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West Palm Beach Criminal Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Timeline Of A Florida Domestic Dispute

Timeline Of A Florida Domestic Dispute


While every domestic dispute has the potential to unfold in a different fashion, there is a general timeline that every case will follow. While it is never a good thing to find oneself charged with domestic violence, it is still a good idea to understand the legal process, and to arm yourself with the knowledge of your own actions. An experienced attorney may be able to assist.

Understand The Offense

Florida’s domestic violence definition is broad, encompassing any criminal offense that results in “physical injury or death” to a “family or household member” of the alleged perpetrator. A ‘family or household member’ is not only a spouse or child, but also an ex-spouse, unmarried co-parent, people related by blood or marriage, or people who are (or have been) residing together as a family. It is important to keep in mind that this does exclude some common relationships, such as people who are dating.

If someone is placed into custody after allegedly committing a crime of domestic violence, they cannot post immediate bail, unlike many other defendants. Domestic violence offenses are seen as sufficiently serious that Florida law requires an arraignment before those charged may try to bond out. It is at this point where an attorney should be engaged, if not beforehand; in general, facing a judge with no legal counsel is not an optimal strategy.

Several Different Hearings

Before, or sometimes around the same time of the arraignment, the alleged victim may file for an injunction against you, if they can establish that they have “reasonable cause to believe [they] are in imminent danger of being the victim of domestic violence.” The court may mandate what is known as an ex parte injunction if it believes that you are an immediate danger to your alleged victim, but these orders are brief; if the victim seeks a permanent injunction, you will have the right to present your side of the story in a hearing.

Regardless of the income of the injunction hearing, the next step in your actual criminal case is pretrial hearings. In theory, this is the time in which a plea-bargain might be discussed, but when it comes to domestic violence offenses, most state’s attorneys are disinclined to accept them in cases involving these crimes. Domestic violence offenses are taken seriously in Florida, so it is crucial to have the right legal help on your side as you navigate the process.

Call A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney

Domestic violence offenses are serious, and the punishments can be severe. The more a defendant knows about the legal process, the better position they are in to plan their defense. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. is ready and willing to try and assist you. Contact our office to speak to an attorney.



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