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Common Questions: Domestic Violence Defense

What if I am falsely accused of committing a domestic violence offense?

Unfortunately, certain types of situations such as a bitter divorce or custody battle with an ex-spouse can be impacted by accusations of domestic violence. Even if you are innocent and have never been violent, you will still have to deal with the charges and defending yourself. This issue must be addressed with great skill - a conviction will be a personal disaster. As only the prosecuting attorney can drop the charges, even if your former spouse later admits to exaggerating the situation, the case could progress.

We get involved in exposing the lies to the court and the person who falsely accused you could be facing legal action, as the Courts do not look kindly upon those who make false statements and use the justice system illegally. Our Miami domestic violence lawyer at Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. should get involved immediately in such a case. Mr. Mirer is a former state prosecutor and has great insight into how to manage these situations for the accused.

What if I was defending myself?

Even if you were defending yourself, once you are arrested, it is necessary to expose the truth to the prosecutor and to the court. There are a variety of actions that can be taken, based upon the circumstances of your case. You may have injuries that must be documented; there could be witnesses that can make statements supporting your case; and the witnesses for the prosecution must be investigated to determine their truthfulness as well as their involvement in the case, no matter how minor.

What will happen if I am convicted of domestic violence?

The penalties for domestic violence will be based upon several factors. Any person with a prior criminal record will face enhanced penalties and mandatory prison or jail time. For example, a misdemeanor domestic violence offense has a mandatory jail sentence of 5 days. This does not mean that the sentencing judge may not make the sentence far longer. The criminal justice system is extremely dangerous, and different judges are harsher in their sentencing. If the crime involved is a felony, the penalties imposed can include years in prison, particularly in any case in which children were the alleged victims.

How do I deal with a restraining order?

The first step is to get an attorney immediately. If you violate the order, you can expect to be taken into custody immediately. A violation can include calling, emailing, arriving at your home to pick up your personal possessions or trying to see your children. If you are released after being charged and are out on bail or have been release on your own recognizance, and then violate the terms of your pretrial release (including an order of protection), you will be held in jail until your trial takes place. You are required under law to refrain from any contact of any type with the alleged victim. The first step in any legal matter involving a restraining order is to be extremely careful about your actions, and if the accusations are false, we can take legal action to have the restraining order withdrawn. Do not contact the person making the accusations against you. Talk to us first.

How will a domestic violence accusation affect my child custody or visitation?

If you are found guilty, you may lose custody of your children, or you could only be allowed to visit them with a chaperone present. These are very serious issues and must be addressed with a great deal of skill. Losing custody or visitation rights is one of the most serious consequences of being accused of child abuse, child endangerment or other types of domestic violence that involves children. In some cases, the state may take your children and have them in a foster home for protection. If you are accused of child abuse, endangerment or molestation or any other serious domestic violence crime, contact our firm at once.

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