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West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Florida treats domestic violence allegations very seriously, so there can be harsh punishment for a conviction, including jail time, fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record. However, there are other implications, including severe limitations on your personal freedoms if your accuser obtains an injunction against you.
If you were arrested or received paperwork from the court regarding a domestic violence hearing, it’s critical to consult with skilled legal counsel right away. The court proceedings are complex, so you cannot put your rights at risk by attempting to represent yourself. You can count on a West Palm Beach domestic violence defense lawyer to advise you on your next steps and guide you through the legal process. An overview of the basic legal issues may be helpful.
Key Definitions in Domestic Violence Cases: Before getting into the details of the court proceedings, you should be aware of some important terminology. Under Florida’s domestic violence statute, there are several definitions that may impact your case:
Domestic Violence: In general, domestic violence covers many types of conduct that are criminal when committed against someone else; however, these offenses are treated differently when the actions are directed at a member of your household or family. Domestic violence includes:
- Sexual violence or abuse;
- Stalking and cyberstalking;
- Aggravated assault, battery, and stalking;
- False imprisonment; and,
- Any other illegal conduct that causes physical injury or death to a victim.
Family or Household Member: Because a crime is only domestic violence if it’s directed at certain individuals, you should note that Florida law defines family or household members as:
- Spouses and ex-spouses;
- Relatives by blood or marriage, who previously or currently live together;
- Parents who have a child in common; and,
- Individuals who live or lived together as a family.
Domestic Violence Arrests and Injunctions: When a person alleges domestic violence, it may trigger different types of proceedings. If police have probable cause that you committed any one of the offenses described above, officers may arrest you. These cases typically go before a criminal court, where you’ll be able to defend yourself against the charges. The end result may be a dismissal or acquittal, or a conviction followed by sentencing.
An accuser may also seek an injunction against you, which is separate from any criminal charges. Through this court proceeding, the court can issue an order for you to cease communications, stay away from your accuser, among other instructions. The implications of an injunction might mean you need to move out of your residence to remain in compliance.
Get Legal Help from a West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
As you can see, the serious nature of domestic violence allegations means it’s absolutely critical to retain solid legal representation. For more information on how we can assist with your case, please contact Perlet, Shiner, Melchiorre & Walsh, P.A. in West Palm Beach. You can schedule a no-cost consultation by calling 561-721-0552 or checking us out online. Once we review your situation, we can determine the best strategy for how to defend your interests in court.