Domestic Violence

      Battling domestic violence charges can be a stressful time. With a combination of emotions, exaggerations, and blaming being thrown around, sorting out the entire situation is complicated.

      Not only that, domestic violence is also taken extremely seriously in Florida. Convictions can result in mandatory jail time, restrictions on contacting loved ones, and a permanent record.

      Our experienced Orlando domestic violence lawyers at Leppard Law can help you defend your rights and skillfully fight against aggressive prosecutors.

      How We Can Help You

      Here at Leppard Law, we are here to help fight for you. No matter how sticky your situation is, our team of Orlando domestic violence lawyers will navigate the complex legal system on your behalf.

      By consulting with our experienced lawyers, you’ll receive these benefits:

      Free initial consultation on your case

      Approachable and empathetic communication

      Better chances of avoiding conviction

      Assurance your best interests are in mind

      No Contact Order - Leppard Law Domestic Violence Lawyer Orlando Central Florida - 3

      Modifying the No Contact Order

      After a domestic violence arrest, Florida courts will issue a No Contact Order. This order prohibits any sort of contact with the alleged victim. This can even mean limiting contact with his or her children and other family members.

      At Leppard Law, our Orlando domestic violence attorney will seek to lift or modify the No Contact Order. We can file a motion to modify the No Contact Order to No Hostile Contact. Read more about no contact orders here.

      The less restrictive No Hostile Contact order allows you to contact and communicate with the alleged victim. Your interactions must not escalate to any sort of violence, however.

      Ways to Defend Against Domestic Violence Charges

      Fortunately, there are countless strategies and tactics to defend against domestic violence charges. We’ve handled enough cases where fabricated stories, inconsistencies, insufficient evidence, and more have resulted in reduced and, in some cases, even dropped charges. With our legal expertise, we’ll comb through the evidence and come up with a strategy for your particular scenario.

      Below we’ll explore some possible strategies and tactics to defend against a domestic violence charge:

      Contact Victim - Ways to Defend Against Domestic Violence charges | leppard law, domestic violence lawyers, orlando florida

      Contact Victim

      Before heading to trial, an attorney can contact the victim to discuss dropping the charges. An attorney can make contact even if a ‘No Contact Order’ is in place.

      Although this option may not be feasible in all cases, victims may choose not to pursue charges for various reasons.

      While it is ultimately up to the State Attorney to decide whether to pursue the case or not, the victim can hold significant sway in the decision to drop charges.

      False Allegations - Ways to Defend Against Domestic Violence charges | leppard law, domestic violence lawyers, orlando florida

      False Allegations

      Fabricating stories of domestic abuse is not uncommon. Falsehoods can occur as a way to get back at the individual, especially if they’re in the middle of a divorce or custody battle.

      Our Orlando criminal defense lawyer will corroborate the accuser’s testimony with police reports and other available evidence.

      Cannot Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt - Ways to Defend Against Domestic Violence charges | leppard law, domestic violence lawyers, orlando florida

      Cannot Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt

      The prosecutor holds the burden of proof. They must provide evidence that would prove you committed the act beyond a reasonable doubt.

      Our lawyers will confirm victim allegations, verify your statements made at the scene, check physical evidence that could potentially implicate you, and other investigative activities.

      If there is not enough evidence available to prove domestic violence beyond a reasonable doubt, the chances of charges being dropped will increase.

      Self Defense

      The self defense strategy goes to show the courts you were not the aggressor in the alleged domestic violence incident. Rather, the alleged violent act you committed was in self-defense.

      Your lawyer will provide supporting evidence showing you only used the necessary force required to defend yourself from imminent danger.

      Learn More About “Domestic Violence” Charges

      According to Florida law, domestic violence can encompass an array of acts committed against a family or household member. These activities can include:

      Assault
      Battery
      Sexual Assault
      Sexual Battery
      Stalking
      Kidnapping
      False Inprisonment
      Other acts resulting in injury/death

      It’s important to note that these types of violence do not have to result in physical injury or harm. Economic, emotional, psychological, or neglect can all be deemed as ‘abuse’ in the eyes of the court.

