Florida Battery & Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Larry Sandefer - Battery & Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Serving Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa Bay and the State of Florida
Domestic Violence & Domestic Battery
Several years ago, the State of Florida placed a priority on arrests and prosecutions for domestic battery. The reason for this is obvious. Deaths have occurred and serious injuries have occurred in domestic violence situations. As a former prosecutor and defense attorney, Larry Sandefer has handled hundreds of domestic violence charges, and represented people in various types of domestic charges from simple domestic battery, battery on the elderly, elderly abuse, aggravated battery, to homicide and murder.
When the police are called to a domestic dispute, they are often directed to make an arrest in order to defuse the situation. Similarly, the State Attorney has a directive to vigorously prosecute domestic battery.
Factually, it is not always clear who the at-fault party is in a domestic situation. Quite often, the first person to make a phone call to the police is the one who is classified as a victim. Sometimes, the actual victim may be the person arrested. Also, there are often mitigating factors which can be considered in domestic situations. Experienced representation by a domestic violence lawyer in this area is extremely important.
The Florida Domestic Violence Law
Florida Statute 741.28 defines domestic violence as any assault, battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking aggravating stalking, kidnaping, false imprisonment or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of a family or household member by another who is or has resided in the same dwelling unit.
Family or household members can include spouses, and even former spouses, as well as adults related by blood or marriage. Persons who are living together may also qualify as domestic.
Domestic Violence Arrests
Special laws apply to arrests for domestic violence. After an arrest, a person will normally appear at an advisory hearing before a judge. Most domestic violence charges require a period of time a person must stay in jail before a person may be released or given a bond. Once you have met that minimum time period and you are given a bond, normally there also will be issued a “no contact” order. This order will include no contact of any type with the alleged victim. This would include contact through other persons, by telephone, directly or indirectly. Violation of this order could result in the bond being revoked and potential additional charges of violation of a pretrial release and, in certain instances, stalking or aggravated stalking.
Filing of Charges by the State Attorney’s Office
An arrest, itself, does not automatically mean a charge will be filed by the State Attorney’s Office. However, the State Attorney’s Offices are aggressive in their prosecution of domestic violence. As a result, it is important for an experienced attorney to contact the State Attorney at the earliest opportunity regarding any defenses and mitigation regarding the arrest. Also, if contact is requested by both parties, that will need to be addressed before the judge. It is important to see a domestic violence attorney early. Larry Sandefer will address with you mitigation matters and other evidence which may need to be obtained or preserved, such as photographs, telephone calls, and the names of potential witnesses.
Domestic Violence Intervention
Should a charge of domestic battery or another domestic charge be filed against you, you may be eligible for a domestic violence intervention diversion program. This is available for first time offenders and requires you to complete certain conditions over a period of time, which is usually six months to one year. If you have completed the conditions required, you may be able to obtain a dismissal of the charge without proceeding through a jury trial.
Also, Sandefer Law Firm can negotiate with the prosecutor regarding a disposition on your charge in an effort to obtain the best disposition in respect to your case. It may be possible to avoid a formal conviction even if a charge is filed. Other considerations which need to be addressed in a domestic violence charge involve matters such as possession of a firearm, employment matters, and whether the charge may be able to be later sealed.
Every domestic violence charge and case is unique. You should not rely on the advice of family members or friends as their situation and the facts involved may be different. You should speak with a domestic violence criminal defense lawyer. The initial consultation with Sandefer Law Firm is free. Please review the qualifications and experience of this website. When selecting the proper attorney, you should compare experience and qualifications and ask friends and persons in the legal community.
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Sandefer Law Firm trial attorneys represent individuals in Criminal Defense, DUI Defense, Drug Crimes, Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, and Personal Injury cases throughout the Tampa Bay Florida area including Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Largo, Seminole, Pinellas Park, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Pasadena, St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Redington Beach, Bradenton, Sarasota, Ft. Myers, and all surrounding areas.
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