Miranda warning says, anything you say can and will be used against you – and fairly or unfairly, extreme emotion may imply something you do not wish to imply. It is a better use of your efforts to try to find weaknesses in the state’s attorney’s case.

One of the most common methods for creating reasonable doubt in a case of domestic violence is to attack the evidence – for example, it is possible that law enforcement did not properly collect evidence from the alleged scene of the crime, or if they did, they handled it improperly. In addition, certain types of evidence are inadmissible, such as character evidence or evidence of prior bad acts (with rare exceptions). If a state’s attorney attempts to use this type of evidence in their case, you have the right to contest its use.

Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Florida, but you did not commit the crime, you have the right to do your best to cast reasonable doubt on the state’s case. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney can help. The firm of Perlet & Shiner, P.A. handles many domestic violence-related cases, and will work hard to bring yours to an appropriate outcome. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.



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