      That’s why it’s so important to turn to an attorney as soon as possible. A reputable Orlando domestic violence attorney will help investigate the case to determine whether the act even constitutes as domestic violence.

      Who is a family or household member?

      Another key aspect to the definition of domestic violence is the violent act must be committed towards a family or household member.

      A family or household member can include any of the following:

      • Spouses
      • Ex-spouses
      • Members related by blood or marriage
      • Members living together as a family
      • Members who lived together in the past as a family
      • Members who are parents of a child, regardless if they are married

      The above family or household member must additionally live in the same dwelling unit or have shared the same residence in the past. The only exception is those sharing custody of a child.

      What are some penalties you can face for domestic violence

      What are some penalties you can face for domestic violence?

      Cases of domestic violence in Florida are oftentimes politically and emotionally charged. It’s not uncommon for these cases to stem from baseless accusations by vindictive partners. Prosecutors are also known to be extremely aggressive in their cases against respondents (the accused).

      As an Orlando criminal defense attorney, we thoroughly investigate your case to see if the charges are warranted. We’ll advise you on immediately what to say and what not to say as to avoid incriminating yourself.

      Pleading guilty without consulting an experienced attorney has significant ramifications, potentially resulting in:

      • Permanent criminal record
      • Ineligibility for sealing or expunging
      • Mandatory jail sentencing
      • Deportation in regards to immigration law

      Misdemeanor domestic violence charges

      Depending on the severity of the case, charges of domestic violence typically start out as misdemeanors. Misdemeanor involves less severe acts of violence and can include:

      Domestic Assault
      Domestic Assault
      Domestic Battery
      Domestic Battery
      Violating Court Injunction
      Violating Court Injunction/Restraining Order

      While it may be less severe than a felony, the penalties for a misdemeanor charge is still serious.

      The minimum penalty for these types of charges includes one year of probation and mandatory enrollment in a Batterer’s Intervention Program.

      Felony domestic violence charges

      Charges may be upgraded to acts of felony when the following occurs:

      Accused has a previous history of violence
      Accused has a previous history of violence
      Domestic battery resulting in serious injuries or death
      Domestic battery resulting in serious injuries or death
      Child abuse or neglect
      Child abuse or neglect
      Sexual assault or battery
      Sexual assault or battery
      Kidnapping
      Kidnapping
      False Imprisonment
      False imprisonment

      In the severest of cases, sentencing can be up to 15 years in prison for felony-related convictions. It is imperative you consult with an experienced Orlando battery attorney, so you have a better chance of dropping or reducing these charges.

      Ineligibility for Sealing or Expungement

      Ineligibility for Sealing or Expungement

      Under Florida law, pleading guilty to any domestic violence-related charges will leave you with a permanent record.

      You are immediately disqualified from having your records sealed or expunged if you plead to any domestic violence charges.

      Our advice is to always contact an Orlando domestic violence lawyer before you make any statements or decisions. A simple mistake is all it takes to end up with a permanent record.

      Our team of legal experts offer advice that could help you avoid a permanent criminal record, cost you future employment opportunities, ability to visit your children, and other valuable rights.

      Battling domestic violence charges can be a stressful time. With a combination of emotions, exaggerations, and blaming being thrown around, sorting out the entire situation is complicated.

      Battling domestic violence charges can be a stressful time. With a combination of emotions, exaggerations, and blaming being thrown around, sorting out the entire situation is complicated.

      Not only that, domestic violence is also taken extremely seriously in Florida. Convictions can result in mandatory jail time, restrictions on contacting loved ones, and a permanent record.

      Not only that, domestic violence is also taken extremely seriously in Florida. Convictions can result in mandatory jail time, restrictions on contacting loved ones, and a permanent record.

      Our experienced Orlando domestic violence lawyers at Leppard Law can help you defend your rights and skillfully fight against aggressive prosecutors.

      Our experienced Orlando domestic violence lawyers at Leppard Law can help you defend your rights and skillfully fight against aggressive prosecutors.

