Florida takes domestic violence very seriously. A guilty plea results in a lifetime criminal record, with no option to expunge or seal the charge.
According to Florida statutes, domestic battery occurs from unlawful contact against a spouse, ex-spouse, individuals living together like a family, an individual with a child in common or individuals with blood or marriage relations. However, if charged, you have several options for a defense. Continue reading to learn more about criminal defense against domestic violence charges.
Hire an experienced private attorney
First, you need to give yourself a chance by hiring an attorney who knows about domestic battery defense. Just taking this one step can lead to a dropped charge or reduced sentencing. Employing a private attorney ensures you explore every possible option for defense and do not receive a cookie-cutter public defense routine.
Meet with the prosecution
Often, the court orders no contact between the alleged victim and defendant. However, the defendant’s attorney does have the right to speak with the alleged victim. After meeting with the victim, the prosecution might choose to drop the charge. If the victim decides to drop charges, usually they must seek counseling with a Domestic Violence advocate, file a drop-charge affidavit or complete a course. However, keep in mind that the State Attorney has the ultimate right to pursue a domestic violence charge even if the victim does not want to continue with the case.
Defending against a domestic violence charge is a serious proposition. Courts do not generally look favorably on the defendant, so you need to arm yourself with a solid legal team and know your story. Do not settle for a guilty plea if you do not have to.