Defense for Domestic Battery & Abuse Charges in Miami-Dade
Domestic violence is a serious violent crime that carries harsh penalties. It involves violence or abuse between family members, spouses, ex-spouses, children, or people who live together. Because of the media and political attention that domestic violence cases tend to receive, these cases are aggressively investigated and prosecuted by law enforcement and District Attorneys alike.
Throughout Florida, law enforcement is continually cracking down on cases involving domestic violence and child abuse, often with the viewpoint of arrest first, ask questions later. Law enforcement has the explicit authority to make an arrest for this type of criminal offense without an arrest warrant if probable cause is established.
How is Domestic Violence Defined in Florida?
In Florida, domestic violence has a wide-reaching definition and applies to any kind of violence, sexual or otherwise, that takes place with a family or household member. "Family or household member" encompasses a diverse range of relationships, including spouses, blood relatives, and those who live together as a family unit. This definition extends beyond just those who currently reside together, also including those who have lived together in the past. Whether or not a couple has been married is irrelevant if they have a child together. However, it's important to note that all family or household members (aside from those with a child in common) must have lived together in the same single dwelling unit at some point in time.
Furthermore, violence that occurs across generations, such as a grandparent and grandchild or parent and child, can also be considered domestic abuse. Domestic violence charges are quite serious in Florida and those accused may face not just fines but also time in prison if convicted. It is vital to make sure that one's rights are protected should they find themselves accused of such a crime.
Domestic Violence Involves at Least One of the Following:
Types of Domestic Violence Offenses
If law enforcement is called to a home because of a domestic disturbance, they may arrest the offender as the first step in providing protection for the victim.
The Charges in Domestic Violence Cases Can Include:
- aggravated assault,
- aggravated battery,
- sexual assault,
- sexual battery,
- aggravated stalking,
- tampering with a witness,
- and false imprisonment, as well as other criminal offenses.
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.
How Can the Court Help Protect the Victim?
- A temporary injunction for protection or restraining order will usually be issued against the offender.
- The accused must remain in jail until the first hearing in the case.
- If the defendant is guilty then the sentence is a mandatory minimum 5 days in jail for misdemeanor assault.
- Depending on the severity of the incident, the penalties may increase drastically.
- Prior convictions, or whether the offender was on parole or probation at the time of the incident, are other factors that can affect the degree of punishment.
What Are the State and Federal Penalties for Domestic Violence?
Not only are there penalties at the state level, there are also federal penalties particular to the convicted domestic violence offenders.
The Penalties Include:
- A misdemeanor battery domestic violence conviction can mean up to 5 years in jail and payment of fines.
- The second and subsequent guilty verdicts can increase the charges from a misdemeanor to a 3rd degree felony.
- Offenders are required to attend a Battery Intervention Program to treat and change abusive behavior.
Federal laws can have a drastic affect on the life of the convicted offender. The laws permanently prohibit the possession, ownership and use of firearms. They also prohibit the issuance of hunting licenses. A conviction can cause the loss of a government job, or work as a nurse, teacher, or other types of jobs that involve security clearance and professional licenses. An offender may be discharged from the military or deported.
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.
Can the Victim Drop Domestic Violence Charges in FL?
In general, the victim of domestic violence in Florida cannot drop the charges against their abuser. Once the case has been filed, it is then up to the state's attorney to determine whether or not they will pursue criminal charges. It is important to note that determining factors such as the strength of evidence and severity of the crime will be considered when making this decision. Depending on the circumstances, however, a judge may choose to lower or dismiss certain orders such as restraining orders if requested by both parties involved.
Benefits of Hiring a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Miami, FL
Making the decision to involve an attorney as early as possible may have a significant, positive impact on your case. Miami Attorney Michael Mirer has over 10 years of experience as a trial attorney and is also a former prosecutor. With his knowledge of domestic violence cases and understanding of both sides of the criminal process in Florida, Attorney Mirer can fight for you.
The Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. can offer you the aggressive, applicable legal strategies that will help you avoid a conviction and serious penalties. In addition to defending you in the face of domestic violence allegations, our firm can help if you've been served a restraining order as a result of alleged abuse.
Defense Options for Domestic Violence Charges in Florida
If you are facing domestic violence charges in Florida, there are some defense options that may be available to you with the help of a skilled Miami domestic violence defense attorney.
- Self-Defense: This may be argued if you were defending yourself against an immediate threat of harm from your partner or spouse.
- False Accusations: Sometimes, domestic violence allegations can be falsely made by the accuser. Your defense attorney can try to prove that the allegations are false or exaggerated.
- Lack of Evidence: If the prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove that you committed the crime, your defense attorney can argue that the charges should be dropped.
- Lack of Intent: Domestic violence charges require proof of intent to harm or cause fear. If the evidence suggests that the incident was accidental or not intentional, the charges may be reduced or dismissed.
- Alibi: If you have evidence that you were not present during the incident, such as a witness or video surveillance, your defense attorney can use that as a defense.
- Police Misconduct: If the police officers who arrested you engaged in misconduct, such as conducting an illegal search or seizure, your defense attorney can use this to challenge the evidence against you.
Understanding the Legal Process for Domestic Violence Cases
When facing domestic violence charges, it is important to understand the legal process and your rights. The Miami domestic violence attorneys at our firm have extensive experience in handling domestic violence cases and can guide you through the legal proceedings with expertise and compassion.
Key aspects of the legal process for domestic violence cases include:
- Arrest and booking procedures
- Court appearances and arraignment
- Evidence gathering and discovery
- Negotiations with the prosecution
- Trial preparation and defense strategies
- Possible outcomes and sentencing
Our team of legal professionals will work tirelessly to protect your rights and build a strong defense on your behalf. We understand the complexities of domestic violence cases and are dedicated to achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.
Domestic Violence Rehabilitation Resources in Miami, Florida
- Lotus House: A non-profit organization that provides shelter, support, and services to women and children affected by domestic violence in Miami.
- Camillus House: A non-profit organization that offers a variety of services, including emergency shelter, counseling, and case management for victims of domestic violence.
- Kristi House: A non-profit organization that provides counseling, therapy, and support groups for children and families affected by domestic violence.
- The Women’s Fund Miami-Dade: A non-profit organization that provides funding and support for programs and services that help women and children affected by domestic violence.
- Family Resource Center of South Florida: A non-profit organization that provides counseling, therapy, and support groups for families affected by domestic violence.
- Women in Distress of Broward County: A non-profit organization that provides counseling, therapy, and support groups for women and children affected by domestic violence.
- The Salvation Army Domestic Violence Shelter: A non-profit organization that provides shelter, support, and services to women and children affected by domestic violence in Miami.
- Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence: A state-wide non-profit organization that provides advocacy, education, and support for survivors of domestic violence.
Experienced Domestic Violence Defense in Florida
Although you may have been accused of a terrible offense, you have the right to legal counsel. When you work with attorney Michael Mirer, you will be treated with the respect and compassion you deserve. You will have a strong, experienced advocate for your rights both inside and outside of the courtroom to help you resolve this matter as quickly as possible.
Challenge your domestic violence charges with an experienced lawyer at your side. Contact a Miami domestic violence attorney at the Law Office of Michael Mirer, P.A. today to discuss your defense options.