      Domestic violence is harshly punished in the State of Florida. Not only can a judge sentence you to sentence, probation, or to pay a fine if you are convicted of domestic violence, but Florida law requires additional, far-reaching penalties to be imposed because of the domestic nature of the offense. If you are charged with domestic violence, it is important that you hire competent counsel to defend you and that you are properly informed of your rights.

      WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

      In Florida, someone is charged with domestic violence for committing any of a broad array of criminal offenses against a family or household member. Some offenses that can fall under domestic violence include:

      • Assault and aggravated assault
      • Battery and aggravated battery
      • Sexual assault
      • Stalking
      • Kidnapping
      • False imprisonment

      Family or Household Members

      In order for these offenses to be considered domestic violence, they have to be committed by one “family or household member” against another. The Florida Statutes define family and household members as:

      • Spouses or former spouses
      • Person related by blood or marriage
      • Persons who live together like a family
      • Persons with a child in common, whether they are married or not

      Except for those who have a child in common, the family or household members must be living together, or have at one point lived together, for an offense to be considered domestic violence. When it comes to persons who have a child in common, any of the offenses listed above will be considered domestic violence, whether they have ever lived together or not. §741.28.

      SPECIALIZED PROSECUTORS

      Florida Statutes provide for specialized prosecutors in domestic violence cases. These prosecutors are specifically trained to deal with these types of cases, and are encouraged to follow a pro-prosecution policy. The statutes give these specialized prosecutors the sole discretion to determine whether or not to file charges for domestic violence; this means that even if the victim wants to drop the charges, the prosecutor has the ability to go forward with the case anyway. Because of the special nature of the prosecution of these cases, it is that much more important that you have a skilled lawyer on your side if you are charged with domestic violence.

      PENALTIES AND CONSEQUENCES

      In addition to the standard punishment that comes with being convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, the State of Florida imposes other heavy consequences for those convicted of domestic violence.

      Misdemeanor or Felony

      Whether a domestic violence offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the severity of the circumstances. An offense of assault, such as a threat to cause bodily harm, can result in a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. A domestic violence crime that results in severe injuries to the victim may be charged as a third degree felony—punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine—or worse.

      Other Penalties

      Florida punishes domestic violence harshly, and a conviction comes with other mandatory penalties, including:

      • A 6 month Batterer’s Intervention Program plus a year of probation
      • A minimum of 5 days in jail if the offender intentionally caused bodily harm
      • An injunction prohibiting any contact with the victim
      • The loss of certain rights, such as a permit to carry concealed weapons

      DOMESTIC VIOLENCE DEFENSES

      Mutual Combat

      A lawyer can raise the defense of mutual combat in some domestic violence cases by asserting that the defendant and the alleged victim had both consented to the confrontation. If it can be shown that the defendant was not the primary aggressor and that both parties wanted to engage each other in a confrontation, then the confrontation was lawful and the defendant did not commit domestic violence.

      Self-defense

      People have a right to defend themselves if they are being assaulted. A defendant in a domestic violence case may assert that he or she was not the primary aggressor, but was merely defending him- or herself.

      Additionally, the Florida legislature enacted the “Stand Your Ground” statutes in 2005, which eliminate the “duty of retreat.” Before these statutes, someone who was being assaulted had the duty of trying to escape to their best ability before they could use deadly force in their defense; now, as long as someone is in a place in which he or she has a right to be, that person can use deadly force without trying to escape if it is necessary for self-defense.

      Lack of Evidence

      A lawyer can also contest the evidence, or point to the lack thereof, linking the defendant to the offense. For example, the lawyer may show that there are no visible injuries on the alleged victim, or point to a lack of witness testimony supporting the alleged victim’s claim.

      CONTACT JOEL LEPPARD

      Because of the severity with which the State of Florida punishes domestic violence, it can be essential that you hire a skilled lawyer to represent you in your case. Your initial consultation is always free and Leppard Law is available to take your call at any hour of the day.

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