Miami Domestic Violence Lawyer
No one wants to deal with a domestic violence situation, whether that be the victim or the accused, it is an uncomfortable situation for all parties. Often, due to the Florida statutes, domestic violence law is one sided against the accused. Law enforcement does not care about your side of the story in most instances, and public policy demands law enforcement take all action to prevent even the possibility of future violence. The real-world situation where this applies is that officers typically take one party to jail when responding to a domestic violence call even if there is no actual evidence of violence or abuse. If you or a loved one has been arrested for domestic violence in Miami Florida, you need to contact us for a free consultation. We will listen to your side of the story and help defend your rights against a wrongful conviction and clear your name in the event of an unlawful arrest.
Definition of Domestic Violence Under Florida Law
The state of Florida’s complete domestic violence definitions are defined in Florida Statutes § 741.28.
It states that a person commits the offense of domestic violence when they participate in criminal conduct against a family or household member that can or does result in physical injury or death.
A family or household member is defined in the statutes as being a:
- Former Spouse
- Relative by Blood or Marriage
- People who currently live or formerly lived together as a family
- Biological parents of a child (regardless of marital status)
Except for the biological parents of a child, any two people in the relationships listed above must live together or at one point lived together for the offense to be considered domestic violence under the Florida statutes.
Here is a list of acts that can be considered domestic violence:
- Pushing or shoving
- Hair pulling
- Pursuing unwanted sexual activity
Along with these acts, there are other crimes that can be considered domestic violence when they fit the criteria presented in the statutes.
Crimes that Florida Law Determines Can be Charged as Domestic Violence
- Assault: Purposely threatening to commit violence upon another person.
- Aggravated assault: Committing assault with a deadly weapon or with the intent to commit a felony.
- Battery: Touching or striking a person without their consent or causing bodily harm.
- Aggravated battery: Committing battery and causing great bodily harm or using a deadly weapon.
- Sexual battery: Engaging in sexual intercourse without consent.
- Stalking: Repeatedly following or harassing someone and causing substantial emotional distress.
- Aggravated stalking: Stalking and making a credible threat to someone.
- Kidnapping: Abducting another person and intending to hold them for ransom, commit a felony, cause harm to them, or interfere with government business.
- False imprisonment: Abducting or confining a person against their will.
What can I do if I have been domestically abused?
If you have been a victim of domestic violence, you can pursue injunctions, or non-contact orders, to be temporarily or permanently placed against the abuser. The courts in Florida order these injunctions on behalf of victims of dating violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, and repeat violence. These injunctions aim to help protect the victim from further abuse. These orders enforce these following restrictions against the abuser:
- The abuser cannot contact the victim or go near them
- The abuser cannot return to any shared home with the victim
- The offender must go into counseling or complete community service
The process of getting an injunction can be complicated and difficult without the help of an attorney. When a victim asks the court for an order of protection against their abuser, a hearing is scheduled where a judge will review the evidence of the case and determine whether to lengthen a temporary no contact order or not.
A temporary injunction lasts only 15 days, during which a hearing is scheduled to review the evidence and determine the need for a permanent injunction.
What type of injunctions are there?
There are 5 different types of injunctions, or non-contact orders, that can be passed based on the nature of the relationship between the abuser and the victim.
- Domestic Violence Injunction: is for spouses, former spouses, people related by blood or marriage, people living together, and people that share a child
- Repeat Violence injunction: is for situations where two or more violent acts have happened in the past 6 months before filing an injunction
- Sexual Violence Injunction: is for violent sexual acts
- Dating Violence Injunctions: are appropriate when violence occurs between two individuals who had a romantic/intimate relationship in the 6 months before the injunction petition.
- Stalking Violence Injunction: are used when someone is repeatedly being followed or harassed by another individual for no reason
What to do if I’ve been accused of domestic violence?
If you are in a situation where you have been wrongfully accused of domestic violence, our team of expert attorneys can help you navigate your legal situation and avoid the lifelong consequences of a conviction or injunction against you. Injunctions prevent you for being around your family and home, as well as affecting child custody and child support outcomes. Also, violating the terms of your release or injunction can result in you being charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. First degree misdemeanors carry a maximum of 1 year in jail, one year on probation, and up to 1,000 dollars in fines.
Here are some actions that can result in you violating an injunction:
- Refusing to leave the residence shared with the victim
- Not respecting the 500 feet mandatory distance
- Communicating or attempting to communicate with the victim via phone, text, email, or any other
- Threatening the victim
- Destroying property belonging to the victim
- Any additional domestic violence acts
If you are charged with domestic violence, you should to work with an experienced attorney to craft the most effective defense to ensure your rights are protected. Some possible defenses we can craft are that the alleged incident was a result of self-defense, standing your ground, defense of others, or mutual combat.
What punishments can I face for domestic violence?
Individuals who are found guilty of domestic violence are almost certainly facing jail time. However, the term in either county or state prison depends on the history of criminal acts of the convict.
- First offenses generally result in 10 days in a county jail
- Second offenses can lead to 15-day jail terms
- Third and further offenses can lead to 20-day county jail term or state prison term
Domestic violence lawyers in Miami Florida
Domestic violence crimes are very likely to end up in court. With the experienced legal team at Smith and Eulo Law Firm on your side, you have the best chance of achieving an outcome which ensures your protection and peace of mind. Give us a call for your free consultation, we also offer payment plans.
In addition to our Miami location, we also have offices in: