Facing Florida Domestic Violence Charges
October 25, 2022
Those accused of domestic violence may wonder if hiring a lawyer to represent them in their cases is necessary. Anyone facing Florida domestic violence charges must know a domestic violence conviction can jeopardize their future and affect their career ambitions and reputation.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence, you can increase your chances of a favorable outcome with an experienced Florida domestic violence attorney at Mario Gunde Peters & Kelley. Our attorneys can help you understand the legal proceedings after an arrest and work to minimize the consequences of your charges.
Criminal Cases are Hostile Proceedings
All domestic violence cases are criminal prosecution cases in which the state of Florida is the complainant, and you are the respondent. The state attorney’s job is to prosecute you or decide to drop charges based on the facts of your case.
Since criminal proceedings are adversarial against you, it can be difficult to advocate for yourself without a thorough understanding of the state’s domestic violence laws. A Florida lawyer for domestic violence can independently investigate your case by reviewing all the evidence and interviewing witnesses.
Mario Gunde Peters & Kelley attorneys understand how to negotiate with state attorneys and judges handling your case. Our legal knowledge and local insight can help determine the most appropriate approach for your defense strategy.
Legal Guidance During an Arraignment
Domestic violence cases in Florida require a mandatory arraignment. During an arraignment, the court will inform you of the domestic violence charges against you and your rights to an attorney. The judge will schedule other pre-trial proceedings after your arraignment if you face a felony charge.
At a misdemeanor arraignment, the judge may accept a “guilty” or “no contest” from you. If you enter a plea deal and the judge is in the position to impose a sentence, the victim is allowed to address the court about compensation and sentencing. The judge can set a trial date and inform the victim if you request a trial. Your lawyer can help you make a strategic decision if you should plead guilty or no contest to avoid going to trial.
Protect Your Rights After an Injunction
A victim can file an injunction for protection. For example, injunctions may restrict you from contact with other adults and minor children. They can prevent you from returning to your family home and affect your quality of life. The judge can decide the type of injunction for stalking, domestic violence, dating violence, and sexual violence.
The judge can serve a temporary injunction to you that lasts for 15 days. The court must hold the hearing on the date the injunction ceases to be effective. Both parties can have witnesses testify for them at the hearing. After a hearing with both parties, the judge may issue a permanent injunction or cancel it entirely.
It is essential to consult with a lawyer for domestic violence if you receive an injunction. Your lawyer can represent you to negotiate and speak at your hearing, offering a strong defense against the prosecution.
Create Your Legal Defense Strategy
An attorney with criminal law experience can create the foundation of your case using evidence. They can collect evidence, such as witness testimonies and police reports, from the state attorney during the discovery phase.
Several additional information sources may exist, including police body cam footage, video surveillance, and recordings of emergency calls. The attorney can file a motion with the court to preserve the evidence.
Domestic violence attorneys can review police reports for errors, misrepresentations, and false details. A private investigator can also help the attorney take recorded statements from witnesses to clarify the facts and show your innocence.
Stand Your Ground Law in Florida Can Benefit Your Defense
Your attorney may refer to Florida’s Castle Defense and Stand Your Ground laws when creating your defense strategy:
- The Castle Defense law justifies a homeowner using force by stating the home is the owner’s castle, and the owner does not need to retreat upon an attack on the home.
- According to the law for Stand Your Ground, a person is entitled to use threatening force to protect against another person’s use of force. It also permits people to use lethal force if they feel such an action is necessary to prevent death or injury.
Your attorney can review the facts of your case to establish if you can claim self-defense under these laws. They can determine whether you are eligible to file a motion for dismissal based on statutory immunity. This motion may result in the dismissal of your charge before the trial.
Legal Representation in Court
Many people accused of violent crimes make the mistake of representing themselves and making self-incriminating remarks in court. An experienced lawyer can help you work on your courtroom behavior to defend your interests and ensure you don’t say anything that may hurt your case.
Your attorney can review the critical points in your case and let you know possible defense strategies against the prosecution. They can also explain how to remain composed during the trial and when to speak to the judge.
Why Hiring an Attorney is Important to Prevent Further Consequences to Your Domestic Violence Case
When you work with an attorney, they can deepen your understanding of the legal process and answer any questions you have. Your legal team can also update you on the proceedings to ensure you know what’s going on with your case.
Without an attorney, facing Florida domestic violence charges can affect the course of your case:
- You will need to appear before a judge before the court can set a bond, meaning you may need to spend time in jail for a day or more.
- If you appear in court without an attorney in your initial appearance, the judge may impose a no-contact provision in your release. This provision means you may not have any contact with the alleged victim, including children or spouses, until court probation lifts it.
- When you plead no contest and obtain a withhold of adjudication, you do not have a conviction, but the charge remains on your criminal record. Your criminal record is public, and judges and attorneys may review it in divorce, child custody, and family law cases.
Defend Yourself with a Florida Domestic Violence Attorney
Our domestic violence attorneys at Mario Gunde Peters & Kelley are ready to help when you face serious Florida domestic violence charges. We are experienced in criminal defense cases, appearing in jury trials in Brevard County, Florida, for over 26 years.
Defending your rights and future are our top priorities. We give personal attention to every client, ensuring you receive compassionate legal representation during this difficult time.
Contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation to discuss your circumstances and learn what is at stake to protect your right to freedom.